Liberty Inn Review
Liberty Inn is located in Epcot’s World Showcase at Walt Disney World. It’s a quick service restaurant with a menu highlighting the finest in American cuisine…uh…yeah. Liberty Inn participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a counter service credit. It does not accept the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. Liberty Inn is not a good value on the Disney Dining Plan, either.
In terms of both ambiance and cuisine, Liberty Inn has been widely regarded as one of the worst counter service options at Walt Disney World, but it has been improving in recent years. In terms of ambiance, there isn’t really any, save for some flags on the walls and various pots and pans and other things that probably represent colonial America. During the Christmas season, there’s also a large gingerbread house in here that’s actually pretty cool. The indoor seating area here is huge and if it’s busy, it can get really loud in here since the seating is all in one room, cafeteria style. We prefer eating outside where there’s also plenty of seating whenever it’s busy.
We’ve dined at Liberty Inn more times than I care to admit. Once would be more times than I care to admit (the actual number, unfortunately, is higher than once). In our defense, we only go here when we’re with others who aren’t interested in unique dining options, or if we want to see the American Adventure, but have a bit of time to kill. It’s not that Liberty Inn has the worst food in Walt Disney World, it’s that the restaurant is an embarrassment to America. While other host countries offer unique and interesting cuisine (albeit not always authentic versions of it), the United States serves up burgers, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets. Seriously?! That’s the best we can do? Why not just make it a place to get Twinkies and call it a day?
This would be a great place to show off the diversity of American cuisine. Even though it’s a counter service restaurant, they could serve easy takes on regional favorites, like Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, New England clam chowder (or lobster rolls), Creole jambalaya (or gumbo), Memphis ribs, Texas BBQ, Denver omlettes, etc. The possibilities are endless, and a few of the items above are served at other counter service locations, so there is nothing logistically preventing at least some of these from happening. The current menu makes Americans look like fast food junkies, which we sort of are, but the rest of the World Showcase is about putting nations’ best faces forward, so why not do the same with American cuisine?
Fortunately, the menu here has improved in the last year or so–still not to the point that it’s a decent representation of America, but it is better. In fact, based upon looking at menus on various fan sites that have been updated at different points throughout 2013, it appears that they’ve tested several new items this year. Nothing that substantially deviates from the current formula, but definitely an improvement upon the menu when we first visited Liberty Inn in 2007 that was literally just burgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and maybe a basic salad.
The standout now is the 6 oz New York Strip Steak. This steak is served with red wine butter, potatoes, and broccoli. When we got stuck eating here on EPCOT Center’s 30th anniversary last year, I decided to give this steak a try. At only around $10, my expectations weren’t high. However, for what it is, the steak actually isn’t half bad. It’s drenched in butter, is a bit over-salted, and mine was cooked medium (I couldn’t specify how I wanted it cooked), but I was still pleasantly surprised. I assume the butter and salt were to mask the otherwise mediocre cut of meat used, and there’s no denying that there was nothing special about the cut of meat. Still, it was good for counter service steak, and definitely exceeded my expectations for what a $10 steak at Walt Disney World would taste like. When we inevitably get stuck eating here again, this is what I’ll order if none of those other brilliant suggestions above (hint, hint ;)) make it to the menu before then.
Another item that wasn’t too bad was the Grilled Chicken Flatbread. Sarah described it as being similar to the standard grilled chicken standard, except served on a pita and with some additional toppings. These toppings included Monterrey Jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and red pepper aioli. She thought it was a bit dry, but the red pepper aioli provided decent flavor. I tried it and thought it was fine, but nothing memorable.
During our visits, there have been a couple varieties of the basic Disney burger with bacon here. It has tasted exactly like the basic Disney burger served all over the place at Walt Disney World. I’ve heard that, recently, Liberty Inn has been testing out a California Burger with avocado and pepper jack cheese on it. This sounds more promising than the basic bacon burger, but I haven’t heard any rave reviews of it.
In terms of desserts, we like the Apple Pie here, but World Showcase has a lot of standout dessert snack options, and this isn’t in the same league with those. We’ve heard positive things about the Rocky Road Mousse Brownie, but we have yet to try it. Unless you count fruit (doing so would be distinctly unpatriotic), that’s it in terms of desserts here.
Overall, Liberty Inn catches our ire more than other generic counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World because it’s located in the World Showcase. Not that World Showcase counter service is especially strong, but Liberty Inn should strive to highlight what’s great about American cuisine, not serve as an indictment of our fast food culture. It’s no longer the worst restaurant in World Showcase, but it still leaves a lot to be desired both in terms of food and ambiance. Its menu has made improvements in recent years and it appears that Disney is still testing out new items to add, but it’s not there yet. Thanks to that recent effort and a couple of decent menu items, we won’t completely fail Liberty Inn, but it’s still in “D” territory for us.
Overall Score: 6.5/10
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Read our other Walt Disney World restaurant reviews and Disney Dining Plan resources.
If you’ve dined at Liberty Inn in the last few years, do you agree with us that it’s one of the elite counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World? What menu items here do you like? What do you plan on trying? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your thoughts in the comments!
