We begin our reevaluation of the table service options at Magic Kingdom with a look at Liberty Tree Tavern’s lunch and dinner options.
Liberty Tree has recently seen some significant changes to its lunch lineup. The above menu is what you would have seen as recently as last month with three appetizers, five entrees, and four desserts rounding out the offerings.
Before that, there were exactly three a la carte offerings.
Here’s the current menu, which more than doubles the number of options with seven appetizers, nine entrees, and five desserts. We also see a couple of price increases on some classic options, including the Tavern Keeper’s Favorite Pot Roast, up four dollars to $24. The Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger sees the same four dollar increase, which is sizable when you consider it’s 25%. The Colony Salad is up two dollars, while the Fish and Chips maintain their $19 price and somewhat surprisingly, end up being the least expensive non-salad entree on the menu.
The “Freedom Pasta – Pasta, Artichokes, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes tossed in a Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce with Chicken or Shrimp” for $23 didn’t make the cut and is no longer officially on the menu. It was actually pretty good and an overwhelming amount of food. During dinner, when the Patriot’s Platter is the only option on the menu, the restaurant would serve a vegetarian version of this. These days, you may still see it served to vegetarians during dinner, though they may be able to do the Revolutionary Meatloaf, which is also vegan, depending on supply. That dish uses Impossible Burgers and you can read more about it at Vegan Disney World. While I am very much not vegan, I’ve been impressed with a lot of recent meatless options. When we review restaurants, we typically try to order a bloggable assortment of dishes and I usually end up picking last. It’s not uncommon at all for whatever sounds the “weirdest” or most out there to be one of the better dishes we receive.
The $9 “New England Clam Chowder – Oyster Crackers and Green Onions” is a menu mainstay. Rich, creamy, and comforting, the soup is a great start to a meal.
There are two Brown Bread options on the appetizers front, here with the $10 “Tavern Cheese Dip – Blend of Four Cheeses with Griddled Boston Brown Bread.” “For a dollar less, you can order Traditional Boston Brown Bread with House-made Apple-Butter Spread,” which arrives as a much more substantial loaf.
The bread tastes richly of molasses with a distinct rye quality, sweet and crispy on the outside with a nice chew once you approach the center of each piece.
It’s paired with a delicious, salty Cheese Dip that does a great job of cutting some of the sweetness from the bread, while at the same time adding a cheesy element. I think you’d be smart to share this among two or three people as it’s incredibly rich and quite filling. I wanted to eat more, but had to hold off considering what’s on deck.
You’ll find a relatively robust wine list at Liberty Tree. My suggestions would be the Matanzas Creek Sauvignon Blanc or Knights Valley Cabernet with bottle pricing at the restaurant that’s about twice as much as Total Wine. The other wines cost 3x or more the store price.
You’ll also find three draft beers, four bottled beers, a cider, five “specialty cocktails,” and a mimosa available.
Here’s how those look from a past meal. I tried and failed to receive a strong pour on that $11 “Mimosa – Featuring Iron Horse ‘Fairy Tale Celebration Cuvee’ with Orange Juice,” by asking the server to go easy on the orange juice. A full glass of the sparkling wine would run you $17. But it’s pretty clear that you’re looking at a mimosa that’s at least half juice, which is far off of my own recipe, which is just a drop or two of juice for color. Boston Lager is a fantastic Vienna Lager that I don’t order often enough. You can also pick up their IPA, which is fruitier and less bitter than most beers of that style.
For seatings from 3:15pm on, the $38 Bill of Fare is the only option. You can still order it during lunch. I was initially excited about seeing the Pilgrim’s Feast Carved Turkey Breast back on the menu, but at $24 by itself, decided that the All-You-Care-to-Enjoy meal might be a better value, since just the Turkey and a Diet Coke would run almost $29. $9 more buys you the Declaration Salad to start, along with the Pot Roast and Oven Roast Pork, in addition to the Macaroni and Cheese. Most importantly, it includes what is now a trio of Desserts, including the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake, which may be my favorite dessert at Walt Disney World.
