Walking into Raglan Road Irish Pub's rich, dark wooded interior was reminiscent of the pubs I had visited over in England. While Raglan Road is very large, it is not too noisy until the house band begins to play sometime during the 8 o'clock hour each evening. While this is a restaurant, you can feel free to sit at one of two large bars and enjoy your choice of beverages from soda to a Shandy, a mix of lemon-lime soda and Harp's beer, to a draft pint of Guinness beer. Likewise, you can enjoy your food and drink at booths, tables, standing tables and even a small stage table in the center of the Grand Room where an Irish dancer or two will perform with the band.
Along with the Grand Room, there's a gift shop, a spacious entrance area, the Raglan room and the Music room. It was the Music room where I found myself seated for my dinner during Mousefest 2006. The menu isn't what I would call authentic Irish food but I'll let the chef describe it. Irish chef Kevin Dundon is behind the superb cuisine, and calls the concept "fine dining standards in a casual context -- with Celtic creativity." You will find many standards which Kevin has given a fresh makeover to. Take my Keen Eye for the Sheperds Pie. This "pie" was served not in a bowl as I have often had. This Sheperds Pie stood alone on my plate in a perfect cylinder with each layer of mashed potato, beef & lamb meat, green beans and cheese fully visible. My wife had the more traditonal Beef Stew but had a nice hint of Guinness as one of it's ingredients and came served in a small kettle. The food and drink is served fast and hot even during the rush of the dinner hour. Our server and those around us where fun and knowledgeable of the meals described in the menus.
While the main course was very good. We were not prepared for the artistic masterpieces of the desserts. While my raspberry truffle is not listed on the menus below, Marie's Strawberry and Apple Crumble still is (see picture) and it was almost too good to look at than to eat them. However, they were both delicious. I advise you to leave room for dessert at Raglan Road or just stop in while you are at Downtown Disney for a treat. Unlike the other nightclubs at Pleasure Island, there is no cover charge to eat and enjoy the entertainment.
The atmosphere at Raglan Road is very pub-like. Friendly but not overbearing during the day and early evening but becoming fun and festive later in the evening as the entertainmnent begins. The band plays both traditional Irish music as well as more modern pieces. Every so often an Irish dancer or two may take to the small stage to perform the fast paced Celtic dancing made famous by shows such as Riverdance. People are encouraged to sing along and clap to the music while enjoying a full selection of Irish stouts, lagers, creamy ales and premium spirits.
Here's some history of the "real" Raglan Road which is located on the south side of Dublin. It was made famous by renowned Irish poet Patrick Kavanagh, in a love poem entitled, "The Dawning of the Day." In the 1960s, Irish folk singer Luke Kelly first put the poem to music. "Raglan Road" has become a seminal Irish song and has since been covered by such artists as U2, Sinead O'Connor and Van Morrison. As a tribute to Patrick Kavanagh, a specially commissioned bronze sculpture of the poet sits outside Raglan Road Irish Pub and Restaurant at Downtown Disney.
To find out when you can plan your Advance Reservation for the Raglan Road Irish Pub, go to the PS Report.
To discuss the Raglan Road Irish Pub or ask questions to Scottwdw about it, click here: Disney Echo's Raglan Road Discussion
Editor's Notes: The photo of the Irish dancer accompanying this article is courtesy of Tim Devine whose The Magic In Pixels is an excellent place to see and purchase beautiful Walt Disney World photography. Want to learn how to take photos like Tim? Join his onlne forum today and look for him at upcoming Mousefests and other large WDW gatherings.