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Guest Review: Tortuga Tavern in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Ahoy me hearties! Let’s welcome back Julie B. with a review of Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland. Isn’t it fun when you find this place open?! And we love that Julie found the place empty. Wow.

If you’re like me, you can never get enough pirates! You love the ride, the movies, and the hilarious, charming Jack Sparrow (pardon me… Captain Jack Sparrow). But you may not know you can eat like a pirate too!

Tortuga Tavern Sign

Enter Tortuga Tavern! Formerly known as El Pirata Y El Perico, the restaurant was refurbished and updated a while back.

The menu is basically the same, but the restaurant was renamed to match the island of Tortuga known from the Pirates series.

Tortuga Tavern

Tortuga Tavern Code of Conduct

Atmosphere

Tortuga Tavern is a calmer retreat from the busy Pirates plaza. With outdoor and covered seating, you can get a little reprieve from the Florida heat.

It also offers a mild Caribbean theme mixed in with a pirate tavern.

Pirate Theme

Courtyard at Tortuga Tavern

Tortuga Tavern Outdoor Seating

The tables are all spread out and the themeing lacks excitement.

Seating at Tortuga

Tortuga Indoor Tables

If you like to play Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, there is a magic portal in the toppings bar room.

This is open even when the restaurant is not, so if you happen by on a day that Tortuga is closed, you can still check it out.

Portal at Tortuga

On multiple visits, it has also been remarkably calm for a quick service restaurant! Unlike many other lunchtime spots, there’s not much competition for tables and the lines are short. Maybe this is because it’s not often open, so people only eat there on a last-minute whim.

Eats

The menu at Tortuga Tavern is basically the same as the menu from El Pirata Y El Perico. There are five menu options: Beef or Chicken Burritos, Beef Nachos, Taco Salad, Caesar Salad, and Vegetarian Burritos.

Tortuga Tavern Menu -- Entrees and Desserts

Tortuga Tavern Menu -- Drinks

I really enjoyed the chicken burrito, though I was a little surprised when it came as just an open flour tortilla filled with cilantro rice, beans, and seasoned chicken (with a sour cream pack on the side).

They quickly pointed me in the direction of the topping bar so you can complete your meal. (You may recognize this style from the neighboring Pecos Bills).

Chicken Burrito

The toppings bar is fabulous because it allows you to customize what you want to eat! Options include shredded cheese, lettuce, diced tomatoes, and salsa.

Also available are hot sauce and taco sauce packets.

Toppings Bar

I composed my masterpiece and then tried to wrap it, but that was…slightly less than successful. ;)

Burrito with Toppings

A fork and a knife work just fine though! This is definitely a meal to carry you through a long day at the parks or the perfect thing to share.

Next up was the Taco Salad. I was super excited for this one — you just can’t go wrong with a salad when it involves a fried tortilla bowl!

The presentation is a little startling on this dish too when you’re served a bowl with just beef at the bottom. Everything else is added at the toppings bar.

Taco Salad

This method doesn’t make for the prettiest salad but it is very tasty! I do prefer Pecos Bill’s version though. It’s the exact same thing, except Pecos Bill’s toppings bar also has grilled onions, mushrooms, and salad dressings (I made my own salsa ranch — yum).

If you reeeeeally want those mushrooms and onions, you could always take your tray over to Pecos Bill’s next door and snag the toppings there.

Taco Salad with Toppings

My favorite part of the entire salad is actually the end, when you reach the taco shell’s bottom. It’s coated with a lovely layer of seasoning and juice form the taco meet. It may be oily, but it’s delicious!

Taco Salad Mix

Kids’ choices are a little limited at the Tavern.

Tortuga Tavern Kids Menu

The kids’ meal of Cheese Quesadillas comes with two small quesadilla pockets on a plate.

It doesn’t look like enough food to fill anybody up, even with the standard kids’ meal sides.

Cheese Quesadillas

I know AJ has some reviews coming up soon of desserts and the Non-Alcoholic Sangria, so here’s a sneak peek at the Chocolate Cake!

Chocolate Cake

Overall

I truly enjoyed lunch at Tortuga Tavern. It’s a shame that it is only open during lunchtime, because I’d love a hearty burrito for dinner, too!

This swashbuckling stop will definitely be a frequent lunch destination for me.

Editor’s Note: Tortuga Tavern is usually only open during extremely busy days at the Magic Kingdom.

