Our consideration of all things Animal Kingdom fast food inches towards its eventual conclusion as we take a closer look at what DinoLand offers.
Dino Diner is the name of one of Walt Disney World’s most precious outlets and one that’s overlooked by just about everyone that passes.
Quite a few items have moved on and off the menu over the years.
As recently as last month, you would have run into this lineup headlined by what I’m certain is a largely-inedible “Italian Sausage Hoagie.”
Circa January 2k19, you’ll instead see this menu that’s now heavy on Chili. Interestingly, Disney debuted about 15 new snack-size items at a variety of Animal Kingdom kiosks as part of a limited time Rivers of Light dining package around the holidays. All of those items were removed from the menus back during the first week of the month, with the exception of this $8.49 “Corn Chip Pie – Corn Chips, Chili, Sour Cream, Green Onion, Shredded Cheddar, and Jalapeno.”
I’m not sure what set of circumstances would bring someone to the Dino Diner to order Corn Chip Pie, but here we are. The dish is just about what you would expect with Disney’s standard, inoffensive beef and bean chili on top of a lot of Fritos that are accompanied by the lowest quality shredded cheese that money can buy, a dollop of sour cream with some green onion in it, and two slices of jalapeno on top, perhaps for the sake of color. I actually have a bit of a soft spot for Disney chili – there’s just something comforting about it and here at the Dino Diner, you don’t have to suffer through the smell of Casey’s Corner to order it. It ends up being a sizable, filling snack that several people could share. The dish also looked “made to order,” so you could leave something off. I would have liked more sour cream, myself. I don’t think I would recommend seeking this out given all of the other interesting options available around Animal Kingdom, but those going Full DinoLand may appreciate a carnival-esque “treat.”
Here’s the rest of the menu.
Like a lot of the other frozen beverages available around the Park, the Frozen Lemonade with Bacardi Raspberry Rum is “just” Minute-Maid Frozen Lemonade on top of about an ounce of the Bacardi that’s poured on the bottom of the glass. The drink ends up being refreshing, but don’t expect it to pack a punch like some of the drinks we saw at Dawa Bar in Africa.
For reasons unbeknownst to me, the Restaurantosaurus Lounge is a thing.
The menu and hours are not officially posted online, but you’ll typically see it open around noon and continue to operate through sometime near Park close.
The Lounge is an opportunity to grab one of four Cocktails, three Mocktails, or two “Bites.”
There’s also a handful of beers and a few wines offered at some hefty markups.
You’ll typically find one bartender inside who operates the register and creates the drinks.
You can then choose to stay and enjoy the food and drinks inside what used to be one of the dining rooms for Regular Restaurantosaurus or at least take the drinks to go.
You could probably walk away with one of the bowls, but it’s not exactly the most-transportable stuff.
Restaurantosaurus is potentially underappreciated on the thematic front.
There’s all sorts of interesting details here:
Originally, a curtain separated the rest of the quick service dining area from the lounge space.
These days, it’s more likely to be open. If you’re going to take anything away from this “review,” it might be that you should seek these tables out if you’re planning on eating at Regular Restaurantosaurus as they’re quieter and much less likely to be occupied. The Lounge is heavily advertised at the Park with a variety of signs in all shapes and sizes, which is somewhat amusing considering there’s no online listing for it.
Here’s the $11.25 “Carnotaurus Meteoritis – Bourbon Sour – Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Lemon Juice, Strawberry Puree, and Sweet-and-Sour topped with Sprite,” which was pretty rough with an overwhelming sour flavor and an unpleasantly thick, syrupy mouthfeel.
The $12.50 “Ferminted Fossil – Bacardi Gran Reserva Maestro Rum, Mint, Lime Juice, and Pure Cane Syrup topped with Soda Water” tastes a lot like I imagine a fossil would. I’m also guessing that “Ferminted” is a play on words, though they misspell one of the names of the wines too. Anyway, this actually uses a pretty decent rum, but any of that nuance is going to be washed away by what ended up being some pretty foul tasting mint that might have been older than the bones.
Next up is the $12.50 “Tequilasaurus – Tart Margarita – Herradura Reposado Tequila, Bols Creme de Cassis, Lime Juice, and Sweet-and-Sour” along with what is probably the worst picture ever taken of it. Originally, the menu didn’t include the more common names for the drinks, so “Tart Margarita” was absent. And this is incredibly tart and I’m not sure exactly why given the list of ingredients. You’d be better off with just a shot of the tequila.
Finally, we have the $11.50 “Primordial Booze – Three Olives Blueberry Vodka, Bols Blue Curacao, and Odwalla Lemonade with juices of Lemon and Pomegranate,” which is fruity and sour with virtually no flavor from the Vodka, which may or may not be a good thing.
