In the last couple of months, my family has visited Disney Springs multiple times. Back in September, we ate at Rainforest Cafe for dinner. Then, in October, we ate at T Rex for lunch. After we ate at T Rex, I noticed how undeniably similar, yet different they are. And that kind of leaves us with the question… which is better?
I’m going to split this article up into categories to make it easier to understand and take notes on. There are five different categories for each restaurant. Those categories are food, theming, service, and price. Then, I will give you my overall rating, which will range from 1 to 20, (One being the worst) Now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for… which is better? Rainforest Cafe, or T Rex?
Inside of a gigantic volcano that occasionally erupts, is the restaurant we call Rainforest Cafe. Rainforest Cafe is not only located in the Disney Springs Marketplace but there is also another location on Disney property in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, along with 25 other destinations in America.
While the typical Disney World stereotype is that the only food you can purchase on property is chicken nuggets and french fries, that is 100% false. Walt Disney World actually offers a large variety of food that adults, teens, and kids can enjoy. However, Rainforest Cafe is probably not the best destination for someone who wants high-end dining.
The menu at Rainforest Cafe is kind of a typical menu most restaurants have. So, there is nothing really special about the menu, although there is a rich chocolate brownie cake in the shape of a volcano topped with vanilla ice cream called the “Sparkling Volcano.” Just note that the cake looks a lot larger in the pictures than it does when it’s served to you, and it is kind of pricey at $17.99. Other than that, the menu consists of things like sandwiches, burgers, pasta, chicken beef and pork, seafood, and soups and salads.
When I went to Rainforest Cafe, I ordered the pulled pork burger, (in the picture above) and I have to say I thought it was delicious. Although, it was nothing special, or out of the ordinary. Everyone else at my table said the same thing; that their food was good, but no one thought it was spectacular. After all, it’s not five-star dining. Overall, I think I’d give the food and menu at Rainforest Cafe a 3 out of 5. It’s good, but it could be better.
The theming at Rainforest Cafe (in my opinion) is SPECTACULAR! That might be partly because I am an extreme animal lover, so I thought the animal animatronics were completely adorable, but I thought the whole restaurant was themed wonderfully.
There are a ton of different animal animatronics in this restaurant, and they’re all so amazing. There are gorillas, elephants, birds, jaguars, (live) fish, and a lot more. Every once in awhile the animals move and make noises. For example, the gorilla animatronic might look around and make, um… gorilla noises. There is also an animatronic alligator outside of the restaurant, which opens it’s mouth every once in a while. I think the animatronics at Rainforest Cafe are very cool, and I think that kids (and adults) who love animals would agree with me.
The incredible theming doesn’t just stop with the animatronics. Like I already said, part of the building is shaped like a volcano, which “erupts” every half hour. But, that isn’t even the most creative part of the experience. Inside the restaurant, every 22 minutes, a tropical thunderstorm occurs. Don’t worry, you don’t get rained on while you’re eating. Basically, during the thunderstorm, the whole restaurant goes dark, and the light flashes, like lightning. Also, the animatronics make a lot of extra noise and move a whole lot more. This results in a lot of screaming children and could possibly be pretty scary for little kids. So, if you are taking a little kid to Rainforest Cafe, you might want to warn them about the “thunderstorm,” so they’re not totally caught off guard when it happens.
Overall, I’d give the theming at Rainforest Cafe a 4 out of 5. I think that the theming was outstanding and creative, and almost a 5 out of 5.
I think that we all have to agree that good customer service is a big part of having a great experience at a restaurant. If you have lousy service somewhere, why would you want to come back? Luckily, Disney cast members are normally always keeping your every moment in Disney World magical. And they certainly didn’t fail us at Rainforest Cafe!
