Tag Archives: DinoLand U.S.A
Disney’s Animal Kingdom may not be open as long as many of the other parks but they do pack in as much as they can in the hours that is available. While walking around I know I get hungry. We often get asked from fans, Are there many Quick Service choices for Dining in Disney’s Animal Kingdom? My answer would be, most definitely, and it’s some of the best food I’ve found in the Walt Disney World Parks.
Here is a rundown of what you can find throughout the park for snacks, a quick bite or a full meal. There are carts scattered all over the park, with often one item and beverages being the only options. Also a great choice are kiosks with no seating provided, but with plenty available nearby, usually 3 or more choices with beverages. Lastly there are full Quick Service plazas with dining, restroom facilities and plenty of indoor/outdoor seating.
Why include the carts and kiosks? Well, sometimes snacking around the Animal Kingdom is the best way. There are tons of nooks to grab a table and enjoy your surroundings.
- The Beastly Kiosk-Offers corn dogs, chips and beverage choices. Perfect if you are looking for quick eats as you enter the park.
- Safari Coffee-One of several kiosks near the tree of life. Perfect for an early morning stop, Safari Coffee offers coffee, espresso beverages, breakfast pastry and cupcakes. Seating is available nearby.
- Safari Ice Cream, Popcorn and Pretzels-Three kiosks located right before the entrance to Africa. Here you will find hand scooped ice cream, popcorn and stuffed pretzels. All serve water and soft drinks. The popcorn kiosk also serves beer.
- Flame Tree Barbecue- A Full Quick Service option near the road towards Dinoland, USA. The menu consists of house-smoked specialties; including ribs, pork and chicken. Salads and beverages are available. Seating is an outdoor, partially covered pavillion with amazing views of Everest.
- Pizzafari-Also a Full Quick Service option on the path towards Camp Mickey and Minnie. Both breakfast aand lunch are served here. Another benefit is indoor (aka air-conditioned) and outdoor seating. Breakfast options include Eggs, French Toast, Frittatas and Fresh Fruit. Lunch offers Pizza, Sandwiches and Salads.
Of all Walt Disney World theme parks, Disney’s Animal Kingdom perhaps offers my favorite “Take Five” moments – those little breaks in a touring plan that are opportunities to relax, enjoy some unscripted fun and appreciate details that make up the Disney Difference.
I generally find Disney’s Animal Kingdom relaxing, particularly because of the wildlife and lush landscaping. But with E-ticket attractions as Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris requiring some regimented touring, and the park’s extensive exploration paths, it’s useful have a few “Take 5” moments planned for your trek.
The Boneyard, Dinoland U.S.A.
I’m a fan of Disney’s unstructured play areas, and The Boneyard is the epitome. It’s an exploratory archeological dig site that offers climbing structures, rope ladder, slides and tunnels. Designed for kids ages four years and older, the young at hear can also explore many areas designed for full-sized fun. (Note: The Boneyard is wheelchair accessible.)
Kids can dig through the sand, searching for fossils, check out interactive displays, or burn off extra energy by climbing, sliding and tumbling on the spongy floor. Playing the xylobone, musical rib bones, appeal to the musically inclined. For tired parents, shady seats provide a welcome respite and time off tired feet. That is, unless you want to take advantage of the unposed photo ops that arise when children are let loose in this creative prehistoric playground.
Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama, Dinoland U.S.A.
Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama is a Disney experience that romanticizes the wacky places that populated the famed Route 66. As with most Disney attractions, this one has a story: Chester and Hester, in order to make a quick buck, transform their gas station into a delightful garish roadside attraction to attract tourists visiting Dino Institute, the “scientific” arm of Dinoland U.S.A..
While some guests find Dino-Rama off-putting because of its kitchiness, that’s precisely its appeal. Spend some time, and maybe some Disney dollars, among its marvelously cheap dinosaur “artifacts” and toys and note all the campy décor at Chester & Hester’s Dinosaur Treasures store.
Then, if you enjoy the “Take Five” tour, explore the whole of Dino-Rama, a mini-amusement park featuring with dinosaur-themed carny games that, according to Disney lore, emerged out of the store’s success.
Harambe Street Entertainment, Africa
While the wildlife is the park’s primary draw, Disney’s AnimalKingdom features some of Disney’s talented Cast Members. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide for the daily schedule of entertainment and “Take Five” with Tam Tam’s of Congo, for West African folk dance, or African percussionist Mor Thiam. While you’re in Africa, check out the Dawa Bar, next to Tusker House, for a refreshing adult beverage and some of the best subtle theming in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. With a few tasty drinks, you might find yourself dancing in the streets.
