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Winner (again) of Orlando's City's Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Apr 16, 2006 (Updated Apr 16, 2006)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Fun atmosphere for all ages.
Cons:Average food at best.
The Bottom Line: The exciting atmosphere makes up for the lack of flavor in the overpriced food.
There are hundreds of wonderful restaurants to choose from in the Orlando area but for some reason this restaurant always takes the lead in popularity. I just read where Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disneys Marketplace was voted Citys Best in 2006 again. This location was also voted number one by consumers in 2004 and 2005 so apparently its consistently a good choice.
Recommend this product?
Rainforest Cafe is owned by Landrys Restaurants, Inc. and there are Rainforest Cafe's in 15 states. I have had my eye on the Rainforest Cafe for some time and just recently had the opportunity to visit. The location that I went to was in Disney World Marketplace (Orlando, FL) which is accessible to anyone. This location is free to enter and is its not connected to the Disney parks. There is also a Rainforest Cafe inside Disneys Animal Kingdom which does require admission to the park in order to get to it.
Finding the perfect restaurant to visit while the grandparents were in town wasnt easy. In general, my parents dont like to eat out at restaurants. My kids often get restless and bored in a restaurant and my husband and I are very picky about the quality of the food.
We had planned on going to Rainforest Cafe for dinner in the evening but an unexpected rain in the morning enticed us to change plans and go for an early lunch instead which really worked out the best.
Hours may vary by location but the cafe in Downtown Disney opens at 11:30 a.m. I think we got there about 11:40 and were tickled to be seated immediately. Weve heard numerous stories of 2 hour wait times. The line was out the door by the time we left. They sell a promotional card that gives you a shorter wait time and offers a 10% discount on food and merchandise which may be beneficial for frequent visitors.
How Expensive is this Place?
I was prepared to spend a lot more money than we did. This could be an expensive place to eat but at least the serving sizes are large. All of the restaurants that I saw in the Downtown Disney area start in the $15 range too, so although probably expensive for food it is competitive with other restaurants.
Since we went at lunch and planned on walking all day we didnt eat too much. I ordered a pizza for $12 and added a cup of clam chowder soup for $4 more. My husband got a large hamburger for $10. It came with potato chips or you could upgrade to a pile of fries for $1.50 more. You could add mushrooms for $1 or .50 for cheese to be added. My parents split the awesome appetizer adventure for $16 which had a selection of loaded chimi-cha-chas, chicken fingers, crab delights, calamari, and a side of colorful tortilla chips.
If youre going for dessert you may be interested in the $13 Volcano which serves at least two. When someone orders a volcano all the waiters and waitresses start saying Volcano. It is a pile of ice cream in the center and brownie cake on the outside garnished with whip cream and topped with a big foil that represents a sparkler. We didnt have this but the kids talked about it a lot. How could chocolate and ice cream not be good! It would be a fun choice for those celebrating something special.
The kids (12 and under) have lots of cute things to choose from on their menu starting at $7, then add $3 for a tiny drink in a plastic cup.
I regret not getting a salad. $14 seems a little expensive for a salad but they are huge!
The servings are pretty generous. I saw a lot of left over salad and French fries on the neighboring plates.
You can see their menu on their website but it doesnt include the prices.
There were 5 pizza options to choose from in the $12-$14 range.
There were 8 items under seafood starting at $19 with the majority $22.
Beef, Pork, & Chicken
There are 8 choices in this area such as Tuscan chicken $16, Steak $26, Combo $23.
$18-$19 for pasta tossed with something such as chicken or shrimp.
There are 6 items on the dessert menu, too tantalizing to mention around $6-$7 or $13 for the Volcano which is designed for splitting.
They serve coke products and have a full bar.
Why is this restaurant so popular? Because its soooo cool! Everyone in our party was very pleased with the atmosphere. Its very unique and professionally decorated. I expected some plastic animals and flashing decorating but its much more than that. The inside looks like a real rainforest packed with trees, rain, elephants, realistic gorillas, gorgeous butterflies, an aquarium complemented with bold print tables and chairs. The gorillas grunt, elephants, roar, and thunder booms. It should prove impressive to both children and adults.
Although this atmosphere is kid-friendly, its not childlike at all. It would be a fun place for adults to have their birthday party at too. It would be a fun place to take a date or to go with a group of friends. Theres a full bar that opens for lunch and you can get a cool glass that lights up if you really want to celebrate.
We were pleased with the service. We had a young waitress who was helpful in taking our order and answering our questions. She didnt pour on the service and hover over us all the time which I appreciate.
The restaurant spills out into a pretty big gift shop full of Rainforest Café paraphernalia. The prices are pretty reasonable and they have items priced to fit anyones budget.
This would be really wild place to have a birthday party for young ones. They have a birthday package with a special menu, dessert, party favors, souvenirs, photos, etc. It would sure beat that one place that everyone goes to, if you know what I mean.
We had a nice experience at the Rainforest Cafe. The grandparents got a kick out of seeing the kids reactions to the atmosphere. My 6-year-old was fascinated with the ape; she didnt understand why he kept looking at her.
The appearance and atmosphere of the restaurant was definitely a 5 star which was agreed upon unanimously by everyone at our table.
The food however was average at best giving it a weak 3 stars. Granted, we just had basic items like hamburger and pizza, but it was far from the best flavor wise. The portions were good.
The Rainforest Cafe was worth the visit for the novelty but I dont think well be going back for the food.
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