9/12/15 Update: Menu updated.
Although Flame Tree is prominent, it is still in sort of a quirky location in Discovery Island. Right now, I’m standing with my back to it. If I were to turn around, it would be directly in front of us on the left side, which is also the walkway into DinoLand from Discovery Island.
Food Type: Barbecue.
Dining Plan: One Quick Service or One Snack.
Discount: Flame Tree Barbecue accepts the Tables in Wonderland Card for a 20% discount and does not tack on an 18% gratuity.
Unique Items: While every item isn’t overtly unique, most of what’s offered is uniquely higher quality than other quick services offering a similar menu. The barbecue is smoked in-house with better rubs and featuring Flame Tree’s unique barbecue sauce. The Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad, Watermelon Salad, and Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich are unique recipes.
- BBQ is fesher, smokier, and more meaty than you’ll find at Fairfax Fare or Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
- High quality ingredients and preparation.
- The Baked Chicken Drumstick is a nice, unique choice for kids.
- Two can easily share a hearty entree and a watermelon salad for a healthier meal.
- Onion rings are a large portion for the money or a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan
- Vast outdoor seating with a beautiful garden views and picturesque waterside tables overlooking Expedition Everest.
- Service is friendly and surprisingly fast considering preparation is a little more complicated.
- Birds in particular are omnipresent, particularly if people are actively feeding them. Make sure you have someone watching the food or something might go for a walk.
- While most seating is covered, it’s still outdoors. It does feel cooler than Yak & Yeti with the fans and ceilings and you won’t get wet if it’s raining.
- It usually stops serving one hour before regular Park close.
Value: Excellent. Most of the entrées are big enough to share, especially considering how many other goodies can be found around the Park for those who aren’t stuffed from lunch. An entrée, drink, and dessert cost as much as $24, making this an excellent value on the Dining Plan as well.
Reputation: This is one of the best counter service outlets in any of the Disney Parks. All of the barbecue options taste good and the portions are large. The fresh fruit plate is a nice addition to any meal. There really isn’t much else to say. This and Harambe Market offer the most unique, highest quality quick service food in the Parks.
Ribs and Chicken Combo:
This is a no-brainer on the Dining Plan with the high cost and suitable for most pairs of people to share. The chicken is juicy with a nice natural smoky flavor and the ribs are tender and meaty.
Pulled Pork Sandwich:
This is the current Pork Sandwich sans pickled slaw, which you can order on the side if it doesn’t sound good. The pork here is done better than anywhere else, more flavorful and more “real” than other quick services. You can add your own sauce from the condiment bar. The bun is an improvement over the pre-refurbishment version, holding up well to the meat and the sauce, while increasing fluffiness. Very good.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad:
It’s described as “A delightful Salad with Black Beans, Sweet Corn, mixed greens, Chipotle Yogurt Dressing, and Cornbread Crumbs.”
It had a mild, generic spiciness to it from the jalapeno cornbread and chipotle pepper in the dressing, but the chicken wasn’t overtly spiced and there was really nothing Jamaican Jerk about it. The beans were soft and had virtually no flavor to speak of and while the corn offered a little sweetness, the overwhelming flavor was just the generic peppery spice. It wasn’t “bad” by any stretch of the imagination and it’s still the best quick service salad in the Park, beating out Pizzafari’s Caesar, Restaurantosaurus’s BLT, and Yak & Yeti’s Ginger Chicken, but that isn’t a particularly high bar to reach. I personally preferred the previous iteration.
Smoked Turkey Breast with Cranberry Mayonnaise and Fresh Fruit:
This sandwich was surprisingly bland for something described as “served on sunflower bread with cranberry mayonnaise with fresh fruit.” I was expecting more of a pronounced cranberry flavor, but there wasn’t much flavor at all, either from the mayo or the turkey itself. I usually order the pork sandwich or ribs, but was in the mood for something cold and a touch “lighter.” I don’t think I’ll be returning to this sandwich any time soon. On the plus side, the slice of melon was fresh.
Onion Ring Basket:
I know I shouldn’t say this, but the Onion Rings are among the best quick service values at Walt Disney World. The rings are freshly fried, piping hot, and piled high. There’s onion in there, but it isn’t overwhelming. I’d charge that they’re as good, if not better, than the onion rings you’d receive at 50′s Prime Time or Sci-Fi and at half the price, you get a larger portion.
Mandarin Orange Vodka Lemonade:
It tasted strongly of cheap vodka, resulting in this website’s highest recommendation. It’s not the most refreshing cocktail, but it packs a punch.
This one is pictured at Yak & Yeti. Safari Amber is a decent red/amber ale brewed by Anheuser-Busch, though it’s the same specialty ale Budweiser shops to a number of restaurants and theme parks. It is above average for Animal Kingdom and a more robust option than the usual Bud Light.
Flame Tree Barbecue features tables with an amazing view of the water and Expedition Everest in the background as well as a great number of tables that sit in otherwise pleasant surroundings. The downsides are that all tables are outside and birds are common in the area thanks to food scraps and feeding. Arrive around 11am in order to snag a table near the water or eat between 3pm and 4:30pm to have a better chance. Luckily, Flame Tree has a ton of tables spread out amongst several different areas.