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Looking for a quick service restaurant at Disney World that offers good food for a great price? Look no further than Flame Tree BBQ. This counter service restaurant in Animal Kingdom is, by far, the best counter service eatery on property. For us, where we are going to eat in Animal Kingdom is a no-brainer: we are going to Flame Tree. We don’t even think about other options. Here is my review of Flame Tree BBQ.
Like everything in Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree BBQ is a uniquely designed restaurant. It is comprised of a pavilion where you order and receive your food, and several other open-air pavilions that serve as seating areas. The theme of the restaurant is predator and prey. This theme is presented in an artistic, yet subtle manner with lots of colorful details throughout. Each of the dining pavilions is covered by a wooden roof that has a different predator/prey relationship carved into or painted on the wood. At one pavilion, you will see lines of ants with anteaters nearby. Another pavilion features rabbits and owls. A third location is decorated with eagles and snakes. It may take a while to notice the theme, but once you do, it becomes very obvious.
Because the small dining pavilions are tucked into the natural environment, the restaurant has a very quaint and tranquil feel to it. Several of the pavilions have water views, with either the river or reflecting pools nearby. Even if you aren’t into nature, you can’t help but feel a connection to your surroundings while dining here. Of course, the ducks and birds that linger close by waiting on a bite to eat also help with this feeling of being close to nature! The birds are not usually aggressive enough to disturb your lunch, however.
As I said above, you will find Flame Tree BBQ in the Animal Kingdom in the center of the park. As you pass through Discovery Island, you will see the front of the restaurant on the main pathway as you head to Dinoland USA. The seating pavilions are tucked away down little paths nearby. They are not readily visible when you order your food. However, if you will wander down one of the paths, you will be rewarded with an amazing view while dining.
Although, it is a bit of a pain to walk so far to sit when you are holding a tray full of food, I actually like that the seating areas are spread out. Not only does this create a sense of coziness, but it also allows you to get away from some of the hustle and bustle of the park. It gives you a chance to take a break from all the crowds while you have a quiet meal in a beautiful setting.
As you probably guessed from the name of the restaurant, they serve barbecue. In addition to smoked chicken and ribs, the menu also includes a pulled pork sandwich, onion rings, and pulled pork mac and cheese. The children’s menu offers a hot dog, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, turkey sandwich, and a baked drumstick. For dessert, Flame Tree serves a salted caramel apple crisp cupcake. For a look at the full menu, visit allears.net.
The meats are juicy and flavorful. The cornbread is delicious. At Flame Tree BBQ, you can get table service quality and quantity at counter service prices.
Other than the birds, the only entertainment at Flame Tree is provided by a very unlikely source: the riders on Expedition Everest. Go sit in the seating pavilion on the edge of the river, directly across from Everest. While eating here, you can hear the screams coming from those currently on the ride. Beyond that, there is no entertainment at the restaurant. But, neither you nor your kids will notice the lack of entertainment because the surroundings are so beautiful. It’s a great place for your kids to look up from their screens and notice the outside world around them.
Disney Dining Plan/Cost
You can use your Disney Dining Plan at Flame Tree BBQ. It will cost you one counter service credit per person. This is a great use of your counter service credits for a couple of reasons. First, you get a ton of food. You will not walk away hungry from this one. Most of the time, I am not able to finish my meal because there is so much food. Secondly, this is the only place on Disney World property where you can get ribs for a counter service credit. If you are paying out of pocket, you can expect to pay between $8-20 per adult meal.
In conclusion, Flame Tree BBQ is one of the best restaurants on property. It gets my vote for the best counter service joint in all of Disney World. It is a great value for your money. You get a ton of delicious food that is different from the standard theme park fare you usually see. The theme is presented in a playful way that doesn’t take away from your enjoyment of your meal. The small seating pavilions are nestled into the lush environment with peaceful water features scattered about. We have eaten here at least once on every trip and have never had a bad meal. I highly recommend Flame Tree BBQ whenever you are in Animal Kingdom. I hope you have enjoyed this review of Flame Tree BBQ. For more on Disney dining, see the best quick service restaurants and a list of character meals. Happy travels!