in the Discovery Island area of Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has long been a favorite quick service spot for DFB and our readers, viewers, and followers.
The fairly central location — just between Dinoland and the big tree — makes it convenient to most lands in this sprawling park. There’s typically lots of available seating (albeit some of it uncovered). And the food is consistently satisfying and delicious. (Plus the massive portions give us some options with regard to sharing and maximizing Disney Dining Plan credits!)
And there are so many fun details in the decor here, with brightly colored, playful animal carvings providing interest (as well as identifying different seating areas). And there’s always plenty of real wildlife around to entertain the kiddos during the meal — there are some very hungry birds around.
But birds and squirrels aside, let’s see what Flame Tree Barbecue is cooking up!
Flame Tree Barbecue is a quick service spot with a nice, long ordering queue. During busy times, this queue can get a bit long, but we’ve generally found it to be pretty quick to get through. (Notice that some of the queue is uncovered, so if the skies look a little shifty, keep a poncho or umbrella handy — or use Mobile Ordering to speed up the process!)
Seating is all outside, but a lot of it is in covered pavilions. So while you won’t get a chilly blast of AC here, you can at least stay dry in case of inclement weather.
The pavilions are colorful, and each is marked with brightly hued animal carvings.
There are even built-in lessons on the circle of life here, folks, with Ants vs. Anteaters and Alligators vs. Fish pavilions (among others). In the early days of DFB, I even wrote an article about that whole theme here!
Yikes. Thankfully, here, you’re at the top of the food chain.
Seating is at tables with cushioned chairs, and some areas overlook peaceful water features.
Y’all, the views can not be beat, and if you choose seating down toward the water, it can be really peaceful — a good respite from your park touring day. PLUS, you can catch a glimpse of Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom’s nighttime show, from here as well.
But what are we eating in this serene environment?
The menu at Flame Tree features lots of options straight from the Flame Tree Barbecue Smokehouse, including ribs, pulled pork, and chicken. For those looking for a little more, um, fiber, there are two beautiful salads on the menu as well. We have also enjoyed the super indulgent Baked Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork (a smaller, delicious Baked Mac and Cheese with Pulled Pork is available as a snack over at Eight Spoon Cafe too!)
The Flame Tree Smokehouse turns out truly irresistible meat (you’ll smell it before you even see the restaurant’s sign!), and that’s what I was after on this visit. (Plus I couldn’t leave without snagging one of my favorite snacks — French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese!)
The Ribs, Chicken, and Pulled Pork Sampler is straight up huge and fantastic. And since it comes in at $18.99, this is one of the best uses of a quick service disney dining plan credit anywhere in the World. We’d even suggest splitting it between a couple of people and saving yourself a credit. Because as good as all this meat is, it is a challenge for a solo diner.
And don’t forget to grab some bbq sauce — Flame Tree offers two types: regular (their own recipe) and sweet and spicy — if you want some extra flavor.
The plate is loaded with smoked chicken and a large pile of pulled pork. The pork is super flavorful and moist.
The smoked chicken is decent, but not as flavorful and comes in a bit on the dry side for sure.
Underneath the chicken is a half-rack of smoky ribs.
The smoke has fully penetrated the ribs, giving the meat some pink color. These aren’t packed with meat, nor are they particularly juicy or tender. The flavor is decent, but they’re definitely a little dry.
Sides include a cup of slow-cooked baked beans and some creamy cole slaw. These are solid sides — with the beans being quite good and the slaw providing a needed contrast to all the savory, filling meats.
And in case you’re still hungry (we ask, how?!) or you’re in the market for an awesome snack, you can order French Fries with Pulled Pork and (Plastic!) Cheese! These are… so good. (They used to be served on a plate, but this boat actually works a little better as a vessel, and there’s still a ton of food here. The cast member told me the portion was the same size, but I’m guessing it’s a tiny bit smaller.)
We also snagged a key lime tart for dessert.
It’s actually really good. There’s a graham cracker crust topped with key lime pie filling and a little meringue/whipped cream topper. It’s more on the tart side than sweet, which I prefer, so this has always been one of my favorite counter service desserts!
Nosh or Not?
You want to put on your stretchy pants and go to Flame Tree Barbecue if:
- You love smoked meats and want to eat large portions of them on vacation.
- You are trying to maximize your Quick Service DDP credits.
- You want to enjoy the great outdoors at a park that prides itself on the greatest outdoors anywhere. 😉
You might want to burn your flame somewhere else if:
- You or your crew aren’t big meat eaters and aren’t interested in the vegetarian options here.
- You prefer to get a good dose of AC with your AK meals.
- You’d rather enjoy a table service meal (or try something new in Pandora’s Satu’li Canteen).
Holy meat heaven, guys. Flame Tree Barbecue has been a guest favorite since Animal Kingdom opened its doors, and it’s easy to see why. Meat lovers can not go wrong here, and the value for the portions they serve is pretty reasonable. Views of Everest Rivers of Light? Total bonus.
This one has long been a favorite of DFB readers and Disney World fans in general.