Eating at counter service can seem intimidating and even frustrating after a bad experience. My review of the Mara is somewhat mixed. This counter service restaurant is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. AKL seems to be a cut above many other resorts with service and quality. The Mara had a lot of typical fare (burgers, fries, pizza) and some less typical fare that is more African influenced. Upon arrival, I scanned the menu board and felt less than confident in making choices myself regarding what to eat. At the time, I was coming off of a very bad Crohn’s flare so I knew that anything fried would be a bad idea (regardless of being GF and CF). At the Mara, near the ordering stations a CM was there taking orders. I spoke with her and said that I had dietary restrictions. At that point, she said she would need to get the chef and quickly went to the them. However, I ended up waiting for quite a while until a chef appeared. The chef finally came out and asked what dietary restrictions I had. I explained that I could not have Gluten or Dairy. He then offered to make me pizza (which I said had dairy in it, so I could not have. I think he didn’t hear me say dairy) and then he offered me macaroni and cheese. He also said I could have fries. I finally asked about the roast chicken which was on the menu; he said it wasn’t GF. So, he said if I wanted chicken, he had some that was OK for me to eat (had like a curry glaze on it) and asked what I wanted as a side. We finally decided upon vegetables, stir-fried. He then left to go prepare my food. He told me to go find a table and he would come bring it out. So, I met up with my Mom and she dug into her African Stew. The wait for the food wasn’t too long, and out came my meal of chicken with vegetables. I couldn’t believe how HUGE the portion was. I ended up taking it back to the room and heating it up later. It was pretty tasty and fairly healthful. Here’s a picture:
Overall, I would say the Mara was pretty good. Although I had difficulty reminding the Chef I was also CF, I still got a pretty good meal. I would recommend making sure you repeat your restrictions to the Chef who is assisting you. I would rate it a 7 out of 10.