Restaurant reopenings are so exciting — we’re so happy to see some of our favorites finally returning after being closed for over a year!
Recently, we’ve had a chance to eat at several newly-reopened locations, including dinner at Chef Mickey’s and Cape May Cafe! But today, we went ALL out and had both breakfast AND lunch at the newly-reopened Tusker House Restaurant, because that’s just the way we roll (also, we are SO full).
So let’s talk about breakfast, shall we? Character breakfasts are a rite of passage at Disney World, and we’re so happy to have another character breakfast option available now — especially since Animal Kingdom hasn’t had a character meal option since the parks reopened at year.
We’ve typically found the food at Tusker House consistently good quality. It’s a unique blend of approachable favorites (helloooo Mickey Waffles and chicken nuggies!) mixed with African and Indian-inspired foods you might not see elsewhere. It’s a great spot to stick with what you know but still try a few foods that might be slightly out of your comfort zone. Plus, we love seeing the characters — this character meal is all about Donald and friends in their safari best! So was it as good as we remember? Let’s find out!
Before Disney World’s closure, this restaurant was a breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffet. Like the other buffets that have reopened, it’s switched over to family-style dining, where the food is plated and brought out to you. This does mean that the menu is a little more limited now, but still all-you-care-to-eat.
Check-in is simple…
….and once you are checked in, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone. Then all you have to do is wait for another message telling you that your table is ready with instructions to go inside the double blue doors around the corner to be seated. Easy-peasy!
Inside, the restaurant looks like an open-air market in Africa, which is quite a feat considering it’s actually all indoors (and with air-conditioning, so it’s a nice break from the Florida heat). Everything here just feels light and airy — it’s easy to believe you’re dining outside if you’re seated in the right spots.
Tables are spread out some to allow for social distancing, but they’re still closer than six feet now. However, we had plenty of space when we sat down. Tables appeared to be seated leaving every other table vacant while we were there.
Seating here is standard tables and chairs, where you’ll find paper napkins and utensils waiting for you.
The former buffet area (where you REALLY get that open-air market feeling) is now occupied by tables and chairs.
The menu here is prix-fixe — breakfast is $42 per adult and $27 per child. You can access the full menu on your phone via QR code.
Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty — the food!
Let’s take a look at the menu, shall we? The family-style goodies consist of a Pastry Basket, a breakfast platter (with a few Tusker House-style surprises), and fruit.
Drinks are pretty standard for breakfast. There are a few alcoholic drinks available as well.
If you’re looking for plant-based or allergy-friendly specific options, be sure to speak with a Cast Member. The Allergy-Friendly menu specifies that plant-based options are available upon request.
Here’s a look at the Allergy-Friendly options as shown on Disney’s website.
You can see some of the options above but keep in mind again that you can ask for a plant-based version of the breakfast platter too.
Breakfast is served in two courses and automatically comes with that wonderful Jungle Juice (aka POG Juice) that we so love. This is a combo juice made from Orange Juice, Passionfruit Juice, and Guava Nectar. And it is DIVINE.
Oh, and we got coffee, too, because CAFFFEEEIINNNE!
But we also felt like we wanted something with just a little more kick, so we ordered the African Mimosa for $11.25. It’s a Mimosa made with that wonderful Jungle Juice, but also with Graham Beck Brut Rosé. And it was fabulous! The bubbles cut some of the sweetness of the juice, and the addition of the Jungle Juice made it more unique than a normal mimosa.
But, hey, we’re here for the food. Because, well, breakfast IS the most important meal of the day, right? Our first course was brought out to us, and it was Fresh Fruit with Honey Yogurt Sauce and a Pastries Basket with Safari Bread, Multigrain Croissants and Cornbread served with Whipped Butter, Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread, and Strawberry Preserves.
When it comes to the breads, we decided that the Croissant was our favorite — it was crispy and flaky and everything a croissant should be. And although the Safari Bread looks fun, it’s not that flavorful (unless, of course, you put chocolate hazelnut spread all over it). Kids will still probably love this because it’s really cool-looking bread! The Corn Bread Muffins were nothing unique, but tasty enough. Slather on some whipped butter and they were a welcome breakfast carb.
