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New Disney Dinner Show – Limited Time

A new ‘Disney dinner show’ is temporarily available at the Animal Kingdom. While the show is not new, the dinner offer is. Signature dining packages are available now through November 21 for Disney’s ‘Festival of the Lion King’ show at the Animal Kingdom theme park. For Lion King and Disney lovers, this is something to roar about.

The Festival of the Lion King show has been offered at this Orlando theme park since it opened 20+ years ago. It includes live performances with singing, dancing, gymnastics, fire twirling and an aerial act. If you love the classic film, “The Lion King” from 1994, chances are you’ll love this Disney dinner show as well. The Broadway-style show is filled with pageantry, puppetry, and popular songs from the film.

Lion King Disney Dinner Show

Photo by Ryan Wendler / Walt Disney Co.

Disney Dinner Show Packages

Additionally, the dinner package offers two tiers. Both include a meal at Tiffins Restaurant, VIP seating during the show, and a commemorative cast photo. Tier I packages also include a safari tour through the park’s African outback. The tour is lead by a dedicated guide after the show concludes. This Disney dinner show costs $99 for adults and $49 for children 3-9 years old. The less expensive Tier II package does not include the safari, but does include VIP seating and the photo. It costs $74 for adults and $29 for children. This is, of course, in addition to the theme park entrance ticket.

Dining Options

The Disney dinner show includes your choice of lunch or dinner at Tiffins. You’ll receive vouchers for the Festival of the Lion King show at Tiffins regardless if you are seeing the show before or after dining. This restaurant is located in the Discovery Island portion of the theme park, right before entering Pandora –  the World of Avatar. You will enjoy a 3-course meal consisting of one appetizer, one entree, and one dessert. You also have the choice of beer, wine or a non-alcoholic drink. Unlike Capone’s Dinner & Show, refills on the alcohol are limited. Sorry lion, Al is the king of that ‘jungle’ offering the most beverage choices of any Orlando dinner show WITH free refills!

Disney has many great restaurants. They also offer a dining plan which many people purchase along with their tickets. If you are on the Disney dining plan, you can exchange two table service entitlements for the Tier II package for this Disney dinner show.


It is uncertain if this Disney dinner show package will be offered after November 21. One thing is for certain, with world-class entertainment and food, space will be limited. Book your experience in advance! Make reservations online at the Walt Disney World Resort website or by calling (407) WDW-DINE (407-939-3463). Have a roaring good time!

Speaking of roaring… If you’d like to participate in a show who’s time period is set near the roaring ‘20s, check out Capone’s Dinner & Show. Tickets are all-inclusive and half price using this special link.

Spotlight: Tiffins Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

If you are looking for an excellent Orlando theme park restaurant, the newly opened Tiffins Restaurant is worth checking out.  It is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This restaurant offers a way to enjoy an art gallery, learn about far-away lands, share your own travels AND enjoy a wonderful meal. As with all of Disney’s creations, this restaurant has been planned right down to the smallest of details.

Tiffins Restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom

© Disney

Tiffins is an Indian word for a lunchbox used by travelers or a mid-day meal. Fittingly, Tiffins restaurant is open for lunch (11:30am – 3:30pm) as well as dinner (4:00pm – 9:30pm). The 252-seat restaurant provides waterfront views with indoor and outdoor seating. It is located on Discovery Island within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is divided into “galleries” or dining rooms that focus on far-away lands. These galleries contain artwork inspired by these lands. Some of the art helped create the Animal Kingdom theme park’s design. All of those details! The galleries include:

  • Asia  featuring the Trek Gallery (74 seats)
  • Africa featuring the Safari Gallery (64 seats)
  • Grand Gallery (114 seats) which pays homage to animal species that the Disney Conservation Fund works to protect.

