Guest Review: Dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern in Disney’s Magic Kingdom

We’re celebrating Christmas in July here on DFB! I know you’re all planning your holiday trips right now, so here’s a great suggestion for a holiday meal. Welcome back Catie Hiltz with a dinner review from the Magic Kingdom. This time, we’re visiting the Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World. This colonial setting is one of our favorites!

Back in the summer while we were planning our Christmas Walt Disney World trip, we were trying to come up with places to eat on Christmas Eve – and when Liberty Tree Tavern was suggested, I thought, of COURSE – that’s the perfect place to have dinner on Christmas Eve – not only would the menu of turkey and all the trimmings be perfect, but its location inside the Magic Kingdom is positively idyllic for celebrating the holiday!


After spending the afternoon in a crowded Magic Kingdom, we were more than ready for our 5:45PM dinner Advance Dining Reservation on Christmas Eve. So we headed over to Liberty Square around 5:30 and gave our name to the hostess.

Dinner Time!

Dinner Time!

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Check In area inside Liberty Tree Tavern

Since we were early, we had some time to check the place out.

Waiting area

Waiting area

There was a beautiful Christmas tree in the lobby.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree

A coloring area was setup with cute Disney themed holiday coloring pages.

A fun way to pass the time

A fun way to pass the time

We admired the beautiful gingerbread display, and as usual – Disney didn’t skimp on the details, either. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy checking it out, and several people (like me!) snapped photos too.

Gingerbread Display

Gingerbread Display

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Holiday gingerbread display detail

Liberty Tree Tavern is a colonial themed restaurant, so the décor is pretty rustic — lots of wood and interesting artifacts hanging on the walls. Be sure to check out all the details here from the seven rooms themed to figures from the United States of America’s history!

One of several seating areas

One of several seating areas

And of course we had to check out the menu while waiting.

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The Menu on display outside the restaurant

The restaurant serves an a la carte lunch, but dinner is an “all you care to enjoy” family style meal, which means they serve you platters of food tableside. And best of all, you can have seconds (or thirds!) of anything and everything.

The atmosphere in the waiting area was pretty loud and crowded, and there were people constantly streaming in and out, wanting to know if there were any open tables (there were not, so I was definitely grateful to have made my ADR’s in advance!).

We were seated about 10 minutes after our ADR time, and led to the George Washington room – a quaint little room where it was much quieter and easier to carry on a conversation than in the waiting area.

George Washington Dining Room

George Washington Dining Room

Our nice little corner table

Our nice little corner table


We were approached almost immediately upon being seated by our server, who inquired about allergies and took our drink order. He also scanned our Magic Bands (since we were on the Disney Dining Plan).

Upon sitting down, we were handed a menu detailing the night’s feast.

Dinner Menu -- click image for larger version.

Dinner Menu — click image for larger version.

The drinks are served in cute Liberty Tree Tavern mugs.



Bread and the Declaration Salad were brought out first – fresh warm rolls served with sweet honey butter, and the salad was cold and crisp.

Rolls and Honey Butter

Rolls and Honey Butter

Normally the salad [Read more…]

Guest Review: Holiday Island Dinner Buffet at Magic Kingdom’s Tortuga Tavern

During the busy holiday season, Walt Disney World accommodates famished guests with unique dining experiences. Guest reviewer @MealTrip, takes us to Tortuga Tavern’s Island Dinner Buffet in the Magic Kingdom! Book your meal online or at 407-WDW-DINE.


During the holiday season, through January 4th, the dining area that is normally utilized for Tortuga Tavern counter service dining is trying out something new. From 5pm until 9pm they’re hosting a dining event called the “Island Dinner Buffet.”


Tortuga Tavern is normally a walk-up, counter service Mexican food location, just across the street from the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. I was curious as to how they would frame out the rather open, free-seating area so passers by would not inadvertently sit down and join the buffet. The solution… planted palm trees.

Potted palm trees keep the area private

Potted palm trees keep the area private

Many, many planted palm trees tucked into every nook and cranny, between every garbage can and bench, which all added to the Island theme quite nicely — and surprisingly, did provide separation from the main walk way.

