Review: New Menu Items at Animal Kingdom’s Local Food Cafes (Yak & Yeti Counter Service)

We’re taking a trip to Animal Kingdom’s Asia for lunch today, at none other than Local Food Cafes.

This counter service spot is known by a few monikers, and might be best known as “Yak & Yeti Counter Service.” It sits directly next door to one of my very favorites eateries, the Yak & Yeti Restaurant (I’ve learned to live with my near constant craving for their Fried Wontons dessert). And indeed the full name is Yak & Yeti/Anandapur Local Food Cafes.

Name aside, it’s a convenient stop for anyone who has just faced the Yeti on Expedition Everest, or is looking to dry off in the sun after a drenching on Kali River Rapids. The focus here is Asian food featured in an assortment of rice bowls, salads, and wraps. In fact, today we’ll be sampling one of each, so please join us!

Local Food Cafes sign

Local Food Cafes sign


At first glance, the only thing you can really see are the ordering counters, and long lines here often accompany them.

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes

Local Food Cafes blends in so well with its surroundings that I often think people see the lines before they notice the ordering stations and menus.

There can be a brief moment of confusion for many guests who wonder where to go after receiving their orders, and that’s where a few more signs come in handy, pointing you to the right.

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

Sign to seating

That’s also where you’ll find your utensils and a fairly large assortment of condiments ranging from Soy Sauce, Duck Sauce, and Hot Sauce to ketchup and mustard.

Condiment cart

Condiment cart



A tip: there is hardly ever a line at the second cart towards the back seating, since most people have already stocked up at the first cart just past the ordering station.

It appears, at first, that seating is just one long row of tables right next to the Quality Beverages window (home of the Yak Attack!).

Immediate seating area

Immediate seating area

But the more you wind around, the more seating you’ll find. It goes on…



and on…



and on. All seating here is outside, though some of it is covered.

Yak and Yeti Counter Service Local Food Cafes 17

And, as always, there plenty of [Read more…]

Review: Yak Attack at Quality Beverages in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re in need of serious refreshment pre- or post-Maharajah Jungle Trek, then I have the perfect adult beverage for you!

It’s one of our Top 10 Frozen Drinks in Disney World, so you know it’s gotta be good!

Maharajah Jungle Trek Sign

Hang a right at Anandapur Local Food Cafes (Yak and Yeti’s counter service spot), and you’ll find Quality Beverages.

Quality Beverages Serving Window

Through the little walk-up window, you see walls that are “antiqued” to give them character. Since this is basically a beverage stop, most of the counter space inside is taken up with frozen drink machines and beer taps. There are a few chips and snacks that are displayed, too.

Inside Quality Beverages

I can’t resist pictures of [Read more…]

Ten Best Frozen Drinks in Disney World

It’s getting hot out there, guys!

And sometimes, when it feels like it’s 100 degrees and you’re sweltering in line, you need more than a cold drink. You need a frozen drink!

Fortunately, there are lots of palate-pleasing options found in all corners of Disney World. And we’ve got great options whether you’d like to go alocholic or non-alcoholic! Refreshment is just a menu choice away…

Today, we’re taking a closer look at our very favorites!

Frozen Lemonade

Sweet-tart and chilly, Frozen Lemonade calls to mind seaside treats from our favorite resort towns. And there’s nothing like it for reviving you on a super hot, sticky Florida day.

The secret is in the balance. A too-sweet treat can leave you feeling not so great while you’re standing in the bright sun. That little kick of sour rounds out the flavors and makes the beverage a true refresher.

Raspberry Lemonade Slush at Magic Kingdom

If you’re a lover of frozen lemonade, I have great news for you: there are tons of different varieties to try around the parks and resorts! You could make your own personal frozen lemonade crawl. (Hey! That’s a great idea…)

One of our favorites is the Raspberry Lemonade Slush that you find at Magic Kingdom’s Cheshire Cafe, located on the outskirts of Fantasyland. You can find a similar drink across the castle hub at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland. And if you’re looking for frozen lemonade in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can find an awesome, slurpee-type version at Herbie’s Drive-In.

If you prefer your frozen lemonade with a little kick, one of our favorite adult versions is available at Animal Kingdom’s Dino Diner Snacks. The Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade has been inspiring random cravings for me ever since I tried it. :-)

Frozen Bacardi Raspberry Rum Lemonade at Animal Kingdom's Dino Diner

Check out other locations to score frozen lemonade slushes when you’re parched in the parks.

Dole Whip Float

Part beverage, part Dole Whip soft serve, this is one of Disney’s classic must-eat treats! The Dole Whip Float combines sweet-tart soft serve pineapple goodness with pineapple juice to provide one of the most refreshing icy drinks in the Kingdom.

Breakfast of Champions!

You CAN get this with vanilla or orange dole whip as well — either choice will cut the tartness a bit. But I prefer pineapple-on-pineapple, myself! Find this great treat at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom’s Adventureland.

Ice Cream Martinis

Looking for a new entry on your Drinking Around the World card? THE newest frozen drink concoction in Disney World can be found — where else? — World Showcase!

