Namaste from a very relaxed DFB team in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Between soaring on the back of a Banshee, barely escaping carnivorous dinosaurs, and going on a two-week safari, we were beat! So we decided to pay a visit to one of our favorite places to relax: the Nomad Lounge!
The Nomad Lounge is conveniently located on the pathway towards Pandora. You’ll find it attached to Animal Kingdom’s Signature Restaurant Tiffins. It’s easily accessible from Discovery Island, Africa, and Pandora — but we enjoy it so we’d even make the trek across the park!
The Nomad Lounge is designed to be a traveler’s retreat. You’ll spot banners with wild animals and exotic locations hanging from the ceilings, as well as curtains that are reminiscent of the mosquito nets you’d need in far-off places.
The seating is comfy, with large cushy chairs and sofas set up in little groups for your party.
You can also sit at the bar if you’d prefer!
We love the cushy seats, but our favorite part of the Nomad Lounge interior is above our heads. Around the ceiling are questions intended to spark conversation with your family — or maybe even a friendly fellow traveler!
Another of the best features of the Lounge is the giant wrap around porch.
The porch faces a “river” and trees, and truly makes you feel like you are in an exotic oasis!
Toto, we aren’t in a theme park anymore! (Except we ARE. Which is crazy right?!) During our visit it was quite nice out (read, less than 95 degrees) so we opted to sit at a big comfy booth outside.
Now that we’re all comfortably seated, let’s get to eatin’ and drinkin’!
One of the best things about the Nomad Lounge (and the attached Tiffins), are the signature cocktails. They have several options that aren’t available anywhere else on property. Previously, we’ve tried the Hightower Rocks, Leaping Lizard, and the Night Monkey.
But today, we decided to sample a new cocktail — and hopefully find a new favorite!
First up, we chose the Snow Leopard Salvation. It’s main ingredient is Snow Leopard Vodka, which donates a portion of their proceeds to protecting the endangered big cat. Cocktails and helping a big kitty? Yes please.
In addition to the vodka, the Snow Leopard Salvation is made with Belle de Brillet Pear Liqueur, Mint, and Lime Juice topped with Ginger Beer and garnished with fresh mint and a lime.
We loved this drink! The mint and lime were very refreshing — perfect for a warm day on the porch. We also enjoyed the kick from the Ginger Beer, which gave the cocktail an “exotic” twist. It wasn’t overwhelming, though, like some other ginger beer drinks we’ve tried, so even if you aren’t a huge Mule fan, you might still like this.
We also opted for the Sinaloa Sangria. Our server let us know that unlike lots of Sangria at Walt Disney World, this is made FRESH at the lounge (aka not Beso Del Sol from a box) and that sold us!
The Sinaloa Sangria is made with Miquel Torres Rosé Wine, Barsol Quebranta Pisco, and fresh Fruit. The Chilean sparkling rosé made the drink incredibly refreshing, and it was perfect for patio sippin’! Unlike lots of sangria on property, this one wasn’t sickly syrupy or overly sweet, with just the right amount of dry from the wine. We loved it! Simple and beautiful, this one made my favorites list.
Next up, time to pick out a few small plates.
This very-shareable plate is presented in an adorable manner — it reminded us of campfire chic. The Tiffins Bread Service comes with various types of breads, as well as three unique spreads served in…tiffins, which are basically metal lunchboxes.
Let’s take a closer look at what comes with this set up — starting with the breads.
There is a Pomegranate Foccacia bread, which happens to be Tiffins Signature recipe. This bread is nice and moist, with a slight hint of sweetness from the pomegranate.
The second bread option is crispy Papadams. These Indian flatbreads are made from lentil flour, which doesn’t have a ton of flavor on its own, but it’s got a nice crunch and is a perfect blank canvas for the dips.
And lastly, a veggie pita bread which was soft in texture. It’s nice and soft, but still sturdy enough to load dip onto. We really enjoyed the hint of garlic and subtle pepper flavor throughout.
Now what will you be able to slather onto those carbs? Three delectable spreads.
First up, a coriander yogurt. This dip was very creamy (not shocking as the main ingredient is yogurt), and the coriander was a fun spice to highlight. It’s not overwhelming, but if you’re not a fan of yogurt-based dips or coriander, this one likely won’t be your favorite.
The second dip is a Curry Chutney. This one was the table favorite, thanks to the strong curry spices that came through along with the chunky-but-not-too-chunky texture.
And finally, a Fig Tapenade. This was certainly the sweetest of the trio, with a strong fig flavor through the spread.
Overall, we really enjoyed the Tiffins Bread Service, and the ability to mix and match the dips and breads. Some of our table’s favorite combos were the Curry Chutney and Crispy Pita (almost like Indian chips & salsa) and the Pomegranate Foccacia with Fig Tapenade (the sweetest two items worked well). This dish comes with a very generous portion, making it one of the most shareable options on the menu — perfect to accompany afternoon cocktails with a friend!
We also were eager to try the Wagyu Beef Sliders.
The sliders come as a pair, are topped with Tomato-Pear Jam and are served with Yucca Fries.
These were FABULOUS. The meat was moist and tasty, all on its own. And we really enjoyed the slightly sweet Tomato-pear Jam as a compliment to the savory, perfect beef. And the buns were simple and chewy, but solid enough to hold up to the patty.
We’re glad they kept it simple with the sliders. And we’re glad they come with yucca fries! These crunchy, golden beauties are a simple star in their own right. They have a very similar taste to regular fries, but slightly more starchy. We love them dipped in ketchup provided!
And pro-tip: you can order the yucca fries without the sliders! It’s not on the menu, but just ask. We highly recommend it if you’re sharing the sliders with someone.
Overall, our return visit to the Nomad Lounge was a delight. The unique cocktails were refreshing and the perfect way to cool off during a hot day in Animal Kingdom. The small plates we tried were tasty and perfect for a hearty snack, or even a meal depending on how hungry you are! The food is a bit adventurous, so it’s possible the pickiest eaters won’t consider this their first choice — but for most, the small but mighty menu will likely have something appealing.
But truly, the best thing about the Nomad Lounge is the location. It feels like an exotic oasis, far away from theme park crowds. The cast members there have always been a highlight for us, and super knowledgable. A visit to the Nomad Lounge is the perfect way to spend a relaxing hour in Animal Kingdom — we promise you’ll leave refreshed and ready to climb Everest!
Want more Animal Kingdom Must-Eats? Check out this DFB Video!
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Have you enjoyed a visit to the Nomad Lounge? Let us know in the comments!