DFB Reader Questions Answered: Where Can I Get a Free Counter Service Refill in the Parks?

We’re tackling another question from the DFB Reader mailbag today! Our reader asks:

Which counter service locations in Walt Disney World have self serve kiosks offering free refills?

This is an especially good question from a budget perspective. Since the Resort Refillable Mugs can’t be used in the parks, you might want to know where you can go to get more than one drink from the soda fountain. Let’s check out a couple of spots where you can grab a drink when you’re extra thirsty.

Disney Counter-Service Halloween Drink Cup

Just note: you do need to purchase a drink from these locations before filling up your cup again and again! Also, our DFB team members have checked with cast members at each location to confirm that refills are, indeed, allowed during your meal at the restaurant. [Read more…]

Recipe: Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad from Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We have a recipe for the perfect, cool-you-down side dish from one of Disney’s newest dining spots.

"It Is Hot Today"

“It Is Hot Today”

Harambe Market, the new counter service food court-style walk up eatery at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, features a variety of hearty main dishes and interesting sides. The focus is on the traditional, complex use of herbs and spices in African cuisine.

Harambe Market

Harambe Market

If you’re looking for something a little out of the ordinary to take to a summer picnic, this fresh salad of Chickpeas, Cucumber, and Tomato comes together in a snap and requires only minutes of cooking. At Harambe Market, the salad is served with the Dreamy Spice-rubbed Karubi Ribs, but it would be pair nicely with any meat. Or it would make a hearty, vegetarian entree on its own.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Be prepared to hunt down a few exotic ingredients, and give it time to marinate so that the flavors mix and deepen.

Chickpea, Cucumber, and Tomato Salad

Harambe Marketplace at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Serves 8 as a side dish or appetizer

Ingredients: [Read more…]

Review: New Salads and Beverages at Animal Kingdom’s Gardens Kiosk

Just a couple weeks ago, we went on a trek that took us all over Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the recently refurbished Flame Tree Barbecue as well as the various locations that were serving Flame Tree dishes while the popular restaurant was closed.

That included the Gardens Kiosk, which was previously known as the spot to find allergy-friendly snacks and information regarding dining with special diets in the park. (By the way, you can still find those resources in their updated location. The Allergy-Friendly Kiosk is now located at the spot that was previously known as Discovery Island Ice Cream, just across the way from Creature Comforts outside of the entrance to the Africa section of the park.)

Not only did the Gardens Kiosk return with an all-new menu… it also returned with a different look. The new paint colors are shades of brown and green as opposed to the previous orange and yellow hues. And with an updated focus on salads, I’d say the earthy colors fit the bill quite well!

New look for the Gardens Kiosk

New look for the Gardens Kiosk

That’s right… Gardens Kiosk now features vegetarian and better-for-you fare in the form of two new salads: the Trek Power Salad and Farmers Salad. Rounding out the small menu is a [Read more…]

Updated Animal Kingdom Counter Service Options — Including the Reopened Flame Tree Barbecue!

It’s been a long time coming, but Flame Tree Barbecue is back open for business at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

As you may remember (or perhaps experienced if you’ve paid a visit to Animal Kingdom since New Year’s), Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment on January 5th. Since it is arguably the most popular Counter Service spot at Animal Kingdom, measures were taken to ensure guests could still enjoy a few Flame Tree dishes at alternate locations even while it was closed. This ended up being a very good thing, since the refurbishment — originally slated for an early April reopening — was extended into May… aaaaand then into June… when it finally reopened on the 30th of the June.

So, today we’re going to visit all of the counter service spots affected by the refurb (Flame Tree Barbecue itself and the alternate food locations) to see how things have shaped up. Because, you see, Flame Tree Barbecue isn’t the only place that received a bit of makeover (heads up: the Allergy-Friendly Kiosk has a new location!). But since Flame Tree Barbecue IS the main topic, why don’t we just start there?

Flame Tree Barbecue

Welcome back, Flame Tree Barbecue!

Flame Tree Barbecue atmosphere

Flame Tree Barbecue atmosphere

It has returned with its signature bright colors, lovely seating areas and [Read more…]

Pizzafari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Discontinues Breakfast

For all you breakfast-lovers, we’ve got some Animal Kingdom updates for ya.

While guests to Disney’s Animal Kingdom have been able to enjoy an assortment of breakfast items at Pizzafari (a convenient stop on a trek toward Africa!), the breakfast offerings have been discontinued as of June 17, 2015.

With the opening of the Animal Kingdom Starbucks on Discovery Island last week, Pizzafari has returned to an 11:00AM opening time.

Pizzafari

For other breakfast options in Animal Kingdom, stop by Starbucks and Kusafiri Bakery.

Was Pizzafari a breakfast stop for you? Let us know in the comments below!

First Look: Zuri’s Sweets Shop — and the Poop Candy! — at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Editor’s Note: The “Match the Species” Treats at Zuri’s Sweets Shop — aka the “poop” candy — is no longer available. Cast Members at the spot have said that it was only available as a test. We’ll let you know when/if we see it return!

Zuri’s Sweets Shop is open for business in Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Zuri's Sweets Shop

Zuri’s Sweets Shop

And we are so excited to give you a little tour! But there’s a particular treat at this candy shop that may not be for the faint of heart… .

Of course there’s plenty of animal-themed candy and confections here at Zuri’s, but when your eye lands on the poop-themed candy?

