Due to Hurricane Dorian this September, Amy and I found ourselves with some extra days at Walt Disney World and decided to find a few new places to eat. While walking out of Animal Kingdom one day, we decided towards Disney Springs. Since it was too early for the busses to get us there, we got in line for the Saratoga Springs bus so we could use the path to walk over. While waiting, we noticed an Old Key West bus and made the last-minute decision to hop on it and explore one of the few resorts we had yet to see. It turned out to be a great decision because it led us to Olivia’s Cafe.
Reservations at Olivia’s are pretty easy to come by as I have to admit that we have made them on several occasions and ended up canceling. These reservations were on days that we have had an Old Key West DVC room reservation. What usually ends up happening is that we end up moving our room reservation to another resort that becomes available, and subsequently, cancel our Olivia’s reservation as well. Even though we didn’t have a reservation, the restaurant was surprisingly empty, and they sat us immediately.
It’s hard to really rate the service at Olivia’s Cafe because while it was very nice, we were also one of only two parties eating in the entire restaurant. Still, our server, Joe, was kind, helpful, and attentive. I believe that regardless of how busy the restaurant is, his positive attitude and commitment towards customer service would shine through the meal. There is nothing negative I could possibly say here.
Disney’s website touts the food at Olivia’s Cafe as “a taste of the Florida Keys.” The menu has a mix of seafood dishes, southern dishes, and standard fare like a burger with an island flair. We found the menu to have a variety of things we could easily have ordered for ourselves, and it was hard to pick just one entree.
While we had both heard so many good things about the Southernmost Buttermilk Chicken, we were drawn to order other dishes based on the time of day and how hungry we were. Here are the items we ordered and how we felt about each of them.
- Tomato Mozzarella Salad: This was my appetizer, and we were both very impressed with it. The flavors of the tomatoes, citrus, mozzarella, greens, and balsamic went surprisingly well together. The ingredients were fresh and made this the perfect dish to start a meal on a warm summer afternoon. We both agreed we would be ordering it again on a return visit.
- Conch Chowder: Amy ordered this appetizer and thought it tasted more like a tomato-based vegetable soup. She also admitted she should have read the menu better because she was expecting a creamy chowder, and it was instead a Manhattan-style which the menu did state. Regardless, Amy had said she would order the salad I had next time because it was a lot better.
- Fish BLT: This came out hot, fresh, and very flavorful. The blackened seasoning was not overpowering as it sometimes can be on a grilled or broiled fish. The menu didn’t state what type of fish used, but it appeared to be a nice mild whitefish. The bacon was also a great addition with the perfect crispness to balance the sandwich. This entree is served with homemade chips, and all I can say is that I could have eaten a giant plate of these because I loved them. They were not greasy and had a great flavor. Throw any plate of homemade chips in front of me, and I turn into a pretty happy fellow! Overall, I did not feel like I had eaten heavy after this sandwich and would definitely order it again.
- Shrimp Po Boy: Amy said this was a fantastic sandwich. The shrimp was lightly breaded, and the tomato salsa with roasted pepper remoulade gave it a nice zesty flavor but wasn’t too spicy. She also noted she loves when a seafood dish is accompanied by fries that are seasoned with Old Bay, as the ones with her Po Boy were. It adds greatly to the overall flavor profile and theme of the dish. Amy said she doesn’t see how she could come back and not order this dish again.
- Coleslaw: I ordered this as an extra side dish and thought it was delicious. While neither of us are huge vinegar-based coleslaw fans, we quickly found ourselves fighting over this small side. The onion flavor was great, a little sweet, and not at all overpowering. It was a refreshing side for a heavier sandwich like Amy’s Po Boy. Amy eventually added the rest of it to the top of her sandwich and said it made it even better.
The style and decor of Olivia’s Cafe matches perfectly with the overall Florida Keys theme of the resort. We enjoyed the nautical island theming, the bright and cheery atmosphere, and the unique ceiling fans. Unlike our loud and bustling experience at Chef Mickey’s earlier that week, the feeling at Olivia’s was quiet, calm, and relaxing. It is definitely a great place to go if you’re looking for a more laid-back dining experience.
Overall, I can confidently say that we can not wait to eat at Olivia’s again. This place truly is a hidden gem with excellent food and an atmosphere to match. After using our DVC discount, we paid $60.67 (before tip) for appetizers, entrees, and an iced tea. We found this to be extremely reasonable for two people at a Disney table service restaurant. Old Key West is currently one of only three Walt Disney World DVC Resorts we have not stayed at. After exploring Old Key West and dining at Olivia’s, the next Old Key West room reservation we make, we’re keeping!
Share your Olivia’s Cafe experience with us in the comments below and what dishes you love on the menu. Also, be sure to head over to the DISUnplugged YouTube Channel to watch Pete and Craig’s recent brunch experience at Olivia’s!