In March of 2020, Disney World opened up a new counter service restaurant in the American Adventure pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase called the Regal Eagle Smokehouse. As you might guess from the name, the restaurant focuses on barbeque. What you may not guess is that Regal Eagle Smokehouse is “hosted” by Sam The Eagle from the Muppets. Here in our Regal Eagle Smokehouse review, we’ll tell you about our experience dining here, complete with our thoughts on the food, décor, and pictures of it all.
If you’re dining on the Disney Dining Plan, the counter service credit it takes to eat here has the potential to be a good but not great value. You’ll find a couple of items on the Regal Eagle Smokehouse menu that can maximize your credit. However, if you aren’t ordering one of those items, the value here is less compelling. Make sure you review the menu and see what suits you. It may make sense for you to pay out of pocket here.
The Regal Eagle Smokehouse does not accept Tables in Wonderland.
Mobile ordering is available here and can be a great time saver that helps shorten the amount of time that you wait for your food.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse Features Some Fun Nods to the Muppets
Before you ever enter the Regal Eagle Smokehouse, you will likely notice the large smoker that sits out in front of it. It’s a nice touch to set the stage for your meal, but we’re not sure if it is a real working smoker. There isn’t anyone tending to it, and I have a hard time believing that Disney would leave this hot pit out where some drunk festival goer might hop the wall and try to touch it. It would hardly be the first touch of theming that was not a real operating piece of equipment. We won’t hold that against Sam the Eagle. Speaking of…
You will find Muppet related theming in the restaurant. I particularly enjoyed this picture of Gonzo getting ready to launch himself out of a canon. It’s well worth wandering the restaurant just to look for the smaller Muppet touches. I appreciate the fact that I didn’t find the Muppet related décor over the top. The subtle nature of it around the restaurant was excellent and allowed us to enjoy it without feeling beat over the head by it.
It was a little odd walking by some of the old décor of the Liberty Inn restaurant that Regal Eagle replaced, but it worked together reasonably well. I’m also not as concerned with the theming at counter service restaurants at Disney World, so I give it a pass.
Let’s get to the food portion of our Regal Eagle Smokehouse review!
Our Food Experience at Regal Eagle Smokehouse was Largely Positive, With One Big Disappointment
Since it is a new restaurant, we ordered some extra food to go a little deeper into this portion of our Regal Eagle Smokehouse review. We’ll still organize it similar to our other Disney World Restaurant reviews, but hopefully, it helps to have a few extra items from the menu.
One thing we did want to point out that won’t show up in our food review below is the drink situation. Regal Eagle Smokehouse is one of the rare counter service restaurants in Epcot that has a soda fountain where guests can fill their cup. This allows you to get refills of your drink, which is a big plus for people that want to drink more than a single cup with their meal.
The kids’ menu at Flame Tree Barbecue features four items currently. They are a barbecue chicken leg, chicken salad, barbeque rib, and a cheeseburger. We didn’t order it, but we assume the kid’s cheeseburger is the typical hockey puck hamburger patty.
As best I tried, I couldn’t convince the girls to order different items. They both wanted to order the barbecue chicken leg. I should have known this would happen after our experience at Flame Tree Barbecue, which is one of our favorite barbecue places in all of Disney World.
I’ve included pictures of both chicken legs here because the girls ordered different sides. The picture at the top of this kid’s entrées section is the kid’s chicken leg that Elsa ordered. The chicken leg comes with a choice of two sides. In her case, Elsa went with the fresh watermelon and pickles. She loved the chicken leg and devoured it quickly. However, the pickles were a little too out of the norm for her since they aren’t a classic dill pickle flavor. Fortunately, the watermelon was fresh and didn’t make it out of the restaurant alive.
The next chicken leg that you see here is what Anna ordered. For her sides, she selected the beans and mac & cheese. I think Carla and I were stunned when she decided not to order fruit. Like her older sister, Anna loved the chicken leg. When it came to the sides, the beans were a big hit. I won’t say there was anything overly unique, but they were well executed with excellent flavor. Sadly, Anna did not like the mac & cheese. Once again, she demonstrated her consistent dislike of any mac & cheese with a breadcrumb-like topping.
