Restaurantosaurus Burgers & Sundaes is one of Walt Disney World’s best new counter service options, especially if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. In this restaurant review, we’ll share food photos and cover for whom this dining experience is best suited. (Updated January 20, 2020.)
Before giving this the vanilla title it has, we cycled through several “clever” titles. My favorites were “Supersaurus New Restaurant on the Disney Dining Plan” and “Restaurantosaurus Review: Bactrosaurus Burgers.” My goal was to really emphasize the Gigantoraptor quality of these burgers. (Fair warning: I spent too much time Googling “cool dinosaur names” before writing this, and if you think I won’t be putting my new knowledge to use in this post…well, you don’t know me at all.)
Another title I kicked around was “Restaurantosaurus Redemption.” That’s equally accurate, especially after our excoriating Dino-Sized Disappointment: Worst Restaurant at Walt Disney World? article from this spring. That garnered a ton of comments, with manyof you strongly disagreeing. Well, good news! We now are in complete agreement: Restaurantosaurus is one of the best counter service restaurants at Walt Disney World–but that proclamation comes with an Argentinosaurus asterisk…
January 20, 2020 Update: Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes has been extended for additional dates between now and July 2020. It’s still technically considered a test for a future dining concept at Walt Disney World, but will nonetheless be sticking around through at least mid-2020, and possibly the entire year as demand dictates.
Additionally, we can confirm that Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes still accepts the Disney Dining Plan, and it is only one counter service credit. Walt Disney World’s official site has listed conflicting info on this, but it is still only one counter service credit. As we cover in our Restaurants Not Accepting 2020 Disney Dining Plan? post, sometimes the online info is wrong at the beginning of the year. That has been the case with Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes. We’ll keep you posted if anything with the future status of Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes changes…
Another thing to note is that this is not the normal Restaurantosaurus counter service menu that we’re praising. That is still definitely not our dino. Rather, this is about the relatively new Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes (which is also called “Restaurantosaurus Family-Style Dining” by DisneyWorld.com, despite not exactly being family-style dining).
Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes is only offered at dinner, is bookable in advance, and along with the Restaurantosaurus Lounge, cordons off about half of the restaurant. Most notably, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes has a different menu consisting entirely of gourmet burgers and ice cream. Rather than using the normal Walt Disney World hockey puck “beef” patties, these use a blend of ground beef, chuck, short ribs, and brisket created by the culinary team at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs.
Currently priced at $22.99 per adult and $14.99 per child or a Disney Dining Plan counter service credit, guests at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes select a burger entree, a side dish, non-alcoholic drink, and receive a token for a build-your-own-sundae bar.
Advance Dining Reservations are accepted at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes, but not required. We booked a same-day ADR for what was otherwise a moderately busy day in October, and the reservation was totally unnecessary. We could’ve easily done it as a walk-up. In large part, that’s probably because there’s not a ton of buzz right now about this dinner…for some odd reason.
Let’s start our review with a look at the Bellusaurus burgers…
For my burger, I ordered the Pulled Pork Barbecue Burger with steak fries as my side.
This burger was perfection. The patty had all of the normal savory, juicy goodness of D-Luxe Burger, and the toppings provided texture and depth without overpowering the patty. (I might consider eating the onion rings separately with the dipping sauces.)
Sarah ordered the Plant-Based Burger with Onion Jam and Gouda.
Before ordering, we confirmed that this wasn’t the normal (disgusting bean burger) and were informed that it’s a Beyond Meat patty. Perfect. This was likewise fantastic, and while there’s a clear difference between this and the D-Luxe Burger blend of the meat patties, this is miles better than a normal Walt Disney World counter service beef patty.
For your side, you’ll absolutely want to get the steak fries or onion rings.
As with D-Luxe Burger, there are some house-made dipping sauces for these, and all four are fantastic.
Finally, you get to go to the ice cream station to receive your two scoops, and pile your bowl high with toppings to create your own ice cream sundae.
I’ve dubbed this one the “Sauroposeidon Sundae,” which is named after the tallest sauropod.
Here’s Sarah’s ice cream, which I’ve dubbed the “Saurornitholestes Sundae.” It’s named after a dinosaur about the size of a small dog (perhaps a dachshund?).
The name Saurornitholestes means lizard-bird thief, which is also apt for various unspecified reasons.
In our full review of Restaurantosaurus, we defend the theme here–despite absolutely despising Dinorama and the overly-contrived “dueling” storyline of Dinorama and the Dino Institute.
