News and Review: Columbia Harbour House Shrimp Fest

OK, so Columbia Harbour House doesn’t really have a “Shrimp Fest.” I just sort of created one on my recent visit by ordering ALL. THE. SHRIMPS!!!! ;-D Coming right up? Shrimp and Chicken, Fried Shrimp, and Shrimp Mac & Cheese! (Yes, I forgive you if you scroll ahead to see that last one.)

Tucked into a perfectly themed corner of Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House has a strong and devoted following.

With its menu of consistently popular choices — lots of healthier, lighter, vegetarian choices along with some hearty fish and chips — and its impeccable theming, Columbia Harbour House is a great place to cool down and fuel up when you’re touring the Magic Kingdom.

And its location is ideal. It’s a short walk from Frontierland, a stone’s throw from the Haunted Mansion, and holds court in Liberty Square (just before it morphs into Fantasyland around the corner).

Columbia Harbour House

Columbia Harbour House

This place is Americana architecture at its finest.

Atmosphere

The interior of Columbia Harbour House reinforces the exterior theming (at least that part of the facade that faces Liberty Square). It heavily features wood, from the furniture to the walls.

And yeah — you see all those empty tables? That’s why we recommend heading upstairs after you get your food! Fewer people know that there is upstairs seating, so it’s usually a little bit quieter.

Upstairs Window Tables at Columbia Harbour House

Upstairs Window Tables at Columbia Harbour House

The counter service ordering area continues this design with heavy wooden beams, wood paneling, wooden kiosks. You get the picture. The vibe is seafaring, with ship mastheads, and antique diving suit, miniature ships, naval maps, and more tacked onto the walls.

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

The feeling is definitely one of stepping back in time.

Columbia Harbour House Atmosphere

Columbia Harbour House Atmosphere

Columbia Harbour House Maps and Hidden Mickey

Columbia Harbour House Maps and Hidden Mickey

Upstairs Dining Area

Upstairs Dining Area

And thankfully, the food here seems to stand the test of time (for the most part).

Don’t forget to grab your condiments and other necessities at the condiments stops on your way to your table.

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Condiments at Columbia Harbour House

Now let’s get to the goodies!

Eats

In the past, we’ve reviewed some of the most popular dishes (I’m looking at you, Lobster Roll!), and we are happy to see that crowd favorites like the Anchors Aweigh Sandwich and the Lighthouse Sandwich remain among the tasty sandwich options here.
Columbia Harbour House Menu

Columbia Harbour House Menu

This is also a great place to pick up unique options from the kids’ menu and to sample yummy frozen beverages. Remember that you can now add flavored syrups to your drinks and slushes!

Columbia Harbour House Menu

Columbia Harbour House Menu

On this visit, I really wanted to try something new, so I tackled all of the new-ish shrimp dishes on the menu! (I’ve really been into shrimp lately…weird.) We started with the Baked Chicken Breast and Shrimp.
Columbia Harbour House Baked Chicken and Shrimp

Columbia Harbour House Baked Chicken and Shrimp

OK, let me start by saying that this is just about the healthiest counter service meal I’ve ever. seen. EVER.
If your goal is to stick to your diet and stock up on protein, this is IT, my friends. And, unfortunately, it was super boring, too. The chicken and shrimp were pretty bland. Like…BLAND.
Columbia Harbour House Baked Chicken and Shrimp

Columbia Harbour House Baked Chicken and Shrimp

But here’s the silver living: I think the blandness might work for babies who are new to solid foods, kids who hate flavoring of any kind, and people getting over a stomach virus.

The couscous was the only winner here. It had great chicken flavor, and there was lots of it. And the broccoli was fine.

Columbia Harbour House Couscous

Columbia Harbour House Couscous

After that ho-hum plate of food, I was really hoping for a dynamite shrimp dish — and I found it. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, it was deep fried.

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

The Fried Shrimp Platter was just what I hoped it would be. The shrimp were plump, and the breading added texture, flavor, and crunch.

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

With just the right amount of seasoning (really, just salt), these guys were so satisfying. They had a great shrimp-to-breading ratio, too, so you didn’t lose the taste of the seafood under a ridiculous amount of coating.

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp

Since this is a platter, the shrimp come with a massive side of fries.

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp and Fries

Columbia Harbour House Fried Shrimp and Fries

Ours were fresh and delicious. We also received a decent sized container of Cocktail Sauce. It had just the right amount of zing to off-set the richness of the fried shrimp.

Columbia Harbour House Cocktail Sauce

Columbia Harbour House Cocktail Sauce

And in case you were missing your veggies, it comes with a side of Cole Slaw too.

Columbia Harbour House Cole Slaw

Columbia Harbour House Cole Slaw

Despite the success of the Fried Shrimp Platter, I wasn’t done yet. I had to order the Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese. You’re welcome.

We’ve seen lots of Mac and Cheese incarnations around the Disney Parks (most recently on top of the Mac and Cheese Hot Dog at Casey’s Corner), but I was excited to give this one a try. It’s a pretty hefty serving of Macaroni and Cheese, and there was a lot of shrimp piled on top as well.

Columbia Harbour House Shrimp Mac and Cheese

Columbia Harbour House Shrimp Mac and Cheese

This was surprisingly good! The Macaroni and Cheese was creamy and super cheesy (not bland as is sometimes the case). It was rich and savory. The breadcrumbs on top added a little texture, but I was really hoping for some fried shrimp to bring even more crunch to the dish. But luckily, the shrimp weren’t too “watery” on the top as I’d feared.

Columbia Harbour House Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese

Columbia Harbour House Shrimp Macaroni and Cheese

As it is, the shrimp is not incorporated into the Macaroni and Cheese (it’s just kind of placed on top), so if you’re traveling with folks who don’t like shrimp, you could easily share this. And I do recommend sharing. It’s huge, and it’s rich.
Columbia Harbour House offers some unique dessert options, and typically, folks love them! Sadly, that was not the case on my visit. I tried the Seasonal Cobbler, expecting a bubbling combination of fruit and topping. And it certainly looked the part.
Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

There was the crumbly topping, the cinnamon-sugar bits, and a dollop of vanilla sauce. But upon dipping in with a spoon, I found this to be a little tough. I didn’t feel like I was “dipping in” so much as “chipping away.”

Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

The Cobbler was not tender at all and tasted kind of stale. The fruit flavor (predominantly blueberry) was present and palatable, but it otherwise seemed like it had been sitting around for a while. I know — it looks really good, right? Bummer.

Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

Columbia Harbour House Cobbler

I’m hoping mine was just a bad batch or maybe accidentally left-over from another era. Blergh.

Overall

Columbia Harbour House has a siren call that sounds something like “fried fish and chicken and french fries and YUM,” and it’s always worth a visit. And some of these dishes are among the best uses of a Disney Dining Quick Service meal credit. We’ll check in on the Cobbler again to see if we just got unlucky, and – as always – we’ll let you know what we find.
Does Columbia Harbour House float your boat? Let us know!