For our adult entrées at Regal Eagle Smokehouse, Carla ordered the North Carolina Chopped Smoked Pork Butt Platter. With the meat, you are allowed one choice of side, and you get a piece of garlic toast. In Carla’s case, she ordered the beans as her side and was beyond excited that she could order gluten free garlic toast. The Pork Butt Platter was the best entrée that we ordered. Don’t let the look of the meat dissuade you from ordering this dish. The meat is tender and has an excellent flavor that is partially derived from the sauce on it. We could pick up the smokiness of the meat as we ate, too. We think you will love this entrée.
Carla loved the beans. They have a great barbecue flavor, and the amount they give you is significant.
In addition to the beans that came as her side, we ordered a side of the pickles. The pickles are very interesting. We both enjoyed them, but they aren’t traditional pickles. Carla aptly described them as more of a cucumber salad with a slightly vinegary taste that we enjoyed.
When I looked at the menu, I knew what two entrées I wanted to order. The first item I ordered was the Kansas City Smoked Half-Chicken. I loved this chicken. I found the meat juicy, and the smokey flavors were excellent. The sauce that tops the chicken has a great barbecue flavor that I loved.
For my side, I ordered the mac & cheese. While Anna didn’t like hers, I thought it was excellent. I found the mac & cheese creamy and had a great cheesy flavor. The breading on it added some great texture. I’m not usually a huge garlic bread fan but have to say this bread was excellent. I appreciated that the garlic flavor wasn’t overpowering. Instead, I found it subdued and understated.
For my second entrée, I went with the Memphis Dry-rub Pork Ribs. Ribs can be a polarizing thing amongst people, with many regional preferences dominating their views. I’m a fan of all styles of ribs, so wet or dry, bring me the meat! As much as I was excited to try the ribs, I was equally disappointed when I bit into them. I found the meat dry, a bit tough, and the flavor off. It didn’t feel like I was eating a good Memphis rib, rather it reminded me of something I would find on a McRib sandwich. I know there are fans of the McRib out there, but I am not one of them. We’ve seen other reviews of the ribs at Regal Eagle Smokehouse and they are all over the place. Maybe they are working on producing a more consistent product or working out the opening kinks.
The one thing I loved with my ribs were the fries. They were cooked perfectly, with a nice crispy exterior that gives way to a chewy potato center. The fries have a great seasoning on them that I really enjoyed.
For dessert, we ordered the Banana Pudding. Carla and I didn’t have much foresight, but the cast member that gave us the Banana Pudding knew Anna and Elsa would fight over it, so he shared a little magic by giving us a second one. It helped keep the peace at our table.
I, along with the girls, really like the pudding. It has multiple layers, featuring wafers, pudding, whipped cream, and a caramel drizzle. While there are certainly more complex and overall better desserts at Disney World, we have to say this was something that we could order every day. Sometimes simple and tasty is precisely what you need, and this fits the bill.
Regal Eagle Smokehouse Review Overall Impressions
Outside of one very disappointing set of ribs, we are big fans of Regal Eagle Smokehouse. It’s great to see the Muppets incorporated into a restaurant, which extends their presence in the parks. While we do wish the theming felt a little less like the old Liberty Inn, it isn’t the end of the world for us.
The food is delicious too. In terms of the overall Disney World barbecue scene, I still think I prefer Flame Tree Barbecue over in Animal Kingdom, but it’s very close. The ribs are the big differentiator to me here. However, Carla says she prefers Regal Eagle Smokehouse. I will say, the sides at Regal Eagle Smokehouse are clearly superior to what we found at Flame Tree, but I just can’t get past the rib problem. We’ll have to come back and sample them (and some of the other dishes) again to see if it was a one-time anomaly.
All that said, if you are looking for barbecue while you are at Epcot, you should stop by the Regal Eagle Smokehouse. We think it will be worth your time.
Wrapping Up Our Regal Eagle Smokehouse Review
We hope you found our Regal Eagle Smokehouse review helpful. This new restaurant is an excellent addition to the food lineup at Epcot.
If you’re looking for more dining options, make sure you check out our main Disney World restaurant reviews page. You’ll find links to every restaurant we have reviewed there.
If our Regal Eagle Smokehouse review was helpful or at least entertaining, please like and share this with your friends or anyone you think will find it useful. Just use the sharing buttons on the page. We always appreciate it when you share our posts, as it allows us to spread the word about our blog and hopefully will enable us to help others.