Looking for a way to plan dining at Animal Kingdom theme Park without breaking the bank? Well, you came to the right place. Making a plan for Disney dining is a great way to rein in your budget while still enjoying some delicious eats on your trip. Disney food is a big part of a great vacation. I bet we can eat some delicious meals at Animal Kingdom for only $50 a day!
This Disney dining article series is inspired by the 2002 television show $40 A Day. In this series, early-Food Network Rachael Ray traveled the world, with the goal of budgeting her dining dollars and enjoying delicious meals. Like the show title suggests, Ray went on gastronomic tours of cities for $40 a day allocated for dining. Viewers enjoyed watching her Ray her meals, stick to the budget, and of course enjoy delicious dishes that reflected the culture of the city she was visiting.
Unglamorous though it may seem, skipping breakfast in the Park is a great way to jump-start your day by guarding your budget. If you’ve read about other Parks in this series, you know the drill, save money by skipping breakfast in the Park and enjoying coffee and breakfast in your Resort hotel room.
Joffrey’s coffee is too delicious to pass up. Additionally, you cannot beat the convenience of noshing on breakfast while still in your pajamas in your Resort room. An easy and portable breakfast of fruit, yogurt, or a breakfast bar in your room is a great idea. Pair it with a cup of complementary Joffrey’s coffee courtesy of your in-room coffee maker, and you are good to go!
Bringing a refillable water bottle along to skip the cost of drinks in the Park is another important tip. Save your money for all that delicious Disney food!
Roasted Corn – Morning Snack
Harambe Fruit Market, Harambe
It’s not even a close competition for my most recommended snack in Animal Kingdom. In fact, I would recommend you have it as a morning snack in the event that you enjoy it so much that you choose to indulge in a second serving later in the day. Another one of those Disney treasures that you’ll be able to smell before you see: I’m talking about the grilled corn on the cob at Harambe Fruit Market.
Located in the Harambe section of Animal Kingdom, Harambe Fruit Market offers fresh fruit and snacks that you can take on the go as you attraction hop in the Parks. Not far from Tusker House Restaurant and Celebration Festival of the Lion King, you must visit this snack stop. You can also purchase Mandarin oranges (3 pack for $4.19), bananas and other whole fruit ($2.29). Other options include a hot dog with chips ($9.49), or even a Mickey Pretzel with cheese sauce ($7.19) at the stand.
Still, the obvious choice for us is the grilled corn on the cob. You can order this delicious snack with or without African spices. We recommend you try it with the spices. For only $5.29 you can enjoy this snack on your way to view the animals on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and without spending too much time purchasing your snack. The juicy flavor, crunch, and overall freshness of the grilled corn make it a simple but delicious morning snack at Animal Kingdom.
Teriyaki Chicken Salad – Lunch
Yak & Yeti Local Foods Café, Asia
If you are like me, balancing the food you eat on a Disney vacation is important. For this reason, I’m always on the lookout for fresh/healthier foods to enjoy in Disney Parks, without sacrificing on flavor or dining experience. Good news, Yak & Yeti’s Teriyaki Chicken Salad delivers on this! Yak & Yeti Café is a quick-service restaurant located in Asia that offers awesome takeaway options perfect for lunch. Located just a short walk from Expedition Everest, this eatery is in my opinion one of the best restaurants for quick service cuisine on a Disney vacation.
For this budget challenge, we are going for the fresh, delicious, and perfectly priced Teriyaki chicken salad that comes in at $11.99. This greens salad is served with crunchy noodles, juicy chunks of chicken, and a delicious ginger dressing. We love the freshness of this salad and find it hits the spot on a hot day when you would rather not indulge in a heavier meal. After all, that Central Florida heat is intense!
If you are searching for alternate options on this menu, consider ordering the honey chicken that is served with an order of steamed white rice for $12.99. Another delicious option is the sweet-and-sour tempura shrimp that delivers on the crunch and flavor for $14.99. If you are looking for a snack-sized lunch, we must mention one of our favorite food values at Walt Disney World – Yak & Yeti Café chicken fried rice! For only $5.29 you can snag an order of chicken fried rice that makes a great snack or even lunch. It’s delicious and affordable, and we cannot recommend it more.
Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork – Afternoon Snack
Flame Tree BBQ, Discovery Island
Sure, this is one hefty snack, but it’s sharable. Satisfying my cheese-loving soul, we have the baked macaroni and cheese with pulled pork At Flame Tree BBQ. This dish consists of rich and gooey macaroni and cheese topped with pulled pork, onion rings, and coleslaw. We can hear angels singing when we bite into this dish.
The baked macaroni with the cheesy crust roasted to perfection, the smoked meat, and the tang of the slaw is a match made in heaven. It’s a fairly expensive snack, coming in at $12.49, but it becomes more affordable as a sharable snack, and we think it’s worth the money either way. We could not recommend this dish more!
Slow Roasted Grilled Beef Bowl – Dinner
Satu’li Canteen, Pandora – The World of Avatar
Ready for dinner? Head out of Discovery Island past Nomad Lounge and Tiffins Restaurant and toward Pandora – The World of Avatar. You probably know that Pandora – The World of Avatar is one of the hottest sections of Animal Kingdom. With rides like Nav’i River Journey and the famous Flight of Passage, it’s normal for Guests to be filled with anticipation as they walk into the section of the Park.
What you might not know, is that Pandora – The World of Avatar, is also home to one of my favorite meals in the Park. That’s right, I’m talking about Satu’li Canteen and the delicious bowls served up in this former RDA mess hall that was converted to serve visitors (visitors like you) of Pandora.
Satu’li Canteen is my favorite quick-service restaurant in Animal Kingdom because the food is always fresh, simple, and delicious. My recommendation is the Slow-Roasted Beef Bowl. The delicious marinade used on the beef is a blend of garlic, herbs, red pepper spice, and red wine vinegar that works to bring out the natural flavor of the meat without being overpowering or tasting artificial.
This build-your-own bowl experience lets Guests choose the base of the bowl and the sauce or dressing that tops the bowl. The buildable aspects of this meal are a large part of what makes it fun. Bases include sweet and red potato hash, hearty romaine salad, mixed whole-grain and rice, or rice and black beans. You’ll also be asked to choose your sauce. Options include charred green onion vinaigrette, black bean vinaigrette, or creamy herb dressing.
My winning combo is a base of mixed whole-grain and rice, topped with the creamy herb dressing. Tender beef is nestled on top of the base, topped with crunchy vegetable slaw, and drizzled with your chosen sauce. Juicy tropical Boba balls garnish the dish and add an unexpected texture and flavor. This entrée comes in at $14.49 and is super filling and delicious.
We met our goal of sticking to a $50 a day dining budget in Animal Kingdom.
Morning Snack – Grilled Corn – $5.29
Lunch – Teriyaki Chicken Salad – $11.99
Afternoon Snack – Baked Macaroni and Cheese with Pulled Pork – $12.49
Dinner – Slow Roasted Grilled Beef Bowl – $14.49
We came in right under our budget at $44.26 total for lunch, dinner, and two snacks during a day in Animal Kingdom. Heck yes! We did dining at Walt Disney World Resort for under $50 a day! Don’t miss our other articles outlining $50 a day budget plans for Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and Disney Springs.