Rainforest Cafe Review at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

by josh on March 9, 2010

Part of a chain of 25+ restaurants sprinkled in malls around the world, Rainforest Cafe blends an immersive environment with a laundry list of a menu. Dine on steaks, pastas, salads, burgers, or one of 50+ other items, all while animatronic gorillas pound their chests, birds sing, and thunder booms from the starry nighttime sky. The food is unlikely to impress, but it’s all serviceable and portions are huge. The restaurant is extremely loud and the atmosphere may startle young children apprehensive about rides like DINOSAUR and Haunted Mansion. Because it’s located at the front of the park, plan to eat when you’re near the entrance/exit.

Food Type: American.

Location: Very front of the Park on the left. There’s actually a restaurant entrance outside the Park and you don’t need theme park admission to dine here.

Outside entrance is located on the left just past bag check.

Inside entrance is located just past Guest Services on the left.

Dining Plan: 1 Table Service

Cost:  Breakfast: $10-$14; Kids: $5 – $7. Lunch/Dinner Appetizers: $7-$19.  Entrée: $13-$26.  Kids: $6 – $7.

Discounts: Does not participate in Tables in Wonderland; 10% Annual Passholder; 10% Disney Vacation Club. Check out Landry’s Select Club benefits here: https://www.landrysselect.com/SelectClubFeatures.aspx. The annual fee is $25, but it includes a $25 credit when you sign up in addition to priority seating, retail discounts, reward points, a $25 credit to use on your birthday month, and more.

Menu:

Breakfast (8:30am – 10am): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/rainforest-cafe-animal-kingdom/menus/

Lunch (10am or 10:15am – 4:45pm): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/rainforest-cafe-animal-kingdom/menus/lunch/

Dinner: (With a close later than 5pm, it seats guests through close): https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/rainforest-cafe-animal-kingdom/menus/dinner/

Setting: This colorful, bombastic restaurant out-Disneys Disney in a lot of ways. Decked out with tropical trees, dense vegetation, waterfalls, and animatronic jungle animals that not only make sounds, but talk as well, this is one of the most immersive dining experiences you’ll find anywhere.  This iteration is similar to other restaurants in the chain, so it may not seem special if you’ve got one at the local mall.

Best For Diners Looking For:

  • Over-the-top theming that provides a fun atmosphere for kids and adults.
  • Moderately priced burgers and wraps.
  • Friendly, casual service.
  • A meal that doesn’t require theme park admission.

Does Not Offer:

  • Tables in Wonderland Discount.
  • A quiet meal. The restaurant is one of the noisiest on property, even when it’s completely empty.
  • High quality steaks and seafood.
  • A convenient location in the middle of theme park touring.

Tips: You can enter through the gift shop and take a look around the restaurant without eating. Take apprehensive kids on a walk around before committing to a meal. Unless you’re trying to maximize the value of the Dining Plan, stick to the less expensive entrees. The kitchen executes them more consistently than the higher-priced items. Consider booking a meal upon entering the Park or around the time you plan to exit. It’s a trek from anywhere in the Park, including a 15-minute walk from Africa or Asia. If reservations are unavailable online, call the restaurant directly at 407-938-9100. Only part of their inventory is released online.

Value: Average.  People will tell you the Rainforest Café is overpriced, but you’re paying for the animatronics and ambiance as much as the food.  Sure, it’s basically Applebee’s with robot animals, but kids generally love it and most adults enjoy the fun as well.  A half pound burger with bacon for $14 or so isn’t out of this world expensive, either.

Reputation: Most poor reviews cite low food quality, but applaud the fun atmosphere. Ignore these and visit for the atmosphere and burgers.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy Keegan August 10, 2013 at 7:50 am

Just made a reservation here for September 2013 and it says it is covered by the Deluxe Dining Plan (1 Entitlement)

mike September 10, 2013 at 7:09 pm

its on the dining plan now but this is an older review

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