Dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I don’t know about you, but after an adventure at DINOSAUR and Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama, I feel hungry enough to eat a dinosaur! Well, maybe not quite that much, but when I get a rumbly in my tumbly at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and my stomach growls louder than the Park’s inhabitants, it’s good to know there are many eatery options.

Photo used by permission from WDWNews

If I’m already at DinoLand, USA, I head on over to Restaurantosaurus, a home-away-from-home for the fun-loving paleontology students, Chester and Hester. (You met them last week, remember?) Their dino collections and class notes line the walls for your perusal while the “nature students” minding the registers serve up tasty favorites, like burgers, shrimp po’ boys, veggie subs, and chicken nuggets.

Over in the Park’s Asia section is the Yak & Yeti Restaurant, offering table-service and a full-service bar. Choose such Asian delights as a bamboo steamer basket of dim sum, crispy honey chicken,  and seared miso salmon. Guests in a hurry can eat at the adjacent quick-service restaurant, with a limited menu of sweet-and-sour pork, crispy honey chicken, fried rice, and egg rolls.

Tusker House
Photo courtesy Heidi-Strawser.com

In the Africa area you’ll find Tusker House Restaurant in Harambe, a diverse African-inspired lunch and dinner buffet with carved meats and an array of interesting tastes such as chutneys, hummus, spiced tandoori tofu, and couscous salad. Tusker House also hosts Donald’s Safari Breakfast, a Character dining experience, from 8-10 a.m. daily. Adjacent is the Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery for pastries and favorite sweets.

Tusker House collage
Fun Tusker House photos from our friends at Heidi’s Head and A Disney Mom’s Thoughts!

Near Discovery Island are the counter service options Pizzafari, offering open-hearth oven-baked crusts with a variety of unusual toppings, and Flame Tree Barbecue, featuring wood-roasted meats with a choice of two original barbecue sauce flavors plus a special dry marinade that is rubbed into the meat before cooking. Both restaurants continue the colorful artistic theme of Discovery Island, and provide outdoor, riverside dining areas.

If you’re on your way out of the Park (or into), you might choose to dine at the Rainforest Café (operated by Landry’s Restaurants, which also manages the Yak & Yeti). I’ve never dined here, because it is a franchise establishment that I’ve visited in other locations. However, the one at Animal Kingdom does exude a certain bit of Disney magic; plus it has its own entrance to the Park. The restaurant features an assortment of casual dining options like pastas, salads, sandwiches and desserts.

Well, I’m stuffed and ready for some more Animal Kingdom excitement! How about you?

Today’s Takeaway:
Make a taste of Africa today! Below is the recipe for Spicy Potato and Pea Samosas at Animal Kingdom’s Tusker House. They are served with a mango chutney, which is not included in the recipe. [Recipe courtesy AllEars.net; photo via Todd Perlmutter of Touring Plans.] *Adult supervision recommended.

Tusker House Spicy Potato and Pea Samosas
Photo copyright Todd Perlmutter of Touring Plans

Spicy Potato and Pea Samosas
Tusker House, Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Yields 10

Ingredients for Pastry :
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons oil
3/4 cup water

Ingredients for Potato Stuffing:
5 each potatoes (red potatoes are recommended)
2 tablespoons oil
1 each green chili (de-veined and seeds removed)
1 cup green peas (frozen or fresh work best)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry paste (if you prefer heat, add hot sauce)
Oil for deep frying

Procedure for Pastry:
1. Mix flour and salt in bowl.
2. Add oil and rub until mixture resembles small bread crumbs.
3. Add water and knead for 10 minutes.
4. Rub dough with oil, cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

Procedure for Potato and Pea Filling:
5. Boil potatoes until tender, cool, peel and dice.
6. Saute peas in oil; add green chili, potatoes and spices.
7. Mix and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes.

Procedure for making Samosa:
8. Divide dough into 10 balls.
9. Roll into flat square shape about 5 inch diameter.
10. Cut in half and fill each side with 1 tablespoon potato and pea mixture.
11. Brush a little water around the edge of the pastry, fold, seam and seal.

Procedure for cooking Samosa:
12. Heat about 2 inches of oil for frying over medium to low heat to 350 degrees.
13. Carefully add samosas to oil. Fry slowly, turning the samosas as they brown and are crisp.
14. Drain excess oil and serve with mango chutney.

