Tuesday, February 2, 2016

I Conquer my Fears at Tusker House

I've mentioned it a lot, I have a fear of costumed characters. I have social anxiety. I get nervous enough interacting with people I know, who are dressed in normal clothes, and being themselves. Present someone who I don't know, dressed in a costume, and pretending to be someone else, and I'm thrown for a loop.

We decided to do one sit down breakfast at Disney during our trip. Since we weren't doing Boma this trip, we thought we'd get our African cuisine fix by eating at Tusker House's breakfast buffet.  I knew that it was a character breakfast, but decided that it was time for a challenge. 

Located in Disney's Animal Kingdom Park,the inside of Tusker House is stunning. There are so many details.

It makes you feel like you're outside in an African Market. I loved how colorful, bright, and sunny it was. 

The buffet is set in the center of the building.  The area is spacious and broken into pods so you are never stuck behind someone in a line. 

We were told by friends that we had to get the Jungle Juice. It's a mix of orange juice, guava juice, and passion fruit juice. It did not disappoint. I felt bad as our server had to keep coming back to fill our empty juice glasses. The coffee was also good, but if you go to Tusker House, you must get the Jungle Juice.  

The buffet had a nice mix of African dishes, 

and more traditional breakfast fare.

Of course, it wouldn't be a Disney buffet without Mickey waffles.

My favorite dish of the buffet was an African dish called bobotie. 

While we were filling our faces with bacon and tater tots, our server informed us that the characters would be coming around soon.

Mickey was the first to come to our table.  Perhaps he sensed my nervousness. He posed for a quick picture, and then was on his way. 

Next up was Donald.  Donald noted my anniversary button and proceeded to take my hand.  He looked at my ring, then pretended to take out a jeweler's eye glass and really search for my diamond. I don't wear a big flashy ring because it's just not me, so my ring doesn't have a lot of bling.  Donald chastised Shannon for my lack of bling, then proceeded to propose to me, promising me a much bigger diamond.  It was hilarious, and I must admit I thought for a second about taking up Donald on the offer. I assumed it meant I could live at Disney World, and lets face it, Donald's probably loaded.  I think I'll keep Shannon though.  Shannon was a mixture of amused and not amused at Donald's shenanigans. Donald melted all of my fears about interacting with characters. He was great, or she, Shannon swore Donald must have been a girl because he didn't think a guy would have noticed the size of my ring. 

Daisy came around right on the heels of Donald. She too noted our anniversary buttons, so she went and grabbed the character handler so that we could get our picture together with Daisy. Thanks Daisy, we didn't even thing of that.

By the time Goofy came around I was a pro.  

The whole experience was well worth it.  The food was yummy, the characters were fun, and our server was pleasant and attentive. There was a table caddy corner to ours that had a mom and dad with three little boys. They looked so close in age that they seemed like they could be triplets. They wore Wilderness Explorer t-shirts with little cargo shorts. I had as much fun watching them meet the characters as I had meeting them myself. Now that I know I can enjoy character meals, I can't wait for my next Disney World trip. I really want to try Crystal Palace so I can get a picture with Eeyore. 


  1. most every year, we go to the crystal palace on the morning of our first full day, the day after we arrive. with the tusker house, i have a love-hate relationship. it's got some of my favorite foods in all of disney, and the amber beer is exceptional. however, i always come out of there so stuffed that i feel guilty about it.

    our original motivation for tusker house was because, about three or so years ago, you could go there for lunch and then get preferred seating at "finding nemo: the musical." they've since stopped that, so we've stopped going. oh well.

    1. I liked Tusker House, but I don't think it will take the place of our absolute love for Boma at The Animal Kingdom Lodge. Looking forward to Crystal Palace one day, though no Disney trips on the Horizon for 2016