Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill review
When you’re planning a Disney World vacation, you consider and plan everything so that you can have a great and magical time, right? Well, dining is a huge part of the experience, so don’t save planning plans and reservations for the last minute.
That will end up with everyone disappointed and hungry for good food. To help you out, here’s a look at a newer restaurant at Disney Springs: Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill.
Wolfgang Puck is an Austrian chef who moved to America in his twenties. He has dozens of restaurants scattered around the world, has appeared on a lot of cooking shows, and is very well known. He has had a presence at Disney Springs (formally Downtown Disney) for years, but the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is a new establishment.
Before the full remodeling of Downtown Disney to Disney Springs, the area had a staple restaurant, the Wolfgang Puck Cafe, where you could do casual dining downstairs, or head upstairs to The Dining Room, where there was a more formal style of dining.
After being open for twenty years, the restaurant closed its doors in 2017. Looking back now, while the food was always good, the design quickly grew old, and it really needed a remodel. Instead, Disney got rid of that restaurant, and designed a whole new dining experience built during the transition to Disney Springs.
The new restaurant is located in Disney Springs’ Town Center (you can look at a map here). Surrounding the restaurant are shops nearby, Chicken Guy! across the way next to Planet Hollywood, and the Coca-Cola store and rooftop bar next door.
It’s also very close to the AMC Theater and an open area. Nearby is the bus transportation, which makes it easy for guests just coming to eat to navigate the area. No need to walk all the way across Disney Springs to get to where you are eating dinner. During my visit, the restaurant was only moderately full, but my party had an earlier dinner. I assume that it gets busier the later it gets.
Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill review
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill definitely has a different, more modern look than the old restaurant. The design is said to be inspired by traditional farmhouses, and that can be seen through the high ceilings, large and open space, and the exposed beams that are a great focus detail. The high ceilings also let them add in extra windows, bringing in even more natural light.
Along with that, the restaurant still maintains a sophisticated feeling, with deep red booths, an open kitchen, and beautiful modern lighting (There’s an amazing chandelier in one area!). A lot of the barriers inside the restaurant features plenty of windows, and look a lot like barn doors. This further extends the theme and separates the different areas, while the windows maintain the open feeling.
There is outdoor seating, but the furniture isn’t as nice as what you see inside. I’m a person who usually prefers sitting inside, so if this was the only available option on my next visit, I might decide to eat somewhere else. Though to note, this is kind of a personal decision, and says nothing about their service. The front of the restaurant is sleek, with huge glass windows and a simple red sign reading its name.
Inside, the big windows offer a lot of appreciated light, and let you people watch if you want (a little dining entertainment?). Because the area outside the restaurant is a little bit more spacious than the pathways through the shops nearby, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill feels separate from the chaos of the rest of Disney Springs.
The location is a big plus for the restaurant, as it’s very well-situated on the new map. Of course, when it’s super busy at Disney Springs, there will be crowds everywhere, but in this corner, there’s a bit more room to breathe. When announcements came out talking about Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill before it opened, they said that Puck aimed to bring the Californian dining experience here, and I’d say that at least atmosphere-wise, he succeeded.
The Dress Code: Guests and Servers
I really liked the servers outfits. With a simple button-up shirt and black pants, it feels just formal enough. The restaurant gives off a casual and homey vibe that fits with their farm to table aesthetic. The servers feel friendly and approachable, not stiff and over-dressed at other fine dining restaurants.
Disney is very good at dressing their staff to fit with the mood of their restaurants, so their success here comes as no surprise. Also, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill has the connecting gelato bar, so the outfits need to fit in both environments.
For people dining, the dress code is pretty much the same as at Disney signature dining restaurants. They don’t ask much, only that you wear something nicer than what you might wear to the parks. No hats, torn clothing, swimwear, or anything with a graphic or offensive design on it. Seems simple enough to follow.
If you are coming here straight from the parks, you have to bring something to change into. The dress code is strictly enforced, and I generally think it’s disrespectful if you decide not to abide by those rules. If it’s an emergency, you can buy a pair of nice pants or other clothing at many of the shops at Disney Springs. No excuses here!
Hours and if you Should Book Ahead
The Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is only open for lunch and dinner, staying open late, around 11:00 p.m. Since it is considered fine dining, reservations are strongly encouraged. If you know that this is a place you want to dine at during your stay at Walt Disney World, then it never hurts to have a reservation, especially for dinner.
