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