DFB Video: Animal Kingdom Restaurants RANKED

Hey Guys! We’re back with another DFB Video today, and we’re ranking the Animal Kingdom restaurants from worst to best!

Tiffins sign

Tiffins sign

It’s ALL HAPPENING in Disney’s Animal Kingdom these days. The addition of an entire new land, Pandora — The World of AVATAR, has delivered more than its two new attractions. It also brought new dining options to the park. But even prior to Pandora, Animal Kingdom debuted its first Signature Restaurant with Tiffins, and its next door neighbor, Nomad Lounge. These in addition to all the ol’ standbys like Restaurantosaurus and Tusker House… well, you’ve got to check out the video to find out where they all rank! [Read more…]

Review: Kobe-Style Brisket Poutine at Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There’s a lot to explore — and a lot to love — at Animal Kingdom.

First, of course, is an entire new land, Pandora, and its new quick service restaurant Satu’li Canteen. And there’s Pongu Pongu, where you can snag fun and colorful drinks to sip on while you wait seventeen hours to ride Flight of Passage.

But before Pandora welcomed the masses to a whole new world this past May, the new kids on the block were Tiffins, the park’s first Signature Restaurant known for its creative dishes and incredible theming, and its next door neighbor, Nomad Lounge.

Nomad Lounge quickly became a guest — and DFB! — favorite, from our very first visit due to the peaceful, travel-inspired atmosphere and creative drinks. But Nomad Lounge also serves up small bites alongside beverages like the Leaping Lizard and Hightower Rocks. And the food offerings simply didn’t wow us the way the beverages did in the early days.

But when we heard of a recent addition to the menu — namely, House-Smoked Kobe-Style Brisket Poutine — we knew without a doubt that it was time to grab another bite at Nomad Lounge!

Atmosphere

Nomad Lounge is as much a destination for exploration as it is a destination for refreshments. For starters, the decor is designed to evoke stories of travel and includes fantastic banners that celebrate journeys taken by the WDW Animal Kingdom Imagineers themselves.

Travel Banners

Travel Banners

Once you look down, you’ll discover some suuuuuper comfy seating located both inside and outside the lounge. [Read more…]

Review: Yak and Yeti Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Since its earliest days, I’ve always enjoyed a stop at Yak and Yeti Restaurant.

Yak and Yeti is located in Animal Kingdom’s Asia (you’ll pass it on the corner on your way to the Maharajah Jungle Trek) in the fictional village of Anandapur. Like Tiffins and Restaurantosaurus — and pretty much any restaurant in Animal Kingdom — theming is key here, with decor that is immersive and memorable. While you dine, you are surrounded by images and icons of Asian culture. Even the brightly painted exterior mimics that which you might see on the colorful village streets of Northern India or Nepal.

And as for the food? It’s also usually — dare I say it? – consistent here. Consistently GOOD. If you’ve been reading DFB for any length of time, then you’ll know that is a compliment I rarely bestow, as it’s so rarely earned in any Disney World Table Service restaurant.

So… I headed to Yak and Yeti ON MY BIRTHDAY, because I reeeeally wanted those firecracker shrimp on my special day. Did my most recent visit likewise measure up?

Atmosphere

Once you’re on the right continent in Animal Kingdom, the bright purple stucco exterior that makes up Yak & Yeti Restaurant is accented by arched windows, intricate corbels, and beautifully carved doors.

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

The backstory here is that the owner of this building in Anandapur is a man named Arjun, a former merchant who’s turned his opulent home into lodging for travelers. These details account for the eclectic mix of statues, wall hangings, and furniture. The bar area you see below features examples of these details. [Read more…]

News: Breakfast Discontinued at Satu’li Canteen in Disney World’s Pandora

Though Satu’li Canteen — located in Disney World’s newest land of Pandora — The World of AVATAR — is still a new restaurant, there is already a change to report.

The main dining establishment in Pandora has discontinued its Breakfast service for now.

I say “for now” because guests will still be able to catch breakfast at Satu’li Canteen from time to time. It will be an option during peak crowd seasons such as the weeks right around the Christmas holiday and Spring Break.

So, you may still have the opportunity to grab some Cinnamon French Toast or Scrambled Eggs, Bacon and Spinach Steamed Pods depending on the time of year of your visit. [Read more…]

Disney World Mac and Cheese Gallery

Mac and Cheese, the go-to meal of toddlers everywhere, has become a bit of a phenomenon at Walt Disney World. Everyone loves it. It comes in a bevvy of styles. And it’s almost always totally awesome.

So here’s a gallery of our favorites!

