Review: New Breakfast Items at Animal Kingdom’s Pizzafari and Dawa Bar

UPDATE: Please note that as of mid-June 2015, Pizzafari is no longer serving breakfast. 

I think the start of the day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is something pretty special.

Since the entryway intentionally helps you meander a bit through the tree-lined pathways, there is an air of peacefulness about it you just don’t find in the other parks. And If you do find yourself here in the early morning hours, you’ll need sustenance to help energize you for a full day of touring.

New Breakfast Menu at Pizzafari

Pizzafari in Discovery Island (heading on the pathway towards Africa) is one of the only places that offers a hot breakfast in the park. In the past (and as recently as our last visit in June), we were unimpressed — to say the least — with Pizzafari’s breakfast options.

But the morning menu recently underwent a refresh, so we were interested to give the new offerings a try.

Pizzafari sign

Pizzafari sign

Atmosphere

Yes, we’re here to check out the new menu. But it’s practically impossible to walk into Pizzafari and not take some time immediately to notice and enjoy the brightly colored artwork that covers pretty much every inch of the place!  Below are just a few of my favorite murals (and this barely scratches the surface).

Butterfly mural in ordering area

Butterfly mural in ordering area

Pizzafari mural

Pizzafari mural

Pizzafari murals

Pizzafari murals

Pizzafari mural

Pizzafari mural

You can learn a little more about the themeing of each room by checking out one of our earlier Pizzafari reviews.

I keep promising myself that one day I’ll take the time to conduct a full-on Hidden Mickey search here. It’s gotta be packed to the brim! But here is a teeny glimpse of one in the meantime…

Turtle mural

Turtle mural

Hidden Mickey on bottom left of the shell

Hidden Mickey on bottom left of the shell

The wall paintings are so bright and vivid that it’s almost easy to miss some of the other details, from the small carvings on the rafters in the individual rooms to creatures lining some of the walls.

Creatures on the ceiling

Creatures on the ceiling

Creature close-up!

Creature close-up!

Spider web

Spider web in screened outdoor seating area

Fans of Disney details know the rules: look up!

Look up!

Look up!

Bat ceiling

Bat ceiling

And down!

Main hallway

Main hallway

Snake on the floor

Snake on the floor

And don’t forget your chair ;)…

Pizzafari chair

Pizzafari chair

…especially since it’s finally time to sit down and eat!

Eats

The refreshed breakfast menu adds a few new choices joining some long-standing items. The new Breakfast Burrito, Breakfast Croissant, and Ancient Grain Hot Cereal find their place among classics like the Bounty Platter and a few smaller breakfast options like cold cereal and toasted bagels.

Outdoor sign

Outdoor sign

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

We thought we’d give all three new arrivals a try!

Breakfast Croissant, Ancient Hot Grain Cereal, and Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Croissant, Ancient Hot Grain Cereal, and Breakfast Burrito

The Ancient Hot Grain Cereal looks like a simple oatmeal, but is actually aninteresting mix that supplements the oatmeal with barley and quinoa, all topped with a salted caramel crumble.

Ancient Hot Grain Cereal

Ancient Hot Grain Cereal

It is dense like a pure oatmeal, but the creamy base as well as the texture variety from the quinoa lent a nice lightness to it. That said, it is completely filling – I think you could go on this one easily until lunchtime.

The base itself has a creamy, milky taste, but the burst of flavor really comes from the salted caramel crumble on top. The topping, including the caramelized sugar, helped pick up on the cinnamon spice in the cereal blend. It gave the base a nice, not-overly-sweet boost, and my only request for a change would be some more of that topping to disperse further throughout the bowl.

Ancient Hot Grain Cereal

Ancient Hot Grain Cereal

The Breakfast Burrito offers the most standard fare of the new items: the tortilla is filled with scrambled eggs, sausage, peppers, cheese, and salsa. The portion is pretty good!

Breakfast Burrito

Breakfast Burrito

The bits of red, yellow, and green pepper raised and complemented the fennel and spice of the sausage enough to make it interesting and flavorful. My two critiques here would be that I didn’t notice very much cheese, and my friend and I both noticed that the tortilla itself was, unfortunately, stale or overcooked at the ends (either way, it was hard).

Breakfast Burrito cross-section

Breakfast Burrito cross-section

The Breakfast Croissant has a lot more going on than the name implies. Provolone cheese and egg whites are topped with spinach and a vegetable chutney. The croissant itself is a multi-grain, and it comes with a side of breakfast potatoes.

