If you’re looking to book Disney character dining and don’t want to book a “princess heavy” experience, you still have lots of options, starting with Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here’s the scoop on character dining at Tusker House in Harambe, including the characters you’ll meet, the creative menu and unique decor.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World is divided into different themed areas. Harambe is one of those areas and it is seriously a little slice of Africa. That’s where you’ll find Tusker House Restaurant. If you’re going to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari, which is a don’t-miss attraction, Tusker House is right there. You can’t miss it.
What Characters Will You Meet at Tusker House?
You will meet Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Goofy and, of course, Mickey Mouse himself. What’s special and unique about this particular character dining experience is that the characters are dressed in their safari outfits. This is one of the few places inside Animal Kingdom where you’ll see Disney characters dressed like this.
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The characters visit your table during your meal, so no need to get up and stand in line. Everyone comes to you! Have your autograph books, pens, and camera ready.
What Meals Can We Eat at Tusker House?
No matter what time of day you’re eating, you can eat at Tusker House. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are available, depending on what time you make your reservation. Mi-2020 prices for Tusker House are $55 for adults and $36 for kids for lunch and dinner and $42 for adults and $27 for kids at breakfast time. Children three and under are guests of Mickey.
TravelingMom Tip: All meals at Tusker House are served buffet style, so if you’re looking for full table service, this might not be the best choice for you. You will have a server to take care of your drinks. Alcohol and specialty drinks are not included in the buffet price.
What Should I Order at Tusker House?
Tusker House offers a great mixture of African-inspired dishes and familiar favorites. This restaurant is probably best enjoyed by people with a more adventurous palate, although the restaurant does offer something for all taste buds. Food offerings include hummus, chutney, beef bobotie, chicken curry, and salmon, plus lots of other treats.
The Peri Peri Marinated Salmon reigned over the buffet table as family favorite. It has a little kick to it, but the balance with the fish and seasonings makes it easily manageable, even for my delicate palate. Cape Malay Curry Chicken was another clear winner.
For sides, the saffron-infused root vegetables and cabbage was a side that I couldn’t resist. I don’t usually like cabbage, but it was such a fantastic pairing and I went for seconds! The mashed potatoes were really good, too. I’m a potato girl, being from the rural Midwest and all, so when I saw not only a robust dish of mashed red potatoes but also potato wedges with gravy, AND a neat vegetarian potato pocket (Potato and Pea Samosas), I was stoked!
Tusker House also offers kid fare, such as deli meats, corn dog nuggets and macaroni and cheese.
Breakfast Menu at Tusker House
We ate lunch at Tusker House but the breakfast offerings sound great, too. Character breakfasts are a little more budget-friendly, so that is something to consider. Expect to find Simba and Nala waffles, fritatta, breakfast meats, fruit, cereals, baked goods and some African specialties on the breakfast buffet.
Save Room for Dessert!
I tried the chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cheese cake and spiced carrot cake. The cookies were a little underwhelming but everything else I tried was delicious. I didn’t try the brownie, strawberry cake or the banana bread pudding that is listed on the most current menu. Next time!
When is the Best Time to Eat at Tusker House Restaurant?
That depends on several things, such as budget, how adventurous you are with food choices, and how early/late you like to be in the parks. In general, the breakfast is a little more basic and less expensive. If you book an early breakfast time, you can be among the first to enter the park, which might lessen your wait time on popular rides inside Animal Kingdom. It’s the secret to early entry to the Disney parks.
For a unique experience, book The Rivers of Light Dining Package. The Rivers of Light Dining Package offers a fixed price for a meal along with premium seating for Animal Kingdom’s night time show, Rivers of Light. This saves time waiting in line for the show and gives you premium seating. This package is also available at Tiffin’s, another restaurant inside the park.
TravelingMom Tip: A park ticket is required to eat at Tusker House Restaurant. If you’re looking for a great character meal outside of the parks, check out the Bon Voyage Adventure Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno.
Make at Home Jungle Juice Recipe
The cost of the buffet includes Jungle Juice, Tusker House’s signature drink. If your server doesn’t automatically bring it to your table, make sure you request it.
If you enjoy the Jungle Juice, it’s easy to make at home: Mix equal parts orange juice, guava juice, and passion fruit juice. Best served over ice.
Read More: Magical Disney Treats to Make at Home
Jill Robbins updated this post in 2020.