Review of Flame Tree BBQ at Animal Kingdom

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Why you need to go to Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom

Flame Tree BBQ is a quick service restaurant located in Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom park.

It has a fairly central location, in Discovery Island between Dinoland and the Tree of Life, which means you probably won’t have an incredibly long walk when you decide to head over there for lunch.

It participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a counter service credit, and can give you one of the “best bangs for your buck,” especially if you order one of the more expensive entrees. It also has a few Dining Plan snack credit items, which we’ll get to in a minute.

About a month ago, I polled a bunch of my Disney blogger buddies, asking what they thought was the best quick service restaurant in Disney World. At the time, I strictly played the role of journalist and didn’t add my own opinion into the results.

But now — having just returned from our most recent trip — I’m going to go ahead and officially cast my own vote for Flame Tree BBQ. (I should add the caveat that, sadly, I have not eaten at every quick service restaurant at Disney.)

So let’s dive right in to what Flame Tree is all about and why I love it so much:

 

What time does Flame Tree BBQ open?

It opens for lunch at 11am. and closes at various times after dinner, depending on when the park closes.

Does Flame Tree BBQ Have Indoor Seating?

Nope, no indoor seating. It’s an order kiosk with a pick-up system, which makes it sound potentially horrible — crowded, ugly, and hot.

But surprisingly, one of the reasons that I consider it a favorite is because I love the ambiance. There is a ton of outdoor seating to the side and behind the restaurant, which is not immediately apparent when you first walk up to order.

So not only is the seating nice and spacious — which is already a big plus when it comes to Disney park quick service — but it’s also shaded and very scenic. It’s a great departure from walking all over the parks or standing in line for rides, and the perfect place to just relax and recharge for a bit. Last week when we had lunch there, my oldest daughter Rachael said, “I just wanna sit here for a while,” which was just fine with me.

There is a great view of one of my very favorite rides in all of Disney World, Expedition Everest:

View of Expedition Everest from Flame Tree BBQ

View of Expedition Everest from Flame Tree BBQ

And there are always some bird friends hanging around, which I think is kind of fun. I know some people have an issue with the birds, saying that they are annoying and constantly begging for food, but in my experience they have never bothered us or caused a problem.

Bird at Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom

Our little friend hanging out nearby during our lunch

Please do NOT feed the birds or let your children feed them!

 

The Menu at Flame Tree BBQ

On our most recent visit, Robert, Ben, and I split the Ribs, Chicken and Pulled Pork Sampler, which also comes with Baked Beans and Cole Slaw. My favorite part was the Ribs, and in retrospect I almost wish I had just gotten the St. Louis Rib Dinner. (Next time!) But it was nice to have several different things to try, especially since multiple people were sharing it.

Sampler platter from Flame Tree BBQ

Sampler Platter — Ribs, chicken, pork, baked beans, and cole slaw

Rachael decided to try something a little different and get the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork.

Flame Tree BBQ baked mac and cheese pulled pork

Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork

Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom

Rachael enjoyed her BBQ Pulled Pork Mac and Cheese

 

And Rebecca enjoyed a Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich:

Pulled pork BBQ sandwich at Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom

Rebecca enjoying a pulled pork BBQ sandwich

It’s worth noting that the beans and cole slaw are part of the meals, but fries are not. None of my kids like cole slaw, so Rachael asked if she could substitute fries as her side instead.

Answer: You can’t. If you want fries, you have to order it in addition to the meal, not as a side substitution. (And then have your mother eat your cole slaw, as the case may be.)

I’ve heard that if you have some sort of food allergy that precludes you from eating the sides, you can explain that to the cast member and they may let you substitute fries without an extra charge.

Flame Tree also serves a Watermelon Salad, which I have never had, but it looks fantastic:

And I’ve never even thought to wonder about getting dessert here, because the entrees are so huge, but they do offer a Banana Maple Cake:

 

Flame Tree BBQ Allergy Menu

You can request an Allergy-Friendly Menu at Flame Tree that includes 32 entrees and 5 dessert menu items. It covers egg, dairy, milk, gluten/wheat, fish/shellfish, peanut/tree nut, and soy allergies.

Not only that, but they also have an Allergy-Friendly Kids’ Menu with 10 different meals and 2 beverages.

Flame Tree BBQ Snack Credits

If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan and for some bizarre reason you don’t want to eat at entire meal at Flame Tree, they also have three snack credit options: French Fries, Onion Rings, and the French Fries with Pulled Pork and Cheese — which, normally running almost $7 and being a ton of filling food, is quite a great value and, really, more like a meal than a snack.

French Fries With Pulled Pork and Cheese

 

You Can Use Disney’s Mobile Ordering at Flame Tree

Another plus about Flame Tree BBQ is that it is one of Disney’s quick service restaurants where you can order your food ahead of time using your phone and the My Disney Experience mobile app.

So while you’re waiting in line for a ride, even if it’s a couple hours before you want to eat, you can select “My plan,” then “Order Food,” choose what you want to eat, and pay for it using either debit or credit cards, or Disney Dining Plan credits.

Then, when you arrive at the restaurant, open the app and hit the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button. Once your food is ready, you’ll get a notification and can pick it up when you see the “Mobile Order Pick Up” sign.

How to Use Disney Mobile Ordering

Flame Tree BBQ Sauce Recipe

If reading this post has made you hungry for BBQ, but you’re at home instead of at Disney World, you can try this Flame Tree-inspired recipe:

Now let me hear from you.
Is Flame Tree BBQ one of your favorite Disney World restaurants as well? When menu items do you like — or dislike? Please share in the comments below!




Why you need to go to Flame Tree BBQ in Animal Kingdom

Why Flame Tree BBQ is one of the best values on the Disney Dining Plan

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