We’ll head out to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park to try what the company is calling “Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes.”
Disney has been trying to push people to this corner of the Park to eat and drink for some time.
Last year, they tried the Restaurantosaurus Lounge, which I reviewed in this post. The offering is a little bit silly as you’ll find yourself drinking what basically amounts to flavored fruit syrup in a similar seating section to the rest of Restaurantosaurus. Since it’s inside Restaurantosaurus.
Anyone looking to relax a bit with quality food and drinks should only look towards Nomad Lounge.
But the Lounge operation is not why we’re here, of course, even if it remains in operation.
Back on August 18th, Disney debuted yet another new offering at Restaurantosaurus, Burgers and Sundaes, currently available daily from 4:30pm through 7:30pm, with reservations currently available through November 10th. If the initiative proves successful, then you would expect Disney to release availability for the rest of the year and into 2020 at some point in the future.
Here are your entree and side options under the Burgers and Sundaes header:
When I dined here last week, they were quite adamant about needing a reservation to participate. The cast member outside wouldn’t even show me the menu until I confirmed that I belonged via my confirmation number. This was all the more baffling when after I was seated, all of six tables were occupied. If you are interested in Burgers and Sundaes, then you do want a reservation, which should be available on the day-of without much trouble. Officially, walk-ups may be accommodated, particularly after 7pm, but I’d go ahead and make the reservation if you’re interested.
You can pull up availability, along with the official word, here on Disney’s site. A few dates are marked unavailable for whatever reason, including August 29th and September 3rd through 5th. There may be private events scheduled with “media” in town for the opening of Galaxy’s Edge.
The screenshot above also takes us to our next point, which is the cost – $23 for adults and $15 for kids. This includes your choice of entree as stipulated above, along with a side of Steak Fries, Onion Rings, a mixture of the two, or a Salad. The Sundae and non-alcoholic beverage are also included in the cost. Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes also costs one quick service credit on the Disney Dining Plan, which makes it an attractive value. The Pizzafari Family Style dinner offering is $23/adults and $13/kids, or about the same money, and is also good for a quick service credit. Most of the reviews that you read will try to tell you that this is a stellar value on the Dining Plan.
Putting together a quick service meal that costs more than $20 with just an entree and non-alcoholic beverage isn’t particularly difficult these days, though. At Flame Tree Barbecue, they have a $19 Ribs, Chicken and Pulled Pork Sampler on the menu, along with $18.29 St. Louis Ribs. Add a $4 soda and you’re right around the $23 cost of Pizzafari or Restaurantosaurus. Satu’li Canteen also offers the $17 Grilled Beef and Chicken Combination Bowl. A meal with a $5 drink would come out to $22, or just a dollar shy of Pizzafari/Restaurantosaurus. So $23 is a good “value” for a quick service credit, particularly considering the fact that it includes dessert, but it’s not far and away better than what you could put together elsewhere without the hassle of locking in a reservation time or waiting until after 4:30pm to eat.
Here’s the Kids’ Menu, which still looks to include the plastic pail and shovel that you probably don’t want, along with beverage options:
On the Dining Plan, you should be able to add one of the “Beverages with Alcohol.”
The cups for the hot and cold beverages are out and available for the taking. You can use that information however you’d like.
The beverage lineup is a solid one and includes Vitamin Water Acai Blueberry Pomegranate, along with Sprite Zero and the usual suspects.
Hot Chocolate, Iced Tea, Twinings Tea, and Joffrey’s Coffee, and Joffrey’s Cold Brew are also available. If you’d like a SmartWater, Dasani Water, Chocolate Milk, or Apple Juice, then you may need to make that request to one of the cast members in the seating area. At least when we visited, they weren’t distributing beverages at the ordering area at all.
Speaking of ordering, after you check in at the podium on the left after entering Restaurantosaurus, you’ll be pointed over to one of the dedicated Burgers and Sundaes registers. Here, only one register is in operation with nobody waiting behind the group currently placing an order.
Regular Restaurantosaurus continues to operate at the same time with the regular menu available.
Here’s what that looks like:
Interestingly, Restaurantosaurus is one of only a couple of quick services that has historically offered a “Full Meal Deal.” For $17, that’s the Bacon Cheeseburger Combo, which includes Disney’s usual 1/3 LB Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with French Fries, Fountain Beverage, and Dessert. That’s six dollars less than the “gourmet” options that we’ll be trying as part of Burgers and Sundaes, which includes what we’re hoping is a better sandwich and the sundae in place of the brownie.
Anyone ordering off of the regular menu will be seated on the opposite side of Restaurantosaurus in their own seating section. It was slightly unclear whether sharing was “encouraged” and what would happen if three people wanted the fixed price Burgers and Sundaes menu, while another member of the party was after some Breaded Shrimp or Chicken Nuggets off the regular menu. Typically, Disney hates to say no unless they absolutely have to, so if you go as a couple and want to share a burger and sundae, then they should let you do just that. My estimation is that you could bring in food items from Restaurantosaurus or elsewhere so long as other members of the group were partaking in the Burgers and Sundaes menu.