Giraffe Poop

Giraffe Poop

Let’s take a little look around the shop, and then we’ll give you our full review of [Read more…]

Photo Tour: Animal Kingdom Starbucks Now Open

Starbucks opened today in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, completing the line-up of Starbucks locations in Walt Disney World parks (the others being Magic Kingdom’s Main Street Bakery, Epcot’s Fountain View, and Hollywood Studios’ Trolley Car Cafe along with Downtown Disney’s two locations).

On a recent tour of the building’s exterior (formerly a merchandise store), we noticed what looked like coffee beans added to the design elements. Africa is one of three main regions from which Starbucks sources their coffee!

As you approach the Starbucks from the front of the park (located between Discovery Island and Africa), this is the first Entrance of two that you will encounter.

Starbucks Entrance

Starbucks Entrance and Peter, a Super Helpful and Friendly Cast Member Decked Out in the Team Uniform

You’ll notice that the name “Creature Comforts” has stuck, which kind of make sense, right? I love the two little monkeys with their coffees flanking the sign. ;-)

Creature Comforts

The Store’s Official Name is Creature Comforts. And Yes, They Do Serve Monkeys Apparently.

But just in case you’re not sure where you are, a subtle mermaid logo sign is posted near the door.

With [Read more…]

News! Zuri’s Sweets Shop Opens in Animal Kingdom’s Harambe Market on June 17th

Welp, it’s been all Animal Kingdom all the time around here, so why not share one more little bit of news!

Animal Kingdom's Tree of Life

Animal Kingdom’s Tree of Life

 

Remember a couple weeks ago when we visited the all-new Harambe Market in Animal Kingdom’s Africa for the first time?

Harambe Market

Harambe Market

Harambe Market gate

Harambe Market entrance

There was a sign peeking just over some construction walls across the way, painted with the name “Zuri’s Sweets.” At least, that’s as much as we could read from behind the walls at the time ;).

Zuri's Sweets Shop sign

Zuri’s Sweets Shop sign

We’ve now learned that the official name for this new stop is Zuri’s Sweets Shop, and it will be opening its doors as the newest addition to Harambe Market on June 17th!

It seems that Zuri’s Sweets will offer plenty of familiar Disney confections… but with an Animal Kingdom twist…

©Disney

©Disney

Altogether we can expect about 80 items including specialty candy apples and popcorn, many of which will be unique to Zuri’s Sweets Shop. Disney shared that the African Spice Popcorn will be flavored with a “hint of cardamom.”

©Disney

©Disney

Keep an eye out for some of your favorite Lion King characters to appear on some of the package decorations. And note the paw-shape of the Simba lollipop! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an apple-flavored one before.

©Disney

©Disney

The packaging, though, will vary throughout the [Read more…]

Review: Two NEW Baked Pasta Dishes at Animal Kingdom’s Beastly Kiosk

Well, we knew things would be changing at Animal Kingdom in short order, but I don’t know if we quite expected this…

As the park revs up for the much-anticipated (and delayed) reopening of Flame Tree Barbecue in early July, the kiosks that have been serving as temporary locations for Flame Tree items are starting to change again, too.

That includes Beastly Kiosk, which you’ll find in Discovery Island just outside of the entrance to Asia. This small snack stand has been serving up three Flame Tree entrees, which was a definite departure from its typical menu of Mickey and Jalapeño Cheese-stuffed Pretzels (along with the occasional appearance of Corn Dogs on peak crowd days).

Well, the pretzels have indeed returned (woot!), along with two brand new items. Beastly Kiosk is now serving Baked Pasta Marinara with Mozzarella and — wait for it — BAKED LOBSTER MAC AND CHEESE!

Beastly Kiosk

Beastly Kiosk

What?!??!

New Beastly Kiosk menu

New Beastly Kiosk menu

Why delay? Let’s dive right into that Lobster Mac, shall we?

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Lobster Macaroni and Cheese

Let’s talk portion first: if you’ve visited any booths at Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival or Flower and Garden Festival, you’ll be familiar with this size dish. They’re definitely on the smaller size and not full-sized entrees, which is why you’ll see them listed as a snack credit (!!!!!!!! LOBSTER MAC IS A SNACK CREDIT!!!!!!!) on the Disney Dining Plan. If you’re not familiar with the size, hopefully that picture of my fork near the dish will give you some perspective.

With a dish this rich, the

[Read more…]

New! Tree of Life Cupcake at Animal Kingdom’s Kusafiri Bakery

Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery is a simple , unassuming window-only bakery in Animal Kingdom’s Africa that boasts a LOT of cupcake goodness.

So, do you remember a few months ago, when we talked about some cupcake shake-ups at Kusafiri? To refresh your memory, a new (at that time) cupcake had joined the line-up: the Lion Cub Cupcake, featuring none other than Simba himself with a mane made of frosting.

At the same time, though, we found out that two other stars in the Disney cupcake realm had received a bit of a makeover, which left us slightly underwhelmed (the Zebra Cupcake and the White Chocolate Elephant Cupcake).

Well, there have been some more changes in Kusafiri’s cupcake world! First and foremost, with many thanks to DFB reader Cate C., we have a picture of the new Tree of Life Cupcake available now! Looks like this one’s for the chocolate lovers out there :) .

Tree of Life Cupcake

Tree of Life Cupcake

Cate shared that while this one was good, she preferred the passion fruit Simba cupcake overall. (Here’s our shot of that cutie, as a reminder :) ).

Lion Cub cupcake

Lion Cub cupcake

But wait — there’s more news to share… take a look at [Read more…]