The Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland at Walt Disney World has had a bit of an identity crisis over the years.
Formerly a seasonal counter service spot, the restaurant is now a seasonal table service location. And while Diamond Horseshoe was once home only to an all-you-care-to-enjoy platter (which began as a temporary offering back in 2016), it was announced that beginning May 16, the menu would also include some a la carte options.
And that’s where Diamond Horseshoe stands today: it’s open seasonally and with limited hours (typically 1PM to 7PM), serving table service eats with both an a la carte and all-you-care-to-enjoy menu. And with the advent of the 2018 Disney Dining Plan’s alcohol-included policy, diners can now enjoy a glass of wine or beer with their meals as well.
But with the cycles of Diamond Horseshoe’s menu life seemingly always up in the air, this Magic Kingdom staple has maintained its Old West style and laid back atmosphere. And after my most recent visit, I might say that’s the best thing Diamond Horseshoe has going for it.
Diamond Horseshoe is a rootin’, tootin’ kind of spot, holding fast to its frontier styling in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland. And we love it for that.
All the signage for the restaurant features its classic dark red background and gold stylized writing. Guests curious about the menu can catch a sneak peak outside on the restaurant’s comfortable porch. And while that menu purports “fancy dining,” there’s no need to don your Disney dining best.
The “fancy” comes in the ornate moldings, brass details, and luxurious swag stage curtains. But seating is in padded wooden chairs around standard circular tables. Nothing so elegant that you can’t drop a little BBQ sauce on it, as is wont to happen.
The highlight of the space is the old fashioned player piano that holds court on the snazzy stage. The piano plays from time to time throughout your meal.
Wall treatments and artwork also give us old timey vibes.
The table setting at Diamond Horseshoe is simple: red table cloth, gingham napkins, utensils. No frills — and no thrills.
You’ll also see wine glasses set out should you need them.
Overall, it’s cute and comfortable.
But let’s see if the menu can kick things up a notch!
First, a look at the Beverage Menu shows some American-style alcoholic options, including Bud Light and Angry Orchard cider. There are also a few specialty drink options, including the refreshing-sounding Prairie Slushy.
The menu features a few different options. Sandwiches and More is the entree section. Chuck Wagon Platters offer meat and vegetable options and a choice of Two Fix ‘Ins sides. The Saloon Feast is All-You-Care-to-Enjoy and also confusingly includes a Chuck Wagon option.
Since the a la carte menu options are new, I wanted to dig into those and see if they’re worth a visit. The Cowboy Mac is creamy mac and cheese topped with pulled pork, fried onions, and scallions. This wasn’t bad, per say, but I’ve had better (namely at the Plaza Restaurant where Brisket Mac and Cheese reigns supreme!).
There is a ton of food here, though, so if you’re at Diamond Horseshoe and you’ve got a bottomless stomach to fill, this might work for you.
Note that the Corn Fritters that come with the Cowboy Mac are a standout here — along with some seriously tasty BBQ Mayo for dipping!
These were easily my favorite part of the entire meal. Definitely load up on them if you have a chance!
The Chuck Wagon Saloon Feast — an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy offering — comes with plenty of meat and sides to satisfy a hangry diner. It comes with several Fix ‘Ins (sides here), including Corn on the Cob with Cheese, BBQ Baked Beans, Mac and Cheese, and Cole Slaw.
The meats on the Chuck Wagon Saloon Feast are pretty hum-drum. BBQ Pulled Pork, Carved Beef Brisket, and Grilled Chicken arrive at your table family-style. Everything was fine, but mass produced. This didn’t strike me as food that was meant to savor and enjoy…it’s food to shovel in so you can get back out to the rides in the Kingdom.
The sides do provide some variety, and they weren’t bad. There’s just nothing here to write home about from the back of your covered wagon. The Mac and Cheese is plain and fine — good for a super picky eater who can’t stomach anything added to a mac and cheese.
There’s nothing at all remarkable about the Creamy Cole Slaw. In fact, it’s not all that creamy, but it does provide some texture to the meal, and that’s always welcome.
If you’re looking for something to stick to your ribs, the BBQ Baked Beans will do just that. They carry some decent BBQ flavor, but since that’s sort of the overriding flavor of the meat, they’re just there in the background.
The Corn on the Cob with Cheese is a tiny portion, but I was thankful for the freshness of this side.
Salads and cornbread came with the order as well. (Yup, there’s a lot of food with the family style Saloon Feast!)
The Potato Salad was a good portion and had some flavor with the serrano chiles.
The House Salad was fresh and crispy — a basic salad with several types of greens that might work for someone looking to eat super light.
The Watermelon Salad is the most inventive of the group, with tomatoes and cucumber in there as well.
And this Jalapeno Cornbread was my other standout of the meal. I loved this, and I usually don’t like jalapeno in my cornbread. The dense, super-moist brick of bread was super sweet and I couldn’t stop eating it!
The Saloon Feast includes a dessert trio, and these were all pretty okay.
The star of the dessert trio is the Peaches and Cream Cheesecake. This layered dessert features alternating sweet peach and creamy cheesecake and a streusel topping. If I could make a meal of the corn fritters, the cornbread, and this cheesecake, I might be perfectly content.
The Seasonal Berry Cobbler was served in a basic tart shell. But the rich berry flavor and the mint-infused whipped cream were good partners.
The Buttermilk Chocolate Cake claims to be served with a Bourbon Caramel Sauce, but that seemed not to be present. This was just an okay slice of cake. Obviously not enough frosting for me, but even if it was slathered with frosting, the cake itself was dry and flavorless.
Of the three, stick with the Peaches and Cream Cheesecake if you’re ordering off the menu. Better yet, save your dessert calories for something seriously crave-worthy (like a Cheshire Cat Tail or a Dole Whip or a Donut Sundae…).
FYI — if you order an a la carte meal and order your dessert separately, you get the same size dessert as these individual ones…and it would cost you $7. For one tiny dessert. Not even all three. Just one. Just a heads’ up.
Nosh or Not?
Mosey on up to Diamond Horseshoe if:
- You’re jonesing for an all-you-care-to-enjoy serving of heavy eats. (But, we’d SURRRRIOUSLY recommend you go next door to Liberty Tree Tavern for that instead if you can.)
- You can’t get an ADR anywhere else, but you want a sit-down meal.
- You want to enjoy a meal in a historically notable restaurant.
Hitch your wagon to a different star if:
- You can get an ADR at literally any other table service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
- You’re not interested in the heavy, BBQ-slathered offerings.
- You prefer quick service so you can get your Splash Mountain on.
Meh. Diamond Horseshoe is fun in the sense that’s an old fixture in Frontierland and holds true to its original design. But the menu is heavy — unless you’re just hitting the salads — and it’s not done amazingly well. In fact, the best word to describe the eats is mediocre. If you’re looking for quick table service where you don’t have to schmooze with characters, maybe pop in here. But honestly, I’d probably choose just about any other table service spot in Magic Kingdom over this one again.
Will you give Diamond Horseshoe a try? Let us know in the comments!