My Aunt, Kate, Josh and I traveled to the Rain Forest Café in Burlington for a wild safari dining experience in a wild jungle setting. This Rain Forest Café is owned and operated by Landry’s Restaurants Inc., the same owner of Rain Forest Café at Walt Disney World which is my all time favorite restaurant. I love coming here for I feel like I am back in Disney World and I am on a wild safari while I dine.
You’ll have no problem entering for it is an open entrance from inside the Burlington Mall. The entrance first leads you into a gift shop. I found it difficult to wheel my wheelchair inside this gift shop because the merchandise is too cluttered, leaving very little room to wheel. The cashier service counter is too high and unreachable for me so if you decide to purchase a souvenir you will need some help with completing your transaction.
After traveling through the gift shop, my friends and I were warmly greeted by a hostess who took us to our table. I did find it a very difficult to wheel my chair to our table because the tables are set too close together. An employee had to move a few tables for me to access our table. Once seated, I was pleased to see that the table was of a perfect height for my chair.
When you first enter the restaurant you can’t help but become captivated by the remarkable wild jungle decor. If you are visually impaired, you may have a problem seeing the menu for it is very dark inside with the lights dimmed down low, but occasionally the lights come on and everything comes to life. The lights begin to flash like lightening as though you’re in a storm and the animals sound and move. So, cool! You’ll see a gorilla pounding his chest while lurching in the bushes, a huge elephant, exotic birds, butterflies and exotic fish in a large aquarium. You’ll also hear many loud sounds of wild animals along with very loud sounds of thunder. We were seated at a table by the waterfall which made me feel like I was in a real rain forest.
I must warn you that it is very LOUD and impossible to have a conversation with friends.
The menu has a variety dishes with unique names such as Leaping Lizard Lettuce Wraps, Jungle Chops and Congo Catfish Plate and a Volcano desert. My friends and I found the prices to be ridiculously expensive because the quality and portion of the food served was only average. My aunt treated my friends and me. I ordered a hamburger that cost $9.99 and an extra $2.00 was added because I asked for an ounce of barbecue sauce! Josh, my friend ordered Fish & Chips which was priced at $14.99. It was a small portion and not fresh fish and he said it tasted like frozen fish patties. All side dishes such as vegetables french fires or potatos are at an additional cost. Just one steak with no side dishes is priced at $25! And sodas are $2.99 with no refills!
My friends and I found our waitress to be very rude and rushed. She didn’t have the time to listen to me place my order so my aunt told her my choice. We did notice that other service staff appeared friendly so maybe our waitress was just having a bad day.
The restrooms are partially wheelchair accessible. The handicap stall is very large with plenty of room to maneuver inside. The ADA required safety grab bars are located at a perfect height on the side and rear wall of the toilet. I found the accessible sink to be of a perfect height for my wheelchair but it is not very accessible. There is a wooden casing around the pipes underneath which blocked full access. I could reach the automatic hand drier but couldn’t reach the soap dispenser because it was set too far back
I give the Rain Forest Cafe a TWO STARS for wheelchair accessibility. In order to earn the other Three Stars, they would need to place more room between the cluttered merchandise in the gift shop; lower the cashier service counter in the gift shop to a wheelchair accessible height; spread out the tables further apart in the dining room so a wheelchair can pass; increase the lighting inside the restaurant; extend one of the restroom sinks out so that a person in a wheelchair can access a sink and place the soap dispenser in a reachable location on the restroom wall. I would also suggest that they rethink the prices they charge and trained all their service staff to be respectful to ALL customers.