Review: Onion Rings and Chocolate Mousse at Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue

So, many of us agree that Flametree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is pretty awesome.

Awesome barbecue, great views, weird animals-eating-other-animals/circle-of-life vibe goin’ on…what’s not to love.

But although I usually head here for a full meal (and a big meal at that), this place can also be a good snack stop if you’re in the mood to take a load off and sit by the water for a bit during a looooooong Disney day. So let’s head over and check out some between-meal goodies for your next trip…


You’ll find Flame Tree Barbecue on Discovery Island as you veer right toward Dinoland (DINOLAND, YAY!).

Flame Tree Barbecue Sign

The roped-off queue lines are your first hint that this place is pretty popular. It’s rare to find it looking this desolate, but that’s another good reason to visit in the late afternoon for a snack instead of at prime meal time!

One of my favorite things at Flame Tree, besides the ‘cue, is the quirky and daring (for Disney) themeing. Depicted in statuary, signs, and even the pavilions is this creepily awesome Circle of Life theme. It’s all in such totally cheerful colors that I wonder how many people actually stop to really see what’s going on here.

And don’t forget that Flame Tree has one of our favorite views of any counter service joint. The  seating, which is made up of several shaded pavilions, is loosely linked by paths through gardens.

Water features and greenery surround you. It’s actually pretty serene.

Plus, this view is fantastic…

View of Expedition Everest from waterside dining pavilion Flame Tree Barbecue

OK, I’m  hungry after our little tour. Let’s check out the goodies I promised you…


Normally when I head to Flame Tree, it’s because I have barbecue in mind. I really enjoy the Ribs here especially. The Pulled Pork Sandwich is also one of my favorites.

And because there are TWO types of barbecue sauce at the condiment stations within the pavilions, I can have as MUCH SAUCE AS I WANT!! Mua ha ha ha!! (If you’re a big fan of their barbecue sauce, check out our recipe!)

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

But today we’re just snacking. And the combo that caught my eye was the Onion Ring Basket and Chocolate Mousse.

Now, I get that this might sound like a really strange combination (not unlike my AWESOME strawberry-cheesecake-and-french-fries goodness at Electric Umbrella last year). But let me assure you: chocolate and onion rings is a match made in flavor heaven. You’ve had a chocolate milkshake and onion rings, right? Sweet = GOOD. Salt = GOOD. It all works out.

The Onion Rings at Flame Tree are outstanding. Just take a minute and look at that photo down there. Come on.

Thick rings of onion are battered and fried to a golden brown. We’re talking substance here. No flaky crust that falls off as soon as you pick it up. Nope. These are solid.

Onion Ring Basket

And this was my first time trying the Chocolate Mousse!

Now, you know I am no fan of the gelatinous, alien-green Key Lime Mousse that passes as dessert at Flame Tree. I just can’t get past that color and the weird hair-gel-like topping. But the chocolate mousse if far more appetizing-looking. And DE-LICIOUS!

A rich, dark chocolate glaze/ganache covers the surface of the mousse.

Chocolate Mousse

And inside, you find the super-thick, chocolatey, heavy-cream consistency that you’d expect from a good mousse. With the onion rings, it was absolutely awesome.

Chocolate Mousse Texture -- Inside

I stopped short of dipping my onion ring into the mousse. But only just.


Okay, so we all love Flame Tree for its awesome food and killer atmosphere. But it’s really great to know that, even if you’re just after a snack, there are still some wonderful things here to enjoy.

This onion ring/chocolate mousse pairing has real potential to become my second favorite craving at Animal Kingdom (after the elephant cupcake, of course…that thing is heaven).

What’s your favorite menu item at Flame Tree Barbecue? Share with us below in comments!


  1. Prof. Brainard says

    The circle of life! The grass eats the sunlight, and the hippopotamus eats the grass, and I eat the hippopotamus, and then I die and go into the ground where my putrid remains help feed the grass (well, that might not be quite an accurate food chain, but you get the point). I love the whimsical theming here! Personally, however, the hunter-gatherer in me is ready to pick some nice, crunchy rings from an onion ring bush and then spear me a chocolate mousse to drag back to my cave! (Much tastier than hippopotamus!)

