The last time we visited the rarely-open Diamond Horseshoe in Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland was last summer.
Since The Diamond Horseshoe is only open seasonally for lunch (and very rarely for its buffet dinner during the absolute busiest weeks of year) it can be tricky to try it out. But with Liberty Tree Tavern closed for its current refurbishment — and therefore taking one Magic Kingdom lunch option off the table — it has been a wee bit easier to stop by the ol’ (dry 😉 ) saloon these days.
True, by and large folks are getting ready to head back to school if they haven’t already (Where the heck is this summer going, by the way???), so the peak crowd days of the this summer season are suddenly behind us. But you never do know when The Diamond Horseshoe doors will open again, and you’ll want to be ready when they do!
So, back inside the Horseshoe we go!
Because even a place that depicts a bygone saloon era still goes through some changes now and then… it’s magic, you know ;).
What I’ve said previously still holds true… I’ll pretty much stop in here anytime I see the doors open, even if it’s just to grab a Root Beer Slush, because I think the vintage saloon scene is uniquely charming.
Group tables abound on the lower level, but I really like sitting upstairs for the cool vantage point on the whole restaurant.
As always, even though the old Wurlitzer on the stage is a beautiful touch, I can’t help but wish there was a real live Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue style show going on whenever I stop in. I mean, c’mon — the balcony even has stage-facing seats! What’s the hold-up ;)?
Other vaudevillian details remain throughout the venue, and for a place so rarely open, it still has some of the prettiest lighting fixtures of any Counter Service spot.
So, yeah, not much has changed in the ol’ Horsehsoe since our last visit… or has it? Let’s take a look at what they’re serving up these days!
The menu here changes up all the time, filling whatever busy-season need Disney World’s Magic Kingdom happens to have. On our visit, the menu had been greatly simplified, offering just three entrees as opposed to the previous seven, and even those that remain have seen changes.
There is a Barbecued Chicken Sandwich (as opposed to the previous turkey); and the Turkey Sandwich also got a makeover, now sliced and topped with Swiss and served on multigrain bread. The Mixed Greens Salad was replaced with a Chef Salad, but the desserts (your standard Chocolate or Carrot Cake) and the Root Beer Slush is holding steady (alongside a new Watermelon, to boot).
On my last visit, I found the previous version of the Turkey Sandwich to be on the bland side, so this time I was looking for a more definite flavor punch and went with the Barbecued Chicken Sandwich. Alas! No more house made chips that make the world (or my world, anyway) go ’round! It’s a bag o’ Lays Chips these days (unless you choose the apple slices for your side).
Still I have to say, I did get what I was after with the sandwich. While there is nothing super unique to note about the tangy barbecue sauce, it’s still barbecue! And there was plenty of chicken packed into one HUGE layer.
Nothing much to note inside — no cheese, no LTO…just BBQ chicken.
I thought I’d check out the Chef Salad, too, for a cold option on a hot summer day. Turkey, ham, and Swiss cheese are tossed in among mixed greens, red onions, tomatoes and cucumbers.
This next picture gives you an idea of the depth of the bowl — it’s a pretty big serving, but there was less of the protein than I anticipated.
The simple vinaigrette was poured with a heavy hand, resulting in a not-so-crisp salad, though the overall flavor of it was nice.
I didn’t get dessert, but if I had these would have been my choices:
Mission accomplished: not the most earth-shattering meal ever, but it was indeed a filling lunch in one of my favorite settings in the park.
The food at the Diamond Horseshoe isn’t going to rock your world: the limited menu serves its purpose for crowded park days and not really much more. But the atmosphere in many ways is Disney World at its historic best.
And because of that, there will always be a part of me that wishes Diamond Horseshoe was a regularly-open offering (albeit with a more specialized menu), with a show-biz game comparable to Disneyland’s original old-style saloon, The Golden Horseshoe.
Is a stop at the Diamond Horseshoe on your To Do list? Please let us know with a comment!