After spending the better part of a day walking through Epcot, chances are you are ready for a delicious meal. You’ll likely start to wonder where to eat at Disney World. The answer really depends on where you are when hunger strikes! When you make it to the World Showcase, it appears as if you can eat in any country you might want to.
For the most part that is true, but some are better than others. Canada doesn’t seem like it is a very exotic dining option, and compared to some of the other nations represented it definitely doesn’t fit the bill to be labeled as exotic, but you shouldn’t let that dissuade you from giving it a try.
Le Cellier is a very popular dining option and should not be overlooked. The Canadian Pavilion is one of the more immersive and serene countries to be seen at Epcot. Epcot does a wonderful job of recreating the feeling and appearance of the majestic Canadian outdoors. When you walk up to the pavilion, you will notice a replica of the Chateau Laurier hotel in Ottawa.
The tall, building draws passersby into the pavilion, and what they find will not disappoint. As you walk further into the pavilion you will be blown away by the details. There is a canyon, a waterfall, fountains and totem poles.
Before you go into Le Cellier, it is a good idea to check out the video attraction, “O’ Canada” which is a movie set up to be viewed in a full 360° and gives viewers an inside look at Canada’s cities, scenery, and diverse population. If you time your stop in Canada just right, you may also get to watch the Celtic rock band, Off Kilter before or after your meal. There is a lot of fun to be had in the Canadian pavilion, and it sometimes gets overlooked!
When it’s time to check in for your meal, you will head into the Hotel du Canada, which is the replica of the Chateau Laurier. Le Cellier is actually in the cellar of the hotel, which is exactly what the name suggests. When your party is called to enter the dining area, you will be entering a very authentic wine cellar to enjoy your meal.
Disney World prides itself on going above and beyond to create authentic themes and believable atmospheres. Walking into the Le Cellier dining room will transport you from a sunny, hot day in Orlando, and at least temporarily have you believing that you are in a Canadian wine cellar. The temperature is cool, which is often a relief on a hot day in Florida. What is really interesting is the lighting. Le Cellier is not a brightly lit room masquerading as a wine cellar. It is moderately dark, which lends to creating the perfect atmosphere.
For many, the incredible atmosphere that is created within Le Cellier’s walls is unparalleled. Disney World is full of beautifully themed restaurants, stores, and even ride queues, but there is something special about Le Cellier. The atmosphere alone is not to be missed. It feels cozy and cool at the same time, which sounds almost impossible, but it is a feat that has been reached with this restaurant’s atmosphere and theme.
The overhead chandelier lights add to an intimate and special atmosphere. It can even be said that the lighting Is the most important aspect of the atmosphere, and that would be hard to disagree with. Lighting is key in every setting. It sets the mood, and for Le Cellier, the dim lighting makes it feel like you have been completely transported from Disney World and into a fancy wine cellar in Canada.
But the devil is in the details, and a lot of the smaller decorations that are scattered throughout the restaurant can be easy to over look, but subconsciously, they strengthen the feeling that you have left Florida and the magic of Disney, for something completely different and peaceful.
In addition to the already incredible atmosphere, there is the outstanding staff and the superb interactions you will welcome from them.
Canadians are often stereotyped in popular culture as being overly polite. Canadians in shows and movies are constantly apologizing and taking the blame for things they did not do. When they aren’t taking the blame for things they aren’t responsible for, Canadians are depicted as friendly and helpful.
Typically, stereotypes should be avoided, and it’s a little irresponsible to buy into blanket statements like that one, but there is a kernel of truth to it if the staff at Le Cellier are any indication.
Before addressing the overall attitude of the cast members working at Le Cellier, their uniforms must be looked at. The costuming is not extreme or over the top here. The waitstaff wear maroon button down shirts, black pants and a white apron from the waist down.
This adds to the feeling of the wine cellar. There is no over the top, or cheesy uniform in sight. The uniforms are not covered in maple leaves, nor do they scream Canada. Not being pounded over the head with reminders of what pavilion you are visiting makes the experience more enjoyable and authentic.
Once you get to interact with the staff, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Service at all Disney restaurants is excellent as they strive to go above and beyond everyone’s expectations, but there is something so charming about the staff at le Cellier. They will offer a smile and do what they can to lighten even the most uncomfortable and tense moments.
Being on the waitstaff at a steakhouse can be tricky. People tend to have strong opinions about how their steak should be prepared, what it should look like, and how it definitely shouldn’t look. There have been parties who demanded the steak they order be completely plain, and never touch any sort of sauce or seasoning.
