Liberty Tree Tavern Review
Liberty Tree Tavern is a Thanksgiving-style and table service restaurant in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, with a colonial American theme. By Thanksgiving-style, I mean that dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern is served family style, and the foods served in the “Patriot’s Platter” are what was consumed for the first Thanksgiving. Liberty Tree Tavern is a fairly popular restaurant, and a top choice for guests around the holidays who want to have a family meal for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Liberty Tree Tavern participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service meal. It also accepts the Tables in Wonderland card for a 20% discount. Unfortunately for guests on the Dining Plan, Liberty Tree Tavern is not a good value on the Disney Dining Plan (click to see top restaurants for maximizing your bang for buck on the Dining Plan). Not that it’s an awful value on the Disney Dining Plan, it’s just not great, thanks to its generally middle of the road menu prices. However, that does typically make it a good value when paying out of pocket!
One caveat about this review is that I’m not really sure how to approach it. It’s really more of a story than it is a proper review. Sarah and I last dined at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner a while ago (back when it had characters!) and had an excellent time. So much fun, along with a solid meal, that I’m not sure why we hadn’t made it back in so long. Perhaps bitterness over the lack of characters.
We had reservations during our recent May trip, but we had to cancel because she wasn’t feeling well. Then, I went down for a weekend solo trip in August, and decided to eat here by myself on a whim when I saw an empty lobby and was told I could be seated within 5 minutes. My plan was to get a full meal, and then return with Sarah on a future trip so we could have enough of the menu to allow us to fully review the restaurant.
Suffice to say, after my meal here, I will not be back anytime soon. Rather than just not review it due to only trying a couple items, I thought I’d at least share the experience with an anecdotal review….
In terms of ambiance, Liberty Tree Tavern is deceptively strong. On a superficial level, it almost looks like a mix of colonial Williamsburg and maybe your grandparents’ house that hasn’t been updated since the 1960s.
Once you inspect things a bit further, you’ll notice some great details, including dining rooms that are each themed to a different Founding Father of the United States.
The decor in general feels charming and quaint, and this is probably both a result of the periods it’s trying to capture, and it having been relatively untouched since it opened.
While some period-designed locations in Walt Disney World still feel new, Liberty Tree Tavern feels distinctly old.
This isn’t a criticism–I truthfully don’t know what it is–but I know I like the feel of Liberty Tree Tavern.
Much like Columbia Harbour House, it reminds me of old-school Walt Disney World. That is a good thing!
Now, as for my recent meal…that’s where the wheels fall off. Shortly after being seated, a server came by to take my order. Wanting to sample as much of the menu as possible, I opted to start with the Crab and Lobster Dip for Two followed by New England Pot Roast.
I was going to order the Tavern Fried Cheese, but as I arrived I saw that being taken to another table and it looked like literally nothing more than frozen mozzarella sticks. I was already eyeing the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake for dessert. What can I say…I have a voracious appetite. That, or I’m a pig.
No sooner than I stepped up to take a couple photos of the decor of the restaurant after ordering did my Crab and Lobster Dip for Two come out. This literally was no more than 3 minutes after I placed the order.
I understand the dynamics of theme park food preparation, and it’s not as if I expected them to hunt down the crab and lobster after I placed the order, and prepare everything from scratch beginning right then. I just didn’t expect the food to arrive 3 minutes after ordering it.
Would you be shocked if I told you this dip wasn’t very good? Well, it wasn’t very good. The bread was rubbery and over-buttered, and the dip…I can’t even begin to describe what that was. It was thick, rich, and although it had the flavor of seafood, it didn’t exactly have large chunks of crab or lobster. (I didn’t ask to find out if it was real crab or krab.)
The prevailing tastes were, essentially, butter and processed cheese. For a $15 appetizer (even keeping in mind it was billed as being for two), it was a letdown.
I was largely distracted from enjoying the appetizer by the fact that 5 minutes after the appetizer came out, a Cast Member brought out my New England Pot Roast.
When he saw that I was maybe 25% done with the appetizer, he asked if I wanted it brought out later. I responded yes. When my server came out 5 minutes after that and asked if I’d like it yet, I replied ‘no,’ probably a little more irritated this time. Five minutes later, as I had just finished my appetizer, the pot roast arrived on the table.
