Get ready for a trip to the RAINFOREST!
Guests will find TWO Rainforest Cafe locations in Disney World — one in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs, and another right at the entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We headed out to the Rainforest Cafe in Animal Kingdom to see if the food holds up as well as the theming does!
Rainforest Cafe is located at Animal Kingdom, but the main entrance to the restaurant is actually OUTSIDE of the park gates — which is important to note, especially if you’re running late for a reservation! You can enter the restaurant from either outside the park entrance or from another entrance just through the front gates of the park.
When we approached the check-in area, we saw that there are social distancing markers, as is common at restaurants and shops around Disney World property since the reopening.
There was also hand sanitizer available at the elephant-shaped check-in desk.
It’s good to note that Rainforest Cafe is NOT owned or operated by Disney. In fact, the same company — Landry’s Restaurants — that runs Rainforest also operates a few other locations around Disney World like T-Rex in Disney Springs and Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Animal Kingdom. (If you’re a Landry’s Select Club Member, points and perks apply at Disney World locations.)
The name of this restaurant says it all — it’s HEAVILY themed to look like a rainforest, complete with dark lighting, animal animatronics, and plenty of (fake) plants and greenery!
There’s definitely plenty of interesting decor to look at around the restaurant, which can be great for keeping the kiddos entertained!
There’s even a giant aquarium in the dining room! If you can peel your eyes away from the larger-than-life frog on the wall, you’ll also see that some tables have signs indicating they’re unavailable to allow for space between parties.
There’s also a bar located in the front part of the seating area. And even here, the theming is on point — check out those bar stools!
Note that the atmosphere here can get kind of LOUD when the animals begin their noises and calls. There are also periodic thunderstorms. If you have kiddos who are afraid of storms or loud noises, prepare in advance.
Alright, now let’s get to what we’re here for — the FOOD!
We received a disposable paper menu with the food listed on one side…
…and drinks on the other!
A note on those souvenir cups served here — they can creep up on you without even realizing you really ordered one! You CAN get all the drinks served in a standard glass for cheaper, but you have to specifically ask when ordering. Even certain kids’ drinks come served in pricey souvenir cups, so go in with a plan if you want to avoid walking out with a bag full of pricey glasses.
We ordered the Green Python to start off! This drink is made with Skyy Infusions Citrus Vodka, Midori Melon Liqueur, Don Q Coconut Rum, 99 Bananas Liqueur, sweet & sour, and pineapple juice. It comes served in a souvenir glass for $15.50 but we asked for ours served in a standard cup and were charged just $9.
The cocktail was a bit too sweet for our taste, BUT it was definitely pretty boozy…and sizable! The sour flavors did help to balance out the sweetness somewhat, but we probably wouldn’t order this again on our next visit. If you’re looking for a sweet cocktail that still packs a punch this drink might be right up your alley!
We’re always down for some fried cheese, so we decided to try the Cheese Sticks appetizer for $11.99.
This was a pretty middle-of-the-road way to start our meal — the Cheese Sticks were okay, but definitely nothing groundbreaking! This is a good intro to what Rainforest Cafe food is often like: pretty basic, obviously frozen-and-reheated items that you’d find in a chain restaurant (because…yeah…this is a chain restaurant). These tasted a bit like the mozzarella sticks that are available in the frozen food section of the grocery store. Given the relatively “basic” flavor, we probably wouldn’t order these again — especially for the price! But if you have a picky eater, this might be something they would enjoy!
For our entree, we ordered the Blue Mountain Chicken Sandwich, which comes with lemon grilled chicken, bacon, Swiss cheese, roasted red peppers, lettuce, and zesty Safari sauce. It also comes with a choice of one side — we opted for the fries!
Now — record scratch! — there was a lot to love about this sandwich! The bread was excellent, and the lemon flavor was more pronounced than we were expecting, but definitely in a good way — we loved it!
There weren’t a ton of toppings on the sandwich, but that didn’t bother us too much since all of the flavors worked really well together regardless.
So, would we get the sandwich on another trip back to Rainforest Cafe? Yes, we would definitely order it again! It was delicious, filling, and at $19.99, we think it was a fair price — by Disney standards, of course. (Outside of Disney? No way.)
So, we were one for three on what we ordered at Rainforest Cafe…and that’s pretty par for the course here, honestly.
Nosh or Not?
Rainforest Cafe might be right for you if:
- Your kiddos (or you!) really love the fun rainforest theming.
- You’re looking for a restaurant with a wide variety of menu options — you’ll find seafood, pasta, beef, pork, chicken, soup, salad, sandwiches…you name it!
- You have picky eaters in your party and need some more “basic” menu options.
- You’re making last-minute plans and need to find a restaurant with reservations available — it’s generally fairly easy to snag a reservation at Rainforest Cafe!
You may want to skip Rainforest Cafe if:
- You’re not a fan of over-the-top theming in restaurants — it can get pretty dark and loud inside!
- You want to try a more unique meal you can’t have anywhere else. This is a chain restaurant after all.
- You’re looking for a meal that’s super inventive or complex — the Rainforest Cafe menu tends to be pretty “family-friendly!”
As always, the theming in Rainforest Cafe was pretty fun and we could definitely see the kiddos going WILD over it! While we’ve dined here a number of times, we’ve never been blown away by the food…though we ARE blown away by the high prices. You can find equal or better food at most chains near your home. And you can find a LOT better food for a lot less money elsewhere in Disney World.
While we wouldn’t order the appetizer again, we’ll give credit where credit is due and say that we DID really enjoy the chicken sandwich. And while the drink wasn’t for us, but it could definitely be a good fit for guests who prefer a sweeter cocktail.
So, even though Rainforest Cafe generally isn’t our first choice of restaurant in Animal Kingdom, we still had a pretty good experience. And we think some guests could have an AWESOME time here if the theming and menu really speaks to them!
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Have you dined at Rainforest Cafe? Share your experience with us in the comments!