When the food was brought out, the customer found a spec of pepper on their steak and demanded that the waiter had not fulfilled their request and they could not eat the meal. Of course, everyone else with the individual was happy with their meals so she had to sit there and sulk about a small spec of pepper. The waitstaff was so accommodating and kind to this person who was accusing them of not listening to her requests. The smiles and apologetic words fed right into the stereotypes people have about Canadians.
The waitstaff is kind, appeasing and knowledgeable. The menu is not something that would be akin to a Cheesecake Factory, where you are handed a book as you are seated. And as a result, the staff does a fantastic job answering questions about the menu, and getting requests met.
The staff is friendly and attentive, and aim to please. They want you to leave with a full stomach and a smile on your face. They will get the smile almost immediately as they bring over the bread basket for the table, and set the mood for the rest of the meal.
Before you even have a change to look over the menu, you will be tempted with a great selection of breads. The basket the waitstaff will bring over to you had some of the most delicious bread you could hope for. A favorite is the pretzel bread, but the other rolls included in the basket are delectable as well. It is hard not to fill up on bread when the options are so much better than things you tend to munch on before a meal, but hard as it may be, what follows the bread is even more enjoyable.
The most popular appetizer at Le Cellier is their cheddar cheese soup. For many this is an item they cannot miss when visiting Disney World. It has a hint of a beer flavor, and will satisfy any cheese love. It is often used to dip the pretzel rolls in when it is brought out. It’s like a pretzel and cheese dip you could get at a stadium, but much fancier and far tastier.
Another delicious appetizer is the Prince Edward Island Mussels. This fairly large serving of mussels, in a beautiful base, is tender and easy to devour. It can be hard to stop after just one mussel, if you enjoy seafood.
An appetizer that screams Canada is the poutine offerings. With twists on the original with things like Beef Bourguignon and cheeseburger poutine, it is hard not to try at little bit of a Canadian treasure.
The entrees feature several melt-in-your-mouth steaks, but so much more. As it is a steakhouse, naturally people are drawn to the steaks. Le Cellier Menu does not lack different cuts of meat nor preparation styles. There are only eight items on the dinner entree menu, and that is more than enough.Be sure to read the descriptions carefully to find something that you will enjoy.
The options include:
USDA Prime Rib-Eye Steak– Many diners believe this to be the best cut of meat available, but that all comes down to personal preference.
Steak and fries- this is a very basic, but still delicious, steak meal. It would be perfect for the picky eater in your group.
Le Cellier Filet Mignon- The most popular item on the menu, and it comes with a lovely mushroom risotto and a truffle butter.
Chatearubriand for Two– As it says in the name, this entree is intended for two people.
Seared George’s Banks Scallops-Perfect for anyone who just isn’t in the mood for red meat.
Pan Seared Red Snapper a la Paella-A colorful rice and fish dish that seafood lovers will really enjoy.
Steamed Asian Dumplings (featuring plant based meat)– Plant based meat products are gaining popularity everywhere, and Le Cellier is trying to make sure vegetarians do not feel excluded in their steakhouse!
BBQ Smoked Half Chicken-Picky eaters always love BBQ chicken, so there really is more than one option for them.
The portion size for the entrees is considerable, especially if you have already indulged in the bread basket and an appetizer. Of course, prices are in the $60 range, so be prepared to spend a little bit of money on this meal.
Although this Is a steak and potatoes kind of restaurant, it might be best for overly picky eaters to skip this one. there is no denying that the atmosphere Is incredible and no one should miss out on it, but there is also a matter of practicality. If you are not a steak eater, or you are very particular about how you like your steak prepared, there is no true value in a visit to Le Cellier for you.
That being said, like everywhere in Disney World, Le Cellier has a great kid’s menu, and ordering off of it would not be frowned upon if someone in your party was more drawn to those options than things that are featured on the regular menu.
If you’ve committed to the dinner, you might want to take a look at the dessert menu. The dessert menu features many enticing options.
Maple Creme Brule– one of the must try desserts!
Strawberry Almond Triffle– Fruity and crunchy, this offers a different dessert option.
Artisan Cheese Plate-Cheese plates can work for appetizers and dessert
Warm Pecan-Brown Butter Tart- It’s hard to beat warm pecan brown butter.
Chocolate Mousse Maple Leaf– a no-sugar added dessert option
Duke Caboom’s favorite Nanaimo– this dessert néeds a little more of an explanation than the rest. It is basically a brownie sundae with a very fancy and intriguing name.
