REVIEW: All-Star Music Intermission Food Court – NEW Pub Burger & Short Ribs

REVIEW: All-Star Music Intermission Food Court - NEW Pub Burger & Short Ribs
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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…

Disney's All-Star Music Resort, home to the Intermission Food Court
Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, home to the Intermission Food Court

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.

A Pub Burger is among the new offerings at the Intermission Food Court
A Pub Burger is among the new offerings at the Intermission Food Court

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?”.

Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court

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.

Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court
Foot Long Hot Dog from Intermission Food Court

This is going to get ugly fast. Kids, shield your eyes for this one… It’s time to eat.

Pub Burger ($12.99)

Pub Burger ($12.99)
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?

Pub Burger ($12.99)
Pub Burger ($12.99)

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)

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
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.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)

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.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)
Red Wine Braised Short Ribs ($15.99)

OVERALL

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.

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About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]

14 Comments

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  • Your comments were no surprise to my Wife and I. We were there in November last year and she was having digestion issues from the food at the eatery. Now to set the scene here, my Wife has a garlic and ginger food sensitivity, so by ordering products which in our mind would never have garlic/ginger in it we thought we were safe……… SO WRONG!!. so after 3 days of my Wife feeling ill we took the chance, and asked for the chef to come out and instruct us to which foods would be safe for her to eat. Wow were we surprised by his response……. Nothing, she couldn’t anything from the cooked foods. Apparently all the cooked foods ( even the vegetables ) were seasoned with the “house spice” and you can guess it had a blend of garlic in it. Why?. Why does our food have to “pop” with intense flavors….. is it because in Europe, garlic and other spices are seasoning and in North America we use them as flavorings (we use them in such abundance that they overpower the food instead of complementing it). What’s wrong with my green beans tasting like … green beans, why can’t my super creamy mac & cheese taste like M&C…. especially since its Veelveta cheese. I can understand wacking the beef ( sorry, but I am from Canada, and the sweet beef (corn fed cows) you folks have down there is just…..unimpressive. Ice cream and soda pop should be sweet, not beef. Our food shouldn’t have as much seasonings on it, so we can actually enjoy our meal, after all eating is one of the basic joys in life should can have. Now in defense of the Chef in the All Star eatery (a very nice guy), he mentioned to ask for him everytime my Wife needed a cooked meal. This was due to the issue that all the cooked food at the eatery had the seasoning that my Wife just couldn’t stomach (now to be clear we do not expect this kind of special service from Disney in the theme parks but at the eatery we were thankful they offered it . Thank You to someone in Disney Management). He would have them cook up the same meal (within reason of course) without the seasoning on them. And guess what, they were incredible, I was getting jealous….. Wifey would guard again a sneak attack to her dinner plate from me. On a sidenote…. when the Chef made this offer, it was for NEVER at peak times at the eatery, it was ALWAYS for off peak times, and yes we still had to pay full price for our meals.

  • I had some kind of beef entree there before (ASMovies) a while back – may have been roast beef with gravy? It was alright, and I would have eaten it again if I found myself back at the resort for a meal. But I know what you mean about the staff and overall atmosphere. Haven’t tried Art of Animation’s food yet, or Pop Century’s.

  • I totally agree! Just because it is a Value Resort doesn’t mean the quality shouldn’t be there!
    Everyone deserves Good Food!

    I want to add that there isn’t anything wrong with staying at a Value Resort. I believe most people only use the resorts for sleeping and showering. You come to Disney to see the parks! And spend most of your day there.
    Why spend large amounts of $$$ for a place to sleep? Just my way of thinking. That is unless you have a ton of money which I believe most of us don’t! Value Resorts are clean and serve the purpose.
    I have stayed at POP and All Stars and they are just fine. Plus they have that Fun Disney theming a lot of people come to Disney to see.
    I never did see the point of spending more money, when you only spend limited time in the rooms.

    But everyone has to eat, so why not serve quality food at all the resorts????? Value or otherwise.

    • re: Disney Fan.
      You are bang on the mark, keep the $$ in the pocket so you can support the economy in the way you desire. We also have stayed at many of the Disney properties and we always end up at AllStars mainly due to your reasoning, and that the people who stay at the higher cost resorts generally look truely Miserable being there.