The kitschy and tacky details of Restaurantosaurus work because they are over-the-top, goofy fun, and because the expectations aren’t the same for a counter service restaurant as they are for an attraction or entire land. It has always been the menu that has failed Restaurantosaurus, not the setting.
Despite being in what’s the normal lunch dining room, ambiance at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes differs from the normal dining experience. Most notably, tables offer buckets filled with markers, crayons, Sinornithosaurus stencils, and are topped with white paper for dino-riffic doodling. The Cast Members servicing this dining room are very enthusiastic, and encouraged us to draw while awaiting our burgers.
Between that and the fun of building a sundae, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes offers up a very fun atmosphere that works really well in the normal, kitschy setting.
I’d love if the Dino Institute underground radio station run by interns were pumped in here (who doesn’t want to hear “Diggin’ in Dinoland” while digging into an ice cream sundae?!) and if a faux paleontologist wandered the restaurant make it an even higher energy experience. Or really, anything to increase the dinosaur presence.
Even as it stands, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes ranks very highly on the “fun” scale. We had an absolute blast–I enjoyed creating my “Sauroposeidon Sundae” way more than any thirty-something should, and eating it was an equally good time. From start to finish, the experience at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes was entertaining. It’s hard to articulate exactly why, but it’s a situation of the whole being more than the sum of the parts.
If we loved the experience this much, it’s easy to envision this being a top-tier meal for kids. We’re talking something that approaches character meal quality, although obviously of a very different nature. Personally, this would’ve probably been my second-most memorable meal if I were a kid–right after T-Rex Cafe at Disney Springs. Even if it doesn’t rank as highly overall for your kids, it’ll probably claim the #1 counter service spot for them.
Speaking of which, now is a good time to address pricing. As noted above, it’s one counter service credit on the Disney Dining Plan and priced at $23 per adult with no discounts available. (After tax, we paid around $50.) This high pricing instantly makes it one of the absolute best uses of a counter service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
Even with Animal Kingdom’s formidable food scene, Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes is a no-brainer if you’re on the Disney Dining Plan. In terms of meal strategy, we’d recommend Flame Tree BBQ or Satuli Canteen for lunch, followed by this for dinner.
Paying out of pocket is a different story. You could very easily spend less than $23 per person for dinner at Animal Kingdom. My new go-to has been the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork at Flame Tree BBQ (pictured below). I usually order that and a water and am good to go for $12–roughly half the cost of Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes. However, that’s not really comparable.
If we instead ordered the St. Louis Rib Dinner at Flame Tree Barbecue, the Scrooge McDuck’s Billionaire Bacon Caramel Sundae at Dino-Bite Snacks, and a Coke we’d be looking at spending $28.27 based on current prices. I’d argue the ribs at Flame Tree are superior to these burgers (as good as they are), so let’s swap that out for the beef bowl at Satuli Canteen–total cost is still $25.97.
Whether dropping that much money on a counter service meal is justifiable is a personal question, but we think the pricing is about right if using other Walt Disney World menu prices as a baseline. It’s a great way to get a D-Luxe Burger without venturing to Disney Springs, and the ice cream sundae is easily worth another $7 (at least).
In reality, though, we have to imagine that the vast majority of guests at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes will be those on the Disney Dining Plan. From that perspective, this is a total “value add.” Guests who might otherwise order a normal burger can instead essentially upgrade to this experience, which is unquestionably lower-margin for Walt Disney World. That leads us to ask a couple of questions–namely, “why are they offering this?” and “how long will it continue?”
Your guesses as to the answers of those questions are as good as ours. However, we’d bet that this is a test for a future stand-alone concept and that Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes won’t last forever. In fact, we’d be surprised if this offering made it to 2021.
With all of that said, we’d highly recommend Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes to everyone. For those on the Disney Dining Plan, we have zero hesitations–book an ADR for this immediately. For those paying out of pocket, it might be more of a splurge (in which case, “compromise” by doing that cheaper Flame Tree Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork), but it’s one that’s worth it. There might be some sticker shock at such an expensive “counter service” meal, but this is something more, with food and an experience that together justify that higher price. And we say that as a blog that doesn’t exactly have a track record of showering Restaurantosaurus with praise.
Have you dined at Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes? Which burger did you order? What did you think of the quality? How about the overall experience and atmosphere? Do you agree or disagree with our review? Could you justify dropping ~$25 per person on a counter service meal? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!