Tiffins Rivers of Light Package
On a recent agency trip to Orlando for site inspections a group of LBAC agents had dinner at Tiffins in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as part of the Rivers of Light Package. Since at least half of the seating in the theater for Rivers of Light is reserved for either dining packages or FastPasses, we do recommend having one or the other to see the show. Using a FastPass for Rivers of Light means only being able to make 2 FastPasses for attractions during the day (and with Pandora World of Avatar opening soon you will want to have full use of FastPass options), and you can’t make a new FastPass because your 3rd option would be Rivers of Light at the end of the day. So, a dining package is a great option for seeing Rivers of Light without long waits in the standby queue to hope that you get a seat.
The dining packages are offered at both Tusker House where you can have a fun character dining experience with an all-you-care-to-eat buffet, and at Tiffins where you will experience more upscale dining with a 3-course meal as part of the package (no menu exclusions) and a non-alcoholic drink. As a party of adults, we chose the Tiffins option to explore their menu.
The theming of the restaurants is beautiful and immersive, but still understated and elegant. It feels as though you are dining in a museum! The 3 dining rooms feature artifacts, sketches, architectural details and more from the Imagineers trips to Asia and Africa while designing Animal Kingdom park. The details are really amazing. We were seated in the Asian dining room—it was bright with a bank of windows looking outside. The theming of the restaurant carries through right to the menus—literally. They are leather bound and look like travel journals or artist sketchbooks.The menu itself is exotic featuring tastes from around the globe. It can be intimidating, but it was definitely delicious.
For starters, we had a variety of dishes including the bread service, the artisanal cheeses, the soup and the flash fried mussels. All were declared excellently prepared by our agents. I personally had the cheese plate and the 4 selections were delicious and well paired.
We were pleased to hear that none of the entrees were excluded from the Rivers of Light dining package which was a nice—some of the options were quite pricey. I had the Whole Fried Sustainable Fish—it was so well prepared, lightly breaded and fried and so flaky and fresh. I will admit that the accompaniments were not to my taste, but I can see where they complement the fish well. Around the table, we had the Grilled Swordfish and two orders of the Heads on Prawns (with the heads removed by request). The one service snafu during the meal is that our agents with the prawns had requested to share both the prawns and the Berkshire Pork entrée, but our server must have forgotten that detail when submitting the orders. Aside from that the service was stellar with great recommendations and attentive service.
Now it was time for dessert and most of our table selected the South American Chocolate Ganache. This was served with caramelized bananas. It was rich and delicious—the perfect ending to our meal. One agent selected the Calamansi Mousse with Mango Lava, Swiss meringue and it was also well received.
Overall the meal was a great adventure in beautiful surroundings. The food was fresh, well-prepared and definitely a departure from our normal dining at home. I would highly recommend Tiffins (especially with the Rivers of Light seating) to adults. Tusker House is probably better suited to most families to gain the character interaction in addition to the package, but don’t rule Tiffins out for families with smaller children. While the regular menu is a bit exotic, the children’s menu has kid favorites like grilled chicken, grilled beef and pasta marinara.
After our meal, we were presented with our tickets for the Rivers of Light seating. It was recommended that we arrive about 30 minutes prior to the show at the dining package entrance near the Finding Nemo the Musical theater (seating for FastPass+ enters in Asia near Expedition Everest). We noticed about an hour prior to the show that people were already seated, and if you want the very best seat you would need to go early. We did not want to spend our evening waiting on the show, however, so we waited until that 30-minute point to check-in. On our night, there were still plenty of seats available in the dining package area at that time (for the first show), but it did fill up quickly behind us. Our seats were good, but maybe not the best. We were able to see and enjoy the entire show.
The Rivers of Light Dining Packages are a great way to get to see this new and popular show—you get your meal plus the reserved seating, so it is a win-win!