Review: Lunch at The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland

The last time we visited the rarely-open Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland was last summer.

Since The Diamond Horseshoe is only open seasonally for lunch (and very rarely for its buffet dinner during the absolute busiest weeks of year) it can be tricky to try it out. But with Liberty Tree Tavern closed for its current refurbishment — and therefore taking one Magic Kingdom lunch option off the table — it has been a wee bit easier to stop by the ol’ (dry ;) ) saloon these days.

True, by and large folks are getting ready to head back to school if they haven’t already (Where the heck is this summer going, by the way???), so the peak crowd days of the this summer season are suddenly behind us. But you never do know when The Diamond Horseshoe doors will open again, and you’ll want to be ready when they do!

So, back inside the Horseshoe we go!

Diamond Horseshoe

Diamond Horseshoe

Because even a place that depicts a bygone saloon era still goes through some changes now and then… it’s magic, you know ;).

Atmosphere

What I’ve said previously still holds true… I’ll pretty much stop in here anytime I see the doors open, even if it’s just to grab a Root Beer Slush, because I think the vintage saloon scene is uniquely charming.

Diamond Horseshoe Main Floor

Diamond Horseshoe Main Floor

Group tables abound on the lower level, but I really like sitting upstairs for the cool vantage point on the whole restaurant.

Diamond Horseshoe Upstairs

Diamond Horseshoe Upstairs

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

Diamond Horseshoe Seating and Stage

As always, even though the old Wurlitzer on the stage is a beautiful touch, I can’t help but wish there was a real live Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue style show going on whenever I stop in. I mean, c’mon — the balcony even has stage-facing seats! What’s the hold-up ;)?

(Luckily, you might see some good acts if you’re visiting the Golden Horseshoe over in Disneyland — of which the Diamond Horseshoe is practically a replica.)

Self-playing piano

Self-playing piano

"World Famous Self-Playing Piano!"

“World Famous Self-Playing Piano!”

Other vaudevillian details remain throughout the venue, and for a place so rarely open, it still has some of the prettiest lighting fixtures of any Counter Service spot.

Actress portraits

Actress portraits

Framed sheet music cover

Framed sheet music cover

Chandelier

Chandelier

So, yeah, not much has changed in the ol’ Horsehsoe since our last visit… or has it? Let’s take a look at what they’re serving up these days!

Eats

The menu here changes up all the time, filling whatever busy-season need Disney World’s Magic Kingdom happens to have. On our visit, the menu had been greatly simplified, offering just three entrees as opposed to the previous seven, and even those that remain have seen changes.

Diamond Horseshoe Lunch Menu

Diamond Horseshoe Lunch Menu – click image to enlarge

There is a Barbecued Chicken Sandwich (as opposed to the previous turkey); and the Turkey Sandwich also got a makeover, now sliced and topped with Swiss and served on multigrain bread. The Mixed Greens Salad was replaced with a Chef Salad, but the desserts (your standard Chocolate or Carrot Cake) and the Root Beer Slush is holding steady (alongside a new Watermelon, to boot).

Diamond Horseshoe Drink Station

Diamond Horseshoe Drink and Slush Station

On my last visit, I found the previous version of the Turkey Sandwich to be on the bland side, so this time I was looking for a more definite flavor punch and went with the Barbecued Chicken Sandwich. Alas! No more house made chips that make the world  (or my world, anyway) go ’round! It’s a bag o’ Lays Chips these days (unless you choose the apple slices for your side).

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

Still I have to say, I did get what I was after with the sandwich. While there is nothing super unique to note about the tangy barbecue sauce, it’s still barbecue! And there was plenty of chicken packed into one HUGE layer.

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

Nothing much to note inside — no cheese, no LTO…just BBQ chicken.

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

Barbecued Chicken Sandwich

I thought I’d check out the Chef Salad, too, for a cold option on a hot summer day. Turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese are tossed in among mixed greens, red onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.

Chef Salad

Chef Salad

This next picture gives you an idea of the depth of the bowl — it’s a pretty big serving, but there was less of the protein than I anticipated.

Chef Salad

Chef Salad

The simple vinaigrette was poured with a heavy hand, resulting in a not-so-crisp salad, though the overall flavor of it was nice.

Chef Salad

Chef Salad

I didn’t get dessert, but if I had these would have been my choices:

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

Mission accomplished: not the most earth-shattering meal ever, but it was indeed a filling lunch in one of my favorite settings in the park.

Overall

The food at the Diamond Horseshoe isn’t going to rock your world: the limited menu serves its purpose for crowded park days and not really much more. But the atmosphere in many ways is Disney World at its historic best.

And because of that, there will always be a part of me that wishes Diamond Horseshoe was a regularly-open offering (albeit with a more specialized menu), with a show-biz game comparable to Disneyland’s original old-style saloon, The Golden Horseshoe.

Is a stop at the Diamond Horseshoe on your To Do list? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. Tim says

    I am so glad that I got to experience the DHR (at WDW) back when they did have live entertainment. Even though the food wasn’t much (just cold sandwiches, iirc) back in 1991, it was a nice, cool, refreshing break during a busy day.

  2. Rhonda says

    Actually the Diamond Horse Show was like the one in Disneyland. I remember going as a child and my mom had to wait in line what seemed like forever at town square to get us in for one of the shows of the day but that was way back in the late 70s or early 80s.

  3. Beth says

    Great timing on this post! I was looking through an old photo album this weekend of my family’s trips to WDW in the late 80’s/early 90’s and there we were at the Diamond Horseshoe Review! I’d forgotten all about it. Sad that they no longer have the show, would love to take my own children now!

  4. Mike says

    It looks like you missed another change to the menu. According to the picture, the slushies are now root beer and watermelon.

  5. Tricia says

    Yep, there definately used to be a show… it was the Diamond Horseshoe Review I believe… I went as a kid in the late 80’s, early 90’s and I have pictures of a woman in a black feather bowing sitting in my dad’s lap and singing!

  6. Essie says

    I agree with you, Wendy. I wish that this would be a year around restaurant with entertainment. It would be great if it could have a full QS menu or QS lunch and TS dinner menu like BOG and the new Jungle Cruise eatery coming to Adventureland. It’s such a great theme job and truly immerses you into the old West, and that’s what WDW is supposed to be all about. I never get to see it because I never go at peak season anymore.

  7. says

    I wish the Diamond Horseshoe was open more frequently too! It’s such a pretty venue, and has some of the best themeing in the MK! Even a quick 10 minute show every hour would be a great draw, in addition to giving the Magic Kingdom another revenue producing spot, right?! Don’t give up hope though … a year ago, who would’ve thought the Garden Grill would be about to experience a new lease on life, right?!

  8. Wendy says

    Mike — Thanks for the great catch! I don’t know how I missed that :). I’ll update the text in the post — Much appreciated!

    It’s fun reading everyone’s memories of the show that once was here. Thanks for sharing!

    Judi, here’s hoping! :)

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