After spending some time covering the Animal Kingdom cheat sheet, we’ll take a look at what else is going on at Animal Kingdom.
Disney recently completed another exciting construction project that brought additional bus stops to the turnaround.
Yes, the billions poured into the NextGen initiative have brought us next-level bus signage.
There are a few changes. Yacht Club and Beach Club share a bus and BoardWalk/Swan/Dolphin share another. Before the addition, all five resorts often shared a single bus with five stops. Grand Floridian now shares with Wilderness Lodge and Contemporary/Polynesian share a bus without a final stop at Grand Floridian.
Art of Animation moves from its primo spot up front, but it remains one of the more convenient stops. Disney is testing a direct route from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney West Side from 3pm – 1am through the end of October. Disney does not ordinarily run buses directly from the Parks to Downtown Disney, presumably because parking is free at Downtown Disney. Beginning service at 3pm will make it unlikely anyone would park at Downtown Disney in order to skip the $15 charge at Animal Kingdom because Animal Kingdom often closes at 5pm. But you also wonder how many people are going to be going from Animal Kingdom to Downtown Disney or vice versa at 9pm.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/springsbig.jpg. Downtown Disney parking is a mess in the evening at the moment with Springs construction closing lots H, I, J, and K. Overflow parking is available across from Downtown Disney at Team Disney Orlando and SunTrust bank. I can’t imagine they’re planning to use Animal Kingdom parking as overflow for DTD due to the distance between the two. The circled area on the West Side is where I recommend parking because it’s much less crowded than the Marketplace.
Walls remain up all around Africa as construction continues on the new Festival of the Lion King theater.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/lionking.jpg. The building appears behind Dawa Bar and Tusker House Restaurant. Dawa Bar is going to be moving forward a bit due to construction.
Looking back at the bridge.
An evening show on the water seems unlikely as this is the view from most vantage points
Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and Eeyore continue meeting at Character Landing. It’s expected that they’ll be replaced by Daisy and Donald down the line.
A new dance group debuted last month at the stage to the right of Yak & Yeti quick service. That’s the entrance to Kali River Rapids behind them on the right. It isn’t necessarily worth going out of your way to see, but it is a good opportunity for a picture as they strongly encourage audience participation.
Additional FastPass+ kiosks are being installed around the Parks.
Bamboo is slated to meet guests near Africa on the path that connects it to Asia through September 27th.
He may or may not continue meeting after that date.
A few pieces of merchandise available at Mombasa Marketplace:
You can also purchase a bottle of South African wine, some rarer than others.
That definitely belongs on a wall surrounding what may or may not be Avatar Land in the distant future.
This video, taken by Inside the Magic at the D23 Expo in Anaheim last month, may be the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever seen in my life as Disney Imagineering literally pretends like they went to Pandora to conduct research for a project we haven’t heard anything about in over two years. Yeah okay guys.
At least someone around here does.
On the menu front, we’ll start with the new Allergy Kiosk located near the entrance to It’s Tough to be a Bug and on the same walkway as the new Mickey Meet at the old Beasty Bazaar.
Open from 9am – 3pm daily, the purpose of the kiosk is to educate guests with allergies or aversions about their best options at Animal Kingdom. They have a large book of ingredients for just about every item served inside the theme park and they can check to see if it meets your needs.
They also serve gluten-free and vegan options.
There are always bananas. That’s a 6oz bag of rice chips for $6.49.
The babycakes should be the same as most other resort outlets outside of the store itself in Downtown Disney.
Most gluten-free beers are made from sorghum and have a light mouthfeel that’s more similar to a cider than a beer. Omission is brewed with malted barley and the gluten is removed using a proprietary method. You can read more about the process here. It’s by far the best gluten-free beer I’ve tasted.
We’ll start from the front of Animal Kingdom and work our way clockwise around the Park, beginning with Safari Coffee. This is one of three Joffrey’s kiosks inside Animal Kingdom and are similar to the handful we saw over at Epcot.
The menu is similar but has an Animal Kingdom flare.
That includes a different take on the boozy coffee and other treats.
Turning left at the Tree of Life and then continuing left into Camp Minnie-Mickey, you’ll find two kiosks.
Keep in mind that food isn’t allowed inside Lion King theater.
Funnel cakes right across from the entrance.
It’s funny/sad to see a poor family purchase a funnel cake and turn around to head into the theater only to be told that no food or drink is allowed.
Pizzafari is one of the four major quick services at Animal Kingdom, offering Disney pizza and plentiful air-conditioned and patio seating. The menu is mostly the same:
The Hot Italian-Style Sandwich is a good choice if you’re looking for something that isn’t pizza.
I enjoyed my Chicken and Vegetable Salad that I tried last year, but it looks like the recipe has changed for the worse. The Sangria is Eppa from a bottle – it’s tasty but not much of a value at $8.50 for a small cup.
Continuing towards Africa, this ice cream kiosk is next.
Unlike most ice cream outlets that serve Edy’s, Discovery Island Ice Cream serves Haagez-Dazs, in addition to ice cream sandwiches and bug sundaes.
