Everything You Need To Know Before Dining at Animal Kingdom

For many travelers food is a very important part of vacation. For some Disney World travelers they plan their entire trip around the dining they want to experience. When you think of a theme park vacation you might imagine burgers, hot dogs, and fries. At Disney World while those foods will always be available, there are so many more options. If food is important to you, or if you just want to be able to have dinner at a table service restaurant during your stay then make sure you are informed before you travel. 

I have put together this guide for Animal Kingdom to help you see what your options are and  determine where you want to eat while at the park. 

The Basics 

If you are new to dining at Disney World or need a refresher check out my post about the basics of dining at Disney World.

https://4ears4eyesforthemagic.travel.blog/2020/02/17/the-basics-of-dinning-at-disney-world/

If you have special dietary needs check out this post. 

https://4ears4eyesforthemagic.travel.blog/2020/05/05/allergies-and-special-dietary-needs-at-disney-parks/

There are three basic kinds of dining locations in Animal Kingdom. 

  • Table Service Restaurants – These are sit down restaurants where you are served by a waiter or waitress. 
  • Quick Service Restaurants – These are counter style dining locations where you order and pick-up your food from a main counter. 
  • Stands – These are carts, kiosks, and counter windows that serve limited menus and do not have specific seating associated with them. 

Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) 

Dining reservations can be made at all table service locations. Reservations in advance are HIGHLY recommended if you want to eat at any of these locations. 

ADRs can be made up to 60 days in advance. If you are staying on property you can make ADRs for your entire trip 60 days from the first day of your visit. Reservations can be made online starting at 6:00am EST though the my Disney Experience App or website. They can be made over the phone at 407-WDW-DINE starting at 7:00am EST.

For the best availability make sure to make reservations as soon as possible.

Table Service Restaurants 

To find all the menu’s listed visit Disney World’s website at:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/

** These restaurants all accept dining reservation and I highly recommend them **

Rainforest Cafe:

  • Located at the park entrance 
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: American
  • Part of a national chain, and one of two locations at Disney World, Rainforest Cafe is an immersive dining environment themed to what else but the rainforest. A great place to eat for families with food options that will please all. Kids will love seeing all the animatronic animals up close and the frequent “thunderstorms” that pass through the restaurant. For anyone with sound or light sensitivities I suggest skipping dining here as it can get quite loud and the “thunderstorms” include lightning. 

Tiffins Restaurant:

  • Located in Discovery Island 
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: African, Asian, Latin Cuisine
  • Signature Fine Dining Restaurant = 2 table service credits on the dining plan
  • Tiffins is the only signature restaurant in Animal Kingdom. The theming to world travels and exotic locations is beautiful and fits in perfectly with Animal Kingdom. The food features flavors from around the world. As this is a Signature restaurant which comes with a higher price-tag I would recommend this for adult only parties who consider themselves foodies or are looking for a special meal. If you love Animal Kingdom the decor here shares a lot about the making of the theme park. 

** Tusker House Restaurant ** (Personal Favorite) 

  • Located in Africa 
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: African and American served buffet style
  • Character Meal – Safari Donald, Safari Daisy, Safari Goofy, Safari Mickey. 
    • At least 3 of these characters will be present. The characters mingle with the crowd and each will come to your table separately to say hello and grab a photo while you eat. 
  • This is the only character meal in Animal Kingdom and also the only buffet. Tusker House gets my vote for one and the best buffets in all of Disney World. The variety of menu items is vast and includes a lot of items you won’t find elsewhere and is delicious. The decor and safari characters will get you right into the Animal Kingdom spirit. 

Yak & Yeti Restaurant:

  • Located in Asia 
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: Asian and American 
  • A great place for a tasty meal, the menu here is reminiscent of many Asian chain restaurants you may have at home. That style is done here at a high quality and with excellent theming at the base of Everest. Perfect for those who want to try some Asian flavors without straying too far from your normal fare. I have always enjoyed my meals here. 
  • If you want to enjoy Yak & Yeti without a reservation, more quickly, and at a lower price point check out their quick service window, Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe. 

