The Lucky Nugget Saloon is a hybrid quick service/table service restaurant located at the edge of Frontierland in Disneyland Park. Serving up a rotating menu of BBQ ribs, fish fillets, angus and chicken burgers, this location also offers many of the special menus that pop up seasonally around DLP.
According to legend, and the Disneyland Paris website, Miss Diamond Lil, “had the good fortune to find a lucky golden nugget the size of a loaf of bread,” and with that decided to build a western saloon worthy of its name. So, to compliment the Silver Spur Steakhouse for fancy folk and The Last Chance Cafe for cowboys on the go, residents of Thunder Mesa now had a third option when they were ready to kick off their boots and settle in for a good old fashioned dinner show. YouTube takes you all the way back to 1996 with this little number:
Guests coming from the States will notice that The Lucky Nugget resembles the classic Golden Horsehoe at Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. I remember seeing shows there like the one above when I was a kid at WDW and they were must-do’s each and every visit.
Horseshoe (see what they did there?) style seating surrounds a stage that is only used during the holiday period and if you get lucky on random, more crowd heavy days. The band that plays is fantastic, but I would have loved to see the dinner shows that used to take place there. DLP also tried out a buffet style service but that eventually gave way to what we have now- a different type of table service.
Rumors are swirling that a puppet show entitled Woody and the Disappeared Nugget (a rather unfortunate translation of something much nicer sounding in French I presume) will replace the acts currently gracing the stage at The Lucky Nugget. The show is slated to begin in May and will be centered around Woody’s Roundup, which was first introduced in Toy Story 2. While I’m happy that DLP is breathing new life into stage shows and scheduling performances daily instead of only during the busy seasons, I’m a bit sad to see the live music go. Read more about the changes making their way down the pipeline here.
Unlike other table service restaurants at Disneyland Paris, guests cannot make reservations at The Lucky Nugget. Instead, join the queue at the front podium where you will place and pay for your order. When all that’s said and done, a server will escort you to your seat where waitstaff will bring the beverages and meals to your table. In this respect it’s just like the Be Our Guest restaurant at the Magic Kingdom.
I like to dine here when the band is in residence, especially during the holidays. The Christmas and Disney themed sets they play really add to the ambiance and if you time it right (and eat reallyyyyyy slowly), you can see them multiple times. These superbly awful videos were taken by me and my iPhone 4 (drunk on curly fries?) and I apologize for their quality. Click at your own risk but the music is great.
There are a few tiers of seating at The Lucky Nugget, but I’ve only ever seen the main floor and the first levels used. The upstairs balcony probably has some fantastic views, but the crowds usually never merit the need.
As with most everything at Disneyland Paris, the detail in here in just phenomenal. From the ornate wall sconces to the giant gilded chandeliers, the Imagineers created what feels like a real deal Western saloon, reminiscent of something you’d see in The Harvey Girls- there’s even a bar in the corner. Unfortunately, guests aren’t able to mosey on up for a delicious beverage but maybe someday. Don’t leave without checking out the two story mural behind the stage depicting life in Thunder Mesa, complete with the Molly Brown, Big Thunder Mountain and Phantom Manor.
Every so often I like to visit the parks sans lens so that I can just take everything in and really be in the moment. Apparently, all of those moments call for Lucky Nugget since I’ve enjoyed lunch and dinner here over the years, but for some reason have never had my camera. Sooooo, please excuse the quality of the pictures to follow. They were taken on my iPhone 4 and are in a pretty sad state- the burgers were way better than they look here.
Without further ado I present to you, the chicken sandwich:
It looks pretty standard but it’s actually quite tasty. The chicken breast fillet is nicely grilled but not at all dry and the cheese, mayonnaise, greens and tomato combine to create a nice, fresh flavor. This is a sandwich that will fill you up without weighing you down.
I opted for curly fries as my side annnnnnnd because everyone loves curly fries, we ordered another basket- lest anyone not meet their daily quota. These are good. Really good. Served crispy and hot out of the fryer. But as much as I love me a “twister” fry, I have to say I love those Hakuna fries more. That said, if you’ve already had your Hakuna fries, these are wonderful.
Not pictured here are the pork spare ribs with BBQ sauce and onion rings and the fish and chips. The ribs were a solid choice, but the BBQ sauce left something to be desired. I would love to see a signature BBQ sauce crafted here and offered on all of the western favroites around Thunder Mesa. Then once they’ve got everyone hooked, sell it at the Mercantile shop across the way. The wine created especially for Bistrot Chez Remy is sold at the Disneyland Hotel, why can’t they do the same with BBQ, right? But I digress…
The fish and chips are another tasty option, fresh and the portion size is large enough to share. I’m pretty sure it’s exactly the same as what is served in Toad Hall Restaurant in Fantasyland though.
Overall, I really enjoy The Lucky Nugget. I like the casual feel of placing my order at the entrance, but having the food brought to my table and using real silver and glassware. I think the food varies from good (ribs) to really good (chicken sandwich) and if you take in a show while you’re there, well, that’s just the cherry on top. Because of all this, I assume, the price point is just a tad higher than what you’d find at your average quick service. But I’d argue that in addition to the little extras, the food quality is superior overall. If you’re looking for sit down meal without a reservation, look no further. And if the band is playing, stop on in even if you’re not hungry.