Festival of the Holidays is EPCOT’s shortest festival but it packs a wallop when it comes to the food offered there.
From savory dishes to sugary snacks, a lot of the food focuses on hearty comfort foods.
We’ve seen a TON of things return to Disney World over the past several months.
Traditional character meet-and-greets and traditional character dining has returned to many spots, and a lot of restaurants have reopened (with even more on the way!). One restaurant that returned in 2021 was Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. But it came back as a family-style meal, instead of its traditional buffet. And that’s how things stayed…until now!
It’s been fairly quiet in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as of late… but all that’s about to change! Disney has provided a few glimpses of what will be the new Harambe Market, opening in late May!
Disney shares that the story behind the Market revolves around it serving as a center of commerce and place of welcome for visitors from all around the world who come to the village in order to explore the animals of Africa on the reserve.
While the marketplace will also feature merchandise spots, food will be the focus, featuring four walk-up windows serving African-inspired street food, with seating for over 200 guests. The idea is to wander and find what catches your fancy, though you may find it hard to decide…
Kitamu Grill will be serving up Skewered Chicken as as well as a Kabob Flatbread Sandwich.
Famous Sausages will feature sausage Corn Dogs, with the unique distinction of [Read more…]
We’re sharing another great tip from our critically-acclaimed e-Book, The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2014!
Today, we’re talking about a common conundrum: How do you satisfy all of the people, all of the time?
We’ve all been there. You have a picky eater in your group. No problem, right? Hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets are all available throughout the parks and resorts.
But where do you go when you have both picky and adventurous eaters among your number?
How about a buffet or food court?
Disney excels at offering some truly interesting, all you care to eat options and food court choices, where the picky and the persnickety can both find satisfying options. Let’s check out a couple.
in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite stops for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The restaurant features a wonderful spread of African-inspired food. And at breakfast and lunch, you also have the added benefit of a character dining experience!
And lovers of food and pickier eaters alike are [Read more…]
Karibuni!! Welcome to 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.
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.
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.
I also enjoyed the Moroccan Beef Kefta Meatball 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.
Jungle Juice — that refreshing mix of passion fruit, guava, and orange juice — was available as well.
Unfortunately, I missed the Pickled Fennel Paneer Cheese with Tomato and the Durban-spiced Chicken Tenders… but there is much more to come!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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!
Moving on to the Surf and Turf Station, there are two other [Read more…]
is a tried-and-true Disney fan destination.
Many guests number it among their must-have advance dining reservations for it’s fun atmosphere, unique menu, and cult favorite dishes.
On a recent visit to Walt Disney World, we had the pleasure of eating at Boma not once — but twice…in the SAME DAY! Yep — we had breakfast and Boma AND dinner at Boma!
While I’ll be sharing the details of our Boma breakfast in a later post, today we’re taking a look at the rockin’ spread available for dinner.
Located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma is just one of three incredible restaurants at this resort — it’s a true food-lovers haven here.
You’ll find Boma on the ground floor beneath the lobby level, adjacent to both The Mara and Jiko. (Sanaa is located in nearby Kidani Village.) And while The Mara is the resort’s counter service location, Jiko is a signature restaurant, and Sanaa features a table service fusion of flavors, Boma serves as the resort’s buffet offering.
But while many Disney buffets are more about character interaction than cuisine, a trip to Boma is all about the food. A sign in Animal Kingdom’s lobby provides a little background on the meaning of the restaurant’s name — and encourages you to make your ADR for Boma well in advance!
The term boma loosely refers to a fence fashioned of sticks, and you’ll see this motif throughout the restaurant’s interior. A wrought-iron version of a boma borders either side of the wide, winding path into the restaurant.
Here, the fence borders a low wall separating the seating area from the [Read more…]
On a recent whirlwind trip to Disney World, I planned to get together with friends for lunch. I had a hankering for the totally incredible Butter Chicken at Sanaa, so I couldn’t wait to head over there for lunch!
This wonderful restaurant, located at Animal Kingdom Lodge‘s Kidani Village, still flies under the radar. However, in the past, it has been the location of some of my very favorite meals.
And, let me tell you dear DFB readers, it is going to be VERY difficult to edit this review considering how much I want a big ol’ plate of that Butter Chicken right now. I had half a twix bar in preparation, but I don’t think it’s going to do the trick.
That said…we’re off to the races!
You’ll find Sanaa at Kidani Village, the portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge that’s a Disney Vacation Club property.
The same care and attention to detail that went into the decor of Animal Kingdom Lodge is at play here as well. The soaring lobby greets you with colorful African decor and a thatched roof! I love it!
Once you get to the restaurant downstairs, you’ll see why they chose the name. The word “sanaa” is Swahili for art, and is the perfect description of this beautiful spot that marries handcrafted artisan touches with food that’s prepared with care and tradition.
Sanaa is open for lunch and dinner. We suggest lunch or an early dinner for first timers — more about that in a minute.
The entrance features some beautiful, handcrafted African artwork. The beads that line the podium are gorgeous.
Look closely at the mats on the wall and you’ll likely spy a Hidden Mickey! We have two more hidden mickeys for you in this post — can you find [Read more…]
Editor’s Note: Tusker House now offers a character meal experience for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
It’s been a LONG time since we’ve talked about Tusker House, so let’s get down to business!
Yep — Tusker House is known for its bounty of African dishes, but it’s also a character dining destination.
We have a ton of yummy pictures to share with you, so let’s go!
Animal Kingdom is one of my favorite Disney parks due to its truly incredible themeing, and Tusker House takes this one step further.
It’s one of the Disney restaurants that doesn’t just incorporate theme on the surface — I could spend hours exploring all of the specialty decor, finishes, and props Imagineers have added to this massive restaurant.
You’ll enter the restaurant through the village of Harambe in Animal Kingdom’s Africa, and Tusker House serves as Harambe’s “open air” market on the edge of the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. The podium for the restaurant was outside during our visit. Once you check in, you have the option to wait at a few outdoor tables that are leftover from the days when Tusker House was a counter-service restaurant.