I guess the pot roast was fine (the meat was reasonably tender although the vegetables around it were on the bland side); I’d say it was a middle-of-the-road pot roast. By this point I was so annoyed that even the best pot roast in the history of pot roasts could not save that meal.
I’m not sure if they were trying to rush me through since I was a party of one or if they just had a bunch of pre-made food in the kitchen they were trying to unload, but there was no excuse for my experience. You don’t bring out an appetizer 3 minutes after its ordered, and you certainly don’t try to bring out the main course almost immediately on top of the appetizer. I think these things go without saying, so I won’t belabor these points.
I elected not to order dessert for obvious reasons. Instead, I left the restaurant after paying my ~$45 bill and about only around 35 minutes at the meal.
In hindsight, I should have asked to speak with the manager or gone to Guest Relations later in the day, but I didn’t really want the hassle at the time, especially being by myself.
On the other hand, our last meal at Liberty Tree Tavern for dinner was enjoyable. As mentioned at the outset of this post, that was back in the days of character dining at Liberty Tree Tavern.
Although the menu has not changed since then, I view that meal as too remote in the past to really be the basis of a review at this point (lots of menu items at Walt Disney World have stayed the same, while quality has fluctuated).
Nevertheless, I wanted to share a few photos of the old character dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern because we absolutely loved it.
Then, the service was good and the character interactions (with Chip, Dale, and Goofy “fighting” over Sarah) were the absolute best we’ve experienced at any Walt Disney World restaurant.
In terms of food, it was a lot like Garden Grill in terms of quality–pretty basic food items but well-prepared.
Nothing mind-blowing, but a tasty meal if you wanted some American comfort food. I know it’s viewed as one of the best locations in Walt Disney World for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, and I can’t necessarily argue with that.
Almost everyone raves about Liberty Tree Tavern. Heck, for a while, even we raved about our experience at the dinner.
Given our recent, excellent experiences at The Plaza Restaurant and Cinderella’s Royal Table, plus improved counter service pretty much across the board, I thought maybe the Magic Kingdom was in the midst of a dining renaissance for counter service options. This meal caused me to rethink that possibility.
Overall, though, I’m still not sure how to review Liberty Tree Tavern. I have insufficient (current) information to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to the family style Thanksgiving dinner. As for lunch, I tried only two menu items, and a good portion of my complaints are based upon service.
Normally, I intentionally do not consider service when reviewing Walt Disney World restaurants, because it is so inconsistent everywhere. People dining there at the exact same time as me might very well have experienced stellar service. What that basically leaves me with is my anecdote of probably my worst Walt Disney World dining experience, but even the best restaurants have their ‘anomaly’ experiences.
With that said, I will not be returning to Liberty Tree Tavern anytime soon. My experience has soured me on the place, and even the menu items I saw brought to other tables didn’t have me salivating. It looked like pretty basic fare, and I won’t chance it again for the type of food that can readily be found elsewhere at Walt Disney World. Take this “review” for what it’s worth…which may not be much depending upon how much weight you give to service in dining reviews, as well as your own experiences at Liberty Tree Tavern.
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Have you dined at Liberty Tree Tavern? If so, how were your experiences with the cuisine and service? Do you think my experience was an anomaly, or is Liberty Tree Tavern overrated? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Have you gone lately? I just saw TouringPlans rated this as the third best dining location at MK and perhaps things have changed since (I’m guessing) 2014 when this was posted.
We tried this on our 6th visit as we have our normal “go-to” spots including BOG, CRT, Crystal Palace, Ohanna, Hoop Dee Doo, Boma but we wanted to try something new in 2020.
The ambiance was really good and as you say reminds me of old school WDW. The meal was pretty good but the Ooey Gooey Coffee Cake is absolutely delicious and our kids liked it so much so that we made a special stop on our last day just to go back for the dessert. We had a table in the corner which turned out to be a great spot to view the afternoon parade.
We’re going to ADR our Lunch here for our October 2020 trip. Alas, Be Our Guest isn’t serving lunch anymore. Their price fix dinner menu ($62 pp, whoa!) is the lunch menu too now (and no breakfast). We like Colonialism. We’re from Philadelphia, so we are used to seeing Ben Franklin all the time.
