We were at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the new Pandora, World of Avatar rides. so I made a reservation for the Rainforest cafe for 12 midday. There was a short queue to get the table ticket then a two minute wait to be seated.
You are able to look round the large gift shop while you wait.
The rainforest cafe is a restaurant which is realistically jungle themed and the theming is great! You are seated amongst trees, waterfalls and life sized animals. Every now and then there is a storm and it gets darker. There are flashes of light and the sound rumbling thunder. The animals sometimes come alive and move or make noises.
There is a lot to look at and it is acceptable to get up from your table and wonder around looking at the animals.
There are even giant fish tanks full of fish to look at and a bar with bar stools that make you look like you have animal feet if you sit on them.
The Kids were given activity sheets with crayons and a list of animals to look out for around the restaurant.
We ordered two kids meals – one was rainforest rascals which was two mini burgers with a choice of side. My son chose mac and cheese.
The other was a hot dog with fries.
Both were aparently nice and eaten all up!
I had the vegetarian burger with rice. I was helpfully told there is chicken stock in the rice when I ordered. The vegetarian patty was very nice. It was unusually guacamole based and not the kind of patty that pretends to be meat.
I also had hot tea which is refillable and also pretty good by english standards!
The drinks were refilled as soon as we had nearly finished them so we never had to ask or wait for more.
As meals go this was an enjoyable one and the restaurant is very well themed.
Taking a child with an ASD to The Rainforest Cafe?
Id say this depends on the individual child. My son seemed alright at the time but then afterwards was very on edge and ended up having a huge meltdown over something very trivial so I believe he was getting over stimulated and anxious over lunch.
The experience can be too much for some autistic children. There is a lot going on sensory wise. There are loud sudden noises etc and the animals look real. I spoke to a lady who’s autistic nephew couldn’t cope with it there.
The background music isn’t very loud and there are constant soothing sounds of water as waterfalls and water features but then every now and then there is a storm with thunder and lots of animal noises. The tiger’s roar, the gorilla is noisy and so are the bird sounds. It gets darker and the lights flash.
Our waitress was very friendly and understanding of my son taking a long time to choose his food. She even answered his questions about burger sizes with great detail!
The Rainforest Cafe we attended is at the entrance to Disney’ s Animal Kingdom in Orlando. It is through the bag check area but you do not need a Disney ticket to visit the restaurant. You will need to pay to park at Animal Kingdom.