Review: Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

When I’m in the mood for a “wild” lunch, I love to head to Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Seriously — it’s one of my favorite counter service spots in all of Disney World!

This enormous restaurant, located in DinoLand USA, is super-themed…but you really have to look hard to see some of the great sight gags and imagineering details.

I recently met a friend for lunch here. It’s always fun to stroll around — I find something new every time I visit. But Restaurantosaurus usually boasts some interesting choices on its menu. I love their Chicken Nuggets, but who knows?…I may surprise you today!

Time to check in and see what’s new!

Atmosphere

While visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you may be tempted to write off Restaurantosaurus as just another fast food joint. That would be a mistake. There’s more to this place than just food. The quirky themeing transforms the eatery into an attraction.

Outside

Outside

And the fabricated history of DinoLand USA and Restaurantosaurus is fascinating. For the complete story, check out this history of the area. (You can read part two here.)

But for now, here’s the short version: Restaurantosaurus began life as the cafeteria for college students participating in a dig nearby. To subsidize their grant income, the students opened the Restaurant (isn’t that a great name?) to the public.

And where did the additional “osaurus” in the name come from? It seems that this is a running gag perpetrated by those zany college kids. Look around, and see if you can find just how many instances in which “osaurus” has been added to words. But the granddaddy of them all is, of course, adding it to the name of the restaurant.

The dormitory and restaurant grew over time, with residents adding whatever sound structures they could to expand the space. And just when you thought there was no use for that old Airstream…

Outside View of the Airstream

Outside View of the Airstream

Step inside, and you find the main hall, which houses the kitchen and ordering area. You can see it gets pretty busy during peak times. This picture was taken when the restaurant first opened for the day!

Ordering Area

Ordering Area

But before we settle down to consider our selections, let’s take a look around. Be sure to check out the lights. They’re one of the few design elements that feel like they’re here on purpose, rather than being scavenged. With the little dinosaur cut outs, they’re intricate and interesting.

Lighting

Lighting

Carve out some time just to meander while you’re here. There’s just so much to take in.

Decor

Decor

Homey kitchen items are stored close by, ready to be put to good use.

Kitchen Stuff

Kitchen Stuff

Check out the pictures and other mementos that the students have displayed.

Decor

Pictures, Postcards, and Knickknacks

As with other Disney restaurants, Restaurantosaurus is most likely much larger than you realize at first. There are several seating areas, all themed as different rooms. The feel is that the building was expanded over time.

Seating

Seating

My favorite spot remains the area affectionately known as “The Hip Joint”. Ha ha!!

The Hip Joint Sign

The Hip Joint!

This student hangout houses a half-court gym and lots of recreational equipment. And to expand seating, here’s where you’ll find that [Read more…]

Top 5 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The themeing is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Top Five Animal Kingdom Restaurants

Tusker House

If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.

This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive themeing anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and imagineering here with just one meal.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat, whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

But if you’re still looking to add a character dining experience to your list of advance dining reservations, be sure to book the breakfast or lunch, as characters don’t appear at dinner.

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

Seeing Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb at Breakfast and Lunch is Super Fun!

It’s always a kick to add pics Mickey and Friends in different outfits, and at Tusker House, they’re dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!

Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find

[Read more…]

What’s Your Favorite Restaurant in Each Walt Disney World Park?

One question I get asked ALL the time: “What are your favorite Disney restaurants?”

Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park Restaurants

And my answer is always the same: “My favorites are always changing, because the only consistent thing about Disney restaurants is that they’re inconsistent!” That said, I do have a few that I head back to over and over again… .

It’s fun to seek out new things, to be sure. And Disney is always introducing new restaurants! But still, it’s always comforting to go back to the same place each visit and have your favorite meal.

So today, my question for YOU is: What is your favorite restaurant in each of the four Walt Disney World Parks? What table would you park your feet under during each and every visit if you could? (Or do you?)

I’ll share my picks first, and then I can’t wait for you to jump in by adding your answers in comments below!

Liberty Tree Tavern at Magic Kingdom

Ah, Liberty Tree. You have been around since the dawn of time. (Or at least since pretty much the first day that Magic Kingdom was opened.)

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom

And while lots of fantastic places to eat in Magic Kingdom have come about since then, I’d still eat at Liberty Tree Tavern during every single visit if I could.