  2. Jenny says

    I have always wanted to order the onion rings, but we would go for our lunch and I was to full to try them. They look very yummy. It think I will have to get one and just share it with another family member.

  3. SharonCW says

    My favorite thing on the menu is the turkey sandwich. Most people think “What?? You can get a turkey sandwich anywhere!” But let me tell you, this thing is crazy good. There is something about the combination of the cranberry/mayo and turkey on the most wonderful bread. It is a MUST DO for me every time I visit AK.

  4. says

    Sandy — Almost!:-)

    Prof. Brainard — That DOES sound better than hippo. Wish I had an onion ring bush in my yard!

    Mary — The rope lines are usually used for busier times. They’re not there permanently.

    Sharon CW — Ha ha! It’s very good! We reviewed the turkey sandwich here if anyone else wants to see!

  5. Gaylin says

    I love that chocolate mousse, I admit I scrap most of the chocolate syrup off the top so the mousse isn’t overly sweet. In November it had a little candy christmas tree stuck in the top!

  6. Joanne says

    Don’t forget that it is one of a few counter service options that allows TIW card use for 20% discount–enjoy!!!

  7. Diane says

    Watch out for the birds while you’re eating those onion rings — they have no fear and are very agressive!

  8. Andrew G. says

    Try the Mandarin Orange Lemonade the next time you visit Flame Tree! It’s a wonderfully refreshing drink for hot summer days. I just tried it on my recent trip to WDW a few weeks ago and I loved it! I have a picture if you’d like it, but I don’t have Facebook or Instagram, and my Twitter account is protected.

    Anyways, it really is worth a try.

  9. Essie says

    I try to avoid fried foods…those onion rings are making me drool. I also am trying to eat more fruit and less sweets, but chocolate is good for us. I must visit this place on a future trip since I care so much about my health. Thanks for the article with so much good nutrition advice. :)

  10. Summer says

    hands-down, best onion rings on property…a must-do with a pulled pork sandwich on the side for me :)

  11. Dave says

    ATTENTION!!! We need a vote here! Summer says Flame Tree onion rings are best on property. How about the rings from Olivia’s with that awesome side of key lime mustard dipping sause. Let’s hear some reply’s.

  12. Summer says

    Uh oh, didn’t want to start an onion ring war! LOL :) I guess I shouldn’t have said they are the best since I guess technically I haven’t had every option available, but they are definitely the best of the ones that I’ve had, including the ones from 50’s Prime Time (though, the presentation there is super cute in the mini-fryer basket)! I crave them from many many many miles away all the time!! (Have not tried the one’s at Olivia’s…key lime mustard sauce sounds intriguing!!)

  13. Aydin says

    I don’t know about you guys, but I firmly believe that Interpol should create an international law, stating that all onion rings must be battered like the ones at Flame Tree, and not breaded. I don’t get the hype over breaded onion rings, and it bothers me to no end when I got to a place that proclaims to be famous for their rings, only to find that they’ve gone the breading route, rather than a nice, crispy yet chewy batter.
    Be it resolved!!

  14. Amy says

    I tried Flame Tree’s chocolate mousse for the first time last November. We were on the dining plan (free dining–yay!) so I figured it would be foolish to pass up a “free” dessert. I figured I’d at least try a few bites. Ha! I polished it off, as did everyone else in my group. YUM. Wish I had one right now…

  15. Skier Pete says

    Actually – the theming is not QUITE “circle of life” it is in fact “Predator and Prey”. Each of the pavillions have decorations based on a predator and prey relationship. Something most people don’t notice, so I commend you highly AJ for pointing it out.

    Flame Tree is one of our family’s very favorite QS restaurant at WDW. My wife loves the smoked chicken salad while my favorite is the ribs. When someone complains about the lack of options at Disney for food – this is the very first restaurant I cite. (That and Columbia Harbor House!)

  16. Mike Venere says

    Flame Tree over Olivias hands down……not even close!

    Have tried them both. It’s almost a disservice to mention the two together.

  17. nurg says

    The ribs at Flame Tree Barbecue are my favorite in the world. Not the world as in Walt Disney World, I mean the WORLD. I’ve never had ribs I like better. (You’ll probably tell me I’ve been kind of sheltered as far as barbecue goes, and you’d probably be right. But I do love the FTB ribs!)

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