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Review: Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

At the request of my family, I decided to venture away from my familiar dining locations and try Yak and Yeti in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Earlier in the day, we chose to move up our Advance Dining Reservation from 4:45PM until later in the evening. A quick phone call to 407-WDW-DINE and we were able to re-schedule for 7:30PM.

Atmosphere

After utilizing the single rider line at Expedition Everest, we trekked to Asia’s Yak & Yeti and were one of the last parties seated for the evening. (Isn’t Animal Kingdom awesome in the dark?!)

Expedition Everest at night

Expedition Everest at night

Upon arrival, the upper level was closed off, but the lower dining rooms were still bustling.

Yak sign

At first, we were led to a table right outside the kitchen and nearby the elevator. It was so loud that we couldn’t enjoy our conversation and quickly asked to be seated in a quieter spot.

Decor in Yak & Yeti

Decor in Yak & Yeti

In the next interior room, we settled at a table that was conducive to dinner conversation and also enabled us to enjoy the restaurant’s decor. (Big kudos to the hostess that assured us that she wasn’t a fan of tables near the kitchen and completely understood our request.)

Dining Room

Dining Room

Statue

Statue

Our waiter was very informative and fun. We asked questions about how the new My Magic+ payment system was working for the staff. He shared his frustration with weak wi-fi connections; sometimes he has to move around the restaurant to find a better signal!

Reception Area

Reception Area

He also indicated that it’s more difficult taking Disney Dining Plan credits with the new system; although he felt it was much easier to deal with customers paying with their room accounts. The Cast Members at this restaurant were extremely friendly!

Dining rooms at closing time

Dining rooms at closing time

Bar at Yak & Yeti

Bar at Yak & Yeti

Since I love themed restaurants, I was anxious to take in the detail within the walls of this Asian hideaway. The exotic menu foreshadowed the unique dishes we’d find inside the booklet.

Look inside for exotic dishes

Look inside for exotic dishes

While chopsticks were added to our tabletop, we stuck with our silverware skills!

Chopsticks

Chopsticks

Eats

Already fans of the Crispy Honey Chicken served at Anandapur Local Food Cafe (Yak & Yeti counter-service), hubby and son confidently put in their wok-based order. Made with tempura chicken, broccoli, carrots, and honey sauce, this dish did not disappoint.

Mr. 13 ate heartily (including the brown rice) although he pushed his broccoli to the side. Both agreed that the rice was cooked well, chicken was very tender, and the honey sauce had just the right amount of sweetness.

Crispy Honey Chicken

Crispy Honey Chicken

All three of us chose the less aromatic brown rice over the floral scented Jasmine rice.

With Tempura chicken, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, and pineapple, the Sweet and Sour Chicken caught my eye; and I quickly realized that I had made the right choice. The dish was coated with just the right amount of sauce allowing for the flavors of the pineapple and bell peppers to come through as well. Not only would I order this entree again, I’m craving it right now!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken

After relishing my main dish, I had to opt out of dessert. However, I did taste-test the choices (Mango Pie and Chocolate Cake) made by my husband and son. Both were delicious; the Mango Pie was memorable! Next time, I’ll pace myself so I can dig into my very own piece of Mango Pie. Sigh.

I was really looking forward to the Mango Pie. First, I L.O.V.E. any mango-flavored beverages or desserts. This pie was a stand-out because the mango pureed filling was smooth and creamy, but not too heavy.

Refreshing Mango Pie

Refreshing Mango Pie

And as a strong believer that a pie is only as good as its crust; this shortbread crust was delightfully soft, and not wet or overly crisp. The lightness suited the fruit flavor, and the whipped cream was delectably fresh and airy. Oh, the mango pie then delivered another favorite flavor — raspberry — in the drizzled sauce!!

Get the Mango Pie

Get the Mango Pie

Intrigued by more favorite flavors — chocolate and raspberry — my son made a selection that I was also interested in trying. This was a chocolate pudding cake with raspberry sauce.

Beautiful presentation

Beautiful presentation

It was very rich and will certainly take the edge off any chocolate cravings. I liked the added raspberry drizzle. Still, this didn’t even come close to the unique taste of the mango pie. Sorry, chocolate cake, I usually adore you. ;)

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Chocolate Pudding Cake

Mr. 13 attacked the cake with enthusiasm and asked if he could lick the plate clean. Um, no. He would order this dessert again.

Finally, we were delivered our Fortune Cookies with mine stating “You love life very much.” So true.

Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

Overall

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Yak and Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Despite the initial seating error (do not sit my family near the kitchen!), the waitstaff was friendly and attentive. I actually felt a more welcoming vibe here than most restaurants that we dined at during our week-long visit to Walt Disney World. This was impressive considering that I had changed our reservation time earlier in the day and we were now dining near closing time.

While the decor and staff were wonderful, the overall applause goes to the well-presented food with refreshing flavors!

What is your favorite dish at Yak & Yeti? If I enjoyed Yak & Yeti, where else at WDW should I try dining? Thanks for sharing your thoughts in the comments below!

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24 Comments

  1. Kev says:

    Love the Yak and Yeti, and definitely a candidate for the best theme park restaurant theme.
    The detailing is astonishing and although I’ve never been to Asia, it certainly seems to be my idea of ‘realistic’.
    The kids menu is a little different than the usual disney offerings and that can either work for or against, but the quality of all menu items is much higher than average.
    My only wish, would be that the menu items were less ‘Chinese’ and more ‘Indian’ in style, but, this definitely is one of our family favorites!

  2. Bumlets1 says:

    I had the crispy duck and it was amazing. My parents both got the ribs and said it was their favorite main dish of the week.

  3. WookieeGunner says:

    Yak and Yeti is one of my favorite restaurants at WDW. Next time try the Glacier Water. It’s non-alcoholic and to die for.

  4. Andy says:

    I’m really looking forward to this place. We’ve got reservations for lunch on the first day of our vacation in September. It seems to get less publicity than other restaurants, but what I do read is favorable. We are determined to try all the most exotic places.

  5. Kelly D says:

    One of my best WDW meals ever was at Yak & Yeti. Loved the lettuce cups and am still craving the tamarind chicken 3 years later. My daughter had an egg allergy at the time of our visit, and while all the chefs were accommodating throughout WDW, the Y & Y chef blew our minds. She came to the table, chatted at length with my 3 year old about her favorite foods and returned, personally, with a gorgeous, egg-free, chicken fried rice filled with my daughter’s favorite veggies. We still remember that meal as the most food my child has ever eaten in one sitting. Add to that the thorough and interesting theming and…well, I am obviously a fan. We skipped Y & Y during last year’ strip to make room for a character lunch at Tusker House. We will not repeat that mistake in the future.

  6. Hannah says:

    We have eaten here 3 times and loved it every time. The skirt steak and shrimp are one of the best meals I have ever had. I have tried the Mango pie and liked it but now that I have had the fried wonton and pineapple dessert, I could never have anything else.

  7. Essie says:

    I love this place and have eaten here twice. The first time was the most magical as I actually felt like I was traveling in some exotic location; the theming is fantastic and very realistic. The food was very good both times and we enjoyed our meals. The mango pie was heavenly. Great review, Kim!

  8. I agree with Hannah– the cream cheese wontons with pineapple are outstanding. I’ve never had a bad meal here. Also, we were told (not sure if it’s true) that the restaurant features the largest collection of authentic Tibetan art and artifacts outside Tibet.

  9. Sarah says:

    We love Yak and Yeti! I’ve only been there once, but I have a number of friends and family that have gone as well. I don’t think I’ve heard of anyone I know having a bad meal there. The restaurant is beautiful, and it helps I love this type of food anyway. I got the duck when I was there, and it- as well as the rice and veggies- was delicious. I also had the chocolate cake, and while it was yummy it’s not something I’d go out of my way for. My mom had the wonton dessert and thought it was to die for. I’ll definitely be going for that when I return there later this year.

    I’m happy to see yet another great review of the place. You don’t hear it talked about as often as some other Disney restaurants, but it’s definitely one that I’ll visit whenever I make it to the area.

  10. Jamie says:

    A point for vegetarians:

    I recently went to the Y&Y for the second time (the first time was just to get out of the rain and have beers and rice) and was a bit disappointed at the lack of vegetarian entrees listed on the menu. While we waited, I asked the bar tender if there was a “special” vegetarian menu. (I came across one once in Epcot’s Mexico). Turns out, they’ll substitute tofu for the chicken/beef/seafood in nearly every entree. I had the Crispy Honey [Tofu] and it was AMAZING.

  11. Charlotte says:

    I went in with very high expectations. I love all Asian food and was excited for something new and extraordinary. Unfortunately, I was left flat. All the typical “Chinese” food dishes at Disney prices. They do not accept Tables in Wonderland which was also disappointing. The food was good and the staff was wonderful, don’t get me wrong. I was just hoping for something new.

