Restaurantosaurus at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is usually described as your stereotypical quick service restaurant that’s home to average burgers and chicken nuggets. It may be time to change that perception following the introduction of their Family-Style Dining option.
Debuting in August 2019, the Family-Style Dining option is a surprisingly awesome experience at Restaurantosaurus. We tried out their new offering on a whim, but we were delighted with the quality of the food, the service from the cast members and the overall concept.
Let’s start at the beginning. We didn’t have advanced reservations as we weren’t sure where our plans would take us that evening. So, when we decided to give Restaurantosaurus and this new offering a shot, we walked up to the check-in stand to learn more about the experience. The whole process is actually quite simple.
First, here’s the fun sign you’ll see outside.
A check-in stand is moved into position near the registers around dinner time and a section of the restaurant (the left seating area if you’re facing the front of the restaurant from the outside) becomes reserved for guests participating in the family-style dining experience.
The fixed price meal includes the option of a gourmet burger, chicken sandwich, veggie burger or salad to go along with a side of either fries, onion rings or a small salad (the small salad is a small additional charge). Your meal also includes a fountain soda and, to top things off, a build-your-own sundae bar.
After checking out the menu, we found they still had availability and we placed our order at a register that’s reserved for the family-style dining guests. We went with the Sunny-Side Up Burger with fries and the Mushroom & Swiss with a small salad. A friendly cast member then escorted us to our table.
Here’s where you start to see that the cast members involved at Restaurantosaurus Family-Style Dining are trying to make this a fun experience. Every table has a small pail centerpiece that’s full of crayons and dinosaur stencils. See the white paper table cloth? You know what to do! Sketch out a dinosaur or two, draw something silly or play a game while waiting for your food to arrive. You can even bring your art home with you if you’re feeling particularly attached to your paper table cloth masterpiece.
On to the heart of the matter – the food!
Our food arrived and it was immediately clear that these weren’t your normal quick service burgers and fries. These truly are gourmet burgers that stack up against the ones found at table service locations in terms of their overall quality. The fries are also a step above what’s usually served at Restaurantosaurus.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Sunny-Side Up Burger. While it was admittedly quite messy, as is the case with most burgers that have an egg on top, the flavors were very tasty. The steak fries were a big hit and were complemented by the various dipping sauces that were available.
This burger can hold its own with any of the table-service offerings around Walt Disney World.
You may notice that the photo above isn’t the best quality. Apologies for that, but we were more than excited to dig in. You’ll also see that we made the most of the paper tablecloth and crayons. Fun!
The Mushroom & Swiss Burger also deserves high praise as it exceeded expectations. Though the small salad wasn’t the shining star of the meal, it was a nice option to have if you wanted a break from fries or onion rings.
OK, time to move on to the portion of the meal that really set this experience apart from other meals at Walt Disney World.
The ice cream sundae bar is a great ending to a great meal. Each guest receives two scoops of ice cream and can then add any number of toppings from the impressive toppings bar. The ice cream flavors available during our visit were vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and mint, though we have heard these flavors could vary. A cast member will scoop the ice cream for you, providing you with a generous serving of tasty ice cream. Our scoops were massive! Like the burgers, this isn’t your basic ice cream. We spotted a Häagen-Dazs logo on one of the cartons, which should tell you all you need to know about the taste and quality.
Then there’s the toppings. As you can see in our photo above, we made full use of the toppings bar. From hot fudge and caramel sauce to brownie and cookie pieces, you can assemble any kind of sundae with a full array of different toppings.
Would we return to Restaurantosaurus for Family-Style Dining in the future? Absolutely!
We paid $22.99 per adult and received a high-quality burger, a great side, a fountain drink and a huge ice cream dessert. That’s one of the better – if not the best – values we have found of late in Walt Disney World. We found the food quality to be several steps above what we have normally found at Restaurantosaurus, rivaling the quality you’ll find at more expensive restaurants.
It remains to be seen how successful the Family-Style Dining experience has been for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We would estimate the seating area was about half full during our visit, but things seemed to be picking up as we wrapped up our meal. We hope that this option will continue to be offered as it provides a great middle-of-the-road option for guests who want something a bit better than quick service but don’t want a higher-end table service meal.