      • I have toured many of the other resorts just to see what they were like. Nice but are they worth the extra $$$?
        Like I said, you come to Disney to see the parks. I personally think high end resorts are just a waste of money that can be used elsewhere. Value Resorts are the way to go. Clean, Fun and serve the purpose.
        Disney is expensive enough. Why waste additional money on a room to sleep in?
        Is at all for show??? Or just because some people can afford it?
        Disney should understand that not everyone gets to visit Disney yearly and not everyone has expendable cash.
        We love Disney and all it has to offer. But please do not price the average family out of the parks!

        • I see your point, but don’t be down on the Moderate and Deluxe resorts. There is value there in different/more restaurants and bars, on-site entertainment, proximity advantages to the parks, waterslides at the pools, etc. I’ve stayed at them and the All Stars at every stage of my life, and there are things to like about them all. That said, I mostly stay at the All Stars for the reasons you gave. But I’m glad that Disney has options, and I think people should be proud and thrilled to be at Disney no matter where they decide to stay.

          • I definitely agree with you Charles. Different people go to different resorts for different reasons. There are some trips that my family and I want to rush to the parks and stay open to close and just go back to sleep. Other trips we might not even do the parks every day because we enjoy the atmosphere of the resorts just as much and chose to enjoy the resorts.

    • Couldn’t disagree more.
      I come to Disney primarily for the amazing Resorts.
      The Parks are a nice side bonus.
      Those who think of WDW as just as place of Theme Parks are missing out on a huge, huge Magic factor.
      I enjoyed the All-Stars back in the day, but I need more now.

  • It’s sad to see how much the food at the All Stars has decayed over time. Whenever I go to a value resort, I try to go to the Music. I hate the new renovations ‘to the food court and I can see by the review the food just keeps getting worse.

    The food there was really good before (I’m talking about ’til early 2000’s). They had a killer Prime Rib in the dinner menu and everything was really good.

    I remember the abrupt change in food quality from one trip to the next. I also remember the drop in the CM’s faces in the same time point. It was a stark comparison from cheery faces and people willing to make you happy, even the cashiers & the cleaning crew to a sad looking gang barely doing the minimum to get thru the day.

    So sad to learn they’re just keeping the downward spiral. I’d hate to work there.

    • re: Disney Pete
      Yes the food quality has gone down hill, is it a coincidence that the quality is declining with the higher participation in the meal plans?. As for the CM’s …. look at the “abuse” they go through in the AllStar hotels. When you were last there, how many: “hello’s ” and “thank you’s” were said by the customers etc. Yes, some of the staff faces look so sad like a bucket of worms. But if you say hello to these folks and ask them how their day is going there is a radical change in their facial expressions, like hey…. someone noticed me. My Wife and I always try to look at the shiny side of things but sometimes you have to be the Sunlight to help people see more than the darkness.

      • BRAVO! I’ve noticed the same thing when I greet the cast members and show appreciation. They really light up. They’re whole disposition changes. Thanks for taking the time to share that.

      • I also greeted them and engaged in conversations with them before and after the “mood” change and though you’re correct that they do appreciate the acknowledgement, is not like it was before. Is as if they’re grateful at you for taking notice but that there’s also something going on in the back office that makes your gesture not enough to make their day better.

        If you’re happy in your work and the guests are rude at least you have the knowledge & relief that you’re being acknowledged and appreciated by your bosses. It seems here the bosses are not that much of a relief for them.

        There was even a time when someone cleaning the food court’s floor on the restaurant’s side behind the registers took the opportunity to make the whole site’s cleaning process faster by using the mop to clean the tables that were around as well. That, to me, showed not only contempt with customers but complete lack of care of what a supervisor might think of her.

        • I don’t think that “mop” person was employed for very long at Disney. The new management isn’t groomed like the management of old. I envision its all book knowledge and very little hands on experience. The old management worked their way up from the bottom of the ranks, the new ones…… not so much. Now they start as a supervisor, and that’s their concept of “bottom”.

          As for bashing the deluxe to moderate hotel’s….. I have not, they are beautiful, without a doubt….. its the customers who are my issue, Its like they haven’t bought into the experience of being in Disney.

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