Character Dining in Animal Kingdom: Tusker House Restaurant
Character Dining is slowly returning to Walt Disney World and Disneyland, although it is a modified experience, but anything is better than nothing! One of the most popular Character Dining experiences is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, at Tusker House Restaurant. Tusker House is currently an all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style meal featuring African-inspired food, and hosted by Safari Donald Duck!
Tusker House Restaurant: The Basics
Tusker House offers Breakfast (8:30am-10:30am), Lunch (11:00am-3:30pm), and Dinner (3:35pm-7pm) (hours current as of February 2, 2022. Check the Walt Disney World website or app for most recent operating hours). Previously a buffet, the restaurant is now a family-style all-you-care-to-enjoy meal. Breakfast is currently $42/adult, $27/child, while Lunch and Dinner come in at $55/adult, $36/child. This includes your food and non-alcoholic beverages like coffee, tea, water, and fountain drinks. Non-alcoholic specialty drinks, cocktails, beer, and wine are extra. Advanced Dining Reservations can be made up to 60 days in advance and are strongly encouraged!
Tusker House: The Food
For this article, I’m going to focus on breakfast. I’ve eaten lunch and dinner at Tusker House, but that was pre-Covid. So breakfast starts with fresh fruit, with a honey yogurt sauce/dip. You also get a breakfast pastry plate. This includes Safari Bread, Multigrain Croissants and Cornbread served with Whipped Butter, Chocolate-Hazelnut Spread, and Strawberry Preserves. Again, everything is all-you-care-to-enjoy, so you can order more of any and all items!
For the main course, you will enjoy Simba and Mickey waffles, eggs, bacon, sausage, and chicken curry.
I will say that, while the food is nothing earth-shattering, it is good. However, we were a group of six, and this was what was initially brought to us. The youngest in our group was 15. Do you think this is enough food for 6 adults? Yes, I realize that it is all-you-care-to-enjoy, but we had to order more before they even set the plate down!
Tusker House for Food Allergies
As with all other Disney-owned restaurants, they are great with food allergies. If you’re new here, I have Celiac, and I cannot eat gluten. I mark this on all my dining reservations, and communicate with the hosts and my server. When I don’t feel comfortable or have a specific question (like ordering a secret menu item), I ALWAYS ask to speak to a chef. So the first thing is that I receive my very own breakfast pastry plate and my own fruit, in case there is any cross-contamination with the normal eaters. It’s obviously nowhere near as exciting as the gluten-filled pastries, but since it’s rare I can have any of this, it’s perfect.
When the main course is brought out, a separate skillet is brought out, a separate skillet is brought out for me, including gluten free Mickey Waffles, eggs, bacon, ham, and breakfast potatoes. I don’t like curry, so I told them I didn’t want any, but it was available if that’s something your allergy diner enjoys. Unlike the skillet for the whole group, this has MORE than enough food for one person in it! Apparently they should apply this food-to-mouth ratio to the bigger portions!
Here, Donald Duck is the star of the show! Join Safari Friends Donald, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Goofy. They are roaming around the restaurant while you eat, and are available for socially distant photos. They will not sign autographs, but we received a card with all of their autographs on it as a keepsake. Personally, I much prefer this style of Character Dining, because it’s much faster, less hectic, and you’re not standing up every 2 minutes. I love a good Donald Duck hug as much as anybody, but I much prefer the socially distant version of Character Dining!
Character Dining: Final Verdict
While this has always been one of our favorite dining locations, the switch from buffet to all-you-care-to-enjoy really soured our opinion. It was still good, as far as breakfast food goes, but the basic offerings, in our opinion, was not worth the price. Beware that you are completely paying for characters here now. The food is ordinary. What do you think of the new version of character dining at Tusker House?
You can read about other Animal Kingdom dining options here.
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