Quick Service Restaurants 

To find all the menu’s listed visit Disney World’s website at:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/

**** Be sure to read the mobile ordering section of my Basics of Dining at Disney World blog linked above. **** 

Flame Tree Barbecue:

  • Located in Discovery Island
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: American
  • Mobile Order Available 
  • Outdoor Seating 
  • You will have lots of BBQ options here, a great place to to get a meal that you can split as you will get a good amount of food from one meal. With all of the snack options around this can be a good way to go for lunch. Split a meal and then grab some fun snacks throughout the day. 

Harambe Market:

  • Located in Africa
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: African 
  • Mobile Order Available
  • Outdoor Seating
  • Here you will find savory African inspired fare and a range of options. This is a great way to try some new food and flavors. The environment at Harambe is very immersive you will feel like you are really in an African market. Try the Bibo or Sparberry soft drinks, you can also try their alcoholic counterparts.

Pizzafari:

  • Located in Discovery Island
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: American 
  • Mobile Order Available
  • Indoor Seating 
  • Your go to for pizza in the park, they also offer salads. For dinner family style options are also available which is a good deal for those on the dining plan as you will get a variety of food options for your counter service credit. But it is not the most exciting dinner you could get at the park. 

Restaurantosaurus:

  • Located in Dinoland USA 
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: American 
  • Mobile Order Available
  • Indoor Seating 
  • This large casual dining restaurant offers your classic counter service fare, burgers and nuggets, also chicken sandwiches and salads. This is a good stop for families to get a break from the heat with indoor seating and food that will easily please the whole family. This is also a must visit for kids who love dinosaurs. The theming is a home base for Paleontologists out on dig. For those looking for something more exciting and out of your ordinary I would skip this one. 
  • Burgers and Sundaes – For diner check out the special burger and sundae menu. Choose one of the hand-crafted burger options with fries or onion rings. Then top it off with a build your own sundae for dessert all for one price. 

** Satu’li Canteen ** (Personal Favorite)

  • Located in Pandora: The World of Avatar 
  • Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: American 
  • Mobile Order Available
  • Indoor Seating 
  • Satu’li lets you build your own bowl from a set of options, similar to how Chipotle works. You choose your protien, base, and sauce.  The food is perhaps the most unique in Animal Kingdom. There are fun options for the kids too, like cheeseburger boa buns. You can also get two drinks specially brewed for Disney World the Hawkes’ Grog Ale and the Mo’ara High Country Ale. 

Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe:

  • Located in Asia 
  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
  • Food Style: Asian and American
  • Outdoor Seating 
  • This is the counter service window from Yak & Yeti Restaurant. Find an appreciated menu from inside. With limited breakfast options available from counter service locations this is a good choice for breakfast. Also a great way to get Yak & Yeti food without reservations and at a lower price point. 

Stands 

To find the menu’s listed visit Disney World’s website at:

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/

On top of the restaurants the are many many carts and kiosks and windows the serve snacks, desserts, and some even small meals. Be sure you try out at least one or two snacks during your visit. 

Discovery Island:

Creature Comforts – (Starbucks) Each park has a Starbucks location and this is Animal Kingdoms. 

Eight Spoon Cafe – Baked mac & cheese

Isle of Java  Coffee and pastries

Smiling Crocodile – Street tacos & tamales

Terra Treats  Pizza 

Pandora: The World of Avatar: 

Pongu Pongu Check out the Pongu Lumpia sweet spring rolls and specialty brewed beers the Hawkes’ Grog Ale & Mo’ara High Country Ale. The official drink of Pandora the Night Blossom is found here. Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic available.  

Africa:

Harambe Fruit Market – Lots of fruits and Mickey pretzels

Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery – Coffee and a lot of grab and go breakfast options. After breakfast lots of savory and sweet snack options are available. 

Mahindi – Popcorn and roasted nuts. Check out some souvenir popcorn bucket options. 

Tamu Tamu Find Dole Whip & Simba Sunset here. 

Zuri’s Sweets  Candy Store, check out the specialty candy apples.

Asia:

Anandapur Ice Cream Truck Soft serve ice cream.

Caravan Road – Pork based Asian food dishes.

Drinkwallah – Toasted nuts and beverages.

Dinoland USA:

Dino-Bite Snacks – Ice cream treats

Dino Diner – Hot dogs and classic theme park fare, check out the corn chip pie. 

Trilo-Bites – Ice cream treats, drinks, and buffalo chicken chips. 