Our service at Rainforest Cafe was absolutely incredible. Maybe it was just our waitress, but I felt that the service couldn’t have been better. The waitress was so nice to us, and I didn’t feel rushed at all. We ate at Rainforest on my birthday, and at least five cast members came over and sang happy birthday to me, and gave me a cupcake. (Which was sweet, but a little embarrassing at the same time) Yes, I know they are required to do that, so I didn’t have any special treatment or anything, but it’s still a very nice touch that adds to your meal if you are celebrating your birthday. I didn’t eat very much of my cupcake, because I was full, and it was extremely sweet, and our waitress was very kind about it and checked if I enjoyed it.
Honestly, I don’t think that our service at Rainforest Cafe could have been improved one bit. We had an amazing waitress, and I left the restaurant very impressed. This category deserves a 5 out of 5 for sure.
If you are going to Disney on a small budget, Rainforest Cafe might not be the best place for you to eat it. It’s not exactly expensive, but I can’t say it’s cheap either.
The price of the pulled pork burger I had at Rainforest Cafe was $19.99. Everything on the burgers and sandwiches section is right around twenty dollars. I’m pretty sure that’s the typical price of most kinds of burgers in Disney World, other than the ones at the fancier restaurants. Most of the menu is about twenty to thirty dollars a meal, aside from the children’s menu, which is $9.79 a meal.
If you asked me if the price is worth it, I wouldn’t be sure what to tell you. Probably because I wasn’t so wonderfully thrilled with the food. Yes, it tasted good, but I’ve had better. But, keep in mind, this isn’t supposed to be a five-star dining experience. And in my opinion, what really made my experience at Rainforest Cafe is the amazing theming, and service. That was worth the price for me. (Even though I did not pay for my food, I have the general idea of what the price was)
In the end, I think that Rainforest Cafe was well worth the price of the experience, even if the food was slightly iffy. My rating for the price of Rainforest Cafe has to be a 4 out of 5.
Overall Rating For Rainforest Cafe
Rainforest Cafe was a spectacular experience for me and my family, and I would highly recommend eating there. I added up my rating, to a total of 16 out of 20! I’d say that’s a pretty great rating, considering the fact that I don’t think any restaurant in Disney World, (or anywhere for that matter) would live up to a perfect 20 out of 20. Now, let’s see what T Rex’s rating is compared to Rainforest Cafe’s!
Located across a bridge from Rainforest Cafe is the dinosaur-themed restaurant we know as, T Rex. This has to be the absolute perfect place to eat for any dinosaur lover, as there are dinosaur animatronics all over! Eating at T Rex would be more of a rare experience than Rainforest Cafe since the one in Disney Springs is the only one on Disney World property.
With practically the same menu as Rainforest Cafe, along with the same food quality, it’s only fair that I give T Rex the same rating in the food category as Rainforest Cafe. What I mean by practically the same food, is that the menu at both restaurants are very similar. In fact, there are some items on the menus with different names, even if they are pretty much the own thing. For example, the Bronto Burger at T Rex sounds extremely similar to the Rainforest Burger at Rainforest Cafe, and they are both $17.99.
Looking at T Rex’s food by itself, the menu items are pretty simple. Not bad or anything, there really is a large selection, but the menu is just a typical menu. Unlike Rainforest Cafe, they don’t have something particularly special like the Sparkling Volcano, making the T Rex menu slightly less interesting.
The quality of the food served at T Rex is the same as Rainforest Cafe in my opinion like I already said. The kids’ menu at both places offers food that could have been easily heated up in the microwave and served but would please kids. That being said, I wouldn’t suggest looking to T Rex if you want a gourmet meal or Rainforest Cafe in that matter.
The theming at T Rex is wonderful for anyone, but especially for dinosaur lovers. If you have a kid or member of your party that loves dinosaurs, they will fall in love with T Rex from the second they lay eyes on the larger than life dinosaur statue outside of the restaurant. And inside of T Rex is even more amazing than the outside! Animatronic dinosaurs and other species from dinosaur times are around most of the restaurant. But not all over. And that’s where the problem comes in for me.
