Animal Kingdom Quick Service Menu Updates and Walls

by josh on August 26, 2014

It’s been uncharacteristically long since we’ve taken a good look at the comings and goings at Animal Kingdom. The first of three(?) Joffrey’s locations appears in front of bag check with a similar menu as the Epcot locations:



How those pastries survive the 90+ degree heat…

While Hub construction at Magic Kingdom receives a lot of press, a similar number of walls surround the Tree of Life.

As far as the eye can see.

The walls continue toward It’s Tough To Be A Bug, which is scheduled to reopen from refurbishment on September 28th.

It’s Tough To Be A Bug’s exit is currently a wall.

On the Pizzafari side. It’s a wall.

The Disney Outfitters store is expanding.

For now, that just means more walls.

FastPass+ kiosk locations continue to change. As of this week:

We’ve seen them everywhere from Kilimanjaro Safaris to DINOSAUR to Kali River Rapids in the past.

The Disney Outfitters location.

Another in Asia across from Yak & Yeti Restaurant.

And in Africa.

The “Service Centers” don’t officially have the ability to book your 4th, 5th, etc. FastPass+ like the other kiosks and are instead a means for Disney to “recover” you should you have a problem (which never happen because MyMagic+ is perfect).

4th, 5th, 6th, etc. FastPass+ availability remains limited at the Parks not named Magic Kingdom. My advice remains to begin scheduling FP+ no earlier than 10am in order to take advantage of short standby waits first thing in the morning before relying on FP+ later in the morning and early afternoon when waits peak. The reality is that there isn’t going to be much difference in attraction availability between 11:15am and 12:15pm. And guests using FP+ unnecessarily early will have saved less time and have little to show for it after lunch when they’re out of their original FP+ allotment and and have the unenviable choice of selecting whether to book Primeval Whirl or DINOSAUR for 4:45pm-5:45pm when standby waits are again short.

These pictures are from the afternoon of August 21st when Animal Kingdom was recommended. Posted waits throughout the day:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/ak0821.jpg

Crowd patterns haven’t changed much since Mickey’s Jammin’ Jungle Parade ceased at the end of May. By 5pm, everything but Kali River Rapids is virtually a walk-on with two full hours to close. Two casualties of FP+ are obvious – the first being DINOSAUR’s peak waits, which are easily over twice as long under FP+. Kilimanjaro Safaris also suffers from higher peak waits and larger fluctuations in wait times under FP+. Note that the posted wait at Safaris goes from 80 minutes at 2:30pm to 10 minutes at 2:45pm and stays low for the rest of the day. Despite being a headlining attraction, peak waits at Safaris were rarely over 60 minutes under the legacy FASTPASS system.

The Mickey and Minnie Meet and Greet at Adventurers Outpost is another priority, whether you do it early/late or with FP+. Because of its limited capacity, it makes a lot of sense to book it as one of your initial three FP+ instead of trying to save it for a 4th FP+ opportunity.

Kali’s wait times will come down when highs drop below 80.

Back to wall news, it’s expected that another Joffrey’s location will be arriving next to Flame Tree Barbecue.

More Disney Outfitters construction across the way.

It’s expected that Africa will be seeing a dining and retail expansion in addition to the recent Lion King theater addition. These walls are to the right of Tamu Tamu Refreshments.

Even more walls in between the train station to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and Mombasa Marketplace.

Avatar construction at the closed Camp Minnie-Mickey has necessitated the movement of several characters to nooks and crannies around the Park.

According to the Times Guide, Pocahontas meets at “Discovery Island, near the Galapagos Tortoise.” Now, most people visiting have trouble finding Expedition Everest and its accompanying 199 foot tall mountain, let alone a turtle. In fact, a family walked up to a cast member in the area asking about the “galafagus tourist” and where it was in proximity to “the Indian girl.” With a smile, the cast member pointed Disney’s bread and butter toward the end of the long wall circling around the area.

