Review: Disney’s Roaring Fork

by Gray Cargill on June 29, 2009

This blog post will be short and none too sweet.  I’m all for fast, cheap food–but only if it’s fast, cheap, and food.  I find most of Disney’s counter service restaurants to be overpriced, with mediocre food.  This trip only reinforced that opinion. One day during my May trip to Disney World, I was exploring the Wilderness Lodge, taking pictures and checking the place out and decided to stop for lunch at Roaring Fork, their counter service restaurant. I was very unimpressed.

Roaring Fork is located (a little too) conveniently near the pool area, which means even at lunchtime, it’s quite busy. It had a decidedly cafeteria-like setting, only not so spacious. The area where customers order, pick up and pay for their food is quite tiny and separated into two lines–one for hot foods and one for cold foods–with a rather small dining area. There were some two-top tables outside the restaurant against the wall in the hallway. I grabbed one of those, as it seemed a bit more peaceful and I could look out the large windows at the pool area.

When I decided to eat here, I was going to get a sandwich, and I wish I’d stuck with that plan. But I inadvertently got into the grill line instead of the cold foods line, and since I’d been craving a cheeseburger for days, I decided to order one.  The “cheeseburger” (no fries, no sides, no drink) came to $5.11.  Not a bad price for lunch, I thought.  Until I tasted it.

Other than the round shape and brown color, what Roaring Fork calls a cheeseburger bears no resemblance to real hamburger.  It had no flavor. None.  I can’t even describe how bland it was. The cheese food slice on top so resembled plastic, it didn’t even melt.  The pickles were even bland.  The bun was thin and easily crumbled.  I’ve had better burgers at McDonald’s.  (No offense, McDonald’s.)

Customer service here was okay, nothing special, but there’s really no opportunity for it to be too special. It’s a food production line, nothing more, nothing less.  If the restaurant were doubled in size and the quality of the food increased substantially, this would be a nice location to enjoy a relatively inexpensive meal at Wilderness Lodge.  But the view alone can’t save it. I’ll never eat here again.

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