I am FINALLY getting to review this wonderful counter service location — can you believe it’s taken this long? Well, let’s make up for lost time!
Wolfgang Puck Express is the counter-service version of the famous Chef Puck’s quintessential California cuisine. There are two locations in Disney World’s Downtown Disney — one in the Marketplace and one in the West End area (right next to the Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Dining Room).
Focusing on table-service quality food with the taglines “Simple is Delicious” and “Live, Love, Eat”, WPE strives to offer organic and locally grown ingredients whenever possible. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the best counter-service eateries on Disney property. Let’s take a look…
Clean and sophisticated can aptly describe the dining rooms here. Walls of windows, wooden tables and chairs, and stainless steel accents make this restaurant light and airy with a loft-like feel.
There’s indoor and outdoor seating, but my favorite location is the kitchen seating. It feels almost like you’re sitting at a chef’s table, surrounded by the sights, smells, and sounds of some great food being made! I spent a bit of time taking pics back here, and was treated to this shot. I love capturing happy cast members on film!
When you’re sitting back here, don’t forget to check out the big ol’ pizza oven. Chef Puck is famous for his delicious and innovative flatbread-like pizzas.
You’ll order at this counter, but this is the last time you’ll feel like you’re at a counter-service restaurant. Take your number to your table and a server will take care of the rest — including refilling your drink if you’d like! Wolfgang Puck Express has a quality that I love about many Disneyland counter service locations as well — real dinnerware and silverware!
While this food is a bit pricier than you’d find in other counter service locations, it’s high-quality, and the restaurant really does give the aura of a table-service meal.
I wanted to order just about everything on this menu, but I limited myself to just three items — the famed Butternut Squash Soup, a Meatball and Peppers Pizza, and Pennette Chicken Alfredo. (And yes, this is way too much food for one person. I over-ordered because I wanted to give you a good idea of what was available. 🙂 )
We’ll start with the Butternut Squash Soup. This was very thick and “squashy” (I know — that helps, right?). It reminds me of the soup I had at Animator’s Palate on the Disney Dream a few days later — more like a squash puree than a multi-ingredient (a.k.a. butter and cream) soup. However, it was a great item to have on a rainy, chilly day.
The Meatball and Peppers Pizza was out of this world. It’s obvious why this restaurant is famed for its pizzas. First of all, it was very pleasing to the eye — you could tell immediately that these ingredients were fresh. The meatballs were bursting with flavor, and were slightly fatty — which I loved. It gave the pizza an incredible taste, and kept the meat from being dry and crumbly the way many ground beef pizza toppings end up. The sauce was spicy and salty vs. sweet — another pro for me as sweet tomato sauces often fall flat with my taste buds. And the cheese was wonderfully fresh and flavorful. YUM!
On to the Pennette Chicken Alfredo! Granted, I was getting full by now, but I have to say that the Alfredo sauce seemed a bit too standard. I didn’t get the feeling that a lot of time and effort had gone into this recipe. While thick, the taste wasn’t particularly rich or memorable.
However, I really liked the addition of bacon and wondered if it would have been better if it had been incorporated more into the dish instead of being placed, crispy, on top. The bacon did give an extra added texture, however! The chicken in the dish was very flavorful, which is not something you often find with chicken Alfredo dishes — especially at a counter-service location. Usually the chicken is an afterthought when it comes to flavor. My favorite part of the dish was the fresh little peas scattered throughout. I’m a sucker for peas.
Drinks are available self-service, and include soft drinks and tea. Desserts include cookies, brownies, creme brulee, cheesecake, and frozen yogurt.
Also, don’t forget that you can get breakfast here and use the Disney Dining Plan. Check the menu above for breakfast items; here’s what you can get cereal-wise.
And here are the details on using the Disney Dining Plan here.
I really could rave over and over again about this restaurant. While not everything I ordered on this trip was perfect, the atmosphere and service are divine — especially for a counter service spot. Plus, I’ve tasted several other dishes here and have never been disappointed. I can highly recommend either location of this restaurant!
Don’t forget, because it’s in Downtown Disney, it’s the perfect restaurant to sample on a day you’ve decided not to use a park ticket!
What’s your favorite dish at Wolfgang Puck Express? Let us know in the comments section below!