Friday, July 23, 2021

Ranking Animal Kingdom Dining

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is beginning to step into the forefront of dining within the Walt Disney World Resort. When the park originally came online, the locations were bland and unimaginative. However, as guests continue to visit the destination for it’s culinary adventures, we’ll start to see more and more effort and time put into new and exciting opportunities within the theme parks.

If you’re starting your itinerary plans or actually able to book your Advance Dining Reservation….this list will hopefully give you a starting point.

Related Article: Magic Kingdom Dining Rankings AND EPCOT Dining Rankings


Ranking Animal Kingdom Dining

Here’s where I have to say that this list is 100% my opinions and let’s be honest…folks can have a great time at the worst restaurant and a completely miserable time at the best restaurant. We remember the individual aspects which stands out for us, be it quality of the food all the way to the way that our server greets us and refills our soda.

Please take this article as a starting point to your planning OR as another voice as you’re going through the process of booking your next ADR or thinking about where you could eat with your family. I’ve had awesome experiences at Pizzafari (for example) during times when it’s not busy times (1230pm-130pm or 515-630pm), but can a restaurant that offers basic theme park fare rank at the same level as a location that brings chefs and staff from their home country specifically to serve you? There’s something to be said about the quality…and we’ll say it!

Whether it’s your budget or your time that’s limited…it’s always good to have a starting point.

BEST TABLE SERVICE RESTAURANT AT THE ANIMAL KINGDOM IS

TIFFINS

Although still a newbie within the family of Disney table service restaurants, this location provides amazing food (Wagyu beef, etc) with awesome service. The menu has been designed with ingredients and flavors to match the atmosphere that the storyline lays within, so expect to see and taste things that you may not have ever had the chance to. Definitely worth getting a reservation!

Plus…it doesn’t hurt that Tiffins is on the trail to Pandora: The World of Avatar!

BEST QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT AT DAK IS…

FLAME TREE BBQ

Let’s start at the fact that the location provides the most amazing outdoor seating location, with views of Expedition Everest across the lagoon. Outside of the fact that the food is high quality and the value within the Disney Dining Plan is constantly high, this is actually one of the top ranked restaurants on property…and actually rivals some Table Service for consistency and standards.

CLOSE SECOND IS SATU’LI CANTEEN!

In my last trip to WDW, I ate at Satu’li Canteen twice in four days. I love the quality of the food, the theming and the pricepoint. The cast really brings their A-Game daily, as they know that they are front-and-center for guests who are either incredibly hungry from standing in a massive line OR if they are wanting that added experience within the World of Pandora.

Why is it not the best? Give it time! The location is changing it’s identity and so it’ll take some time to get into a groove and adapt their menu throughout the crowds. I think it’ll be giving Flame Tree BBQ a run for it’s money soon!


WORST TABLE SERVICE RESTAURANT IS…

RAINFOREST CAFE

Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom
Rainforest Cafe at Animal Kingdom – Photo by Steps to Magic

In a park where the table service has traditionally been under-serviced, due to the lack of afternoon/evening offerings…having a chain like Rainforest Cafe being spoken in the same breath as Tiffins or Tusker House is just not required.

Don’t get me wrong, as I really do like the food at RC…but I’d rather have it at my local mall than at a Disney Theme Park.

Bonus tip – The hidden entrance to the Animal Kingdom is right through the restaurant…so there’s that;)

WORST QUICK SERVICE RESTAURANT OFFERING IS…

RESTAURANTOSAURUS (DINOLAND USA)

Restaurantosaurus
Restaurantosaurus – Photo by Steps to Magic

I’ve tried to give this location a chance. I really have. But outside of the lackluster theming, “amusement park” fare and feeling like you made a mistake half-way through your meal…the big issue lands within the up-keep of the restaurant itself.

If you had to choose between dining in Dinoland USA or Satu’Li Canteen in Pandora, it’s really no competition.



LET’S RANK THE ANIMAL KINGDOM’S TABLE SERVICE RESTAURANTS

1. Tiffins
2. Tusker House
3. Yak & Yeti
4. Rainforest Cafe

RANKING THE ANIMAL KINGDOM’S QUICK SERVICE LOCATIONS

*Please Note* I’m looking at locations where we can get a full meal. There’s another list for snacks:)
1. Flame Tree BBQ
2. Satu’li Canteen
3. Pizzafari
4. Yak & Yeti Local Food
5. Harambe Market
6. Restaurantosaurus

RANKING THE SNACK / LIGHT MEAL OPTIONS AT THE DAK

1. Creature Comforts – Starbucks
2. Anadapur Ice Cream Truck
3. Pongu Pongu – Specialty Drinks in Pandora


What do you think about my choices? Is there something that I should consider on a future list? Let me know!

Ranking Animal Kingdom Dining at Walt Disney World - #StepstoMagic
Ranking Animal Kingdom Dining at Walt Disney World – #StepstoMagic

Dustin Fuhshttp://www.stepstomagic.com
I’m Dustin Fuhs, a theme park fanatic that has created this platform to showcase my passion, tools and opinions to create a fun and interactive experience for everyone who visits. My goal is to help you and your family have the most magical experience at Walt Disney World. In reading my articles and ideas, I hope that you can find some fantastic ways to bring your dreams into reality!

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