But if you come for lunch at off times, either before noon or closer to 4:00 pm, you could possibly just walk in and get seated right away, though this is also more likely to happen with a smaller party.
The restaurant is not open for breakfast, which can be a negative for a lot of people who want some good food in the mornings before they go off to the parks or somewhere else for the day. But this is usually to be expected at fine dining restaurants, so it wasn’t a surprise.
Disney Springs is surprising limited in terms of breakfast offerings, with most people stopping at Earl of Sandwich for a breakfast sandwich. There are only a handful of other options there. My family and I usually try to have our breakfast at our resort before we go out for the day, but that can be difficult for people not staying on property.
For reservations, you can book them online, where you can see all the restaurants that offer advance booking, or in the My Disney Experience app. Also, if you prefer, you can call them to book at (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463.
Delicious Designer Drinks
Disney Springs is a great place to explore the nightlife, and a lot of the restaurants have great drink menus. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is no exception. But fair warning, the prices can be steep. You can get a few beers and glasses of wine for under $10, but other than that, expect to pay at least two digits for your drink, though this is subject to change.
A favorite drink of mine is the Xiang Li, with Absolut pears vodka alongside ginger and lime. They do offer a few “Mocktails,” but the pricing isn’t even that different from the alcoholic options, so if someone’s not drinking, I’d stick to the regular options like water and soda.
Other great options of cocktails are the Barrel Aged Negroni, which has gin, campari, aperol, and vermouth, as you’d expect, and the Warm & Fuzzy, with Old Forester bourbon, Marie Brizard peach, and lemon. If you really need to, I’m sure you can request any other drink from the bar, but I always love to try to unique ones on the menu, and maybe discover something I didn’t know I liked.
Of course, not everyone in your party may be of drinking age. But the drinks here were so good, that it might be a good thing to remember for future visits, depending on who you are traveling with. The menu also offers “Signature Drinks” which are pretty much gelato shakes with espresso and other topics in them. I didn’t have the chance to try either of these, but from what I saw at other tables, it’s definitely on my list for when I come back!
Now What You Came For: The Food
The best part of Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is the most important, and it’s how good the food is. The menu is packed with delicious items, and I suggest getting multiple things and sharing with your whole party.
If you don’t finish your meal and are staying somewhere with a microwave, I highly recommend bringing home the leftovers. It’s just as good the second time around! The portions for some items can be somewhat small, as it the tendency with food at nicer restaurants, but I thought that it was pretty reasonable here.
The menu is a little limited, though that seems to be a common trait for fancier restaurants. Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill has a focus on more traditional dishes, like Spaghetti and Meatballs. But when it’s this good, it doesn’t matter how simple the plate is, only how it is executed. Though this still might be something to think about when booking a reservation. If you are looking for a restaurant with really unique food that you can’t eat anywhere else, this isn’t it.
The best food items on the current menu (subject to change):
Truffled Potato Chips – Really unique item, and definitely worth trying.
Tempura Calamari – The best appetizer available (in my opinion).
Spaghetti & Meatballs – Can’t go wrong with a classic!
WP Burger – With white cheddar cheese, red onion marmalade, and garlic aioli on a brioche bun, this is what I’d call a “Deluxe” burger, and it is delicious!
8-Oz Filet Mignon– If you are aiming to go all out, this is the dish I recommend, and it’s cooked in a wood burning grill.
Prosciutto Pizza – If you are seated near the open pizza oven, you can watch them make this fantastic pizza for you!
The servers were consistently helpful and answered all of our questions about the menu and anything else, and they gave great recommendations. Another item I think you should consider getting is the Roasted Meatballs from the sharing portion of the menu. Meatballs are one of my favorite foods, and I can definitively say that these are some of the best meatballs I’ve ever tasted!
Dining with Special Dietary Restrictions
Can people with dairy and gluten restrictions have a good meal here? Yes. I personally did not order anything in that category, but the server confirmed that they have options for these guests, with the same quality of care and taste as the rest of their menu. And if you are vegan or vegetarian?
Well, with such a strong focus on farm to table, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill makes great use of vegetables on their menu. They seemed very accommodating, so I’m sure they’d alter certain food items as well if you needed adjustments for whatever reason.
Desserts to Die For
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill has an abundance of dessert options, a highlight of the restaurant. Like with the main menu, they have some classic staples available, like Key Lime Pie and Carrot Cake. Just so you are aware, the menu is subject to change at any time. Our party tried the Crème Brûlée, which was fantastic, but you should definitely hit up the gelato bar.
