Dining at Disney Restaurant Review

Rainforest Cafe-Disney Springs

Last January we were all set to take advantage of another trip with the Disney Dining Plan, but in typical Snow Family fashion we decided to extend our trip by one day. It’s so hard to wait to leave on a Sunday when you can so easily leave on a Saturday. We booked ourselves a 1-bedroom villa at our home resort: Saratoga Springs for two nights. The first night we arrived at midnight, so it really didn’t count. For just one night we decided to wing it instead of buying the dining plan. We knew our eating schedule would be all screwed up anyways because of our long travel day the day before so we figured we’d only be needing to dine out once during the day. Staying at Saratoga Springs puts you in a great spot to dine at Disney Springs so of course that’s what we opted to do. Later in the week we were dining at T-Rex restaurant and we’d dined at Raglan Road countless times before so we decided to grab a reservation at Rainforest Cafe. Now Rainforest Cafe restaurants are found all over the globe. There’s certainly none in our neck of the woods but they are not unique to Disney. Because of this, it can be easy to grab a last minute reservation here.

The restaurant is located in the Marketplace area of Disney Springs, on the eastern side of the shopping district across from the Goofy Candy Co. The design of the restaurant is to put guests right in the heart of a Rainforest. It’s very dark with large trees and animals placed around the restaurant. There are fish tanks also placed throughout the restaurant. The roof of the dining area is like a sky, with stars and clouds. During the course of your meal you’ll experience a tropical storm with thunder, lightning and the animals reacting in the expected way.

Jeff has wanted to dine here many times but I’ve put it off because I had dined here in the past with my mom and sister. He was impressed with the restaurant’s design as were the kids. They loved looking at all the animals and the variety of fish found in the fish tank located closed to our table. Rainforest Cafe is a huge restaurant, perfect for large groups of people. You can spend time wandering around the restaurant with your kids while you’re waiting for meal to arrive. They cram a lot of tables into this restaurant, making it easy to pull together a couple of tables for bigger groups. But because of that you may find yourself eating very close to another party. That was our experience. Luckily they were enjoying themselves as well.

The menu here is vast. You have all kinds of American favourites for choices. You can spend a lot of money here or a little. Which is great if you’re paying out of pocket, not great if you’re on the dining plan. You can choose between pasta dishes, beef, pork, chicken, sandwiches and burgers. If you’re hoping to stay on the healthier side of things, they have a lot of meal size salads that are packed with veggies. The kids also have lots of choices. The classic kids choices: hot dogs, chicken fingers, pizza, pasta. The only healthy choice for kids on their menu is the grilled chicken. But you can always choose healthy sides: steamed veggies, fresh fruit, corn or mashed potatoes. The kids meals come with their choice of dessert. The kids menu has lots to colour and activities to keep your kids entertained.

When we ate here, there were so many birthdays. The servers make a huge deal when it’s someone’s birthday. Singing and clapping. I would recommend coming here if you’re celebrating a birthday during your Disney trip. Most of the other restaurants located on property won’t do a song and dance to celebrate your birthday. But this restaurant makes people feel special.

As I mentioned above, we dined at T-Rex during this vacation. I had thought our son would love that restaurant but he found it much too scary. Rainforest Cafe on the other hand was perfect. It wasn’t too dark and the animals were familiar and not overwhelming. Even the tropical storm didn’t frighten the kids. I would recommend dining at Rainforest Cafe over T-Rex if you have preschoolers.

Rainforest Cafe has two locations at Walt Disney World, one is at the Animal Kingdom and the other is at Disney Springs. The Disney Springs location is where we dined. They serve lunch and dinner at this location. There are 64 restaurants found at Disney Springs, I wouldn’t necessarily choose to dine here over some of the other incredible choices found here. One of our favourites is Raglan Road Irish Pub, but this is a great choice for a family or if you’re dining on a budget.

Hours:

Lunch 11am-4:55pm

Dinner 5pm-10:35pm

Dining Plan: 1 Table Service Meal Credit

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