Eating out at Disney World can leave you with difficult choices. So many options can make a decision tricky. Every family is different, and if yours is like mine it is unlikely everyone will be happy with the same type of food. Luckily, Disney restaurants usually offer plenty of variety so everyone in the group can find what they want as you sit down to enjoy your meal.
Which restaurants are the best in the Animal Kingdom? This huge park houses four table service restaurants and seven fast-food outlets so you won’t be short of choices.
As well as the food, most Disney restaurants make the meal a memorable experience as you can enjoy the location as much as the meal itself. Each eaterie is themed and no expense has been spared to make sure every little detail reflects the character of the movie or Disney world it is part of. While eating at theme parks will never be cheap, there is something for all purse sizes and mealtimes from three-course dinners to afternoon ice creams or sumptuous breakfasts. As well as the food, many Disney restaurants in the Animal Kingdom come with entertainment such as a character meet and greet or the chance to watch some spectacular sights. Here are all the options to eat in the Animal Kingdom (our favorite was Saut’li Canteen):
- Rainforest Cafe
- Tusker House
- Fabulous Fast Food
- Flame Tree Barbecue
- Satu’li Canteen
- Harambe Market
The Rainforest Cafe is found close to the main entrance and, as its name suggests, it will transport you to to the beautiful exotic world of the tropical rainforest. Authentic jungle flora and fauna are all around and the creatures come alive; it even rains in one part of the restaurant. This is a stunning place to satisfy your hunger in a cool retreat away from the hot Florida sun.
The menu offers an incredible range of choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Being situated so close to the park entrance makes this restaurant a good choice for a meal at the start or end of the day which is one of the reasons the breakfast menu is so popular.
There is definitely something for every palette on the menu as you can choose from juicy steaks to nutritious salads or surf and turf combinations. It isn’t the cheapest Disney World dining option but its excellent location, fun family decor, and the chance to find something to please everyone in one place make it more than worthwhile.
Breakfast choices include pancakes, waffles, or eggs benedict that will set you up nicely for a full day hitting the attractions of the Animal Kingdom.
For lunch, you can enjoy pizza, burgers, and chips among other things.
Dinner choices include seafood platters like Taste of the Islands, a great combination of shrimp, scallops, and tilapia. There are also pasta dishes like Rasta Pasta and refreshing salads like the adventurously named Volcanic Cobb Salad.
Children are well catered for with a full menu for under 10s including Jurassic Chicken Tidbits, Python Pasta, or Gorilla Grilled Cheese. While you eat, relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the lush tropical rainforest with birdsong, elephant calls, thunderclaps, and colorful fish swimming around in exotic seas. The dessert menu is thoroughly tempting with the rich Tribal Cheesecake and a treat for chocoholics in the Sparkling Volcano which combines a delicious brownie with ice cream and a staggering firey sparkler on top. The Magic Mushroom bar also offers a range of appealing cocktails like a Mongoose Mai Tai, a great way to chill out after a busy day of entertainment.
Real foodies have a treat in store at the lunch and evening meal venue, Tiffins. The restaurant is made up of three different dining rooms where you can explore some of the stunning artwork that explores the background to the Animal Kingdom. Tiffins captures the spirit of adventure and combines cuisine from Africa, Asia and the rest of the world in a warm, earthy environment that feels truly authentic.
As you enter, you are greeted by an enormous map of the world and artwork throughout the restaurant shows the original plan drawings of the entire Animal Kingdom. The food here is second to none and includes some unique and includes some courageous dishes from all over the world. Delicacies like chargrilled octopus and chickpea falafel transport your senses to other worlds while main courses like pan-seared kingklip or tamarind-braised ribs bring the best of international cuisine to your table. Pomegranate focaccia bread and grilled swordfish are also signature dishes that need to be tasted to be believed.
Tiffins has been hailed the best restaurant in all of Disney World and it lives up well to this ambitious accolade. The staff make it even better with as waiters offer to debone your fish and bring you every attention you would expect in a top-class restaurant. Puddings include indulgent options like the Guava Moose and a range of decadent delicacies from all the heart of Asia and South America that are a real treat for the taste buds. Best of all, meals at Tiffins can be combined with VIP seats at the Festival of the Lion King for a signature dining experience to beat all others.
Breakfast lovers will adore this restaurant based in Africa that is also the best spot for a character meet and greet dining experience in the Animal Kingdom. Artwork inspired by authentic African societies adorns the walls, making you feel as though you have traveled to the heart of Africa. Menu choices have something for more adventurous palettes as well as a full children’s menu including Mickey Waffles to please the little ones. As you enjoy your meal, Safari Donald Duck and Safari Mickey will visit your table and interact with your family, turning a family meal into a moment to remember for all families with little ones. Tuskers is open for lunch and dinner as well as breakfast and is a buffet-style restaurant so you have the opportunity to choose from a huge range of dishes including tantalizing curries and marinaded meats.
