Walt Disney World is debuting several new restaurants this year that boast views of the fireworks at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This will undoubtedly be a huge selling point, as guest demand has always been high for window tables with Magic Kingdom fireworks views at the handful of restaurants that offer those.
Against that backdrop, we head over to Three Bridges Bar & Grill at Villa del Lago, located on the water at Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. In this Walt Disney World dining review, we’ll share food photos, thoughts on the menu, what we recommend ordering, and whether Three Bridges is worth your time.
We’ll start with those fireworks views. Out of the trio of new restaurants coming to Coronado Springs and Disney’s Riviera Resort, this is first with the other options debuting in July and December. To my knowledge, this is also the first restaurant at Walt Disney World to offer views of multiple nighttime spectaculars…
The other two dining options, Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood and Topolino’s Terrace, will be Signature Restaurants. Meaning that Three Bridges is the most laid back and cheapest of the new choices. It’s also the only one without an elevated, rooftop view. As they say, “you get what you pay for.”
The good news is that Villa del Lago’s location in the middle of Lago Dorado, means that there’s enough clearance on all sides of Three Bridges Bar & Grill that nothing obstructs the fireworks. The bad news is that the current fireworks shows at both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios use a lot of lower level pyro, with long gaps between the higher level bursts.
This is something you might not think about as much while watching the shows from within the parks, as they engage viewers in other ways. Outside the parks is a totally different story. It’s to the point that it’s not even really worth requesting an ideal table (which would be the front left corner of the restaurant, for what it’s worth) at Three Bridges Bar & Grill, because the pyro action is fairly dull and intermittent.
At least, for now. We already know that Epcot Forever will debut later this year, and it wouldn’t be particularly surprising if Disney’s Hollywood Studios received a refreshed (or totally new) show once Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. The fireworks view is a big selling point of Toledo Steakhouse and Topolino’s Terrace, and right now, it’s a bit boring–even multiplied times two. (“Boring” is probably not how Walt Disney World would like its fireworks described!)
The good news is that there’s nothing dull about the menu at Three Bridges Bar & Grill, and the restaurant itself offers an interesting and inviting setting.
Granted, it’s mostly the open air views outside that are the highlight, but little touches like the light fixtures and variety of seating help elevate the interior. It’s also chic without being obnoxious (save perhaps for the frames over the faux fireplace).
Being drawn to ‘shiny objects’, I was enamored with this (also faux) fire table.
It’s essentially illuminated mist, but it has that same entrancing quality as fire. I wonder if this is also a heater; given that it’s summer in Florida, that functionality (if it exists) is presently turned off.
Here’s a look at the menu. Prices are surprisingly fair for Walt Disney World.
Before we delve into the items we ordered, one thing I should note up front is that service right now is spotty. Granted, we dined here during the restaurant’s second week of operations and our server was exceptional, but we heard/saw others have issues.
Apparently, some tables–even ones pretty far from the bar–have been designated as ‘bar service only.’
We didn’t experience this ourselves, but observed and talked to others who did. Hopefully a better system is implemented as the new location finds its footing.
First up, the Stuffed Mushrooms with plant-based chorizo and smoked tomato aioli.
These are fantastic. They’re definitely more like ‘meatballs’ (with mushrooms underneath) than stuffed mushrooms, but there’s sufficient flavor from both. The aioli is a perfect enhancement to the savory chorizo, which you wouldn’t guess is plant-based if the menu didn’t say so.
Next, the Grilled Skirt Steak with grilled baguette, pepper relish, and egg.
This is nearly identical to the Open-faced Skirt Steak Sandwich at Ale & Compass about which we’ve raved. The sweetness of the relish is a nice contrast to the savory steak, which is itself tender and juicy.
The skirt steak can stand on its own, and I’d recommend eating it separately from the bread; the juices and relish soak into the baguette to make that a flavorful side on its own.
Here’s the Three Bridges Signature Burger topped with crispy potatoes, Manchego cheese, roasted garlic-lemon aioli, arugula, and tomato.
This is another fantastic option ranking among the best burgers at Walt Disney World. Cooked to a perfect medium-rare, this is juicy and delicious.
The bun is soft and airy, the thinly-sliced crispy potatoes offer a bit of texture without altering the flavor profile too much, the cheese has an understated sweetness and piquancy, while the garlic-lemon aioli brings it all together with a punch–and only a light hint of citrus flavor.
This is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. It immediately enters the “best burger at Walt Disney World” conversation.
Our final entree is the Harissa Lamb Chops.
This is a fun and more inventive dish, with a rub giving them a (still relatively mild) bit of kick. The perfectly-prepared lamb is accompanied by cucumber and tomato relish, as well as mint yogurt to offset whatever ‘heat’ the dish might offer.
It’s also served with pita; for me, the pita and accompaniments work best together. As with the skirt steak, the lamb works really well on its own, and I found the relish actually detracted from the meat rather than enhancing it. By contrast, the pita, relish, and yogurt are all good together. There was a bit less meat here than I would’ve liked, but the price was also lower than I would’ve expected, so perhaps that’s a wash.
For dessert, we start with the Vanilla Custard Mickey Tart with compressed pineapple and tropical sorbet.
This is pretty much exactly what you’d expect if you’re familiar with Walt Disney World dessert tarts, albeit slightly smaller and slightly better. The tartness of the custard is offset by the sweetness of the pineapple and tropical sorbet. The crumbs provide nice texture.
If this is what you’re looking for in a dessert, it’s likely to satisfy you. The quality is good, but I personally was disappointed by the size. It’s also ‘all relative’ and I’d say this was the weakest item of our meal.
We’ll finish out the review with a look at the Warm Churros with Espelette pepper sugar and chocolate sauce.
The title of this review was almost, “Finally, A Place to Get Good Churros at Walt Disney World.” While I stand by that position (and the more controversial implicit one that the rest of Walt Disney World’s churros are bad), it felt a bit too snarky.
The point here is that these churros are fantastic, and will be a revelation if you’re used to the in-park ones. A slight crispness on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, and without an excessive sugar caked on. (The light sprinkle of Espelette pepper sugar is the perfect touch.)
These deliver great flavor, and it’ll be tough to go back to normal Walt Disney World churros once you’ve had these. I’m not joking–these are an absolute must order. Get multiple rounds of these churros instead of one of each dessert. This is technically a shareable dessert, but you’re better off eating them all yourself.
Overall, Three Bridges Bar & Grill is a big winner for us. The food is great, interesting, and fairly priced. In terms of value for money and cuisine quality, we’re finding more reasons to plan for most of our meals at the resorts and Disney Springs, and fewer in the parks. Of course, this doesn’t always work (particularly at lunch), and there are still a lot of in-park options we love for their themed environments (or certain menu items). However, with the parks closing at 9 p.m. and Three Bridges Bar & Grill open until midnight, it’s viable here for a late dinner!
Have you tried Three Bridges Bar & Grill yet? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Any thoughts on the menu, service, or anything else covered here? If you’ve yet to dine at Three Bridges, is this restaurant on your ‘list’ of places to try at Walt Disney World? 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!