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Florida Guide > Animal Kingdom

We have often wondered why there seems to be a distinct lack of waitress service restaurants in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Although we still don’t know the official reason we are surmising that it is something to do with the fact that the park closes relatively early in the evening and most people tend to eat their main meal later in the day.

We are also assuming that Animal Kingdom operates on much shorter hours than the other theme parks because it has the wellbeing of the animals to consider in terms of feeding and healthcare.

The good thing is that there are plenty of good counter service eateries available to satisfy most appetites and at affordable prices that will not stretch the budget.

So, exactly what is on offer during our visit?

Well, we did have a look at the menu at the Rainforest Café just inside the entrance which was fairly comprehensive with a good range of seafood, pasta, pizza, beef, chicken and salads. This is just about the only server style restaurant in Animal Kingdom and we guess that is reflected in the price. It could hardly be described as expensive but a good meal for a family of four is likely to dent the finances with the cost in excess of $100.

By the way, just to satisfy your curiosity this restaurant is an exact copy of the one you may have come across in Downtown Disney.

Among the cheaper alternatives we liked the Flame Tree BBQ in the centre of the park near the Tree of Life. Try a slab of St Louis Ribs or Smoked Chicken served with baked beans and a corn muffin. If you are especially hungry add a basket of onion rings to complement the succulent meat. The desserts include those mouth-watering favourites of Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Cake.

There is even a children’s menu which offers either chicken drumsticks or hot dogs with sides of carrot sticks and apple sauce, together with a soft drink all for just under $5. Expect to pay around $10/$15 a head on average but there is plenty of food and it is absolutely delicious.

Another attraction at the Frame Tree BBQ is that there are pleasant covered seating areas along the shore of the lake which provide a quiet and somewhat tranquil setting in which to eat.

If your timing is right Disney characters such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy or Pluto may sail by and serenade you with their particular brand of Caribbean music.

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Page added on: 13 December 2009
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