Review: New Menu Items at Animal Kingdom’s Local Food Cafes (Yak & Yeti Counter Service)

We’re taking a trip to Animal Kingdom’s Asia for lunch today, at none other than Local Food Cafes.

This counter service spot is known by a few monikers, and might be best known as “Yak & Yeti Counter Service.” It sits directly next door to one of my very favorites eateries, the Yak & Yeti Restaurant (I’ve learned to live with my near constant craving for their Fried Wontons dessert). And indeed the full name is Yak & Yeti/Anandapur Local Food Cafes.

Name aside, it’s a convenient stop for anyone who has just faced the Yeti on Expedition Everest, or is looking to dry off in the sun after a drenching on Kali River Rapids. The focus here is Asian food featured in an assortment of rice bowls, salads, and wraps. In fact, today we’ll be sampling one of each, so please join us!

Local Food Cafes sign

Local Food Cafes sign

Atmosphere

At first glance, the only thing you can really see are the ordering counters, and long lines here often accompany them.

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes blends in so well with its surroundings that I often think people see the lines before they notice the ordering stations and menus.

There can be a brief moment of confusion for many guests who wonder where to go after receiving their orders, and that’s where a few more signs come in handy, pointing you to the right.

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

That’s also where you’ll find your utensils and a fairly large assortment of condiments ranging from Soy Sauce, Duck Sauce, and Hot Sauce to ketchup and mustard.

Condiment cart

Condiment cart

Utensils

Utensils

A tip: there is hardly ever a line at the second cart towards the back seating, since most people have already stocked up at the first cart just past the ordering station.

It appears, at first, that seating is just one long row of tables right next to the Quality Beverages window (home of the Yak Attack!).

Immediate seating area

Immediate seating area

But the more you wind around, the more seating you’ll find. It goes on…

Seating

Seating

and on…

Seating

Seating

and on. All seating here is outside, though some of it is covered.

Yak and Yeti Counter Service Local Food Cafes 17

And, as always, there plenty of [Read more…]

Review: Simba Lion Cub Cupcake (and more!) at Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Who’s up for a cupcake feast at Animal Kingdom’s Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery?!

A longtime favorite in regards to offering some pretty fantastic bakery eats, Kusafiri is one of those places I just have to stop every time I visit Animal Kingdom. This little shop is home to several bakery favorites (namely, the Cotton Top Tamarin Cupcake and African Spice Cake), and even has a limited breakfast menu that still manages to impress with unique items such as the Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll and Hot Breakfast Wrap, despite its size.

Alongside the classics, Kusafiri is often a place to find something new, and it didn’t disappoint on a recent visit. To my chagrin, though, I discovered that some of my favorites have undergone a bit of a makeover.

Kusafiri Bakery menu

Kusafiri Bakery menu

Let’s start with the good news…

Lion Cub Cupcake

The list of Gourmet Cupcakes has expanded with the Lion Cub Cupcake.

Lion Cub cupcake

Lion Cub cupcake

I showed this handsome little guy off on my Instagram a while back (‘cuz how could I not — I mean, how cute is little Simba?!), and have been excited to show him to you on the blog ever since. The fondant Simba topping the cupcake (similar to the toppers you’ll find on the Gourmet Cake Cups at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe) is surrounded by a mane of frosting. ROAR!!

The flavor? Passionfruit. It comes through in the pudding-like filling tucked in the vanilla cake under the white vanilla frosting.

Inside the Lion Cub cupcake

Inside the Lion Cub cupcake

Lion Cub cupcake filling

Lion Cub cupcake filling

The citrus is mellowed by the creaminess of the vanilla, which is a combo I love. Plus, you can’t argue with the added cute factor, so there’s that.

If Simba just can’t wait to be king, he may have already accomplished that here at Kusafiri, especially in light of the changes to [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: January 23, 2015

The year isn’t the only thing new around Disney World… we’re on the lookout for new eats, sweets, and refurbishment feats. Please keep your hands, arms, feet, and legs inside your ride vehicle at all times as we tour all four Disney World Parks to see What’s New!

Something's always just around the corner at Disney World!

Something’s always just around the corner at Disney World!

Animal Kingdom

We’re starting out with another WILD trip to Animal Kingdom, which includes a couple of menu updates. At Yak & Yeti Restaurant, Firecracker Shrimp and Ahi Tuna Nachos for Two join the appetizers (the Dim Sum Basket for two remains), and Ginger Salmon with Japanese Udon has been added to the noodle dishes. Chicken Tikki Masala is among the new specialty entrees, and Malaysian Seafood Curry arrives under Wok selections.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Be sure to check out the Specialty Drinks for some fun new beverages: Pink Himalayan, Kiwi Kimono, and a Rickshaw Rickie.

Right next door at Local Food Cafes (also known as Yak & Yeti Counter Service), Korean Stir-fry Barbecue Chicken has replaced the Sweet and Sour Chicken.

