It’s the story that we’re continuing to watch: Disney’s Animal Kingdom is undergoing major changes!
And you may think that the updates are just relegated to attractions as the park transitions from a daytime-only to an all-day destination. But it only makes sense that more people staying longer will mean that they’ll need to eat!
While we look forward to brand new spots, like Tiffins Restaurant and the Nomad Lounge, we’re also seeing lots of menu updates to existing favorites. Today, we throw the spotlight on Pizzafari!
You’ll find Pizzafari en route to Africa on Discovery Island. The counter service restaurant offers mostly inside seating, which is always a major plus when trying to beat the heat.
Though the outside has been refurbished to reflect the more natural, earthy colors that are now prevalent around Discovery Island, the inside seating areas remain bright, colorful, and whimsical.
Throughout the restaurant you’ll find differently themed dining rooms in addition to mural-ed hallways.
Colors are bold and cheery, and add a really great dimension to this quick service spot.
Be sure to look up as well! I love these cool bats that seem to be sleeping overhead in a room dedicated to “upside down” animals.
Back in the ordering area, you’ll spy another one of my favorite murals. A colorful peacock holds court here, and butterflies stretch up all the way to the high ceiling.
While awaiting your food, check out the back wall of the kitchen as well! You’ll see that the pizza ovens are adorned with more underwater scenes depicted in mosaic tile.
There’s so much to see everywhere you turn! But now it’s time to get down to the business at hand: eating.
So — of course Pizzafari still offers a Pizza-heavy menu, with some additional Italian-American options. You’ll still find plenty of Pies here, including Cheese and Pepperoni as well as Mediterranean and Meat Lover’s options. They also make great use of those pizza ovens by offering a Baked Pasta Bolognese.
But a new food item that caught our eye is the Shrimp Flatbread! (At present, this is the only flatbread on the menu; the rest of the items in this genre are still designated as pizzas.)
It comes with a side of Antipasto Salad, full of Roasted Veggies and Marinated Cheese.
The flatbread itself is really colorful and fresh-looking. Clearly, it was prepared to order.
The bread has a great texture, both crispy and flakey.
The Roasted Shrimp are scattered on top with the other Salad-type ingredients. The shrimp themselves were large and well-seasoned.
The Vegetables included Tomatoes, Onions, Red Peppers, and Arugula.
Beneath the toppings, the flatbread itself offered a layer of melted Mozzarella topped with Alfredo Sauce and Pesto. All three combined to be a perfect flavor match for the seasoned shrimp.
In addition to looking pretty, it was quite good. Given that Pizzafari’s pizza hasn’t always been my favorite, I was delighted to see this pizza-salad hybrid flatbread option. I hope they add more!
Another beautiful addition to the menu is the Heart of Romaine Salad. While a Caesar Salad is nothing new on the Pizzafari menu, this new iteration featuring an entire Heart of Romaine sliced down the middle is a dressed up version. You can choose from Chicken or Shrimp to top your salad. Since the shrimp is new to the menu, that was my choice.
Again, I was struck by the presentation of the salad. This is another really attractive plate, especially for a counter service joint.
The salad is topped with Roasted Shrimp and a tangy, creamy Caesar Dressing.
You’ll also find generous helpings of shredded Parmesan Cheese and Croutons.
But entrees weren’t the only new items we spotted. There were also a couple of new sides to check out.
First up, Pizzafari now offers Tomato Basil Soup.
This soup is a total no-brainer! We all know that Disney makes some incredible Tomato Basil Soup, so I’m happy whenever it pops up on a menu. And with such a big indoor eating area, Pizzafari is totally a soup-friendly spot!
The soup comes with packages of crackers, but you’re gonna wanna trade them for the next item I’m about to show you.
Check out the upgraded Garlic Knots! Still available as a snack credit, you get large, delicious garlic knots (there were 6 in my order), served with a side of Marinara Sauce for dipping.
Up close, you can see that the bread is generously coated with Olive Oil and a combo of Herbs, Garlic, and shredded Cheese.
Inside, the bread texture is tender and fluffy.
They are perfectly paired with the Tomato Basil Soup!
But you also have another new option: Garlic Butter Dipping Sauce. Yes. You read that right. Regardless of what you order, it’s going to run you an extra buck. But it is WELL worth it, especially when you’re dunking Garlic Knots.
Having the two sauces makes this a great item to share as a simple pre-meal appetizer for your whole table!
Pizzafari hasn’t always been my go-to option in Animal Kingdom. In fact, it was usually my last choice, and I only ate there because I knew I had to review it for the blog. So to be able to share that there are a few updates to the menu that make it not the debacle that it used to be makes me pretty excited.
The Heart of Romaine Salad, topped with either Chicken or Shrimp, is my favorite salad option when I’m going with a park counter service spot. And the generous portion sizes here also mean that you aren’t going to leave hungry.
I’ve got to hand it to Pizzafari: everything I ate both looked beautiful and tasted fresh and fantastic. While I hope to see more flatbread options in the future, I still think it’s safe to say that, with this menu refresh, they’ve definitely upped their game a bit.
Will be trying one of the new items available at Pizzafari? Let us know in the comments below!