We always like to have a special dinner the day (or night) we arrive in Disney World, even if we’re completely exhausted. Sometimes, we can barely drag ourselves through Disney Springs to whatever restaurant we’ve made reservations at. Other times, we’re full of energy and ready to kick things off.

During our last trip, we knew we were on too tight a schedule to squeeze in much resort hopping, so instead of heading to Disney Springs for our inaugural dinner, we went to the Contemporary. We’d just watched a positive Steakhouse 71 dinner review and wanted to try it out.

Spoiler: We’re hoping to go back on our big family trip in a few weeks. ๐Ÿ™Œ

But while it was overall an A+ experience, not everything was perfect at this fan-favorite Contemporary resort dining spot.

Here’s our honest, first-person review of this (mostly stellar) Disney resort dining experience.

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Steakhouse 71 Dinner Review Pros

There are a lot of great things to say about Steakhouse 71. Let’s start off with the basics:

Itโ€™s Easy To Get To

Park in the Contemporary’s lot โ€” you won’t have a problem getting in if you have a Disney resort dining reservation โ€” and head into the hotel.

The restaurant is right on the first floor, past the cast member desk on your left.

It’s Great-Looking

Steakhouse 71 has elevated, grownup-pleasing aesthetics that still feature plenty of Disney nods. You feel like you’re in Disney World, for sure, maybe even at a restaurant that Walt would’ve chosen to entertain his pals.

Walking past large-scale photos of Disney parks and Mr. Disney himself as you head into the restaurant creates an unmistakable Walt-like atmosphere, too.

The Service is Top-Notch

For the most part, Disney cast members are wonderful at their job, providing over-and-above service you rarely find anywhere else. Once in a while, though, you stumble across an unlovely cast member who can dampen the mood.

Our Contemporary resort dining experience was most definitely the former. Our server was kind, helpful, bright, cheerful โ€” everything you want on your Disney Vacation day 1.

She even took time to ask me which sauce was my favorite from the sampler I ordered (more on that in a minute). All this while she was running around to different tables โ€” the restaurant was packed that night.

Dinner Was Delicious

Since Steakhouse 71 is, obviously, a steakhouse, we both stuck with what the restaurant does best and ordered steaks.

Mike ordered the 6-oz filet mignon with sides of macaroni and cheese and creamed spinach.

Filet mignon dinner at Steakhouse 71.

I ordered the 8-oz beef tenderloin medallions with au gratin potatoes.

Steakhouse 71 dinner review of steak dinner.

I also ordered the sauce flight, which had a small sampling of each sauce they offer. There was more than enough to try each one and then stick with your favorites. I highly recommend that you get this!

Steakhouse 71 sauce flight.

Everything was excellent, and Steakhouse 71 was one of the best meals we’ve had at Disney World.

Steakhouse 71 Dinner Review Cons

Even the “worst” parts of our Contemporary resort dining experience at Steakhouse 71 weren’t all that bad.

There Was a Long Wait for the Table

Even though we had made reservations and were there on time, we waited a while for our table.

Wondering what happens if you’re late to a Disney resort dining reservation? Check out this article.

First, we waited in line with a bunch of other people, and it wasn’t clear if that’s where we should be, considering we had a reservation.

Then, when we got to the host stand, they asked us to sit in the waiting area until we were called. ๐Ÿ˜

It pays to mention that the seating area was spacious and comfortable, with plenty of chairs and couches.

The Apps and Drinks Were So-So

We started with the onion rings that came with a spicy Ranch dipping sauce.

Steakhouse 71 dinner review of the onion rings appetizer.

They were fine โ€” nothing special, and they didn’t have much flavor.

For drinks, Mike had the non-alcoholic Sunshine Punch made with orange sherbet, Sprite and house-made grenadine.

It wasn’t great โ€” it didn’t have that good a flavor, at least not until the sherbet melted a bit and could be mixed in. Then it just became kind of thick and icky to drink.

I ordered the Last Concourse cocktail made with gin, lemon juice, raspberry and sage. It was pretty good, not my favorite, but that has more to do with personal preference than the drink not being yummy. (I should’ve stayed away from a cocktail with sage as an ingredient.)

Beverages as part of the Steakhouse 71 dinner review.

Wrapping Up Our Steakhouse 71 Dinner Review

All in all, our dinner at Steakhouse 71 was a wildly successful Contemporary resort dining experience. ๐ŸŽ‰

The setting was cool, the service was phenomenal and almost everything we ordered was so good that we’re still reminiscing about it.

If we go back, we may opt to skip an appetizer or start with a salad, and we’ll pick cocktails that are more aligned with our tastes.

But that steak sauce flight is 100% on our must-have list.

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