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Rainforest Cafe: An Interview with a 4 Year Old

I’m probably not the first adult to admit, I’m not a super huge fan of Rainforest cafe. The menu isn’t horrible (and I do appreciate the vegetarian and vegan options), but the place screams sensory over-load. There are kids everywhere and noises happening at every second. It is not my idea place to dine and not somewhere that I would pick for a quiet night out.

But, I’m not the ideal client of Rainforest Cafe. Am I?

No, I’m not. I might be the one driving to the restaurant and paying the bill, but I am still not the key demographic Rainforest cafe is interested in convincing to come eat at its nation wide locations.

My kids are the target demographic!

They are the reasons we go to Rainforest Cafe time and time again. While we usually don’t opt to go to the Rainforest Cafe in Walt Disney World, we do frequent the one 20 minutes from our house. If I were to look through the eyes of my little guy, I do see the excitement of eating at Rainforest Cafe. Plus, I do see some Disney magic within its walls. But, since I am not the key demographic, there’s no sense in hearing what I like about Rainforest Cafe. Instead, I figured there was no better person to give his opinion of the place than the guy who loves Rainforest Cafe himself. Mr. D. So, without further ado, let’s see what he has to say about Rainforest Cafe and why his responses remind me of the magic of Walt Disney World.

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Frog Headbands

His Words: Mr. D. says he is a big fan of the Rainforest Cafe Frog headbands you get at each visit. Mostly he likes them because they are froggies.

Ever since he was born Mr. D. has been a big fan of hats and Mickey ears (yay!) The headbands are a cool little souvenir he is able to take home from the restaurant. He likes wearing them later on to remember our adventures at Rainforest Cafe. The headbands remind me of Mickey or Minnie ears that you wear at the parks (or at home, that’s cool too. Not that I would ever do that…) Now if only Disney gave out Mickey ears just for entering their parks…

Rainstorms or Thunderstorms

His Words: Mr. D. says the rainstorms that happen while you’re eating are really cool. He likes how the lights flicker and then it feels like you’re outside in a storm.

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As Mr. D. said, during the meal, the restaurant lights will flicker and ‘thunder’ will start crashing. It’s as though you are in a tropical rainstorm. It’s a neat special effect if you and your family are okay with the extra noise and commotion. Both my kids think it is sweet, but if you or your kiddos have any sensory sensitivities it might not be the most enjoyable.

The cool thing about the restaurant is the thunderstorms happen often enough that you can get a sneak peek before you enter the restaurant. If you want to check the storms out from the gift shop before committing to a seat you’d be able to do so. The thunderstorms remind me of the special effects seen throughout the Disney parks and on various rides.

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Food!

His Words: Mr. D says loves french fries, pizza and grapes. The fact that they have all three at Rainforest Cafe is an award-winning combination in his book.

I mean, what kid doesn’t like those foods? (If your kid doesn’t, I get that too. I was the kid who didn’t like M and Ms when I was little. Crazy, I know.) The fact that Mr. D. can get his favorites from Rainforest Cafe is a definite plus. The fact that these are the same foods he can find throughout most of Walt Disney World reminds me that kids like simple foods and both places tailor to those needs.

Animal Bar Stools

His Words: Mr. D. is a big fan of the bar stools located in Rainforest Cafe. He likes being able to sit on the different seats while pretending he is the different animals.

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We obviously don’t visit the Rainforest Cafe during peak bar hours since we can usually get the whole area to ourselves. (Usually we are there for lunch!)This means Mr. D. is able is able to try out a few of the bar stools while we wait for our food. Being able to try out the various stools reminds me of Disney’s Animal Kingdom in general. The vast display of animals, both alive and decorative, is prevalent throughout the park and something my kiddos love to look at. Being able to pretend he is the various animals is a great perk for my little one.

Animatronic Animals

His Words: Mr. D. likes how the animals, from the elephants to the tigers make noise and move at Rainforest Cafe. He says it makes them act real!

If you know the history of Disney, you know that animatronics were an integral part of the beginnings of both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The ability to create life-like creatures and people who were in fact, robots, brought along a whole new element to the various rides in the parks. Animatronics are in a lot of places beyond Walt Disney World, but I will forever associate them with the parks.

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Fish Tanks

His Words: Mr. D. says it’s really cool to eat lunch with the fish! They swim around and around while I eat.

I have to agree, there is something about giant fish tanks that seem to draw you in. The pretty light in combination with the pretty fish enable you to enjoy a show while eating your meal. The giant fish tanks at Rainforest Cafe remind of the Coral Reef at Epcot in Walt Disney World. I’ve always loved the huge aquariums at both places. Just as long as I am not eating fish…

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Rainforest Cafe in Michigan

When my son sees our Rainforest Cafe here in Michigan, he often thinks of the Rainforest Cafe in Disney Springs or the one at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It may be a small visual reminder, but it helps him to remember Walt Disney World and think of our fun trips. He will often talk about the adventures we had last time we were in Walt Disney World. Plus, he says he’s glad there is no volcano at our Rainforest Cafe.

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While these fan favorites of Rainforest Cafe, courtesy of my 4-year-old, might not convince you about the restaurant. But if you look at the restaurant through eyes of a toddler or preschooler, and odds are you know they would have a blast at Rainforest Cafe.

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If you don’t have a Rainforest Cafe in your home state, Mr. D definitely recommends heading to the one in Disney Springs. Volcano and all…

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