Mac and Cheese — Polite Pig

The Polite Pig Mac and Cheese is one of the newest additions to our gallery, and it’s divine. We love the shell pasta and how it holds all that tasty cheese sauce. Mmmm.

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese

Baked Mac and Cheese Varieties — Eight Spoon Cafe

It’s impossible for us to choose just one of the mouthwatering options at Eight Spoon Cafe in Animal Kingdom, so we suggest getting one of each. The simple Baked Mac and Cheese is creamy and delish, while the Pulled Pork and the Sweet and Spicy Shrimp versions are interesting and satisfying. [Read more…]

News: Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour Coming to Animal Kingdom

Wishing there was a way to skip the long wait lines for the new rides in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora — The World of AVATAR, and other Animal Kingdom attractions?

Pandora Wait Times...once you actually get into Pandora...on opening day

Pandora Wait Times…once you actually get into Pandora…on opening day

Well, there’s a new way to do just that. With the addition of Pandora and expanded nighttime options — including the Rivers of Light Nighttime Spectacular — Animal Kingdom park is hotter than ever (and we’re not just talkin’ temps!). The new Ultimate Nights of Adventure VIP Tour offers a 4-hour guided group tour with Fastpass+ for the park’s most popular attractions, along with eats to tide you over during your adventure.

Fastpass+ access includes the following attractions: Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris, Avatar Flight of Passage, Na’vi River Journey, Dinosaur, and the Rivers of Light nighttime spectacular.

Enjoy the Satu’li Canteen Sampler at Satu’li Canteen along with specialty beverages (alcoholic options will be available for guests 21-and-over). Popcorn and a souvenir lanyard as well as “other surprises,” are part of the tour as well. [Read more…]

Five Dining Memories To Make at Walt Disney World

No matter how you vacation at Walt Disney World, the primary goal is always the same: to make memories that you can cherish and share for a lifetime. And with hundreds of attractions, shows, and experiences to try, there’s no shortage of ways to make those memories.

Hello from Disney World!

Hello from Disney World!

But one of our favorite ways to make new and lasting memories is by enjoying special dining experiences in the World. So if you’re officially planning your next vacay (or just daydreaming, as you should!), here are five unique and special dining experiences sure to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.

Dine Above the World

Anyone can sit at ground level and enjoy some tasty Fish and Chips or a tray of Chicken Nuggets, but if you want to elevate your dining, you gotta get above the World. And thanks to some thoughtfully placed restaurants, you can do that with ease! [Read more…]

New!: Fruits of Mo’ara Fruit Bar in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora — The World of AVATAR

By now we’ve all seen images (or been in the thick!) of the massive crowds at Pandora — The World of AVATAR in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Pandora -- The World of AVATAR

Pandora — The World of AVATAR

We’ve braved those crowds to give you the skinny on eats at Satu’li Canteen (including breakfast!) and the drinks at Pongu Pongu. Oh, and let’s not forget the fun pre-packaged snacks exclusive to Pandora! (VEIN POD!!!!)

Blueberry Almond Pandora Popcorn

Blueberry Almond Pandora Popcorn

But as it turns out, folks have still gotta figure out a way to beat the crazy heat even in picturesque Pandora. So today we’re checking out what is thus far the only bottled drink and ice cream cart in the World’s newest land.

Just like everything else in Pandora, the cart is themed its new home. As opposed to your typical Ice Cream Novelties Cart, you’re instead visiting ACE Mobile Treats (the “ACE,” of course, referring to Alpha Centauri Expeditions, the interplanetary travel company that helps humans like us explore Pandora today).

ACE Mobile Treats

ACE Mobile Treats

Beverage offerings include standard bottled hydration options you’ll find elsewhere: bottles of Dasani, smartwater, and Powerade, along with Zico Coconut Water (here in Watermelon Raspberry) and vitaminwater (Dragonfruit flavored!). [Read more…]

News! Mini Mango Pie in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Wins the Dessert Wars

All eyes are on Animal Kingdom with the opening of Pandora — World of AVATAR!

And of course, we’ve been busy trying as many new dishes and snacks as possible at Satu’li Canteen and Pongu Pongu.

But what about the rest of the park? Have we forgotten about all the yum that resides in Africa’s Harambe, Discovery Island, Dinoland, U.S.A. (hey, don’t knock it — it’s home to Restaurantosaurus and the new Smokey Bones Bourbon and Bacon Shake), and Asia’s Anandapur?

Heck, no! In fact, we just found some new desserts at Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes that are crazy!!

Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes is the counter service little sister to the Yak and Yeti table service restaurant in Animal Kingdom’s Anandapur. You might see it listed as Yak and Yeti Counter Service sometimes (which may be a little clearer, if not quite so thematic).

Lines at Local Food Cafes

Lines at Local Food Cafes

Most recently, we’ve checked out the Kobe Beef Burger and the Kobe Beef Hotdog, plus you can snag a generous portion of Chicken Fried Rice in a fun take-out container for a snack credit. And the Honey Chicken continues to have a dedicated fan base.

Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe Menu

Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe Menu

Basically, if you like simple Asian fusion food, you’ll find something here.

But on our most recent visit, we went for something a little sweeter. We spotted two new dessert offerings on the menu (replacing the previous Pineapple Coconut Cake and Triple Chocolate Mousse), so we ordered one of each. Introducing the Mini Chocolate Silk Cake and the Mini Mango Pie.

Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe Desserts

Yak and Yeti Local Foods Cafe Desserts

First up was the Mini Chocolate Silk Cake, which, truth be told, was more like a pie than a cake. But you can’t really go wrong with silky chocolate mousse and chocolate chips.

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

And while this is served up in a small bowl, there are some big and delicious flavors here. In particular, we were massive fans of that crust! It’s basically crushed cookie crumb crust, but it’s divine — and there’s tons of it!

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

Not only is the crust pressed thickly all around the bowl, it’s on the bottom too, providing lots of texture and flavor to accompany the soft chocolate mousse. We also like the inclusion of chocolate chips, since they provided a slightly chewier texture. Overall, this is a solid choice for a chocolate fan or a picky-ish eater.

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

Mini Chocolate Silk Cake

But if you want to win the dessert day — and you do — go with the Mini Mango Pie. This one lands in a category for only the most stupidly good desserts. Because it’s really stupid good. And the star — like the Mini Chocolate Silk Cake — is the crust!

Mini Mango Pie

Mini Mango Pie

That thick graham cracker crust could not be better. It’s got just the right amount of saltiness from the butter that’s holding the crumbs together and sweetness from the incorporated sugar. It’s just dynamite! Crust heaven!

Mini Mango Pie

Mini Mango Pie

And there’s so much of it! And we’re so happy there’s so much of it!

But of course, pie is not made of crust alone (although we’d eat that… just sayin’). And here the sweet/tart mango filling is light and tropical — perfect for a hot Animal Kingdom day.

Mini Mango Pie

Mini Mango Pie

It’s the consistency of mousse without being too airy, which is a wonderful contrast to the crust. And it just tasted amazing. Wonderfully mango-licious.

(Those who have had the awesome mango pie in the restaurant at Yak & Yeti know it’s good. But THIS. IS. BETTER.)

Mini Mango Pie

Mini Mango Pie

At $4.99 or a Disney Dining Plan snack credit, we say… gogetthisnowandbuyoneforustooplease. And in case you were wondering, the Mini Chocolate Silk Cake and the Mini Mango Pie have replaced the Pineapple Coconut Cake and the Triple Chocolate Mousse cake that used to be here, and we say: good riddance! You were fine, but we’ve moved on to better desserts.

What is your dessert fave at Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments! 

Review: Turkey and Pimento Cheese BLTs in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We’re back today for another visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! And this time, we’re stopping by The Smiling Crocodile!

In case you haven’t noticed ;-) , Animal Kingdom has been undergoing some major changes lately. Of course the biggest change is the addition of, you know, a whole new world.

But in addition to that, we’ve been seeing little changes for years. It began with subtle changes to the color schemes. The bright colors that had decorated Discovery Island since it opened were traded for richer, deeper, more neutral colors.

Longtime favorite counter service spots like Pizzafari and Flame Tree Barbecue both underwent periods of refresh. And of course, Creature Comforts was overhauled when it became a Starbucks.

But then, other spots have changed up as well. In addition to brand new counter service spots, like Harambe Market, AK decided it was time to update a few of the kiosks, too. So familiar spots, like The Gardens Kiosk, were revamped. In this case, well — welcome to The Smiling Crocodile!

We dropped by The Smiling Crocodile recently to see what was new — and we found plenty! Let’s take a look.

Open Faced BLTs at The Smiling Crocodile

For now, it seems that Open Faced BLTs are taking over at The Smiling Crocodile. We found three different versions: Turkey BLT, Salmon BLT, and Pimento Cheese BLT.

Menu -- Click to Enlarge

Menu — Click to Enlarge

We didn’t have any takers on the Salmon BLT the day we visited, so we stuck to the other two. Here’s an introductory photo so you can begin to get an idea of what you’re getting. [Read more…]