Fuente del Oro Restaurante is a quick service eatery located in Disneyland Park’s Frontierland, across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. If you’re in the mood for Tex-Mex or Southwestern American food like enchiladas, nachos or fajitas, this is your place. With plenty of seating both indoors and out, it’s also a great choice for when hunger hits during peak season.
Fuente del Oro is themed after a traditional Spanish hacienda, with adobe walls and wooden log roofs for shade and detailing. The outdoor courtyard features a central fountain and Imagineers added to the authenticity of space by softening the color on the tops of the building (that hot Mexican sun will scorch any roof) and removing pieces of plaster from the exterior walls (worn down by the weather of course).
Venture inside and place your order at one of the registers that greet you upon entering. Unlike many quick service restuarnts around DLP, here you order and receive your food (with the exception of the make your own taco salad) at the same time and counter. See the full menu here.
The great theming continues into both fun and colorful indoor dining rooms to the left and right of the ordering area. While you find a seat, make sure to look up and down – there is a seemingly endless amount of different light fixtures and flooring, adding to the charm of this Southwestern hacienda. According to Designing Disney, “The light fixtures are all reproductions of various designs that were researched and traced back to the authentic styles of the late 1850’s, the era when the structure would have been built in ‘Thunder Mesa’.”
Nick knacks crowd the shelves near the ceiling and everything from musical instruments to masks adorn the walls from top to bottom. Visit at Christmas time to enjoy the Spanish themed trees and even more chandelier decorations. There are Disney details everywhere you turn inside Fuente del Oro.
For lunch we ordered a set menu that included an entree, dessert, beverage and side. This is always the way to go for those on a budget or with smaller appetites, as usually there’s enough to share between two people. Don’t forget to show your annual pass for a discount and check your receipts for free beverage offers later in the day. I’ll mention here that service is almost unbearably slow at Fuente del Oro. We visited during low season, on a slow day (think 15 minutes for Peter Pan) and it took us 20 minutes to reach the counter with two customers ahead of us. A quick online search results in similar feedback, so keep this in mind in case time is of the essence.
Our Menu 2 arrived with two small hard shelled tacos with lettuce and cheese, one beef, one chicken, a side of Mexican rice, pack of four churros and a fountain beverage. A small packet of very mild salsa comes on the side.
The tacos were simple but filling, with the chicken being the front runner of the two. Both meats are a kind of “mush,” which was a bit disappointing. We couldn’t quite put our finger on what the Mexican rice tasted like. There were small bits of tomato throughout and the red sauce was fine, but spicy it was not. What makes it “Mexican” rice? Couldn’t say. Perhaps just the fact that it’s on a Mexican themed restaurant menu. The surprise hit of the meal: churros. Once we were done scraping the pound of cinnamon and sugar off the top, they were actually very enjoyable. Nothing like the real thing, but a sweet end to lunch either way.
Unfortunately for us, the spice factor is missing completely from the menu and the addition of pre-packaged salsa does nothing to help liven things up. But, this is France, whose cuisine largely omits spicy foods in general, so that make sense. If people in your party have milder palettes, this might just be the place for them.
If we were to dine here again, I think we’d opt for a taco salad, where you can specify exactly which ingredients you’d prefer and it is prepared as you watch. The salad bar along with vegetable taquitos on the main menu, make Fuente del Oro a great choice for vegetarians or anyone who might have special dietary needs.
Overall, Fuente del Oro isn’t winning any taste awards anytime soon, but if you’re craving something pseudo-Mexican or can’t face the crowds at Café Hyperion, this will do the trick. The theming, as with most eateries in DLP, is great and if you can score a seat on the patio during the warmer seasons, you’ve just got yourself some fantastic atmosphere primed for people watching.