Whenever we go to Disney, I try to make a point to reserve dining at restaurants we haven’t tried yet. This time around we tried MANY new restaurants that my family has never eaten at before. One of those restaurants – and one of my favorites of the trip – was Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. We ate at this restaurant during the lunch hour, and it was a buffet / character dining experience. You guys all know how much I love my character dining!
I really enjoyed this restaurant and would love to go again. Here is my breakdown of the food, the atmosphere, and more in my Tusker House review!
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The Set Up
Tusker House is one of the many buffet dining options at Walt Disney World. It is also a character dining experience starring Donald Duck and friends on a safari! Each one of them is dressed up in their safari gear and like all other character dining experiences, they make the rounds and come up to your table as you’re eating for pictures. The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, AND they offer a Rivers of Light dining package as well! These means that you’ll have reserved, premium seating for the Rivers of Light show following your meal, so you don’t have to show up early to get a prime seat!
Like I said above, Tusker House is a character dining experience. Even though it is ‘Mickey and Friends’ characters that you’ll be meeting – Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy and Goofy – Donald is the one who gets the shout out in the description, as it is HIS safari that he is hosting! Character dining is only available during lunch and dinner, however the buffet is available for every meal.
There are always 4 characters in rotation, so it’ll change each time you go. In between your visits to the buffet they’ll come visit your table and interact with you, pausing to take pictures before heading on to the next table. Even in the small window they have to fill at your table you can get a great experience! Mickey got super excited about my Minnie ears, and Donald was thrilled to hear that he was my favorite (I remind him every time I see him).
Don’t worry if you have picky eaters! While this buffet is African themed, and you’ll find many authentic dishes exploring various flavors from the African content, there is still the “classic” selections for those who aren’t feeling particularly adventurous. This is true whether you’re eating there for breakfast, lunch OR dinner. As you can see below, I grabbed some classics – bread rolls, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese – to add to my adventurous selections. There is also a salad bar and a dessert bar to close things out.
Like many of the buffets at Disney, the food is a LITTLE under par for what you’re paying. However, you’ve got unlimited access to the buffet during your time there, so you are able to fill your plate again and again! The only things I had issues with, to be honest, was the dessert selection. Many of the cakes were very dry – but other than that, I really enjoyed all the food. Is it worth $55 per person? If you’re on the dining plan, it definitely is worth it, and even if the food isn’t exactly $55 quality food, the character interactions more than make up for that!
All the African dishes were phenomenal, especially the curry. I was hesitant because I am NOT a big curry fan, or spicy food for that matter. However, it was just the right amount of spice – not too hot, but enough to add a bit of kick to the flavor! The rice and vegetable dish was fantastic as well! Obviously I had to grab some potatoes and macaroni and cheese too – I’m a millennial and I love my mac and cheese, I can’t help it.
My absolute favorite thing? The jungle juice! This delicious drink (included in your meal or dining plan) is a mixture of orange, guava and passion fruit juice.
Despite the higher price tag, I really enjoyed Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The characters were enthusiastic and welcoming, and the food overall was pretty delicious. It was an opportunity to try new dishes from the African continent that you don’t have a chance to try anywhere else! I would love to try some of the unique breakfast items on my next trip. You know how much I love breakfast! If you have kids in your party, or you’re just adults – there’s something to please everyone, plus a super cool wall of masks outside for a unique Instagram photo!
For more fun at Tusker House, check out my travel vlog below from our Animal Kingdom day during our October 2019 trip. Not only do I feature Tusker House, but more fun around the Animal Kingdom as well!
Thank you all for reading my Tusker House review! What’s your favorite restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? Let me know in the comments below!
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Finally, don’t forget to check out my favorite Disney guidebook – the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. They have lots of restaurant reviews to help you plan out all your dining reservations. They have one for Disneyland too!