Lots of Disney fans prefer dinner at Liberty Tree Tavern, which is a family-style, all you care to eat affair, offering carved meats and sides. Having traditional Thanksgiving foods all year around is a treat, after all! But I really prefer lunch, because I can get my favorite: the amazing Liberty Tree Tavern Burger!

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

Liberty Tree Tavern Burger

And there’s no better way to finish the meal than one of my favorite Disney desserts, the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake! This has been on and off the menu in recent months, but we’re always glad when it’s on-again.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake at Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom.

Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake is a Must Have

Sometimes I have to resort to [Read more…]

Halloween Treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Frightfully good Halloween treats have materialized at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! These themed desserts add extra fun to a touring day at one of our favorite parks in Disney World!

Bat Cupcake

Halloween Treats All Over the Park!

Head over to Tusker House in the Harambe Village section of Animal Kingdom to find Mini Pumpkin Muffins, a Spider Web Brownie, and Lemon Bars with Pumpkin Decor. These will be part of the lunch and dinner buffet at Tusker House!

Next door at Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery, you’ll find Pumpkin Muffins, Ghoulish Krispy Treats, Spider Web Brownies, and, my favorite — the Bat Cupcake! I’m so glad these are back this year!!! Click the link to check out my review.

Over at Camp Minnie-Mickey, you’ll be able to check out the Witches Funnel Cake at Camp Snacks Kiosk and [Read more…]

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 [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: September 2, 2012

It’s menu-changing season at Walt Disney World!

New Menu Items at Animal Kingdom

This week we got the chance to highlight a few updates in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where they’ve unveiled new menu items at three counter-service restaurants! (More of this menu change mumbo jumbo coming up tomorrow, by the way…)

Let us know what you think about the new options!

Disney Food News

Catch up on your Disney Food reading!

Epcot Food and Wine Festival Update — Dinners With Cat Cora

Kouzzina by Cat Cora has added two more events to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival signature dining schedule.

Chef Cat Cora and the Kouzzina chefs will host additional dinners on October 2 and October 4 at 8pm. The cost is $170/person. The first signature dinner at Kouzzina will be held on September 27 at 8pm for $160. Note that Chef Cat Cora will only be in attendance at the October dinners.

Spots are extremely limited, and will go fast. Call 407-WDW-DINE to book.


We’ve got more food news (including restaurant closure updates, new dining locations at Aulani, a food truck at ESPN Wide World of Sports, a PCH Grill Passholder Preview in Disneyland, special offer at La Hacienda and San Angel Inn, and LOTS more) on our Disney Food News Pin Board!

A DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-Book Reviews

Thanks to Disney by Mark for a great review of our DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!

Pick up your copy of the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food and Wine Festival today, and get planning. Don’t forget our great DFB Deals of the Week on this Guide!

Here’s some great advice from the Disney by Mark review:

Last year was my first at the festival and I found myself overwhelmed with choices and decisions to make. There was so much I wanted to do but I only had a limited time at Epcot…and Epcot is BIG. I found that in just one reading this guide has helped me plan my entire visit so I don’t collapse from exhaustion!

See? No exhaustion! ;-) Read the full review here! And, check out another great review at Jackie’s Magical Moments this week!

Now it’s your turn! Download your copy of the DFB Mini-Guide to the 2012 Epcot Food & Wine Festival e-Book here! Get $3 off with our Deal of the Week!

On to the Round-Up

DisZine highlights the Great Irish Hooley event at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney this weekend.

Cookie Madness enjoys a treat from Epcot’s Biergarten – Bavarian Cheesecake.

Walt Disney World for Grown Ups hides out with a snack at the Writer’s Stop in Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

A Wedding Cake Blog shares an adorable Minnie Mouse cake!

Mouse on the Mind dines at the California Grill overlooking the Magic Kingdom!

Main Street Gazette reviews the changes taking place with the restaurants in Epcot’s France pavilion.

AllEars takes a close-up look at the Pinocchio Village Haus.

DisneyParks looks back at the opening of Hollywood Scoops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

New Menu Items at Restaurantosaurus, Pizzafari, and Flame Tree Barbecue in Animal Kingdom

Editor’s Note: The Chili and Cheese Dog is no longer on the menu at the Restaurantosaurus.

Once again, Animal Kingdom is re-vamping its menus with some wonderful results! Thanks to a helpful DFB reader, we’ve got photos and insights into new options!