The Menu at Tiffins Restaurant

Entree at Tiffins Restaurant

© Disney

The menu at Tiffins Restaurant focuses on cuisine from around the world. It offers something for everyone. Included are entrées of Berber-Spiced Lamb Chops, New York Strip Steaks, Beef Short Ribs, Berkshire Pork Tenderloin, Miso-glazed Black Cod, Grilled Head-on Shrimp and several others. The menu also has vegetarian choices. Try the Roasted Market Vegetable Curry with Quinoa, Zucchini and Lime Chutney.

While the food selections come from all over the world, the beverage menu focuses on Africa, Asia and South America. Many handcrafted cocktails and beers are offered as well as non-alcoholic beverages. These include lemonades, teas and coffees. The beverage program at Tiffins Restaurant is unique. “…we don’t have another one like it at Disney,” said Master Sommelier Brian Koziol, Food & Beverage Concept and Development director for Disney Parks & Resorts. “The program will focus on environmentality: producers that focus on sustainability, organic wines, and bio-dynamic viticulture.”

The Nomad Lounge

Be sure to check out the Nomad Lounge. Share your travel experiences with others. It is located adjacent to Tiffins Restaurant, nearer the water. Purchase a tag and write about your travel adventures. These tags help support the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Answer questions such as “what do you always do when traveling” or “what was your most adventurous moment?” In doing so, you’ll be adding to the interesting stories already being told at this new Disney dining experience. You can even dine on small bites at the Nomad Lounge without a reservation. There are 55 seats inside and 46 seats outside.

Because of all its features, this new signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is definitely a must-do restaurant attraction to experience. Reservations to Tiffins Restaurant can be made by calling (407) 939-5277. Or go to Disney’s website for more information.

If you enjoy restaurant attractions such as Tiffins Restaurant, be sure to save a night for Capone’s Dinner & Show. It is a great combination while vacationing and enjoying Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This Orlando dinner show is affordable and enjoyable for the entire family. It is located just a few miles from Disney in Kissimmee, Florida at 4740 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway (Hwy. 192), Kissimmee, FL 34746. Make discount reservations online or call 407-397-2378.

Spotlight: Tutto Italia Restorante at Epcot

Tutto Italia Restorante at Epcot is an Italian Restaurant, so of course, the Wise Guys keep a close eye on such establishments. With so many  dining options at theme parks, it’s hard to decide where to eat (or to list them all – see this earlier post). This summer, Tutto’s has added a 3-course lunch menu. Therefore, you’ll have plenty of time to work up an appetite for a delicious dinner buffet menu at Capone’s Dinner & Show.

If you’ve never experienced the Tutto Italia Restorante, you’ll be impressed with an authentic classic Italian menu. Also impressive is the Old World elegance of the interior. Walls are covered with beautiful murals, and elegant chandeliers light the dark-wood booths. If it is nice outside, have lunch outside on the patio with views of the Italy Pavilion.

Tutto Italia Restorante

Photo © Disney

Tutto Italia Restorante Menu

A special 3-course lunch has been created by Chef Barcatta and his team for the summer – available through August 31. The cost is $27, plus tax/gratuity and includes a soft drink or tea, an appetizer, a main course and dessert. For appetizers, choose from Antipasto, Insalata Mista, Caprese or Minestrone. For the main course, select either Scaloppine di Pollo, Piletto di Sogliola, Caesar Salad or Spaghetti. Dessert options are Cannolo, Tiramisu or Gelati. I don’t think you can go wrong with any selection. Wine connoisseur will find a wide selection for a perfect pairing. If you want to stray from the 3-course menu, vegetarian and allergy-friendly menu options are available. They also have a hearty children’s menu.

Easy Dining Reservations

Reservations are recommended for Tutto Italia Ristorante, as well as at Capone’s Dinner & Show. Both Italian establishments allow reservations up to 180 days prior to your visit. For reservations at Tutto’s call (407) 939-5277 or go online. For an evening including dinner and a show, you can’t go wrong with a reservation at Capone’s. Online reservations are always half price!

When visiting Tutto Italia Ristorante, be sure to tell them that Mama Capone sent you! With attentive service offered at both Italian Restaurants, you will feel welcomed this summer and long after. Enjoy!

