Review: Columbia Harbour House at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom

Today, we are enjoying lunch in one of my very favorite corners of Magic Kingdom — Columbia Harbour House!

This restaurant is an original fixture of Magic Kingdom, although it opened way back in 1971 as Nantucket Harbour House. It was soon re-christened Columbia Harbour House, which echoes references to both Disneyland and the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. (Pause for sigh of nostalgia.)

Without knowing better, you may be tempted to pass right by this quick service spot, thinking that it’s a garden variety bastion of fried food. But while there are some battered options here, you’ll also find some lighter fare that’s worth a closer look. (Actually, I think the fried stuff is pretty rad, too.)

Menu Posted at the Entrance

Today, we’re exploring that fabled upstairs dining room, and we’re ordering up one of the eatery’s classic combos!

Atmosphere

With its long-standing history and incredible attention to detail, Columbia Harbour House should not be dismissed as just another counter service spot.

One of the most interesting things to note about the restaurant is, in fact, its outside view. From the Liberty Square Side, it appears to fit in perfectly with its environs. It reminds me of a spot right on the harbor of some quaint New England town.

Outside View

But be sure to approach the restaurant from its Fantasyland side as well for a completely different view, which is decidedly more European. From that side, it looks like something straight out of Bavaria.

Columbia Harbour House -- Fantasyland View

Once inside, you definitely feel like you’ve [Read more…]

Disney Recipe: Clam Chowder from Disney World’s Liberty Tree Tavern

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Elizabeth for calling our attention to an error in the recipe! We consulted one of our favorite Mickey Cookbooks to bring you the correct details!

One of my husband’s fa-vor-ite dishes in Disney World is this super creamy clam chowder from Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom!

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

It’s a New England style clam chowder, which means it’s made with milk and ends up creamy instead of brothy in the end. This delicious goodie has been a staple on the Liberty Tree Tavern menu for years, and it’s a guest favorite.

Clam Chowder from Liberty Tree Tavern

But here’s a DFB Tip: don’t have time for a long lunch? Head on over to Columbia Harbour House nearby to get a similarly delicious chowder fix, counter-service style!

Let’s get cookin’…

New England Clam Chowder

Liberty Tree Tavern, Magic Kingdom

Ingredients (Makes 6 Servings):
1/2 cup celery, diced small
1/2 cup onions, diced small [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for Fish Fry

With Lent on the horizon — and with a few questions from readers recently about where to get a great fish fry in Disney World — I knew that now would be the perfect time to check out the best places to find that golden battered goodness at the Happiest Place on Earth!

Let’s check out some of the best fried fish in Disney World

Best Disney World Restaurants for a Fish Fry

United Kingdom Pavilion in Epcot

You can’t go wrong for fish and chips in the delicacy’s home pavilion in Epcot.

Fish and Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Whether you take a load off at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room or grab some fried food to go from Yorkshire County Fish Shop, you’re in for a mild but authentic taste of one of England’s best exports.

While you’re there, enjoy a beer and a performance by The British Revolution or the Pub’s Hat Lady.

Cookes of Dublin and Raglan Road in Downtown Disney

If you find yourself in need of a fish fix while you’re “Downtown,” head over to the Pleasure Island District for two authentic and delicious options. The One & One at Cookes of Dublin is one of our favorites on property.

Cooked to order and served piping hot, the fish is flaky and tender.

Fish and Chips from Cooke’s of Dublin

But if you have the time for a slower meal, you may want to consider the famous beer battered fish and chips on the lunch menu at Raglan Road Irish Pub right next door.

Columbia Harbour House in Magic Kingdom

Here in Liberty Square, you can enjoy a counter service battered fish basket with broccoli, apples, or French fries at Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant. The proportion of breading to fish is perfect, and the fish isn’t too oily.

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House

Fried Chicken and Fish at Columbia Harbour House (photo from Kelly Amey via the DFB Flickr Group) 

Citricos at Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

For a slightly more upscale take on the English classic, take a monorail ride to the Grand Floridian and pull up a chair at Citricos. There, you should order the melt-in-your-mouth pan-fried Florida black grouper, which gets [Read more…]

Reader Favorites: Best Walt Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Whelp, it’s time to re-visit one of our favorite topics around here: Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants!

