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…]

Review: “The Glacier” in Animal Kingdom’s Asia

While visiting Animal Kingdom several weeks ago, I noticed something unusual on the path from Expedition Everest in Asia back to Africa’s Harambe Village. This random mini bar had popped straight-up out of nowhere!

Bar on Asia pathway

Bar on Asia pathway

I had to check it out because, even though it’s just a small, portable stand, the cloth decoration covering it is detailed and eye-catching, much like just about everything else in Animal Kingdom.

Cloth decorations

Cloth decorations

Vibrant cloth

Vibrant cloth

The menu is small, simple, and custom made for those 21-and-over, with two mixed drinks (The Glacier and Kali River Tea) and two beers (Kingfisher Premium Lager and Singha) to choose from.

Menu

Menu

On my most recent trip I decided to give this new spot a quick stop. With the FL heat really kicking in, how could I go wrong with something called The Glacier?

The Glacier

The Glacier

The Glacier is a pretty simple beverage, really: lemonade mixed with raspberry vodka. The sign mentioned the drink being blended — which to me always means frozen, like a blended margarita. But there is no blender in sight at this tiny kiosk, so in this case “blended” just means mixed and served on the rocks at the moment. (This may change at any time.)

Glacier on the rocks

Glacier on the rocks

And, of course, it comes with [Read more…]

Review: Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich at Animal Kingdom’s Trilo-Bites

Editor’s Note: the Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich has been replaced by a Buffalo Chicken Waffle Slider. More details on the new offering here.

You know we lurve our waffles here on DFB, and today we’ve got ANOTHER awesome new waffle item to share with you!

Now, Waffle Sandwiches aren’t new to Disney World. At Magic Kingdom’s Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, the featured waffle sandwiches are the Sweet and Spicy Chicken, the Ham, Prosciutto, and Swiss Cheese, and Nutella and Fresh Fruit. Even Epcot got in the game for a while over the holidays with a Sweet Potato Casserole Waffle and a Savory Seasonal Waffle (think Thanksgiving in a waffle!).

But today? Today we’ve got an extra EXTRA special waffle sammy.  We’re heading to Trilo-Bites today for a sometimes-it’s-there-sometimes-it’s-not Waffle Sandwich!

Trilo-Bites

Trilo-Bites

Trilo-Bites in Dinoland previously held the distinction of being THE spot to pick up a Turkey Leg in Animal Kingdom. The menu has shifted, however, to offer sweeter fare: a Warm Waffle with Fresh Strawberries and Cream and a Baked Apple Blossom with Ice Cream (or without) are the menu highlights.

Waffle with Strawberries and Baked Apple Blossom

Waffle with Strawberries and Baked Apple Blossom

You can also find Milk Shakes, Floats, and a Waffle Bowl Sundae here, too.

(By the way, for those of you wondering, “Well, where do I get my Turkey Leg in Animal Kingdom now?”, you can head over to Flame Tree Barbeque. You’ll see the Turkey Leg listed under the entrees with a side of slaw, but it can also be purchased by itself for $9.79.)

Anyway, on a recent visit to Animal Kingdom, I noticed something special was briefly back on the menu. It’s a little hard to catch since it’s only offered on “peak crowd level” days, so it was great to spot it: the Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich! Seriously? You ask? YES! I reply!

Trilo-Bites Menu with Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Trilo-Bites Menu with Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich

See, that’s the bonus to visiting the Parks when they’re crowded: MORE FOOD! Shazam!

There was no picture on the menu, so I was happily surprised when I was presented with this (Ooooooh! Aaaaaah!):

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Pulled Buffalo Chicken Waffle Sandwich

The pulled buffalo chicken tops the waffle, of course, but it also [Read more…]

What’s New Around the World!

What’s new in regards to eats and treats in Disney World? What’s changed? Have any menu items bid us farewell? Read on to find out what has caught our eye lately!

