There’s SO much to see, do, and eat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, sometimes it can be easy to forget about that lil corner of the park known as DinoLand USA.
Sure, it holds the sometimes terrifying, sometimes thrilling E-ticket attraction Dinosaur and the kitschy Fossil Fun Games in Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama! (and the games’ ADORABLE prizes), but what about the food!? What is one to do if they find themselves with a brontosaurus-sized appetite in this quaint corner of the park? They head to Restaurantosaurus, of course!
We usually stop by Restaurantosaurus for seasonal menu items, like a Valentine’s Day Lion King cupcake or a SECRET menu item cocktail, but we decided to step on up for a normal meal and to take in the space this time around.
Like most of Animal Kingdom, there’s more to DinoLand, USA than meets the eye. The theme of this land is that paleontology students discovered dinosaur bones in a sleepy Route 66 town, leading to the founding of the Dino Institute (which had a little “mishap” with a Time Rover you can go experience on the Dinosaur ride). The owners of a nearby Sinclair gas station, Chester and Hester, sprung up a tourist trap carnival and gift shop, hence Dino-Rama. How does Restaurantosaurus play into this? Well, it’s where those students ate and ultimately lived. They scraped together what they could and built up this crazy location. And there’s TONS of memorabilia from those good ol’ days.
Whadda we mean? Well, just check the roof. It has more Animal House vibes than you might slow down to admire at first glance! Peep the cans all over the roof! The restaurant was originally aptly named…wait for it…”Restaurant,” but those zany college kids do like college kids do and added “asaurus” to the name. Keep your eyes peeled around the restaurant for other things that have been “asaurusitized.”
Those crazy college kids and their antics. you can spy some of their doodles and notes on the bulletin board…
…and notes leftover from its former “guests.”
Keep an eye out for their left-behinds. There are some really cool details to spy here!
As for the space itself, it’s divided up into kitschy-themed rooms and is much bigger with many more tables than it appears at first glance. So if you don’t find a table, keep looking. They have lots. The main dining area looks almost like an old lodge complete with an old fireplace and dino bones tucked wherever those kids had room to store ’em.
Artifacts as far as the eye can see! And tables. Cause you need those to sit down and eat. 😂
You might sit in the students’ former dining hall/gym, complete with a partial basketball court. Peek at the back of this room and you’ll spy one of our FAVORITE tables in all of Disney World.
You can eat in an old Airstream trailer complete with a jukebox! Our fav part? All the jukebox songs are dino-themed!
You’ll really want to take in the details here. There’s more than meets the eye! And you can take in the scenery in a few different seating areas, both indoor and outdoors.
Some tables are marked indicating guests can’t sit there to promote social distancing.
Like most quick-service restaurants right now, Disney is encouraging guests to use Mobile Order to pre-select, customize, and order food.
And while there is normally a gloriously robust toppings bars and refillable soda stations, now the toppings bar is now individual prepackaged condiments…
…and the soda is monitored by a Cast Member. Of course, you can still get refills! You just have to ask!
The atmosphere at Restaurantosaurus is quite fun, but of course, it’s all about the FOOD. Here, you’ll find theme park classics like hot dogs, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets, and salads. It’s nothing too fancy or unique, but if you’re looking for easy, approachable food the whole family will like, this will do nicely.
The Kids’ Menu is similarly simple, with Uncrustables, Cheeseburgers, and Chicken Breast Nuggets.
Restaurantosaurus will also often get seasonal menu items for dessert like cupcakes. While we were there recently, they still had a Valentine’s Day cupcake available.
We opted to keep things simple with the Chili-Cheese All-Beef Foot-long Hot Dog…
….and the Kids’ Menu Cheeseburger.
The Chili-Cheese All-Beef Foot-long Hot Dog comes with French fries and costs $13.49. Cue visions of our beloved Casey’s Corner in Magic Kingdom and their ginormous hot dogs. This thing is LOADED with plastic cheese and chili (as the name implies) and is just MASSIVE. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly lunch to split with someone else, this just might be your item! Cut this in two and you basically get two normal-sized amounts of hot dog and a giant side of fries to share.
This was a hearty loaded dog, but because it was SO BIG, the bun sort of struggled to contain all of that beefy hot dog, chili, and cheese. Make sure you grab a fork (and PLENTY of napkins)!
For the kiddos, we tried the Cheeseburger, which comes with a GoGo squeeZ Applesauce, a Cuties Mandarin, and either a Small Lowfat Milk or Small DASANI Water. It’s pretty standard stuff, but the fun part? It comes served in a souvenir Sand Pail and Shovel! That’s not so bad for $9.49.
The presentation is ADORABLE! But you are paying about $2 EXTRA for that pail and shovel, so make sure you KEEP IT! We saw some families just pitch this souvenir.
This tastes kind of like McDonald’s burger (which is funny, because Restaurantasourus initially served Mickey D’s)! If your kiddos don’t want the sides or drink as listed, you should be able t swap them out for a soft drink or fries without much trouble.
Keep in mind it’s served PLAIN (which TBH is prob how most kids would order it. Ours sure would!). If you want to add some flavor, make sure you hit up that toppings bar! There’s not really much to write home about here — it’s a dry, thin burger patty. It’ll do for lunch or dinner, but don’t expect to be wowed by this. A gourmet burger it is not, but still, most kids will be pleased.
With a massive chili dog and burger in our bellies and a sand pail in our arms, that’s a wrap on Restaurantosaurus!
Nosh or Not
Step on up to Restaurantosaurus if…
- You want a quick meal at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Other quick service spots like Satu’li Canteen can be very, very busy, and table service meals like Yak and Yeti or Tiffins can take up TONS of time.
- You and your kiddos are picky eaters! This is classic theme park fare, so you know what you’re getting.
- Soaking in ALL the details of Animal Kingdom is on your to-do list. There’s MUCH more story to DinoLand, USA than meets the eye, and a lot of that story can be found at Restaurantosaurus!
Skip Restaurantosaurus if…
- You want to explore different global cuisines. Disney’s Animal Kingdom has bold flavors at other quick service spots like Flame Tree Barbecue, Harambe Market, and Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes.
- A relaxing, long meal is what you’re after. Kick back for drinks at Nomad Lounge or indulge in a whole fried fish at Tiffins instead.
- You’re looking to avoid “theme park food.” This place is burgers, chicken nuggs, and dogs all the way. For some, that’s perfect but if you’re looking to skip the standard fare, maybe try somewhere else.
The theming of Restaurantosaurus is by far the most exciting part of this quick-service spot. And honestly, it’s worth stopping by for a meal just to get a chance to take it all in. You can tell the Imagineers had almost too much fun designing this place! A lot of people don’t know how deep the backstory to DinoLand, USA goes and brush this section of the park off. But if you pay attention to all of the details and the memorabilia on the walls of this restaurant, you can start to put the whole thing together.
If the backstory is interesting the food, well…it isn’t. It’s your standard burger, fries, chicken nuggets, salads, and hot dogs. But sometimes, you want to know what you’re getting with no surprises. If that’s the case, then this is your spot! The food isn’t bad, but it’s also not why we really come here. We come here because eating in an old Airstream and pretending we stumbled into a dino-themed frat comedy is something you can only really do in Disney World. And that’s pretty cool.
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Where’s your go-to quick service spot at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments!