REVIEW: Lunch Buffet With Donald Duck and Friends Returns to Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We returned to Tusker House Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the lunch buffet. Let’s see how it compares to our experience at breakfast.

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Tusker House is located in Africa.

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Interior

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Characters

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Each guest receives an autograph card. The card is the same for breakfast and lunch/dinner, with Daisey, Mickey, Goofy, and Donald preparing fresh food in their safari outfits.

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Each of the four characters have signed the back of the card, but we also spotted them signing autograph books when they visited tables.

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Donald Duck is the star of the show here. His safari outfit includes a green jacket, which is belted at the waist. His jacket is adorned with patches from his explorations, and he wears a pith helmet.

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Daisy’s jacket is the tan color of Donald’s trim and vice versa. She pairs a floral ascot and bracelet with the outfit. Unlike her barefoot boyfriend, she dons brown shoes for a day in the wilderness.

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Goofy, in his usual fashion, is wearing patchwork layers. His shirts are both pinstriped with lots of utility pockets. He also sports an ascot in bright colors.

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Mickey is well-prepared for a day out on safari with his handy canteen and pith helmet. He has a utility vest and cargo shorts for plenty of storage, and practical brown shoes.

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Buffet – $59 for Adults, $38 for Children

The same menu is served for lunch and dinner.

Bread Service

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Bread service was brought to the table. The basket had an actual mini loaf of zebra bread, as opposed to the slice we got at breakfast. The zebra loaf is good, but a little dry.

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The real star here is the rosemary bread with honey butter. It’s not your standard dinner roll; they did something different here and we appreciate it. It paid off, too, because these are to die for.

Starters

Breads and Dips

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Mini Cornbread Muffins

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Mini Zebra Loaves

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These slices are the same as the loaf brought to the table.

Naan Bread

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Honey-Rosemary Rolls

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These are the same great rolls, but you can’t get the honey butter on the buffet line.

House-made Hummus

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Mango Chutney

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Whipped Butter

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Turkey Cubes, Ham Cubes, Cheese Cubes, Kool Slai, & Grapes

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Salads

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Sambal Vinigairette, Coconut Curry Vinigairette

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Kachumbari

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Quinoa and Chickpea Salad, Black-eyed Pea Salad

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Quinoa and chickpea salad has a very strong vinaigrette. It’s so vinegary that it’s almost spicy. Quinoa isn’t the most flavorful, so it works pretty well. It’s good.

The black-eyed pea salad is the same from the breakfast buffet. It’s a bit dry, but that was offset by the freshness of the tomato and cucumber. 

Roasted Cauliflower Salad

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This was great. The golden raisins offset the cauliflower nicely. Everything tastes fresh. We appreciate that all three are nice, refreshing salads, and quite different from a lot of other offerings on property. We would have more of these.

Salad Greens & Toppings

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The toppings available during our visit included cucumber, sliced onion, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, chickpeas, feta cheese, and croutons.

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Curry Station

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Jasmine Rice

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Doro Wat Chicken Curry

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It’s got a roasted flavor on the backend, real smoky. It’s interesting and pretty spicy. The chicken itself is great and very tender. If you’re averse to spice, it might be too much for you. We’d make a nice big plate of rice and chicken curry if we were here for a regular meal.

Green Curry Shrimp

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Very fishy. The aftertaste is really off-putting. Avoid this.

Plant-based Station

Cauliflower Bunny Chow & Fiesty Green Beans

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We weren’t sure what to expect from Cauliflower Bunny Chow and no description was given. It’s comprised of onions, potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas. The seasoning is nice. It’s a decent option.

As for the green beans, “fiesty” apparently means “sautéed with onions.” It was very oily, but not bad.

Plant-based Jollof Rice with Beyond Sausage

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There’s something funky going on here. The seasoning in the rice is weird. It’s not good. The Beyond sausage tastes artificial too. It’s a plate of mush. Skip this.

Harira Soup

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The Harira Soup is filled with chickpeas, lentils, vegetables. It’s exactly what you think it would taste like. The broth is well seasoned, but it’s grainy and dry.

Entrées and Sides

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Tusker Market Mashed Potatoes

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This was another dish with no description, so you don’t know what’s going on in these, but they aren’t plain mashed potatoes. They have what seems to be onion straws added. We found them to be buttery and delicious.

Za’atar Braised Beef with Crostini

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This is not something you often see at a Walt Disney World buffet. The crostini has soaked up a lot of the flavors. The beef is tender and lean. You’ll enjoy it, especially if you like roast.

Macaroni and Cheese

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The macaroni and cheese is so good and thick. It’s rich, creamy, and filling. If you want a lot on the buffet, go light on this (even though you’ll want more).

Red Skinned Potatoes

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Those are great. Perfect seasoning, tender, and thick. Pick these over the roasted root vegetables.

Chermoula Salmon & Roasted Root Vegetables

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The roasted root vegetables are very hard. They were clearly sitting there a while and undercooked.

This is a nice, thick piece of salmon. There’s nothing wrong with it, but we’ve had better buffet salmon.

Tandoori Spice-rubbed Rotisserie Chicken & Tandoori Sauce

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The Tandoori sauce is a little sweeter than we prefer, but the chicken itself is good.

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However, it was less seasoned than the chicken legs from the kids’ station.

Shawarma Station

Rotisserie Pork

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Beef and Lamb Shawarma

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Pretty decent. We’d eat this again. It’s beef and lamb, tastes like beef and lamb with the peppery flavor you’d expect.

Naan and Toppings

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This section had another basket of naan and toppings to make your own sandwich.

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There were diced tomatoes, sliced onion, and cucumber.

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Condiments

Sweet and Spicy Mustard

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Tazatziki Sauce & Coriander-Mint Chutney

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Salsa & Ketchup

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Kids’ Buffet

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Corn & Green Beans

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It’s corn. The green beans were cold. They’re fine. Picky eaters will find comfort in these familiar foods served standard.

Chicken Legs

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The chicken legs were nice, tender, and very juicy. The seasoning was good without turning anyone away.

Mashed Potatoes

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They were really cold but enjoyable.

Corn Dog Nuggets & Macaroni and Cheese

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The corn dog nuggets are the same as Casey’s Corner, and they’re great. As delicious as ever.

The macaroni and cheese is the same as on the regular buffet line, which is to say that it’s great.

Dessert

Baby Flamingo & Baby Bee Cupcakes

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These cupcakes are cute and have been featured in full size at Disney’s Animal Kingdom before. The “baby” versions are both standard cupcakes with no filling or special flavors. They’re fresh, soft, and moist.

The flamingo is vanilla while the bee is chocolate.

Plant-based Chocolate Mousse

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The chocolate was rich and decadent. It has a hard milk chocolate bottom and fruit jelly, maybe raspberry, in the middle. We recommend these; they’re very good.

Pineapple Tarts

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The chocolate leaf is large compared to the tart. We thought it tasted like lemon or orange at first. It’s definitely citrusy but not outwardly pineapple. It’s also the only fruity dessert other than the fruit salad.

African-layered Cookie Bar

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The sunflower is just a big piece of sugar on top. It’s way too sweet to have on a cookie bar. The bar itself is very nutty.

S’mores Pop

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This is the worst thing we had all day. It tastes like chemicals. The consistency is awful, it’s too chewy. Avoid this.

Fab Five Safari Brownie

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Very, very chewy. We’ll be chewing this brownie for the next week. The flavors are decent, but it’s a glob of chocolate.

50th Anniversary EARidescent Sugar Cookies

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We always like the sugar cookies. They’re good.

Double Chocolate Zebra Cookies

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Pretty good. It’s a double chocolate cookie. The Disney World buffet cookies always taste like they’re from Costco.

Fresh Fruit Salad

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Overall

The lunch/dinner buffet was far better than breakfast. There are plenty of options, and most people should be able to come up with a good meal. The choices were well-conceived and executed. We enjoyed how much variety there is to choose from and the prevalence of dishes you won’t find on the average buffet line.

The characters are great at making rounds and interacting with all guests. It’s expensive because it’s a character experience. All the characters were excellent, with some of the best interactions we’ve had at character dining.

We’d come back. Skip breakfast from Tusker House and schedule your day to end here; it’s a good cap to the park experience.

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