 

We polled our readers back in 2009 for their favorites, and things are looking slightly different these days… ;-)

We recently asked our Disney Food Blog Facebook Fans via the Disney Food Blog Facebook page for the best counter service restaurants inside the theme parks at Walt Disney World. Let’s find out where everyone is eating…

Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service Restaurants

Best Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Columbia Harbour House
In a quiet corner of the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, the Columbia Harbour House sets the scene for traditional Americana in a colonial village — and steals our Best Magic Kingdom Counter Service title away from Pecos Bill’s this year!

Columbia Harbour House

The decor of the restaurant emphasizes a nautical theme with plank flooring and hurricane lamps. Downstairs, seating is divided into small dining rooms giving the space a colonial charm.

Here’s a Favorite DFB Tip: The upstairs seating area is usually the quietest and offers some tables with quaint views. Brick hearths add even more “warmth” to the dark-wooded rooms.

Grilled Salmon… this meal belongs on a real plate.

Serving popular soups (awesome clam chowder!), salads, and sandwiches such as the Lighthouse (hummus with tomato and broccoli slaw) and Anchors Aweigh (white tuna with lettuce and tomato) served on toasted multigrain bread; and recently adding a Lobster Roll and Grilled Salmon to the menu, Columbia Harbour House offers selections beyond the usual chicken nugget fare. (Although, there are those too!)

Lobster Roll with real chunks of lobster at Columbia Harbour House

Runners Up: Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe, Be Our Guest Restaurant (lunch only), and Casey’s Corner.

Best Epcot Counter Service Restaurants

Winner: Sunshine Seasons
Soarin’ isn’t the only main attraction in The Land pavilion! According to our readers, Sunshine Seasons gets a lot of traffic too.

Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons

With five food stations including a [Read more…]

2011 DFB Choice Award Winners!

It’s time to announce the winners of the second annual DFB Choice Awards!!

The awards are 100% based on Disney Food Blog reader choices. Nominations and final winners are selected by DFB readers who participate in the process. Everyone is welcome to participate! If your favorites didn’t win this year, be sure to nominate and vote for them next year! :-)

Thanks to those of you who took the time to nominate your favorites, and to vote for the winners!

Without further ado, here are this year’s DFB Choice Award winners!

[Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 4, 2011

Halloween Sugar Cookies at Disney Parks

It’s time to celebrate! Halloween goodies are out in the parks, AND we’ve been celebrating my birthday all weekend with a great Disney Food Blog e-Book sale! More on that later, but first… the news!

Latest Disney Food News

Last Day of the Disney Food Blog Birthday e-Book Sale

We’re celebrating my birthday with a sale! Today’s the last day to get a discount on any or all of our DFB e-Books using code: BIRTHDAY at the check-out!

$4 off our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining,

$2 off our DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and

$2 off our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival!

Or purchase all three e-Books for just $33.85 (regularly $41.85) using code BIRTHDAY!

We hope you love the e-Books as much as we do (but if you don’t, there’s always a 30 day, money-back guarantee!)

On to the Round-Up!

Main Street Gazette quenches our thirst with a Coca-Cola “Always Coca-Cola!” (You sang it, too, didn’t you?)!

Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups stops by the Earl of Sandwich at Downtown Disney. Yum!

Disney Tour Reviews gives a shout-out to The Disney Food Blog and highlights posts based on food tours. Thanks Lindsay!!

Eating (and Drinking) around the World wishes La Cava del Tequila a happy birthday! It makes so much sense that La Cava and I have birthdays so close together, doesn’t it?

Makin’ Memories looks closely at the “artifacts” left behind by the Dino Institute’s grad students at Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus.

Jackie’s Magical Moments reviews the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food and Wine Festival this week! Thanks, Jackie!

Disney by Mark gives us a tour of the Makahiki and Oleho restaurants just hours before serving their first meals! Check Mark’s Blog for more Aulani coverage, and stay tuned this week for a full review of ‘Ama ‘Ama by Mark!

Guest Review: New Columbia Harbour House Menu in Magic Kingdom

I’m grateful to Marc and Amy Stumbo, who captured this great review of two new Columbia Harbour House menu items in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom!

As AJ noted last week, several of the Magic Kingdom quick-service dining locations have recently gotten some additions to their respective menus. When asked if I was willing to do a guest review of some additions to the Columbia Harbor House menu, I leapt at the chance for fame and fortune. While I now realize that neither of those outcomes are likely, the food was still worth writing about.

