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…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: May 20th, 2015

Sure, we may have said “So long” to the Flower and Garden Festival for this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to look forward to at Walt Disney World! Springs moves to summer as Disney World gears up for the busy vacation season, otherwise known as the “Coolest Summer Ever”!

©Disney

©Disney

And since it’s a very special time of year for Star Wars fans in particular, why don’t we start our ‘round the World tour at Hollywood Studios to see What’s New!

HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS

Star Wars Weekends kicked off on May 15th!

Star Wars Weekends 2015

Star Wars Weekends 2015

The excitement! The pageantry!  The CUPCAKES! The Jabba the Hutt Cupcake has joined the Darth Vader and Yoda Cupcakes this year.

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

Jabba the Hutt Cupcake

It can be found at counter service locations such as Starring Rolls, Backlot Express, The Trolley Car Cafe, and Tusken Fridge Raiders — the premiere Star Wars snack stop, located inside Darth’s Mall.

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

Tusken Fridge Raiders

But cupcakes aren’t all that’s in store…

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Star Wars snacks for Star Wars Weekends

Like last year, several temporary pop-up bars can be found all over the park for the weekend events.

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

Star Wars Weekends Pop-up Bar

However, they feature all-new drinks this year. Each bar serves two out of of four drinks: The Mustafar and The Tatooine, or The Endor and The Alderaan.

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

Star Wars Weekends Specialty Drinks

We’ll be taking a closer look at those beverages soon, but once again this year, it’s ALL about the souvenir glow cubes: drinks come with either a Millennium Falcon glow cube or your very own mini Death Star.

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

Millennium Falcon Glow Cube

The Jedi Mickey Character Dinner at Hollywood and Vine and Star Wars Galactic Dine-In Breakfast returned to Hollywood Studios earlier this month (on May the Fourth Be With You, naturally). But brand new to Star Wars Weekends this year is the Rebel Hangar — A Star Wars Lounge Experience, which has effectively converted half of Backlot Express into an abandoned spaceport in the Sullest system.

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Entrance to Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Chips and Sith at Rebel Hangar

Blue Milk!

Blue Milk!

You can read all about this special month-long dining event featuring small plates and specialty cocktails in our full review of the Rebel Hangar!

Believe it or not, though, it’s not all Star Wars at Hollywood Studios… we’ve got some regular ol’ menu changes at some favorite Table Service restaurants to report as well. Sci-Fi Dine-In has added the Sci-Fi Popcorn Treat to the appetizer selection. It’s popcorn soup (for watching those old movies, of course!) with buffalo popcorn chicken and celery sticks, drizzled with blue cheese dressing.

Sci-Fi Dine-In

Sci-Fi Dine-In

New entrees include Grilled Marinated Salmon, while the Veggie Burger got a [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…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: January 11, 2015

While it’s just temporary, Flame Tree Barbecue is now closed for refurbishment.

Temporary Menu for Beastly and Gardens Kiosks

Temporary Menu for Beastly and Gardens Kiosks

The good news? We don’t have to wait three months to dig into our favorites from this popular Animal Kingdom restaurant at Walt Disney World. We’ve got the scoop on where to find some Flame Tree menu items during the closure!

Does your family like to wander Downtown Disney at night? Starbucks is unveiling an evening menu!

For all the details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!

Disney Food News

  • Downtown Disney West Side Starbucks in Walt Disney World has become one of the few Starbucks locations offering beer, wine, and additional food as they introduce the Starbucks Evening Menu.
  • Find out where you can find several items from Flame Tree Barbecue’s menu while it is closed for a three-month refurbishment in early 2015.
  • We have details about a special event featuring Walt Disney World Chefs taking place in Orlando — the Second Annual Field to Feast Dinner at Long & Scott Farms!

Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including restaurant closures, and more!

We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.

DFB Reader Finds

If you find a fun new food — or other edible awesomeness — in or about Disney, share a photo with us on facebook or twitter so we can add it to our DFB Reader Finds each Sunday!

Let’s eat cake. These AMAZING photos were sent in by our readers. First, Tara shares a Toy Story themed cake. WOW!

Toy Story Cake

Toy Story Cake

Kimberly shares a Mickey Ears cake that she made. Excellent job!

Mickey Ears Cake

Mickey Ears Cake

Do you have a favorite find? Share your Disney food photos!

Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining e-Book Today for 50% Off!

Want a big discount on our most popular DFB Guide in time for the new year? Or, you know, just cause you want to start planning your 2015 Disney trip TODAY? ;-D

dfb_guide_2015_3d

It’s yours! Pre-Order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining today and use promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR for 50% off!

We know that when it comes to your Disney vacays, planning ahead is practically essential these days. And if you can save time and money in the process — even better!

