Flame Tree BBQ

7 Things We Love About Flame Tree Barbecue in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Everything about experiencing Disney’s Animal Kingdom is authentic and unique. The attractions, shows, and animal encounters are unlike anything you’ll experience elsewhere. Dining at Animal Kingdom is no different! With so many stellar restaurants to choose from at Walt Disney World, many people miss out on quality counter-service experiences. Flame Tree Barbecue is a counter service restaurant located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and is well worth a visit. Because it isn’t a typical sit-down restaurant, there are no reservations or need to plan in advance. Here are 7 reasons why you’ve got to give it a try on your next trip.

7. A great addition to your day at Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom has acquired the reputation of being a “half-day park.” There are plenty of shows and attractions to enjoy at Animal Kingdom (and yes, fill an entire day with), but less than some of the other park offerings. Instead of spending only a half day at Animal Kingdom, why not plan to see all that the park has to offer as well as stay for two meals? Be sure to make Flame Tree Barbecue one of your two meal choices, and choose from the park’s other amazing choices (character dining at Tusker House or a unique meal at Yak and Yeti, anyone?).

6. Cool outdoor seating

If you visit Animal Kingdom in the warmer months, you’ll feel like you’ve been transplanted right into the heart of Africa. To put it bluntly, this park is HOT. After a few hours of exploring, you’re probably going to be looking for a cool respite at meal time! Flame Tree Barbecue only has outdoor seating, but don’t let this discourage you. The seating areas are very cool and comfortable thanks to the shade provided by roofing and lush plants.

5. Convenience- No reservation needed!

Counter service dining is quick and convenient, so it’s a great choice for a busy day of park touring. Since Flame Tree Barbecue is a counter service restaurant, there are no reservations. In a time when so much of a Disney vacation is scheduled, it’s nice to have a meal that you don’t have to schedule 6 months in advance!

4. Unique brews & beverages

Make sure you try Animal Kingdom’s signature beer, Safari Amber. It’s made by Anheuser-Busch especially for Animal Kingdom and is on tap at Flame Tree Barbecue (as well as other locations around the park). Prefer a glass of wine? You can relax with one here, too. Looking for something a little more wild? Try refreshing mandarin orange vodka lemonade!

3. Classic Barbecue cuisine

Flame Tree Barbecue is famous for its barbecue cuisine, of course. Most notably, Flame Tree cooks up delectable ribs! You can also dine on a half smoked chicken or pulled pork sandwich, and enjoy sides like baked beans and corn bread. Is your stomach rumbling yet?

2. And all the other food!

Would you believe that something as plain sounding as a smoked turkey sandwich is my favorite meal at Flame Tree? It’s true. I think it’s the cranberry mayonnaise and carved turkey they use that makes it so delicious. They also have a smoked chicken salad that’s worth coming back for. I suggest ordering a few different meals to split amongst your party so everyone can try a bit of different dishes.

1. The view

Animal Kingdom is a phenomenally beautiful park. One of the most unique and enjoyable things about Flame Tree Barbecue is the view from its outdoor seating areas. If you sit to the left of the counter service area, you’ll find plenty of seating with views of plants, roaming birds, and park pathways. However, if you walk down the path toward the back, you’ll find something even better- breathtaking views of Discovery River with Expedition Everest rising in the background.

Is Flame Tree Barbecue a “must-do” on your Animal Kingdom itinerary too? If so, what keeps you coming back for more? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Meredith Smisek

Meredith Smisek is a kid at heart and works as an elementary school guidance counselor. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, dog, and parrot. Meredith's hobbies include cooking, playing ukulele, and "talking Disney" with anyone she knows who is planning a trip to Disney or has just returned.