A little side note, if you don’t mind. Can you please date your posts? I really value your opinion on restaurants, resorts, events, etc, but if they’re outdated, they lose their value. I don’t know when this was written, so I don’t know if it’s gotten worse, is the same, or has gotten better. I’m guessing it’s a few years old going by the dates on the comments, but not sure if it’s been updated since its original posting or not.
I’m rethinking whether or not I want to try this restaurant now. But if that happened 5 years (or longer) ago, maybe I should just go ahead and try it.
This is a must do every year for my family. In fact, we enjoy it so much, we sometimes hit it twice on one trip. The food is always hot and tasty and the portions are a good size for the price. Don’t skip it! You won’t be disappointed.
Bummer! Always wanted to try this place but never have since my family balks that it is too hot to eat thanksgiving food. Love the decor and how each room is set to one of the founding fathers.
Just returned from 2 weeks holiday. Have to say that dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern was one of our favourites.
We are there every trip. Last time in February 2019 and it was very good. Your experience with poor service however, I feel is something that will start to plague WDW. We have noticed it in a variety of locations and when you go to guess services or speak with the manager, they really don’t care and don’t even apologize for it.
That’s funny, we had a bad experience there but with the opposite problem – we had to wait forever. I made an early dinner reservation around 4 so we would be there with lower crowds. We scheduled it on a lower crowd day too. When we arrived, there were maybe 2 other people waiting. Although we were 10 minutes early for our reservation, they had us wait 30 minutes past our reservation time to be seated. The restaurant was NOT at all crowded. The problem is that I was with my baby and 2 year old, and waiting that long with kids that age is a painful experience. My 2 year old at this point was pretty hangry. When we were seated, it took them an additional 15 minutes to just get water after begging the waiter. After another 15 min wait for appetizers and still nothing, we abandoned our table and rushed to get hotdogs instead near by. An overall very sad experience and a wasted hour and a half.
We loved it. There was plenty of food and our boys were more than happy with the help-yourself platter
We LOVE the Liberty Tree Tavern! It was a “must do” stop for lunch each vacation. Our last vacation, in January, we opted to try the All You Can Eat Dinner: The Patriot’s Platter. I was leery, as I wasn’t too sure about this Family Style thing…Not to worry, it was great! We enjoyed the salad brought out to our table (it was just hubby and me this trip). That was followed by the entrees and sides, and there was plenty of everything. Our favorite meat was replenished. And, of course, the Ooey Gooey Coffee Cake is absolutely delicious! We were greedy~~we asked for “seconds” on that! Don’t hesitate to try the Liberty Tree Tavern for lunch, or Dinner.
It might be worth another trip. We had lunch at LTT yesterday and ordered the Bill of Fare meal for both of us. The salad was surprisingly tasty, and the main event was all hot, tasty and better than expected. I loved the pot roast, my husband loved the pork, and both of us agreed that the turkey was good too. The stuffing and mashed potatoes were ridiculously flavorful, green beans yummy, and the Mac n cheese was good. We had a late lunch and were hungry, and it filled us up enough that we didn’t need to eat dinner later.
My husband and I went in January 2017 and had similar problems with the service. I believe he ordered a burger and requested condiments. He had to ask twice for the condiments, and by the time they arrived, food was cold. Once we complained to management they were gracious and only charged us for my entree, but given the other wonderful WDS restaurants – and despite our love of the decor – we won’t be returning to Liberty Tree Tavern any time soon.
