While Animal Kingdom’s quick service options are fewer in number than the other major theme parks, they are all above average in the grand scheme of things.
Most Unique Menu
Animal Kingdom’s newest major quick service is also its most unique, serving items like Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs and Beef Kabob Sandwiches. There’s really nothing else like it, and unlike a lot of these rankings where uniqueness is based solely on how common it is at Disney World, there aren’t a lot of other fast food joints around the country that offer this sort of thing. How many other theme parks serve entrees with a side of Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad or offer a half dozen South African wines?
Yak & Yeti serves Asian-inspired food like Stir-Fried Korean Chicken abnd Teriyaki Beef that is surprisingly underrepresented at Walt Disney World. You won’t really find any Chinese, Japanese, or Korean food at Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom, and it’s rare at the resorts.
While Flame Tree Barbecue’s menu is not overtly unique, its recipes and preparations largely are, like this BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich with smoked pulled pork and pickled slaw (not pictured). Other items like the Watermelon Salad, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad, and Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich are unique.
Restaurantosaurus is largely your standard Disney burgers and nuggets, but there are some twists like this Grilled Chicken Sandwich with tomato remoulade and bacon. Other unique touches include the Black Bean Burger topped with a house-made avocado spread.
Pizzafari falls to last place, largely serving Disney’s standard individual pizzas. But there is the unique Heart of Romaine Salad pictured above, in addition to Baked Pasta Bolognese that you won’t find anywhere else.
Most Expensive Meal on the Dining Plan
- Flame Tree Barbecue – $24.07 (Avg. Entree: $11.52; Most Expensive: $16.19)
- Harambe Market – $21.17 (Avg. Entree: $10.22; Most Expensive: $13.39)
- Pizzafari – $19.87 (Avg. Entree Price $10.12; Most Expensive: $11.99
- Restaurantosaurus – $18.27 (Avg. Entree Price: $9.94; Most Expensive: $10.69)
- Yak & Yeti – $18.17 (Avg Entree Price: $9.99; Most Expensive:$10.99)
Flame Tree and its Ribs and Chicken Combo is well ahead of the competition at a whopping $16.19, which is the same price point as similar dishes at Comsic Ray’s Starlight Cafe at Magic Kingdom and Fairfax Fare at Hollywood Studios. The Ribs and Turkey Leg are also pricey at $12.99.
Harambe Market’s Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs along with the African Milk Tart and a fountain beverage make up the second most expensive meal possible. The ribs are a ton of meat and the portion is large enough to share between two people that aren’t looking to leave stuffed.
Pizzafari’s most expensive meal is the $11.99 Baked Pasta Bolognese, Tiramisu, and a fountain beverage. However, the second most expensive entree is an overpriced $10.69 Meat Lovers Pizza and other entrees are all under $10, which reduces the value of the Plan for those not planning to purchase the pasta.
Each of Restaurantosaurus’s $10+ entrees are burgers, with the Angus Bacon Cheeseburger the most expensive at $10.69. The Black Bean Burger pictured above is $10.29, which is about average for Disney quick service entrees.
Best Value Out of Pocket
- Flame Tree Barbecue
- Harambe Market
- Yak & Yeti
While Flame Tree’s menu includes three of the most expensive entrees at Animal Kingdom, the quality is high enough to justify the prices, in addition to several other entrees in the $10 range. For the money, the Pulled Pork Sandwich in particular is better than anywhere else. There’s a reason Flame Tree is so so heavily touted and it’s one of the three or four best quick services in any Park.
Harambe Market offers surprisingly innovative quick service food in a bright, richly detailed setting that’s perfect in cooler temperatures. The Karubi Ribs are easily shareable and items like the Boerewors Sausage and Grilled Beef Kabob Flatbread are spiced well
Yak & Yeti occasionally suffers from some consistency issues that rarely plague Disney-operated stablishments, but prices are below average for the most part and the kitchen usually executes dishes like the Honey Chicken well. Add a side of Chicken Fried Rice and two people should be able to get out of here for around $15 for food.
Restaurantosaurus largely offers Disney staples like burgers and nuggets and standard prices, making it an average value at best. But some guests may prefer the simpler food and there are enough twists on the usual recipes to keep things interesting. It’s also the only quick service at Animal Kingdom that offers refillable fountain beverages, which is potentially a nice caffeine kick.
It’s hard to argue that $10 previously frozen personal-size pizzas offer much value, but they may also be just what you’re looking for. The Heart of Romaine Salad in particular is also very good and the Tiramisu dessert is better than average.
- Flame Tree BBQ
- Yak & Yeti
- Harambe Market
Offering plentiful air-conditioned seating inside, in addition to patio and terrace seating outdoors, Restaurantosaurus is an easy win.
Pizzafari offers a similar amount of air-conditioned seating inside with bright murals adorning the walls. The space is less nuanced than Restaurantosaurus and it doesn’t offer the same amount of terrace seating outdoors, but neither should stop you from considering a visit. The added comfort in the heat and rain might be enough to pull you in here over quick services that potentially offer better quality or more variety.
Flame Tree’s seating is all outdoors, but it’s better covered than the others that only offer outdoor seating with fans overhead that help cool things off and keep the air moving. The picturesque view of Everest across the water is a nice bonus, though construction mars things a bit at the moment.
Yak & Yeti’s seating is all outdoors, but the chairs with backs are more comfortable than Harambe Market’s and I’ve never visited when a table wasn’t available, regardless of how busy the Park was.
While immaculately themed with the Wildlife Express Train passing by intermittently, Harambe Market’s seating is all outdoors and there isn’t a lot of it, resulting in times when tables aren’t available. You can walk your food over to Tamu Tamu Refreshments, but it can be a bit of a hike with full trays of food and drink in hand.
- Flame Tree Barbecue
- Harambe Market
- Yak & Yeti
Flame Tree wins here with some of the best quick service barbecue you’ll find in any Disney theme park. Harambe Market is a close second, offering unique flavors and spices that are unlike anything else in the theme parks. Yak & Yeti’s menu has seen several major changes over the last year or so, but food remains better than Lotus Blossom at Epcot, which is its biggest competition. Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus offer your standard Disney quick service staples that may be more to some people’s liking than some of the more unique dishes found elsewhere.
Overall Best Counter Service at the Animal Kingdom
Winning all of the important categories, Flame Tree is the easy victor here, though Harambe Market offers more competition than any other quick service. The menu is diverse enough that most people should be able to find something that sounds good and the covered outdoor seating shouldn’t be enough to steer anyone elsewhere. Quality is high enough that it’s the best value on or off the Dining Plan.
Although the uncomfortable seating is a deterrent in the heat and rain, the unique flavors and richly detailed theming make it hard to look past. There’s nothing quite like it anywhere else.
Yak & Yeti offers quality Asian-inspired dishes at below-average prices and the fact that it isn’t operated by Disney means you’ll find unique spices and recipes that aren’t replicated elsewhere.
While Pizzafari and Restaurantosaurus largely offer the standard Disney staples, there are enough twists to keep things interesting and enough variety that even parents of young kids that need to dine somewhere that offers nuggets or burgers should be able to find something interesting. I wouldn’t necessarily cross either off the list despite falling to fourth and fifth place, particularly when you consider the comfortable indoor seating.