Walt Disney World has released full menus for Steakhouse 71, coming soon to Contemporary Resort. This post shares a first look at the food served at the new table service restaurant for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, thoughts on the cuisine, how it’ll compare to its predecessor and Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland.
As background, construction is currently in progress for the Incredibles-Inspired New Rooms Coming to Contemporary Resort. While we’re not thrilled by this “Incredibles Injection,” the Contemporary desperately needs something. The common areas looks tired, dated, and visually chaotic.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort has been a hodgepodge of styles for at least the last decade, with its style continuing to age and clutter continually added to the not-so-contemporary hotel. The new rooms won’t fix any of that, but hopefully other renovations will. Steakhouse 71 should be one such addition…
Steakhouse 71 will be located on the first floor in the A-Frame Tower of Disney’s Contemporary Resort, replacing the Wave of American Flavors, which closed over the summer.
Alongside the aforementioned “Incredibles Injection,” Disney announced that the lobby would be refreshed with a collection of modern art pieces as well as historical, behind-the-scenes photographs of the ‘Vacation Kingdom’ in development and under construction.
Here’s a look at concept art for Steakhouse 71:
Anyone familiar with Walt Disney World history (or able to do math since we’re in the 50th Anniversary year) is undoubtedly aware that Steakhouse 71 gets its name from the year the Vacation Kingdom opened,
Per Disney, Steakhouse 71 has a sleek yet comfortable décor with design elements from the ‘70s. There are hints of Florida heritage with subtle sightings of the beloved Orange Bird and citrus groves.
I’m not sure whether these newly-shared renderings are supposed to showcase that. Maybe I’m missing something, but this looks a lot like the Wave to me.
Personally, I was/am hoping that Steakhouse 71 would/will feature similar decor to the now-defunct Steakhouse 55 at Disneyland. Tons of historic photos, except instead of Photoshopping out Walt’s cigarettes, replacing them with walkie-talkies. Everyone knows Walt always carried around a walkie-talkie to report suspicious alien activity.
Joking aside, I really hope Steakhouse 71 leans heavily into the Steakhouse 55 style (pictured above). Construction photos, concept art, images from the early years of Walt Disney World, and things like that.
Any restaurant that lacks windows should have a lot of stuff on the walls for visual interest and personality. I don’t know if that’s an actual design principle, but it should be. One of my biggest quibbles with the Wave was that it felt like you were stuck in the basement and there was absolutely nothing interesting to see.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the Steakhouse 71 menus, starting with breakfast…
The Steakhouse 71 breakfast menu offers everything from Fresh-baked Pastries and Avocado Toast to Walt’s Prime Rib Hash and Eggs Benedict.
Enjoy a variety of wake-up sips like the Steakhouse Bloody Mary and the Bourbon Cold Brew (Joffrey’s Coffee Cold Brew, bourbon, maple, vanilla bean cream), as well as espresso, cappuccino, latte, freshly brewed coffee, assorted teas, and juices.
Above is a look at the Steakhouse 71 lunch menu.
Kids get to be creative with their meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can choose an entrée, select two sides, and a drink from a menu that includes oatmeal with dried cranberries and Mickey-shaped waffles for breakfast and PBJ wings and cheeseburgers for lunch and dinner. They can also create their own ice cream sundae.
Here are photos Walt Disney World released of two lunch menu highlights–the Wedge Salad and Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger.
Lunch is the meal about which we are most intrigued, since Magic Kingdom’s culinary scene is still really weak. Being able to walk to Disney’s Contemporary Resort for a quick meal in a dark, air-conditioned setting during the middle of a hot Florida day sounds perfect. Bonus points if there are photos on the wall of Walt using his beloved walkie-talkie to snitch on E.T.
The Steakhouse 71 chefs created a dinner menu with all the hallmarks of a family-friendly steakhouse, and offerings at breakfast and lunch are unique and delicious.
Customize your steak entrée with a choice of a side and sauce. Craving something other than a steak? Steakhouse 71 has fish, chicken, and plant-based offerings as well.
The Steakhouse 71 menus even give nods to Walt Disney with contemporary spins on some of his favorite foods.