The entrance to the event is over by what is usually the walk-up counter. Because this is not the normal configuration of the space, payment for your meal happens at one of the restaurant’s normal registers before you are seated. This is a bit different for a Disney restaurant, but not unusual for a buffet.

Covered registers

Covered registers

There appears to be seating for around 350 guests at any given time, and before we get into the food, I picked up a great tip from one of the managers. There are at least 50 seats that are kept out of the booking system every day… until 24 hours before the next day’s meal. This is because some of the seating can be considered “not covered.” If they’re expecting inclement weather (i.e. rain or cold), they will not release those seats to the booking system.

Outdoor tables and tables with umbrellas

Outdoor tables and tables with umbrellas

So if you would like to go to the Island Dinner Buffet, and it looks like it’s completely booked up… fear not… unless it’s raining or exceptionally cold out, they may just have a bunch of extra seats that won’t hit the booking system until the day before you want to go. Because that’s pretty short notice in Disney-Speak, that may also mean there’s a chance that you can score a seat without any reservations at all.

Seating at Tortuga

Seating at Tortuga

This is great news for Disney Dining Plan guests with one table service dining credit and no [Read more…]

My Holiday Dining Dilemma

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

I’ve had the good fortune to spend several major holidays at Walt Disney World with my family. Last week, as I made reservations to spend the winter holidays at the parks again this year, I was reminded of a situation we encountered on Thanksgiving Day 2008.

My three pre-teen daughters, my husband Jeff, and I are dining at the California Grill. They’ve got a special menu of turkey and all the trimmings, hubby and I ordered a nice bottle of wine, and we’ve timed it so that Wishes is starting just as we’re ready for dessert. It’s pretty much a perfect celebratory situation.

California Grill is a perfect holiday destination

We’re enjoying each other’s company and the dining room is filled with other families as pleased as we are. A few tables away from us, is a woman dining alone, seated by the window overlooking the Magic Kingdom. She’s well-dressed, maybe late-30s or early 40s. She’s not reading a book or playing iPhone Scrabble (like I often do when I’m eating alone at a table service restaurant). She’s simply eating her turkey at a moderate pace, enjoying the view of the castle, and chatting pleasantly with the waiter when he comes to refill her water or offer more bread.

On absolutely any other day, I wouldn’t have given this woman a second thought. I’ve been that woman myself many times. I frequently travel to Walt Disney World on my own and often enjoy the peace of a solo meal at a fine restaurant.

The Sunset at California Grill is a great backdrop for a solo dining experience

If I had seen her a few days earlier, I would have assumed she was a business woman at a convention, or a food blogger, or just someone who likes to travel alone. Again, all perfectly normal situations. If I had seen her a few days earlier, I would have [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: December 15, 2013

In this week’s news, we shared the arrival of TWO more food trucks at Downtown Disney Orlando. With Fantasy Fare and World Showcase of Flavors now serving from their mobile eateries, we have even more bites to taste-test on our next trip(s) to Walt Disney World! Are you wondering if the hand-dipped corn dogs lived up to their hype? Find out here!

Fantasy Fare Food Truck

Craving more news? You’ll want to click on the links below to find out more about Advance Dining Reservations at Beaches and Cream, holiday treats, and more.

Disney Food News

Of course, there’s more! Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures!

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or from Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Reader Sherron tweeted “having this and grateful I have you to guide me. Thank you!” Yum; peppermint cupcakes at BoardWalk Bakery are delicious…and sparkly!!

Peppermint Cupcake at BoardWalk Bakery

Reader Jessica sent us this treat: a toffee brownie Mickey ear hat from Trolley Treats in Disney California Adventure. We lurve these!

Mickey Ear Hat

Thanks for sharing your treats with us!

The “DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013″!

Tis the season for the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World® Holidays 2013 e-Book!

And since we want you to save some cash right NOW, we have a steep discount for DFB readers (as always!). Get the brand new guide today for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited time! How? Use code JINGLE at the check-out!

