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Where to Eat: Dinner at Downtown Disney's Raglan Road

February 17, 2015, 11:54 AM · One of the most popular restaurants in Downtown Disney is Raglan Road, and it only takes a few steps inside to understand why.

Raglan Road

The place bustles with excitement, but in a much different way than loud family destinations such as the Rainforest Café or T-REX Café. Although it’s much too large to feel like a real Irish pub, Raglan Road maintains that intimate feel through small alcoves and side rooms. It avoids the cafeteria feeling that is too common in theme park eateries. The noise level is high, yet it doesn’t reach a deafening level. Of course, a major factor is where you end up sitting. Our dinner occurred in a side room to the left of the main hall. We didn’t have a clear shot of the main dancers, but it did feel a bit more comfortable than other possibilities.

Before describing the dinner, it’s important to discuss the challenges in getting to Downtown Disney. Construction has removed parking near Raglan Road, so it will take some walking to get there. We traveled by car from an off-site hotel and heard horror stories prior to the visit. In one sense, the warnings were accurate. We arrived around 4:15 and waited for around 15 minutes before entering the West Side parking lot. Even so, there were spots available at that time. The other option is the new parking garage, which is closer and near the AMC movie theater. After walking for about 20 minutes, we arrived at Raglan Road well in advance of our 5:15 dinner reservation.

Our visit took place on a Saturday in late January, so the situation may be tougher in busier times. Despite enjoying the evening at Raglan Road, the visit might not be worth the effort on crowded weekends. Traffic was heavy during one of the resort’s slowest periods, so it will probably be ugly during spring break. It’s worth noting that the West Side parking lot was much emptier when we departed around 7:30 p.m. If you’re traveling without young kids, arriving later in the evening might be more relaxing. Despite the rampant construction, it had little direct impact on the dining experience. The choice on whether to make the trip probably depends on the degree of interest in Raglan Road.

We checked in 15 minutes prior to our reservation and were quickly directed to a second area to wait for a host. This section isn’t designed to fit many people, but there was a crowd backed up there for a short time. I should mention that we visited with our two daughters (five years and 22 months), so tight spaces and delays are more significant. Our table was in the corner of the side room, which is the right spot for a family with young kids. The service was fast and reliable throughout the night, and our drink and dinner orders happened promptly. There also wasn’t a sense of being rushed through the meal, which is common at theme park venues. The prices are high, but they’re in the middle for sit-down Disney restaurants.

Raglan Road table

Raglan Road is a fine venue for beer drinkers, and the selection of 18 draft options includes expected Irish fare such as Guinness and Harp alongside a few surprises. I chose the Terrapin Hopsecutioner IPA, which is highly recommended for fans of that type. My other pick was a more predictable Guinness, which is hard not to choose in this setting. They also offer themed flights such as “The Four Provinces” and “League of Nations” that provide a nice mix. More conventional beer drinkers can rest assured that Budweiser and other domestic options are available as bottles. There are also countless possibilities from around the world among the bottled options. The downside is the prices, which start around $7 and can be even higher. While they’re in line with other areas in the resort, it can add up quickly during a festive meal.

For dinner, we ordered fish & chips for $20 and the pie of the day (chicken pot pie) for $19. Both were solid quality, though neither was earth-shattering. My only complaint about the fish & chips is that there could have been more given the price. I’m not a particularly hefty eater yet still would have preferred another piece of fish. The chips (aka fries) were good and lined up with decent pub food.

Fish and Chips

The chicken pot pie was unique and hearty but not particularly memorable. It included a side salad, though that fact wasn’t mentioned on the menu.

Chicken Pot Pie

My daughter ordered the macaroni & cheese with a side of chips for $7, and it was much better than the typical Disney version.

Mac and Cheese

Her favorite part of the meal was the Irish soda bread, and it was excellent at the start for this hungry family. We ordered a side of cider glazed carrots for our toddler since it’s one of her favorites. They were good but pricey at $7.

We ordered Ger’s Bread and Butter Pudding for dessert, and it was much different than our expectations for bread pudding. It was rich and quite filling, so splitting the $8.50 choice was definitely the right move.

Bread Pudding

No one left Raglan Road hungry, and that’s probably true from most of the options. There’s quite a large selection of entrees and sides on the dinner menu, so it should please even pickier eaters. Our total bill was a little over $100 after the tip, and you could easily spend a lot more. If you want Irish food and drink but would prefer a quicker route, the counter-service Cookes of Dublin provides a great alternative right outside.

Raglan Road also provides entertainment with talented Irish dancers appearing regularly on the main stage. They also dance on small stages within the other rooms and look for kids to join them. My daughter was thrilled when they asked her to try out a few moves. She left with a certificate and some great memories. It’s hard to put a price on that type of experience, and it shows how Raglan Road is more than just a place for adults. There were plenty of families there in the early evening, and visitors of all ages were having a good time. That’s the best explanation for the success of Raglan Road — it feels different yet can provide an entertaining night for almost anyone.