I have no clue what foods Walt Disney enjoyed (aside from canned chili), but the menu here actually does remind me a lot of the Tam O’Shanter, Walt Disney’s Favorite Restaurant. If the prime rib at Steakhouse 71 is even half as good as it is at the Tam, this restaurant will be a winner.
Above is the dessert menu at Steakhouse 71.
In addition to one highlight here, the Peru Alto Mayo Press Pot of Coffee sounds fantastic.
Of course, that one dessert highlight is the Steakhouse 71 Chocolate Cake.
It’s 15 layers of whiskey-infused chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and raspberries – one layer for every floor at Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
This looks really similar to Steakhouse 55’s Chocolate Cake. I wonder if that’s intentional, or coincidence? Perhaps we can get an overly-elaborate backstory from Imagineering about the Jungle Navigation Company and S.E.A. transporting the cake from coast to coast.
That 24 layer cake (not because Disneyland Hotel has 24 floors) consisted of Nutella, cake, plus dark & milk chocolate layers offset with refreshing mint chocolate chip gelato is one of my favorite Disney desserts ever. It “tasted just like Christmas!”
Finally, the mixologists and sommeliers have created unique and refreshing concoctions to enjoy in the Steakhouse 71 Lounge or while you are dining.
While you enjoy the subtle ‘70s vibe of the restaurant, relax with a popular drink from that decade, the Tequila Sunrise! The Steakhouse 71 mixologists gave their Tequila Sunrise a modern twist with tequila, tropical juices, rosemary simple syrup, and house-made grenadine. A “sharable” Tequila Sunrise is available for lunch and dinner, serving 2-4 guests.
Additionally, Steakhouse 71 offers a selection of “Disney Family of Wines,” a diverse collection of wines with a personal connection to the Disney name. The wineries display qualities long identified with Walt Disney: passion, innovation, and quality.
Citrus groves surrounding the resort when first being built were the inspiration for two refreshing cocktails. First, the Citrus Grove Cocktail (Italian bitter, green herbal liqueur, citrus juices, simple syrup, and orange bitters) evokes the scents of fresh oranges and citrus groves.
Second, he Steakhouse 71 Vodka Gimlet (vodka, green herbal liqueur, herbal blend, lime juice, simple syrup, and Minute Maid Premium Lemonade) is a fresh and herbaceous cocktail inspired by the Florida wetlands. The “Lily” pad garnish is in honor of Lillian Disney.
In my experience, when a restaurant leaves prices off the menu, it’s never because they want to keep their super low prices a secret. That does have me a little worried here, but I’m guessing it’s because those graphic menus were designed before prices had been finalized.
It seems unlikely that Walt Disney World will “push the pricing envelope” with Steakhouse 71. The Wave was never a hard-to-book restaurant despite having a solid menu and underrated food. Giving it a new menu and name probably won’t change that. Once the initial rush of Walt Disney World fans subsides, it’ll need to either be competitively priced or offer amazing food. There’s literally no other “hook” since we already know it doesn’t offer views into outer space, robot servers, or any other good gimmicks.
Steakhouse 71 opens at Disney’s Contemporary Resort on October 1, 2021. In case you’ve forgotten, that’s going to be a busy day, as it’s the start of Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary Celebration.
Advance Dining Reservations for Steakhouse 71 open on September 16, 2021. (Total guess, but it wouldn’t surprise us if Steakhouse 71 soft opens on a walk-up basis before October 1 and is just officially opening that date to coincide with the festivities.)
Ultimately, we are cautiously optimistic about Steakhouse 71. We absolutely loved its counterpart at Disneyland Hotel, both in terms of atmosphere and cuisine. While the Wave was underrated from a culinary perspective, it’s design was dull and the restaurant was unpopular.
So far, the menus for Steakhouse 71 look really promising. Our expectation is that they’ll be fairly priced given the limited drawing power of the location. Hopefully to go along with that the interior design is taken up a notch. We don’t even have high expectations there–just photos lining the walls of Walt Disney, construction, concept art, and whatever else to add visual interest. Steakhouse 71 seems like a restaurant with a lot of potential that it can realistically live up to–here’s hoping it does!
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Are you excited for Steakhouse 71? Any menu items that are early standouts for you? Disappointed about the Wave’s closure, or think this will be a superior replacement? Do you agree or disagree with any of our thoughts? 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!