Animal Kingdom

The Dawa Bar in Africa’s Harambe Village has moved and received a makeover! Check out the full scoop here.

Dawa Bar

Dawa Bar

And thanks to Avatarland, we bid adieu to the Camp Minnie-Mickey character greeting area. This space had two snack kiosks: one for funnel cakes and the other for hot dogs and pretzels.

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

Camp Minnie Mickey Kiosk

You can still grab a terrific hot dog over at Restaurantosaurus… a Mac & Cheese Dog, to be precise! And those beloved Mickey Pretzels can be found in the Harambe Fruit Market (including the Jalapeno Cheese-stuffed Pretzel!).

Mr. Kamal’s (a kiosk devoted primarily to vegetarian selections) recently revamped the menu. Pick up samosas, falafel sammies, and hummus with veggies!

Mr. Kamal's Updated Menu

Mr. Kamal’s Updated Menu

It’s worth scoping out Bradley Falls (directly across from Mr. Kamal’s), to see if it is open on your visit. It’s typically open during busy days, and the most recent menu showed that the Edamame and Asian Noodle Salad are options there along with a brand new Thai Coconut Soup! Check out some of these [Read more…]

Review: Animal Kingdom’s Newly Renovated Dawa Bar

Animal Kingdom’s Dawa Bar is considered by many to be something of a hidden gem. Tucked into a corner of the always-bustling Harambe Village in the Africa section of the park, the location is prime for anyone going to or from Kilimajaro Safari.

But it’s always blended so well into its surroundings that one could really walk right past it and not even know.

Tusker House Restaurant and Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

Tusker House Restaurant and Dawa Bar in Harambe Village

I stopped by recently to see what was new. As it turns out, it was a whole lot! The Dawa Bar has been relocated!

New location of the Dawa Bar

New location of the Dawa Bar

Atmosphere

Now, when I say “relocated,” it actually hasn’t moved all that far :) . You will still head to the same area of Harambe Village – just head to your left upon entering Africa from Discovery Island, and directly across from Tamu Tamu Refreshments and Mombasa Marketplace.

Dawa Bar in it's new location

Dawa Bar in its new location

However, the bar is now directly to the right when facing the Tusker House Check-In line, whereas it was previously on the left.

Tusker House check-in line on the left, Dawa Bar on the right

Tusker House check-in line on the left, Dawa Bar on the right

So, basically, when you see the sign that says this:

"Directions" to the Bar

“Directions” to the Bar

Instead, do this: ——–>. ;)

Aside from the location, what else is new? For starters, the bar itself has received [Read more…]

News! And Review: Animal Kingdom’s Tamu Tamu Refreshments New Menu!

We’re heading to Harambe Village in Animal Kingdom’s Africa. Tamu Tamu Refreshments is our stop today, so we can check out the entirely new menu!

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Atmosphere

It’s easy to stroll past Tamu Tamu on your way to Kilimanjaro Safaris, because this unassuming little spot blends in so perfectly with its surroundings.

Tamu Tamu Refreshments

Ordering Counter

There are a few clues, however, as to what is available to passersby:

Good Eats!

Cold drinks!

And the best part of the atmosphere is arguably a hidden gem. A lot of people aren’t aware of the gorgeous and peaceful outdoor seating area tucked behind!

Entry into the Harambe Fort

Chunky wooden tables and chairs are complemented by rustic plaster walls and artwork. It’s truly unexpected!

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

Tamu Tamu Seating Area

But I’d mentioned a new menu, so let’s dive in!

Eats

I was truly surprised to see the all-new offerings, especially since the Pulled Beef Sandwich had been a hit. (I must admit to being sad over the loss of that gorgeous fresh fruit bowl on the menu, and will continue to look for it at Bradley Falls whenever it is open!)

Tamu Tamu Menu

The menu is now offering three primary entrees: Slow-cooked Chicken Curry, Vegetarian Curry, and Roasted Chicken Salad. [Read more…]