Dining is a huge part of any Walt Disney World vacation, but it can also be one of the most expensive and overwhelming! The goal of today’s article is not to list the cheapest restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but rather the restaurants and quick service locations offering the most for your money.
Note: The prices listed in the article are accurate to the date the article was written. Also, Disney changes their menus quite often so certain menu items mentioned in this article may not be available when you visit.
Pandora – The World of Avatar
Satu’li Canteen – Quick Service
Satuli’ Canteen is a little pricier than some quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World; but I argue it offers quite a lot for just a few extra bucks. For starters, Satu’li Canteen plays a direct role in the story of Pandora – The World of Avatar meaning mealtime doesn’t mean a break in the experience; it actually enhances the experience. The story is the canteen was once an RDA mess hall; but today, it’s operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) and is decorated with Na’vi artifacts. The menu is part of the story as well as the different dishes are intended to look like they’re from another world! But don’t let that alarm you, especially if you have picky eaters in tow. Satu’li Canteen’s menu is healthy, but the flavors are familiar, hearty, and truly yummy!
My family and I often visit Pandora – The World of Avatar just to eat at Satu’li Canteen; and we find you haven’t truly experienced the land without a meal, or at least a bite of the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse. Satu’li Canteen also offers the option to Mobile Order meaning guests can pre-order and pre-pay for their meal on the MyDisneyExperience app and pick it up without the long lines. Due to its unique, healthy, and delicious menu, the role it plays in the Pandora – The World of Avatar experience, and the option to Mobile Order, I believe Satu’li Canteen offers a lot of magic for your money.
Tusker House Restaurant (Breakfast) – Table Service
While Tusker House serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, I consider the restaurant’s character buffet breakfast one of the best dining values at Animal Kingdom. While I can’t recommend all character meals, they do offer the opportunity to meet multiple characters in an air-conditioned setting without lines. Tusker House fortunately delivers on other points too. The breakfast buffet is a combination of both traditional American and African dishes meaning there’s something for adventurous eaters and those who are little more selective. Tusker House also offers the fan-favorite Jungle Juice! It’s a yummy combination of passion fruit, guava, and orange juice. Another bonus is the restaurant opens at 8:00 a.m. If the park opens at 9:00 a.m., an early reservation means guests can enjoy a stroll through an empty Animal Kingdom on their way to their breakfast. Finally, the Tusker House characters are usually Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey, and Daisy sporting safari gear guests wouldn’t normally see.
Harambe Market – Quick Service
The Harambe Market is an open-air plaza where guests can visit four kiosks serving treats and African-inspired entrees. Items range from pineapple-coconut or watermelon shaved ice to a variety of bowls, gyros, and even flavored cream sodas and specialty drinks. Mobile order is also available at this location!
Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery – Quick Service
This kiosk is one of the few grab-and-go locations open for both unique and budget-friendly breakfast items. Here you can find breakfast biscuits, pastries, quiche, coffees, and a colossal cinnamon roll. Certain breakfast items and curries are available throughout the rest of the day.
Flame Tree Barbecue – Quick Service
A long-time favorite of Animal Kingdom guests, Flame Tree Barbecue is an excellent dining value due to its hearty, shareable menu options which is also a refreshing departure from the standard burgers, chicken, and salad fare. Flame Tree Barbecue serves ribs, chicken, and pulled pork combos and platters with sides such as baked beans, coleslaw, onion rings, and cornbread! Flame Tree Barbecue offers extra conveniences as well, such as mobile order and a huge allergy-friendly menu.
Eight Spoon Cafe – Quick Service
I’m often hesitant to recommend kiosks as Disney frequently changes their menus, but the Eight Spoon Cafe has been consistent with its savory options which make for a great snack or even a light meal. Currently Eight Spoon Cafe is serving a variety of baked macaroni and cheeses with the most expensive priced at $6.69.
Tiffins is Animal Kingdom’s signature restaurant located near the entrance to Pandora – The World of Avatar. Signature restaurants are known for their incredible menus and atmospheres, but they are the most expensive tier of restaurant at Disney World. Fortunately, most offer a lounge which serve not just drinks but certain dishes from the main restaurant as well. It’s one of the best ways to experience signature cuisine without a reservation, the use of 2 Disney Dining Plan table-service credits, or the painful bill.
At the Nomad Lounge, guests can enjoy the Tuna Poke Bowl, Wagyu Beef Sliders, Truffle Poutine, Tiffins Signature Bread Service, and more. The churros dessert with dipping sauces are available here too. As a teetotaler, I always mention the Disney lounges are family-friendly and often offer fun, non-alcoholic drinks too.
Yak & Yeti Restaurant – Table Service
One of the most popular restaurants at Animal Kingdom is the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Asia. Open for lunch and dinner, Yak & Yeti is a little pricey but popular with guests and offers an immersive, themed atmosphere and a vast variety of quality pan-Asian fare. I also appreciate their kids menu as it caters to both picky and adventurous little diners.
Those are some of our picks for the best dining values at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. What restaurants, meals, or treats do you consider to be a great value at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments.