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…]

What’s New Around Disney World: October 28, 2014

Happy Fall! Autumnal treats have been appearing all over Disney World for a while now, but with Halloween just days away, we thought we’d give you one last glimpse of the season’s snacks.

But that’s not the only food news ’round these parts… not by a long shot. Take a trip with us around all four Disney World parks to check out What’s New!

Hollywood Studios

October is probably my favorite time for the candy apples that hit the scene, like these at Sweet Spells.

Halloween Candy Apples

Halloween Candy Apples

"Poisoned" Candy Apple

“Poisoned” Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Minnie Witch Candy Apple

Min & Bill’s Dockside Diner currently features a Caramel Apple Shake as its tribute to fall. The featured shakes here change frequently, so be sure to pop by to see what’s available on your visit!

Min and Bill's Dockside Diner

Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner

Caramel Apple Shake

Caramel Apple Shake

Joffrey’s Coffee Carts all over Disney World have changed their seasonal offerings to include a Pumpkin Pie Latte and a Pumpkin Pie Frozen Cappuccino.

Joffrey's Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Joffrey’s Coffee Kiosk at Pixar Place

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Seasonal Coffee beverages

Speaking of those Joffrey’s Carts… remember the Big ‘Ol Donut? We spotted a few topped with massive amounts of cookie crumble for a change [Read more…]

Disney Details: Yak and Yeti Restaurant Lighting

One of the lesser-known, but still pretty awesome restaurants in Disney’s theme parks is Yak & Yeti, found in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Our experiences there have always been good when it comes to the food, but one of my favorite parts of the dining spot is the decor.

It’s clear that Disney’s imagineers searched high and low for authentic props and “set dressing” for this restaurant, and I’ve always been captivated by the lighting particularly.

On a visit many years ago, I snapped shots of several of lamps, light fixtures, and even chandeliers that make this restaurant so eclectic. I just came across the pics and wanted to share them with you. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know which Disney restaurant decor you’re most fond of!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Yak and Yeti Restaurant Lighting Elements

This incredible chandelier hangs above the main staircase up to the second floor. Its tiered crystals practically drip down to the railing!

Atmosphere from lighting

A few old-fashioned and vintage options look like they were taken right out [Read more…]

Review: Frozen Chai at Animal Kingdom’s Royal Anandapur Tea Company

We’ve visited the Royal Anandapur Tea Company in Animal Kingdom more than a few times.

Tucked in Animal Kingdom’s Asia just across the way from Kali River Rapids, this hidden gem is known primarily for it’s terrific variety of loose hot teas.

But you can also grab yummy snacks (check the baked goods case for one of those giant pink donuts from time to time) as well as specialty drinks. You’ll even find holiday flavors here during the Winter.

But since our visit coincides with the absolute pinnacle of Summer in Orlando, it was time to find something cool — even icy — to sip.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company

Royal Anandapur Tea Company

Anandapur Royal Tea Company

Royal Anandapur Tea Company signs

Tea selection at Royal Anandapur Tea Company

Tea selection at Royal Anandapur Tea Company

We know a lot of our readers love the Frozen Chai, and so we figured it was high time to feature it here on DFB! Ready to dive in??

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

While several of the coffee and tea beverages on the menu can be found at other Joffrey’s Coffee kiosks around Disney World, I believe this is one of the only locations where you can find a blended Frozen Chai. (You can find the Iced Chai — a creamy chai tea poured over ice — at a few of the other kiosks.)

When I placed my order, I was asked if I wanted whipped cream on top of my beverage. Hmmm, let me think about that… YES!!!

As someone who sees Mickey-shaped food rather frequently, I have no idea why I was so happy when it came to me like this…

Whipped Cream Mickey!

Whipped Cream Mickey!

A Whipped Cream Mickey!

Frozen Chai

Frozen Chai

I had to make it past the fun-ness, though, to try the Frozen Chai.

My first impression was that it was [Read more…]

Review: Coconut-Lychee Lemonade at Drinkwallah in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom was chock full of surprises on a recent visit! While Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama debuted the Cotton Candy Carnival Cocktail, the Asia section’s Drinkwallah held a refreshing adult beverage find of its own: Coconut-Lychee Lemonade.

Drinkwallah Sign

Drinkwallah Sign

Coconut-Lychee Lemonade

Coconut-Lychee Lemonade

One of the reasons I was intrigued by this new drink (aside from the whole “Coconut Rum” thing, that is ;) ) is that it gives us a reason to explore this unique location a little more.

