We are huge fans of Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. So we were excited when we heard it was coming back WITH characters on our most recent trip. Typically we eat breakfast here, but it worked out better that we had lunch. It was a different experience, a different menu, and now we can highly suggest it.
It was some of the freshest food we’ve had on Disney property, especially for lunch, and most definitely for character dining. The characters were Donald, Daisy, Mickey, and Goofy, and they came through periodically. They are still socially distanced. However, they were very personal and made sure to be communicating in genuine ways with the guests. I like it even better than coming and just taking a quick picture and signing an autograph. I have said this before, but I believe that the social distancing character meet and greets have successfully allowed interactions between the character and the guest and keeps things moving. This helps more people experience the character interactions because they’re not having to stop and take autographs and pictures with everybody at each table. It also allows the guests to get up quicker and enjoy other things in the parks and the resorts.
I’ve said that some character meet and greets used to take upwards of two hours because the rooms were so big, and they had to stop at each table and take multiple pictures and sign numerous autographs. So I feel like this is one thing I sure hope stays from COVID. It’s one of those success stories for me. They were very interactive, fun and had a lot of energy. So did the staff. They’d only been open for a few days when we were there, and the team was high energy, delighted to be back. And our server Patty told us that she was glad to be back, but she was happy that she had to move to different restaurants that were open learning how other staff and chefs did things. So now they’re all coming back and collaborating on something they learned. This was another good thing that came out of COVID.
Food and Drink
Now to the food and the cocktails. We did have drinks at lunch. I liked the watermelon cocktail. It was watermelon, lemonade, and vodka. My husband had the Magical Star, which had X-Fusion organic mango, passionfruit, coconut rum, pineapple juice. And there was the African Margarita as well. Some unique kinds of African themed things, but great cocktails for the parent if they want to sit down and relax during their day at the parks.
Lunch is family-style. It used to be a buffet. I was a big fan of the Tusker buffet back in the day, and I’m not a huge buffet person, but I enjoyed this one family-style as well. All the dining venues that were buffets resort-wide are now serving family-style.
Lunch started with house-made bread and was served with hummus, coriander, and mango chutneys. We liked it so much that we asked for more. I was a big fan of the coriander chutney, and my husband was a big fan of mango chutney. Both of them were fantastic. The coriander had more of a chimichurri vibe, and mango was like a fruity salsa. There was a cava tortilla that they served as well.
Their salad was a very fresh green salad with all the fixings and a citrus vinegarette dressing. The dressing was not heavy. It was just enough to accentuate the food flavors. Moroccan spiced beef, spit-roasted herb chicken, a green curried shrimp, and Berber marinated pork were the entrees. I loved the Moroccan spiced beef and the curry shrimp. I don’t eat a lot of pork, so I didn’t even try it. And the chicken was fine too, but I liked the beef and the shrimp. The beef is served over a Jasmine rice. I love Jasmine rice. However, this one was too salty for me, but it had good flavor. You also get green beans with carrots and corn and roasted potatoes, as well as mac and cheese. All of this was fantastic.
When it comes to dessert, they had animal-inspired mini desserts. So it came as a sampler. And then they had also a vegan chocolate mousse. I’m vegan because I can’t eat eggs, so I tried the chocolate mousse, and my husband tried the mini desserts. We thought the chocolate mousse was the best. Again, the staff was excellent. Service was on point. I highly suggest this reservation. You will need to make it in advance. The word is out on this one. It has come back full steam, and I believe it’s even better than it was before. Check it out.
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