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Rainforest Cafe - Downtown Disney or Animal Kingdom

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Apr 20th, 2005, 07:27 PM
  #1
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Rainforest Cafe - Downtown Disney or Animal Kingdom

I have heard the Rainforest Cafe is really worth seeing. What is the difference between the one at Animal Kingdom and Downtown Disney? Does one have a better theme. Is the food better at one than the other? Is it worth visiting both? I was not sure if it each one has a slightly different theme similar to the Hard Rock Cafe's. Thank you for your thoughts.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 07:53 PM
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We ate at the one in Downtown Disney, and one in Towson, Maryland, and they were both pretty much exactly alike. Kids do love that place, but hubby and I hated the noise, and over stimulation while trying to eat
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Apr 20th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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I ate at the one in Animal Kingdom and one in Canada. They were the same as far as I could tell. When we were in the one in Canada my best friend said that she did not like it either. She said that she found it very disorienting and dark. It gave her a headache and made her all weird. I was fine and thought that kids would just have a blast.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Rainforest Cafe is not a Disney owned restaurant, just in case you didn't know that. If you are going out of your way to dine there, know you can catch one in other cities. Food and theme are pretty much the same in each venue.

My kids love it. We have one here in KC, and we did dine in the one at Animal Kingdom. Like the other posters, after a day in the park, all the STUFF in Rainforest made me downright twitchy. It's a zoo in there, no pun intended. A hot dog on a bench outside would have been more pleasant. ;-)
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Apr 21st, 2005, 06:12 AM
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We ate in the Downtown Disney Rainforest Cafe about 5 or 6 years ago and have subsequently dined at the Metro Detroit RFC once or twice in the last 2 years. Our first meal there at the Disney store was very good with its interesting menu options. But our subsequent visits have been less than impressive since the chain seems to have kiddie-fied their menu with hundreds of variations on chicken fingers. Now its all flash and no substance. We would never eat there again, but let our kids peek inside when we pass it in the mall.

One interesting secret about the Animal Kingdom store: There is a park entrance inside the RFC. If you get to the park before opening, you can queue up to enter the park from inside the RFC gift shop and beat the throngs entering at the main gate.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 06:56 AM
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I would definitely skip the one in AK. Not because it's not good, but because you're paying massive amounts of money to be there.
Go to the one in DTD when you're not paying for the privlege of being in the park.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 06:57 AM
  #7
brooklandsbuttercup
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What do people think about the one at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas?
 
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Apr 21st, 2005, 07:26 AM
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My son who is nearly 7 looovveesss the Rainforest Cafe. We've been to the one in San Francisco, South Coast Plaza (CA) and the MGM. They were all the same. I agree that they are noisy and overly stimulating, and in fact, my 2-year-old gets a little upset when it storms during the meal. I also hate the damp moldy smells; must be all the fountains. That said, I've learned the few things I can order that are OK, and once in awhile it's a fine treat for my son. (Like Chuck E Cheese's, or a McDonalds with a playground). The one in Las Vegas was a godsend; there seemed very little kid stuff for him, so it was nice to take him someplace he really liked before he got stuck in the room with a sitter and we went to play. Didn't get the adults without kids sitting in the Rainforest Cafe in Vegas; when my kids are not with me, I'd go for someplace a little more grown-up.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 09:01 AM
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I checked out the one at MGM and thought it was elaborate and interesting but thought I'd probably go crazy eating in there with those crickets chirping and the waterfall noise. There is an inexpensive restaurant that is poolside at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. That might be a good way to visit the Lodge and see the animals (and even enjoy a dip in the pool if no one is looking).
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Apr 21st, 2005, 09:18 AM
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I look at the RFCs and think: You know, if I want that much cheese with my meal, I'll go buy a brick at Hickory Farms. I actually did get a meal at the one at Downtown Disney-- never again. Awful in every way.

Do you REALLY want your kids overstimulated with animatronic doodads during your overpriced, awful meal? Don't you get enough of that at Chuck E. Cheese?!

I guess I'm a bit jaded since I can see a Rainforest Café (and the hordes of shrieking kids running around while their harried parents try to calm them down, while simultaneously trying to keep down the chicken fingers) at a LOCAL SHOPPING MALL. It's just not that special-- and the fake animals are just lame.

How about taking the kids to a REAL zoo, letting them see REAL animals, then find a somewhat less-stimulating eatery with good food? There has to be at least one in Orlando. And NOT the Hard Rock (all of them have similarly bad food, as far as I'm concerned), please.
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Apr 21st, 2005, 09:38 AM
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No one has mentioned the prices of the food! The food is SO not worth the price you pay for it
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Apr 21st, 2005, 01:54 PM
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Just to clarify, you do not need to pay park admission to the one at Animal Kingdom to get in to the Rainforest Cafe. There are two seperate entrances. At least there was 4 years ago.


We ate breakfast there and got that jumpstart on the crowds.
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Apr 25th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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We dined at the Downtown Disney location last year on our "nonpark" day because it was the only restaurant without an extended wait and the food was much better than the one near our home in Towson, MD. These are great for dining with noisy youngsters, because the atmosphere is so loud that you don't have to fret over bothering your fellow diners. My niece loves them, so we go. I agree with the poster who said not to go on a park day, since you can spend that time dining inside the park. And as another poster mentioned, these restaurants can be found virtually everywhere. They even have one on the Atlantic City boardwalk now, which is kinda weird. Good luck!
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Apr 25th, 2005, 05:50 PM
  #14
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My stepchildren loved Rainforest Cafe when they were much younger.

Agree with the others, it is overstimulating and the thunderstorms can really scare small children.

If you've never been to one, you may want to walk through.

As for the decor, think concrete covered with every bit of lepoard strip, palm tree, jungle scene, and animal possible along with loud animal noises and simulated thunderstorms. Add 3,000 noisy parents and kids and that is a pretty good synopsis.
 
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Apr 25th, 2005, 06:18 PM
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Here's all 34 locations:

http://www.rainforestcafe.com/vMain.asp

Like most chain restaurants, likely to be all very similar. I've been to two (Towson & Tyson's): they are exaclty alike.
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Apr 25th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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We ate at the one in San Francsico. It was just okay and we waited for 40 minutes for a table. Not worth waiting for. The truth is we tried to get into the one in Disney, but the lines were too long. My kids would have liked it more when they were younger. At 11 and 12 they just weren't that into it. They did think it was cool, but that was it. We could have eaten much faster and quieter somewhere else. If I am going to take forever to dine, it will be in a much quieter, more relaxing atmosphere! So, it really depends on the ages of your kids. I would recommend between 4 and 8 would be optimum for enjoying it.
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May 1st, 2005, 08:56 PM
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Tweety13,

the 2 Disney location Rainforests are esentially identical in theming and menu.

I'd suggest the Downtown Disney Rainforest for this reason: While you're waiting for a table, or after dinner, there is much more to see and do in the Downtown Disney area.

Animal Kingdom closes at 5 or 6pm, while Downtown Disney and Pleasure Island are open until at least midnite.

The "Adventurer's Club" in Pleasure Island (part of Downtown Disney) is a blast, go spend a couple hours there after dinner at the Rainforest.
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