Welcome sign

Welcome sign

Sure, it’s pretty much a small kiosk dedicated to its typically limited menu of frozen non-alcoholic beverages (Coke, Blue Raspberry, and Lemonade are the choices) and a few grab-and-go snacks.

Drinkwallah Menu

Drinkwallah Menu

But that’s exactly what makes the high level of detail in this small snack stop so impressive. Like many places in Animal Kingdom, you could stroll right past Drinkwallah without realizing it, since it blends in so well with its surroundings.

Drinkwallah kiosk

Drinkwallah kiosk

You can spot a few clues, however, as to what’s available inside…

Outdoor signage

Outdoor signage

Ice Cold Refrigeration!

Ice Cold Refrigeration!

… as well as what’s not :).

Drinkwallah signage

Drinkwallah signage

Should you decide to stop inside based on the promise of cold beverages on a hot day, you’ll find that this is where the details really kick in. Just about every inch is packed with a huge array of trinkets, photographs, and artwork.

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

Coke bottles inside Drinkwallah

Coke bottles inside Drinkwallah

Poster on the wall

Poster on the wall

Inside Drinkwallah

Inside Drinkwallah

I always like the detail of exposed electrical wires that you’ll find all over the Africa and Asia sections of Animal Kingdom.

Light fixture

Light fixture

Forgive the awkward angle of this shot of the Coke freezer, but I love the weathered look of it, and it at least gives you some idea as to how small this space is — I had just enough room to lean back and take this picture.

Coke freezer

Coke freezer

In fact, I took the majority of these pictures through the outdoor windows – feeling oddly like a Disney-detail paparazzo ;) — since there is so little room to move inside.

The only thing that reminds you that you are in a theme park is the glow coming from the frozen drink machines themselves, and even they have been enhanced with unique fonts and topped off with materials marked by the “Anandapur Sheet Metal Company.”

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Frozen beverage machines at Drinkwallah

Once you ‘re set with your drink or snack, you’ll do best to follow the posted advice.

Indoor signage

Indoor signage

It’s a great feeling to score a spot in this little building just behind Drinkwallah, equipped with a tall chair and – obviously – lots of shade.

Building behind Drinkwallah

Building behind Drinkwallah

But since that’s often already claimed, you can plan an escape to the lower garden.

Lower Garden direction sign

Lower Garden direction sign

What a lovely little space… There isn’t much in the way of seating here, with most opting to grab their cold drinks and continue towards Expedition Everest. But if you do have a few moments to enjoy the view, you can grab [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: June 4, 2014

For this round of “What’s New,” we’ve got food news (and menu changes galore) from every single Disney World park… and beyond! So settle, in, make yourselves comfy, and join us to see What’s New!

Animal Kingdom

We’ll start with the fact that Dole Whip (with or without rum, y’all) can now be found at Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa! (Yep; we’ve had confirmation from Dole that it IS indeed authentic Dole Whip Pineapple Soft Serve.)

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

Pineapple Soft-serve (Dole Whip!) menu

But we don’t want to miss the chance to mention that Tamu Tamu has also brought back some old favorites with a recent menu refresh: The Slow-cooked Pulled Beef Sandwich is back (hooray!), along with the return of the Quinoa Salad. The Roasted Chicken Salad and gorgeous Fresh Fruit Salad made the cut from the previous menu.

Tamu Tamu Menu

Tamu Tamu Menu

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Inside the pulled beef sandwich

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad

And I’m very happy to say that the Fresh Fruit Bowl is back in time for summer!

Fruit Bowl at Bradley Falls Kiosk

Fruit Bowl Salad

The Fruit Salad has returned to Bradley Falls, too.

Bradley Falls menu

Bradley Falls menu

Remember, Bradley Falls operates seasonally, so if it’s closed during your visit, it’s good to know you can head over to Tamu Tamu for a Fresh Fruit Bowl.

Have you seen (or heard?!) this awesome Musical Tumbler found at various food locations throughout Animal Kingdom? Get the full scoop here!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

The Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a perfect spot to grab a cup of hot tea (assorted varieties available) or coffee. However, they’re currently offering some flavored Iced Teas in light of the warmer temps.

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Royal Anandapur Tea Company Menu

Though not food-related, I’d like to offer this next picture as a small tribute. Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade wrapped up its nearly 13-year run as Animal Kingdom makes way for all sorts of new adventures. I don’t think I’m speaking solely for myself when I say this unique, beautiful and fun parade will be missed.