Say “Aye” if you wish Tortuga Tavern was open on your next Magic Kingdom visit! And, let us know what you think about the menu and theme at this pirate-y place.

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21 Comments

  1. Logan says:

    In all my visits, I have never seen the Tavern open!

  2. MmM! I have not been here since it was renamed but I love that toppings bar!

  3. Melissa says:

    Great review! This is actually one of my favorite places to stop at. My husband and I love the taco salads and I’m always disappointed if they are closed!

  4. Christa M. says:

    This is a favorite of our group, but I haven’t been since the name change. I’ve always enjoyed the taco salad.

  5. Dana says:

    This is usually where my husband and I have lunch when we hit the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t realize that they weren’t open that often – we’ve never had a problem eating here for lunch. The food is good, not great, but it’s always quiet and shady. Really nice if you need a short break.

  6. I generally go during the off season, so I’ve definitely never seen it open since it’s been renamed! I wish the MK would open it up – need more options!

  7. Kristina says:

    I have never seen it open on any of my visits but never thought I was missing out on anything. After reading this review, I REALLY hope to catch it open one time I think those burritos would be something both my husband and I would love!

  8. Bridgette says:

    We go most often during the less crowded times of the year and this is one of our favorite discoveries. When we have a big breakfast/late breakfast, we stop T Tortuga Tavern for a couple of the kids meal quesadillas. With the toppings bar, it is a great afternoon pick me up. We have always had luck with it being open before 3:00.

  9. Jayne says:

    Looks like a pleasant place for a QS meal.

  10. Rose says:

    Love Tortuga. Taco salad and toppings bar. Just wish they had goopy cheese (plastic). I sometimes do go to Pecos Bills and get some! :)

  11. Essie says:

    I’ve never eaten here, but would really like to. Unfortunately, I usually go in Sept. and it’s always closed. If I ever see it open, I’ll certainly give it a try.

  12. Sara S says:

    We ate there twice in June because we loved the nachos so much! It was VERY hard to get a table, you have to stalk one that is about to be cleared. I wish Hollywood Studios would take notes from this place, they could use more good counter service places like this one! Oh and I wish they would have had the cute treasure boxes when where were there for the kids meals.

  13. Galloping Gourmand says:

    I’ve never seen this place open as anything but overflow seating for Pecos Bill. It’s as elusive as bigfoot. Being a minor Disney food cryptid hunter, having found even the Noodle Station open. I’m adding this to my list.

  14. Jenny says:

    I know that it is not open all the time, hoping that it is open in May. The food look realy good when you finnish it off at the toppings bar.
    :)

  15. Julie says:

    This is our favourite place to eat in WDW. Such a nice change to get what I consider to be something more healthy than the usual pizza/fries/burger fast food option – especially for veggies. The rice and beans are really tasty and the toppings bar just makes it. Beware though, you CANNOT pick this up to eat – better eat a good portion of the filling with a knife and fork first before you even attempt to pick it up and eat. Yum, Yum.

  16. Matt N says:

    I really hope this is open next time I am at MK. Wish it was open more often.

  17. Natalie says:

    My family and I just got back from our first Christmas at Walt Disney World and we did have a chance to eat at Tortuga Tavern too. I did like it. I loved the cilantro rice and it wasn’t too overpowering. Though my folding wasn’t too good, my burrito stayed together almost until the end which was good. Also nice to see Pirates from across the way and check on the stand-by time!

  18. TongaXtine says:

    I think this is the worst meal I’ve had in any Disney park. Even Taco Bell is better. I think anyone could do better with a snack and save your money for dessert on Main Street.

  19. Kelly Sas says:

    The “new” method of giving you your Taco Salad while sounds like a good way to go. Unfortunately the “new” Taco Salad is not as good as the old ones. Not sure why if it is the same meat the used to serve, but I don’t know if this is true – just assuming. The meat is flavorless now. Very disappointing. We used to ALWAYS eat at Pacos when at Magic Kingdom to have our favorite Taco Salad anywhere in the US. Now we have to find a new favorite at Magic Kingdom. :(

  20. Corey says:

    If you judge a burrito by Chipotle or Baja Fresh (not exactly gourmet), the burritos here are terrible – it all starts with a bad tortilla and continues downhill from there.

    That packaged chocolate cake was delicious though.

  21. Deb says:

    Took us 3 try’s on our last visit to find them open, Husband wanted a Burrito no matter what.. LOL..
    I got the taco salad & loved it.. Like being able to build it myself at the bar.. Husband liked his burrito too..

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