Tree of Life, Discovery Island
The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the Tree of Life has 14 stories and more than 300 animals carved into its roots, trunk and branches – including a rabbit, dolphin, lion, elephant, tortoise and armadillo.. Visiting the Tree of Life up close is to be struck by the mastery of the carvings. My personal goal is to identify as many animals as possible over the course of my trips. Because Discovery Island is often less crowded than other parts of the park, it’s also a very peaceful “Take Five” experience, particularly after seeing “It’s Tough to Be a Bug!”
Bonus “Take Five” Bonus, Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Many guests skip visiting Rafiki’s Planet Watchbecause it requires taking the Wildlife Express train. But it’s well worth short, quaintly scenic ride that fits the park’s theming, and there’s more to at Rafiki’s Planet Watch than you might expect. A small treat, for example, is the more than two dozen Hidden Mickeys present Conservation Station’s colorful mural.
But what’s so compelling about Rafiki’s Planet Watch is how it realizes the conservation ethos of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests of all ages will enjoy the Animal Cam that provides information about animals and include behind-the-scene shots of the theme park. The Hall of Animal Health and Care allows guests to see working animal care specialists, scientists and veterinarians, to learn more about the animals under Disney’s guardianship, and to ask questions.
Rafiki’s Planet Watch is also the site of the Affection Section, a petting zoo appealing for it hands-on experiences. The Disney Cast Members who work there are very knowledgeable, and the chance to get up close and personal with some very cute domestic animals and have an enlightening conversation make for truly memorable experiences.
With its emphasis on wildlife and settings that evoke a natural environment, it’s easy to enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom as one long “Take Five” opportunity. I often plan a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as an deliberate break from my more tightly scheduled itineraries (envision me as a theme-park commando, minus the unfashionable camouflage make-up).
So take a minute to “Take Five” at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. If you’re like me, you might find you enjoy these experiences so much fun that you’ll want to Take Ten! And don’t forget to “Take Five” at Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Debra Peterson is the National Disney Travel writer at Examiner.com.
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Eating around the world is a much easier task if “the world” is Walt Disney World Resort, home to more than 100 theme park and resort table-service restaurants. (Not to be confused with Drinking Around the World Showcase)
At Disney World there are numerous sit-down theme park restaurants, guests can find a wide range of fare and flair, from sushi at Tokyo Dining at Epcot to meatloaf at the 50′s Prime Time Cafe at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Fantasy Fare at Magic Kingdom
- Meeting Cinderella in her royal castle is a dream come true at Cinderella’s Royal Table, which specializes in prime rib and other feasts fit for royalty.
- Lady and the Tramp fall in love over a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs from Tony’s restaurant in the animated classic, “Lady and the Tramp.” Magic Kingdom guests will fall in love with the innovative pasta and seafood specialties at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, themed after the movie restaurant.
- Liberty Tree Tavern is an authentic re-creation of an American Colonial Inn. A family-style dinner menu delivers roast turkey, pork, beef and side dishes to the table.
- Gigantic ice cream sundaes and all-American foods such as deli-style sandwiches and burgers make up the menu of The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street.
- At The Crystal Palace, guests can enjoy a buffet with hot and cold fare and a children’s buffet during all-day character dining with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and friends. And Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland serves up an array of fresh tossed salads, soups, burgers and rotisserie chicken with trimmings.
- Pecos Bill Cafe in Frontierland offers burgers, taco salad and wrap sandwiches. A generous fixin’s bar is a guest favorite.
An International Experience at Epcot World Showcase in Epcot truly offers “dining around the world.”
- United Kingdom is home to the Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, an authentic British pub featuring fish and chips, prime rib, meat pies and British beer and ales.
- France features Les Chefs de France restaurant, operated by famous French chefs Paul Bocuse and Roger Vergé. Specialties include beef burgundy and fresh salmon.
- Marrakesh in Morocco uses exotic spices to make food flavorful, not hot. Belly dancers and Moroccan music add to the ambiance of this restaurant, where couscous and bastilla (fried ouarka pastry) are favorites. Tangierine Cafe serves salads and sandwiches with Moroccan flair.
- If Japanese fare is preferred, visit Tokyo Dining or Teppan Edo, where chefs prepare beef, seafood and chicken entrees at the table.
- Classic Italian decor makes a perfect setting at Tutto Italia Ristorante in which to enjoy fresh pasta dishes. Or try the authentic pizzas at Via Napoli, the new Italian restaurant that joins Tutto Italia at the Italy pavilion.
- Biergarten Restaurant in Germany features an Oktoberfest buffet, including bratwurst and sauerbraten, spit-roasted chicken and authentic Bavarian entertainment in banquet-style seating.
- Dine on the edge of a slow-flowing river during sunset at San Angel Inn Restaurante in Mexico. The authentic Mexican fare includes mole poblano, a chicken dish with a traditional ingredient — cocoa. Along World Showcase Lagoon, La Hacienda offers casual dining and a front-row seat for “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” each evening. Adjacent is La Cantina la San Angel for quick-service tacos, margaritas and more.