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade

Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade

Magic Kingdom

The Lunching Pad has added one more option to its gourmet hot dog selection: the BLT Hot Dog joins the Coney Island Dog and the Philly Cheese Steak Dog.

Lunching Pad Menu

Lunching Pad Menu

Now, here’s something you don’t see everyday… this next bit is not a new item, but rather a new [Read more…]

Review: A Sneak Peek at Harambe Nights in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom!

Karibuni!! Welcome to Harambe Nights!

Harambe Nights

Harambe Nights

We were so excited to attend a “sneak peek” of this all-new hard-ticket event, debuting at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on Saturday, June 7, and running every Saturday evening through August 9th.

While the centerpiece of the evening will be the brand new show, The Lion King –A Concert in the Wild, Harambe Nights will also feature a Welcome Reception, a street party, and an all-inclusive and wide-ranging selection of food.

Concept art for Harambe Nights

Concept art for Harambe Nights

Guests at Harambe Nights will be welcomed into Harambe Village, and into its traditions as reflected in music, story-telling, and cuisine. The primary story will be that of Simba, the Lion King, as it is told by the people of Harambe Village, allowing this well-loved story to be told in a whole new way in honor of the film’s 20th anniversary.

This event promises to be a full sensory experience, engaging sight, sound, smell, and taste. Since we here at the DFB are all about taste ;) , allow me to share a few of the culinary highlights in the order that they will be experienced in the event.

Welcome Reception

Harambe Nights will begin with a Welcome Reception where guests will have their first chance to sample the cuisine with an assortment of appetizers.

I was able to sample two of the four appetizers, including the Safari Cheeseburger Rolls with Tomato Curry Aioli. The playful presentation helped set a celebratory tone.

Safari Cheeseburger with tomato curry aioli

Safari Cheeseburger with tomato curry aioli

I also enjoyed the Moroccan Beef Kefta Meatball with Tamarind Glaze.

Moroccan Kefta with Tamarind Glaze

Moroccan Kefta with Tamarind Glaze

Of-age guests can pair with African-inspired wine and beer. I particularly liked “Goats do Roam” white from the popular South African Vineyard.

Selection of wine

Selection of wine

Selection of beer

Selection of beer

Jungle Juice — that refreshing mix of passion fruit, guava, and orange juice — was available as well.

Jungle Juice

Jungle Juice

Unfortunately, I missed the Pickled Fennel Paneer Cheese with Tomato and the Durban-spiced Chicken Tenders… but there is much more to come!

The Lion King — A Concert in the Wild

After the Welcome Reception, guests will proceed into the brand new Harambe Theater to enjoy The Lion King – A Concert in the Wild. Prior to the show, attendees will be given a special treat.

This snack is seriously one of my new favorite things on earth… LION CHOW!

Lion Chow pouch

Lion Chow bamboo pouch

Lion Chow

Lion Chow

This mix is much more complex than it appears. The sesame bits, candied pecans, raisins, dried fruit, and spiced toasted chips offer a full and surprising range of flavors. It’s sweet, salty, and mildly spicy all at once (I think it’s the candied ginger that delivers that bit of kick).

I’ve got half a mind to start a petition for a Lion Chow kiosk in Animal Kingdom – it’s seriously addicting!

Close-up of Lion Chow

Close-up of Lion Chow

Guests will be able to enjoy their Lion Chow during the performance. We were given the unique opportunity to see three numbers that will be performed in the show. Understandably, we were not able to take photographs or record this portion of the evening.

Honestly, I wouldn’t have been able to capture the power and beauty of the performance even if cameras had been allowed. I can only say that it was a truly special experience watching these performers bring the story of “The Lion King” to new life with such talent and passion. Marsha Jackson-Randolph — the production’s director — called the production an “endeavor of love,” and it shows.

Concept Art for The Lion King - A Concert in the Wild

Concept Art for The Lion King – A Concert in the Wild

Having seen the numbers in rehearsal clothing, I can only imagine what amazing things are in store when the entire concert is presented in full costume with a 25-piece orchestra, 16-voice choir, celebrity narrator and co-narrator, 8 dancers, and pivotal moments of the film presented on screens during select moments throughout. I am sincerely excited for those who get to enjoy it.

Street Party

Once the show ends, the night continues on! Harambe Village will invite guests to join in the Harambe Nights Street Party, which will feature (among other things) live music as well as sound by DJ Khalifa, dance, street performers, glow-in-the-dark face painting (yes!), and a few of your best Disney friends.

Timon and Rafiki

Timon and Rafiki

Stilt walkers

Stilt walkers

DJ Khalifa!

