Review: Lighthouse and Anchors Aweigh Sandwiches at Magic Kingdom’s Columbia Harbour House

We always love to talk with you about the latest and greatest of Disney food here on DFB.

But today we’re taking time to savor a couple of classics: the Lighthouse and Anchors Aweigh Sandwiches have been around for a long time, and they can only be found at Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom.

This quaint counter service spot is a hidden gem for Disney visitors. It’s not splashy like Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, and it’s not really huge and sprawling like Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn. It’s small and understated. In fact, you could easily walk right by and not even know it’s there!

Columbia Harbour House

Straddling Liberty Square and Fantasyland (here’s what it looks like from the Fantasyland side…)

Columbia Harbour House -- Fantasyland View

Columbia Harbour House — Fantasyland View

…the restaurant offers several long-time Disney guest favorites. It’s one of those spots that first-timers don’t really know about unless they stumble upon it, but Disney vets try to visit as much as possible.

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

Fish, chicken, pasta, and more are the features here, and there always seems to be one or two “specials” happening at any given time. But the best part about this spot is that the upstairs dining area tends to be blessedly quiet much of the time.

Upstairs window tables at Columbia Harbour House

Upstairs window tables at Columbia Harbour House

It’s a spot I often escape to when I need a breather in the Magic Kingdom.

Columbia Harbour House upstairs

Columbia Harbour House upstairs

But we’re not here to show you pics of empty tables — we’re here to tell you all about some of those must-have eats that so many Disney fans hold near and dear.

These two sandwiches have quite the following among DFB readers, but those new to Columbia Harbour House might wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, upon reading the description of Anchors Aweigh — which is basically a tuna sandwich — many may ask, “what’s the deal?” (Jerry Seinfeld voiceover in your head entirely optional).

Columbia Harbour House menu

Columbia Harbour House menu

And it’s true — there aren’t any super unique or wacky ingredients that you can’t easily combine in your own home. No surprises here (unless there’s some added pixie dust that my eye can’t pick up. You never know around these parts…). What you see is what you get: tuna salad, tomato, and lettuce on multi-grain bread, served with potato chips. Frankly, it’s not even the prettiest sandwich ever, from a photography perspective.

Anchors Aweigh sandwich with chips

Anchors Aweigh sandwich with chips

Anchors Aweigh

Anchors Aweigh

But maybe the simplicity is what makes it so good: it’s just an easy, quality sandwich for when you need a break from fried foods or sugary decadence. The cold tuna salad and veggies are basic, but fresh.

Speaking for myself, what I’ve always liked most about it is the very lightly toasted multi-grain bread on which it’s served. It’s hearty without being too “seedy,” and you feel like you’re doing something a little better for yourself by going healthier than something served on a bun.

Multi-grain bread

Multi-grain bread

Multi-grain bread

Multi-grain bread

Our second sandwich – the Lighthouse — is served on that same bread (hooray!).

Lighthouse Sandwich

Lighthouse Sandwich

Lighthouse sandwich

Lighthouse sandwich

It’s a good time to note that Columbia Harbour House is known for having a few options that are great for vegetarians (including the Vegetarian Chili), and the Lighthouse is one more. The emphasis here is on the lightly dressed broccoli slaw.

Lighthouse sandwich

Lighthouse sandwich

It’s difficult to see the hummus unless you deconstruct the sandwich, but since it’s on the bottom, you can definitely taste it from the first bite.

Hummus and tomato

Hummus and tomato

I do think this is a love-it-or-leave-it meal. Not everyone will like the texture of soft slaw and hummus on the bread. Hummus as the main source of protein is a unique choice, but for those who love it, it’s a good one.

Comparing them side by side, the Anchors Aweigh is a very basic sandwich that’s just done well, while the Lighthouse is a fairly unique offering that has its own niche. But these two options just barely scratch the surface of everything on the menu.

You’ll find fish (fried or grilled), chicken, the popular Lobster Roll, and even some comfort classics at dinner like Seafood Macaroni and Cheese and Chicken Pot Pie. Turns out, it’s not just an expression to say there really is something for just about everyone at Columbia Harbour House.

Is Columbia Harbour House a favorite stop for you? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Scott says

    I am by no means a vegetarian, but on a sweltering afternoon in the MK, the Lighthouse is my go-to lunch. It’s cool and filling, but not too heavy.

  2. Lauren says

    Are there onions in the tuna? I want to try this sandwich the next time I’m there, but I’m not a fan of onion in tuna. Thanks!

  3. Sally Taylor says

    Visited Columbia House to “cool” off one day… shared the Anchors Aweigh with my daughter!
    We sat upstairs looking out at Haunted Mansion, great sandwich, great company and “celebrities” were hiding upstairs! We have also visited here for soup and chili TO WARM UP or GET DRY!
    thanks for the story

  4. Jackie K says

    Absolutely my preferred quick eating spot in the Magic K. You’ve hit the nail on the head – great seating upstairs – those window tables over the walkway are the best (even can grab an outlet to recharge the phone at a few of them). These are my go to sandwiches too, a welcome respite from what I see as ‘yellow food’ (fried everything served with bland bun and not a green in sight)

  5. Marion says

    The combo of the clam chowder and lobster roll is one of my favorites! And yes, eating upstairs in a quiet corner is the best!

