The restaurant’s theme is a nod to Disney World’s opening in 1971, and the decorations, artwork, and furniture reflect that time period in an upscale but nostalgic way. We’ve eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Steakhouse 71 now, plus we visited the lounge to try some bites and drinks there. So when is the BEST time to eat at this new spot? We’ll break it down for ya here.
The best time to visit Steakhouse 71 is…anytime at all. HA! You hungry? It’s a good time to visit. But in all seriousness, we genuinely enjoyed all of the meals we had at this restaurant, and we think you’ll love it no matter when you visit. That said, we actually do have some preferences here, and we’ll talk about our favorite time to go.
Reservations for the steakhouse are in high demand (since it’s new, super close to Magic Kingdom, and also…delicious), so we recommend grabbing them for whenever you can. Remember that you can book reservations 60 days before your trip to Disney World. If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can get reservations for the whole trip 60 days out from the first day. Otherwise, you can get the reservations 60 days before each day.
We loved the food at all the different meals we had here, BUT if you’re trying to decide between a couple of different time options, here are our thought for when you should head in to eat at Steakhouse 71. We’re going to look at the best times for both when you do have a reservation and when you don’t.
With a Reservation
If you want to guarantee your spot at breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the Steakhouse 71 restaurant, you’ll need a reservation. The Steakhouse 71 Lounge is the only spot where you can grab a bite or drink without a reservation at this time.
If you are grabbing that reservation, we recommend trying for lunch. Although we loved breakfast and dinner as well, we think lunch is the best time because it’s a great time to get a restful mid-day meal, the atmosphere is a little more casual, and the menu is still fabulous.
Since Steakhouse 71 is inside the Contemporary Resort, it’s a quick walk from the Magic Kingdom. So if you’re spending the day in the shadow of the Cinderella Castle, you can pop over for a delicious lunch at this restaurant. That way, you’ll have a chance to sit down inside with the air conditioning.
It’s also true that there aren’t a ton of great options for sit-down meals in Magic Kingdom, so why not take a break partway through the day to get some high-quality food? If you’re going for lunch, you can rest up and then head back into the Magic Kingdom to enjoy more time there.
Dinner and breakfast aren’t quite as convenient if it’s a park day. Breakfast reservations could cause you to miss rope-drop/park opening (9AM at Magic Kingdom most days), which means it might be harder to get on some of the popular rides (but, if this is what you’re after, is IS doable!). If you’re there for dinner, you won’t have as much time afterward to be in the park and might miss the fireworks.
So although all the meals we had were good, we think the timing of a mid-day lunch is ideal for Steakhouse 71.
We also liked the more casual atmosphere during lunchtime. If you’ve got kids with you on your Disney trip, we think you’ll appreciate that too. Kids are welcome any time in Steakhouse 71, but it just feels a little more stuffy at dinner time since it’s an upscale steakhouse.
The lunch is more chill and informal, both in terms of the mood and the food options, which is ideal when traveling with youngin’s.
To add to the benefits, the lunch menu here is still absolutely delicious. There aren’t as many options for steak as there are on the dinner menu, but you can still get the Salisbury Steak for $22 or the Steak “Frites” for $26.
Some of our favorites at lunch time were actually the Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger for $20 (a burger at a steakhouse, you ask in indignation? Trust us. This one’s worth it.), the French Onion Soup appetizer for $10, and the Vegetable Wellington for $26.
One of our favorite appetizers (that’s also available during both lunch and dinner) is the Bacon & Eggs for $15, which was a signature at the Wave restaurant that Steakhouse 71 replaced.
Also, we feel like we can’t write about Steakhouse 71 without mentioning the 15-LAYER CHOCOLATE CAKE. Don’t worry — it’s available for both lunch and dinner for $11.
An added benefit of going during lunchtime is that it’s a little easier to get a reservation (especially during weekdays). We looked at reservations for both lunch and dinner for the near future, and we were able to find some for lunch times, but none for dinner.
For two weeks from writing (October 27th), there were 2 times open for lunch reservations, and no times for dinner. For December 1st, 2021, there were three options for lunch and none for dinner. We checked some dates in between, and there were consistently no available times for dinner, but we did see several lunch openings.
So if you’re a little late to the reservation game (closer than 60 days out from your trip), dinner might not be an option, but we bet you could get a lunch time ressie!
Without a Reservation
So what if you tried and tried, but couldn’t get a reservation? Or if you don’t want to schedule a full meal in the day but still want to try out this new spot? Never fear! You can still visit the Steakhouse 71 Lounge without any ressies at all.
At the lounge, you’ll sit at the bar or the seating area and get a separate lounge menu with specialty cocktails, other drinks, and a few “Lounge Bites.”
Some of those bites are more like appetizers (such as the Steakhouse 71 Onion Rings for $9), but others could easily be a full meal, like the Stack Burger for $20 (No, we will not stop singing the praises of that burger. Thank you for asking.)…
…or the PB&J Wings for $14. PLUS you can get the famous Bacon & Eggs here as well!
If you’re in the mood for some drinks, we really enjoyed the Fig Manhattan for $16 and the Cocoa Boulevardier for $17.
The best time to visit the Lounge is any time that’s NOT a normal meal time. We’d recommend trying an early dinner, around 4 or 5 for the best chance of low crowds.
Pro tip: the mac ‘n’ cheese at the Lounge was — in our humble opinion — better than the one we got during dinner at Steakhouse 71. So really, what else do you need to know? Really good drinks and mac and cheese. Make it happen for yourself.
But Are We Mad About Breakfast and Dinner?
Absolutely not. Honestly, breakfast at Steakhouse 71 didn’t knock our socks off by any means, but it was still really tasty and much more affordable than some sit-down breakfasts in Disney World (we’re looking at you, character meals).
You can get some delicious dishes like Walt’s Prime Rib Hash for $17, which isn’t available for lunch or dinner. You’ll get plenty of food at great prices (most entrees are under $21), but it’s probably not going to be the most amazing breakfast experience you’ve ever had.
Dinner, on the other hand, was a much closer option to lunch. It was a little more formal, and some entrees were more expensive than the lunch menu (which made sense because there was a lot more steak and pricier foods there), but we LOVED our dinner at Steakhouse 71.
We had some very tasty steak (12-oz Roasted Prime Rib & Classic Yorkshire Pudding for $38) that was seriously on-par with other great Disney steaks like Le Cellier. And you can get order a la carte sauces on the side, which is obviously amazing. We love us a good dipping sauce option, but SEVEN? We thought was really delicious and fun!
We just had to choose lunch over dinner because of the advantage of a mid-day meal in the air conditioning during a long park day. But if you want a fun date night meal or a fancier dinner, Steakhouse 71 is definitely not going to disappoint.
Looking at all the factors, we think the best time for a Steakhouse 71 meal is either during lunch (with reservations) or for an early dinner at the Lounge (without reservations). But we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences — let us know in the comments if you’ve been and what you thought!
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Are you planning to visit Steakhouse 71 soon? Let us know in the comments!