Got a special occasion and want to try some new dining on your next visit to Walt Disney World in a restaurant like no other on the property? Give Tiffins a try, Disney’s newest signature restaurant and part of the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in the summer of 2016.
“Tiffin” is the Indian word for a lunchbox used by travelers (also a mid-day meal), and the 252-seat restaurant in the park’s Discovery Island area is open daily for lunch and dinner with menus that takes diners to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The adjacent Nomad Lounge is a great place to relax during your park visit for a snack and beverage.
When creating Tiffins and the Nomad Lounge, Disney’s culinary and beverage professionals created a restaurant that re-imagines theme park dining as it encourages guests to explore authentic global flavors.
A detailed map within the restaurant’s entryway sets the stage for an immersive dining experience celebrating world travel, with bold artwork derived from sketches, journals and research from those who created the theme park.
All the senses are explored and turned into amazing works of art. Two of the three ‘galleries’ or dining rooms focus on Asia. Trek Gallery has 74 seats, Africa Gallery has 64 seats. The third, the 114 seat Grand Gallery pays homage to the animal species that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to protect.
The travel-inspired artwork includes a static, three-dimensional piece that features prayer flags blowing in the wind. Talk about making it realistic, a research team traveled up the high mountains of Nepal known for strong winds. The prayer flags are rarely seen hanging as they are always blowing. This portrayal of the motion is realistically captured in the display which will hang above a corner booth in the Trek Gallery. One of the cool things about the restaurant, it is no about make-believe, it is about real people and places
From the familiar to something new, the menu offers diners starters such a Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup with Basil and Peanuts (Asia/Africa) and marinated grilled octopus (Europe). Sustainable seasonal fish crudo (South America) and a salad of roasted baby beets and goat cheese with walnut granola and a sun-dried cherry vinaigrette (North America) round out international creations. Starters are priced between $10 and $16.
Entrées include Berber-Spiced Lamb Chop with Mustard Greens, Lentil Stew and Mint Chutney (Africa); Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Huitlacoche Tamale, Hominy Succotash and Red Mole Sauce (South America); Miso-glazed Black Cod with Forbidden Rice in Steamed Bok Choywith Turmeric Sauce (Asia), and Grilled Head-on Shrimp with Tomatoes, Roasted Fennel, Olives and Sea Urchin Butter Sauce (Europe). For vegetarians, the Roasted Market Vegetable Curry with Quinoa, Zucchini and Lime Chutney brings a taste of Asia. Entrees are priced between $29 to $53.
The kids’ menu includes roasted chicken, pan-seared cod and braised short ribs with seasonal vegetables and cous cous or multigrain rice, or roasted vegetables served over spaghetti squash. Kid’s meals run from $9 to $15.
Your meal comes with a complementary bread service – a Pomegranate Focaccia Bread with a mix of Pomegranate, Molasses and Olive Oil on the side. You can also order an upgraded Bread Service which includes different types of bread and sauces for $10.
Beverages focus on Africa, Asia and South America, including handcrafted cocktails and beers. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit-flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.
With a focus on South American and South African wines, the beverage program is very special, unlike any other at Disney. The program focus is on environmentality, a core value at Disney’s Animal Kingdom: producers who focus on sustainability, organic wines and bio-dynamic viticulture. Wine flights are available.
With 55 seats inside, and 46 seats in a covered outdoor area, Nomad Lounge offers a half-dozen small bites such as a vegetarian summer roll, a seared Wagyu beef skewer, honey-glazed coriander-spiced pork ribs, Indian butter-chicken wings, seasonal fish balls with
shishito peppers and house-made head cheese and chicken liver pate with chutney.
Like Tiffins, Nomad Lounge offers handcrafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American flavors, imported beers and a South American and South African wine list. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit-flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.
Tiffins is amazing! The food is delicious, fantastic service, and the restaurant is a piece of art! During the summer of 2016, they offer a Jungle Book show as a dining package. The entrees are very unique for theme park fare and beautifully presented. The ambiance is very relaxing – soothing music and low lighting with gorgeous works of art all around.
The downside, it is not cheap, and as a signature restaurant, the meals count as 2 Table Service Credits on the Disney Dining Plan. And while I would argue its not just for adventurous eaters, if you thrive only on chicken nuggets and burgers and fries, this is probably not the restaurant for you. While completely relaxing in ambiance, I can see kids falling asleep after a long hot day in the parks with the soothing sights and sounds.
Because it is a Signature Disney restaurant and the reviews have been outstanding Tiffins is becoming a must do dining experience. Be sure to make your dining reservations as soon as possible. Reserve Tiffins for your next dining trip up to 180 days out by calling Disney Dining Reservations at 407 WDW-DINE. You can also reserve online via your My Disney Experience Account.
Sometimes on vacation, you need to live a little and splurge. The food and ambiance at Tiffins make it more than just a restaurant worthy of a special occasion or vacation splurge worth saving up for. You have got to see it to believe it!
Julie Franklin is a travel agent creating family memories at Destinations In Florida, An Authorized Disney Vacation Planner. She can plan and book your customized magical vacation anywhere at no extra cost to you. As a blogger, mom and wife of a budget traveler, Julie knows how to get the most magic for you vacation. Whether thinking of heading to the parks in Orlando, cruising, an all inclusive resort or traveling anywhere, let Julie take the stress out of your vacation planning.