Sunday, March 19, 2023

Things That Rainforest Cafe in Disney World Does Right

Chain restaurants are typically an easy skip at Walt Disney World.

With more than 400 quick service and table service dining opportunities on property, you really shouldn’t have to spend your food budget on something that can be found at your local mall.

The Rainforest Cafe isn’t a recommended stop, but what does the chain known for lacklustre food and out-of-date audio-animatronics do well that other restaurants at Disney World could learn from?

Things That Rainforest Cafe in Disney World Does Right

Massive gift shop

Native Shoes at Rainforest Cafe in Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The original reason why I wanted to cover this topic was the sheer size of the gift shop and all the interesting parts of the store.

From partnerships to city-exclusive merchandise, there’s few stores on property that can compete with the variety. In fact, I’ve been known to complain about the lack of park-exclusive merchandise on property and point out all the mistakes that Disney continues to do with its gift shops.

  • Why can you find Haunted Mansion merchandise in the Animal Kingdom?
  • Why isn’t there more park-exclusive clothing at the various theme parks?
  • How can they be out of stock with shirts and clothing? They’re literally DISNEY!

I’ve had amazing respect for the buyers at The Rainforest Cafe because of the variety of merchandise, which rivals the exclusive merchandise at the Coca-cola Store at Disney Springs.

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Open for all meals

The Volcano Dessert at Rainforest Cafe Disney Animal Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Rainforest Cafe has all meals covered, including desserts and snacks. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner – with an efficient method for calling the next-available reservation.

It would take a long list and a few hours of research to come up with all the examples of Disney World restaurants that don’t open for certain mealtimes, but just off the top of my head:

  • Victoria & Alberts doesn’t have a lunch
  • ABC Commissary is open from 10-8pm (but the park opens at 9am)
  • California Grill is only open from 5-10pm daily.

Those are just a few examples, but the restaurants should be available during park hours if they are open in the parks. The cafeteria-style food courts should also be open after the parks are closed….basic.

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Part of Landry’s – Discounts

Landry’s Select Club (Image: Dustin Fuhs /StepstoMagic)

Discounts are great. Why not add more frequency of value-add discounts? I would love to get non-AP discounts for repeat visits (like Dole Whips, etc).

Back entry into DAK

Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

The ability to bypass the regular entrance is great. It’s completely not needed, but talk about a system that actually works.

We’ve got an entire article on the secret entrances, so it’s definitely worth knowing about this one!

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Waterfront lounge

Rainforest Cafe at Disney Springs (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

Disney Springs is full of entertainment options, but how many of them have a waterfront lounge?


Rainforest Cafe at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (Image: Dustin Fuhs / StepstoMagic)

It may not be a complete positive, but the experience that you find at Rainforest Cafe is…consistent.

How many times have you went to a Disney restaurant and wondered why there isn’t more consistency? I’ve had great food at a Quick Service and then literally the next day had a horrible experience. This may be due to staffing or to the food, but at least with Rainforest, it’s consistent.

What are your thoughts? Let me know via social media if I should add anything!

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