Going to Disney World for Christmas has always been on my bucket list. While doing so in the middle of a pandemic, wasn’t the plan, I’m still glad I was able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom on Christmas Eve. It’s a new perk of living only 20 miles away. While my friend and I happily snacked away on traditional Disney treats like Mickey pretzels and even a holiday twist on Dole Whip – pistachio flavor – I knew we’d be craving a holiday themed meal for dinner.
Dining reservations can be tough to come by if you don’t search far enough in advance, due to limited tables and social distancing. If you are dead set on enjoying a sit down, table service meal at any Disney resort or park, I suggest you make sure to book a table as soon as they open – 60 days in advance of the date you want.
Liberty Tree Tavern
Located in Liberty Square, the Liberty Tree Tavern has traditionally been a buffet. To provide a safer experience, they have pivoted to family style dining since re-opening in July 2020. I had never dined there until this year. After my first solo trip, I knew this would be the perfect option to get us into the holiday spirit. The menu doesn’t really change and includes all-you-care-to-eat of the Patriot’s Platter inclusive of:
- Turkey with Gravy
- Pot Roast
- Mashed Potatoes
- Season Vegetable
- Mac ‘n Cheese
- Bread with Butter
- Cranberry Sauce
- Oooey Gooey Toffee Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream
- Declaration Salad
There was so much food, that you may want to hold off ordering more until you get through the first round. That’s mainly because they bring a full plate for refills. You can ask for extras of specific things, or just have them bring the entire spread. Soft drinks are included in the price of $39.99 per adult. Kids aged 3-9 are $21.00. Pricing when Liberty Tree Tavern used to be a full buffet ranged as high as $59.99 per adult. There’s a full drink menu offering beer and wine. I opted for a spiced red sangria that was great.
Plant Based & Allergy Options
While it seems like all food outlets at Disney Parks have some sort of vegetarian (and even vegan!) friendly options, Liberty Tree Tavern actually has a full plant based menu. Just swap out the meat above for some Impossible Meatloaf and the dessert for Johnny Appleseed’s Warm Apple Cake. The sides that are offered include the veggies, mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy. Disney parks also take great care to offer alternatives for allergies. My friend has a tree nut allergy so for dessert she was presented with sorbet.
Tips & Tricks
The restaurant is open for both lunch and dinner. If you don’t get your reservation in time, start looking for walk-up openings as early as the morning of your visit. They do keep some availability for walk-ins, but they go fast. You can join the wait list via the My Disney Experience app. While Magic Kingdom ended up staying open until 10pm this Christmas Eve, originally it was only 9pm, so I scored us a 7:55pm reservation. I’ve often enjoyed going as late as possible. It’s nice to be in one of the last seatings because you aren’t rushed in order for them to turn the table. The food was just as hot and fresh – even at the end of the night. And, we got some extra dessert too.
While the food and “experience” might not be as fancy as Be Our Guest, you actually get way more food for at minimum $25 less per adult. It’s also a great way to enjoy some holiday favorites whether it be on Christmas or in the middle of the summer. However, because the food is so hearty, I just can’t picture having a big meal like that in the heat of a summer day.
Liberty Tree Tavern is also on the route path for cavalcades (and parades – when they return). If you don’t want to back track, try timing your wait outside of the restaurant at the same time as when the characters pass by.