September 11th, 2011
Before we begin this article, I'd like to take a
moment to remember the men, women, children, families, Americans,
and human beings affected by the events of 10 years ago. Today we
think of not only those we lost and their families directly involved
in the tragedy in New York City, but the people affected by the
repercussions of the event: the local heroes who prevented further
tragedies and saved those in peril, the transportation industry
workforce who kept travelers safe, the brave men and women who went
to war, and so many more. We remember them today and remember what
it means to be American. Thank you.
Searching the Sites of Sunday Brunch: Flame
11 September 2011
Dining in the Disney theme parks is always more than
just satisfying hungry bellies and rumbly tumblies. The Imagineers
make every eatery, from the simple snack stands to the fun counter
service restaurants to the lavish table service restaurants, a
complete and unique dining experience. Some restaurants are themed
better than others, but each includes elements to transport you to
some other place, time, and imagination. As promised, we continue to
explore the Flame Tree Barbecue for its uniquely themed dining
environment. If you haven't read last week's (September 4th)
article or wish to be reminded of the 'Ferocious Feast at the Flame
Tree,' scroll down and read all about the delicious barbecue menu.
With the counter of this counter service restaurant
clearly visible from the walkways of Discovery Island, one may
subconsciously wonder where they are supposed to feast on the
marvelous food the restaurant has to offer. Jungle explorers and
adventurous diners alike must discover for themselves the seating
areas for Flame Tree, smartly tucked away among the great towering
trees of the jungle forests of the Animal Kingdom.
While already fully immersed in the wild jungle
atmosphere that is the Animal Kingdom theme park, it is hard to
believe one can be thrust deeper into the forest at the Flame Tree
Barbecue's dining area. Somehow, the landscaping of the area manages
to shield guests away from the high energy hustle and bustle of the
main walkways from Discovery Island to Dinoland, U.S.A. and Asia.
The dining pavilions reminded me of the covered
dining areas popular in public town parks, camp grounds, amusement
and theme parks of the latter half of the 20th century. From a
practical point of view, the Flame Tree Barbecue offers dining
pavilions with plenty of individual tables and chairs adaptable for
any size family or group, though the Flame Tree's dining areas are
all the more unique by its artistic design. To the casual guest, the
pavilions are decorated with fun and colorful animals, though the
more observant guest may notice the morbidly humorous theme of
predator and prey. With many tables scattered under the trees and
clustered by walkways, those nestled in the pavilions will get a
kick out of the seven different animal pairs, representing wild
predators from all over the world. Let's take a journey through the
Flame Tree jungle:
First, the main building, as previously described, is decorated with
Snakes and mice, mongooses and lizards, owls and rabbits, and what I
recently noticed: Bats and bugs, including moths, butterflies, and
other winged insects.
After receiving your food, further down the pathway you find a
helpful sign, indicating there's plenty of space to sit and enjoy
The lanterns along the pathway and throughout the pavilions portray
the owl and rabbit theme (though they are rarely used since the park
closes typically before sundown).
The area provides plenty of seating for those who wish to dine under
the natural canopy of trees.
For the more domestic, the wildly
decorated pavilions provide practical shade and shelter and endless
entertainment with the highly detailed woodwork decorating the
pillars and beams. The predator and prey theme can easily be
depicted with lions, tigers, and bears, though when touring the
area, I noticed Imagineeers chose less obvious animals in some
The owl and the rabbit
The snake and the mouse; This pavilion was particularly gruesome
with the wide eyed mouse practically inside the snake's mouth. This
pavilion also features a large cloth, kite like snake encircling
half of the structure as seen in the bottom photograph.
The Spider spies its insect prey!
The eagle claws the serpent.
Crocodile gobbles a fish.
The anteater anticipates an ant filled meal.
The eel consumes a crab!
Additionally, the predator prey theme is seen in
other decorative elements around the area such as this totem of
grizzly bear with fish and this lamppost of a turtle and a snail.
One of my favorite things about Flame Tree Barbecue
is the blatantly obvious postings that you should not be feeding the
wildlife that wander the area.
In addition to sparrows, ducks and squirrels, the
Walt Disney World resort is home to crows and dozens and dozens of
white ibis, those long legged white birds with very long orange
beaks. These animals wander the parks and their numbers seem to be
invasive because guests keep feeding them their food! Not only is
this dangerous interaction for the guests, but feeding animals human
food is dangerous for their health and also makes them dependent on
such food sources rather than searching for food in their natural
diets. One of the worst things I saw was a flock of sparrows picking
at a dropped piece of chicken.
Disney tries very hard to make sure guests do not
continue this horrid habit and at Flame Tree Barbecue, they make
especially extra efforts since the wild animals are so abundant.
When receiving their food, guests also get some of the Timon and
Pumbaa Safety Tips cards, specifically the one about not feeding the
The irony of this picture is that the Safety Tip is pictured in
front of a messy table with food scraps being picked on by crows.
The party sitting here left all of their trash and food waste
behind, right on the table.
As I was writing this article, I was trying to
understand the connection of the theme of the Flame Tree Barbecue
with its name. Flame Tree most likely alludes to the fact that
barbecued foods are cooked over a flame caused by firewood. Though
upon further thinking I realized that the predator prey theme fits
with the flame tree'Flames devour trees! Trees are definitely not
considered to be prey, but just as the snake engulfs a mouse or a
crocodile devours a fish, flames consume trees in forest fires or in
barbecue pits just as the predator consumes its prey.
For those less attracted for the predator/prey
decorations, the rather secluded dining area also boasts tranquil
and serene atmosphere and some terrific views of the Asia land in
the park. I'd also have to say, that for a counter service
restaurant, it has some of the best views and settings in all of the
Walt Disney World Resort.
Mickey Salutes America Image Source: