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!

Atmosphere

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

Eats

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.

Beverages

Beverages

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…]

DIY Disney Recipe: New England Pot Roast from Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Tree Tavern

Guest chef Carol returns with a hearty recipe for New England Pot Roast. This delicious dish is served at the Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World!

Is there anything better than a pot roast? Seriously, it’s a one-stop pot filled with nothing but love and gravy!!! Picture it, a beautiful roast surrounded with perfectly tender carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and thyme all married together in beautiful gravy made from butter, wine, and stock then served over mashed potatoes…sign me up please! Is your mouth watering, yet? Mine definitely is!!!

DIY Disney Recipe -- Pot Roast from Liberty Tree Tavern

You can try this delicious dish at the Liberty Tree Tavern at Walt Disney World. There’s nothing like stepping back into time as you enter Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom Park.

But, since most of us don’t actually live at the Magic Kingdom, you can also make this dish at home as those nice, crisp winter nights start to set in! Thanks to Cooking with Mickey and the Disney Chefs, we’re gonna break this recipe down step by step with pictures for you to make and enjoy at home. So, let’s get started!

Ingredients

Pot Roast Recipe Ingredients

-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3 pounds boneless beef shoulder roast
-1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
-2 cups large diced carrots
-2 cups large diced celery
-2 cups large diced onion
-1/4 cup chopped garlic
-2 tbls chopped fresh thyme
-1 cup all purpose flour
-1 cup burgundy wine
-6 cups beef broth (48 oz container)

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Step 2: Prep all of your veggies! Clean, peel, and dice the carrots.

Carrots

Rough chop [Read more…]

Our Favorite, Must-Eat Disney Cakes!

Editor’s Note: The Cheshire Cake Cups have been discontinued as of late Summer 2015. We’ll update you if/when they’ll return (because there will be shouts of rejoicing.)

Oooooh, we’re talkin’ CAKE TODAY!!!!!

must eat disney cake

Okay, okay — so technically, National Cake Day was yesterday, apparently. But since we had so much fun with National Pie Day last week, I thought it would be awesome to start sharing some of my favorite Disney cakes. (I’m pretty shocked I haven’t done a cake post before — so much goodness to talk about!)

So here’s the deal with cake at Disney. It can take many forms… . And we’re going to include a bunch of ‘em! In honor of National Cake Day, let’s take a look at some of our favorite entries into the category of cake!

Gourmet Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

I recently discovered Cake Nirvana at Disney. Because, in my universe, eating cake is usually a thinly-disguised, socially acceptable way to consume as much frosting as possible.

If you’re giving me a piece of cake, I’m getting a corner piece, with as many frosting roses as possible. That’s just how I roll.

So it’s always pretty great when a bakery can get on board with the “Frosting is the Whole Point!!” perspective. And Cheshire Cafe at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has done just exactly that.

With their beautifully themed Gourmet Cake Cups, you can choose from a Vanilla Cheshire Cake Cup or a Mad Hatter Mocha Cake Cup. Characters from Alice in Wonderland are silk-screened onto a sweet round of white fondant and top each of the cake cups. (Sometimes. Sometimes you don’t get the characters. But who cares.)

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

Themed Cake Cups at Cheshire Cafe

THIS is what you get when you order. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. FROSTING. Confetti cake. F R O S T I N G!!!!!!

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Cheshire Cake Cup at Cheshire Cafe

Yep. That’s all frosting on top. There’s no cake there my friends. And it’s glorious. Thick, bakery buttercream that’s so sugary it’ll make you sick. LOVE!

Frosting!!

Frosting!!

I know a lot of you don’t have the love affair with frosting that I do, but for those who feel the same — you’re welcome! :-D

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls

And how could we pay homage to cake without mentioning the original single serving cake? We are talking Disney Cupcakes, of course!

One of my favorites from way back at the beginning of the Cupcake Renaissance is still around and garnering rave reviews — the Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios!

Butterfinger Cupcake at Starring Rolls Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This is one monster chocolate cupcake that you must experience to believe. Well, the cake is chocolate. And so is that incredible fudgy middle. But the pile of frosting on top is pure heavenly vanilla, topped with a crown of [Read more…]

What’s Your Favorite Restaurant in Each Walt Disney World Park?

One question I get asked ALL the time: “What are your favorite Disney restaurants?”

Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park Restaurants

And my answer is always the same: “My favorites are always changing, because the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent!” That said, I do have a few that I head back to over and over again… .

It’s fun to seek out new things, to be sure. And Disney is always introducing new restaurants! But still, it’s always comforting to go back to the same place each visit and have your favorite meal.

So today, my question for YOU is: What is your favorite restaurant in each of the four Walt Disney World Parks? What table would you park your feet under during each and every visit if you could? (Or do you?)

I’ll share my picks first, and then I can’t wait for you to jump in by adding your answers in comments below!

Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom

Ah, Liberty Tree. You have been around since the dawn of time. (Or at least since pretty much the first day that Magic Kingdom was opened.)

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

And while lots of fantastic places to eat in Magic Kingdom have come about since then, I’d still eat at Liberty Tree Tavern during every single visit if I could.