All meals at Liberty Tree begin with these rolls with butter. I enjoyed the Tavern Cheese Dip so much that I would recommend ordering one anyway, but if you’d prefer to save the money and tummy space, then these should do the trick. We didn’t find them particularly flavorful and the butter was on the bland and boring side.
I miss the sweet, yeasty rolls of yesteryear served with a delicious honey butter. Oh what could have been.
Erin went with the Bill of Fare/Patriot’s Platter, which begins with the “Declaration Salad – Tossed Mixed Greens with House-made Dressing.” It’s surprisingly light on the lettuce and very heavy on the “stuff,” which includes big slices of cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, carrots, and more tossed in a light, zesty vinaigrette with a honey shallot flavor. Be prepared to chew on this one, but it’s a decent way to get going and its crisp freshness may be just what you need before the heavier meats arrive.
The “Patriot’s Platter – Roasted Turkey Breast, Pot Roast, and Oven-roasted Pork with Mashed Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Herb Stuffing, and House-made Macaroni and Cheese” has been on the menu for years, though the preparations and presentations have changed considerably during that time. Above is the current plating.
We may be a little too artsy with the turkey, where it looks like only a small portion of the middle is in focus. The meat is not this blurry in real life, though it is just about as dry as it looks.
Fortunately, it’s served with a large boat of smooth, rich gravy with plenty of salt, pepper, and butter.
The Pot Roast is my personal favorite, meaty and tender and smothered in a delicious sauce with mushroom and cabernet wine notes. The tangy, tart Cranberry Sauce is also served by default. It’s a nice, lighter alternative to the gravy.
The Oven Roast Pork remains the weak link. It looks the part on the plate with a nice spice rub, but I don’t think it could be any dryer if you were actively trying to squeeze juice out of it. It’s a bit perplexing considering how many of these Platters go out each and every day. There has to be a better marinade or some sort of brine situation that would improve things. Not even the Gravy or Cranberry can save it, which is probably fine since you can order as much Pot Roast or Turkey as you like.
The Stuffing is pretty good, soft and chewy with the appropriate herb-y flavor and the slick Green Beans enjoyed a nice buttery, peppery quality that made them nearly irresistible.
The small cup of Macaroni & Cheese “feels” a little superfluous, particularly considering that it “literally” tastes like the cheese is reconstituted from a powder. Erin would tell you that like pizza, even bad Mac & Cheese is pretty good and that might be the case here, but with so much other good stuff going on, I don’t think anybody is going to be after more.
On the plus side, it was tastier than this cheesy mush that we were served last time around.
This bowl, from two or three visits ago, is probably my favorite with thick, al dente noodles coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce. I think you can really see the difference.
Here’s our Patriot’s Platter from last time. I was happy to see the corn replaced with the more traditional green beans and our stuffing was much fluffier and didn’t appear like it was spooned out of some giant vat that I would actually be interested in visiting. Most importantly, the Pork Loin on the right was much juicier and more flavorful and “felt” like it had been freshly carved. The current version isn’t that far off from a Hormel Pork Log.
Overall, the Patriot’s Platter is a nice plate of food with enough variety that you should find plenty of tasty stuff to fill you up. The serving was so enormous that Erin didn’t need seconds of anything, but they’ll bring you as much Pot Roast, Stuffing, etc. as you could possibly want.
I ordered the $24 “Lobster Roll – Creamy Lobster Salad, Fried Clams, and Lemon-Caper Aïoli.” I was “warned” that it was going to be on the creamy side when I ordered it, but I thought it was pretty light on the promised Aïoli, to the point where I didn’t even really taste it. The Fried Clams are a little strange in this context, but they help add some crunch to each bite along with a little more of an ocean vibe.
