Tusker House Buffet Review at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

by josh on March 9, 2010

Food Type: Buffet. Character meal for breakfast and lunch.

Characters: Donald takes pictures with guests but does not meet table-side.

Location: Africa, on the left next to Dawa Bar while walking to Kilimanjaro Safaris

Dining Plan: 1 Table Service

Cost:

Breakfast for seatings from 8am – 10:55am: $26 – $30 for adults and $15 – $17 for children

Lunch for seatings from 11am – 2:45pm: $29 – $32 for adults and $16 – $18 for children

Dinner  for seatings from 3:45pm through 15 minutes before close- no characters: $28 – $33 for adults and $15 – $17 for children

Pricing depends on time of year. Expect to pay on the lower end during less busy times.

Menus:

Breakfast: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/tusker-house-restaurant/menus/breakfast/

Lunch: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/tusker-house-restaurant/menus/lunch/

Dinner: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/animal-kingdom/tusker-house-restaurant/menus/dinner/

Discounts: 20% Tables in Wonderland

Setting: Themed to a colorful Harambe marketplace, the wide-open buffet area makes it easy to check out the 30+ choices. The dining rooms are much less garish than your typical character buffet, with a few authentic artifacts that fit in with the theme.

Advantages:

  • Wide variety of food, including traditional favorites and African specialties.
  • Plenty of room to move around in the buffet area, unlike most
  • Character interaction is less rushed than most buffets because it’s typically less busy.
  • Characters lead dances and games throughout the meal.
  • Juices are great.
  • A few dollars cheaper than other buffets.
  • If you have an early breakfast reservation (before 8:45am) you can enter  the Park early and get some great pictures with no one else around.

Disadvantages:

  • That PhotoPass picture taken with Donald costs thirty-plus dollars, but you can take your own too.
  • The restaurant is at the back of the Park, which can mean a long walk if you’re going straight there early in the morning. It’s inconvenient from any location other than Africa.
  • Not the most kid-friendly buffet as far as food is concerned, but there should be plenty to eat even for the most unadventurous. Lunch/dinner choices include corn dog nuggets, macaroni and cheese, and vegetables. Breakfast offers standard staples like Mickey waffles and pancakes.

8am Breakfast? An early breakfast may sound appealing, but it’s awfully early. Because Animal Kingdom opens 15 minutes before it officially says it is (usually 8:45am), you’ll need to be seated, meet the characters, and finish breakfast in about 30 minutes or you risk people arriving at the major attractions before you. That means you’ll either be paying a lot of money for a short character breakfast or paying a lot of money for a long character breakfast followed by long lines at the major rides. Consider a 10:30am breakfast, which gives you an hour and a half to hit the major rides with short waits before taking a break at the restaurant.

Tips: The wait for your table can be long due to a backup for Donald pictures. If you’re not interested, ask to skip the line. Schedule a meal right before Park close and you’ll be able to take your time and exit the Park with very few people around. Book a late breakfast and you’ll be able to enjoy breakfast items first and lunch options beginning around 11am.

Value: Above average.  Tusker House is a little less expensive than many of the other buffets on property and the food and service are generally better.  It’s similar in its offerings to the popular Boma buffet at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and more convenient for those who aren’t staying there.

Reputation: Tusker House isn’t particularly popular, probably because it’s the name doesn’t exactly scream excitement.  Had they named this “Mickey’s Jungle Safari Breakfast,” it would probably be sold out just like Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort.  You can take advantage of this though, because the food and service at Tusker are among the best of any buffet at Disney.  It’s also a bit quieter and there’s more space at the buffet lines and around the tables than at some of the other buffets. Dinner is usually deserted. Overall, Tusker House is a great buffet at any time of day and you should be able to get a reservation without much trouble.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Ladd June 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

The walk is good for you and it well help to improve your appetite.And the food is fine for all ages.It’s just that some people are never happy.

Dave December 4, 2011 at 11:20 pm

We have this schedule for Lunch on our upcoming vacation and a recent change will be the inclusion of characters for lunch, really looking forward to this meal, will provide a review once we are back.

Big Foot January 31, 2013 at 1:28 pm

We ate here for lunch and the whole experience was the worst of our trip! We had an 11:15am reservation but waited a full 90 minutes to even get in the restaurant. To make matters worse, it was August and the temps were scorching hot and they make you wait outside in the heat. We were put at a corner table and the waiter took awhile to notice we were there. The first character came into the room (Goofy) and he skipped our table. We just got up and left. Never again! Worst meal of our Disney trip.

Crystal May 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm

I just called reservations to see how much it is – now $30.99+tax/tip for Breakfast for the 1st week of December, which is a slow week. I am not sure I am willing to pay that much for breakfast.

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