Head to Epcot’s newest eatery, L’Artisan des Glaces in the France Pavilion for the beautiful and crave-inspiring Ice Cream Martini.

Ice Cream Martini from L'Artisan des Glaces in Epcot's France Pavilion

The drink-sundae fusion is made by combining [Read more…]

Snack Series: Banana Pudding in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Every once in a while I come across a truly unique item at a Disney counter-service location. Today, so many of the desserts and snacks are homogenous across Disney World and Disneyland, that it’s always great to find a one-of-a-kind!

Today, we’re headed to Yak and Yeti Counter Service — also known as Anandapur Local Food Cafes — in Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the Banana Pudding!

Yak and Yeti Counter Service Menu

Banana Pudding

OK, I totally understand your concern. Pudding can be boring. I’d skipped over this dessert many, many times before actually ordering it, too. But in this case…it’s pretty awesome!

Banana Pudding at Disney's Animal Kingdom

This dessert is not only unique to this counter service spot — it’s also delicious! Truly rich and creamy, the pudding is thick — not soupy at all.

PLUS…here’s the best part — it’s full of real bananas and built on a crust of crushed [Read more…]

Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World — What’s Your Favorite?

We talk a lot around here about Disney’s sweet snacks, and with good reason: nothing says indulgence like a bit of Disney ice cream or a monster cupcake.

But everyone knows that sweet snacks are even better with a salty chaser! ;-)

Salty indulgences abound at Disney World, too! And we think it’s time to give them their day in the spotlight!

So without further adieu, we’d like to take a brief look at some of our favorites in our salute to the Top 12 Salty Snacks in Walt Disney World!

Disney Popcorn

Alrighty, folks, we have to start with the obvious one: Popcorn.

How can you discuss Disney World salty snacks and not mention it? In fact, how can you go to a Disney park and not end up munching on this snack favorite?

We love popcorn in all its personalities — from the standard bucket you buy as soon as you walk into Magic Kingdom, to caramel corn at Big Top Treats or Karamell-Küche. And when popcorn started popping up on Disney menus a while back, we were all for it!

NEW Disney Parks Popcorn Boxes!

But the best version remains that classic Disney popcorn box full of buttery (flavored) yellow kernels of fluffy goodness. Do yourself a favor and don’t leave without trying a box.

Chicken Waffle Sandwich

Over at Sleepy Hollow Refreshments, you’ll find a lovely little assortment of waffles to satisfy your salt craving.

What? You ask. Waffles = salt? When they’re in the form of waffle sandwiches — they sure can be!

Sweet and Spicy Chicken Waffle Sandwich in Disney World

And my favorite when I’m satisfying a savory craving is the Spicy Chicken Sandwich. Sweet/spicy chicken with a touch of coleslaw offers a treat with complicated flavors, but a sure comfort food factor.

The perfect combo of sweet, salty, and slightly spicy, this sandwich will leave you full, happy, and ready to tackle the rest of those Disney miles! Just know that this thing can be uber messy, so bring lots of napkins!


I dearly love a plate of nachos, don’t you? And when I’m in the mood for this Tex-Mex treat, I head to La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.

Nachos with Cheese, Beef, and Jalapenos at Cantina de San Angel

The salty trifecta of chips, plastic cheese, and seasoned ground beef is perfection! And if you’re looking to add to it — try washing them down with a margarita, of course!

Want some less-fussy nachos? Head over to Casey’s Corner for an awesome version with just nacho cheese — or with chili and cheese! We’re also fans of the versions at Big River Grill and ESPN Club on the Boadwalk. Where do you find your favorite nachos in Disney World?

Tomato Basil Soup

If you’re in the mood for a good bowl of soup (fitting during the relatively cold Orlando days this past weekend), then head to Pinocchio Village Haus for their [Read more…]

Review: Anandapur Local Food Cafes (Yak and Yeti Counter Service) in Animal Kingdom

I haven’t written about this one in a long time, and I was excited to go back. Anandapur Local Food Cafes in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom — also known as the “Yak and Yeti Counter Service” by many folks — has the most interesting counter-service options you’ll find at Animal Kingdom. (I didn’t say “best,” I said “most interesting.”)

This restaurant is tucked waaaaay back into Asia — pretty much as far back from the entrance to Animal Kingdom as you can get without being at Rafiki’s Planet Watch — and is a great stop if you’ve just toured the Maharaja’s palace on Maharaja Jungle Trek or gotten doused on Kali River Rapids. It’s also just a short walk from Expedition Everest.

Anandapur Local Food Cafes


This all-outdoor eatery offers fantastic themeing and decent food. You’ll order at registers lined up over an overhang; but while you’re waiting, be sure to take in some of the “props” used by Imagineers to make you feel like you’re in an Indian market.

