D-Luxe Burger is a counter service restaurant in Town Center at Disney Springs in Walt Disney World. This review will feature food photos, thoughts on this new dining locale, and how it stacks up to other burger spots at Walt Disney World. In terms of background, D-Luxe Burger participates in the Disney Dining Plan (and is a great bang-for-buck option on the Dining Plan) and currently (for now) offers a 20% discount to Annual Passholders.
I’m a sucker for a good burger. I’m always tempted to order a burger wherever we go and I’ve written extensively about my love of burgers. Heck, my dream job is not NBA star or marine biologist, it’s CEO of In-N-Out Burger. (Assuming they get unlimited free Double-Doubles. If not, I’m out.)
Even though I’ve constantly been burned by them, I keep trying the latest burger concoctions at Walt Disney World counter service restaurants. These usually miss the mark, but I cannot help myself (and sometimes the toppings are enough to overcome the weak patty). I’ve been hoping against hope that someday, Walt Disney World would get counter service burgers right. With D-Luxe Burger, that day has finally come.
Before we get to the unequivocally good–the menu, let’s start with the bad–the theme. Walt Disney World described the design-style as “eclectically comfortable Florida ranch-inspired interior.” My translation from the marketing-speak is “repurposed hodgepodge just like the rest of Town Center at Disney Springs, but with a ranch vibe.”
More or less, I’d say that description is accurate. And, it’s definitely comfortable, but the eclectic-meets-ranch visuals are a bit jarring. It feels like hipsters moved into an old barn and found some zany stuff from Home Goods.
Whatever, it’s still relatively inviting, and details like the fireplace in the seating area and the outdoor balcony overlooking the springs are nice. (Sorry for the lack of seating area photos–the restaurant has been absolutely packed on our visits here.)
But wait, there’s more. Once you start exploring some of the details, you notice common threads about the Sinclair family and Glowing Oak Ranch. (RIP Golden Oak McDonald’s fries in Magic Kingdom, but at least you’re honored with the new McMansion development.)
I’m not going to delve into the full backstory of D-Luxe Burger, because just writing part of it makes me want to slam my head on the table. The basic gist is that one of the farmers from Glowing Oak Ranch went to the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904 where he tried a strange invention dubbed “the Hamburger.” Yada yada yada, they turned Glowing Oak Ranch into Glowing Oak Restaurant, which is then later re-launched as D-Luxe Burger.
Look Imagineering, I’m just some fool who runs a poorly-written Disney blog. If I think your backstory is contrived and groan-inducing, it must be really weak. Not everything needs layer upon layer of “story” to be effective. To the contrary, some of the best works of anything (including themed design) are pared down and subtle.
So many recent additions to Walt Disney World are veritable M. Night Shyamalan deformities of tortured story. Years ago, audiences rejected Shyamalan’s plot twist gimmick as being an inadequate substitute for quality storytelling. At some point, the other shoe will drop with Disney fans and these needless layers of story.
Okay, end rant/tangent. The very good news here is that D-Luxe Burger serves the best counter service burgers in all of Walt Disney World. From the patties to the buns, the ingredients are high quality, and the burgers are well-prepared.
All burgers (aside from the chicken and veggie ones…obviously) are signature blend ground beef patties including brisket, angus, chuck, and short rib. This is a departure from the norm at Disney-owned counter services locations, which normally feature a signature blend of cardboard, capybara, and hyena. As D-Luxe Burger is Disney-owned, this gives us hope for the future.
This is the Classic Cheeseburger. (Excuse the presentation–that’s our bad.) Just your basic burger topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and pickle.
Pretty standard, but the flavor of that beef patty is allowed to shine here, as is that delicious bun, which is slightly-buttery, and clearly freshly-baked. This is a great option if you want a no-nonsense burger.
Here’s the aforementioned chicken burger, which is called the “Cluck Burger” on the menu. Unfortunately, this is not a fried chicken leg inside a grilled hamburger. If you’re wondering why anyone would do this to themselves…well, you’re not the only one. 😉
As with the Traeger v. Swanson burger-off on Parks & Rec, the results here are predictable when comparing the chicken burger to the hamburgers. (I say this as someone who has dramatically increased turkey burger consumption in the name of “health.” Anyone who thinks an alternative-meat burger is just as good is crazy.)
The pimento cheese and fried green tomato added excellent texture and rounded out the flavor on an already great beef patty, and it all just wowed. It probably would’ve been just as good without the bacon! (Eh, who am I kidding, nothing is “just as good” without bacon.)
My one–pretty big–complaint about D-Luxe Burger is that fries are not included, and are quite expensive as a side. In fact, once you order a burger with a side of fries, you’re looking at low-end table service prices. I think it’s fair to say D-Luxe Burger is low-end table service quality, but that does not change the fact that it’s not a table service restaurant.
Here’s the Cake Gelato Shake. Another really excellent, high quality option…but also expensive. Much like with Ample Hills Creamery, you’re paying a premium for the quality at D-Luxe Burger.
We think that premium is justified, but considering it’s a premium over Walt Disney World’s already-inflated prices, you might have a difficult time justifying the surcharge.
Overall, D-Luxe Burger is one of the best counter service restaurants in all of Walt Disney World and one of the top overall restaurants (taking into account value for money) at Disney Springs. Considering the explosion in quality, inventive cuisine at Disney Springs, I think it’s really saying something that a place serving straight-forward burgers could hold its own against that competition. Perhaps that’s why Disney upped the ante with the menu here: they had to do so to be competitive with other dining options at Disney Springs. Whatever the explanation, we are quite happy with the end result, and D-Luxe Burger will enter our regular rotation when looking for a quick, moderately-priced meal at Disney Springs.
What do you think of D-Luxe Burger? Are you a fan of the high-quality burger patties here, or do you find the higher price points (and lack of sides) off-putting? Where does D-Luxe Burger rank in terms of burgers at Walt Disney World for you? Have any favorite foods here? Share your thoughts in the comments!