Theme Park Restaurant Updates

Theme park restaurant updates are constant – updated menus, or in some cases, restaurants being closed and replaced with others. A lot of changes are happening at Orlando attraction restaurants. If you are going to be at a theme park all day, you are going to eat at some point. Most guests don’t put a lot of thought into their dining plans. I, for one, almost dread eating at a restaurant inside an attraction. Prices are high and the menu is the same ol’ blah, blah, blah. Rarely do I read about a theme park restaurant that makes me want to experience it.

Pizza Pretzel

This theme park restaurant dish makes me want to attend this Orlando attraction!

Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen

SeaWorld Orlando has opened a new dining location that actually makes me want to go to this Orlando theme park. Mama’s Pretzel Kitchen opened a few weeks ago, and every time I see a photo or read about it, I want to go! Sure, the sea life and rides are nice, but eating some of these pretzel creations sound fantastic!

If you love pretzels, you’ll want to go to this theme park restaurant! After all, who wouldn’t want a bratwurst wrapped in a warm pretzel (dipped in mustard, of course)? I love pizza, so the pizza pretzel really looks enticing. Meatball Pretzel anyone? Mama Capone would even be impressed with this one. For all the bacon-lovers out there, they even serve a twisted pretzel wrapped around thick-cut cherry-wood bacon. Yummy!

This new theme park restaurant is located across from Shamu Stadium, next to Shamu’s Happy Harbor. It is an indoor restaurant with some patio seating. Grab a salty preztel creation and a nice cold beer; kick back while the kids play. The cost is about what you’d expect at $8 to $12 for a main dish, chips, dipping sauce and beverage.

Jungle Cruise Theme Park Restaurant

Jungle Cruise restaurantLater this year, Disney will open a new restaurant called Jungle Cruise. Well, the full name will be The Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen. It will be located in the Adventureland section of Magic Kingdom.

As time gets nearer to opening, perhaps some announcement will be made to spark my interest in this theme park restaurant. Right now, all I can think about is the old jungle cruise ride and the ridiculous puns that the guides would roll out as they navigated through the cruise, pointing out various animatronic sights. Not very exciting, but it was a nice place to sit for awhile. With a ‘crew mess hall’ and a meeting room of the ‘Society of Explorers and Adventurers’ being planned, maybe I’ll think about dining here. What about you?

Disney’s Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant

Other Disney theme park restaurant news promotes a new breakfast coming to the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. This is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios and has been open for a few years. What is new is that guests will now be able to enjoy an “Out-of-this World” breakfast on or near November 1, 2015. Reservations are already being taken through late January.

Mickey WaffleSince I love a good breakfast, this theme park restaurant interests me, especially because they will offer pan-seared shrimp and cheesy grits. I love grits. I also like horseradish, so the cheesy horseradish potatoes sound good too. They are paired with a grilled beef tenderloin on baby spinach with bacon and cheddar custard on a roasted tomato. These are not your every day breakfast items, so yes, I will look forward to trying these. Kids will want the Mickey waffles, and for the sweeter tooth, order the macadamia-crusted brioche French toast with mascarpone and fresh berries.

Breakfast will be served starting at 8:00 a.m. through 10:15 a.m. It is a little expensive at $23.99 for adults and $12.99 for children (3-9). This price includes a breakfast pastry, choice of appetizer, entree and a beverage (non-alcoholic).

Tom+Chee Restaurant near Downtown Disney

While restaurants located inside the theme park are convenient, sometimes a good restaurant can be found near a theme park and Orlando has a large number just outside the gates, near or within Downtown Disney. Back in July a new restaurant opened named Tom+Chee (Tom and Chee). It is located in the Crossroads Shopping Center.

Cheese fried donut

What caught my eye about this restaurant was the news of grilled cheese donuts. Really? I like grilled cheese sandwiches, and I like donuts, so I should really like this new place! Seems their specialty is fancy grilled cheese sandwiches. The donuts come in a variety of flavors including Choco Bacon Bliss, Bananarama and The Classic. Salads and soups are also on the menu. Prices range from $2.50 to $9.50.