Next is Harambe Popcorn.
In addition to the usual popcorn and Bud Light, Harmbe serves a delicious Jungle Juice Slushie. That’s a frozen version of the juice served inside Tusker House, among other places.
Tamu Tamu Refreshments no longer serves breakfast, but lunch is the same menu:
Everything is above average here. I particularly enjoyed the Pulled Beef Sandwich. The Kids’ Snack Pack is formally on the menu. Note that like Min & Bill’s, the “Milkshake” is more like chocolate soft-serve.
Tusker House might be my favorite buffet. Featuring Mickey, Daisy, Goofy, and Donald at the door for breakfast and lunch, it tends to be a low-key experience compared to Chef Mickey’s, Crystal Palace, and other “more popular” character buffets. Dinner does not feature characters, but is sparsely attended and a much more relaxing meal than most buffets. I call it Boma-light because it offers fewer options, but is in turn less overwhelming.
Kusafiri is a hole-in-the-wall bakery/coffee outlet on the left side of Africa as you approach Kilimanjaro Safaris. This is the breakfast menu:
Beginning at 11am, this is the menu:
Several of the items are new as of the end of August 2k13, including the Warm Colossal Cinnamon Roll, Elephant Ear Pastry, and African Spice Cake.
The items in the case. That’s the Elephant Ear Pastry in the lower left hand corner.
“Colossal” would not be the first word that comes to mind as we eye this cinnamon roll. It’s considerably smaller than the cinnamon roll (RIP) that used to be offered at Main Street Facade or currently at Gaston’s Tavern. It’s as flat as it looks. I was not in the mood to drop $9 towards diabeetus on this particular afternoon so I can’t comment on flavor. If you have tried it, you’re welcome to let the website know what you thought in the comments.
Harambe Fruit Market is up next on the right. It serves the same Elephant Ear Pastry now for $4.25 for whatever reason. There is rarely anybody in line here or at Kusafiri.
The menu is otherwise standard for this type of kiosk. More:
They do appear to throw in a strawberry in the $5.49 fruit/cheese container.
Exiting Africa via the path that connects it with Asia, we come upon Mr. Kamal’s and the kiosk that is now closed across from it.
The closed kiosk is “Bradley Falls Kiosk” and it used to serve this menu.
Prior to the late-August-updates, this is the menu Mr. Kamal’s served. The “Boneless Buffalo Wings” were literally Disney chicken nuggets dripped in mass-produced sauce from a jug. And basically a waste of money.
Fortunately, those days are over as Mr. Kamal’s serves this updated menu.
Yak & Yeti is the typical table service restaurant in the Asia section. A recent review is available here.
Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports9/yak.jpg. It’s easy to score a reservation here and the small bar just inside the entrance serves the full menu.
I like Yak & Yeti quick service a lot.
The menu looks to be the same as before and still lacks interesting items for the kids.
This cart is located near the exit to Kali River Rapids.
Another pretzel opportunity.
Across from Yak & Yeti sits Royal Anandapur Tea:
A good spot for a hot tea when it’s 95 degrees out.
Anandapur Ice Cream sits on the walkway to Expedition Everest.
This cart, located across from Expedition Everest, may or may not be present/open.
It tends to open in the afternoon when/if crowds are heavier.
I’d skip the drinks here, which are from a bottle.
Dino Diner is the cute little outlet in the corner of DinoLand near the carnival games.
Diner used to serve Disney hot dogs, but now offers snacks and candy.
Get it? Corn-ivores? What will they think up next.
Restaurantosaurus is one of the two major air-conditioned quick services at Animal Kingdom.
We took a better look at it during the Animal Kingdom Cheat Sheet timing. The Chili Hot Dog is no longer available. Breaking news: The Chicken Sandwich is served on a hamburger bun instead of a hot dog bun. The Black Bean Burger replaces the Vegetable Subosaurus. For kids, the Turkey Wrap replaces the Ham and Cheese Wrap. The Corn Dog Nugget meal is new. The Lychee Lemonades are no longer available, alcohol or not.
Dino-Bite Snacks sits to the right of Restaurantosaurus. Virtually nobody realizes this.
It’s similar to Plaza Ice Cream and there’s usually nobody in line.
Exiting DinoLand, Trilo-Bites used to be the turkey leg stand at Animal Kingdom. Those have moved to nearby Flame Tree Barbecue.
Archival footage of Flame Tree Barbecue:
The price of the Ribs and Chicken Combo went up a whopping $3.20 and the Turkey Leg is a new addition.
The excellent onion rings are no longer a snack credit here.
The Mandarin Orange Vodka is now only available with booze. It’s pre-made, so it looks like that’s your only option.
It tasted strongly of cheap vodka, resulting in this website’s highest recommendation.
Now back in Discovery Island near the entrance to It’s Tough to be a Bug.
Booze and popcorn. I have not had an opportunity to try the drinks.
And finally, another Island kiosk.
I think that’s about it.
Available outside DinoLand on the Finding Nemo side.
That’s Animal Kingdom menus.