The fruit was a nice option for those wanting something a little lighter. There was a good variety, too, with Strawberries, Melon, Pineapple, and more. We found the fruit to be very fresh, while the yogurt dip had a nice little sweetness to it that made it perfect for dipping. If you’re not a yogurt fan, though, we’d recommend skipping it.
Now the part of the meal we’ve been waiting for — the main course of the breakfast, which features — of course — MICKEY WAFFLES! The Breakfast Platter features Scrambled Eggs, Mickey & Simba Waffles, and Durban Chicken & Egg Curry with Jasmine Rice served with Bacon, Sausage, and Roasted Potatoes.
So the Mickey and Simba waffle part of the breakfast wasn’t that surprising or exciting — it’s a basic breakfast (but with Mickey and Simba waffles). Tusker House was one of the few spots you could get Simba waffles before the closure, so we’re glad to still see them on the menu! We liked the sausage and waffles the best. The sausage was your basic breakfast patties. There were some basic scrambled eggs — nothing special, but they get the job done. The potatoes were surprisingly soft (AKA not super crispy) with a nice seasoning. We would’ve loved a nice crisp on these guys though (they sure LOOKED crunchy to us!). Our bacon lived in that rare world where it was both chewy and crispy. Basic? Sure. Yummy! You bet! Also, the presentation was ON POINT. Look how pretty!
Now that Curry? It blew us away with its flavors. It’s Disney spicy (meaning a little kick but nothing to send most folks running), giving it a bit of heat with each bite. If you don’t do spice at all, you probably won’t dig this. We loved the flavors. Stirred up with the rice, it was hearty and a great option for breakfast. The pickled onions were a nice contrast in texture, too. And getting a good hard-boiled egg is difficult sometimes, but this one was boiled just right.
We loved that this dish was so uniquely Tusker House. And it’s fun for us to get something more adventurous for breakfast!
We also like the fact that there is something like this on the menu as well as the standard breakfast staples — this should please those who want a little adventure with their breakfast, as well as those who just want a standard Disney breakfast. You really can’t go wrong here.
Did we see characters? Yes, we did! The characters all came out and made sure to circle the room, posing for photos, and doing little dances. Characters are keeping their distance from guests, but the interactions are still a lot of fun.
We saw Donald…
At the end of the meal, we got a cute postcard…
…and it had all the characters’ autographs on it!
So all in all, we’d call this a fun — and tasty — character dining experience. Welcome back Tusker House!
Nosh or not…
Make a reservation for Tusker House Restaurant for breakfast if…
- You enjoy Character Meals, even if the characters are still distanced from guests, it’s lovely to have them back!
- You’re looking for a more unique breakfast dining option.
- You have eaters in your party that are both picky AND adventurous.
- You want a sit-down breakfast in Animal Kingdom. This is really your best bet aside from a quick coffee and pastry.
Skip Tusker House Restaurant for breakfast if…
- You prefer the more personal character interactions that we had pre-closure. If so, you might want to wait it out a bit longer.
- You aren’t a fan of character meals.
- You don’t enjoy getting a pre-set platter of food. There’s plenty of options here but if you prefer the flexibility to pick and choose at the old buffet, you might be disappointed.
- You want a quick and easy breakfast.
We enjoyed spending time with Donald and his friends at Tusker House for breakfast, and overall, the food is still consistently good. We like being able to have a more traditional breakfast at the same time as more unique food options, and that should please families that have eaters with a lot of different palates.
Granted, this isn’t as unique as something like Boma, but with that restaurant still closed, Tusker House is the next best thing in this general area of Disney World. This is also the only character dining experience you’ll find in Animal Kingdom, so if you’re wanting to start your day with characters, a big meal, and a lot of fun, this is where you want to go (and we highly recommend making reservations).
Finally, with Tusker House no longer being a buffet, there isn’t quite as much variety as before. This could be a deal-breaker for pickier eaters that want total control of their meal. The buffet was always good, and we’re happy to report that the family-style dining is just as good — the quality of the food has not diminished in the least. We’re happy to have another sit-down option back in Animal Kingdom and were so happy to say, “Jambo!” to Donald and crew once again!
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What do you think? Will you be trying Tusker House now that it’s reopened? Let us know in the comments!