Breakfast Croissant with side of Breakfast Potatoes

Breakfast Croissant with side of Breakfast Potatoes

Breakfast Croissant

Breakfast Croissant

The provolone and egg whites come together in a delicious melty-cheesy blend, and I liked the choice of the more mild flavor of provolone (over, say, a cheddar), which worked well with the multi-grain.

Breakfast Croissant cross-section

Breakfast Croissant cross-section

Melted cheese

Melted cheese

But what really made this dish unique was the vegetable chutney, which included onions and yellow, red, and green peppers along with bits of cranberry and golden raisins for a sweet, tart, and spicy mix. Even though the multi-grain croissant had a nice flavor (less buttery than a traditional croissant with a focus on the grains) and made a fine sandwich bread, I ended up eating a bit of the base alone with the chutney almost like a brie.

Provolone and egg white base topped with vegetable chutney

Provolone and egg white base topped with vegetable chutney

And I have to give a mention to the updated breakfast potatoes – shredded potatoes and more cheese (this time, cheddar) cooked together with a nice helping of black pepper. Yum! Much better than the old version.

Breakfast potatoes

Breakfast potatoes

Breakfast potatoes

Breakfast potatoes

New Bloody Mary Menu at Dawa Bar

Even though we’re spending the morning in Discovery Island, you may be interested to know about another new addition to Animal Kingdom morning options: the new Bloody Mary menu available from 9:00 – 11:00 am at the Dawa Bar in Africa.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

Check out the various twists of the Discovery Island Bloody Mary, Dawa Bloody Mary, Asian Bloody Mary, and the African Bloody Mary!

Bloody Mary menu

Bloody Mary menu

Dawa-Bloody-Marys-640x428

© Disney

Have any Bloody Mary fans had a chance to try any of these variations? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Overall

Even though pizza is clearly the headliner at Pizzafari, I personally prefer this spot for breakfast, especially in light of the new additions to the breakfast menu. There are enough familiar options to appeal to those who prefer more traditional breakfast items, along with some more creative dishes for those who like to change it up.

Add to that the fact that many guests have breakfast before entering the parks, and you get to enjoy a beautiful atmosphere in a restaurant that is often largely empty until lunchtime. Not a bad way to start your day at Animal Kingdom at all!

Which new breakfast item would you like to try at Pizzafari? Please let us know with a comment!

Comments

  1. says

    Oh my goodness! Those potatoes look so yummy! Look at the crispy bits around the edges! As for the burrito, the eggs look spongy. I guess that is standard. The croissant looks good though. Egg whites aren’t as bland as everyone says they are, but even if you do think so, all of these delicious looking toppings will certainly add a ton of flavor!

  2. says

    I tried the Breakfast Croissant a couple of weeks ago, and while I had my suspicions about the perfectly round egg bits, the sandwich as a whole… was quite good. The breakfast potatoes were simply… awesome. That was my real foodie take-away memory from that morning’s breakfast… the “breakfast potatoes”. The only thing I would have changed was, the insides needed to be cooked just a tiny bit more. I can see from the photo that your potato stack was shorter than the one I received a few weeks ago, so maybe that’s the fix… increase the diameter, reduce the height, bake it for the same about of time.

  3. Dawn says

    Why did I not notice the Bloody Marys when I was there a couple weeks ago?! I would have been all over those, dang it.

  4. Essie says

    I think the croissant with the melted cheese looks quite nice and the potatoes that accompany it look like a nice bonus.

  5. Galloping Gourmand says

    My general reaction to Pizzafari has always been “Oh. Pizzafari. Keep walking.” Pizza and quick serve breakfasts in the parks are not something Disney does all that well. I may not be at all interested in this restaurant but I’m glad to see that better quick serve breakfasts are being added to the parks. I see so many people in line at the bus stop gulping down food because they got up too late, or just skipping it altogether. Better breakfast options allow people to get to the parks and still be able to have something to start the day.

  6. Misti says

    My family & I found this little breakfast gem on our last trip in June. The food was great and it did feel good to not have to get up, rush to eat, and get in line for the bus before the rest of the hotel guests. It was a peaceful place to relax and finalize plans before hitting the rest of the park.

  7. Sandra says

    We’ve enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at Pizzafari several times. It is never crowded in the morning and the theming is so fun to explore. However, my husband has his eye on the Dawa Bloody Mary, so we may be toting something from the bakery window over to the bar for our next “breakfast.”

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