- A medieval castle in Norway is home to Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, traditional Norwegian cuisine featuring grilled salmon, lamb stew, braised pork and a koltbord with meats and cheeses, seafood and salads. Princess Storybook Dining features Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Aurora, Pocahontas, Mulan, Ariel, Alice and Mary Poppins for a family-style dining experience.
- The Le Cellier restaurant in Canada offers a full menu of Canadian foods, including excellent cuts of beef and King salmon. Just remember it is 2 credits now!
- Future World, also in Epcot, offers two restaurants for American fare. Garden Grill in The Land pavilion takes visitors on a revolving journey through scenes of Living with the Land while they enjoy family-style character dining at dinner. Sunshine Seasons offers fast-casual cuisine from grills and rotisseries to an Asian station.
- Visitors to Coral Reef Restaurant at The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion sight sharks and other sea creatures swimming in a giant aquarium. Specialties of the restaurant include tandoori-spiced mahi mahi at lunch and whole roasted red snapper with fennel and fresh vegetables at dinner.
The Star Treatment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Celebrities of the 1930s made the original Brown Derby their second home, a place to see and be seen. That chic atmosphere is re-created at The Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard. Guests bask in the elegant atmosphere as they dine on the most-noted entree first created at the original Brown Derby, the Cobb salad, and the famous grapefruit cake for dessert.
- At Hollywood & Vine, guests choose from a sumptuous buffet of hot and cold entrees, an all-you-can-eat extravaganza with “Playhouse Disney” pals dropping by to greet diners.
- The Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant specializes in milkshakes, stacked sandwiches, burgers and atmosphere — visitors sit in vintage ’50s convertibles watching campy sci-fi movie clips on a drive-in movie screen.
- Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano features a California-influenced Italian setting. Favorites include brick-oven baked pizza, pastas, chicken and seafood.
- Diners are sit-com kids with “mom” as waitress in a yesteryear’s kitchen at the 50′s Prime Time Cafe. Meatloaf, chicken pot pie and pot roast are the specialties. And “mom” will make sure all veggies are eaten!
Quick Service, Delicious Food at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Rainforest Cafe near the park’s entrance offers sandwiches, salads and other specialties in a rainforest setting with gushing waterfalls, thunder, lightning, tropical birds and chattering gorillas.
- Discovery Island has two restaurants — Flame Tree Barbecue, featuring beef, pork and turkey, and Pizzafari, with pizzas, muffaleta sandwiches and salads. In DinoLand U.S.A., Restaurantosaurus serves burgers, hot dogs, chicken and salad.
- In Africa, Tusker House Restaurant is a buffet with flavors of Africa with interesting sauces and chutneys to accompany food at multiple stations. Donald’s Safari Breakfast is the place to start the day with Disney characters.
- And in Asia, Yak & Yeti Restaurant, an “Asian fusion” eatery with table service dining, a full-service bar and outdoor quick-service options.\
The Options Are Endless!
Theme park table-service restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg for food choices at Walt Disney World Resort. There are more than 6,000 different food items available at food locations throughout the 40-square-mile property.
So what are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comment box below.
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I get a lot of questions and emails on Chip and Company asking me the best ways to tour the parks. I wrote this Touring Plan to help make your Disney World Vacation more enjoyable. In case you missed Magic Kingdom, Epcot, or Hollywood Studios be sure to check them out and let us know what you think.
Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK is HUGE! Covering over 500 Acres. While not all of that is places you and I will go it is still a pretty big park. I enjoy walking around and looking at all the details Disney put into this park. I have seen many behind the scenes specials on DAK and it is amazing what Disney has done with and for this park.
Here is a tried and tested Touring Plan that my family and I like to do when visiting Disney Animal Kingdom or DAK.
Get there early
We like to get here before Rope drop (9am) and make reservations at Tusker House for breakfast. You can get some great photos of the Tree of Life without anybody in it. Also the pictures of Donald & Friends at Tusker House in their safari gear is very unique. Also be sure to grab a showtime guide when you first enter the park.
Quick Tip – There are usually some Photopass photographers there taking pictures for all the early morning breakfast people. So be sure to bring your Photopass card with you.
Going on a safari
We usually finish breakfast around the time of rope drop. Which means people are making a mad dash to Expedition Everest. Luckily we are on the other side of the park from the mad dash of people. So we jump on the 2nd busiest ride at the park Kilimanjaro Safari.
Quick Tip – I haven’t done the Wild Africa Trek but our writer Melissa has a 3 Part Review available here. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This might be a good time to do this if you signed up in advance. Click here for more details.