  12. Sandra says:

    Jamie, useful information for those of us who eat vegetarian. We have not been happy with the meals at the CS; after three tries, my husband said “no more.” (He does like the Yak Attack, however.) Maybe we can consider the TS place if we can get subs for the meat and some more promising dishes.

  13. Kathy Saint says:

    We loved Yak & Yeti! If you want to sit upstairs by the windows, get the first reservations of the day (ours were at 11:00am) and sign in early… we were the second to be seated and had fantastic seating right by the windows on the 2nd floor.

    Also, try the fried wontons! Fabulous!

  14. Liz says:

    Love Y & Y, my favorite all time is the Kobi beef burger. Along with several of the appetizers.

  15. Mark says:

    Can’t really cast my vote for the this place. Had a perfectly acceptable meal here, but nothing that wants to make us go back. Actually like the fast food place next door better.

  16. Katie says:

    I felt that there was nothing truly special about this restaurant. I did like the authentic decor but the food was over priced and it was like eating out for Chinese. I prefer the quick service restaurants in AK over this place any day.

  17. Terri says:

    I have eaten at Yak & Yeti’s only once, but it just so happens that the chef is a long-time friend of mine. The Kobe burger is by far the best burger you’ll ever eat in your life!!! I personally would never pay that much for a burger, fries, & slaw, but since he picked up the check, it made the experience that much better! :) We had the seared Ahi tuna for an appetizer & the donuts for dessert. Both were very good, but with the amount of food that accompanies the entrée, I could have done without the appetizer. I’ve tried the mango pie…not a fan. I think I would like to try the chocolate cake next time around. Normally when going to a theme park, I would choose a quicker, cheaper lunch option, but Yak & Yeti’s is definitely worth the time & money!!!

  18. jean says:

    Any ribs that my son now has are compared to those he had at Yak & Yeti last year…and nothing has topped it. My husband and I agree. My daughter loved the honey chicken as well.

    When planning this year’s trip, I asked what restaurants everyone wanted to go to – everyone said Yak & Yeti first. They are actually part of the Landry chain and I called the restaurant directly to confirm they take the Landry Gift cards. I also joined the Landry membership to get the discounts offered. Through my Citibank Citi Deals I bought a discounted gift card. Saving at Disney always helps and its even better when its at a restaurant everyone enjoys.

  19. Edward says:

    The Kobe burger is the best hamburger ever made. I found out that it is a creation by Chef Faithy (the executive chef at Y&Y). I have tried all different types of hamburgers all over the world and this by far stands out as the best. I have tried many other dishes on the menu, they are all great and this is a must not miss place to eat.

  20. Caitlin says:

    We got a reservation at Yak & Yeti on a whim this fall, and were very pleasantly surprised by how good it was! My husband got the crispy duck and I had the honey chicken. We both had the fried wontons for dessert, and it’s one of the only desserts from that trip that we still talk about! It was amazing and such a pleasant surprise.

  21. Kim says:

    Kev and Bumlets1 — thanks for sharing!

    WookieGunner — I will definitely try the Glacier Water. Sounds delish!

    Andy — enjoy your September ressie!

    Kelly D — I’m thrilled to hear about your special diet experience at Yak & Yeti.

  22. Kim says:

    Hannah – I’ll have to get two desserts next time. In the name of research, right?! ;)

    Essie – Thanks!

    Sherri – The artifacts are amazing. I’ll definitely look more closely at them next time. Wow!

    Sarah – It’s a hidden gem!

    Jamie – Thanks for sharing your first-hand vegetarian experience! This kind of info is invaluable for guests with special diets.

  23. Kim says:

    Charlotte – Sorry to hear that your experience wasn’t fantastic. Your opinion will be helpful to other guests looking for an outstanding Chinese dining experience.

    Sandra – Sounds like Yak & Yeti may be worth a try!

    Kathy Saint – Appreciate the tip on second floor seating. :)

    Liz – I’ll have to tell my husband about that burger. Thanks!

    Mark – Good point; many guests love the quick service option.

  24. Kim says:

    Katie – The quick service restaurants at Animal Kingdom are unique and a great option!

    Terri – Thanks for sharing your personal experience. Kudos to the Chef!

    Jean – Good to know about the Landry’s gift cards! :)

    Edward – Wow. That Kobe Burger must be outstanding. Thanks for sharing your burger experience!

    Caitlin – I’m just going to have to get that wonton dessert next time. Yum!

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