I would like to see this served on a long roll rather than a hamburger bun, but the bread was nice and buttery and did an admirable job of keeping all of the Lobster and Clams together. It’s also probably not nearly as burned as it appears in the picture.
I like the thick cut, crispy fries served here with a zesty, Old-Bay-esque spice.
I thought the sandwich was worth the $8 premium over what’s served at Columbia Harbour House. There’s a ton of lobster involved.
Liberty Tree Tavern is a very homey, comfortable restaurant that’s sometimes a little on the loud side and often a little later than most to seat you.
We waited over 30 minutes past our 2:05pm reservation time, but ended up at a delightful window table near the back of the restaurant. The wait is something to keep in mind as we were at the restaurant from 2pm until just before 4pm. Obviously, you may be seated much closer to your reservation time, but I’d budget at least 90 minutes if you’re planning on ordering the Patriot’s Platter or multiple courses.
Back to the food, here’s your $22 “Turkey Pot Pie – Tender Roast Turkey, Carrots, Potatoes, Peas, and Puffed Pastry.” It’s probably more food than it looks with three large pieces of puff pastry wading on top of a whole lot of Roast Turkey and Vegetables. It’s more Liberty Tree comfort food that should leave you plenty satisfied. Of note is that this is more of a “deconstructed pot pie” without your typical crust surrounding the filling. Anyone that’s ordered a similar dish at 50’s Prime Time should recognize the idea.
I think I would actually order the Pot Pie over the regular Pilgrim’s Feast – the turkey works better in the creamy filling and there’s nearly as much of it.
Here’s a reminder of what the $24 “Tavern Keeper’s Favorite – Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, and Garden Vegetables” looks like. It’s a ton of food with almost a pound of the Pot Roast on top of a huge pile of creamy Mashed Potatoes and Corn. It’s the direction I would go if I wasn’t interested in the Diet Coke and Dessert that come with the Bill of Fare/Patriot’s Platter.
The $19 “Tavern Battered Fish and Chips – House-made Tartar Sauce and Tavern Fries” is one of the best dining values at Magic Kingdom. It’s a huge portion of crispy fried fish served alongside delicious Tartar Sauce and a pile of Fries. The portion is so large that you could share it and still come away with more food per person than if you ordered two $13 Fried Fishes from Columbia Harbour House.
Dessert with the Bill of Fare is now a trio of desserts.
The “Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake – Vanilla Cake with a Gooey Toffee Filling, Caramel Sauce, and Vanilla Ice Cream” is the stuff of legends. The cake underneath has a really nice crispiness to the exterior with a smooth buttery texture inside with some hints of vanilla and sweet cream cheese. The gooey toffee filling is so sweet and so addictive with the vanilla ice cream on top doing a nice job of cooling everything down and the chocolate chips and Heath bar crumbles adding some crunch.
The Apple Fritter(s) Dusted with Powdered Sugar and Maple Caramel was a disappointment – bland and dense with very little apple flavor and none of the Maple Caramel from the description.
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the “Warm Banana Cake – Butter Pecan Ice Cream, Salted Caramel, and Candied Pecans.” The flavors work effortlessly together, sweet and nutty with a Banana Cake base that tastes pleasantly of bananas without any of the mushiness that usually accompanies them. While I love that Ooey Gooey Cake, this was a close second and as sacrilegious as it might sound, Erin preferred it. We’ll still keep her around, though.
We really enjoyed the trio and our server was nice enough to bring a second spoon for me so I could enjoy the desserts, despite ordering the sandwich a la carte. Passing the Ooey Gooey Cake underneath the table would have probably gotten a little messy.
Overall, Liberty Tree Tavern is a solid lunch stop, offering an assortment of comfort food favorites for about 50% more money than a quick service meal. I think the quality justifies the higher prices for the most part and with a day at Magic Kingdom typically being filled with so much hurry up and wait, it’s nice to relax in a cozy restaurant atmosphere.
We’ll move on to some other options.