Fulton's Crab House
Walt Disney World Dining Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 09-22-2011
Dining at Walt Disney World is always a treat, with plenty of choices; far too many for any one vacation, no matter how long it is!
I don’t know about you, but we always have a huge list of places we want to try, along with restaurants we want to go back to again, every time we visit. Narrowing that list down is pretty tough, and sadly, some restaurants get put to the back of the pile time and time again.
Downtown Disney - Fulton's Crab House
The entrance to of Fulton's Crab House.
The last time we dined at Fulton's Crab House was, unbelievably, on our May 2004 trip. Seven years later, and with six trips under our belts in the meantime, it really was time to make a return trip there. Having carefully surveyed both the dinner menu, and our budget, I really couldn’t bring myself to head there for an evening meal. Entree prices start at around the $20 mark. Even under the “classics” section of the menu, seafood and fish specialities can top $35-$40, but the real sticker shock comes on the next page. That’s home to their lobster and crab specialties, where you’ll find all varieties of crab, including Alaskan king crab claws that will set you back almost $60. While Fulton's does not participate in the Disney Dining Plan, the menu prices are on a par with Disney's Signature Dining establishments.
I turned to the lunch menu, to see if it better met our budget, and it did! The appetizers aren’t too radically different from dinnertime, either in terms of price or what’s on offer. It’s when you get to the entree part of the menu that you can really see the difference! The most expensive entree at lunchtime is under $20, while later in the day the prices start from around that mark.
The lunchtime menu offers lighter choices, with those starters familiar from the dinner menu, soups, entree salads, a short list of lunch-appropriate specialities, and a range of sandwiches. Whether you come here hungry, or fancy more of a light bite, you’ll find something to suit your mood. While we were still studying the menu, trying to decide what to get, the bread service arrived. This really was a dream! While the crackers were nothing special, the crab boursin that went with them most certainly was. It was deliciously light and was obviously popular with diners, as we asked if they had the recipe and were brought pre-printed cards with all the details.
As befits the name of this establishment, we went for more crab for our appetizer, choosing to share the Fulton’s crab salad. It only comes in an entree portion, but split between the two of us, it was a perfect size. Interestingly, in a very different move to what we’ve experienced in the past at the Hollywood Brown Derby, our server didn’t mix it for us, but rather left us to do the honours ourselves.
Other options to start your meal include blue crab cakes, Key West conch fritters, fresh oysters, and the seafood tower for two people, which did sound amazing, if only we’d had the appetite for it!
When it comes to your main course, not everything on the menu is fish-related, which was good news for my meat-loving husband! He went for the baby back ribs, which he enjoyed, although they were apparently a bit spicy, something the menu neglected to mention. Other meat options include a sirloin burger, classic Caesar salad with chicken, or grilled chicken ciabatta.
The bulk of the entree menu is dedicated to sandwiches, and I sampled the blue crab club sandwich. If you’re sensing a theme here, you’d be right, and there was an ulterior motive to this choice, as it came with that beautiful crab boursin! I really couldn’t fault the portion size, as the thing was huge, and was excellent value for money, which was a really pleasant surprise. If sandwiches aren’t to your taste, then the fried seafood combination, fresh fish selection, fish and chips, fish tacos, or the chilled seafood trio may be more to your liking.
Downtown Disney - Fulton's Crab House
Fulton's Crab House with the Characters in Flight balloon behind.
As for desserts, by the time we got that far, we were far too full to even contemplate trying any, which says something for the portion sizes here.
So what was the ambience like? Well, it’s certainly one of the most beautiful settings anywhere on Disney property. The second you climb aboard, you find yourself on a lovely old riverboat, complete with dark wood panelling everywhere you look, which gives it a very exclusive feel.The dining area is bright and airy, although the dark wood feel continues, with boards decorated with three-dimensional replicas of the many fish that may be served up for you. That may be an issue for some people, but I was fascinated by them. Although I know a great deal about fish, I was still able to find many names that I’d never come across before.
Wherever you sit here, you’re going to have a good view, either of Downtown Disney or the lake outside. We were seated by a window looking across to the Rainforest Cafe and Cap’n Jack’s Marina, so we were able to enjoy the sight of boats crossing to and fro outside.
The whole restaurant has a wonderfully exclusive feel to it, but certainly at lunchtime, it at least doesn’t have the prices to match. If you want something that’s perhaps a bit of a cut above the rest, Fulton’s Crab House is a great choice. We also found our lunch to be superb value, much better than we remembered from our previous visit seven years earlier. Based on our latest experience, I’m guessing we won’t wait another seven years before returning here.
Updated 09-22-2011 - Article #730
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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