It was going to be an early start recently at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, so we decided to fuel up for the day at Rainforest Cafe! I’d never been there for breakfast, but had heard good things…
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Rainforest Cafe is one of two table service restaurants that offer breakfast at Animal Kingdom. Tusker House is the other one, so if you aren’t looking for a character meal, this might be just the spot for you.
We were meeting friends for the day at the park, and we thought getting our day started over a big morning meal seemed like a good idea! So let’s head there and check it out.
We’ve told you about lunch before at Rainforest Cafe. For that meal, we actually visited the location in Disneyland’s Downtown Disney District. My experience with Rainforest Cafe is that they are remarkably similar once you get inside, so if you’ll only be visiting the Downtown Disney locations in either Disney World or Disneyland, much of what you see here will apply.
But there are a couple of differences between the two Disney World locations. The Downtown Disney restaurant recently opened the Lava Lounge, an outdoor drinking and dining spot that offers great waterside (and volcano!) views.
But if you’re looking for breakfast, you’ll want to hit the Animal Kingdom location, since the morning meal isn’t served at the DTD location. (By the way, breakfast is also available at the Disneyland Rainforest Cafe, located in Downtown Disney District.)
But back now to Animal Kingdom! The entrance to Rainforest is actually outside of the park’s main gate, so you don’t need a park ticket to dine here. However, you will still pay for parking if you’re not a resort guest.
There’s a photo op with the restaurant’s mascot, Cha! Cha! the Red-Eyed Tree Frog, right at the front. Giant, red-eyed tree frogs scare me a bit, but the kiddos seem to love him!
A menu posted at the entrance is handy if you’re looking to score a walk up table, which is totally possible.
But be forewarned: the restaurant has a policy of not allowing food or drinks from outside locations in. If this is a concern for you, you may want to choose another dining spot. (Even though there are only a couple of table service breakfast locations, there are counter service spots and kiosks that serve in the a.m., like Pizzafari and Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery, which offer quick breakfast options inside Animal Kingdom.)
Identical to Rainforest Cafe at Disneyland, you “go to the elephant” to check in here, too!
Either before or after your advance dining reservation, you may want to take a little time to look around the gift shop. It’s enormous and has some fun decor elements. Chances are you’ll have a wait here at Rainforest, so this can pass the time nicely.
While you’ll find all manner of souvenirs here, I thought we’d focus a little on food finds during this tour. Check out this tower of fruit! It always leaves me a with a mad craving for pineapple…
Tracy Tree talks occasionally, so be aware that she may spring to life if you’re standing near her.
Little souvenir change purses contain a supply of candy, and check out these fun Gummy Kabobs with animal faces!
An assortment of candies, snack mixes, and trail mixes hung together on this tower.
On this side, there were gummies of different flavors, shapes, and sizes — all Rainforest Cafe branded.
Colorful lollipops are sure to catch the eye of the sugar lover in your group.
Huge, brightly colored jawbreakers also feature Cha! Cha! on the packaging.
The chocolate bars were tempting! And with a different Rainforest Cafe character representing each variety, I’m thinking a set would be a great souvenir.
But your kids might skip the gift shop and head straight for the giant aquariums!
They’re huge, and stocked with all kinds of tropical fish. The tube that connects the towers forms a little tunnel to walk through, and it’s a great entrance into the seating area.
Pictures at the base of the tanks give the names of the fish, and it’s fun to see how many you can find.
If you’re kid-less, the Rainforest Cafe bar can be a fun diversion while you’re waiting for a table. It is actually located in the front part of the seating area.
Here you’ll find another cute themeing touch — the bar stools. I can’t help but smile when I see them!
While most of them have four legs, this froggy one only has two, along with seriously big feet. I think it’s my favorite! I seem to recall a duck as well…
Once you make it into the main seating area, you’ll find that it’s nighttime all day in the rainforest! You know that because of the starry sky overhead. But don’t worry; there’s plenty of light, especially around the jungle scenes.
Enormous banyan trees are scattered about and occupy the back wall, which also serves as the seating place for most of the “wild life”.
The animatronic animals throughout the restaurant are VERY big and VERY loud, so be prepared — and prepare your little ones as well.