Have you eaten at Raglan Road recently? Tell us about it in the comments.

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Replies (9)

February 17, 2015 at 1:22 PM · No restaurant in Downtown Disney is a destination restaurant, what with all the hassle getting there. But if you are there to to enjoy ALL that Downtown Disney has to offer, the hassle is well worth it! Raglan Road is by far our favorite DD restaurant. Great menu selection, entertainment, atmosphere and service. Yes it is crowded, always will be. But worth it if you there.
February 17, 2015 at 4:30 PM · Excellent review! I really think that the food here is a hidden gem. Its different and brings in a bit of the Irish Flavor. The sampler is out of this world. They have little fried sausages on forks that are outstanding.

I know this is going to sound strange, but the burger with the pickled onions on the special bun is fantastic! The head chef here is actually one of the top Irish chefs in the US.

As for a restaurant being a "destination", you might be right Doug, but DD has some of the best combo in any Disney area. I really like Bongos.

February 17, 2015 at 5:13 PM · Great review and pictures, Dan, thank you!

We were lucky enough to have a Raglan Road in downtown Kansas City (Missouri) for a brief amount of time (maybe a year or two) before it shuttered its doors due to a variety of issues - food not being one of them. My co-workers and I used to go there about twice a month over lunch, and found it to be excellent. The fish was champagne battered instead of beer battered which provided a brilliant compliment to some wonderful fish filets (I do not believe the Disney version of this restaurant has the same champagne batter but it has been a while since I visited). Even better than the fish n chips was an appetizer called the Scallop Forest which was six large champagne battered sea scallops each standing on the end of a cocktail fork so they looked like little trees. The presentation was great, but the taste was even better. I used to get this appetizer with a side of their chips (fries) along with copious amounts of malt vinegar for my lunch. And then of course their bread pudding was amazing. Just amazing.

I miss my local Raglan Road, but thankfully the chef stayed in the area and took his champagne batter recipe over to a Kansas restaurant called the Gaslight Grill. If you're ever in the area, definitely check it out.

February 18, 2015 at 2:12 AM · The Fish & Chips I see on the picture have a Value of 3 € for me - not 20 USD - NEVER in my life will spend more as 12 USD for a meal! Ok I atended the Hoppe da Doo Dinner Show (sorry for spelling wrong) but that included all you can eat and 1 h Show
February 18, 2015 at 4:51 AM · Great review, and excellent call on the Terrapin IPA! From Athens, GA- home of my alma mater.
The more I read about DD in it's current condition, the more I'm comfortable w/ waiting until Disney Springs is open and fully operational. Lots of cool stuff still available to do, but unless you're staying at the Port Orleans and can get the ferry in not really worth the trouble. I guess I've heard the same horror stories as everyone else.
February 18, 2015 at 7:40 AM · Raglan Road is still the only place I've eaten at Downtown Disney - the food is delicious - but on my last trip, we were on the receiving end of seriously lousy service. Never received our bread, couldn't get water refills for love or money, I didn't get the side order of vegetables I ordered (because, as you noted, the salad wasn't mentioned for the pie-of-the-day description) and I had to ask four times for the cider I had ordered as soon as we sat down. And it certainly wasn't for a lack of opportunity on our server's part - he was bustling back and forth past our table all night, stopping to sit and talk with our surrounding tables. This was a drastic change from the first time we visited, and, to be fair, we had been on our feet for nearly twenty hours at this point, so we were perhaps a little more sensitive to it than we otherwise would have been...but I think maybe we'll try a different DD restaurant next time, and hit Cooke's for something to go.
February 18, 2015 at 9:03 AM · James, I'm jealous that you got to visit a Raglan Road regularly in KC. My brother lives there, so I'm in town pretty often. I feel like the menu is diverse enough that there are gems in there that I would love to try on it.
February 18, 2015 at 9:52 AM · We've only eaten at Cookes of Dublin, and based on the pictures in your piece, I'm glad we ate there at the lower counter service prices than at the table service version. The Irish Pub concept is growing old in my opinion (here in DC there are dozens throughout our region), and the prices at Raglan Road seem outrageous ($20 for what appears to be one plank of fish???). I would much rather eat at the Leaky Cauldron or Finnegan's at USF for Irish/British fare.
February 20, 2015 at 4:10 AM · Being Irish, when we were here last Spring we fancied a wee taste of home. We ate at Cookes & based on your pictures & descriptions the food was the same. I had the Pie, which looked great but tasted awful. Someone had fish & there was a hair fried into the batter... It didn't taste great either. The sausages were definitely not what you would get in Ireland. I can't remember what the others had but I know that nobody was impressed. Sorry to be so negative but I was so disappointed. On a plus the chips were good!

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