Before we ate at the Disney’s Tusker House in Animal Kingdom, I thought I had all my favorite eateries in Walt Disney World figured out. It took about three minutes once inside of the Tusker House to realize that I was wrong.
There had been a hidden gem hiding in plain sight in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, just waiting to be discovered. The number of times I had passed Disney’s Tusker House restaurant and not given it a second chance is far greater than I care to admit. One thing is for sure: I’m glad I finally decided to stop and check out the Tusker House. It was love at first bite, sight, and experience!
Love at First Sight at Disney’s Tusker House
In case you weren’t able to tell by the vast numbers of photos I have all over this blog, I’m a highly visual person. I love things that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. Especially those that follow a theme. Therefore, Disney’s Tusker House Restaurant was right up my alley.
I loved how the restaurant was set in a Harambe market place. The fare was centered around fresh fruits, vegetables and colorful salads. Meats, kid friendly food and lots of sweet were also available. Plus, they had a ton of seasonal and African inspired dishes. Maybe it was just the nature of the dishes containing lots of fruits and vegetables, but the colors seemed to pop. Everything just looked really colorful.
Love at First Bite at Disney’s Tusker House
As I’ve mentioned countless times in other blog posts, my family tends to eat a whole-foods, plant-based (WFPB) diet at our home. It reflects a vegan diet, but isn’t very strict as we follow it for health reasons more than anything. We like to allow for flexibility, but tend to stick to it about 90% of the time.
At times it can be tricky to find a meal that fits in with our normal WFPB diet when out on vacation, but Walt Disney World makes it easy. If Walt Disney World makes it easy in general, Tusker House makes it an absolute snap. It features a buffet with African inspired dishes that emphasizes numerous vegetarian creations.
I fell in love with the different curries as did my husband. Our oldest loved the ‘red soup’, or tomato basil soup in addition to the tater tots (a real African delicacy). His favorite thing? The jungle juice. If you plan to visit Disney’s Tusker House, your server will most likely bring this to your table. If not, definitely try it. It’s pretty darn good.
And our youngest? Well, he loved every single thing we set in front of him. If he could gum it down with his two bottom teeth it was all gold. As you can tell, he was much too busy to pose for any pictures.
Love at First Experience at Disney’s Tusker House
I love a good character meet-and-greet just as much as the next Disney guest, but I find them even more amazing when food is involved.
Enter the Character Dinning meal. It’s a perfect combination of some of my favorite Disney things.
Disney’s Tusker House offers character meals three times a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy are the all-star line up and are all decked out in their safari exploring clothes. Mickey and the gang make their rounds to each guest’s table as the guests enjoy their meals.
The best part? We never felt rushed when the characters were at our tables. They would take the time to smile for a photograph, sign our autograph book and give us all a few hugs. This was in spite of Disney’s Tusker House being packed the entire time we were dinning.
As if a personal meet-and-greet- wasn’t enough, intermittently throughout the meal the characters would take a break from their normal meet-and-greet activities to start a festive parade! Maracas, noise makers and other musical instruments joined along with Mickey, Donald, Daisy and Goofy as they paraded around the restaurant.
The best part? The kids were able to join in on the parade. My one year old was mostly skeptical as he watched the shenanigans taking place around the restaurant. He decided to take a pass for this year. Mostly because he can’t walk yet.
My four-year old, on the other hand, loved every minute of the parade. He was able to secure his own noise maker from a cast member to join in the fun during the parade. A parade with Mickey Mouse leading the way? Pretty much the coolest thing ever.
Overall, we had nothing bad to say about Disney’s Tusker House. The only thing that stood out in our minds as slightly negative was the wait. At our reservation check-in we were told we had about a ten to fifteen minute wait. The ten to fifteen minutes turned into about twenty-five minutes.
With two hungry boys (and a pretty hungry momma and daddy), we braced ourselves for some potential meltdowns. The meltdowns didn’t happen (for the boys..but momma was getting pretty hangry) as there was a pretty creative daddy talking on the ‘pager’ phone.
That and the people walking on the streets of Disney’s Animal Kingdom provided us with enough entertainment for the 20+ minutes to pass.
Would we visit Tusker House again? In a heartbeat. It is definitely our new favorite restaurant to visit while in Animal Kingdom. Possibly while in all of Walt Disney World! From the food to the characters and everything in between, we loved the Tusker House.