A couple of elephants are hanging out among the vegetation.
You’ll also see — and hear — gorillas.
A waterfall lends the sound of rushing water to the background. And since this is a rainforest, you can expect a thunderstorm or two while you dine. Also, keep your eyes peeled for swinging monkeys!
Some of the seating is situated close to the animal action. Again, keep this in mind if you are dining with a child who might not understand that the animals are make-believe.
And the animals and storms can be a little loud, and could frighten some small children.
Speaking of tables and chairs, they are colorful and rustic, and there is a mixture of bench seating with tables and chairs.
It’s fairly comfortable, and the brightly colored tables are interesting to look at while you await your food. And…there’s another monkey!
As you can see, there are plenty of diversions here for your hungry bunch. But eventually you’ve gotta eat! Time to check out the breakfast bounty!
You can, of course, start your morning meal with a traditional breakfast beverage, or even a soda. But why would you want to when you have all of these interesting options?! And even if it’s just juice that you’re after, be sure to check out the interesting blends available.
While many of the breakfast entree options are pretty traditional, they come with some entertaining names. So be sure to read through all of the descriptions. You’re likely to find one of your favorite breakfasts here.
I can’t pass up an interesting frozen drink, so I decided to try a Rainforest Ricky Freeze. A mixture of frozen apple, pineapple, orange, strawberry, and grapefruit juices are blended together with orange sherbet for a very exotic glass of refreshment! What a crazy combo — but it works!
When it came time to order, I was surprised to see Tonga Toast on the menu. A breakfast delicacy by the same name is available at both Captain Cook’s Snack Company and Kona Cafe over at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. Could this be the same thing?
The answer is no, no it could not. Or isn’t. At any rate, it is a huge portion of thickly-sliced, Cinnamon French Toast with your choice of Bacon or Sausage (I chose the latter). Served with a garnish of Strawberries and Bananas as well as Maple Syrup, this didn’t get points for originality. But it was a good, solid choice, and could easily be shared.
My husband went for the Cisco and Pancho, which was a fancy name for Steak and Eggs. The steak here is Flat Iron Steak, and is cooked to order over a flame. He ordered his eggs scrambled, but they’re also available cooked to order. Breakfast Potatoes and Toast round out the platter.
This is also a generous amount of food, and is sure to fill you up for a morning of park adventure. But the steak was a overdone and there wasn’t anything special about the meal that made it stand out. This easily could have been your dish at any local breakfast joint.
One of my friends went for the Breakfast Sliders. (I guess they ran out of catchy names at this point on the menu.) This one came with three egg “sliders” and a side of Breakfast Potatoes.
The sandwiches consisted of Scrambled Egg, American Cheese Slices, and Bacon on toasted Slider Buns. Again, very generous; and, again, kind of boring. Nobody at the table was particularly impressed by these, but perhaps that’s just a function of breakfast food not being very interesting in general?
The final entree at the table was Ozzie’s Omelette. This is a fun option because it’s customizable. You can choose three fillings from the following list: cheddar cheese, onions, mushrooms, sausage, bacon, ham, green bell peppers, spinach, black olives, tomatoes, and broccoli. Whew! That’s a lot of choices. And if three aren’t enough for you, add more for an upcharge.
Served with Breakfast Potatoes and Toast, this was another hearty option.
At this point, we were ready to head into Animal Kingdom without need to eat again for a good long time!
This makes my second trip to Rainforest Cafe in the last couple of years, and I have to say, I MUCH prefer lunch/dinner to breakfast. The name of the game here is definitely generous portions, but the creativity just isn’t there when it comes to actual taste. We could have gone to Denny’s for a similar breakfast and paid much less.
However, if you need a sit-down breakfast at Animal Kingdom and cost is a factor, Rainforest is far less expensive than Tusker House, and offers a lot of food and interesting themeing. Let’s face it: your kids will find this place much more interesting than the Denny’s.
They also accept the Disney Dining Plan, so it could serve as a good second option if your first choice for a table service breakfast isn’t available.
Have you had breakfast at Rainforest Cafe? Leave a comment and tell us about your experience!