You’ll remember when we reported a few months ago on the delicious and summery additions to the Bradley Falls Kiosk and Tamu Tamu Refreshments — now we’ve got some great updates to the menus at Restaurantosaurus, Pizzafari, and Flame Tree Barbecue!

Restaurantosaurus

Restaurantosaurus had a significant menu change, adding several new items:

Chicken BLT Salad
With a very light ranch dressing, this is perfect on a hot day! Crisp greens with chunks of tomato, baked chicken strips, bites of bacon, and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese. This salad is priced at $9.19 and — according to our reviewer — worth every penny!

BLT Chicken Salad

Chicken Sandwich
The chicken sandwich ($9.59) had a tomato bruschetta topping with hints of basil and garlic, along with bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese! This sandwich is served hot and is “just a perfect combination, thoroughly enjoyable!” says our reviewer.

Restaurantosaurus Chicken Sandwich with Bruschetta Topping

Specialty Hot Dogs
Our reviewer tried the two hot dogs that are now a permanent addition to the Restaurantosaurus menu as well. The standard chili and cheese dog ($9.59) is topped with jalapeno pepper rings and corn chips, making it appealing to her and others who might like their entree a bit spicy!

Restaurantosaurus Chili Cheese dog with jalapeno and corn chips

Her son enjoyed the very original macaroni and cheese dog, topped with a sprinkle of bread crumbs ($8.79). She says, “I cannot imagine that this won’t be a hit with [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Great Disney World Restaurants for Boys

Much fuss is made about the ballyhooed princess dining experiences at Disney World. So much fuss, that parents of young boys sometimes find themselves wondering, “What does Disney have that’s special for me?”

The down and dirty dino loving boy will be right at home at the T-Rex Cafe.

Well, never fear sports fans; I’m here to tell you that while, yes, the girly girls are pretty visible in the parks (it’s hard to miss the Florida sun glinting off a tiara), there are plenty of Disney dining experiences where the men in your family will feel right at home.

Let’s break it down …

Character Meals

There are 10 different character dining venues at Walt Disney World proper. Of these, only three and a half of them have princess themeing. The rest are totally gender-neutral.

Boys are certainly welcome at any of the princess meals, and many boys love them just as much as the other character meals (PLUS they’re given a neato plastic sword at the Royal Table); but honestly, they do skew more heavily toward girl interests.

All of the other character dining restaurants appeal equally to boys and girls. Your best options for boys in the character dining department are the following (characters are always subject to change): [Read more…]

Review: Animal Kingdom’s Restaurantosaurus

I’ll admit it — this is one of my very favorite counter-service restaurants in Walt Disney World. Where else can you find this level of detail and theming while dining on the best chicken nuggets in the world?

Atmosphere

I have an unnatural love for Dinoland in the Animal Kingdom in the first place, and the extremely detailed theming and story behind Restaurantosaurus always makes me want to spend an hour or two just wandering around and looking at all of the decor in the different rooms.

Outdoor tables

The story behind Restaurantosaurus lies with the graduate students/paleontologists who live in the building. You’re not likely to see them, but you sure will see evidence of them. Who do you think “re-named” the restaurant and hauled those chairs and coolers up to the roof to enjoy the sunshine?

Throughout the restaurant, you’ll learn more about the students and their work.

Be sure to look closely, though — there are plenty of classic puns and jokes that you might miss if you don’t actually [Read more…]

Disney Food For Families: The Fab Four of Kid Food — Pizza, Pasta, Hot Dogs and Chicken Nuggets

Disney Food for Families columnist and Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster has more great info about kids’ dining in Disney World!

Casey's Corner Hot Dog, Fries, and Fixins

If your family is like mine, then at some point at least one of your children will go through a picky eater phase — where he or she will ONLY eat a certain type of food, texture of food, color of food, or food prepared in a certain way.

Luckily the chefs at Walt Disney World are well acquainted with the picky eater syndrome. They’ve seen it all before and can accommodate most childhood food idiosyncrasies. That’s one of the reasons WDW became such a frequent destination for us; dining out with our fussy daughter was a breeze compared to other vacation spots.

The Fab Four of Kid Food

Some common variations on the picky eater theme are the kids who will only eat pizza, or pasta, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets. While these favorites are, of course, readily available in the parks, they are not all available at [Read more…]