Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest Disney theme park in the world – as far as physical size goes. As you trek from Discovery Island to Asia and Africa, you are sure to work up an appetite. Fortunately, the park has a large number of quick service and casual dining eateries for guests to enjoy. Whether you want to grab a bite on the run as you head from Africa’s elephant enclosure to “ooh and ahh” at the tigers in Asia, or want a sit-down dining experience that allows you to put your feet up, you are sure to find a restaurant to fit your style and your appetite.
The Oasis is at the entrance to the Animal Kingdom, and hosts a few small exhibits and souvenir shops, as well as necessary services such as restrooms and a stroller and wheelchair rentals. It’s one restaurant is not technically on park land, but is still a great part of the experience.
The famous Rainforest Café is adjacent to the Animal Kingdom park entrance, and is the only restaurant available to guests without a park entry pass. The Rainforest Café is actually a string of restaurants independent of Disney, but it might have been tailor-made as a companion to Disney and the Animal Kingdom. In true Disney style, this restaurant is themed to the hilt, with artificial jungle trees, vines, flowers, and wildlife decorating every inch of the space. The space hums with bird calls, animal sounds, and the quiet rumble of thunder. Sometimes the artificial sky will grown black and cause the jungle to rain – without soaking the diners.
In spite of the exotic décor, the Rainforest Café serves fairly traditional American food that should please adults and children alike. The signature dessert is a monster of a brownie sundae called the Journey’s End Sparkling Volcano, with chocolate brownies on the outside and warm caramel and chocolate inside. You may need to share with the family!
After passing through the Oasis, your Animal Kingdom Journey takes you to Discovery Island. The island is home the large baobab tree – the symbol of the Animal Kingdom – and is the port of entry for each of the Animal Kingdoms different areas. You’ll be heading through Discovery Island several times on your park adventure, so it’s a good place to grab a meal.
Flame Tree Barbeque
Flame Tree Barbeque is a quick service eatery with outdoor seating that overlooks Discovery River – and offes an amazing view of the Expedition Everest attraction. It serves classic summer barbeque food such as ribs, barbeque chicken and baked beans. There are a few vegetarian options available upon request, although there are better alternatives for vegetarians at other eateries. While the selection is not hugely varied, it does offer a change from more standard quick service amusement park food, which is often fried. The food is excellent and the prices are reasonable – at least for Disney.
The other Discovery Island dining option is the quick service Pizzafari. Unlike Flame Tree Barbeque, Pizzafari serves breakfast items such as French toast, eggs, biscuits and gravy, and cereal, in addition to their lunch and dinner menu. As the name would suggest, individual-sized pizzas are the signature menu item here, but sandwiches and salad are also available.
The trail to Africa is one of several that branches out from Discovery Island. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options can all be found at the various eateries in this part of the park.
Kusafiri Coffee Shop
Kusafiri is a great stop for a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack. This shop serves coffee and pastries, muffins and cakes along with coffee. It’s a quick, continental breakfast alternative to some of the more elaborate breakfast options in the Animal Kingdom.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Sometimes when you’re trekking across the African plans, what you really want is an old-fashioned burger and a thick shake. At the Tamu Tamu stand, that’s exactly what you can get, along with a few other sandwich options.
Tusker House Restaurant
Tusker House is buffet-style dining with the opportunity for character greetings for two meals a day. Families can join in Donald’s Dining Safari Breakfast or Dining Safari Lunch and have the chance to meet Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and a few of their friends. As with most character dining experiences at Disney World, is important to plan ahead a reserve a table at Tusker House. The breakfast buffet is fairly standard, with Mickey shaped waffles for the kids. Lunch includes a large selection of spit-roasted meats as well as stews and salads. The food is not exactly exotic, but the restaurant does try to imbue each item with an African “twist” to add a flavor of adventure to the food.
The Asia realm of the Animal Kingdom has some sensational attractions, including the thrilling Expedition Everest ride. It also has a couple of Pan-Asian dining options if your encounter with the Abominable Snowman leaves you feeling peckish.
Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café
If you want your Pan-Asian food to go, make a stop at the Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café for some egg rolls or dim sum. Technically, the café is simply a quick service counter attached to the larger Yak and Yeti Restaurant, with a small number of quick-to-prepare options that are easy to eat on the go. If you are looking for quick food that is something other than the standard fried-food-fair, this is a great choice.
Yak and Yeti Restaurant
This is the sit-down alternative to the outdoor café with an attractive Himalaya-themed interior. The menu includes a variety of excellent dishes from across the Asian continent, and the full service bar makes several unique drinks in addition to the classics. The children’s menu offers some friendly and familiar items for picky eaters, such as burgers and egg rolls.
DinoLand USA gives young visitors the chance to explore the ancient world of Dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures. They can take a ride through the dark that takes them back into the past, or dig for woolly mammoth fossils in the bone yard. Archeological excavation can definitely work up an appetite, so consider stopping for lunch or dinner in this area before you go.
This restaurant offers quality fast-food style American cuisine served up in a fun atmosphere. Adjacent to the dig site, the Restaurantosaurus dining room is full of books with dinosaur themed titles, and has a jukebox that plays dinosaur-themed songs. Hi-jinks periodically ensue in the dining room, so be on the lookout!