Note: Wonton wrappers may be substituted for the pastry. Leftover mashed potatoes could be used instead of fresh potatoes.

SCHOOL SUBJECT: Home Economics
SKILL LEVEL: High School

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  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.l.parker.33 Amy Lee Parker

    We like Flame Tree Barbecue and Pizzafari. A couple of trips ago, we got some chicken fingers with a sweet and sour at a little stand. I think it was near EE. We couldn’t find it last time:(

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Those are both yummy places!

  • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

    It’s on my menu for tomorrow. If they look anything like this picture, I’ll post a pic to show it off 😉

  • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

    It is a nice open space – with delicious food!

  • Vicki Hale

    I have been to Disney a few times, and deciding on where to eat is the hardest. Thank you for giving me some great ideas. Vicki

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      It can be a tough decision, can’t it?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/kerri.jones.31 Kerri Jones

    We love Tusker House for lunch!!

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Good choice!

  • Heather O.

    Animal Kingdom is the one park I haven’t been to and I was really nervous about the food choices for our upcoming trip. I love knowing more about the restaurants and will now be able to plan accordingly. Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Oh, good! Glad I could help!

  • http://www.facebook.com/dawn.ripplinger.1 Dawn Ripplinger

    Thanks for the tips. I gave one picky eater and one that is adventurous. Great to know ahead where to eat.

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      You’re welcome! Remember they all have kids’ menus with simple options like mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets too :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/heather.pruitthuitt Heather Pruitt Huitt

    My kids aren’t too adventurous when it comes to eating, so Rainforest Cafe is the one for us. It is pretty much what you expect from Rainforest, but there are no surprises in the menu, which my kids appreciate.

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Yeah, that can make it easier!

  • Jenni B

    We have never done a sit down meal at Animal Kingdom even though we go every year. We are usually done with the park around 1:00 so we do a quick service for lunch and use a table service at a resort that night. I have thought many times about trying Tusker House for lunch (we aren’t big breakfast eaters), but the menu always scared us off. May just have to try it now. Thanks for the post!

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      You should try it at least once, if for nothing else than the atmosphere 😉

  • http://www.facebook.com/dana.russellschroeder Dana Russell Schroeder

    I am glad to read about Tusker House. We are going in July and we have never eaten here before but already have our reservation for the Donald breakfast!!!

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Great! I know you’ll really enjoy it!

  • Michelle

    I’ve read lots of good reviews about Tusker House and we plan to try it for breakfast during our November trip. My family does not have an adventurous appetite so I figured breakfast would be our best bet 😉

    • http://twitter.com/MagicalMouseSch MagicalMouseSchoolhs

      Probably a good idea! Have a great time!

  • Janey T.

    Thanks for the reminder of all the great places to eat at Animal Kingdom! We do the Tusker house every time and then don’t even look at the others as we fly by on our way to attractions…..

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      LOL! Tusker House is a good choice!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jennyleighbanks Jennifer Banks

    I usually don’t eat much at AK, but I always forget about Tusker House! Thinking of booking it for September! And thanks for the samosas recipe!

    • http://twitter.com/navywifetill02 Kathryn Meyer

      We had character lunch at Tusker House in September and it was great! The picture with Donald at the beginning was awesome! DH loved the food (different then your “standard” buffet food). I’d go again in a heart beat!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bethany.kreiter Bethany Kreiter

    I have only been to AK twice (once in elementary school and once with high school), but I really want to go back and experience as an adult! It seems like they have made some changes over the years.

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      You definitely should. It’s gotten much more magical over the years. The park turns 15 soon, and we’re celebrating with 15 Days to 15 Years. You should read through the posts to see all they’ve done since 1998! I’ll be over there tomorrow with a look at 2006. http://www.distherapy.com/search/label/15%20Days%20to%2015%20Years

  • Natasha

    Thank you!!! We will be going to Disney this summer and tips on restaurants are going to be sooo helpful!

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      You’re very welcome! Have a great time!

  • http://www.facebook.com/janellelynnchandler Janelle Bergman Chandler

    Restaurant tips are great since we’ve never been there and planning for next year. thanks so much for this!!

    • http://www.magicalmouseschoolhouse.com/ Jodi / MagicalMouseSchoolhouse

      You’re very welcome! I know you’ll have a wonderful time!