In my experience, none of these drinks are worth going out of your way to try, particularly at these prices.
$6 buys you a small bowl of Sweet-and-Spicy Nuts, which aren’t far off from the standard-issue Disney nut available at a variety of quick service locations. In this particular instance, there was too much sugar going on and the nuts ended up being far too sweet for our tastes.
$9 buys you some Buffalo Chicken Dip with House-made Chips.
Since I tried the dip, it’s apparently been gussied up with some additional toppings, including the actual inclusion of chicken, which “feels” like a step in the right direction. That’s Disney’s promo shot above. It’s actually pretty good, too, and quite shareable. The problem may be that you’re still at Restaurantosaurus.
Overall, Restaurantosaurus is not typically where I want to lounge and the food and drink options would have to be really, really good to convince me to spend time there versus something like Nomad Lounge, which is infinitely more comfortable. Potentially, the one thing the Lounge has is actually Restaurantosaurus next door, so if you want to sit and enjoy a couple of drinks after picking up Dad some chicken nuggets, there is that. But I think the drinks are better and sometimes cheaper at just about every other Park installation.
Speaking of Restaurantosaurus, this is what you’ll find over on that menu these days. They’ve somewhat recently added the same Breaded Shrimp as you’d find at Columbia Harbour House and the Bacon Cheeseburger Combo is potentially worth taking a look at if you’re interested in all three pieces that make it up. If you were ordering a la carte, it’s about $22 worth of stuff for the $16 ask.
Further confusing things, Restaurantosaurus also offers its own Cocktailosaurus in their pre-mixed Margarita, in addition to a couple of beers. Kids’ Meals are still served with the plastic shovel and pail, which seems a little odd for a company supposedly trying to reduce its plastic waste. I might want a straw, but I don’t need a plastic shovel.
Three Jalapeno Poppers with Petal Sauce will set you back $4.49 or a snack credit.
Six come to an order over at Golden Oak Outpost at Magic Kingdom for just a dollar more. They’re pretty good, but maybe not for $1.50 per Popper.
Seasonal Cupcakes are also available, here with the Lotus Blossom version.
Here’s last month’s entry. They’re typically pretty intricate creations.
Dino-Bite Snacks is located to the right of Restaurantosaurus.
Despite offering some items that have been popular at places like Sleepy Hollow Refreshments for years, it remains decidedly unpopular, perhaps because of its location off to the side of DinoLand.
There’s yet another popup bar in DinoLand across from The Boneyard.
It’s another opportunity to grab a beer or pre-mixed cocktail without having to try to find the entrance to Restaurantosaurus Lounge.
Trilo-Bites is something that you should never Google. If you can’t remember if it has a hyphen in the name or if there’s two “l’s” or what have you, just guess. It’s not worth it. You’ll find the stand just outside of DinoLand.
The Buffalo Chicken Chips are actually one of my favorite things, though now the Dip that we saw over at the Lounge is sort of a deconstructed version.
According to my review:
The shredded buffalo chicken has a little bit of a spicy kick to it that may be a little mild for those looking for something seriously spicy. You could ask about adding some more hot sauce. But I appreciated the peppery spice of the chicken against the piquant spiciness of the creamy blue cheese on top of Disney’s standard “house made potato chips,” which were fresh, crunchy, salty, and perhaps most importantly, plentiful. The arugula on top basically makes this a salad and adds a leafy crunch to each bite and the ranch dressing drizzled on top helped bring the whole thing together. Each plate is made fresh to order, which goes a long way too.
That is potentially one thing about the Lounge – the food is pre-made and sitting around until someone orders it. So if you don’t want blue cheese or tomatoes or something you’re out of luck at the Lounge, while they can make those modifications here. You also benefit from not being at Restaurantosaurus.
Here’s the $11.50 “Smokey Bones Chocolate Shake – Includes Bourbon and Candied Bacon:”
Typically, Disney’s version of a “milkshake” is just their soft serve ice cream dispensed into a different cup, which is something I avoid 99% of the time for that reason. But I was in the mood for something very cold and very thick, and surprisingly, this was not it. It actually wasn’t very cold at all and had more of a thin, almost foam-like texture to it. The pour of Knob Creek Single Barrel was heavy, which I appreciated, but I think it would be too strong for at least 90% of the people that would consider ordering it. The candied bacon was satisfyingly crunchy – equal parts salty and sweet – but I would have preferred a much colder, much thicker shake. This may be proof that you just can’t please me. The guy complains when there’s no alcohol in the drinks…complains when there’s too much alcohol in the drinks…complains that it’s just soft serve…complains that it’s not just soft serve…
It’s at least something different.
1,800 more words on Disney quick service. We’ll finish things up with Flame Tree Barbecue and some of the kiosks that circle Discovery Island that we skipped over.