Some of my favorite dining experiences in Disney World parks include venues that offer character table visits, Mickey-shaped food and a wide buffet selection. Other times, however, I prefer my Disney dining experience to be in a location that doesn’t feel like I’m still in a theme park. Tiffins, located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is just that type of venue. As soon as I entered the restaurant, I released a sigh and let the serenity of my surroundings envelope me as I prepared myself for a relaxing and memorable meal.
Now, if I were going to use my southern dialect to direct you to Tiffins, I would say, “as you enter Animal Kingdom and make your way over to the bridge in front of the Tree of Life, hang a left toward the Discovery Island area. Take your next left just ahead of the Pizzafari. If you get to Starbucks, you’ve gone too far.” Coincidentally, this will be the same directions to get you to the highly anticipated new Avatar world known as ‘Pandora-The World of Avatar’ which is scheduled to open on May 27th at Animal Kingdom.
Once you arrive at Tiffins, you’ll also find the Nomad Lounge. The Nomad Lounge is my new favorite bar in all the Disney Parks. Why does this lounge and restaurant earn such a high decree from me? Location, ambience and menu offerings. Tiffins is open for lunch and dinner and is considered a signature dining venue with entrée prices ranging from $35 to $59.99 per adult. Those of you on the Disney Dining Plan will need to use two (2) dining credits for your meal.
The day I discovered Tiffins, I arrived early for my dinner reservation that allowed me the time to veer toward the Nomad Lounge. Boy, am I glad. The Nomad Lounge is tucked into surrounding greenery and offers seating at your choice of high-back chairs or spacious sofas on the open-air deck or if you prefer, you could also take advantage of inside seating. We enjoyed unique cocktail selections and chef’s charcuterie board which included house-cured and smoked meats. The menu here offered several light dining options that were a perfect snack prior to dinner or you could order several to share as a meal. The only downside to the latter is that you would miss the fabulous offerings at Tiffins.
When we arrived to Tiffins for our reservation, we were escorted to the main dining room with décor that is warm and inviting with bursts of color in the artistic wall hangings and gorgeous hand-carved wood sculptures in the center of the room. Our party ordered three different entrees: Wagyu Strip Loin and Braised Short Rib, Duo of Lamb (photo above with the Leek Ash at the top of the plate), and the Chermoula-rubbed Chicken along with a side order of Brussel sprouts. Each dish arrived cooked to perfection with unique ﬂavors that did not overpower the taste of the meat. I have never experienced ashes of Leek, but a delicate drag of the lamb in it makes for a totally diﬀerent and memorable bite of lamb.
We each sampled the others’ meals and agreed we would not hesitate to order what the others had in the future. The Brussel sprouts were oﬀered in a shareable portion which made an ideal addition to our entrees. Overall, while the ﬂavors of each entree and side dish were unique, because they were a simple enhancement to the food, the entrees should appeal to a wide variety of diners.
We dined without children but they did have a kid’s menu that included grilled chicken or beef, pan seared ﬁsh or pasta marinara. If the adult entrees are any indication, I am sure the kid’s meals will be prepared to perfection too.
Be sure to make reservations at Tiﬃns for your next visit to the Animal Kingdom and see if you don’t agree that it’s the perfect location, with incredible ambience and mouth-watering menu options. You may even want to include a dining package that includes reserved seating at the River of Lights nighttime show.
Kristin is a creative consusltant for Ears of Experience.