Lots of Disney fans prefer dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, which is a family-style, all you care to eat affair, offering carved meats and sides. Having traditional Thanksgiving foods all year around is a treat, after all! But I really prefer lunch, because I can get my favorite: the amazing Liberty Tree Tavern Burger!

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

And there’s no better way to finish the meal than one of my favorite Disney desserts, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake! This has been on and off the menu in recent months, but we’re always glad when it’s on-again.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a Must Have

Sometimes I have to resort to [Read more…]

The Disney Food Blog “All-American Disney World Food Crawl”

Happy Fourth of July from Disney Food Blog!

Beaches and Cream Burger

In celebration of America’s independence, I sure wish I was eating my way around Disney World today! If you happen to be there for the holiday — or you just wish you were — we’re doing our patriotic best to inspire you with red, white, and blue eats.

Without further ado, let’s head out on an All-American Food Crawl!

Angus Chuck Cheeseburger at Liberty Tree Tavern

While the Beaches and Cream burger above is a great place to start, we’re going to head to the Magic Kingdom and somewhere a bit more historical!

Start your journey with lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. This restaurant, located in Liberty Tree Square, pays tribute to Colonial America. Dine in rooms dedicated to notables of American history, like Betsy Ross, Benjamin Franklin, George & Martha Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Paul Jones, or Paul Revere.

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

While dinner is a delicious feast served family-style, lunch is an a la carte offering. And my favorite meal is the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger topped with bacon and cheddar cheese.

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

A juicy, thick burger is served perfectly with steak-cut fries. It may sound common, but it’s one of my favorite burgers in all of Disney World!

Hot Dogs at Casey’s Corner

When the next hunger pangs roll around, head to Casey’s Corner on Main Street U.S.A. for another favorite Fourth of July grill food: Hot Dogs!

I love a good plain hot dog from Casey’s! And there are always great condiments and toppings to dress it up, like plastic cheese!

You MUST have a Hot Dog and Fries from Casey's!

But the Corn Dog Nuggets are pretty [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…]

Walt Disney World Pot Roast Throw Down

What makes for a good pot roast is a very subjective set of criteria in my opinion. What passes for Best! Pot Roast! Ever! for some might just be meh for others.

Dearly departed Sunday Roast at Rose & Crown

So today we are entering this hallowed comfort food ground. We are throwing down the gauntlet to decide, once and for all, where to find the BEST Pot Roast in all of Disney World! See what you think, and be ready to tell us all about your favorite!

50s Prime Time Cafe

Who makes it better than Mom? We have to kick off this homage to pot roast with a trip to 50s Prime Time Cafe!

The atmosphere here is pure 1950s sitcom kitsch, and servers are your cousins, demanding that you behave like the nice young person you were raised to be. That means NO elbows on the tables, and you had BETTER know the color of that soap if you go to the bathroom.

50s Prime Time Sign

To be sure, Mom’s Old-Fashioned Pot Roast is a reader favorite. This one is slow-cooked until there’s no need for a knife, and served on a bed of fluffy mashed potatoes. Smothered in a rich gravy, the roast is topped with carrots, celery, and onions for some good nutrition. And you best eat all your veggies!

Mom's Old-Fashioned Pot Roast

A way cool thing about the pot roast at 50s Prime Time is that you can [Read more…]

Top 5 Disney Dessert Recipes!

I know you’ve got a big event planned soon and you’re looking for the perfect recipe to try out…right?

OK, even if you’re not, I think today’s post might inspire you to start planning a dinner party! Let’s check out my top 5 favorite Disney dessert recipes! Which ones have you sampled in the parks?

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana

Alrighty — it’s time to start out with a BANG! There are few things that I love to eat in all of Disney World more than the Bread Pudding at ‘Ohana.

This Polynesia-meets-churrascaria restaurant can be somewhat unpredictable in terms of quality. But one thing is always certain: the dessert is PERFECT. Seriously…every single time!

The bread pudding is served warm with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream, and the most incredible sauce ever. I could easily eat a bowl full of it.

Bananas Foster Bread Pudding at 'Ohana

It was a happy day when I discovered the ‘Ohana bread pudding recipe, and with it, the power to make this one at home!

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern

Say what you will about Liberty Tree Tavern, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a must-order!

While Liberty Tree Tavern dinner is served family style and consists of roasted meats and traditional sides, lunch features an a la carte menu…and it’s awesome. There are many dishes on the menu that I look forward to having when I visit, but I never leave without ordering dessert, and it’s always Ooey-Gooey Toffee Cake!

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Less a cake and more like a rich, shallow, muffin-shaped chocolate chip cookie, I fell in love with this treat the first time I tasted it! And I could have kicked myself for having passed on it before then. The flavor combo of [Read more…]

Best Disney World Restaurants for First Time Disney Visitors

Everyday we receive lots of mail from you, our awesome DFB readers, asking for restaurant suggestions and recommendations. And while we certainly have our favorites, we know that you do, too!

So when a Disney first-time visitor recently asked what restaurants we would recommend for their upcoming trip, we couldn’t think of a better panel of experts to ask than YOU!

