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Review: Cheesecake in a Glass at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There are so many excellent places to grab a bite at Animal Kingdom that sometimes I have a hard time choosing where to eat!

But recently, I found myself in need of a break (and a little nourishment), so I decided to head over to Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments at Disney's Animal Kingdom

The counter service walk-up window is located conveniently en route to Kilimanjaro Safaris, making it a great place to stop and rest on your way to (or from) the savannas of Africa!

But did you know that the little unassuming spot is also home to an amazing covered eating area that will transport you? Come have a look with us!

Atmosphere

Even though you have to pass the ordering window to get to it, I’m going to start by showing you Tamu Tamu’s lovely seating area.

Just beyond the ordering window, you’ll find a little passage to a covered patio. It’s one of my favorite places to take a break within this beautiful park. And who knew there was this much shade just beyond the walkway!

Part of the patio is protected from the sun by a rustic covering. Fans mounted throughout the space move the air around and make it comfortable. This spot is often quieter than other seating areas in the park because many folks simply just don’t know about it!

Covered Patio Area

The back of the patio is bordered by a wall of carved plaster, and a large “sausage” tree with thick foliage provides shade here.

Carved Walls and Shade Trees

A sign that appears to be hand-lettered tells of the significant plaster carvings, and beckons you to pay attention to the detail. The fact that the wall “dates from the early 18th century” would explain its condition. :-)

Awesome Themeing

The carved wall wraps around, and you feel like you’re having your snack in a walled garden, or maybe even a temple. And check out the enormous seed pods on the tree!

Carved Wall from Another View

I’m no horticulturist, but I’m fascinated by the plants and trees that you see throughout Animal Kingdom.

Eats

We recently let you know that Tamu Tamu is not offering breakfast at this time. But the breakfast sandwich that you could previously get here is now available at Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments Menu -- Click to Enlarge

I decided to have a dessert during my downtime. Animal Kingdom serves a couple of different desserts throughout the park at various counter service locations. All of these creations have the consistency of mousse, and come prepared in a plastic glass.

You might recall that we’ve tried a couple of them with varying degrees of like. While I am not a big fan of the Key Lime Pie with its neon green topper of gel, I absolutely adore the Chocolate Mousse, which shares a same presentation (sans weird hair gel stuff, of course).

But today, I decided to sample the Cheesecake, which you can also find at my favorite AK counter-service eatery — Restaurantosaurus.

Restaurantosaurus Menu -- Click to Enlarge

How would it compare? Take a look…

Cheesecake in a Glass

The first thing that you notice is, yes, indeed, there is a gel on top of this one, too. Why? WHY?! But at least this one does appear to have its color roots in nature. And the raspberry and mandarin orange garnish are a nice touch.

The flavor here is apparently apricot, but I didn’t realize that until after I was told.

Cheesecake in a Glass

Dig into it, and you find the lovely, rich texture of a creamy, no-bake cheesecake. And that’s an important distinction to make. Because if you order this, expecting it to be a slice of baked cheesecake, well — this isn’t that. It’s delicious, it’s just not your standard slice-o-cheesecake.

Cheesecake -- Up Close

And for me, the delicious comes in part from the fact that there’s a layer of graham cracker crumbs at the bottom, which make my cheesecake experience (icebox OR baked) complete.

I wish they’d put another layer of graham cracker crust on top instead of that gel stuff.

Cheesecake -- Inside

I enjoyed it. I won’t be kept awake at night dreaming of its awesomeness, but it made for a delicious and different treat stop, and it wasn’t too rich, large, or heavy to weigh me down as I headed for another fling on Expedition Everest!

Overall

Tamu Tamu Refreshments continues to earn a spot on our Animal Kingdom meal list for interesting options like their Quinoa Salad and the Slow Roasted Pulled Beef Sandwich. And with the cheesecake offering a solid dessert choice, I think it’s quickly becoming an excellent place to grab a bite.

Looking for the biggest bang for your snack buck while you’re in Animal Kingdom? Check out the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book for the low-down on all the treats and snack eats in these two parks!

The hot off the presses, the Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios guide to everything snacks is full of over 200 reviews and color photos to make sure you make the best use of your dollars in Disney world. Get yours today! Or, opt to get our specially-priced bundle of snack guides for all four parks, along with the 2013 DFB Guide to WDW Dining.

Have you tried the cheesecake at Tamu Tamu or Restaurantosaurus? Leave a comment and tell us your thoughts!

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7 Comments

  1. Essie says:

    I’ve never eaten here, but I love little hidden away places like this. The patio area is the kind of place where I would love to sit and rest and soak in the atmosphere when I need a break, so thanks so much for telling us about this lovely little ‘hide away’! I’ve had no-bake cheesecake and it is pretty darn good, but that gel on top looks like some type of glue and I’m sure I’d be happier with extra graham crumbs on top, also. I wonder who thought that gel on food was a good idea? Does it maybe keep the cheesecake and mousse fresh longer from the heat and humidity? Just a guess on my part.

  2. Angelina says:

    I would agree with Essie that the gel is more geared toward preservation of the dessert than the actual culinary composition…which is sad but an A for effort.
    I think that the entree items here look to be the real winners and are somewhat reflective of the things you can find at the Paradise Grill in DCA (which btw is delicious!!) light but filling :)

  3. Niki M says:

    without this blog I would probably never discover these little hidden away spots…thanks AJ!

  4. Sandra says:

    We’ve eaten here frequently, and I always have the cheesecake dessert. The gel on top is pastry gel that is used on things like fancy fruit tarts to keep everything together and moist. This is a fun restaurant, with great theming, refillable drinks, and decent food. They also have a toppings bar for those who like to add a little something to their meals.

  5. Grace says:

    I like the gel too, since I grew up on European pastries and it’s common in those. Also, I don’t eat wheat so I can’t eat the bottom and am very glad they don’t put more graham crackers on the top! LOVE cheesecake and I didn’t know this one existed. Will have to try it out in…… 66 days! ;) But who’s counting…

  6. tkcanada68 says:

    I love this seating area, too! A nice little oasis in Harambe. I ate here in July with my mom and I had the beef wrap with freshly made potato chips as my side- both delicious! We also tried the fruit salad which comes in half a pineapple (fantastic presentation!) and the chocolate milkshake (so thick it’s really more like soft serve and also tasted a bit like malt to me)- Yum! I haven’t tried the cheesecake but I do like the lime mousse at Flame tree (the gel, too!) Sorry AJ!

  7. Megan Gentile says:

    We discovered Tamu Tamu on our last trip this past March, and it was a pure winner for us! Our kids had fallen asleep in the stroller so we spotted the nearby Dawa Bar and decided to hang out with an African Margarita, (or two), and saw Tamu Tamu right across the way. I walked over to pick us up some lunch and we both had the pulled beef pita with the cheesecake for our desserts. This was definitely one of the most memorable quick service meals of our trip and we loved every bite! The gel on the cheesecake is actually something that I like, but I like differences in textures so I knew it was for me. Tamu Tamu will definitely be a must do for us from now on!

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