  6. Katie says

    I love Columbia Harbour House. I will say that I don’t know how much of a “hidden gem” it is. It always seems very busy and the dining areas are packed, even when I’ve been there in the off season. The food is great, though, and so is the lemonade slush, which you can get as a drink with your meal with the Disney Dining Plan. It’s a great place for lunch.

  7. Sandra says

    We love CHH for these two sandwiches alone. My son aka Mr. Fried Food Products, can also get fish or chicken while we enjoy something filling and refreshing. Wish they had a way to get to the second floor without climbing stairs though; a CM and another guest had to help me last time I tried to go up with a tray. Some of our old knees just can’t do the stairs. But CHH is definitely in our top three places to get a good and quick meal.

  8. Danielle M says

    on the Keys to the Kingdom tour a while back, we learned one cast member makes the tuna salad herself. My husband isn’t one to eat tuna unless he makes it, but once we heard that it’s a MUST every trip!!!

  9. Katie says

    The anchor tuna sandwich is my favorite meal to eat at MK. It is filling and extremely good. The chips are great as well. My other favorites are the salad they offer as well as the clam chowder!

  10. Essie says

    My favorite QS spot in MK (now tied with BOG, though). I just love the tuna sandwich and it’s big enough to be a very filling meal. The house made chips are wonderful. BTW, I don’t remember any onions in the tuna, Lauren. I’ve also had the chowder, and chicken strips and they were very good, but now that I’ve tried the tuna, that’s all I get; I love it.

  11. Shannon says

    We love to stop here for an early lunch to get out of the heat and away from the crowds. I always get the Broccoli Peppercorn Salad and my husband usually gets fish and chips.

  12. Sarah says

    Have to agree with Katie about how much of a hidden gem the place is. It’s been packed the couple of times I’ve been there. The upstairs however lived up to the reputation- while the place was a madhouse downstairs, the upstairs was half empty and a welcome respite. I’ll never know how it manages to stay so empty. Do people not realize they can go up there? Maybe parents don’t want to lug their stuff up the stairs? There are restrooms on the second floor as well.

  13. Hannah says

    DH and I usually stop by CHH and share the Anchors Away sandwich with fries. It’s a great lunch and enough to share. Lauren…if there are onions in the tuna it’s not enough to really taste. I just wish CHH would keep the upstairs eating area a bit cleaner.

  14. Galloping Gourmond says

    My favorite quick service at the MK. I enjoy the Anchors Away, but tend to lean towards the battered fish platter. It’s usually a tad greasy and that’s just how I like my fish.

    I really wish that every page or blog that talks about this place would stop telling people how the upstairs is rarely crowded and that the bridge has a great view. Next you’ll be telling people that there is (or was last year) an outlet right next to the bridge’s window facing Liberty Square and I’ll never be able to get that table again. That seat is almost always open when I’m there.

  15. Mark says

    Galloping Gourmand love those seats on the bridge, too. Let’s keep them a secret. :). Seriously, never been disappointed here.

  16. Chip says

    Just had a light house today. Love Columbia Harbor House, but loved it more when it was quieter. Now with a berk ringer out front is always busy and rarely quiet.

  17. Randi says

    I got to try CHH two trips ago. I ordered the Lighthouse Sandwich after reading all of the reviews of it on on here, and honestly, I was rather underwhelmed. I really like all of the ingredients separately, but for some reason they just didn’t work for me together. Maybe it was because I was expecting the broccoli slaw to have a lot more crunch than in actually did.

  18. Roger says

    When I last went to WDW in July 2013, I ate at Columbia Harbour House. I had eaten here before, and I loved it. I love the options available, and really enjoyed the lobster roll and steamed broccoli. It was filling, which was great! I will definitely make it a point to eat here yet again on my next visit.

  19. Wendy says

    Lauren — Hi! I agree with Essie and Hannah, I’ve never detected much of an onion presence in the tuna. I really like onions and tuna together, so I’m on the lookout for them for the opposite reason ;). A Cast Member should be able to confirm for sure if you’d like to try it. Enjoy!

  20. Rocksmith says

    If you have any food allergy problems, this place offers a great allergy free menu. You have to tell the cashier you the allergy menu.

    They will then have you stand aside while they call to have the kitchen manager come out with the dedicated allergen free menu.

    We needed to have Gluten and egg free meals, and they were cooked to order. Super fresh

  21. Jillian says

    We were there in March and had Lunch there on our last day, I thought it was really good, and it was packed!

  22. Karen Gray says

    I was there last week and had the lighthouse sandwich at CHH. I was pretty disappointed with it to be honest, the fillings were ok but the bread itself was dried out and hard and the bottom of the sandwich was soggy like it has been sitting prepared for too long , they are not made fresh. I returned the dried up sandwich asking for a freshly made one which was handed through from the kitchen in 2 seconds and received another one that had also been sitting for too long imo. I just made do with that one. The chips are nice though!

  23. Niki says

    We will miss the lighthouse sandwich. It was easily modified to vegan by leaving off the broccoli slaw & healthier alternative for non veg family members.

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