Saturday, June 21, 2014

Tusker House Restaurant - Disney's Animal Kingdom

Today, my daughters and I had breakfast/brunch/lunch at Tusker House Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom.  I purposely made advance dining reservations at 10:50, because all the breakfast dishes would still be out, with various lunch selections beginning to make an appearance at 11:15.  

After seeing the Festival of the Lion King in the new Harambe Theater, we checked in at Tusker House.  

Our server arrived with a big pitcher of Jungle Juice to get us started.  Jungle Juice contains orange, passion fruit, and guava juice.  I am not a huge fan of anything with passion fruit, and it was a little too sweet for me, but I enjoyed a few sips.  

Very quickly, various Disney characters in safari gear began to arrive at our table.  

Chef Chris took me on a tour of the buffet, starting with the gluten-friendly station.  Notice, not even Disney likes to use the words "gluten free."  

There was a plate of Udi's bread and bagels, and a plate of Kinnikinnick cinnamon sugar donuts and Udi's double chocolate & blueberry muffins.  I passed on all of these items because I can eat them at home.  

I did order some gluten free Mickey waffles, which are made with Namaste Waffle & Pancake Mix, and served with 100% maple syrup.  The waffles at Tusker House are always consistently good.  

The two main reasons I wanted to arrive while breakfast was still being served were the Mickey waffles and the beef bobotie.   I really need to ask for the recipe the next time I am there.  The beef bobotie would be a great dish to make for breakfast or dinner.  

My first plate of food contained basmati rice, sweet plantains, spit-roasted ham, oven-roasted red skin potatoes, potato and leek frittata, and mealie pap.  Everything was really delicious!  

Other gluten free items on the breakfast buffet include fresh fruit, coconut-sweet potato casserole, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage patties, ham and cheese frittata, and assorted yogurts with toppings.  

From 11:15 to 11:45, Tusker House shifts to what they call brunch, with some breakfast items and some lunch items being served.  

The spit-roasted beef top sirloin and the peri-peri marinated baked salmon, both lunch items, were excellent.

Both of my daughters ate every bite of their salmon, which was a little shocking, because Emma rarely eats fish.  

One of the last lunch items to make an appearance was the spit-roasted chicken, but I was too full at that point to eat it.  Served at the same station were two other gluten free options, mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.

I really liked the curried rice with golden raisins, but I didn't try the saffron-infused root vegetables and cabbage.  I am definitely trying this dish on our next visit.

The hummus and fruit chutneys are gluten free, and I have enjoyed them with some gluten free flatbread while dining at Tusker House on previous visits, but I decided to pass on these items today.  I didn't want my kids to have to roll me out of the restaurant!  

The flatbread I make at home using Udi's Gluten Free Pizza Crust was inspired by previous dining experiences at Tusker House.  You can view the recipe here.

My girls and I waited patiently for the arrival of the strawberry mousse cups, which are a lunch item.  They are the only gluten free dessert on the lunch buffet, but on previous visits, I have been offered OMG...It's Gluten Free Fudge Brownies, and gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  

Update - June 22, 2017 

On our recent trip to Disney World, I stopped at Tusker House to pick up their new allergy-friendly menus.  We are hoping to dine there on our next trip in November.  

If there is a green check mark under the first column for gluten/wheat, it means that the dish is gluten-friendly.  Here are pictures of the breakfast menu:

There is not a green check mark for Mickey waffles, because the waffles on the buffet contain gluten, but gluten free Mickey waffles are still available at Tusker House.

Here are pictures of the lunch/dinner menu: 

As you can see, there are plenty of gluten-friendly options to choose from.  Buffets are definitely high risk for cross contamination as people let serving utensils touch food containing gluten on their plates.  I suggest that you take a tour of the buffet with a chef, have them make note of the dishes you are interested in, and have those dishes brought from the kitchen.

Tusker House is our top choice for character dining at Disney World, because of the food and atmosphere, and we get to see some of our favorite Disney characters while we dine.  

Prices from June 12, 2017

You can read more about Tusker House Restaurant, view their menus and hours, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.   

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at Tusker House?  


  1. Wow, I was hesitant to try this restaurant because of the buffet-style service, but there are so many great GF choices maybe we will go there next time! Thanks for the inside scoop!