Local Foods Cafe menu

Local Foods Cafe menu

At Dino Diner in Dinoland, U.S.A., the Snow Cone has been switched out for Nachos, served with just cheese or as Nachos Supreme (at least for these cooler months).

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Tamu Tamu Refreshments has undergone another menu refresh, currently offering the Slow-cooked Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry, and Roasted Chicken Salad.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

This isn’t entirely unexpected, as the menu here seems to go through a standard rotation. So, if you’re disappointed that the Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is no longer available, Hakuna Matata. It could very well make its way back around in a few months.

And, as we discussed a few weeks back, Flame Tree Barbecue is closed for refurbishment with a tentative reopening of April 1st. Find out where you can find some of your favorite Flame Tree foods at other locations around the park!

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Speaking of refurbishments, construction of [Read more…]

Review: Meat Lovers Pizza at Animal Kingdom’s Pizzafari

Welcome back to Pizzafari!

The last time we visited this Animal Kingdom Counter Service spot was to try some of the breakfast offerings after they had a menu refresh. But the star of the show here is all in the name, so we’re back to review Pizzafari’s take on “Meat Lovers Pizza.”

You’ll also find this item on the menu over at Pizza Planet in Hollywood Studios, and as far as atmosphere goes, that’s a pretty great spot, too. But I just so happened to be at Animal Kingdom scoping out the presumed location of the final in-Park Starbucks (the former Creature Comforts merchandise location), so Pizzafari it was!

Pizzafari

Pizzafari

Pizzafari Menu

Pizzafari Menu

Of course, it isn’t a trip to Pizzafari without checking out some of the signature murals all over the walls, no matter which room you dine in. I truly never tire of looking at these.

Pizzafari mural

Pizzafari mural

Butterfly mural in ordering area

Butterfly mural in ordering area

Turtle mural

Turtle mural

Pizzafari mural

Pizzafari mural

But, ultimately, I strolled past the poised bobcat at the entrance (at least, I think that’s what he is) and took my pizza outside.

Pizzafari entrance statue

Pizzafari entrance statue

It was one of those perfect “winter” days, and you simply have to take advantage of any days you won’t melt outdoors in Florida. (Covered outdoor seating is available at Pizzafari as well.)

Outdoor table

Outdoor table

View of Pizzafari from outside  table

View of Pizzafari from outside table

Like all other pizzas served at Pizzafari, the Meat Lovers comes with [Read more…]

Where to Find Food from Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree Barbecue During Refurbishment

UPDATE: Please note that the Flame Tree Barbecue reopening — originally scheduled for late April — is now anticipated for late May. The text below has been updated accordingly. Alternate food locations are still in operation. 

Flame Tree Barbecue is a  definite fan favorite among Counter Service options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The name gives you a pretty good idea of the main attraction here. From ribs to pulled pork, barbecue is the headliner. Typically, you can also find Fruit Plates and some downright fantastic onion rings, among other items. And Flame Tree Barbecue has also become home to Jumbo Turkey Legs at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

The yummy eats, decent variety, and gorgeous outdoor seating areas make Flame Tree Barbecue a popular dining location. But for the upcoming months (re-opening is anticipated for sometime in May), this well-loved restaurant is undergoing a refurbishment.

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Flame Tree Barbecue closed for refurbishment

Planning a visit to Animal Kingdom during this time frame? You may be glad to know that you can still find several Flame Tree eats around the park. And we’re here to tell you where to find them… Here we go!

Discovery Island’s Beastly Kiosk and the Gardens Kiosk — widely referred to as the “Allergy Kiosk” — are both carrying the same Flame Tree items: a 1/2 Slab of St. Louis Ribs, the Rib and Chicken Combo, and the 1/2 Chicken, as well as the Baked Drumstick Kids’ Meal. (More on where you can now find the allergy-friendly kiosk later in the post!)

Gardens Kiosk temporarily serving Flame Tree items

Gardens Kiosk temporarily serving Flame Tree items

Beastly Kiosk outside of Asia gates from Discovery Island

Beastly Kiosk outside of Asia gates from Discovery Island

Location shot of Beastly Kiosk (left)

Area shot around Beastly Kiosk (left)

Temporary Menu for Beastly and Gardens Kiosks

Temporary Menu for Beastly and Gardens Kiosks

Barbecued Chicken and Ribs at Flame Tree Barbecue

Barbecued Chicken and Ribs at Flame Tree Barbecue

The Beastly and Gardens Kiosks are a natural fit for the redistribution of these items, thanks to their close proximity to Flame Tree. In fact, for now you can still carry your items to the Flame Tree Barbecue seating area from these locations.

Flame Tree Barbecue seating

Flame Tree Barbecue seating

Dinoland U.S.A.’s Trilo-Bites is where you can now find the Jumbo Turkey Leg and a Barbecue Chicken Salad. This is a homecoming of sorts for [Read more…]

News! STK Comes to Disney Springs and Animal Kingdom Starbucks Locale Suspected

We recently took a look back at some of the top Disney Food News Stories of 2014. And today, we’re happy to let you in on some of the new dining experiences you can expect in 2015. We figure there’s lots more to come, but this is certainly a good start!

