Restaurant Hakuna Matata is a quick service lunch and dinner stop located in Adventureland that offers salads, spiced meats and the infamous Hakuna Fries. Spoiler Alert: they were amazing. It’s a nice change of pace from the standard burgers and fries that seem to be overtaking what should be the world’s most delicious theme park (ahem, Paris pastries anyone?).
The Lion King takes center stage here with thatched roof ceilings covered in jungle vines and themed rooms for both Timon and Pumba, uh I mean MR. PIG (!!). If Animal Kingdom crossed the pond, well, it would actually be the Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse which bears a striking resemblance to the Tree of Life, but second to that would be Restaurant Hakuna Matata. So I guess we’ll call it Animal Kingdom Lodge-esque.
Ordering is in typical Disney quick service fashion- pick the shortest line in which to place your order, only to find out it’s actually the longest line, as the gentleman in front of you is ordering for his family of 15, all of whom are allergic different ingredients and one can’t make up their mind. We’ve all been there. Once you’ve successfully decided on your meal, pick up is at the counter.
The indoor seating area at Restaurant Hakuna Matata is extensive with three main rooms and a few small nooks if you’re looking for more privacy. This is a great option when hunger hits during peak dining hours as you’re much more likely to find a seat. But beware- the ordering area is still a jungle and it’s eat or be eaten (or in this case, never eat) at prime time. Just remember Hakuna Matata and if that doesn’t work, channel your inner Martin Lawrence:
Theming throughout is fun as chandeliers made of antlers hang from adobe style ceilings and artifacts from what one can only assume are the Pride Lands decorate the stucco white walls.
Bright tropical flowers drape over logs, woven baskets are stacked on make shift shelves and colorful carvings all add to the ambiance.
Just outside the main entrance, outdoor seating is plentiful, both shaded and not. Across the way you’ll find even more tables along the water but sometimes that also turns into a smoking section, so keep an eye out. If you’re lucky, you’ll time your al fresco dining situation just right for the African drumming circle. These guys are great- so energetic and really should not be missed regardless of where you fnd yourself at lunch time.
Despite arriving well after normal lunch time hours, it took us no less than thirty minutes to actually place our order. We were rewarded for our patience however, with a great meal coming in at less than 15 euros. Combo meals are the way to go at Disneyland Paris usually offering an entree, a side, a dessert and a beverage. We opted for the African chicken with rice and pineapple tart and of course, a side of Hakuna Fries.
The chicken was well cooked without being dry and the African sauce, while mild, had enough flavor to make it more interesting than your run of the mill theme park accoutrements. The rice was rice, but mixed with the African sauce was pretty darn tasty. The pineapple tart was decent but forgettable, as I’m finding most DLP “dessert with a combo meal” to be.
Let’s get down to business though: Hakuna Fries. You must order these. Don’t think about it, just do it. Spiced but not spicy, thick but not at all potato wedges- I feel like if a waffle fry and a potato wedge fell in love and had a tiny fry, this would be it. They are crispy, delicious and for us Americans, dip-able in ketchup! Just be sure to ask for extra sauce at the pick up counter.
Also to note: at some restaurants around Disneyland Paris they offer a free beverage coupon on the bottom of your receipt, redeemable at specific counter service locations between certain hours on the day of purchase. While we didn’t receive one this time, we have in the past so be sure not to throw away those papers!
Overall, Restaurant Hakuna Matata is a solid option for lunch or dinner, offering more unique food options than your typical quick service location and enough seating to go around. The fries don’t hurt either.