We’ll take a break from Disney Springs restaurant reviews to take a walk around Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park in front of the Pandora – World of Avatar opening next month. For the new land, cast member previews begin May 2nd, followed by Annual Passholders on the 13th. I’ll be at a cast preview and have reservations for the first AP time slot on the 13th as well.
Maybe they will re-theme this to Area 51 once the blue aliens move in.
I show up without pants on and Disney threatens me with a third strike. MEANWHILE.
Terk is uncommon, but you’ll currently find Tarzan on the walkway into Pandora on the Tiffins/Nomad Lounge side of Pizzafari. He meets intermittently between 9:30am and 12:30pm and then again from 2:10pm – 4:30pm. Waits are typically under ten minutes.
Pandora over the walls looks the same as it has for the last couple of months.
The area to the left of the wall may be less boarded up. Exhilarating.
As more and more VIPs tour the land, some more tarps have replaced walls.
Make me a pin so I know it’s real.
Over in quick service menu land, there aren’t a lot of meaningful changes.
But Pizzafari no longer offers the “Baked Pasta Bolognese” or “Meatball Sub.”
But somehow that Cheeseburger Flatbread is still around. Has anybody enjoyed it?
I don’t think the Baked Pasta is a terrible loss – it was Marie Callender’s quality, which, to be fair, is better than some.
Mr. Kamal’s is located on the pathway in the back of Animal Kingdom that connects Asia and Africa. You’ll see it on the Africa side of the entrance to Flights of Wonder.
The kiosk has served a variety of items over the years including these chicken nuggets. A blast from the past with that blue chips bag.
I really liked the spring rolls from a few years back.
More recently, Kamal’s has been an outpost for vegetarian snacks. The “Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries topped with Tzatzki [sic] Salad and Sriacha [sic] Ketchup” are new.
They replace the Samosa with Mango Chutney.
I was a little wary of the flavor profile as I don’t think I’ve seen this combination of sauces and salads before.
But I was surprised by how well everything worked together – there’s some tomato and cucumber mixed in with the yogurt sauce that does a nice job of cooling down the heat from the chili sauce. The crunchy vegetables also contrasted nicely with the crispiness of the fries, which were served hot with a nice spicy Old-Bay-esque seasoning. For $5.29, there isn’t a lot of value here given the portion size.
For fewer than three dollars more, you can pick up this monster-size portion of Chips with Shredded Buffalo Chicken at Trilo-Bites. Easily 10x more food. But if you’re not on the DinoLand side of things and find yourself desperate for some vegetarian sustenance then the fries may make a small amount of sense. They’re also good for a Dining Plan credit. But while the flavors impressed, I think the portion size would need to be doubled for there to be much value. The Egg Rolls or Chicken Fried Ride from Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe would be better choices for similar money.
Harambe Market, the quick service eatery that opened in May 2015, debuted with six African wines priced between $4.25 and $7. More recently, they cut that list down to three and raised wine prices across the board. My initial take was that “it seems unlikely most people will be adding a $7 glass of something they’ve never heard of in this atmosphere.” There’s just something about Animal Kingdom in July and outdoor red wine that don’t really seem to go together. And Disney has eliminated each of the wine offerings.
You might remember that I liked the Warm Malva Spice Cake, which somewhat recently replaced the Milk Tart.
I ordered the only item at Harambe that I hadn’t previously tried in the $10.99 “Tikka Masala Chicken served with Basmati Rice and Black-eyed Pea Salad.” It was a sizable portion, but incredibly bland. It needed a lot more heat.
Speaking of Trilo-Bites, they recently added the $10 “Smokey Bones Chocolate Shake – Includes Bourbon and Candied Bacon.” I tried to order it but was told that they didn’t have any bourbon yet. Okay.
Over at Flame Tree Barbecue, the Watermelon Salad is back:
In what is likely a seasonal change.
You might remember that I wasn’t crazy about the Safari Fruit Salad that was available just a week ago.
But while the Watermelon Salad is a stretch at $9, the flavor of the balsamic against the other ingredients is mouthwatering.
The Lotus Glow Cube is available from a variety of kiosks.
I’ve only managed to take terrible pictures of it, but it’s actually pretty cool.
Over at Tiffins, the number of choices in the “Taste of” has been greatly reduced:
Last month, you would have had your choice of 11 options. But three of the best remain on the menu, including the Chicken, Short Rib, and Lionfish. The rest of the menu should be the same as my last review from late February.
Flowers and such:
At a theme park in Florida.
It’s hard to tell, but it looks like some projector stands have gone up on the back side of the Tree of Life. Try the full size version and play a little Where’s Waldo.
We may see projectors added, which could mean that the popular Tree of Life Awakenings would wrap around the entire Tree instead of just being projected on the front.
We’ll see what’s possible.
I guess I had never noticed how many coins were thrown into the water back here.
Bring a net and you could buy two or three glow cubes with the proceedings.
But I love the Tree of Life show; it would be neat to see it from all over the Park.
Kangaroos and vultures seem like an odd pairing, but you can see just that as Roo looks to pounce.
A lousy picture of the baby otters, but they’re back there.
Zoomed in from February.
Over in Africa, the FastPass+ kiosk has moved closer to Kilimanjaro Safaris. It’s just a person on an iPad. The Express Bus location has moved over where the FP+ kiosk used to be to the left of Tusker House.
A large crowd for the acrobats.
The number of Flights of Wonder shows was recently reduced from five to three most days with shows starting at 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 2:30pm, though peak days still see five shows.
But now guests have the opportunity to watch an entertaining presentation much closer to the action. On non-peak days, this show in front of Restaurantosaurus in DinoLand starts at 3:30pm and 4:30pm and lasts about 15 minutes.
I did not nail this picture, but that is a vulture flying overhead.
And back to the stage.
This is why I focus on non-moving objects like flowers.
But the interactive show’s charm may sneak up on you just like Flights of Wonder. Here, a kid with chopsticks is racing a bird to see who can pick out the most worms from a bucket of water. Do yourself a favor and let the bird win.
Rainforest Cafe has opened a new bar area next to the entrance/exit behind the restaurant.
Straight ahead. There’s the bar, additional seating, and a television overhead, which was displaying the current Masters golf event live.
And these cooling towels are new.
That just about does it for now. We’ll be spending a lot of time here next month with Pandora on the horizon.