How can you choose between these desserts? That’s an excellent question. A good approach to desserts is to share with the people you are dining with. If everyone decides one two or three different desserts to share, it is like creating your own sample platter. This is not exactly the cheapest option, but if you are eating at Le Cellier it is not a good time to be worried about saving money.
This is an added splurge to an already splurging vacation. Just got for it! You might leave feeling like you can’t move because you ate so much, but that feeling will leave you as soon as you get back to walking around the World Showcase!
Alcohol is only fitting in Canada
If you are a drinker, dining in Canada is a good time to taste a. Few of their options for alcohol. Of course, Le Cellier is a wine cellar so even if you tend to be a beer drinker, this is a good time to test out some new wine to add to your list of things you’ve tried.
Wine is sold in by the glass, and in flights. The staff is more than capable of helping you find the perfect wine to match your meal. Taking their suggestion could be great, but it is also important that you know what you like and don’t like. If you are not a fan of red wine, don’t let the suggestion of the staff push you into ordering a wine you know deep down you won’t like. Glasses of wine will cost in the $20 range.
Wine is not your only option when it comes to alcoholic beverages. There are many excellent beers, both on tap and in bottles. The beer selection is not filled with beers you have never heard of, and you are likely to find something you actually enjoy. Or, you can be brave and try something a little less mainstream, like the Saint-Ambroise Apricot Wheat.
Trying a new type of beer can be a fun experience that can help you find a new favorite. It is easy enough to find different types of alcohol from around the world now, so there’s always a possibility that even if you never make it up to Canada, you will be able to find your new favorite.
Looking for something heavier? They’ve got you covered for that as well. With Canadian themed martinis as well as various other beverage options. There are bloody Mary variations, cucumber coolers, blueberry martinis, and an “Ottawa Apple,” which is Crown Apple Maple Whisky, Apple Infusion, and Cranberry juice. The description sounds like everything people would tend to associate with Canada.
Why Wouldn’t You Go to Le Cellier?
There are so many positives about Le Cellier Steakhouse, that one has to wonder why people would ever decide not to go there for a meal during their vacation. It is a must-do dinner for many people, but sometimes the odds are stacked against you. When a restaurant is popular at Disney World, you have to pay careful attention to the dates you are able to start making your Disney World dining reservations and be persistent.
As a very popular dining destination, it is next to impossible to walk up to the hostess station and get a table. If this is on your list of restaurants to try out, make sure you are prepared to work for the reservations. A little bit of effort will go a long way.
It seems like a lot of work just for a dinner, but the meal is worth it if you love steak, and want a chance to soak up the incredible atmosphere in the restaurant.
Friendly staff and mind-blowing decorations add a lot to what would be an incredible meal on its own. The added bonus of the things aside from the meal help to give you an experience, rather than just a meal. You can have a good meal virtually anywhere. Great meals don’t always offer the sort of experience that Le Cellier does. Feeling like you have been transported away from Central Florida and landed in a wine cellar in Canada is incredible.
If you are traveling with people who are not steak lovers, and would likely have an argument with the waitstaff similar to the one mentioned earlier in this article, you might want to consider a different restaurant. Epcot has a lot of fantastic options that will allow everyone to find something they enjoy for dinner.
As Le Cellier is a more expensive option, it might not be the best choice to make when not everyone in your party will feel the price tag was worth it. Having Le Cellier on your “must-do” or Disney bucket list is really common. You can promise yourself that no matter what, you will find way to dine there someday. Maybe you will travel with more adventurous diners, or maybe you will eat alone one day, but it will happen.
For so many people the initial draw to Le Cellier is the Cheddar Cheese Soup. If you cannot see spending the money on the full meal, or you can’t convince other people in your traveling party to sit down for a meal in Canada, you do have another option.
Although it is not written in stone, it has become the norm for Canada to feature the Cheddar Cheese Soup at the Food and Wine Festival which runs from September to November. You can get your hands on a cup of the soup and see what all the fuss is about. However, don’t judge the restaurant and the quality of the soup on what you are able to try during the Food and Wine Festival.
Dining at Le Cellier is highly recommended. There are very few places in Disney World that can beat the experience you will have if you choose to dine at Le Cellier. You will leave feeling like you had a genuine Canadian experience that you would not be able to get unless you ventured north of the border. This dining experience will make it feel like you had a vacation within a vacation, and it is likely that you will be hooked on Le Cellier, and try to go back almost every time you make it to Disney World.
Make sure you are on top of securing dining reservations, and remember to be persistent! It is definitely worth the effort.
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