Despite being impossible to find, Pocahontas has managed to form a decent line of people that must have taken a wrong turn somewhere.

We could argue about whether she’s a “Disney princess” if you want.

Daisy Duck meets alone where the Winnie the Pooh characters used to meet, now with the FP+ scanners removed, no indication of what character(s) is meeting, and the sign covered up. This is across from Flame Tree BBQ. Waits are typically zero minutes.

Donald has moved to DinoLand on the “Cretaceous Trail” on the left on the walk toward DINOSAUR.

Behind the Goofy/Pluto meet.

The DinoLand Dance-a-Palooza that debuted early in the summer continues in the afternoon.

Currently at 3:30pm and 5pm. It’s a nice opportunity to get some pictures with random characters without the usual waits.

Finally, King Louie and Baloo have moved to Country Landing across from the entrance to Flights of Wonder on the walkway that connects Asia and Africa.

Here.

Speaking of Flights of Wonder, the two late afternoon shows are nice for those of us relying on a late arrival. The last show was scheduled at 3pm when the Jammin’ Parade circled Discovery Island.

And now for the joy that is quick service menu updates. Spoiler: the only one that sees major changes is Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe in Asia. Just about everything else is going to be price increases or minor substitutions. This is the Joffrey’s coffee stand on the right just after you cross the bridge over to Discovery Island from the Oasis.

Why they need more of the same I don’t know.

Snack cart alley on the walk up to Asia on Discovery Island.

Popcorn and alcohol.

Allergy.

Red Bridge, Omission, Angry Orchard in addition to Lundberg Rice Chips, Enjoy Life cookies, and Go Raw granola bars, among other items. Those of you allergic to (the thought of) gluten are probably better off bringing your own bagged snacks, particularly at these prices.

Pretzels.

Flame Tree and Yak & Yeti are my favorite Animal Kingdom quick services.

While the entrees may look similar to other quick services like Cosmic Ray’s and Fairfax Fare, Flame Tree prepares their food uniquely well.

With that said, the turkey sandwich is nothing special.

The salad is among the best on property, full of freshly smoked chicken instead of that microwaved-from-frozen stuff served elsewhere. The tangy bbq dressing is excellent.

And of course, chicken and ribs, though the combo price is getting awfully high.


Your Chicken/Ribs Combo, Dessert, and Fountain Beverage with tax now runs $25.21, which is pretty rough.

Dino-Bite Snacks is your Animal Kingdom version of Storybook Treats/Plaza Ice Cream Parlor that virtually nobody visits.

With plenty of dedicated seating next door.

Restaurantosaurus offers plentiful air-conditioned seating, outdoor patio seating, and refillable fountain drinks, but the menu remains pretty lousy:



Over the last few years they’ve tried to shoehorn in various items, but the entrees remain generic.

The Black Bean Burger is basically one of those MorningStar Chipotle Bean Burgers for $10.19 with burgers that are usually overcooked. You could do worse but there isn’t much value here.

The Chicken BLT Salad does the job, but with a generic light ranch dressing, isn’t compelling.

CORN-IVORES (get it) is your standard popcorn stand in the middle of DinoLand.

They added a cotton candy mixed drink earlier this year that bombed and was recently removed.

Dino Diner in the back of DinoLand is usually open from 11am-4pm or so.

Not much to it either.

The various rum lemonades are best skipped – just about an ounce of rum underneath the non-alcoholic slushes.

The cart across from the entrance to Expedition Everest on the DinoLand side.

The Gupta Punch is bottled Smirnoff Pomegranate Martini and the Margarita is Cuervo Golden Margarita, also pre-bottled. Best skipped.

Kingfisher is theoretically Indian, but what you’ll receive at Animal Kingdom is brewed in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Unfortunately, fresh fruit options don’t improve compared to Epcot. Combined, you’re looking at a startling $10 worth.

Standard cart pricing on ice cream.

