Animal Kingdom & Hollywood Studios Dining

OhioStater's avatar

This should be short and sweet.

For an upcoming Disney trip with my wife and two girls (3 and 7), we're looking for a nice table-service dining option for these two parks. We've never been to either of these parks, and our dining plan has one table-service per day, so we'd like to make the most of it. At Epcot we're doing dinner at Akershus in Norway, and we're trying out Be our Guest for the first time in Magic Kingdom. That should give our girls their princess fix.

Any suggestions? Favorites? Tomorrow is our "180 days away" booking window grand opening, so I'm just collecting ideas.

Many thanks. :)

We have a couple of stand-bys at the parks you have left. Yak and Yeti's is a Landry's Chinese restaurant at Animal Kingdom. There's table service and quick service there as well. The last time we sat at a window upstairs and it was fun to look out on the street.

For Studios I would definitely go with Prime Time Cafe, the one with a kitchen for a setting and Mom as your waitress. Kids really love it and the food is good, with "home cooked" recipes like meatloaf. There's cocktails for mom and dad, too.

Jeff's avatar

Yak & Yeti is your only real choice at AK, though I think Tusker House has table service now. DHS has no good food in my opinion, but the atmosphere at Prime Time is completely awesome.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

There's Rainforest Cafe at AK too, but I'll admit all I ever do is walk by them. I've yet to actually eat at one.
If you have Dining Plan I'm not sure they take it.

Jeff's avatar

I've been to one. It did not impress me.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

OhioStater's avatar

Thanks! Just by some browsing and talking with people who have been, Yak and Yeti's and Tusker House were on my short list of what looked good for Animal Kingdom...Rainforest seems OK, but isn't that just the same Rainforest Cafe I can find elsewhere?

I had not yet heard about Prime Time...a friend of ours suggested Hollywood and Vine, but I'll take a closer look at Prime Time.

It does seem that DHS has the fewest options...maybe Star Wars will change that in a few years. Star Wars Cantina, anyone?

EDIT: Prime Time looks like an excellent choice. Thanks for the tip. :)

Jeff's avatar

I still haven't done the Italian place. Never could get a reservation. Like I said, atmosphere overcomes food quality at Prime Time.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

OhioStater's avatar

What I'm truly looking forward to is Be our Guest. Beauty and the Beast has long been one of my favorite Disney films, and it looks like they really did an excellent job with the castle, and I've heard the food (at dinner at least) is top-notch. Of course it helps that Belle is my oldest daughter's favorite princess.

slithernoggin's avatar

We've had several good meals at Tusker House. Can't speak to table service there, the times we've been there it was a buffet; but the food was delicious and interesting. If it's an option, check it out.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

rollergator's avatar

The place that had been Tusker House was ridiculously good (and cheap). Name escapes me, but the grilled chicken remains in my memory, and waistline.

Yak & Yeti isn't "fantastic" - but it's more than serviceable.

For some reason I never considered Disney to be like other amusement parks when it comes to food. The value proposition, in terms of quality and price, beats the living daylights out of SF and CF (HFEC/Busch are *way* better).

kpjb's avatar

Tusker House has a good breakfast buffet, and it's a character breakfast with all the main characters in safari outfits. Every so often they give the kids African noisemakers/instruments and do a conga line type dance around the restaurant.

At 3 and 7, it's probably a perfect age for that.

Bonus is if you make the reservations for before the park opens, you get to walk through virtually alone and are already back in the park before the crowds get there.


Jeff's avatar

Disney food is some of the best anywhere in Epcot and some of the hotels, but counter service and most everywhere else is pretty average. For example, I finally ate at Rose & Crown last weekend (had the chicken masala) and it blew my mind.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

For Animal Kingdom, if you want to expand your options a little you can head to one of the restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We ate at Jiko and it was one of the best meals I've ever had in my life. It is super pricey, however. They also have Boma, a buffet that Disney buffs rave about, with food for both adventurous and non-adventurous eaters, and Sanaa, at the DVC building that is apparently good and not-super-crowded.

For Hollywood Studios, Hollywood and Vine is your standard Character Buffet, nothing special or unique, especially if you are already doing a Princess buffet. We did Mama Melrose's in June as part of the Fantasmic Package. Was decent but your typical Italian Fare. I, too, have heard very positive things about Prime Time Cafe and would expect your kids to enjoy the waiters/waitresses. We are trying it for the first time in December. Sci-Fi Drive-In seems to be universally disliked and overrated, and I tend to agree.

Honestly, if you have Park Hoppers, you may want to take the boat to EPCOT for a meal. You are right by the World Showcase and there are many great restaurants to choose from. My 9 year old son really likes the "show" aspect of Teppan Edo and we all liked Via Napoli's pizza. There are also the options on the Boardwalk. We like Big River Grille, mainly for the beers, but my son enjoyed his meal there, also.

rollergator's avatar

If you do eat at Prime Time Cafe, remember to keep your elbows off the table.

And comb your hair before you sit down. Finish all your vegetables or you don't get s'mores.

OhioStater's avatar

Prime Time is sounding like a lot of fun...and I think we settled on Yak & Yeti's for Animal Kingdom (at least for now). I hadn't thought of heading over to the lodge.

Being a newcomer to all this, I'm just blown away by how easy it is to nail all your dining reservations online and manage every other aspect of your trip.

Have any of you done Be our Guest?

Lunchtime. It was impossible to get for dinner the week we were there, and lunch is standby so we didn't bother. Then we got an email inviting us to FastPass the lunch, just put in the day and time we wanted. So we wound up eating lunch there and it was good and fun to see.
One of the CM's explained the nighttime transformation to us and it sounded quite cool. I'm definitely going to try for that next time.

Btw, at Gaston's they have this roasted pork thing that was delicious, it made a nice, meaty snack. Better than the traditional turkey leg. Try it if you can.

OhioStater's avatar

I'm a sucker for Turkey legs. I'll be sampling that. :) And the good news is we have dinner reserved for BOG...we just keep hearing people rave about the dinner, and from what I've seen online just touring the castle looks like an adventure in and of itself.

Apparently the dinner is a tough one to snag there, but I was on it first thing in the morning when our "window" opened up.

If we hit up Prime Time, I'll try to behave...what exactly happens if we come in without our manners? Is Mrs. Cleaver working there?

Last edited by OhioStater,

"Have you met everyone else? Well, let's start with cousin Scooter... who obviously needs a haircut..."

Not exactly June Cleaver, but not exactly Beverly Sutphin, either. You'll be fine.

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