And that’s why today, when you pre-order the 2015 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining and enter promo code HAPPYNEWYEAR, you’ll save 50% off of the already low cover price!

But the really cool part? You get two books for the price of one! We’ll deliver the 2014 Guide to you immediately, and email you the 2015 Guide as soon as it is available later this month.

Here are a couple of sample pages for you — just click to enlarge!

DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining Sample Page

Samples Pages of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2013

What’s in the DFB Guide?

The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining is stuffed FULL of helpful features to help make your trip go smoothly, like:

  • A 5-Step Strategy for Disney Dining Planning, covering everything you need to know from [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 early July. The text below has been updated accordingly. With the exception of Beastly Kiosk, which has switched back to its own menu, 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 early July), 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…]

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…]

Review: Fruit Plate with Honey Yogurt at Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Trying to get your recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies while touring the parks?

We’re spotlighting something that can help… with half of that goal, anyway ;)! We’re visiting Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney’s Animal Kingdom for the Fruit Plate with Honey Yogurt.

Flame Tree Barbecue is known for its hearty offerings with a menu focused on barbecue, naturally. Featured items include Ribs & Chicken and Pork Sandwiches. And ever since Trilo-Bites changed its menu, Flame Tree is THE place in Animal Kingdom to grab a Jumbo Turkey Leg. So the Fruit Plate stands out by being unique among the barbecue offerings.

We’ve always liked the Fresh Fruit Salad that you can find at Tamu Tamu Refreshments and Bradley Falls during the warmer months – so much so that we’ve yet to give the Flame Tree Fruit Plate its due. Let’s have a look!

Flame Tree Barbecue sign

Flame Tree Barbecue sign

The menu description says “Seasonal Fruit served with Honey Yogurt.” For my visit, the fruits served happened to match the picture on the menu: honeydew, watermelon, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, and orange.

Flame Tree Menu

Flame Tree Menu

While it doesn’t have the same visual impact as the Fresh Fruit Salad, it’s not bad in its own right!

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate

Fruit Plate close-up

Fruit Plate close-up

It’s just a [Read more…]

Top 5 Restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in Disney World when I’m in it. The themeing is incredible. I could wander around just looking at things there for days! But the other thing that keeps me coming back to Animal Kingdom again are some seriously awesome restaurants. This place has it all!

Let’s take a look at some of our favorites — and what sets them each apart from the crowd.

Top Five Animal Kingdom Restaurants

Tusker House

If you haven’t booked a meal at Tusker House, then you’re missing out.

This sprawling restaurant sits on the main thoroughfare in Harambe village within the Africa section of the park. And with some of the best immersive themeing anywhere at Disney World, it’s hard to take in all of the intricate details and imagineering here with just one meal.

Tusker House -- Outside View

Tusker House — Outside View

But it’s not just the surroundings that are interesting. Tusker House has some incredible food as well. Inspired by the flavors of Africa, you’re in for a treat, whether you’re dining for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

We especially love the Spit-Roasted Meats. And taking advantage of the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet may save you on other meals during the day.

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

Spit-Roasted Meats Are a Specialty at Tusker House

But if you’re still looking to add a character dining experience to your list of advance dining reservations, be sure to book the breakfast or lunch, as characters don’t appear at dinner.

Eating a big breakfast will fill you up -- and cost less than dining big later in the day!

Seeing Your Favorite Disney Friends in Safari Garb at Breakfast and Lunch is Super Fun!

It’s always a kick to add pics Mickey and Friends in different outfits, and at Tusker House, they’re dressed to go on a Kilimanjaro Safari with you!

Yak and Yeti Restaurant

Looking for something exotic with an Asian twist? Then check out Yak and Yeti Restaurant. You can’t miss the big purple building in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom!

Themed as a grand home that’s been converted to a hotel, guests to the town of Anandapur are guaranteed to find

[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…]

Halloween Treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Frightfully good Halloween treats have materialized at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! These themed desserts add extra fun to a touring day at one of our favorite parks in Disney World!

Bat Cupcake

Halloween Treats All Over the Park!

Head over to Tusker House in the Harambe Village section of Animal Kingdom to find Mini Pumpkin Muffins, a Spider Web Brownie, and Lemon Bars with Pumpkin Decor. These will be part of the lunch and dinner buffet at Tusker House!

Next door at Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery, you’ll find Pumpkin Muffins, Ghoulish Krispy Treats, Spider Web Brownies, and, my favorite — the Bat Cupcake! I’m so glad these are back this year!!! Click the link to check out my review.

Over at Camp Minnie-Mickey, you’ll be able to check out the Witches Funnel Cake at Camp Snacks Kiosk and [Read more…]