Back in July, we told you about Animal Kingdom’s newest place to chill out: Restaurantosaurus Lounge. At the time, it was described as undergoing a three month trial period and had limited hours from 5PM to closing. But we loved the concept, particularly as indoor air conditioned places to rest our adventuring feet are always welcome in Walt Disney World’s largest park.
That said, as much as we love the concept, sticking a “lounge” in a corner of a counter service restaurant does not make for a relaxing retreat. We’ll give you our full thoughts at the end of this article, but first — some details… .
Originally a part-time project, Restaurantosaurus Lounge appears to be a more permanent fixture. Cast members tell us that the spot, located in one of the Restaurantosaurus dining rooms, is opening earlier in the day now. On the day of our visit, they were ready to open the doors by noon (but that may vary from day to day, until earlier hours are official).
You can check out the menu and a few drink options before you decide to go in.
Once you do enter the space, you’ll find the always-awesome theming of Restaurantosaurus in full effect. In fact, if you’ve been to Restaurantosaurus before, you’ll recognize this as part of the restaurant that’s been closed off for use by Lounge patrons. So take your time to enjoy the details.
The check-in counter is also where you place your order, so things are pretty compact here. But check out the details behind the counter. Oh, and also the bottles of liquor. Those paleontology students look like they know how to throw a party…
The Restaurantosaurus Lounge drinks menu is small. Basic beers like Bud Light and Heineken are available alongside Safari Amber and Old Elephant IPA. A handful of wines are available as well, including a South African option.
Four cocktails and three mocktails are available, along with two snacks: Buffalo Chicken Dip and Sweet-and-Spicy Mixed Nuts.
We wanted to sample that Buffalo Chicken Dip because…Buffalo chicken. 😉 But the allure of the cleverly-named cocktails and mocktails was too much, so we tried two of those, too.
The Teal Rex is a mocktail that’s tart and heavy on the pineapple. In addition to the prominent pineapple juice, the Teal Rex (which is a GORgeous color!) also contains Odwalla lemonade, lemon juice, Sprite, and non-alcoholic blue curacao.
We found this to be really refreshing; and since it’s a mocktail, the whole family can enjoy sipping on the Teal Rex.
The Carnotaurus Meteoritis (you’ll recognize the dinosaur species from the nearby Dinosaur ride) is a cocktail consisting of bourbon sour from Buffalo Trace Bourbon, lemon juice, strawberry puree, sweet-and-sour, and Sprite. The drink is definitely sour, although there’s a pleasant amount of sweetness from the strawberry puree. Bourbon drinkers will appreciate the liquor in this one, which is strong. Overall, it’s delicious!
The Buffalo Chicken Dip is a massive portion of dip served with an even more massive amount of house-made chips! Essentially, this is a mound of Buffalo chicken chunks, chopped celery, diced tomatoes, creamy buffalo sauce, a ton of blue cheese, and bright green scallions.
First, the portion size on this is enormous — way bigger than we were expecting. But the combination of chicken and cheese with the fresh vegetables is well balanced.
The chunks of chicken are big as well, and while they’re coated in Buffalo sauce, there’s not much heat to be found. The whole thing is super hearty and filling — even if you share. And we do recommend sharing!
One thing of note about the dip is that the bowls are pre-made and stored in a cooler behind the counter. So even though the dip contains some fresh elements, we wouldn’t say that they’re super crisp. And the dip was a little watery, likely due to sitting for a short time. This doesn’t affect the flavor, but it might impact the texture in some cases — I’m SERIOUSLY not a fan of watery Buffalo chicken dip.
The huge portion of chips is exactly as you can find in quick service spots all over the World, including resort food courts. But that’s all right by us because we love these things. And they come just as you see them — separate from the dip — so if you’ve got a group with picky eaters, they can enjoy the chips without dip.
You might recall the Buffalo Chicken Chips we spotted at Trilo-Bites and Dino-Bite Snacks in the past. The Restaurantosaurus Lounge dip is a much larger, deconstructed version. The chips here aren’t seasoned, and the toppings aren’t quite as vibrant.
So, we’re always up for a Walt Disney World lounge, and this one is small but convenient. But the bottom line is…why in the world wouldn’t you just trek a few steps through Discovery Island and go to Nomad Lounge?? Nomad is fantastic — a full bar, great menu, good service, and comfortable seating areas (click here to see a recent Nomad Lounge review). Why would you spend valuable park time in Restaurantosaurus Lounge when you could be at Nomad? It just doesn’t make sense.
We’ll keep an eye on things to see how long it sticks around and whether or not they add some additional food items to the menu. For now, be in the know and go to Nomad.
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Will you stop in at the Restaurantosaurus Lounge? Let us know what you think!