On our first trip to Disney World I really wanted to plan some fun meals for my daughter. Character dining seemed to be the things kids liked to do. Everything I read on line pointed to it be a great time. So I lined up a few. On our day at Animal Kingdom I chose to reserve breakfast at the Tusker House. There were a few reasons for this. One being we are big breakfast eaters so I felt we would get our monies worth at a breakfast buffet. The second being I really wanted to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris® and I had read getting in line right when the park opened was one of the best times to go. The animals would be up and active. So since the ride is in the back of the park I thought a pre-opener breakfast reservation would be a great way to be by the ride when the park opened without having to rush through the park. Another reason I chose breakfast was the lunch and dinner menus has many exotic flavors on them. I would have been game to try them but I wasn’t so sure about my daughter. And for the amount of money I would be spending I wanted to make sure she ate.
When we arrived at the park is was pretty quiet. That’s another benefit of doing a pre-opening reservation. There are no crazy crowds or groups to contend with. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere. We gave our reservation to the cast member, they checked us off the list and then let us into the park. Since I had no clue where I was going I stopped and picked up a map. Even though I have been to Disney before that last time was in 1996 and Animal Kingdom had not been built yet. So this was all new to me.
We wandered through the park until we found our way to Africa and found Tusker House. There we checked in and were seated fairly quickly. Since our table has food allergies the Chef made an appearance. He gave us a personal tour of the buffet and discussed the ingredients in every dish to make sure we would have plenty of options. Then we picked up our plates and picked out some yummy food!
At Tusker House there is the opportunity to meet some characters. When we were there Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Daisy were all in attendance dressed in their safari garb. But my daughter was terrified of them. She has a few sensory issues and the size of them just sent her into a spin. She took her blanket and breakfast and sat under the table. I was ok with it. That is where she felt safe. I’m sure other families thought it was strange. But when you have a child with issues you learn to accommodate them and not worry about what others think. Each character has an assigned handler. When the first one came by I explained to her my daughter’s issues. She was very kind and walkied to the rest of the crew to please by pass our table and not make a fuss as the child is scared. It was great! My daughter was able to watch them from a distance and eat her breakfast. But what I wasn’t prepared for was that she took a liking to Daisy! After Daisy had passed by our table Peyton popped out and said she wanted to meet her. But they had already done our section so I wasn’t sure if it was a possibility. I asked our waitress and she said no problem. Within in moments we had Daisy at our table ready for a picture! My daughter was beaming! And this my friend is what Disney Magic is all about. They didn’t have to come back but they did.
Tusker House, Disney, Animal Kingdom and Daisy Duck have a special place in my heart for the way they treated my daughter that day.