Tom+Chee will soon be adding a breakfast menu, but for now they are only open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. This is their first Central Florida location (originating in Cincinnati), but plans are to expand into other locations. Who knows, maybe they’ll even become one of the theme park restaurants that are being added into the landscape. For now, enjoy this one without the theme park price tag added to it. Happy eating!

New Theme Park Restaurants at Animal Kingdom

New theme park restaurants are opening nearly every month, and the new eateries and shops at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are worth checking out. From chain restaurants to unique sweet shops, you’ll find familiarity as well as never-before-experienced menus.  One thing is for sure, an animal appetite is sure to be tamed!

New Theme Park Restaurants include Starbucks Coffee Shop

On the familiar side of new theme park restaurants in Animal Kingdom is the Seattle-based company of Starbucks. This new chain restaurant opened in April and is now represented in all four Walt Disney World theme parks and two additional locations in Downtown Disney. (Starbucks are also located within Universal Orlando’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk). The Animal Kingdom Starbucks is located outside of the entrance to “Africa” on the west side of the Orlando theme park. You’ll find it as you approach the iconic Tree of Life, just before the bridge.

Disney Starbucks MugsUnique Souvenirs

Starbucks offers a unique souvenir at this store. The Disney “You Are Here” mugs come decorated according to the park you are in. The Animal Kingdom mug shows the Tree of Life, Expedition Everest, a jeep (Kilimanjaro Safaris) and a giraffe. They make great souvenirs.

Zuri’s Sweet Shop Now Open

Zuri's Sweet Shop

Zuri’s Sweet Shop is a new theme park restaurant and shop at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

In the Harambe Market within Disney’s Animal Kingdom, a new dessert shop recently opened called Zuri’s Sweet Shop. At this new theme park restaurant you’ll find dozens of never-before-experienced treats. In fact, the menu is raising all kinds of “stink.” Let me explain…

Editor’s Note: After only a few weeks Disney has announced that the poo desserts will no longer be offered. After testing (and maybe the publicity?), they will no longer restock these items.

Along with candy apples, chocolate bars, African-spiced popcorn, animal-shaped lollipops and 80 other new items, Zuri’s is now selling animal poop! Inspired by dropping of the large game animals of Africa, the chefs at Zuri’s decided to have fun and create desserts you won’t turn up your nose at. Four types of poo are offered at $3.99 per serving (enough for two people). Choose from giraffe, rhino/hippo, elephant and cotton-top tamarin. You’ll have fun just picking out the dessert, because you have to match the “poo” with the species! Ingredients include:

  • giraffe: pellets of fudge/brownie
  • rhino/hippo: chocolate fudge, caramel-brownie, peanut butter and oats
  • elephant: oats and peanut butter
  • tamarin: pretzels, chocolate-peanut butter fudge

The theme park shop is an experience all in itself. All of the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa can be experienced here. Be sure to try the African Spice popcorn. With just a hint of cardamom, it is very addictive. You might need to purchase an extra bag for later.

Dessert shaped like giraffe poop

Allergy-Friendly Menus

In addition to the new restaurants, Disney has also started incorporating allergy-friendly menus within their theme parks. The menus have been tested for common food allergies and intolerances. So far, over a dozen locations have adopted the menu. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the newest locations to offer one. If you or your child have a special dietary need, consult with a Cast Member. They can assist you or consult with a chef about your needs.

Tree of Life

If you’ve not experienced Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently, check it out. The Tree of Life’s roots have expanded and include new animal carvings. The 145-foot tall by 50 fee wide structure has more than 103,000 leaves and over 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings in its trunk and roots! Inside the tree is a theater where “It’s Tough to be a Bug!” is performed. There are dozens of places to grab a bite and a couple of very nice full-service restaurants.

Like all Disney theme parks, there is plenty to do and see. Now there is even more to taste. A full day is sure to leave you “pooped” and with a bag to take home as well!