We just dined there today and had an awful experience. We ordered the family meal (my teen daughter, husband, and me). We were astounded at how the food was delivered. Cold, tiny portions we had to split between ourselves. We are not big people, and not huge eaters. But when we asked for more turkey breast, the server brought out a big plate with (no joke) TWO thin slices of turkey (maybe 3 x4 inches) on it. We sort of laughed, and gave it to our daughter. Then we asked for more so my husband and myself could have some. Fifteen minutes later, the server brought out another big plate with three slices on it. ?! At this point, our mashed potatoes were cold. The gravy was cold. And our daughter was already finished eating. We were so disappointed that we said “no” to the dessert option, even though we’d already paid for it. We just wanted to leave. The manager came by and explained that the portions are small because it’s “all you care to enjoy” (all you can eat). But there’s no enjoyment if you’re sitting around watching your side dishes grow cold while the server brings you tiny scoops on giant, empty plates at stilted intervals. It was so odd. Like they were afraid hungry people would go wild and consume all the food or something. Not to sound weird, but we are a small family. We weren’t trying to abuse the all-you-can-eat family option. We just didn’t want to eat mashed potatoes alone. Then wait for ten minutes for a thin, lukewarm slice of turkey to eat, by itself. Then wait ten more minutes for a small bit of stuffing. Just so cRaZy weird!!! Never had an experience like this. We are NEVER going back.
My Wife and I ate here Jun 16/2016 and we enjoyed the meal and room decor(We were seated in the Jefferson Section) I ordered the thanksgiving feast and she had the freedom pasta. Food was truly good. Service was prompt and attentive.
Been to Disney World over 25 times and this was our first time eating at Liberty Tree……..we will certainly be going back:)
I have been visiting your blog and reading your reviews since I found your Awesome photography work on Flickr about 4 years ago. I rely on your tips and reviews to plan family vacations annually. My wife loves Sarah’s fashion tips and really seems to enjoy spending plenty of cash on numerous Disney outfits. In short your work is really great and this website has been an incredible resource to us. So it truly pains me to have to have to disagree with you. This review doesn’t do justice to a decent restaraunt and a great Disney experience. I get that service wasn’t fantastic when you were there but, your favorite experience in this restaraunt was a special experience you shared with your wife…. and Chip and Dale. It seems to me no meal you had while dining alone could ever measure up to that.
Go back to Liberty Tree Tavern. Take Sarah Bricker with so you aren’t so cranky. Eat the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. Drink the Patriots Punch. Write another review. We’ll all be glad you did.
While at Magic Kingdom August 2015 we noticed that LTT was closed for refurbishments. After reading some of these reviews, I wonder if this was a response to the obvious downward spiral of service. Any insight on what to expect upon reopening?
Wait – they don’t have characters anymore? When did that happen? This was always our best-kept secret way to see Mickey and Minnie, Chip and Dale. When did they stop having characters?
2009, I believe.
The same thing happened to us at Tony’s in May. We were rushed through our meal and in and out within about half an hour. The waitress said the restaurant has extremely busy for that time of year and had several reservations booked for the evening. That was no excuse. I know the menu is fairly small and simple, but I felt like the food was already prepared and waiting to be served to the next guest even before we sat down. The whole experience went as followed: are you on the dining plan?, what do you want?, bread out within seconds, followed by meal before we finished the bread, no time for refills, do you want desert?, are you paying with your magic band?, get out! Needless to say we also did not stay for dessert. This was my first experience at Tony’s, and even with my Tables discount I felt it was a waste of money and I won’t be returning anytime soon.
My husband and I went to LTT mid-September of this year for lunch. It was our first time eating there and the service was much better than what you unfortunately experienced. Our server was very friendly, food was timely and warm, and LTT was one of the few restaurants on our trip that added a little something extra as we were celebrating our anniversary (not that we expect restaurants to, but that has to count for something when talking about their service). The food didn’t wow us, but we made the mistake of ordering the same thing (a cheeseburger) and Disney cheeseburgers as a whole haven’t impressed us (next time we WILL try Beaches and Cream!). Positive or negative reviews aside, thanks for doing the dirty work and trying everything you can at Disney 😉
We always eat at Liberty Tree and love it. That said, my boys did not like the macaroni and cheese until a few years ago. They said it tasted like Stouffer’s mac and cheese but that changed about 3-4 years ago. The server said they changed the recipe. I’ve not ordered the items you did. We always stick with the family style traditional dinner which has always been great… except the said mac’n’cheese. However, I do miss the characters. I think it was one of the best character meals in terms of characters present and their costumes. I visited Columbia House for the first time two visits ago and really liked it. Will definitely visit both Liberty Tree and Columbia House again in the future.
Oops! Columbia Harbour House 🙂
And love the special effect pic at the top of the post. I really enjoy your pics and photography tips. Thank you!