Here’s the available allergy information:
It’s particularly glossy.
The Burgers and Sundaes dining room is somewhat blocked off, though the bathrooms remain accessible to all. After you place your order, you’ll be walked to a table by a friendly cast member. While the whole reservation thing may be a little cumbersome, it was nice to enjoy such a non-hectic experience. We walked right up to the register and placed our order and then eventually, the food was brought out to us on a cart.
All of the tables are covered in a sheet of white butcher paper and a variety of crayons and Crayola markers are placed inside of buckets along with some dinosaur stencils for you to use to decorate while you wait for your food.
Is it art? We thought it was a fun little touch.
On to the food, there are five hamburger options on the menu. We’ve got the Sunny-Side Up Burger in the back left and the Chili-Cheese Corn Chips Burger to its right. On the bottom right is the Pulled Pork Barbecue Burger and to its left we have the Hand-breaded Chicken Sandwich. Other burger options include the Mushroom Swiss and the All-American Burger. There’s also a Plant-based Burger with Onion Jam and Gouda along with a Wedge Salad that we were assured was excellent. I’m sure there will be an opportunity to return for the other items, but I am trying to work up an appetite for the Food and Wine Festival, so I limited it to just four entrees.
First up, we have the “Chili Cheese Corn Chips Burger.” It’s worth noting that these are not your typical previously-frozen, then cooked to death burgers that you’ll find at most theme park quick services. Instead, the patties are a fresh combination of Ground Beef Chuck, Brisket, and Short Ribs. While they’re definitely heaviest on your standard ground beef, the addition of the Brisket and Short Ribs makes for a meatier, juicier burger with more depth of flavor. At least that would be true with a more delicate sear. We found the burgers to be reliably dry and overcooked, but they were still an improvement over what you’d find at Restaurantosaurus during lunch or across the way at dinner.
As far as the burger itself, there are some definite Taco Bell vibes from the mixture of beefy, bean-heavy chili, the thick slice of melted cheddar cheese, and the crunch of the Fritos. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the flavor works well with the tender beef patty to create a satisfying, mildly spicy bite.
Our cashier offered us a mixture of Onion Rings and Steak Fries as a side, which we took advantage of alongside the Chili-Cheese Burger. The Onion Rings are thick and crispy with a slender slice of sweet onion encased inside. The Steak Fries are a big improvement over Disney’s standard fry, also thick and crispy with a meaty potato quality.
Even better, you’ll have free reign over four unique dipping sauces. From left to right, we have Buffalo, BBQ Mustard, Mayo Ketchup, and Horseradish Sauce. These are right out of the D-Luxe Burger playbook, which means they’re both tasty and a mixed bag – it’s unlikely that your group will come to a consensus on which they prefer, which may be a good thing as there’s a lot of variety here. I like the creamy, slightly pungent quality of the Horseradish paired with the Onion Rings, while the Fries were enhanced by the various sauces in interesting ways. You might as well give all four a try.
Next up, we’ve got the Sunny-Side-Up Burger with a Fried Egg, two slices of Crispy Bacon, and a very melted slice of Swiss Cheese. The Brioche Buns are worth mentioning as they’re slathered with butter and toasted ever so slightly, making for a crisp bite that does a good job of keeping the considerable burger and toppings together. A manager confirmed that they were still shopping around for buns, which points to at least someone caring about quality. We liked what we got already, though.
The burger was executed surprisingly well. The fried egg is rich and crispy with a yolk that was just slightly runny, making for a more manageable bite. You could potentially argue that the egg was overcooked, but I’m not about eating a burger with a knife and fork, so I didn’t mind. Even the freshly-grilled bacon looks to be a big improvement over the regular mushy pieces that are typically served. Next to it is the full side of Onion Rings, which comes with about six.
The Pulled Pork Barbecue Burger is about what you would expect with a couple of the same crispy onion rings, a sizable pile of pulled pork, and a slice of melted cheese adorning the same bone dry burger as we’ve seen on the last two plates. At least the trays are a certain improvement over the black plastic plates from across the way. There’s a nice tang to this one that helps bring out the spices in the beef blend nicely. We also appreciated the different textures that each sandwich provided. This was the most straightforward of the burgers we tried, but it remains a tried and true mixture of flavors. That’s the full side of Steak Fries, potentially a little under-cooked, on the right.
Finally, we close things out with the Hand-breaded Chicken Sandwich with the Side Salad. First off, the Side Salad is legitimately delicious, fresh and vibrant with juicy slices of tomato on top of robust greens. It arrives with House-made Green Goddess Dressing, garlicky and herb-y with a cool, refreshing flavor. The Wedge Salad is topped with the same dressing and actually made me want to try the entree size version, even if I’m typically too busy and important to cut the wedge up myself.
The Chicken Sandwich was probably the most disappointing item of the day, and not only because I’ve been eating Popeye’s Chicken Sandwiches for all three meals for the last month. The light amount of Green Goddess dressing didn’t do enough to liven up the bland piece of meat and as you can see, the slice of tomato is just about as thick as the chicken, even after it’s thickly-breaded.
