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REVIEW: Dinner Options Disappoint at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tusker House reopened yesterday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We already checked out breakfast and then returned for dinner, which is $55 per adult and $36 per child. Characters appear at both meals but remain physically distanced.

Arrival

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Set in the Africa Section of Animal Kingdom, Tusker House is adorned with the same Africa-inspired look as the rest of the land.

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At Tusker House guests are notified by text message when their table is ready.

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Cast Members wait to say “Jambo!” to guests as they enter into the restaurant.

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The open, airy room awaits more dining guests.

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And as you travel throughout the dining areas you can gear up for your own safari adventure!

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Characters

One of the best parts our meal was welcoming these expedition-ready characters back to the restaurant! Mickey, Daisy, Donald and Goofy all made the rounds during our meal.

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Mickey was especially engaging, pantomiming all of the animals he encountered on his safari.

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We absolutely loved seeing Goofy back in his safari gear!

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Daisy struck a pose to show off her straw hat and adventurers garb.

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And Donald came out to say hello in his belted, army green expedition-wear.

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To commemorate your safari-inspired dinner, they leave you with this pre-signed card at the end of your meal.

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Starters

Assorted House-made Breads

served with Hummus, Coriander and Mango Chutneys

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The bread service comes with three delicious sauces which are straight from the Sanaa bread service. These are red pepper hummus, mango chutney and coriander sauce.

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We enjoyed the pappadam which is a satisfying and crispy version of the traditional flatbread. It worked well with all of the sauces.

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But the service also comes with small rolls which did not wow us. They were warm and soft, but seemed similar to plain dinner rolls and did not pair well with the dips.

African Inspired Salads

Kachumbari and Arcadian Green Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing

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The salad consists of mixed greens with a side mixture of cucumbers, onions and tomatoes.

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We enjoyed the side mix but found the dressing on the greens overwhelmingly salty. We even asked for a second salad to be sure it wasn’t a fluke, but the second was just as salty as the first. It was difficult to enjoy this because the salt overwhelmed the whole salad.

Entrée

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Overall we were underwhelmed by the meats at this meal.

Moroccan-spiced Beef*

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We found the Moroccan Spiced Beef a bit tough to chew.

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It comes topped with the same coriander chutney that is on the bread board. And while we like the chutney, the dish still falls pretty flat.

Berber-marinated Pork

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The pork is cooked well. It was tender with a nice spice to it.

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However, on the downside, the pork proved to be a bit too fatty for our liking.

Spit-roasted Herb Chicken

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While the chicken was flavorful and tender, it was difficult to work with because it’s half a chicken still on the bone.

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Due to the presentation the chicken was not easy to cut or serve amongst our party. We think it would be helpful to have a sharper knife to divvy it up.

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Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp

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We were delighted to find that the green curry shrimp stood out amongst the other entree items.

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This flavorful dish was similar to traditional green curry. It was packed with several large, plump shrimp that were perfectly cooked.

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It was also topped with a generous amount of pickled onions which complimented the dish well.

Sides

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Overall the sides were rather basic, with no real noticeable standouts.

Green Beans with Carrots and Corn

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We were not big fans of the mixed vegetable medley which blended green beans, carrots, and corn. The veggies were fresh, but overall they were too bland to compliment the spices in the other dishes.

Roasted Potatoes

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We hoped the potatoes would have a crisp exterior like those served with breakfast, Unfortunately these were soft and borderline soggy.

Jasmine Rice

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The rice was well cooked but there was nothing remarkable about it either.

House-made Macaroni and Cheese

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While tasty, the mac n’ cheese did not seem to fit with the rest of the menu items. It was creamy with a nice cheesy flavor, but, again, it was nothing to write home about.

Impossible™ Durban Curry (Plant-based)

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Similar to the vegan option at breakfast, the plant-based curry was flavorful.

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But unlike at breakfast, this time it came with rice in addition to potatoes and vegetables.

Desserts

Animal-inspired Mini Desserts

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The adorable, animal-inspired mini desserts came with a vanilla cupcake, a brownie and a chocolate layer cake.

