If you missed it or would like a refresher, you can view my Tusker House Safari Character Breakfast review here. Tusker House Restaurant is one of my favorite Disney buffets for a few reasons. I was going to list them here, but I think it would just make for a redundant post (what else is new) as I point them out again as we take a look at the pictures. Hold your horses. We’ll get to it.
Here’s an overly confusing picture of where Tusker House is situated in the Africa section of Animal Kingdom. Occasionally someone will ask me what program I use to make the arrows. The answer is Photoshop CS6. LOL!
Tusker House’s waiting area doubles as the Dawa Bar. You can see how it has a lot going for it before you even head inside. There’s a ton of tables and it’s covered.
Don’t let its crumbling exterior dissuade you from visiting.
Moseying in, this is where you would take your picture with Donald during breakfast or lunch.
Continuing up a bit, we’ll take a picture every five steps.
It’s actually really nice inside!
Point #1 of my love letter to Tusker House. The buffet area is large enough that you could have an ECV race through it. There’s plenty of room to move about and decide what you want.
Looking in the other direction, this area is themed like an African market.
Walking around, the theming is very well done. Since this isn’t Fake Theme Park, the building isn’t actually crumbling!
One nice thing about dinner is that it’s almost never crowded. This room isn’t being used at all. Breakfast can get a little more hectic with the characters and kids. Lunch is a little busier too now that it also offers characters.
Photographs and safari equipment lend themselves well to the overall aesthetic.
Back to the buffet area.
Be sure to look up at the artifacts above the buffet stations.
Neat touches that go largely unnoticed.
And into the main seating area.
There are only about six tables in use here. Otherwise it’s empty.
Today’s scheduled activities.
In true easyWDW.com style, we’ll take a look at every item offered:
In a lot of ways, Tusker House is kind of like a “Boma-Lite (see review).” It doesn’t have nearly as many choices, but that makes it less overwhelming. As far as selection is concerned, I feel like Tusker House is “just right.” It’s easy enough to get your head around the choices and you should be able to try just about everything that sounds good. Unlike Biergarten, it also has two dedicated stations for kids. And really, it would be silly for adults to pass over those corn dog nuggets, which are the same ones they serve over at Casey’s Corner.
Tough life. I do miss Boma’s amazing soups though. Is it worth taking the time to transfer over to Boma for dinner? Yes and no. Animal Kingdom Lodge is an amazing resort and Boma is a great excuse to visit. The selection at Boma is superior, but it also comes with a price tag that is about $8 more expensive. Boma is also a lot more hectic than Tusker House. I guess my point is that Tusker House is comparable to Boma. Better? Probably not. But it’s also cheaper and easier for most people to get to. And I really can’t emphasize enough how pleasant it is with so few people around.
Starting off with an itty-bitty plate full of salad, fruit, and salmon. Mother would be so proud. None of this stood out particularly since there really isn’t anything special about it. I enjoyed the smoked salmon more than I usually do, but I don’t think it was any different than what’s served elsewhere. I didn’t care for what are apparently “endives” in the apple salad. They seemed to have the flavor and consistency of raw onions.
DISboards.com holla @ u w/ this half-eaten plate of food. Made it special for you. Which I guess is unfortunate because the picture really isn’t going to back up my statement. Since I am a very important food critic, I try to rate buffet food on whether or not I would be interested in ordering an entree-size portion of it. The beef and pork here excellent and I would have been more than happy to pay for a full size entree if Tusker House was a sit-down restaurant. All of the couscous(es) were great too. The pork is a slightly unique take on it with the “Kenyan Coffee BBQ” glaze and the mustard sauce was great. Very moist and tender. The “Spit Roasted Beef Striploin” was also excellent. Obviously they cook this stuff day in and day out, so they really know what they’re doing.
A slightly more presentable plate perhaps. Buffet food always seems to look gross. Anyway, the curry chicken was also great – spicy but not overwhelmingly so. The seafood stew also very good, though you may want to get a separate plate/bowl for it – full of mussels and scallops. I would have happily consumed a bowl of it as well. There really wasn’t a single thing I didn’t enjoy outside of the apple/endive thing.
Make sure you order the “Jungle Juice” as one of your beverages. It’s a mixture of Guava, Orange, and Passion Fruit juices. They’ll be happy to bring it along with another soft drink/iced tea/etc.
Tusker House currently runs $28.99 for dinner. As I mentioned before, it isn’t a character meal like breakfast and lunch. I think it’s a good value, since it includes the beverages and dessert, like other buffets. The food is better than most Disney buffets and the price is cheaper. Dinner isn’t at all busy. The character interaction at breakfast and lunch is above average. Unlike Akershus, the picture with Donald isn’t included and would actually run you about $30. Head to Camp Minnie-Mickey for your pictures instead.
In my opinion, choosing where to dine at Animal Kingdom is harder than the other theme parks because there are so many great options. I really like Tusker House. Yak & Yeti is also great. Flame Tree Barbecue is one of the best quick services on property. The Hot Italian Sandwich and Antipasto Salad at Pizzafari are excellent. I like the Shrimp Po’ Boy at Restaurantosaurus. The Honey Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, Beef Lo Mein, and Pot Stickers at the quick service arm of Yak & Yeti are all recommended. So yeah. Good luck with that.
One other nice thing about Tusker House is that you can schedule it right before Animal Kingdom closes. When you exit, you’ll basically have the Park to yourself. A lot of people seem to schedule 8am breakfasts for similar opportunities to photograph themselves with fewer people around. If a rushed 8am breakfast doesn’t sound appealing, note that you can do just as well with a late dinner. The other dinner bonus is that you’ll be able to take pictures with few people around in Asia or DinoLand USA too – something that isn’t possible during the pre-opening walk to Tusker House.
Thanks to Scarlett for inviting me along and congratulations!