Soft serve ice cream.

Dino-Bites is a better value.

This cart moves around – here it’s located in between Everest and Kali River Rapids.

Any speciality drink should be available without the souvenir cup if you ask. Drinks should be $6 less without it.

Most people will never happen upon this cart.

Which is okay because it’s just pretzels and nuts.

Yak & Yeti is my second favorite Animal Kingdom quick service.

Although this is a relatively substantial menu update.

A Teriyaki Beef Bowl replaces the Beef Lo Mein, the Ginger Chicken Salad replaces the Mandarin Chicken Salad, and the Roasted Vegetable Couscous Wrap is all new. The single pork egg roll is up 50 cents and the pair is up a full dollar. Desserts are up 40 cents, the Uncrustables Kids’ Meal is new, and the Souvenir Panda Cup is also a new addition.


The “Asian Chicken Sandwich” is the lone disappointment (that I know about), though it’s a serviceable sandwich in the grand scheme of things.

The other entrees are served freshly prepared in large quantities.

Around the corner on the right in the seating area, you may run into this drink window:

It usually operates with limited hours and closes two hours before the rest of the Park, but there’s rarely anybody in line because it’s virtually hidden from view.

You may have noticed Beso Del Sol Sangria on numerous menus thus far. In case you’re wondering how the Internet works – this is how it works:

Larger: http://www.easywdw.com/reports11/beso.jpg.

I get a few of these sorts of emails a week and while the website is more than willing to sell out, the price is slightly higher than a box of toilet sangria.

For the sake of bloggability, I went out and bought myself a box from Fantasia Gifts at the Contemporary.

And as much as it pains me to say this, Beso Del Sol is pretty good as far as boxed/bottled sangria is concerned. It’s not overly sweet like most and doesn’t suffer at all from the acidity of your typical red wine. $6.95 for a short pour isn’t much of a value considering the regular price of a 3 liter box is $20, but you could do worse.

And it’s at least better than the “eppa” that they used to serve.

Drinkwallah is located across from Yak & Yeti restaurant.

More drinks.

Upcountry Beverages is located to the left of the entrance to Flights of Wonder.

Note that it stipulates the drinks are available without the tumbler on the one menu on the right.

Something it doesn’t mention above.

Just before arriving in Africa from Asia, you’ll run into these two kiosks. Often, neither is actually open. The best you can usually hope for is one.

Some potentially nice vegetarian items are theoretically available, usually from 12pm to 4pm.

Finally into Africa, Tamu Tamu Refreshments is on the right:


It’s gone through several menu changes just in the last year, but recently reverted back to a couple excellent entrees and the addition of the Dole Whip.

The Beef Sandwich is a large portion of spicy pulled beef tempered by the fresh cucumber yogurt and a hefty side of Disney’s best house-made chips.

I don’t know of a better vegetarian quick service salad on property – olives, feta, chickpeas, tofu in a very light dressing.

The spices in the Roasted Chicken Salad were indeed mild, to the point where this is a pretty standard chicken salad, but it’s potentially a nice change of pace from the usual.

Across from Tamu is Harambe Popcorn.

If you’re interested in the ocarina tumbler, this is the best place to pick it up.

Jungle Juice Slush is a nice mix of frozen fruit juices and the ocarina does work (which may mean you want to avoid picking one up like the plague).

Dawa Bar recently moved closer to Kusafiri:



Request those drinks without the souvenir cup to save some money.

Dawa recently added four Bloody Mary cocktails, purportedly only available from 9am-11am. I am not a tomato juice person, but the pictures I’ve seen have looked good if you are.

A few steps closer to Kilimanjaro Safaris on the left sits Kusafiri Bakery.



I do invite you to comment if you are the person that has actually bought one of these $9 “colossal” cinnamon rolls.

Harambe Fruit Market is located in front of the entrances to Kilimanjaro Safaris and the Wildlife Express over to Rafiki’s Planet Watch:






More of the same.