Both Tusker House and Tiffins can be booked as part of the Rivers of Light dining experience; once you have enjoyed your meal, you will be taken to VIP seats to relax in the splendor of the amazing Rivers of Light show that captures the luminescence of the world of Pandora in a spectacular show.
Fabulous Fast Food
With so much to see and do at the Animal Kingdom and a list of attractions to fit into a busy day, you can be forgiven for wanting to give a full table-service family meal a miss for fear of missing out on rides. There are even more fast food options in the Animal Kingdom and each is designed to offer different types of international cuisine so you can enjoy a quick meal without missing out on the experience dining in Disney has to offer.
Flame Tree Barbecue
Based on Discovery Island, barbecue lovers will adore the choices of succulent meat meals and fresh fruit and salads on offer. You can enjoy your smokehouse dinner al fresco as you soak up the atmosphere in the heart of vibrant Discovery Island. Wooded pavilions offer a shaded eating area where you can admire the artwork on Expedition Everest as you tuck into a roasted chicken, pulled pork, or barbecued ribs. The watermelon salad is a great choice for vegetarians and you should be sure not to miss the signature baked beans and coleslaw. Flame Tree Barbecue is a great choice for tasty, nutritious food on the hop and, better still, you can even book ahead on your phone to save even more time for rides and attractions.
Our favorite place to eat in the Animal Kingdom. Great flavor combinations and tons of healthy food options.
Based in the heart of Pandora, the Satu’li Canteen is decorated in keeping with the theme of the Na’vi people and its menu is inspired by healthful and exotic creations that will please the most demanding appetites. The food here is inspired from all over the globe but the menu is designed in keeping with the idea of harmony with nature, just as the Na’vi people live and eat in harmony with their world.
Vegetarians are well served here, with the Chilli Spiced Crispy Tofu Bowl and colorful salads. The restaurant is based in Pandora with the staff acting as employees of ACE, serving delights from the world of Pandora in an old RDA Mess Hall that has been converted to this peaceful and tranquil restaurant.
If you visit Satu’li Canteen after being linked with your avatar on Flight of the Avatar, you will feel as though you are still inside the world of Pandora and make your journey with the Na’Vi last that little bit longer.
This restaurant set in Dino World is a huge hit with little ones and satisfies appetites big and small against a backdrop of dinosaur paraphernalia and paleontologist artifacts. It offers your traditional fast food range of burgers, hot dogs, and fries which is great for families on the go and the children’s menu has it all covered with macaroni cheese as well as chicken nuggets and kids meals are served with a sand pail and shovel so little archeologists can get ready to dig for finds. Healthy options include black-bean burgers. The build-your-own sundaes also bring a T-Rex sized grin to everyone’s faces.
For a colorful taste of Africa, the Harambe Market is a food fayre with four different dining stations and a large outdoor seating area. This is where fast food leaves burgers and fries behind, instead replaced with exotic spiced meats and roasted vegetables. Harambe Market brings street food to life. Dishes like the Beef and Lamb Gyro with African coleslaw and the Ribs Bowl served on cilantro rice comprise exotic flavors that dance together to bring your tastebuds to new life. Alcoholic drinks and fruit punches are also popular here, as families relax between rides while they soak up the ethnic atmosphere and enjoy the lively African street scene. For dessert, don’t miss the range of shaved ices in exotic flavors such as watermelon and a fruity pineapple and coconut combination.
Pizzafari is a very popular quick-service restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is a pizza and Italian inspired option that is right across from Pandora so if you decided not to grab something inside pandora then this another great quick option.
Pizzafari also offers family-style eating around dinner time from 5-8pm.
What Are My Best Options For Eating In A Hurry?
If you aren’t int he mood for sit down or you don’t have time as you have tons of rides and shows and maybe some waiting in line todo. You probably want to know which of these are the best options when you’re in a hurry.
Any of the quick service outlets will be quicker than a table service restaurant, although some of these can still become very busy during peak times. Your best option is to use the pre-booking service that comes with the My Disney Experience App. You can order meals for all the family on your phone so that when you arrive at your chosen restaurant, all you have to do is collect your meal without having to wait in line. You can pay for the food on the app and even customize each dish to suit your family’s tastes. When you arrive at the restaurant, use the app to let the restaurant staff know you are ready and your meal will be prepared straight away.
Here is a list of good options for quick meals:
- Flame Tree Barbeque.
- Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes.
- Harambe Market.
- Satu’li Canteen.
What Are The Eating Options For Vegans and Vegetarians?
Vegan options are available throughout the Animal Kingdom:
- Harambe Maret has vegan bowls
- Satu’li Canteen also has vegan bowls
- Rainforest Cafe has salads that can be vegan
- Yak and Yeti also offer a vegan tikka masala.
- Pizzafari has a vegan pizza
What About Disney Dining Plans in Disney’s Animal Kingdom?
Both the table service and quick service dining plans can be used in all the restaurants in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You will still need to book reservations in advance and dining plans will only include certain menu options in restaurants like Tiffins and Tusker House. Dining packages, involving a show like Festival of the Lion King and Rivers of Light can sometimes cost more than one of your table service credits.