On my last trip my friend and I found ourselves hungry for a real meal rather than little tastes around World Showcase during the Food & Wine Festival. We didn’t have a reservation anywhere, so what were we to do? Perhaps we could have snagged one in Epcot, but it was very busy with the festival, and we wanted a break from the crowds. We decided to try our luck at one of the Epcot area resorts instead of staying in the park and trying to figure out our best option there. We came up with a game plan: see what the wait was like at Beaches & Cream, and if that was crazy we’d head to that one restaurant at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort where no one ever goes. Well, Beaches & Cream had over an hour wait, so we headed to the Yacht Club instead. It turns out that place no one ever dines at is called the Captain’s Grille, and it just might be a great hidden gem among Disney World’s table service dining.
As I mentioned, this restaurant is located at the Yacht Club, which is an easy walk from Epcot’s International Gateway. I really like to take the occasional break from the theme park madness and take a stroll around this area, and finding a great place to eat just makes it all the better. If you aren’t up for the walk, you can instead take the Friendship Boat from the International Gateway to the Yacht and Beach Club stop near the lighthouse. The boat ride is often slow, but it can be very relaxing. Since the Captain’s Grille is in the Yacht Club, you can imagine what it might look like. The resort’s nautical theme continues into the eatery, where you might feel as though you’re dining in one of New England’s sailing clubs. The restaurant is tucked just off the lobby, so you can enjoy the atmosphere while you wait to be seated.
You shouldn’t have to wait long, though! We arrived and asked how long the wait would be for two, and the cast member told us it would be under five minutes! She handed us a pager, and we found some comfy seats in the lobby where we hung out until it was our turn. It wound up being a little longer than predicted, but it still wasn’t bad for a walk up seating at all. Soon enough we were brought inside and sat down for a lovely meal.
Our server was prompt, friendly, and very knowledgeable about the menu. It seemed like he explained every single dish to us, so that might have been a bit of overkill, but he was very nice. I was glad he explained their prix fixe dinner menu because it wound up being a pretty darn good deal (especially for Disney dining). For a $27.99 we were able to select an appetizer, entree, and dessert. There are plenty of places on property where you can’t get an entree for $27.99! You are not able to pick from the entire menu for this option, but there were three choices for appetizers, about four entrees, and three desserts. Best of all, you can get all of this for one table service credit if you are using the Disney Dining Plan.
We weren’t sure we wanted to eat that much, but after thinking about it we decided it was too good of a deal to pass up. We both opted for a crab cake appetizer and both enjoyed it quite a bit. My dining companion doesn’t even like fish very much but thought he’d give it a try since it was all part of the package. He wound up really liking the dish! Crab is among my favorite things to eat, so I was excited to try it, and I wasn’t disappointed. There was lots of crab and very little filler, and the corn salad it was served with was also quite good. I had a tough time picking between a few of the entrees, but in the end we both ended up selecting the pork medallions. It was basically roasted pork loin served with a bit of pork belly that had been slowly cooked until super tender, along with carrots and other root veggies. I wasn’t completely sold on the dish when I ordered it, but it turned out to really tasty. It was hearty without weighing me down and just yummy. I also really liked that the restaurant seemed to be keeping its menu in season with this autumn inspired entree. For dessert I opted for homemade gelato, which was good but nothing to write home about. My friend got the bananas foster cheesecake and liked it a lot.
I couldn’t believe we got all that for that price (less our Tables in Wonderland discount)! I wasn’t sure what to expect from our dinner here, but I was really glad we gave the Captain’s Grille a try. We wound up having a great meal with a minimal wait for a good value. I’m not sure why it is off so many people’s radar, but it never seems to be somewhere anyone talks about. I will definitely keep this one in mind for the next time my friends and I are looking for a last minute dining option. I’d definitely return there for dinner if I were using the Disney Dining Plan. as well.
Have you dined at the Captain’s Grille? What did you like it as much as I did? Let me hear about your experiences in the comments!