New menu outside. Not pictured: cast member confused by my desire to photograph this menu.

Atmosphere

The Columbia Harbor House is located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square just around the corner from the Hall of Presidents and across the path from the Haunted Mansion.

I’ve always loved this corner of the park for its ties to our nation’s history, the superb attention to detail on the overall theme, the kinetics of boats coasting by, and the nautical theme carried into the restaurant. Check out [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 28, 2011

We’re sending prayers and well wishes to those braving the storm on the East Coast! Stay safe, all!

We’re back from Disneyland and have loads of fun reviews for you! From garlic cheese bread to hot link corn dogs to some of the best roasted pigeon we’ve ever tasted — stay tuned for some more great Disneyland food coverage over the next several weeks!

In the meantime, here’s the news…

Latest Disney Food News

  • New restaurants and restaurant revitalization is coming to Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland. Watch for the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and more!
  • Gourmet hot dogs are on the menu at Fairfax Fare in Hollywood Studios.
  • The dates for Disney World Free Dining being offered for 2011-2012 have been changed and new booking codes were released. Check to see if your dates are now listed! (Any bookings under the original codes will be honored. No worries!)
  • New menu items have been unveiled at two Magic Kingdom restaurants –- Cosmic Ray’s and Columbia Harbour House!

Reminder: The DFB Mini-Guide to the 2011 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book Now Available!

Our mini-guide includes over 130 pages of information about this year’s Festival! It’s written as a planning guide for veterans of the festival and those visiting for the first time!

One of our favorite bonus items is a daily schedule to help you plan your most delicious adventures!

You can get your own copy of our new mini-guide here! Remember to use code CHEF for $2 off the regular price! ;-)

Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic Menu Now Available

Have you booked your tickets for the second annual Swan and Dolphin Food & Wine Classic in Disney World? It’s coming up on October 7-8 — we’ll be there, and hope to see you!

They just released the menu for the event with dozens of stations showcasing eats and sips from the resort’s restaurants. See the full menu here!

On to the Round-Up!

A Snow White Sanctum digs up rare Texas Electric recipe hand-outs featuring Snow White. Thanks to George Taylor at Imaginerding for the heads up!

Walt Disney World For Grown-Ups visits Casey’s Corner!

The Healthy Voyager eats vegan in Epcot.

disZine outlines the latest information about Grand Gatherings ending in January 2012.

Main Street Gazette laments over the simple foodie pleasures that we all delight in at Disney destinations.

Yesterland recounts the Yacht Bar in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland. (It’s gonna take me a while to get all of Yesterland’s great historic material into the round-ups, but I’ll get there… mark my words… .)

Menu Additions: Columbia Harbour House and Cosmic Ray’s

As of August 24, 2011, two quick service restaurants in the Magic Kingdom have added new items to their menus. Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland and Columbia Harbour House in Liberty Square are debuting the following eats:

Over at Columbia Harbor House, you’ll now find Baked Salmon with Couscous, Lobster Roll, Broccoli Peppercorn Salad, and Steamed Fresh Broccoli.

Lobster Roll -- Pic courtesy Betsy Bates

New Menu! Click for larger image.

Thanks to Scarlett Ashley for the menu pic and to Betsy Bates for the lobster roll pic!

Cosmic Ray’s is now serving a [Read more…]

Best Disney Sandwiches

We asked over on the Disney Food Blog Facebook Page for folks to tell us about their favorite sandwiches in a Disney park or resort. We didn’t specify anything — just that it had to be a “sandwich” of some kind. Here’s what we heard back!

The biggest shout-outs went to Columbia Harbour House in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Blue Bayou/Cafe Orleans in Disneyland Resort, and not surprisingly, Earl of Sandwich in Disney World’s Downtown Disney.

Earl of Sandwich — Walt Disney World

Do not let the long line deter you. It moves quickly and the wait is worth it. You’ve just got to try one of these hearty and hot signature sandwiches!

Located in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace, Earl of Sandwich is the most popular sandwich stop in Walt Disney World according to our Facebook readers. The sandwiches with the most mentions are absolutely delicious.

The Full Montagu®
Freshly Roasted Beef, Turkey, Aged Swiss & Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce, Roma Tomatoes & the Earl’s Mustard Sauce

The Full Montague

All American
Includes Roasted Turkey, Buttermilk Ranch, Cranberries, Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Lettuce & Roma Tomatoes. See a [Read more…]