DJ Khalifa

Musicians at the Sneak Peek

Musicians at the Sneak Peek

It will also feature African-inspired food, presented at stations throughout the Village.

We’ll start with the Breads and Salads Station. Fans of Sanaa’s bread service will appreciate the assortment of Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Pappadum breads.

Naan, Onion Kulcha and Pappadum breads

Naan, Onion Kulcha and Pappadum breads

Naan being prepared

Naan being prepared

Accompaniments include Roasted Pepper Hummus, Garlic-Ginger Pickle, and Cucumber Raita. At Boma, I always love the Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, but I really enjoyed that Raita as well.

Cucumber Raita

Cucumber Raita

The salads were simply gorgeous. Even better, they were fresh, flavorful, colorful, and original.

Choices include a Watercress, Melon, Feta, and Berry Balsamic Salad and Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sunflower Seeds. My favorite was the Kachumbari Salad with Tomato, Paneer, Carrot, and Cilantro.

Watercress, Melon, Feta, and Berry Balsamic Onion Salad

Watercress, Melon, Feta, and Berry Balsamic Onion Salad

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Roasted Beetroot Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Kachumbari Salad with Tomato, Paneer, Carrot, and Cilantro

Kachumbari Salad with Tomato, Paneer, Carrot, and Cilantro

Rarely do I feel that salads are among the highlights of a meal, but here I did.

I was really impressed with the vegetarian options available – not only at the Bread and Salad station, but throughout the selections. One example is the Spicy Vegetable Samosa (a Mango Chutney was available for dipping).

Spicy Vegetable Samosa

Spicy Vegetable Samosa

I neglected to snap a picture of the Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, but I can’t resist sharing some Disney mac and cheese deliciousness with you today!

Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and Cheese

Moving on to the Surf and Turf Station, there are two other [Read more…]

Spotted! Musical Tumbler in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

There’s a new souvenir cup at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and it’s something you just gotta see…

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Actually, scratch that – this is something you just gotta hear, because this drink tumbler is MUSICAL!!

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Found at various locations in Animal Kingdom, the Musical Tumbler is, first of all, eye-catching. These pictures show the mug at various angles so you can see every “side” of it.

The animals found all over the tumbler bring to mind the park’s icon, the Tree of Life.

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

Musical Tumbler

But what makes this tumbler truly awesome is the handle. As the sign notes (pun alert!), the handle is an “Ocarina” (a wind flute).

You can see the holes in the handle, as well as the smaller hole in the mouthpiece that you blow into to create the sounds.

Ocarina handle

Ocarina handle

But wait — there’s more! The tumbler comes with instructions on how to play two Disney songs: “It’s a Small World,” and the Lion King’s “I Just Can’t Wait to be King”!

Musical tumbler info

Musical tumbler info

Here’s the thing… I immediately thought, “Wow, that’s cool.” And I definitely thought it looked great. But I assumed it would sound like one of those plastic flutes for kids. You know, like those toddler toys that come all in primary colors and when the kid starts to play it – bless their heart – it sounds like the world is coming to an end.

Then the guy next to me bought one. Now, I have no idea whether he was some sort of musical genius with an extensive history with woodwind instruments, but I was pretty impressed with what I heard. This thing actually sounds good.

What you get in your tumbler depends on [Read more…]

News! Dole Whip Arriving at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Um…GET THIS!!!!!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments in Animal Kingdom’s Africa offers two things: Cold Drinks!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

And Good Eats!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Well, things  are about to get a little colder and good…er (?!?). Because starting THIS WEEKEND, Tamu Tamu Refreshments is serving up DOLE WHIPS!!

Dole Whip!!

Dole Whip!!

DOLE WHIPS AT ANIMAL KINGDOM?! WHAAAAAAAAAT?!?

That’s right, friends… you read correctly. Just as Dole Whips have departed the Pineapple Promenade at Epcot with the ending of this year’s Flower & Garden Festival, they’re making their arrival at Tamu Tamu Refreshments!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Here’s the scoop! No floats here, a la Aloha Isle – the ultimate Dole Whip location. BUT you will have the option to spike your Dole Whip with alcohol (if you’re 21-or-over, of course)!

Choices are the same as at the 2014 Flower & Garden Festival’s Pineapple Promenade booth: dark rum or coconut rum.

Dole Whips with rum at Epcot's Flower & Garden Festival

Dole Whips with rum at Epcot’s Flower & Garden Festival

Based on the prices, we’re thinking sizes will be similar to the [Read more…]