Photography.

Is still a scam.

To the walkway up to Africa.

This is actually a great ice cream stop thanks to Haagen Dazs, which you’re not going to find in many spots. The Bugs Sundae is a lot of fun also.

Oh boy, this is it! Pizzafari is the last of the four major quick services (Flame Tree Barbecue, Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus), located to the left after you cross the bridge from the Oasis to Discovery Island:



Pizzas haven’t gone up in price, if you can believe that. Other entrees are up 50 cents a pop.

We are missing an updated menu for Trilo-Bites, which was closed this week.

We’ll end with some relevant Animal Kingdom merchandise:





























{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

krikiter August 26, 2014 at 7:31 am

Hmmm, menu updates, served up hot n’ fresh. Thanks!

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Sam August 26, 2014 at 7:32 am

I’m going to be that annoying person who asks…what does that mean for TOL photos and can you still walk the trail to see the tree up close?

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Ivy August 26, 2014 at 7:35 am

Great update. OMG must have that ocarina cup!

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E August 26, 2014 at 9:18 am

Okay, great update … but how does a wait time drop from 80 minutes to 10 minutes in the span of 15 minutes? People who get in line at 2:30 can’t ride until 3:50 (80 minutes later), but people who get in line at 2:45 get to ride at 2:55? Well that hardly seems fair at all…

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Ceb104 August 26, 2014 at 10:33 am

I really wish fruit was cheaper. I can buy a whole pineapple or a bag of clementines for the same price in the parks. Sigh.

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melissa August 26, 2014 at 11:24 am

Should I expect construction at AK end of Jan. 2015??? With the poly, hub and downtown all in disarray, I have to say I’m starting to get a little disappointed. We’ll be back Dec 2015 but was hoping some of this would be done….

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katie_gal August 26, 2014 at 11:28 am

And this is why we bring our own food into the parks.

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RebeccaMcK August 26, 2014 at 11:32 am

Lovely/cute merchandise. Now I want a musical tumbler, which will be tough because I also want a Doofenslurper beaker – gotta bring both home somehow. I wonder how many tumblers wind up in the, er, river at DAK. I hope all/both locations sell it with the Lion King song instructions advertised at one of the places? The teriyaki beef bowl addition to the Y&Y q/s now makes that a place even my fussy husband would like – we already have a lunch ADR at the restaurant, though, so he’ll most likely get the beef and broccoli there. I’m glad the white chocolate elephant cupcake is back at that one place near the safaris – yummy to share with a companion. We’ll be in DAK on 10/11, so not long now. Wish us luck – we have FP+ reserved for Primeval Whirl RIGHT AFTER LUNCH….might wind up skipping that one in the end; 3rd FP of the day.

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tukogirlandrea August 26, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Is it possible to sub and get other sides at Flame Tree? I’d love the roast chicken but would prefer some fruit instead of the beans (okay…) and slaw (Bleuckk!)

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Brandi August 26, 2014 at 1:15 pm

Thank you so much for all the QS updates. AK is our favorite park, and I can’t wait to try some of these menu items. Pocahontas has become a popular “princess” in our household lately, so thanks for pointing out where we can find her. I think the kids are going to go crazy over that Bug Sundae with the gummy worms and oreo cookie crumbles. Lastly, I just have to get me one of those tall leopard print Mickey coffee mugs with the lime green handle. Just what I am looking for!

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Mike August 26, 2014 at 1:19 pm

“How those pastries survive the 90+ degree heat…”
Same way Walmart makes those ice cream sandwiches that don’t melt?

Or lard has a melting point that’s higher than 90 degrees… mmmm lard.

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jen August 26, 2014 at 2:35 pm

just wondering.. are Russel and Dug no longer at AK? they are our favorites!

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fantasy land August 26, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Yes, disney has been using that boxed sangria all over property for over a year. So, if you order sangria anywhere, thats what you are getting.

