Flame Tree Barbecue has long been a favorite counter-service location in the Animal Kingdom Theme Park for Disney World guests.
Flame Tree not only offers incredible value and an interesting atmosphere, it also has one of the best views in Disney World!
Found in Animal Kingdom Theme Park’s Discovery Island section, right next to the entrance to Dinoland, you’ll find a long, flat, open-design building that usually has several lines of Disney guests sticking out of it and snaking back to the main thoroughfare.
Jump into one of those lines and use the time to take in the interesting decor around you. Disney isn’t known to drop details, and they even keep the theme through the counter-service lines.
Once you order your food, however, the real fun begins. Now you get to take your tray and start winding through the seating area to find a table. What’s that? You can’t find the seating area? Sure you can — it’s that big jungle to your left!
The foliage is thick here, folks, and seating pavilions and beautiful design elements like ponds and sculptures jump out at you from behind every tree branch. But here’s a tip — keep walking down toward the water. Once you get to the water’s edge, you’ll find seating with a killer view of Disney World’s newest mountain — Expedition Everest. And if you happen to score these seats on a not-too-crowded day, it can be an incredible peaceful experience to simply sit, relax, take in the view, and have some good eats.
But — the thing I have to mention, which is also the thing that makes me kind of love the Flame Tree Barbecue — is that whole animals-eating-other-animals thing they’ve got going on. I did a whole Disney Food Blog post about it last year, because it’s just that creepy-cool.
So whaddya get to eat in such an interesting fast food restaurant? Being a barbecue joint, the big-ticket items on the menu include chicken, a pulled pork sandwich, and a slab of St. Louis ribs. You can also get a smoked turkey breast sandwich and a barbecue chicken salad. Side orders include coleslaw, beans, french fries, and onion rings.
We were feeling rather pork-y (ha ha!) on our recent visit, so we sampled the ribs and the pulled pork sandwich. (Don’t forget to visit the sauce islands in the middle of the pavilions to get extra ketchup and barbecue sauce!) We also got an order of fries to split, and I made the horrible decision to get a Key Lime Mousse dessert — more on that later.
The ribs were great, as far as I’m concerned. I’m not a rib-connoisseur, however, so you St. Louis folks will have to chime in here with your thoughts!
On the pulled pork sandwich, I wasn’t expecting much. Pulled pork never seems to be flavorful (read: fatty) enough for me, so I figured it would be bland. But, in truth, it was quite good, and I’d get it again on my next visit. With the addition of some extra barbecue sauce — even better.
Now, the Key Lime Mousse…seriously, Disney, what is that green stuff on the top?! It looks like green hair gel, and I couldn’t really figure out what it was supposed to taste like. It’s decor-gone-wrong, I think, and ended up making me not enjoy a dish I think I would have had it been sans hair gel.
(Interestingly, the same thing happened to me with a bread pudding at Goofy’s Kitchen the following week — why are we putting gelatinous toppings on things that are just fine without them?!)
The gorgeous view, excellent quick-service food, and that wacky “circle of life” theme make Flame Tree Barbecue tops in my book. There aren’t too many counter-service eateries that I genuinely look forward to, but this is one of the few. Kudos to you Flame Tree! I’ll be back!
Oh yes, I forgot to mention — they give each guest one of these “warning” cards! Don’t feed the animals…