The theming behind Dinoland U.S.A. is lost on just about every visitor that passes through it. The land tells the rich history of Diggs County, a location that has been a hotbed for paleontology work since the first tyrannosaurus rex fossil was discovered in 1947. Since that discovery, a flurry of competing interests have descended on the area. On one hand, scientists work tirelessly to unearth rare prehistoric fossils. On the other hand, shrewd businessmen (and Chester and Hester) looking to make a quick buck have set up shop throughout the county in droves. On a third hand, interns with a questionable work ethic have taken over the fishing lodge. You may be familiar with Chester and Hester, the couple that opened their first gas station long before dino-madness reached fever pitch. Since the dino-discovery, Chester and Hester have continued to expand their mini-empire of roadside attractions and carnival games into what’s now known as “Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama!” Many guests swear-off this collection of kitschy novelties as “unworthy of being in a Disney World theme park.” However, any imagineer that worked on Animal Kingdom would tell you that more time and thought went into constructing Dinoland than any of the other lands. Take a moment to appreciate some of the finer details and aritfacts that create the backstory to Dinoland on your next trip. Everything that may at first glance seem inappropriate or out of place is there for a specific reason – to enhance the story of Diggs County and the Dino Institute.
At one time, Restaurant-osaurus was a fishing lodge and the main gathering point of the many scientists and their interns when they first arrived on site in 1947. Slowly, the interns took over the lodge and it became their principle living quarters. Over the years, the restaurant has expanded to include a trailer, mechanic’s shop, outfitter’s room, games area, and more. Each seating section has a distinct flair and you may want to take a moment to find an area that fits your personality. Or you may just want to find a table with enough chairs around it.
Enough with the history lesson you say? Okay. Let’s get to it.
Restaurantosaurus is usually listed near the bottom of most people’s lists of best Animal Kingdom quick services. While Animal Kingdom has a limited number of eateries, each of them is above average. You’ve got Yak & Yeti serving Asian-inspired dishes, Flame Tree BBQ serving the best barbecue in Disney World, Pizzafari offering a steadfast variety of pizzas, and Restaurantosaurus………..serving Disney hamburgers and chicken nuggets.
(Click menu for more readable image)
It may not be the most awe-inspiring menu, but Disney has updated it a bit over the years to include some more interesting options. The Vegetable Sub-osaurus is an excellent choice for vegetarians, for example. The Dig Site Salad is also a potentially fresh, low-calorie option, depending on your choice of salad dressing. Even the burger is Disney’s version of “upgraded.” I’ve been interested in the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich ever since I heard about it last year. I was also interested to see if they would substitute the sweet potato fries that accompany the Vegetable Sub for the apple slices or regular french fries that come with the other various entrees.
That brings me to the most important piece of advice I’ll ever post on this website:
Arrive prior to Park opening? Nope.
Go straight to Toy Story Mania, followed by Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster, Tower of Terror, and Star Tours? Nope.
Use FASTPASS as efficiently as possible? Nope.
Be wary of fast food seafood while on vacation? WE HAVE A WINNER FOLKS.
Nothing puts a damper on a vacation quite like undercooked scallops. Trust me. Luckily, since I’m technically not on vacation and live just a few miles away, I figured I could take one for the team. And I have a laptop just in case I have to spend the next three days in the bathroom.
Here we have the Shrimp Po Boy with sweet potato fries. I’m happy to report that the sweet potato fries can be substituted for apple slices or fries on any regular adult entree for no additional cost – just request them when ordering. The sandwich itself has a ton of fried shrimp on a fresh, chewy roll. The sauce has a bit of a tang to it, though it isn’t particularly spicy or overpowering. You can also see a bit of lettuce poking out the bottom. The sweet potato fries are a nice addition to the meal too. I’d be ecstatic if they rolled them out as an option at more quick service locations. They had a satisfying crunch and a nice sweet/salty balance.
One other nice bonus at Restaurantosaurus is the fact that you fill up your own beverage cup with whatever soda concoction you like. The woman serving food was nice enough to remind everyone that refills are free. I’ll just point out that they use the same cups here as everywhere else on property.
Your usual selection of beverages.
Not Disney’s finest fixins bar, but a decent selection of toppings, dressings, and sauces.
Here are some examples of the various seating and decoration choices alluded to earlier in this piece.
Overall, Restaurantosaurus has some distinct advantages, including plentiful air-conditioned seating, outdoor terrace seating, free refills on beverages, and a few interesting options for adults. The Vegetable Subosaurus is one of the most popular vegetarian items on property and the Shrimp Po Boy sandwich is a viable option for those looking to mix things up just a little bit. The sweet potato fries are an excellent addition to the menu and I highly recommend them if you’re looking for something that at least tastes healthier than the standard fare. I wouln’t put Restaurantosaurus ahead of Flame Tree BBQ or Yak & Yeti on your list if you’re trying to decide on a single quick service, but it does offer much more comfortable seating and a “safe” menu for picky eaters. You may want to bring your meal from nearby Flame Tree over to Restaurantosaurus. You can easily enter the seating area through the “Pterodactyl Terrace” doors pictured above or through any of other other entrances/exits.