The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013 e-Book features 270 pages of all the info you need to know before you head to Walt Disney World for the holiday season, including NEW events and holiday happenings, over 250 photos, and an informative FAQ section. It includes:

  • Detailed descriptions and photos of every holiday event and activity happening at the parks and resorts this year — including tips on how to make the best use of your time and money when visiting!
  • A fully comprehensive holiday dining section with listings of holiday snacks, treats, meals, and menu items offered this year — from popcorn kiosks all the way to Signature Restaurants.
  • A clickable 3-Month Schedule of Holiday Events so you can see at-a-glance what looks interesting to you.
  • Our recommendations on ways to SAVE while you’re in Disney World this holiday season.
  • A section dedicated to all “New for 2013″ events, dining options, and activities.
  • A Preview of the 2014 Holidays in Disney World
  • And more!

For more detailed information and sample pages from The DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays 2013, head over to the DFB Store!

And if you want an even BETTER deal, snap up our DFB Holiday Bundle! This includes the DFB Guide to the Walt Disney World Holidays AND our original DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013!

Mickey Mouse Gift Basket

With a 100% 30-day, money-back guarantee on all of our guides, you have nothing to lose! :-) Find more great DFB Disney Dining Guidebooks at!

On to the Round-Up!

Mickey Fix helps us cross off special names on our Holiday Gift List with a unique idea — the Mickey Mouse Gift Basket!

All Ears takes a photo tour of Disneyland. Check out the holiday treats!

Yesterland shares vintage photos of Burger Invasion and Corn Dog Castle in Disney California Adventure.

Mouse on the Mind stops by the new Joffrey’s coffee kiosk in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Christmas Meal Options at Walt Disney World

Dining at Walt Disney World during the holiday season offers the chance to sample special entrees, desserts, and entire menus geared to Christmas travelers.

Disney restaurants often open up extra options — from counter-service to table-service to buffets — during the holiday season, and especially on Christmas Day.

We’ve got three ways that Disney dining changes during the holidays, and a few specific suggestions for you!

Disney Specialty Holiday Meals

Many Disney restaurants announce specialty Christmas Day menus! There are three different types of “options” offered during the season…

Extra Counter Service Options Open Up

A few of Disney’s oft-shuttered restaurants like Tomorrowland Terrace in Tomorrowland, Tortuga Tavern in Adventureland, and the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in Frontierland open their doors for counter-service eats during [Read more…]

Special Disney Holiday Eats and Experiences Page on the DFB

Gingerbread Mickeys

Disney food-lovers have lots to be excited about during the holiday season at Walt Disney World and Disneyland!

From life-size Gingerbread houses to Candy Cane Fudge, the parks and resorts celebrate with sweet treats and special dining experiences!

You may have noticed a new little holiday icon on our sidebar!

That links to a page where we’ll be compiling all of our Disney World and Disneyland Holiday information, so if there’s anything you need to know — check there!

For the third year in a row, we’re sharing the yummy offerings found only at the holidays, including some awesome reader suggestions for seasonal dining.

Boardwalk Gingerbread Display

We’re covering all the news about holiday-themed eats and we’ve already seen some fun and decorative treats this year. They almost look too pretty to eat! ;-)

The Gingerbread Displays are beginning to appear, too. All our favorites have returned at the Contemporary, Boardwalk Beach Club, and Grand Floridian resorts. We’ll tour them in the coming weeks!

In Disneyland, the annual Candy Cane frenzy has begun. Dates can be found here! Also, sign up now to work on your holiday construction skills. Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen will be holding gingerbread house workshops!

From gift ideas to information on Holiday events, we’ll keep you up-to-date on our 2011 Holiday Dining Page.

What’s your favorite WDW or Disneyland holiday experience? Let us know in the comments section!

And if you’re in a Disney park or resort this holiday season and find something yummy, let us know and send over a pic!

Holiday Menus, Dining Events, and Discounts at the Disney World Swan and Dolphin

Headed to Disney World during November or December? The Disney World Swan and Dolphin have some great menus and events planned — and even some spectacular discounts and free gifts!

Specialty Menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Thanksgiving and Christmas bring the holiday spirit to some of our favorite restaurants in [Read more…]