When I put the question out on the Disney Food Blog Facebook page, I was overwhelmed by the huge and immediate response that I got!

Let’s take a look at your recommendations for the restaurants first timers must experience on that inaugural Walt Disney World trip!

If you have other thoughts or ideas — or, better yet, stories of your favorite restaurants during a first-time visit — please share them with all of us in the comments section! More suggestions are always better!

Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort

When it comes to first time Disney dining, the winning restaurant recommendation is, hands down, Chef Mickey’s in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Many of you agree that anyone visiting the Happiest Place on Earth for the very first time MUST experience a buffet that includes lots of character interaction.

Chef Mickey's is highly recommended by our DFB Readers!

But the suggestion is practical, too. Readers pointed out that a character dining experience offers terrific value for your Disney dollar, with an all-you-care-to-eat option.

A View of the Castle from Chef Mickey's

And with the addition of characters, you have a less rushed (and air conditioned!) meet and greet opportunity that guarantees you’ll see lots of characters without waiting in long lines in the parks.

Also, don’t forget that Chef Mickey’s is walking distance from the Magic Kingdom. This is a great
place to start or end your Magic Kingdom day!

Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland

Judging from the reader response, we’d say that Disney definitely hit the mark with one of its newest restaurants, Be Our Guest Restaurant in Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Bridge Entrance

Set in Beast’s Castle (from Disney’s animated classic, Beauty and the Beast), the huge eatery is a counter service location for lunch and table service location for dinner (see our “Everything on the Menu!!” Review Here!).

Be Our Guest Restaurant Ballroom

The menu has a French flair — and chefs worked hard to create tasty, interesting meals for the younger set as well.

Be Our Guest Restaurant also has the distinction of being the only spot within Magic Kingdom where guests can order beer and wine. While it broke with tradition when Disney announced the decision to offer adult drinks in the otherwise dry park, they felt it was necessary in keeping with the French-inspired menu.

The Beast occasionally greets visitors in his study during dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant

Many guests celebrate special occasions at Be Our Guest Restaurant, and if that’s you, be sure to mention it to your server. He may actually bring you a celebratory taste of “The Grey Stuff” — mentioned by Lumiere in the film!

This cookies and cream panna cotta truly is “delicious!”

The Grey Stuff -- It's Delicious!

Guests seem to be loving this spot for many reasons, and Advanced Dining Reservations for dinner remain hard to come by.

While we’ve tasted just about everything here and agree that the food’s quite good, most of you especially love it for the incredible, immersive themeing. So, remember that even if you can’t get a reservation for dinner, you can still enjoy the restaurant itself — including getting a peek at all three dining rooms — if you dine here for a counter-service lunch!

braised pork -- coq au vin at Be Our Guest Restaurant -- for LUNCH!

Here’s a TIP: if at all possible, snag a table in the West Wing and keep an eye on the [Read more…]

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

Please welcome back DFB Guest Author Joey Beyer with a review of lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom. Home to fried cheese, delicious burgers, and memorable desserts!

On my latest visit to Walt Disney World, I had the opportunity to return to the Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch. I first visited here back in March, after reading the DFB’s Best Burger’s post, and saw that Liberty Tree was on the list.

The restaurant is very unassuming, and is located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. It fits in perfectly with the theme of the land. The Liberty Tree itself has a fascinating story, which I encourage any interested parties to seek out!

Atmosphere

The restaurant is organized into multiple different rooms, each of which is themed to a different American historical figure (e.g. Thomas Jefferson, Betsy Ross, George Washington, Ben Franklin, etc).

George Washington Room

Benjamin Franklin Room

Benjamin Franklin Room

All of the rooms are cozy, and are filled with random pictures, books, and anything else that is prudent to the person being represented, and consistent with the overall colonial theme.

Liberty Tree Tavern Tables

Kite in Ben Franklin Room

Eats

We chose to begin our meal with the Tavern Fried Cheese, which is code for mozzarella sticks. I mention this because there are some restaurants that I have been to that actually serve a large piece of cheese that is fried, and also call it fried cheese. That is what I was expecting the first time I ordered this appetizer.

That being said, the fried cheese is delicious. So delicious, in fact, that I completely forgot to snap a picture before it was expeditiously gobbled up by my dining partners and me.

Tavern Fried Cheese was once the larger portion size that is pictured

The order includes five mozzarella sticks, total (Editor’s Note: the photo above is from before the serving was cut down and they still offered the fried cheese curds as well. The cheese sticks are still the same.). The breading on them is thin and crisp, and they are filled with an abundant amount of delicious cheese.

In my opinion they are a little pricey, but there is no arguing the fact that the fried cheese is delicious.

When we finished the cheese, it was time for entrees! First up was the Colony Salad, which is a grilled chicken salad with dried cranberries, apples, pecans, and applewood smoked cheddar cheese. The salad is served with honey shallot vinaigrette.

Colony Salad

This salad has a lot going on, but it really blends well together. I love the different textures, especially the crunch of the pecans and crispiness of the apples. The grilled chicken is [Read more…]