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Islands of Adventure – Jurassic Park: Thunder Falls Terrace

 

Jurassic Park offers another stunningly beautiful restaurant, Thunder Falls Terrace, where the service is cafeteria style and the knifes and forks are plastic but where the food is a cut above the average. And Burger Digs offers an often-overlooked rear balcony with a great view out over the Great Inland Sea. If (heaven forbid) you have work to do while you’re in Orlando, this is a good place to do it; there are even outlets for your laptop. For the rest, there are a number of fast food options and a great outdoor bar that offers a perfect venue for people-watching.

Thunder Falls Terrace

What: Grilled cuisine with flair
Where: On your left as you enter from Toon Lagoon
Price Range: $$

This restaurant takes wonderful advantage of the Jurassic Park River Adventure, using it as both backdrop and entertainment. After you’ve taken your own harrowing journey on the ride, you can repair here, sit in air-conditioned comfort, and gaze through the picture windows at other happily terrified tourists as they emerge from the final 85-foot drop. There is an outdoor seating area that receives the cooling mist from the thundering waterfall next door. The luxurious jungle-lodge atmosphere also contributes to the experience.

There are two spacious circular dining areas under soaring conical roofs held aloft by massive log beams and dominated by a large hanging black metal chandelier with amber glass panels and cutouts of dinosaurs.
The food is casual and it’s served cafeteria style, but it is very good, with careful attention paid to both quality and presentation. The menu consists of unusually well-prepared backyard barbecue staples such as chicken, ribs, and wraps ($9 to $13). The platters are served with roasted garlic herb potatoes or yellow rice and black beans. The corn on the cob is especially nice. The corn is roasted to perfection, with the peeled-back husks adding a festive touch to the platter. Thunder Falls also dishes up a serviceable soup and two tasty entree-sized salads. The desserts include an appealing key lime cheesecake (about $4). All in all, this is the best “fast food” style restaurant in the park. With a full meal running about $17, it’s a real bargain for the quality. In addition to the usual soft drinks, beer and wine are available.

Note: This restaurant may be closed during the park’s slower periods or for private events.

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Universal Orlando 2011

 

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