STK Coming to Downtown Disney Orlando

First up: another new restaurant is coming to Disney Springs! STK by the The ONE Group Hospitality, Inc., will open in The Landing area of the new development, which replaces the closed entertainment district Pleasure Island.

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK is Coming to Disney Springs in 2015

STK will be a modern steakhouse, but will channel the atmosphere of a “sleek lounge”. Plans call for the restaurant to encompass approximately 14,000 square feet, two dining levels — and a DJ! This leaves us wondering — will STK make up for some of the night clubs we lost when Pleasure Island closed?

An Artist's Rendering of Disney Springs -- The Landing

An Artist’s Rendering of Disney Springs — The Landing

The DJ and lounge aspect sounds pretty cool, but we’re also looking forward to checking out the planned rooftop dining — the only such area slated for Disney Springs at present.

Interestingly, STK is the first announcement of a chain restaurant that we’ve seen slated for Disney Springs. Other locations include New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Washington D.C., and London.

Probable Starbucks Location in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We are also hearing lots of rumblings about where Starbucks may be located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when it opens later this year.

Starbucks logo

Starbucks logo

While it hasn’t been officially announced, it looks like [Read more…]

News! Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to Begin Offering Character Dining for Dinner

If you love dining at Tusker House in Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, then we have some big news for you!

Beginning March 8, 2015, the popular buffet restaurant will begin offering Character Dining at Dinner.

Tusker House has been a great spot for character dining at Breakfast and Lunch for some time, but Dinner did not offer characters.

But beginning next Spring, that changes as Donald’s Safari Dinner will be offered beginning at 4 p.m. daily. This new detail comes on the heels of rumors of brand new restaurants hitting Animal Kingdom soon.

At Tusker House’s dinner, Donald and Daisy Duck are scheduled to appear, but you never know who might turn up!

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Goofy Strikes at Pose at Tusker House in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Dinner will continue to be [Read more…]

DFB Black Friday Sale: Our Best Deal Ever!

Whew! I hope you had an awesome Thanksgiving Day yesterday! But today feels kind of like a sit-around-the-house-and-plan-a-Disney-trip kind of day, so it’s time to carry on the holiday weekend with a little more celebrating… .

Check out our biggest DFB Guide Discount EVER!

The DFB Everything Bundle — Half Off This Weekend

When it came time to offer you something truly special for our Black Friday Sale, we couldn’t think of anything better…than giving you everything.

Disney Food Blog Guidebooks

Disney Food Blog Guidebooks

And that’s why we’re announcing that, for this weekend, you can purchase the DFB Everything Bundle for 1/2 off the already deeply discounted price! Just enter code Everything50 at the check-out.

What does the Everything Bundle include? The name says it all — Everything! When you purchase the DFB Everything Bundle, you get all of the following DFB Guides:

New Restaurants May Be Coming Soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We all know about the upcoming addition of Avatar Land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as the Rivers of Light Evening Spectacular.

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Rivers of Light at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

But today, we’re also hearing news of more expansion coming to other areas of Animal Kingdom — including new eating options!

New Africa Marketplace May Include Counter Service Dining Option

WDWMagic.com is reporting that construction is underway on an expansion to the Harambe Village area of Africa. The development is taking place in an area that was previously backstage. When completed, the new area, called Africa Marketplace, will provide additional retail space and will include a new walkway connecting Africa and Asia. Welcome news, right? After all, it can become crazy crowded in this area, with only one way in and out. Africa Marketplace will be located between Kilimanjaro Safari and Mombasa Marketplace.

Africa Marketplace Concept Art, Courtesy WDWMagic.com

Africa Marketplace Concept Art, Courtesy WDWMagic.com

But we are most excited about new eats, of course! And it’s being reported that Africa Marketplace will also include [Read more…]

Disney Food Pics of the Week: Turkey!

Can you believe that just a week from today, we’ll be digging into all of those familiar Thanksgiving favorites? A meal like that is worth celebrating with an installment of Disney Food Pics of the Week!

If you haven’t already, check out our Flickr page — Disney Food Blog Photo Extravaganza — where DFB readers share all of their Disney Food Photos. Want to add to the delish? Just head over and post your pics for a chance to have them featured in our Disney Food Pics of the Week Series! Let’s take a look!

Pilgrim’s Feast at Liberty Tree Tavern

Photographer: Nancy RK

One of my absolute favorite restaurants in all of Walt Disney World is Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom. And this time of year, who can pass up the chance to eat the Pilgrim’s Feast?

Enjoy Thanksgiving All Year 'Round with the Pilgrim's Feast at Liberty Tree Tavern

Enjoy Thanksgiving All Year ‘Round with the Pilgrim’s Feast at Liberty Tree Tavern

Turkey Leg

Photographer: Theresa E.

Like we could leave out what many consider THE way to enjoy turkey when you’re at Disney? We know that some of you can’t resist enjoying a

[Read more…]