Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Tusker House Breakfast Review | Animal Kingdom | Walt Disney World

Whenever I'm asked my favorite character meal or breakfast, my quick answer is always Tusker House Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I'll go over how this character buffet compares to other's I've experienced, the food quality and a few cons. But mostly pros- because I didn't bury the lead and already deemed it my favorite :). Onwards to the review for Tusker House Safari Breakfast.

Tusker House Restaurant is located inside Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. This automatically makes a reservation an absolute must. Sometimes, during busy times, it's difficult to get a reservation. Not as difficult as Cinderella's Royal Table or Chef Mickey's, but not a guaranteed get. Being that is inside the park, garnering an 8:05 AM reservation (on non Extra Magic Hour days when the park opens at 9:00 AM) will grant you time to take photos of an empty park. (Even if the park is rainy with construction walls... but on a bright morning with no construction, a total win!) This is a perk in and of itself. It also allows you to be done with breakfast and very close to the Kilimanjaro Safari pretty darn close to opening time. I used this trick on my last trip to have a low Safari wait and use my FastPass+ selections elsewhere in the park for that day.

I first went here on a trip in 2011(above) and loved it. I sat in a fairly quiet room, the service was great, the character interaction was great, and the food was delicious. (It was also Ashley's first encounter with Mickey Waffles.) That garnered a spot on our "must do every trip" list. We've sat in the less quiet bigger area (I'm not sure what each area is called here... but there is some separation) and it gets louder and less quaint. It isn't enough to dampen my meal or anything, but something of note at 8:00 in the morning. (Not sure if anyone else is like me, but 8AM after a 6AM wake up call is not my best hour.)

Some cons to note here are that even with a reservation and getting there on time, you will likely be waiting outside for a good bit. Depending on your reservation time, you may wait a good while. My early reservations usually don't have too long of a wait, but I've had later ones that had me waiting for a good 20 to 30 minutes. That type of thing can screw with your Fastpass+ plans and it generally annoys me. Another con is that it tends to feel a tad bit rushed. Pretty much all of my experiences at busy buffets feel rushed and this isn't an exception.

The food here is what makes it my favorite recommendation. There is a variety of very good food choices ranging from your typical pastries and Mickey Waffles to yummy plantains and beef bobotie. (Honestly, I'll go anywhere for plantains....) It's all very good and there is a large variety. Also, a lot of people RAVE about the juice. I'm not a juice person but Ashley drools over it. I prefer Iced Tea. (Can you tell I'm southern?)

As far as character interactions go, I've had a range of experiences. My first experience was fantastic. The characters were energetic and personable and posed us in great ways. They were sure to come back around if someone was at the buffet. Great experience. My most recent visit (photos directly above) was a little different. I was coming off of a bad character experience at 1900 Park Fare, and was glad to see plenty of character attendants for each character making sure they got around to see everyone. However, the characters on this visit weren't that interactive. It was a pose and go type of scenario. Had that been my first visit, I might not be as adamant about returning, but being that I know I've had excellent character interactions there before, I'll continue to go in hopes that it was an isolated incident. And to be fair, I've noticed a decline in service level and character interaction across all of Disney World since my 2011 trip that I remember so fondly, so it isn't a restaurant specific problem in my eyes. But that's another discussion all together!

Hope this helps in your decision making when you're booking those ADRs! Leave a comment if you've had good or bad experiences at Tusker House and if you've experienced any of the other meals besides breakfast.

See more of our Disney Restaurant Reviews here.

first photo via. All others are iPhone shots. 


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