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Tina Q August 26, 2014 at 3:19 pm

Jen, Russell and Dug are the “Wilderness Explorer Friends” listed on the character greeting times sheet.

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RebeccaMcK August 26, 2014 at 3:46 pm

@fantasy land
Unless you get the white sangria at Morocco’s F&WF booth (can’t find my notes right now to see where that one comes from, though). THAT is yummy IMO…and it’s probably the only sangria I’ll get on property since I dislike red wine anything.

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Carly August 26, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Thank you for posting photos and info on where to get the Yak Attack. I knew there was a place to get them outside of the restaurant. They are so yummy. Can’t wait to drink one in October!!!

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Mitzi Matata August 26, 2014 at 4:46 pm

My growing (up, not out) teenage son has tried the cinnamon roll and LOVED it! Maybe we’ll get a bite next time but … I’m not holding out any hope.

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Justine August 26, 2014 at 6:18 pm

We had one of those huge cinnamon rolls (shared between 3 people) and it was amazing! I am very picky when it comes to buns, and this one impressed me, even with that price tag.

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AnnieG August 26, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Mmmmmmm… Jalapeño and cheese pretzels. Can’t wait to have one again!

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Laurence August 26, 2014 at 7:14 pm

Yak attack is just about the worst name for an alcoholic drink that I have ever heard

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Gigi August 27, 2014 at 6:39 am

How big is the kid’s cheese pizza compared to the regular version at Pizzafari? I’m digging the idea of plopping some steamed broccoli on a cheese pizza.

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Pam H. August 27, 2014 at 7:31 am

For some reason I really want that musical tumbler. Not sure why.
I’m glad to see they have gluten free treats advertised, even if they are expensive. It is nice to have the option.

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TiggerGirl August 27, 2014 at 11:54 am

OMG the part about the turtle and the indian girl – water spit all over my screen

lol

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Jill August 27, 2014 at 5:52 pm

If we have the dining plan and use a QS meal which entitles us to a dessert, at Tamu, would that mean we can pick a pineapple soft serve or a milkshake as our dessert?? That would be yum!
Still looks like there is not much Lion King merchandise at AK. Rats!

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Eli August 27, 2014 at 9:38 pm

Did Kusafiri Bakery used to have other food items? I swear my wife and I got a breakfast burrito type thing there with egg whites, spinach and cheese in a flour tortilla that we STILL talk about as being everythaaaang [in my wife's drag queen slang] when we got to the park early to hit up the safari first. She has even mentioned going back there for our trip in October.

Thankfully, we’ll be there for F&W at Epcot, so if this item is no longer, she shant cry too long.

Thanks for the update!

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Dani August 28, 2014 at 8:44 am

I hope they add in some sort of Bugs Life merch once it reopens…they literally have one Pixar shirt with a silhouette of Flik on it in the background.

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Christine August 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm

I had no idea there were so many walls up at AK. Thanks for the comprehensive update!

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1050 Miles August 29, 2014 at 4:10 am

Sheesh, for how many decades must we endure “Is That You Tigger” merchandise? I think that stuff was there on opening day!

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Amy S August 29, 2014 at 11:52 am

Even though we an ADR at Yak n Yeti, I’m really disappointed they took the beef lo mein off the menu at QS. That was my favorite QS meal on property.

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dusty cheatham August 30, 2014 at 3:49 am

flame tree prices WOW at least a 200 % increase from a year & a half ago .

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Dawn H September 4, 2014 at 7:27 pm

We ate at Yak & Yeti counter service a couple weeks ago and were served sweet and sour chicken (w/ the white rice) in a smaller, shallow container vs. the typical Chinese take out boxes of old. Definitely seemed like a smaller portion than we’d had previously.

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Lin September 9, 2014 at 11:36 am

How much is the Ocarina cup? I didn’t see it on the menu (unless I missed it).

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