DiningWalt Disney World (FL)

Review: Dinner at Ale & Compass Hits the Spot

Share This!

Ale & Compass is the mid-tier Table Service at Disney’s Yacht Club hotel, with faintly nautical decor and a faintly New England-inspired menu. Appetizers range from $10-20, entrees from $23-36, and desserts from $7-10. A full three-course meal will run you about $45-60, not including drinks and gratuities. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, your meal will be a single credit in 2024 and 2025.

As mentioned, the decor has a vaguely nautical theme, evoked by dark blue seating and dark woods at the table, framed against lighter walls with panel moldings. Disney says it’s “reminiscent of a cozy lighthouse”. That seems a stretch, but it’s hard to argue that there’s no seaside vibe here.

Ale & Compass is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with a different menu in each meal period. Reservations are accepted, and if you can you should book at the start of your 60-day reservation window. But if you can’t, don’t fret – reservations are usually available at the last minute, and most of the time you’ll find Ale & Compass accepting diners on the Walk-Up Waitlist.


Parker House Rolls and Spreads – $14.00
Bacon Jam, Pub Cheese, Citrus Butter

These light, fluffy rolls with the characteristic sweet flavor of brioche were yummy, although we think they could have done without the salt crystals on top. The rolls were plenty flavorful without them, and if you happened to touch one to your tongue you couldn’t taste anything else. The spreads were true to type: pub cheese that tasted exactly like pub cheese (if you know you know), and bacon jam that was a bit of sweetness but mostly bacon-flavored. We actually saved the extra bacon jam to add to a bacon burger that one of our party ordered. The citrus butter was my favorite of the three; hard to say whether it was lemon or orange, but it was tasty on the roll.

Roasted Garlic Shrimp – $15.00
with House-made Focaccia

A solid execution of garlic shrimp, with a bit more lemon than is typical, and the best part was that the sauce had a nice cling that kept it on the shrimp once the shrimp were on your fork. We used the bread – as intended – to soak up the extra sauce, and this is where any complaints need to go. Opinions at the table were divided, but the focaccia had a distinct rye note and some of us thought it was too strong to go with the lemon.


Chipotle-Barbecue Chicken Flatbread – $19.00
White Cheddar, Pickled Peppers, and Onions

The two flatbreads on the menu were definitely in that middle ground where you could eat one on your own for a meal or share it amongst a table for an appetizer. We tried the chipotle-chicken variety, and thought the sweet heat was very nice, with a bit of complexity from the pickled onions and the peppers. The crust was crispy and it definitely felt more like a pizza than a flatbread. But the chicken was in relatively large chunks that made it awkward to get a mixed bite. Those mouthfuls were more like “have a little flatbread with your chicken” than pizza with toppings.


Bacon and Vermont Cheddar Burger – $23.00
with Caramelized Onion on a Parker House Bun with Applewood-smoked Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato, and Herbed Mayonnaise

I am from Massachusetts, which is only next door to Vermont, but I think up in the Northeast when we order a cheeseburger we expect that cheese to be melted. As you can see in the picture, it was not – not even a little bit. The flavors were good, but unremarkable, and the failure of melty cheese was hard to get past. The burger could have been a bit juicier too, that would have helped.

‘Brick’ Lemon-Herb Half Chicken – $26.00
Duck Fat-roasted Fingerling Potatoes, Broccolini, Sautéed Wild Mushroom, and Pan Jus

The pan jus on this cannot be oversold. The chicken was nicely cooked and the skin had that classic brick-chicken crispness. The vegetables were all luscious and roasty and went well with the jus, as did the fingerlings. But the jus stole the show: rich with the flavor of chicken, satisfying with a hint of flavor from the duck fat, and brought together by the lemon into something transcendent. This was easily the best dish of the night.

New York Strip – $36.00
with Maître d’Hôtel Butter, Garlic Parmesan Fries, House-made Steak Sauce, and Watercress Salad

A quality steak, perfectly cooked to temperature with a good sear. This is no Applebee’s steak that will leave you wanting a bit more, somehow. The watercress salad was a nice couple of mouthfuls with a light dressing and some interest from the fennel, in a portion just barely big enough to say you ate your vegetables. The fries were nice and crisp outside, but didn’t quite make it to crunchy, with soft insides and a subtle garlic-parmesan flavor.

Pappardelle Pasta with Chicken – $28.00
with Spinach, Sautéed Mushrooms, Rebel Tomatoes, Roasted Garlic Cream, and Citrus Gremolata

The most impressive thing about this pasta dish was the sauce, which brought home the roasted garlic flavor but was much lighter than you might expect when you hear the words “cream sauce”. The touch of umami in the sauce went well with the veggies – cooked until soft but well shy of mushy – and the pappardelle. And the parmesan rounded out the flavor party with a necessary bit of tang.

Wrapping Up

We didn’t eat any desserts on this visit because we were blessed with amazingly slow service, but that’s an outlier that we’ve not seen in several other visits. Aside from the Brick Chicken, it’s hard to say there were any true standouts in this meal. But the menu was generally solid and the meal was pleasant. The appeal that brings us back will be mostly about the price point and the ease of getting a table; Ale & Compass doesn’t quite make the level of destination dining. But it shines as a convenient option that’s easy to score if you’re staying at one of the Crescent Lake resorts, and the food is good enough that you won’t regret not working harder for a reservation somewhere else.

Have you been to the Ale & Compass? What did you try that was tasty? Let us know in the comments!

You May Also Like...

Jennifer Heymont

Jennifer has a background in math and biology, so she ended up in Data Science where she gets to do both. She lives just north of Boston with her husband, kids, and assorted animal members of the family. Although it took three visits for the Disney bug to "take", she now really wishes she lived a lot closer to the Parks.

2 thoughts on “Review: Dinner at Ale & Compass Hits the Spot

  • on service: we had breakfast there Sunday and also had very slow service. Our server was attentive, but food was just very long in coming out. 9 am reservation, we checked in early, we ordered when the server first visited our table, got our food at 9:55. The buffet portion was nice and obviously available earlier, but 3 of us had not ordered the buffet add-on.

    • Thanks for the update! I wonder if something has changed recently in their kitchen, although in our case it was at least partly (and I want to say all or mostly) our server. We were a typical party of four and several tables nearby arrived after us, ordered, ate (including dessert!) and paid before we were done.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *