Covering menu updates around Walt Disney World frantically sends me off to find many a great new dish around the resort, but it’s just a matter of time until I am harshly slammed back to earth and reality. The All-Star Resorts are not known for their cuisine, arguably the only of the 3 value resorts that have food courts with a bad reputation. While people rave about Art of Animation and Pop Century, you never hear anyone speak well of the 3 food court options between all three All-Star Resorts. There is probably a good reason for that…
My Walt Disney World vacations (before I picked up and moved here) typically consisted of the outhouse or the penthouse when it came to hotels. The hotel I stayed at the most was Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. My second most visited? All-Star Sports. In fact, if you add my stays at all three All-Star Resorts, it is easily the resort I have stayed at the most. Sometimes a good hotel discount was all the reason to make a trip to Disney World.
But what is my point? Well, in those 40-50 or so stays at the All-Star Resorts, I think I probably ate at the food courts available there about 8-10 times, and mostly for breakfast. I would often avoid them like the plague for their boring menus and the usual inability for the cooks to prepare anything well enough. A few years ago, I was pleasantly surprised by the remodeling and menu change at the Sports resort, and I recall having a fairly good meal there, so I wasn’t apprehensive to visiting the Intermission Food Court at the Movies Resort when we found out there was a new menu.
I personally had my sights set on the new Pub Burger, while my partner in crime decided he was going to get the “Red Wine Braised Short Ribs”. Yes, he actually decided he would get short ribs at an All-Star Resort. As Dr. Seeker would say, “What can go wrong?”.
While I waited for my Pub Burger, this was my view. A giant tray of already cooked foot-long hot dogs from an All-Star Food Court. This is when it set in that we had made a horrible mistake. It’s like in an action thriller when you realize you are in the room with the murderer and he’s probably going to kill you when you turn around.
This is going to get ugly fast. Kids, shield your eyes for this one… It’s time to eat.
Pub Burger ($12.99)
I was so excited for this Pub Burger. Pretzel bun, fried pickles, onion strings, and beer cheese on a burger even makes me hungry again just typing this. So, what went wrong?
The bun was good and the fried pickle was fantastic, but the burger was cooked terribly. It wasn’t particularly overcooked, it just tasted bad. Now, I know what some of you are saying, “But the counter service hamburgers are bad!” They aren’t. I have had success outside of D-Luxe Burger, it can be done! I don’t know what happened here, but the onion straws and beer cheese flavors died on top of this hamburger. It was flavorless meat in a rather tasty pretzel bun.
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
Why we expected anything but what we got out of the Wine Braised Short Ribs is beyond me. Yes, it is as bad as it looks.
You do get to pick your sides, and everything Josh picked was pretty awful. The stuffing and the breadstick were near inedible, and the short ribs are what you would expect, flavorless and kind of fatty. I did like the plantains a lot, but one out of three being digestible is a pretty bad stat unless you’re swinging a baseball bat.
I don’t even know what to say about our meal here. I think I would be more distraught if they didn’t take our Tables in Wonderland card for a discount, but this meal was still really awful. I’m not sure that I’ve ever been to a Disney counter service restaurant where we have ordered two completely different entrees and both were equally awful. I think a big part of the problem here is the kitchen. Going to an All-Star food court and then to Art of Animation, you see a huge difference in morale. The same hamburger patty being edible at one counter service, but then tasteless and awful at another just means that they aren’t cooking things correctly at the latter.
The Art of Animation or Pop Century eateries have a lot of upbeat, very happy and helpful cast members, but the Intermission Food Court almost felt like a prison. No one was smiling, no cast member seemed remotely happy, and the care just wasn’t there not to over-or-undercook every dish in the place. It is possible that the food and beverage managers here just aren’t as good at their job as the other resorts managers are, but whatever the problem is, I think the time has come to fix it. Counter service at Walt Disney World these days can be fantastic, so it’s about time that establishments like this stop settling on serving slop just because they are at a value resort.