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The cupcake is super cute with its animal print ears.

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Unfortunately, we also found that it was merely a simple, unfilled vanilla cupcake with plain vanilla icing.  

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We enjoyed the layer cake which combines a unique, honey flavored icing with chocolate cake.

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It also came complete with a delightful sugar bee, reminiscent of our pal Spike the Bee, and a white chocolate honeycomb decoration on top.

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The brownie had a nice, dense consistency with green matcha, meringue puffs, dollops of fudge icing and chocolate sprinkles. It was topped off with a white chocolate wafer decorated with the Tree of Life.

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We had a slight disagreement over this item, as one of us really liked it while the other was not impressed.

Chocolate Mousse (Plant-based)

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The plant-based chocolate mousse was one of the best items we tried all evening. With a dense and rich chocolate flavor, the chocolate mousse was creamy despite being vegan.

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It was complimented very well by the sliced strawberry and the crunchies that seem to be raspberry and passion fruit flavored.

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This dessert featured a distinctive mix of flavors and textures.

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We think you should do yourself a favor and make friends with your server so they’ll bring you this vegan dessert.

Overall

In the end we were not all impressed with our dinner at Tusker House. While we loved seeing the characters again, we found the food to be lacking. Overall, our experience at breakfast was far superior to dinner.

In addition, the vegan option was a disappointment. It was simply the potatoes, vegetables and rice from the non-vegan meal, but without the meat, and with the same Durban curry as breakfast. We felt they could have at least also offered a vegan version of the shrimp curry.

Will you be visiting Mickey and friends at this character dinner soon? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. cheapact does not care whether the food is really great. bottom line is all that matters to him. so, being captive of wdw, just shut up and pay.

    1. He really has no interest in quality nor magic. You’re absolutely correct.

  2. Very disappointing! None of the items seem truly african inspired and are lacking the variety of options that the buffet once offered!! Plain dinner rolls served with the bread service? Really disney? I will not be returning until the buffet comes back! The buffet spread is what made the restaurant so special… I really hope this family style is temporary. For $55, it’s not worth it for the little food options that are provided and watered down experience. Similar to the terrible, watered down experience at Cape May Cafe dinner and the soon to open Ohana! Disney dining is what truly made our experience so great and magical every time and tusker house used to be one of our top 3 restaurants that we always visited, so sad to see such a inferior quality as part of their reimagined family style option. It will never be the same!

  3. Nothing Personal, but you complained about the entire meal. No dinner is 100 % completely bad. Everything I saw from the photos looked really good. And I understand looks can be deceiving, but it seems you made up your mind before you sat down. The only problem I saw was its a little pricey.

    1. I just ate there a few minutes ago…it truly was bad except for the deserts. $55 for my son to eat mac and cheese and rice and a cupcake… horrible experience. Be sure to choose another place to eat in Animal Kingdom.

  4. You can save your money and sleep better at night by taking a trip to somewhere like New Orleans. There you can try excellent food without experiencing the Mickey price gouge, see REAL sights (not facades), and even support the local economy rather than the worlds biggest media company. Any town works. Try New Orleans, Boston, Atlanta, San Diego, etc etc.

  5. There are thousands of vegetarians and vegans who visit WDW. And many more who don’t eat pork, shellfish, or beef for religious reasons. So very disappointed that we are being offered the exact same thing for breakfast and dinner, and I assume, lunch. This WAS one of our favorite restaurants. I think we’ll skip it unless things improve. Certainly not worth $55 now.

  6. We just ate here this week….and I want to say…we had a great meal and experience. Everything was not loved by everyone at our table. However, the beef was amazing! The sauce was flavorful and made us wanting more. The rice was perfection and the vegetables were fresh and flavorful. We found the potatoes to be filled with flavor! At our table, we skipped the pork. It wasn’t our favorite and the shrimp curry was gone in just a few moments.

    Our server made us laugh and feel at home. And the characters made our hearts sing. Now…to be fair, we aren’t at the parks regularly like the original posters so the magic is fresh and new. But, I would go back tomorrow. And so would my family…if it were in our budget to be in WDW. ♡

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