Flame Tree Barbecue Review at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Flame Tree Barbecue is located in the Discovery Island section.
See this page for all of the Disney’s Animal Kingdom quick service reviews.
Location: You’ll find Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island on the same walkway that would eventually put you in DinoLand USA.
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.
Food Type: Barbecue.
Dining Plan: Yes, quick service.
Discount: Flame Tree Barbecue accepts the Tables in Wonderland Card for a 20% discount and does not tack on an 18% gratuity.
Flame Tree Barbecue Menu
Unique Items: With the opening of the Regal Eagle Barbecue at Epcot, and The Polite Pig at Disney Springs, Flame Tree Barbecue’s status as “easily the best BBQ on property” is probably more questionable. Still, much of what you find at Flame Tree is unique to the location, including the St. Louis Ribs and Smokehouse Chicken Salad.
- BBQ is fresher, smokier, and more meaty than you’ll find at other Disney-operated quick services outside of Regal Eagle.
- High quality ingredients and preparation.
- The Baked Chicken Drumstick is a nice, unique choice for kids.
- There’s a surprising amount of variety. I like to split the Smokehouse Salad or Macaroni and Cheese along with the Ribs to mix things up a bit.
- Onion rings are a large portion for the money or a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan. The Sampler Platter is among the most expensive entrees available on the quick service Dining Plan.
- Vast outdoor seating with beautiful garden views and picturesque waterside tables overlooking the water.
- Service is friendly and surprisingly fast considering preparation is a little more complicated. Consider mobile order to cut down on waiting in line even more.
- One of only a handful of quick services that offer the Tables in Wonderland discount. Restaurantosaurus and Pizzafari also offer it.
- 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. You (probably) won’t get wet if it’s raining.
- Menu offers less variety than a lot of locations.
Value: Excellent. Most of the entrees 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. On the Dining Plan, you can’t do much better than that Sampler.
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. It may be hard deciding whether you’d prefer to have lunch/dinner here or Satu’li Canteen in Pandora.
Flame Tree Barbecue Food and Drink Reviews
$19 Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler – Smoked Ribs, Chicken and Pulled Pork served with Signature Baked Beans and Coleslaw
Since this is a terrible picture, and each of the pieces that make up the Platter are a part of the other entrees, I’ll discuss them in more detail below. It’s worth noting that the Sampler isn’t a full portion of all three items. You do come away with about $19 worth of food compared to spending the money elsewhere.
$16.29 – St. Louis Rib Dinner – St. Louis Ribs served with Beans and Coleslaw
At $16.29, the St. Louis Ribs Dinner is another great value on the Dining Plan.
Twelve meaty bones arrived on the plate, each with a lot of tender, juicy meat trying to cling on for dear life. Cornbread comes and goes at Flame Tree; it’s currently not offered with any of the entrees. Fortunately, you can add a piece to a meal for an extra two dollars.
The rub had a nice spice to it and the sweet & spicy barbecue sauce is delicious.
The beans exceeded expectations as well. So often reduced to mush, the beans were soft, but retained just a little bit of a bite to them. The sauce was thick and surprisingly flavorful.
I’m not much of a coleslaw person because I “feel” like the cabbage is so often swimming in mayo. Luckily, Flame Tree’s was nice and light with a little bit of a sweet crunch that was actually a nice cool accompaniment to the spicy barbecue.
I really couldn’t believe how good everything tasted and it was incredibly filling. Add onion rings and you have enough food for two hungry people to comfortably share.
$13.29 Half Chicken – Marinated Slow-smoked Chicken served with Signature Baked Beans and Coleslaw
Even in the almost complete darkness that I took this picture, I think the plump quality of the juicy chicken is evident.
$15.49 Ribs and Chicken Combo – Ribs and Chicken served with Signature Baked Beans and Coleslaw
You’re not the only one who notices a slight difference in the lighting and quality of some of these pictures. The Ribs and Chicken Combo typically comes with a half portion of the Chicken and Ribs described above along with the same size cup of each of the two sides. I think going Full Ribs is the smarter buy, but that may be because I eat a lot of chicken at home.
