Review: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Today, I’m heading back to Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe!

I hadn’t been to this corner of Magic Kingdom for a while to eat, and it was time to visit again.

Atmosphere

The legend of Pecos Bill is an interesting one.

But first and foremost, where the Tall Tale Inn — Pecos Bill’s for short — is concerned, it’s the story of two restaurants in one. That’s because Pecos Bill’s straddles two different Disney “lands”: Frontierland and Adventureland.

Pecos Bill Sign

Pecos Bill Sign from the Adventureland Entrance

And depending on which side you enter from, you’ll either feel like you’ve stumbled in from a Western frontier town, or a just colonized Caribbean island. It reminds me a bit of the dual personalities of another Magic Kingdom counter service favorite, Columbia Harbour House. (Check out pics of the two styles you see there — one Fantasyland, one Liberty Square — in this review.)

pecos bills

Pecos Bill Sign from the Frontierland Entrance

You’ll see nods to both settings inside as well. More on that in a minute.

But back to the story. You can read all about Pecos Bill in the story about how the Tall Tale Inn came to be. (And fans of classic Disney film will recognize Pecos Bill’s likeness at the top from Melody Time, the Disney anthology featuring the Pecos Bill short.)

Story of Pecos Bill - click image for larger version

Story of Pecos Bill – click image for larger version

And you should really brush up on the Code of the West. Just in case you’re tempted to, you know, spit or something. Be sure to check out other fun Codes we found on a tour of Magic Kingdom in this post.

Pecos Bill's Code of the West

Pecos Bill’s Code of the West

But don’t just grab a burger and rush through it here! (I know, I know. FastPasses and all that.)

Remember the story above? Of course you do. It was two pictures ago! Well, there are some really cool “artifacts” at Pecos Bill’s that you’ve gotta see.

Check out this pistol and group of playing cards, courtesy of superstar sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The display commemorates one of her most famous tricks, splitting playing cards and shooting them through in mid air.

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

Revolver and Bullet-Riddled Playing Cards

And of course, there’s memorabilia from Bill’s best girl, Slue-Foot Sue. She autographed these gloves just for him. :-)

A Lady's Gloves -- Autographed and Framed

Slue-Foot Sue’s Gloves

In fact, you can see the gloves in this pic. They hang right around the corner in the seating area from a portrait of Slue-Foot Sue herself!

Regarding seating, it’s plentiful, and you’ll find a fun mix of decor here, befitting its setting at the corner of two Lands. Here, it looks like a tavern in a Texas frontier town.

Seating

Seating

Additional Seating

Additional Seating

But here, the setting is more like Adventureland. Caribbean Island? Mexico? It’s a little of this and a little of that with hanging lanterns, potted flowers, and a verandah overlooking the seating area.

Gorgeous "Outdoor" Seating -- Indoors

Gorgeous “Outdoor” Seating — Indoors

There are also lots of seats outside, and many are conveniently shaded.

Shaded Outdoor Seating

Shaded Outdoor Seating

Patio Outdoor Seating

Patio Outdoor Seating

Ordering at Pecos Bill’s is classic Disney counter service. Cast Members are ready to take your order as soon as you mosey up to the podium.

Regular, Non-Express Ordering Line

Pecos Bill’s Ordering Area

After we placed our orders, it was time to take a look at one of Pecos Bill’s most famous “attractions” — their condiment bar! This collection of toppings is one of my favorites. They have everything here! Peppers and Pickles to top your sandwiches? For sure.

Peppers and Pickles at Pecos Bill's Condiment Bar

Peppers and Pickles at Pecos Bill’s Condiment Bar

And while the Salsa clearly isn’t the handmade variety I usually enjoy in Texas, it’s still pretty awesome to have it as an option.

Condiment - Salsa

Condiment – Salsa

Sauteed Mushrooms are a hearty favorite of lots of people (not me, but you’re welcome to them). You could practically make a side dish out of ‘em. ;-)

Condiments - Sauteed Mushrooms

Condiments – Sauteed Mushrooms

More traditional options are also available, like Shredded Cheese, Lettuce, and Sliced Tomatoes.

Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes on Condiments Bar

Cheese, Lettuce, Tomatoes on Condiments Bar

But all of it pales in comparison to the very best condiment available — Plastic Cheeeeeeeeese!

Plastic Cheese

Plastic Cheese

Plentiful pumps of Ketchup, Mayo, and Mustard also make easy work of dressing your sandwich or covering your fries.

Condiment Dispensers

Condiment Dispensers

A central stash of other condiments and plastic tableware are located conveniently so you can grab them on the way to your table.

Other condiments and utensils

Other condiments and utensils

And now it’s time to dig in!

Eats

A while back, I enjoyed the Root Beer Slush in the clear Souvenir Boot here at Pecos Bill’s. On this visit, they were featuring a new drink in the Souvenir Boot — and as it turns out, a new boot altogether!