Bars & Lounges 

There are several bars throughout the parks if you want to enjoy a beverage and take a seat in the lounge. 

Dawa Bar:

  • Located in Africa
  • Specialty cocktails, beer and wine. 
  • Open air seating. 

** Nomad Lounge ** (Best Views and Ambiance) 

  • Located in Discovery Island 
  • A wide range of small plates are offered. 
  • Specially brewed beer – Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale
  • Many cocktail, wine and beer options.
  • A great way to see the vibe and decor of Tiffins without the price as they are located in the same building. 
  • Indoor and outdoor seating.

Thirsty River Bar & Trek Snacks  

  • Located in Asia
  • Specialty cocktails, beer and wine. 
  • Open air seating.
  • Lots of classic theme park desserts and snacks offered

Yak & Yeti Quality Beverages

  • Located in Asia
  • Specialty cocktails, and beer. 
  • Open air seating.
  • Foods including egg rolls, wraps and turkey legs. 

Warung Outpost 

  • Located in Asia 
  • Open air seating
  • Cocktails, with a few beers and wine. 
  • Mickey pretzels served. 

Best Breakfast Spots 

If you are at the parks early and looking to have breakfast there are not as many options for you to have for lunch and dinner. Your best bets are the coffee shops with quick grab and go options. If you want table service your options are Rainforest Cafe and Tusker House. For counter service your only option is Yak & Yeti Local Foods. Or you can always grab some fruit from a snack stand. 

Discovery Island:

  • Rainforest Cafe 
  • Creature Comforts
  • Isle of Java

Africa:

  • Tusker House
  • Harambe Fruit Market

Asia:

  • Yak & Yeti Local Foods
  • Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery

Dining Packages:

How They Work: You book a dining package reservation. For a set price you enjoy your meal at the restaurant you have chosen then you received a voucher for your show experience later in the day. At the show you will skip the normal line and get priority guaranteed seating.  Note: Don’t confuse a dinging package with the Disney Dining Plan.

Animal Kingdom offers two dining packages to two of their shows. 

  • Festival of the Lion King:
    • Restaurant Options: Tiffins
  • Rivers of Light:
    • Restaurant Options: Tiffins and Tusker House

Rivers of Light: We Are One Dessert Party

How Dessert Parties Work: You book a reservation and for one price you enjoy unlimited desserts and drinks, including alcohol at a reception area prior to the show. During the show you then have a special viewing area.

For the Animal Kingdom dessert party your treats are Animal Kingdom themed and your viewing area is a specific section of the theatre bleachers. 

Those with allergies, note this with your reservation and again when you arrive with a server. They will get you a special allergy plate of treats. 

Circle of Flavors: Harambe At Night

(Special Ticketed Event)

This is a special extra ticketed event hosted on select evening at Animal Kingdom. This must be booked in advance. It is a progressive dining experience through Harambe Village and Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You pay one set price for the entire experience including you food and beverages, alcoholic available. 

Your evening includes:

  • Harambe Train Station:
    • Guidebook
    • Appetizers
    • Speciality Drinks
    • Train Ride to Rafiki’s Planet Watch Train Station
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch Train Station 
    • Light Snacks
    • Specialty Drinks 
    • Meet Timon and Rafiki
    • Virtual Reality Safari Experience 
    • Kids Acvitiivy 
    • Train Back To Harambe
  • Harambe Market
    • Live Music
    • Bread Activity 
    • Dinner
    • Drinks
    • Dessert 

Perfect for a date night or a girls night out. A nice option for families with adult children or teens who are“foodies”. 

Now that you know everything you need to and more about dining at Animal Kingdom you are ready to plan your visit there.

If you are looking for more guidance or assistance with booking your trip I am a travel agent and all of my services are free of charge to the travelers.

Contact me at: katiev@themagicsyours.com

Published by katiethemagicsyours

I am in independent travel agent with The Magic's Yours Travel. Here to plan all your Disney adventures, at no cost to you! I am a wife, cat mom, Aunt, Marylander, traveler, runner, and Disney fanatic. I have personal experience with Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line and Disney's Aulani, and I am here to share it with you. Contact me today for a FREE quote at katiev@themagicsyourstravel.com www.themagicsyours.com

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