$12 Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork – Baked Macaroni and Cheese topped with Smoked Pulled Pork, Onion Rings and Coleslaw
This tastes better than it has any right to and everyone that I’ve recommended the dish to personally has either enjoyed it or been too nervous to tell me they didn’t like it, probably because most Disney bloggers are very intimidating individuals. The proportions are just right; there’s enough of the sweet barbecue sauce to add plenty of tang without getting in the way of the creamy, comforting quality of the cheesy pasta. The Coleslaw is on the dry side. That’s a good thing in this context, and provides a little bit of a crunch to as many bites as you’d like. There’s also the two onion rings on top, adding a crispy, piquant quality to the overall flavor profile.
There’s a surprising attention to detail as well. A cast member carefully drizzled barbecue sauce over the top of the onion rings after delicately placing them on top of what ends up being an incredibly filling meal. These days, I’m not one who typically has any trouble polishing off even the biggest of Disney spreads, but Erin and I shared one of these along with an order of onion rings and couldn’t finish the thing. So I think it’s a pretty shareable entree as well. You could always pair it with one of the more traditional barbecue items.
$11 Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich topped with Coleslaw and served with Signature Baked Beans
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 most other Disney-operated quick services. Elsewhere, a cast member typically pulls the meat out of a food services bag by the handful and plops it in between an old bun. Both Flame Tree’s Regular and Spicy Barbecue Sauces are available on the side. The bun is an improvement over what we would have received a couple of years ago. It holds up well to the meat and the sauce, while increasing fluffiness. Very good.
$11 Smokehouse Chicken Salad – Pulled Chicken on topped Mixed Greens Salad tossed with Smoked Cheddar Cheese, Diced Granny Smith Apples, Cornbread Croutons, Crispy Onions and Barbecue Ranch Dressing
Like most Disney salads, all of the ingredients were incredibly fresh with crisp lettuce and plentiful chicken that carried a nice smoky flavor underneath the tangy barbecue dressing. The cornbread croutons stuck out in particular, crumbly and sweet with a nice chew.
This is a nice, light-yet-filling meal that will keep you going for a while without making you feel like you’re weighed down.
$11 Hot Link Smokehouse Sandwich – Plant-based Sausage topped with a Tangy Mustard Barbecue Sauce, Slaw, and Crispy Onions on a House-made New England-style Roll
The “Sausage” shines here like it does at other locations that serve it, like Friar’s Nook at Magic Kingdom, juicy and flavorful with a delicious snap to each bite. The Slaw added a nice crunch, but I would have liked more tang to contrast better with the meatiness of the Sausage. The cabbage was surprisingly bland and the Barbecue Sauce was almost nonexistent. Both of those things could be easily rectified. And, if you don’t like a pungent tang to your slaw, then you’ll prefer this version anyway. The Roll was soft and fresh and did a nice job of holding everything together. Unfortunately, it was so dense that I think it cut into the flavors of the other parts of the sandwich.
Still, at 11 bucks and completely vegan, this is a triumph. Even if you’re the sort of smug person who leaves comments attacking vegans on a Disney World blog, if I handed this thing to you, I can virtually guarantee that you would like it. And that’s the way it should be. It probably doesn’t do quite enough to get me to order it over the Ribs, Pulled Pork Mac & Cheese, or other dishes here, but I would certainly consider it over a lot of entrees at lesser quick services if given that opportunity.
$4.49 Onion Ring Basket
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. At less than half the price, the portion is also substantially larger. Try dipping them into some of Flame Tree’s signature spicy barbecue sauce. Thank me later.
$11 Mandarin Orange Vodka Lemonade featuring Skyy Mandarin Orange Vodka with ripe flavors of Tangerine and Lemon Zest
The Mandarin Orange Lemonade is also available as a non-alcoholic option. The boozy version arrives with about 1.5 ounces of Skyy Mandarin Orange Vodka on the bottom. I’d consider adding one of these to a Dining Plan meal, but Dawa Bar and Thirsty River Bar both do cocktails better and both enjoy a longer list of options. For an indoor experience, there’s always Nomad Lounge.
$10 Safari Amber
This one is pictured at Yak & Yeti. Safari Amber is a decent red/amber ale brewed by Anheuser-Busch. 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 gorgeous views of the water and Expedition Everest in the background. A great number of tables also surround beautiful gardens and fountains.
Here are a few classic images that I’ll be sure to update the next time I’m out there:
Overall, Flame Tree Barbecue and Satu’li Canteen are, arguably, the two best quick service options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Satu’li potentially offers more variety, but Flame Tree is a venerable favorite for a reason.