REVIEW: Tusker House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

by | Oct 28, 2021 | Animal Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW Food

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Not sure where to grab dinner in Animal Kingdom? Check out our Tusker House review from a recent visit to get our honest thoughts on this classic spot for character meals.

Tucked away in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you’ll find a character meal that is arguably one of the best in Walt Disney World. Welcome to Tusker House.

A Character Meal with More Than a Little Character

During a character meal at Walt Disney World, you can expect your table to be visited by an assortment of Disney characters. These characters vary depending on which character meal you’ve opted to book. 

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Managing editor Tim and Goofy just being, well, Goofy. Photo by Rain Blanken

At Tusker House, you’ll normally find Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy, each dressed in their best safari garb to match the African theme of the restaurant. The characters take turns visiting each of the dining rooms in the restaurant and will often stop for photos, videos, and (currently socially distanced) selfies

 

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You’ll receive a keepsake card with the characters when dining at Tusker House. Photo by Timothy Moore

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And the characters will sign on back. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

Fair warning! A character can sometimes miss coming to your table, in which case you’ll have to wait for their next round of visits if you’re determined to get some face time with them. 

This can sometimes happen if you seem particularly busy photographing your food (like I often am), if you’ve gone to visit the restrooms, if you’re having a heated argument over what to order with your table-mates, or if you seem visibly even more grumpy than a certain dwarf of the same name. 

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Say hello to Daisy at Tusker House! Photo by Tatjana Lazar

If you’re lucky, you might experience the characters being extra silly or entertaining. On my visit, I encountered a particularly hilarious Donald Duck knocking on the front door of the restaurant as I was trying to get in!

Tusker House Menu: Dinner

Currently, Disney is running Tusker House as a family-style meal. That means large dishes of food are brought to your table to share amongst your party. If you want more of any particular dish, just ask your server and they’ll be happy to bring it to you.

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The beef, chicken, and pork all share a massive plate. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

For dinner, the Tusker House menu consists of an assortment of African breads and dips, salad, Moroccan-spiced Beef, Spit-roasted Herb Chicken, Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp, Berber-marinated Pork, green beans with Carrots and Corn, Jasmine Rice, Roasted Potatoes, House-made Macaroni and Cheese, and an assortment of mini desserts.

Yup, it’s a lot of food.

You can also add a specialty drink, mocktail, cocktail, wine, or beer to your meal for an added cost

Tusker House Review

I said earlier that Tusker House is arguably one of the best character meals on property. That’s because several character meals at Walt Disney World bank on the characters to attract guests and leave the quality of the food to be desired. Not so at Tusker House.

Tusker House is truly one of the few character meals with stand-out food. 

We began our meal with some iced tea and a cocktail called the Rum Swizzle. A combination of rum with tropical juices like mango and guava, the Rum Swizzle was a sweet and tangy drink with a strong hit of rum Jack Sparrow would approve of

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The Rum Swizzle at Tusker House. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

Next our bread service and salad arrived. The salad was nothing to write home about, but it was quite fresh and an easy way to get in some greens if you’re into that sort of thing

But don’t sleep on the dips for the bread. They’re one of the best parts of the meal. Our managing editor Tim loads up on this bread every time.

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The salad is healthy, but the bread is where it’s at. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

The beef, chicken, pork, potatoes, green beans, and carrots arrived all together on one giant platter. The macaroni and shrimp curry over jasmine rice were each served on individual platters, and I now wonder if this is because Disney actually knows these are the two best foods on the menu and deserve their own plates, but I’ll get into that a little later.

The beef, chicken and pork from the main platter were all perfectly cooked and seasoned. My personal favorite was the pork, sliced thin and very tender. My husband enjoyed the beef, and we both agreed that the chicken was very tasty and moist.

The green beans and carrots were honestly the least tasty thing we ate at Tusker House, and not because they’re vegetables. They seemed to be the kind of packs of frozen veggies you find in your local grocery store, steamed and plated with no seasoning at all.

The potatoes, on the other hand, were very good! Tender on the inside with a perfectly roasted exterior.

Now onto the true stars of the our Tusker House review … 

The Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp served over jasmine rice was to die for. Not spicy at all, but just the right amount of savory curry flavor paired with perfectly cooked shrimp. I couldn’t stop eating it. Well no, that’s not true. I stopped eating it just long enough to eat the House-made Macaroni and Cheese, which I also couldn’t stop eating.

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Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp over jasmine rice on the Tusker House menu. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

This is not boxed macaroni and cheese. It’s lovely curly noodles doused in velvety, cheesy glory. It is the most comforting of comfort foods. It is pure bliss in your mouth. Okay maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I really really liked it. 

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Out of all the things on the Tusker House menu, the mac and cheese may take home first prize. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

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For dessert, we were given a platter with three different treats. These mini desserts can vary, but ours consisted of a yellow vanilla cupcake with frosting, a rich and dense chocolate brownie with a Tree of Life-shaped chocolate on top, and honey and chocolate layered cake

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A trio of desserts at Tusker House. Cuter than they are tasty, but still worth a bite. Photo by Tatjana Lazar

All of these desserts were quite good, but nothing so incredible I needed more than a single bite of each. 

Dining at Tusker House: What You Need to Know

Tusker House is a sought-after reservation. So if you’re interested in dining here, start checking as early as possible for that ADR

Not sure how ADRs work? Get our collectible WDW Magazine planning issue for our fan-favorite ABCs of ADRs article, or get a FREE quote from a Disney Travel Agent, who can take care of all your reservations for you!

There’s no dress code at Tusker House, but safari garb is always encouraged if you’re in the mood to dress for the occasion. 

There are various allergy-friendly options available; just as your server! The table next to us appeared to have some sort of allergy, as we witnessed a chef come out and speak to them several times during our meal. It’s always lovely to see that extra attention given to make all families feel welcomed. 

Overall, my experience at Tusker House was incredibly memorable, and I’m already planning to snag another reservation for it when I return.  

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Written by Tatjana Lazar

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To say that I’m obsessed with Walt Disney World is an understatement. Luckily, as Communications Director for WDW Magazine, I get to live and breathe my passion every day! Follow me on Instagram for all my Disney adventures!
Tatjana Lazar

Written by Tatjana Lazar

To say that I’m obsessed with Walt Disney World is an understatement. Luckily, as Communications Director for WDW Magazine, I get to live and breathe my passion every day! Follow me on Instagram for all my Disney adventures!