Don’t get me wrong, T Rex has great theming. But there are two rooms in T Rex that make me think to myself, “Why are those even there?” One of those rooms is the ice cave. The ice cave was an interesting addition to the restaurant in my opinion. It’s just a little bit… odd. While the other rooms are themed with all sorts of things, the ice cave is just… boring. There are no animatronics in the ice cave, only fake dinosaur bones on the wall. Not to mention that the lights in the room are blue, which makes you, your family, and your food look super blue. (See the picture of my family below) Also, the lights switch to neon pink once in a while, which is super weird. I don’t particularly enjoy the ice cave, however, a lot of people like it. So, if the ice cave sounds like a nice room to eat in for your party, then you can actually request a table in that room while you are making your reservation.
The other room I’m not very fond of is the coral reef room. The coral reef room is themed to… well the coral reef. I have to admit, it is a very cool room, with live fish in tanks, and fake jellyfish hanging from the ceiling, but it doesn’t fit the restaurant very well. Honestly, I could see the coral reef room fitting Rainforest Cafe better than it fits T Rex.
During your T Rex dining experience, you are going to witness a meteor shower. Don’t worry, it’s pretty much just like the Rainforest Cafe thunderstorm. No actual meteorites involved. While the meteor shower is happening, the lights will flash, and the animatronics will move a lot, and make extra noise. If you are eating in the ice cave, the lights flash between pink and blue pretty rapidly. Again, just like the thunderstorm, the whole restaurant will get pretty loud while this is happening. (Sound effects, and screaming kids)
Overall, my rating for the theming category is three out of five. The theming at Rainforest Cafe just might be better, mainly because of the ice cave and the coral reef room. Other than that, the theming at this restaurant is great, and perfect for any dinosaur lover.
If you’ve read through this article entirely up to this point, you would know what I was extremely pleased with our service at Rainforest Cafe. So the question for this section is; Can T Rex live up to it? The answer… almost. Don’t get me wrong, I thought the service was good. But great? I don’t know. Our waitress was very nice, but she didn’t feel as magical as our waitress in Rainforest Cafe did. Maybe that’s just because she was busy. It was lunchtime, but it’s not like T Rex was so crowded, so I’m not really sure why her service wasn’t as good as Rainforest Cafes.
My rating for the service at T Rex is a 4 out of 5. Which is good of course, but I definitely don’t think it can live up to Rainforest Cafe’s service. However, all Disney cast members are amazing, and always treat guests like royalty, so you shouldn’t really ever have to worry about bad customer service at Disney.
Okay, I have to admit that T Rex’s prices are pretty much the same as Rainforest Cafe’s since they have most of the same menu items, and food quality. That makes it pretty hard to compare the prices, so I gave the price category at T Rex the same rating that I gave Rainforest Cafe. A 4 out of 5. I mean, it’s not every day that you get to eat a meal surrounded by giant animatronics!
Overall Rating For T Rex
T Rex was a super fun and immersive place to eat at! I would eat there again for sure, (although maybe not in the ice cave) and if you go, you will probably want to also! After adding up the scores for T Rex, I got the overall rating of 14 out of 20! Yes, that is 2 lower than Rainforest Cafe, but don’t worry! T Rex was still an incredible place to eat at! As I’ve already mentioned, if you have a dinosaur lover in your group, this is the perfect place for them!
So… Rainforest Cafe Is Better?
After reading this article, you might have the mindset that Rainforest Cafe is a better restaurant than T Rex. And I can’t blame you! I practically just told you that! But the thing is, Rainforest Cafe is better for me. And who knows, it might be better for you too, and then again maybe you’d prefer T Rex! If I could give you any advice to take, it would be to write down important things you learned from this article. For example, write down my opinions on the food, so you can look at the notes when you decide which place to eat at. I’d love to hear your take on what I said in the comments below this article, and who knows… maybe you’ll change my mind!
Bye for now! See you real soon!
“The only way to get what you want in this world is through hard work.”-Tiana, Princess and the Frog