After the safari we usually bypass every other ride and head straight for Expedition Everest. If you can ride Everest twice as it will be very busy by mid day, or grab a fast pass for later.
Quick Tip – If there is a long line try going in the single ride line. You may not get in next to the person you came with but at least you can ride the coaster. Also works well for families with toddlers or infants where the parents can ride swap the kids.
Nemo or Dino
Depending on the time you have 2 ways you can go. If you are in time for Finding Nemo the Musical head on over. If you just missed the first show take note of the next showtime and head to Dinoland USA till the next showing. Either way you go you will be in the Dinoland area at least till lunch time. Be sure to ride all the rides a few times if possible. If you have little ones let they run around in The Boneyard to get the wiggles out. Its good for those who are young at heart too.
Quick Tip – Be sure to stop by Dino-Bites for one my favorite snacks the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich!!! This monstrous thing is only 1 snack credit!
Back to the beginning
After consuming your snack now its time to enjoy a show. We usually head back to the Tree of Life for It’s Tough to be a Bug. Check out this article In need of an upgrade – Its Tough to be a bug. This is my least favorite 3D show at Disney. The walk around the Tree of Life is spectacular with several great picture taking spots. Be sure to notice the attention to detail Disney Imagineers did on the Tree.
Get our your pens
Next head on over to Camp Minnie Mickey. This is another one of those instances where if you are in time head up to see The Festival of the Lion King or if we are to late/early get some character autographs.
Quick Tip – If you ate at Tusker House for breakfast you would already have Mickey & Friends in their Safari Outfit pictures and autographs.
Depending on what time it is you may be getting close to 3:45pm and the Jammin Jungle Parade. The Parade starts at the Tusker House Gate at Harambe Village. It then winds around Discovery Island, and returns to the Tusker House Gate. Also check out this article Disney Parade viewing spots from a wheelchair.
Quick Tip – Head up near the Yak & Yeti to see the parade so you are not locked into any specific area of the park. Atleast here you can get out and goto Asia or Dinoland USA and not feel like you are stuck.
Time to get wet
This part here is optional as you will get soaked on Kali River Rapids. If you are not into getting wet check out the Flight of Wonder Bird Show..Or like us do both
Check out some animals
Now is the time to relax and ride the train to check out the animals. Head up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and check out the animals. This is where you can sneak in some learning on your little ones. Walk around check out all the exhibits and animals and just have fun. But not t0 much fun as the park will be closing soon. Park closes at 5pm.
Now its time to say goodbye
Disney’s Animal Kingdom closes ALOT earlier than the other parks. Most days it closes at 5pm. Disney has to feed and tend to the animals which I totally understand. This works out great for us as we like to eat Dinner early so head over to my favorite buffet Boma – Flavors of Africa!!!
Quick Tip – If you purchased a park hopper pass be sure to check out some of the other parks. If not go Resort Hopping one of my favorite non park related activity to do.
Well thats about it for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I hope you liked our Touring Plans. If there is something I missed or if you want to share yours with us let us know in the comment section below.
Experience the true meaning of “racing heartbeat.”
Expedition Everest™ Challenge, a race adventure with some bite, is coming Saturday, May 7, 2011 to Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
Just after sunset, individuals and teams of two will brave the mysteries of a thrilling 5K trek held in the shadows of the Forbidden Mountain. Teams will have to overcome treacherous obstacles lying in their path and then scavenge for clues to aid in their journey. But beware of the Yeti, the abominable snowman that guards the Forbidden Mountain! Escape from the clutches of the Yeti and celebrate conquering this Everest with an exclusive after-hours party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
If you have what it takes to conquer this challenge, then find a teammate and join the trek! The challenge and the party will double your fun! If no one will brave this adventure with you, then sign up as a solo team. Check out our Registration page for more details on signing up to brave the Expedition Everest™ Challenge.
The Expedition Everest™ Challenge will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2011. Race events will include:
- Expedition Everest™ Challenge
- Disney Kids’ Races
- Expedition Everest™ Challenge Post-Race Party
Each participant in the Expedition Everest™ Challenge will receive:
- Champion® Race Tech Shirt
- Personalized race bib (register before April 3, 2011)
- ChronoTrack D-Tag
- Expedition Everest™ Challenge Finisher medal
- Post-race refreshments
- Goody bag
- Admission to an exclusive post-race party at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park
The Expedition Everest™ Challenge features:
- Fireworks to kick off your trek
- 5K adventure run with obstacles spread throughout the course
- Scavenger Hunt
- Timed event with online results
- Post-race refreshments
- Disney Kids’ Races
- Awards presented to the top three finishers in the Team Divisions (Men’s, Women’s, Coed, Military, Mother/Daughter) and in Individual Divisions (Men’s, Women’s, Military)
All information is subject to change. Click here to learn more.
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