The boot is Black these days, and currently comes filled with Strawberry Lemonade Slush.

Strawberry Lemonade Slush Served in a Souvenir Boot

Strawberry Lemonade Slush Served in a Souvenir Boot

As for eats, I was a little sad to see some of my favorites gone from the Pecos Bill menu. Those killer Onion Rings? Gone. And we’ve all heard about the demise of the Taco Salad; it’s still not back. You can breathe a sigh of relief that the Chili Cheese Fries are still here, though.

But there are also some additions. I had seen the Deluxe Chicken Sandwich before, and decided to give it a try on this visit. A Grilled Chicken Breast is topped with Cheese, Bacon, and a Chipotle Mayonnaisey type of sauce. The whole thing is served on a Ciabatta Roll.

Deluxe Chicken Sandwich

Deluxe Chicken Sandwich

Honestly, that roll was a little dry, and really soaked up the sauce. I could have done with a lot more, but the flavors were good.

Deluxe Chicken Sandwich -- Cross Section

Deluxe Chicken Sandwich — Cross Section

My friend went with the Barbecue Pork Sandwich. It looks exactly — exactly — like the Barbecue Pork Sandwich I showed you a while back from Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland.

Barbecued Pork Sandwich

Barbecued Pork Sandwich

There was a good portion of tender, shredded Pork Barbecue on the sandwich, and we both liked this bread choice a little better.

Barbecued Pork Sandwich -- Cross Section

Barbecued Pork Sandwich — Cross Section

Still, my friend likes LOTS of sauce — so it was handy that we could grab a little extra Barbecue Sauce on the Condiment Bar.

Heinz BBQ Sauce

Heinz BBQ Sauce

And here’s a TIP: we weren’t terribly hungry, so we decided to order just the sandwiches without the side order. (Both come with your choice of Corn on the Cob, Fries, or Apple Slices.) We saved a little money and a little stomach room by taking advantage of this off-menu secret! (You’ll find lots more tips like this in our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, by the way!)

However, a little later in the evening, I happened to be back at Pecos Bill’s for a late night snack, and opted for an order of French Fries. This is what the a la carte fries look like.

French Fries

French Fries

And they were pretty awesome dipped in Plastic Cheese. :-)

Overall

Overall, Pecos Bill’s is still a good, solid choice if you’re looking for a quick meal at the crossroads of Adventureland and Frontierland.

Sure, the menu items here aren’t all that original for the most part; they closely resemble lots of your choices at Cosmic Rays on the other side of Disney World.

But that beautiful condiment bar allows you a certain level of customization, and you’ll find that the menu leans slightly to the Southwest, which does make it a bit more interesting than standard hamburgers and fries. Every once in a while you’ll find specialty items here as well — like steak, or short ribs.

Besides, who can resist the opportunity to check out some fine Disney film history? Make sure you absorb the intentional details in the decor here. To a great extent, they really set it apart.

What’s your favorite detail about Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn — the food or the themeing, or both? We want to hear your thoughts in comments below!

Comments

  1. Frank says

    We were there last week. Our experience was flat out horrible.
    I went for the taco salad which they didn’t have on the menu anymore, so I tried the chicken salad. Like eating nothing. Chicken was cold, hard, and tasteless.
    My wife had their chicken sandwich. Again, cold, hard, tasteless, chicken with a bun that a judge could use as a gavel.
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Magic Kingdom needs some new restaurants badly.

  2. says

    I worked with plastic cheese in my service industry days. And let me tell you, that stuff is disgusting. Once you have scraped dried plastic cheese off a counter, you will never want to put it in your mouth again. Ewwww.

  3. Mike V says

    Pecos Bill was a fallback option for the Taco Salad in the event that now called Tortuga Tavern is seasonally closed. Very upset they got rid of that item.

    Plastic Cheese rules, scrape it off dried and pop it in the microwave…..yummy and guwwy all over again.

    I have an idea for a MK restaurant, a Frozen themed Italian place!!!!

  4. Lee says

    I have to agree with Frank. The last time we were there in Nov, our experience was also horrible. We were not there during a busy time, but:

    1) The dining area was filthy, with spilled drinks that no one seemed in any hurry to clean up, and tables covered with nastiness.

    2) The food was horrible. Cold burger. Cold fries. Nothing from the condiments bar could make this burger taste any better. Believe me, we tried.

    3) Mediocre chili. Wendy’s has better chili, by a long shot. And since they no longer have the Taco Salad, they have also quit carrying hot sauce as a condiment. Which means I couldn’t even doctor the chili up very much.

    This location is firmly on our “never visit again” list.

  5. Jessica says

    I LOVE Pecos Bill’s. I always have to eat my BBQ sandwich from this place every time I go home. That condiments bar is the best. :-)

  6. DebC says

    I won’t be back since they don’t have the Taco Salad any more. My son and I always headed there for the taco salad. Nothing else looked any good. Hopefully Tortuga Tavern will be open.

