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…]

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…]

Review: New Desserts at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

So, if you’ve been following along recently, you know that LOTS of changes are in store for Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

Among them, Starbucks is due to open in mid-June, and the new Harambe Market will bring us FOUR new walkup food windows (along with merchandise shops) when it opens in late May. Add to that there are still rumors floating around about the possible addition of a Table Service restaurant to be located in part of what is currently Pizzafari… well, suffice it to say, the dining options at Animal Kingdom are certainly expanding!

With so many new food stops in the works, it’s bound to affect some of the established eateries around the park. In fact, we’ve already begun to see hints of change starting at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

You see, it’s located in the village of Harambe in Animal Kingdom’s Africa, so it’s just across the way from where the Market will be.

Location of Tamu Tamu in Animal Kingdom's Africa

Location of Tamu Tamu in Animal Kingdom’s Africa

Since the Harambe Market will have a whole slew of new entrees to choose from, the menu at Tamu Tamu just switched over to focus entirely on desserts and drinks as opposed to its previous entrees like curry dishes and the Pulled Beef Sandwich.

Lucky me, I had a group of friends visiting Animal Kingdom who offered to try them ALL!

Taste-Testers!!

Taste-Testers!!

Or perhaps I should say, “Lucky THEM,” because altogether there are FIVE desserts on the menu!

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

All-new Tamu Tamu menu

While the Pineapple Whip Soft-serve (with Dark or Coconut Rum) has been available since last May, the Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse, Double Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream Sandwich, Mickey Ice Cream Chocolate Cookie Sundae, and Chocolate-covered Espresso Beans are all BRAND NEW to Tamu Tamu!

Tamu Tamu desserts

Tamu Tamu desserts

Let’s take them one by one, starting with the Chocolate Waffle topped with an Espresso Mousse.

Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse

Chocolate Waffle with Espresso Mousse

The group reported that the waffle was [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…]

Grand Launch! 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks E-Book

We’re thrilled to announce that the 2014 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book is now available!

And in honor of our grand launch, you can get the new Guide for $3 off the regular purchase price for a limited timejust use code SNACKS14 at the check-out!

With over 280 pages of delicious snacks, the DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks is part of our DFB Guide Snacks Series!

As always, you will enjoy an instantly downloadable PDF guide with comprehensive information and advice on well over 250 delicious snacks that you can savor at the Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios parks in the Walt Disney World resort.

The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book includes:

  • Full-color photos of well over 250 of our favorite snacks
  • Over 280 pages of great information, tips, and insider info
  • Current prices and Disney Dining Plan snack credit status
  • Disney Food Blog reviews of all snacks
  • Special Bonus items you’re going to love! (Of course…how could we not include these?!)

DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks Sample Page

Know what you’re getting BEFORE using a precious snack credit or spending limited vacation dollars. Whether you want sweet, salty, crunchy, healthy, or something in between, The DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book tells you where to find a snack to match your craving!

Don’t forget — for easy access in the parks, put the guide on your smartphone or tablet!

Get Yours At a Discounted Price for a Limited Time!

To celebrate the grand launch and to thank you for your support of the blog, we’ll be offering the brand new Guide for $3 off its standard rate for a limited time! Order your copy now for only $11.95 (regularly $14.95). To secure the discount, use code SNACKS14 at the check-out.

Or Bundle For Even More Savings!

Headed to Disney World and want the whole scoop on snacks? Bundle four of our most popular Disney Dining Guides and SAVE!

Pick up our DFB Guide and Snacks Bundle for over 40% off! This includes our critically acclaimed DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, DFB Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks, and DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks along with the brand new DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks. All editions have been [Read more…]

Review: Snow Cone at Dino Diner in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland

Allllll-righty, friends, we’re back at it on another trip to Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama to visit Dino Diner!

Our most recent stop at this wacky and colorful carnival in Animal Kingdom’s Dinoland, U.S.A. was to sip a new drink: the Carnival Cocktail at Corn-Ivores Popcorn Cart, which features Cotton Candy among its ingredients (along with a nice kick of rum). But if you prefer your carnival treats served up in a more traditional fashion, then it’s Dino Diner all the way!

Offering cinnamon-glazed almonds and pecans, cotton candy (naturally!) and frozen beverages (lemonade or Coke), our visit today is focused on an old-fashioned county carnival staple: the Snow Cone!

Atmosphere

Dino Diner is tucked into the very back corner of Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama, and this teardrop trailer would be easy to miss if not for the enormous dinosaur head sticking out of the right side.

Dino Diner

Dino Diner

Dino Head!

Dino Head!

I took these photos after Dino Diner was closed (Dino Diner typically closes about one hour before the park closes, though it can vary). During operating hours, [Read more…]

Review: Hummus with Vegetables and Pita at Mr. Kamal’s in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On the pathway from Africa to Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom stand two unmarked kiosks that are definite gems for those searching for vegetarian fare, or even just a nice change of pace: Mr. Kamal’s and Bradley Falls.

Today, we’re paying a visit to Mr.Kamal’s (and, since Bradley Falls is open seasonally for peak crowds, Mr. Kamal’s is typically your best bet).

Of course, we’ve visited Mr. Kamal’s before, most recently after it changed to its current vegetarian menu. We sampled the Falafel Sandwich and Samosas, and were impressed with the Asian Noodle Salad as well.

Still, there was one item we’d yet to try at Mr. Kamal’s – the Hummus with Vegetables and Pita. You can pretty much figure out exactly what’s coming to you from the name :).

Mr. Kamal's menu

Mr. Kamal’s menu

Hummus with Veggies and Pita

Hummus with Veggies and Pita

(By the way, if the menu is missing the Asian Noodle Salad or Edamame on your visit, just make a very short trip across the street to Bradley Falls. It picks up those items from the menu when it’s open.)

The presentation is simple, as are the flavors. The olive-garnished hummus is accompanied by [Read more…]