The menu offers gelato or sorbet tasting options, with three scoops, or you can get a cup or cone of one flavor. Some flavors you might find there are Dark Cherry Chocolate Chunk, Pistachio Italiano, and Tiramisu, along with a bunch of other great options. Along with that, there are so many toppings! Some of my favorites are Nutella, Fresh Strawberry and Local Raspberries. Yummy!
There is also a grab and go section of desserts, featuring things like a Funfetti cupcake, tropical mix popcorn, and brownie bites. These are all lower priced options, and are great if you want to taste some of their offerings but are already wiped out and full from the rest of the meal. Bring it home for a midnight snack!
Possible Downsides to the Restaurant
One thing I tend to dislike about most fine dining restaurants is that the menu is so limited. I understand why it is this way, but I still wish there were more options. With such great food, I’d love to have more things to try! Ultimately, this is a trend that probably won’t change any time soon, but I had to mention it.
The kids’ menu also doesn’t have too many options, which usually isn’t a problem. But there also isn’t any exciting options there. When I was a kid, I wanted to try everything, from oysters to octopus, so I really think they should at least offer one more unique food item for children dining there.
Another thing that I saw as a negative during my visit was the large televisions situated behind the bar. This is a feature of a lot of restaurants with a large bar, but it has the ability to change the mood of the restaurant at night, and be a distraction for what should otherwise be a personal dining experience with friends and family. When the restaurant is mostly full, this place can get pretty loud, so there doesn’t need to be anything else that adds to this.
Pricing Compared to Quality
Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is a higher end restaurant, so the pricing of food items can be high. I personally think it is worth it for the quality and experience, but this is a personal decision you have to make before booking your reservation.
Disney Springs also has Wolfgang Puck Express, which isn’t in the fine dining style, but it’s another option to get to taste some similar food items. Another plus of Wolfgang Puck Express is that it offers breakfast! This could be a great place to stop at if you are staying nearby, before heading to the parks for the day.
On the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill site it says that some dining plans are accepted, but there are no other details, so if that factors into your experience, I recommend calling to ask about it.
Dining for Large Groups: Is This a Good Option?
With any nice restaurant, I recommend booking ahead for a big party. Anything larger than four people really needs a reservation for here. When I dined here, my party was on the smaller side, so I can’t really attest to their ability to handle more people. But I think that there are great servers here and wonderful food, and they have to be well-practiced at accommodating larger groups of people.
The menu has a section just for plate sharing, which is a great thing to do with more people dining. I think a lot of the other menu options can be shared as well. If you are planning on eating here with a larger party and have any questions, just call ahead and I’m sure they can answer them for you!
So How Does it Stack Up to Other Disney World Restaurants?
Disney Springs has quickly become a hot spot for great dining. The Wolfgang Puck Cafe was always a staple, but with the new and reinvented restaurant, the Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill fits right in with the new restaurants like Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ and Wine Bar George. It might be one of the best places to eat at Disney World.
This depends a lot on what sort of food you are hoping to get. Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants are known for being themed around California cuisine, so there’s nothing too unique or exciting on the menu here. People come to this restaurant for the fine dining experience and quality food.
This restaurant is definitely a great date night spot. There are a lot of options on the menu that are great for sharing, particularly the pizza. Also, the restaurant offers a great selection of wines. I wouldn’t really recommend bringing little kids here, as it gets loud and busy, but that’s what you can expect from any Disney World restaurant.
If you are looking for something truly special and you don’t understand or feel the same draw to come here because of Wolfgang Puck, then there are plenty of other options at Walt Disney World. One example is Jiko – The Cooking Place, located at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
It’s a Fine/Signature Dining restaurant, with African Cuisine, and the food is amazing! With the amazing tastes and spices, and the animals just outside, this is a very special experience. Disney offers plenty of dining experiences like this. In comparison, Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill is very enjoyable, with great food, but it’s different. So it all depends on what you are looking to get out of it.
While this is simply my personal review of the new restaurant, I encourage you to also look at the experiences of other guests or bloggers, like Blog Mickey’s review shortly after it opened, as every experience can be different. The restaurant has proven to be popular and well-liked even so shortly after opening, so that is something to take into account.
I recommend Wolfgang Puck Bar and Grill as a warm and inviting restaurant to consider during your trip. Sometimes Wolfgang Puck himself comes to visit his restaurant, so maybe you’ll be lucky enough to meet him while you are here!
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