The problem I have with bloggers reposting past articles is the information is often inaccurate or untimely. The case in this article, the grilled chicken flat bread choice was deleted early in 2014, and the menu revamped. I’m in at least one of the WDW parks almost every weekend, and I am about ready to start my own fact-checking blog!
“Revamped” seems a bit strong. The menu Walt Disney World has online (https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/epcot/liberty-inn/menus/) seems virtually identical to the menu when we last dined there, perhaps with 1-2 items changed.
I think liberty Inn should keep the steak and the copy the Flame Tree menu. Nothing screams U.S.A like barbeque.
I could totally go for that–and I think it would thematically work VERY well.
Yeah I have to agree there is so much more that could be put on the menu there. its in the plum position, it’s a vast and regionally diverse country so lets have variety! We got stuck eating there as a friend just wanted their chicken nuggets – which you can get anywhere on property. Okay keep a couple of safe items on but lets showcase some more American nosh!
I kind of feel ashamed of the UK section in a similar way. Wjy just fish n chips and why shortbread biccies for counter service dessert in a country famed for puddings. Sorry to go off topuc … maybe we all look at our native pavilions and shake our heads in shame foodwise?
It’s even worse for vegetarians. Salad doesn’t cut it for dinner.
As a diabetic, I feel obligated to point out that it’s the only place I’ve eaten in at Disney World with a sugar free item on its menu. I think it was a sugar free brownie, maybe.
Sure, the food is nothing special, but it’s EXACTLY what your five year old would like to eat, and the desert is awesome for a diabetic. (Granted, I haven’t eaten in too many places, but didn’t see SF deserts anywhere else…)
Thanks for the heads up about the sugar free dessert on the menu!
I can honestly say I have never stepped a foot in the door of this place, nor have ever had a desire to do so. With all the fabulous World Showcase choices, I can’t justify the so called American food.
Umm…well…it’s not all bad. They do serve Sam Adams beer! 🙂
Haha, way to find the silver lining!
This review is spot on. I had dinner there with my mother and my daughter back in April and it was actually the worst QS restaurant I ate at my whole trip. I got the pulled pork sandwich and didn’t even eat half of it. I had some weird hard brownie thing with some sort of frosting on top for dessert. The meal was so bad I made a beeline for the Kaki Gori stand in Japan and ate shaved ice for dinner instead, which was 100% better by the way.
Liberty Inn isn’t my avoid at all costs meal in World Showcae…that award goes to Nine Dragons and Lotus Blossom Cafe in a tie. The last time I was in Liberty Inn, I chose not to eat after seeing what looked like mold on the ceiling.
Lotus Blossom, really? I like that place! Far from my favorite, but I think it’s a decent option.
Liberty Inn has never been on my “must do” list, but now I think I’ll move it to my “must not do” list. Thanks for yet another honest review!
Unrelated: did you know that you and Sarah are now famous on buzzfeed? See #11 🙂 http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinabarca/types-of-people-you-see-at-disneyland
Haha I just clicked on your link. That photo is priceless! Gotta love buzzfeed.
Haha, yeah, we saw. Thanks!
Tom, they need to hire you to re-do their menu. Heck, they could just read this article and go from there without needing to hire you. I love your ideas of using regional specialties.
I’ve always heard that the food here is uninspired. Besides cutting through there on a recent trip to get to the bathrooms, I’ve never been in there.
I did take a quick look at the menu while heading back to the main AA building and thought the options were pretty poor. With this in mind, I love your idea for regional foods, and as somebody who’s from New England, I must say that they need to have BOTH New England Clam Chowder AND Lobster Rolls.
On the bathroom subject, I’m hoping you might be in the know about the ones at AA. I saw on WDWMagic that they just finished some bathrooms to the right of the main building and was wondering what they might be doing with the ones to the left and behind Liberty Inn. Do you think they’ll stay, or do you think they’ll expand something else into that space?
the food is not too bad at the Liberty Inn. But dishes is not truly unique and needed improvements dining space more beautiful.
Liberty Inn was always last on my list just because there seemed to be so many other awesome options in World Showcase. It looks like I don’t need to make room for it anytime soon.
We’ve never eaten at Liberty Inn because there are so many more exciting options in the World Showcase, but I would consider going there if they served your menu! Let’s show the international visitors what American foodies would like to eat! Right now, Liberty Inn just feels like the restaurant for all the picky eaters who will later complain about the bad burgers they ate at WDW.
You forgot the most insulting part of the Liberty Inn $10 Steak, though.
In what world are two pieces of sick-looking broccoli considered a “side”? That’s a “garnish” and might as well be parsley. If they can afford to dish out a small bucket of fries with the burger, they can dish out a small bucket of broccoli too.
We ate there (over my objection) earlier this month. The pulled pork sandwich was fine. But what was really interesting was, there were so few people in the restaurant they were literally cooking to order. I bet you could have gotten the steak done the way you wanted it under those conditions, which might make it a better entree.
Ha, I meant to comment on that, but forgot. I wasn’t too upset about only receiving two pieces of broccoli, as those two pieces were pretty bad.
Liberty Inn seems so hit or miss when it comes to crowds. We’ve been there when it has been almost empty, and other times it’s a zoo.