  7. Ashley says

    Pecos Bills is on our family’s list of favorites because of the fixings bar. The bbq sandwich is always good and I usually end up eating a whole plate of sauteed mushrooms.

  8. Keith says

    Pretty amazing how many people choose an eatery because of condiments….especially when the food itself is even more vile than the average Magic Kingdom fair. To each his own.

  9. Mark says

    Let me join the chorus of no votes. One of the things you want at Disney is a comfortable place to sit and recharge your batteries. Not going to happen here. The stools are low and uncomfortable. The section with chairs always seems to be roped off. The big room in the back is always dark. Maybe they don’t want you to see the food. :). There are so many better options at MK. Give this place a pass.

  10. Essie says

    I haven’t eaten here in a long time. I thought that the plastic cheese was gone. Now that it’s back, this will be my one burger and cheese fries meal on my next trip.

  11. Lauren says

    No more onion rings?!? Aw man. I still can’t wait to go there and eat a pork sandwich in May, but it won’t be the same without those awesome onion rings.

  12. Loren says

    This place was horrible! The condiment bar was disgusting along with the dining area. We waited forever for our food and it was cold. Our order was also made wrong. Very disappointing experience considering the rave reviews.

  13. Galloping Gourmond says

    The bland selection is the reason I haven’t been here in a long time. It’s a very generic menu. That’s fine because when you have kids often they just want a burger or chicken sandwich. Add a great location and they can put anything here and print money. So why try too hard?

  14. Bret says

    WE eat here on a lot of our trips and again last Feb. Overall the meal was very good. We did only get burgers and fries but we had lots of fries and the burgers were hot and very good. Best condiments in MK so that is always good too……

  15. Alison says

    I am heartbroken about the taco salad (truly — I am a local and I used to go to the MK once a week or so for a few rides and a taco salad for lunch). The replacement chicken sandwich looks terrible and is no one’s idea of a healthy option (that was what one CM told me about the reason for the menu change).

    When I was in Pecos Bill last week, I noticed they had changed the fixings bar a bit — the salsa was gone, and so was the shredded cheese. I figured those were toppings that weren’t really necessary now that the taco salad is gone (and only solidified for me that this change is permanent — sigh).

  16. Janell says

    Love to see that Annie Oakley is included in the the decorations even though she is not a fictional character. She was born in Darke County Ohio and has 2 rooms dedicated to her at the Greenville Garst Museum

  17. Nick says

    Pecos Bills and Pizza Planet have to be the two worst places in Disney World. We visited Pecos Bills once…..never again. First, it was filthy. Second, the food was cold and tasted like cardboard. In fact cardboard actually probably would have been more appealing than this. It couldn’t have been any more dry and tasteless. If you want to waste $30.00….I would just ball your money up and throw it in the nearest trash can. Atleast you will save yourself the time of choking down this horrible food, and earth shattering stomach cramps that follow.

  18. Lauren says

    If there are no onion rings does that mean the BBQ Burger (the one topped with onion rings) is gone too? My hubby will be heartbroken!

  19. Ellen Goodman says

    This post has just made me add Pecos Bill’s to our meal itinerary. :) Thank you!

  20. Lee says

    Really? Have any of you people who are professing such love for the high food quality at Pecos Bill ever eaten at a Wendy’s? Or even a McDonalds? Because at these latter two establishments, the food is cheaper and unquestionably better. Just because there is a condiment bar doesn’t mean all is wine and roses. In our experience, the condiment bar does little to make the already bad, overpriced food more edible.

    I guess people just suspend reality while in the parks and are willing to accept nasty, cold food eaten in a nasty, dark environment, and then convince themselves that it was “quaint”.

    On the other hand, if you genuinely DO think the Pecos Bill food is good, I’d hate to see what you eat in your everyday life.

    The mind boggles.

  21. Frank says

    I do hope that people answer the questionnaire they receive following their visit.
    I know I do. I actually take notes on my iPhone of what I like and what I don’t so I have an outline to refer to. I try to be very positive in my comments on the questionnaire. Slamming Disney because the food isn’t good isn’t enough. I’ve always felt that you’ll get more accomplished by being a coach, not a critic. I DO hope too, that someone actually reads the reviews and brings them to some Disney quality board.

  22. says

    I used to go there every so often in the evenings and get the taco salad, and watch Spectromagic as it passed by. I miss those days

  23. BErnardo says

    Now that the onion rings are gone, where can I get onion rings at Magic Kingdom? is the only place in all Disney World would be flame tree barbecue at AK?

  24. Carole says

    Bring back the taco salad! It was our ritual first and last meal during our Disney vacations. Like us, many people are walking right past Pecos Bill’s now.

  25. Frank says

    Carole,
    I always laugh at the “ritual” meals at WDW. I thought we were the only ones who did that stuff.
    It is fun though. Sad when it changes.
    Frank

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