60 Second Review – OKAY, if you must, but keep your (adult) expectations low.
There’s no question about it – the RainForest Cafe is a sensory overload experience, especially if you’ve already spent the day with a couple of kids. While, amazingly, you will see couples out on what looks to be a date, this is clearly a better place for the under 12 crowd.
After you make your way through the extensive gift shop (prepare to allow for one toy per visit or suffer the consequences), you travel through exotic fish tanks and then into the main restaurant. There, to the amazement of little ones, are animated gorillas, elephants, and snakes in a very leafy tropical environment. Every 30 minutes, a simulated tropical storm passes through with lightning and thunder.
- Lots of stuff for kids to look at, great activity book/menu
- Good fries, pizza, house salad; kids love the mini-hotdogs
- Fairly reasonable, price-wise, but avoid the “Volcano” dessert if you want to save $13
- Much of the food underwhelming, fried, and processed
- Very loud – a bad choice when grandma comes to town unless she likes it like that
- Very little kids will be frightened by the 10-foot long python and the animated animals
- Stay with the hard-to-mess-up entrees, like salads and pizza unless you like ballpark-style food
- Avoid a seat right next to the pool or waterfall, unless you think you can handle the smell of chlorine throughout your meal
- Spring for the lightning glass – only $2.95 for kids size, filled with soda (or something less sugary). The kids will love it and maybe you can get them to take the glass rather than something from the gift shop.
Locations in touristy areas in San Francisco, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Nashville, Orlando, and Chicago.
– Paul Banas