It’s still heaps better than the regular Grilled BLT Sandwich from Regular Restaurantosaurus. No matter how hard I’m coming down on any of these meals, they’re still better than just about any other quick service burger in any of the Disney World theme parks.
Upon being seated, each person who orders a meal will be presented with a Sundae Redemption Card – the most valuable card in your wallet.
The Ice Creamosaurus is located in the back left of the seating area.
Your card is good for two scoops of Edy’s finest in Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, and Raspberry Sorbet.
Even better, the Toppings Bar is better stocked than you might expect. Here it is from one side.
And the other. There seemed to be a dedicated cast member to tidy things up throughout the evening, which was nice as well.
There’s a handy map with the Hot Fudge and Hot Caramel off to the side. There are plenty of quality toppings here with Waffle Cone, Mickey Sprinkles, Cake Crumbs, and more.
The look of the Hot Fudge and Caramel Sauce is probably why you usually see them offered in those steel dispensers.
But you can load up on as many of the toppings as you like.
More loaded than others.
My dad is famous for ordering dessert first and you can head up to the Ice Creamosaurus at your leisure. It actually took over 20 minutes for our food to arrive after we ordered it, so that might not be such a bad idea.
You can mix and match flavors.
At least early on in the run, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes hasn’t proven to be particularly popular, which in turn makes it much more pleasant.
Cast were particularly attentive during our visit. The setup is similar to breakfast or lunch at Be Our Guest Restaurant, where you order and then the food is ideally wheeled out. Be Our Guest is so big and service is so impersonal that I’m always worried that my order was lost after ten-ish minutes of sitting idly by. At Restaurantosaurus, this was much less of a concern because you could easily get someone’s attention if you thought there was a problem. The butcher paper artwork situation also helps pass the time.
Atmospherically, Restaurantosaurus is probably underrated.
There’s a lot to see in what isn’t far off from a dinosaur lodge.
Overall, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes is a solid offering in a Park that probably didn’t need another one. The $23 price is relatively fair. At another quick service, like Cosmic Ray’s, a basic Angus Bacon Cheeseburger and Fries would run you $13.29. Sodas cost $4 and a comparable Sundae or ice cream novelty like a Mickey Ice Cream Bar would add ~$6. Add that up and you’re at $23.29, or almost exactly what Restaurantosaurus costs. On the plus side, the food is legitimately good for Disney quick service hamburgers, but Satu’li Canteen in Pandora and Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island remain great options with more variety. The fact that the Burgers and Sundaes menu is also offered for just three hours from the late afternoon to early evening may also be restricting. Most of us would probably move some things around for an ‘Ohana reservation, but you may be less inclined to work around a Restaurantosaurus hamburger meal where you’re required to arrive at 5:45pm. You do run the risk of the $10 per person no-show fee if you don’t show up to your reservation. The menu also isn’t particularly diverse with just sandwiches or the salad as your options. You should be able to order an extra hamburger a la carte for around $13, but probably only with another full-priced meal.
Restaurantosaurus exceeded my low expectations, offerings burgers that are about 71.4% as good as D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs. Ordinarily Disney theme park hamburgers are about 5.7% as good, so it’s a big improvement. For the money, the value is sort of there, compared to other middling quick services, given the higher quality for similar money. But you’re definitely locked into a restrictive set of conditions by default with each person needing to commit to their own meal. Disney will likely allow you to share or add a second sandwich to an order without the necessity to get a second side, drink, and sundae, but you’ll have to be “that person” for at least a moment in time. That may be worth saving $10-$23 and a couple thousand calories.
The $23 cost also isn’t far off the price of many of the entrees at a sit-down restaurant like Yak & Yeti.
This delicious pile of Ahi Tuna Nachos will run you “just” $17.
The Crispy Honey Chicken with Fried Rice will set you back $21, or $2 less than the Restaurantosaurus meal. It obviously doesn’t arrive with a fountain drink or dessert, though.
For quick service, I’m a big proponent of Flame Tree’s $12 Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork.
Add a $5 side of Onion Rings and you have plenty of food for two people to share for $17. That leaves with almost $30 left over compared to the price of Restaurantosaurus for two. For $47, you could get two Macaroni & Cheeses, two Onion Rings, two Fountain Sodas, and a cupcake. That’s just a dollar more than Restaurantosaurus. The Burgers and Sundaes menu also doesn’t qualify for any discounts. With my Tables in Wonderland card, I’d ordinarily receive 20% off at Restaurantosaurus, in addition to Flame Tree. That would bring the regular Burger combo that Restaurantosaurus has offered for years down to $13.60 for the Angus Bacon Burger, Fries, Drink, and Brownie.
And there’s always Satu’li with its ~$15 entrees.
But if fast food hamburgers, which may take a few minutes longer to come out of the kitchen than “fast” would imply, are exactly what you’re after at Animal Kingdom, then Restaurantosaurus should impress. At least compared to what you’d receive for similar money at lunch or across the way. Of course, more good options is always better.
Food and Wine is upon us.