Props Outside the Restaurant

Ordering Area

Cooking pots line shelves above the food windows

Once you have your food, it’s time to head over to the seating areas. Several outdoor tables are arranged in a courtyard book-ended by marketplace shops (selling not-at-all exotic things like flip flops, dresses, towels, socks, and other sundries that may be needed by folks who’ve just emerged sopping wet from Kali River Rapids) and punctuated by a [Read more…]

Disney Food for Families: Condiments Make the World Go Round

Disney Food for Families columnist Erin Foster knows what’s important for her family when it comes to Disney counter-service…

It’s a rare child that doesn’t feel passionate about condiments. Here are a few of the examples you might have heard from your kids… “I won’t let any type of sauce touch my food.” Or,“I’ll eat anything, as long as it’s covered in ketchup.” “Hot sauce is heavenly.” “Relish looks like alien slime.” “Plastic cheese makes everything better.” “Salsa, not ketchup.” “Mustard, not salsa.” “French fries are fine, but only if dipped in maple syrup.”

Yep, condiments are the weird and wonderful place where kiddie crazy food idiosyncrasies come out to play. Luckily, Disney has the condiment basics covered at most places.

You guys know AJ can't live without her plastic cheese

At any of the counter service restaurants where burger/dog/nugget staples are served, you’ll find traditional accompaniments like ketchup and mustard. And while they may not be out on the table, you can ask for these items at nearly all of the table service restaurants on property. But if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find many more options available.

So, if your child, or you, will ONLY eat food covered in soy sauce (hey, it happens), I’ll tell you where you’ll be able to get your fix.

Topping Bars

A few Disney counter service restaurants, such as Cosmic Ray’s and Tortuga Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, offer what Disney calls a “toppings bar.” This is code for a salad-bar-like spread of fresh fixin’ add-ons.

Tortuga Tavern toppings

Once you get your burger (at Cosmic Ray’s) or taco salad (at Tortuga Tavern), you can head over to the toppings bar to get unlimited embellishments to enhance your entree. The toppings typically include items like [Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: August 7, 2011

Kevin Kidney's WDW ceramic paper cup

Two words sum up this past week: Free Dining! It’s now available for the rest of 2011 and Spring 2012! See more details below.

After you book your vacation package, make sure to reserve your ADRs early! Any time free dining is offered, table service restaurants tend to be in high demand and often fill to capacity.

Latest Disney Food News

Reminder: The DFB Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks e-Book Now Available!

Our friends over at Walt Disney World For Grown-Ups were inspired to create a list of their top five Magic Kingdom snacks after checking out our newest e-Book, the Disney Food Blog Mini-Guide to Magic Kingdom Snacks! Many thanks, WDWFG!

You can get your own inspirational copy of our new mini-guide here! ;-)

On to the Round-Up!

Progress City, U.S.A. shows us a coaster from World Showcase! Hint: It’s not a thrill ride.

Studios Central helps us stay cool with refreshing beverages at Hollywood Studios. Bottoms up!

Bonnet Creek Blog shows Florida’s largest cupcake created during Cupcake Lovers Weekend at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort!

Eating (and Drinking) Around the World salutes National Tequila Day!

Main Street Gazette visits the Anandapur Local Foods Cafe this week!

The AllEars Blog takes us up close to the new restaurant complex at Disney California Adventure. Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill serve up yummy eats at Paradise Pier!

All Fare’s Food Blog shares a personal experience with obtaining Disney’s Advance Dining Reservations for dining. And she even uses The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining for guidance! Woo-hoo!

A Vegetarian in Disney — Tips From an Expert

Many thanks go out today to Disney World Moms Panelist Kathie F., who has kindly answered a few interview questions about how to make dining vegetarian in Disney a thoroughly fulfilling experience! Stay tuned after this to hear more from Kathie as she continues to contribute her tips and experience in upcoming Disney Food Blog articles!

My questions for Kathie are in bold!

Q. What foods are your most common options when visiting Disney World? (e.g. What can guests expect when ordering the “vegetarian option.”)

A. I don’t know if I have one; since there are so many options at so many restaurants I like to try and mix it up every visit! One of my stand-by restaurants is Teppan Edo. Our family loves the show that accompanies the food, and I love the veggies and noodles served there! As you’ll see from some of my other answers — I don’t shy away from any Disney restaurant no matter what the printed menu says!

onion volcano at Teppan Edo

If you’re planning on dining vegetarian at WDW, just expect the unexpected. Don’t [Read more…]

Disney Food For Families: The Fab Four of Kid Food — Pizza, Pasta, Hot Dogs and Chicken Nuggets

Disney Food for Families columnist and Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster has more great info about kids’ dining in Disney World!

Casey's Corner Hot Dog, Fries, and Fixins

If your family is like mine, then at some point at least one of your children will go through a picky eater phase — where he or she will ONLY eat a certain type of food, texture of food, color of food, or food prepared in a certain way.

Luckily the chefs at Walt Disney World are well acquainted with the picky eater syndrome. They’ve seen it all before and can accommodate most childhood food idiosyncrasies. That’s one of the reasons WDW became such a frequent destination for us; dining out with our fussy daughter was a breeze compared to other vacation spots.

The Fab Four of Kid Food

Some common variations on the picky eater theme are the kids who will only eat pizza, or pasta, hot dogs, or chicken nuggets. While these favorites are, of course, readily available in the parks, they are not all available at [Read more…]