Aunt Polly’s is a counter service restaurant in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This dining review features food photos, thoughts on the quality, our experiences here, how Aunt Polly’s compares to other alternatives in the park, and what it brings to the table on peak season days. (Updated December 20, 2019.)
If you’ve never stopped at, passed by, or even heard of Aunt Polly’s despite being a Walt Disney World regular, don’t feel too badly. The quick service eatery is tucked away down by the water, facing the Liberty Square Riverboat dock on Tom Sawyer Island, which is only accessible via raft.
On top of that, Aunt Polly’s restaurant operating has been incredibly rare. While other seasonal counter service locations at Magic Kingdom open around a half-dozen times per year, there have been numerous stretches of time when Aunt Polly’s was mothballed for several years. The good news is that Aunt Polly’s is now open through at least January 1, 2020…
When Aunt Polly’s first opened two Christmases ago, we didn’t bother with it. We figured it’d be around for a few weeks, then gone for another 3 years before reopening again in late 2021. However, it has once again returned, this time for an even longer stretch, and with an expanded menu. Given that Magic Kingdom crowds continue to grow, we’re betting Aunt Polly’s being open is going to become a more regular thing.
When Aunt Polly’s last opened about 3 years ago, it had a limited menu of mostly pre-packaged items, and was really just overflow dining to add desperately needed capacity. Last Christmas, that menu was expanded upon with Becky’s Buttery Biscuit Barbecued Pork Sliders and Soft Pretzel Sticks, two hot items.
Both of those items are still present, but another two made-to-order items have been added to the growing Aunt Polly’s line-up: Peanut Butter with Raspberry Sandwich plus a Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, and Banana Sandwich.
Not wanting to overdo it on the sugary options, we opted to order the Becky’s Buttery Biscuit Barbecued Pork Sliders and Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, and Banana Sandwich.
First up, Becky’s Buttery Biscuit Barbecued Pork Sliders.
We both enjoyed these. The biscuits were not overly-dry (a victory itself when it comes to biscuits) with the pork being juicy and tasty. The coleslaw on top didn’t really taste like anything, but I suppose it provided texture. There really weren’t any surprises here. For better or worse, these are exactly what you’d expect.
The Peanut Butter, Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, and Banana Sandwich was fantastic and the far superior entree option. The sandwich was made of freshly-pressed brioche bread, and miles from an ordinary PB&whatever sandwich.
The helping of not-Nutella was generous, and mixed in a “I never knew I needed these two things together, but I do” way with the peanut butter sort of like peanut butter and butter do. With that said, it was a sugar rush, and splitting this sandwich was definitely the way to go.
Both of the entrees we had were good to great, but it was the experience that was truly sublime. Prior to dining at Aunt Polly’s, we were going to do Pecos Bill, but at around 10:45 a.m. the line was already out the door and the seating area was pretty busy.
Calling a quick audible, we headed over to Tom Sawyer Island on the second raft of the day (we just missed the first) and rope-dropped the 11 a.m. opening of Aunt Polly’s. We were the first guests in line there, and no one was in the seating area.
We sat along the Rivers of America for about 30 minutes, watching the Liberty Belle while we ate. During that time, only a few other parties ordered from Aunt Polly’s. (Which is actually a bit concerning–Walt Disney World won’t keep opening the restaurant if it’s not doing enough business. So basically we need it to find the sweet spot between not busy enough to stay in business and too crowded.)
Upon returning back to the Magic Kingdom mainland, the park was even more bonkers with holiday crowds. It was getting so frustrating to simply navigate the walkways that we promptly headed for the exit. (On the plus side, we arrived at 6:30 a.m. for Extra Magic Hours, so leaving by noon wasn’t a total bust!)
The point we’re really trying to underscore here is that Aunt Polly’s has great food, but more importantly, is an incredible respite from the crowds. While we were out on Tom Sawyer Island gazing across the Rivers of America at the rest of Magic Kingdom, we couldn’t have told you whether it was a “10” on the crowd calendar, as it felt more like a “1” from where we were sitting.
Dining at Aunt Polly’s was simply a serene experience, and we loved it for that. There’s also this quintessential “Vacation Kingdom of the World” vibe out there, and I know many longtime Walt Disney World fans yearn to experience Aunt Polly’s for that reason.
Ultimately, we’re suggesting that if you’re visiting on a day that Aunt Polly’s is open and what’s served here appeals to you, this is your best counter service dining option in Magic Kingdom. It’s a great way to get away from the crowds, have a delicious meal, and decompress for a bit.
The menu is too limited to call Aunt Polly’s the best counter service restaurant in Magic Kingdom, but it’s not operating on the same scale as a venue like Cosmic Ray’s or Be Our Guest Restaurant. For what it is, Aunt Polly’s is a far better experience than it has any right to be, and is an exceptional change of pace option. As of right now, Aunt Polly’s is open daily from 11 am until 3 pm during the busy holiday season. We’d love it see it stick around beyond that!
Have you dined at Aunt Polly’s? What did you think of it? Would you eat here? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback—even when you disagree with us—is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!