Disney Food: Rainforest Cafe


Photo by Marc Uchman

When my girls asked if we could eat at Rainforest Café, my first reaction was, “No way!” You see, we have a Rainforest Café about 45 minutes from our house. When I go to Disney World, I want to try new restaurants, not ones that I can visit when we are home. Plus, I am not a fan of the Rainforest Café in Nashville. It’s always chaos, it’s loud and scares some small children, and the food is overpriced and not that great. “But this one is at Disney World, so it has to be better!” my 11 year old stepdaughter argued. Well how could I disagree with that?

There are two locations of Rainforest Café at Disney World. The first is in Animal Kingdom and the second is in Downtown Disney. I should note here that Rainforest Café is the only table service restaurant we did not make advanced dining reservations for. We were at Animal Kingdom that day, and my picky eater stepdaughter was a little scared of the choices at Tusker House and Yak and Yeti. This is part of the reason I caved and agreed to Rainforest Café. We had been caught in a huge downpour for the second day at Animal Kingdom. For some reason, Mother Nature did not want us to enjoy this park. Again, we rode out the storm hiding out in Finding Nemo: The Musical. Again, the park was pretty much empty when we left. Apparently, while we hid from the rain in Finding Nemo, everyone else in the park decided to hide in Rainforest Café. By the time we got there, the wait for a table was two hours.

Needless to say, I did not want to wait two hours for a table. I tried to convince the girls to try a different restaurant, but they had their heart set on Rainforest Café. So I called the Downtown Disney location. The wait there was only 45 minutes and they let me put our name on the waiting list over the phone. We took the bus to Downtown Disney and arrived a few minutes before they called our name. It actually worked out pretty well, all things considered.


Photo by Marc Uchman

We were seated pretty quickly (especially considering how long we waited at T-Rex Café). As we were walking to our table, one of the rainstorms started. My two year old freaked out when she saw and heard the gorilla. For some reason, she is terrified of primates. She even gets scared at the zoo if she sees one. I’m glad we didn’t see King Louie at Animal Kingdom.

We were seated near an elephant, and away from the gorilla, thank goodness. Our server and our food came right away. I had the Caribbean coconut shrimp and wish I hadn’t. It was just okay, like I expected. I honestly do not think that their food will ever be anything but mediocre. The problem came when I tried the mango dipping sauce. It’s my own fault for not asking, but I’m pretty sure it had papaya in it, which I am allergic to. After dinner we went straight back to the hotel where I took a large dose of Benadryl.

Of course, the best part (and only good part in my opinion) is the Volcano. If you have never been to a Rainforest Café, the Volcano is their signature dessert. It consists of a chocolate brownie cake tower topped with ice cream, caramel and chocolate sauce, and a silver foil sparkler on top. The servers made a big deal of it when one is delivered. A group of servers deliver it to your table while shouting “Volcano!” at the top of their lungs. My husband and girls devoured it while my dad enjoyed his key lime cheesecake. I sat there with a swollen tongue telling everyone to hurry up so I could get back to our room.


Photo by Marc Uchman

Even though my stepdaughter tried to convince me that Rainforest Café at Disney World would be better, it wasn’t. If anything, this trip made me hate it even more. My allergic reaction was my own fault, but until my daughter gets over her fear of primates and the food improves, I have zero desire to go back. That might be a problem though since the girls are already trying to convince me to make reservations at the Animal Kingdom location for our next trip!

What are your thoughts on the Rainforest Cafe at Walt Disney World? Do you have your own stories from either location? Leave your comments!

Alexia Christensen


About The Modern Mouse Crew

Modern Mouse Radio is a multimedia Disney fan site run by Josh Taylor and put together by a crew of amazing individuals. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on July 24, 2013, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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