Animal Kingdom October Update – Pandora at Dusk, Yak & Yeti Vegetable Tikka Masala, and Not Much Going On

I arrived at Disney’s Animal Kingdom last week and it occurred to me that there isn’t really anything going on. It’s been a relatively busy 18 months with Tiffins and Nomad Lounge opening along with Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom After Dark, and of course, Pandora.

But the website has covered all of that exhaustively, to say the least.

So I spent some time in The Oasis:

And with the Discovery Island Trails around the Tree of Life open, some time looking around there:

Taking a break from presiding over Hollywood Studios, no doubt.

Is it an alligator or the University of Florida football team?

Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes switched out a couple of lunch and dinner entrees in recent months. You can pull up my thoughts on their atrocious breakfast offerings here.

The Asian Chicken Wrap replaces the Asian Chicken Sandwich and the Vegetable Tikka Masala arrives in place of the Roasted Vegetable Couscous Wrap.

Both of those were pretty bad.

One other thing you might notice is that there are now two sizes of the Chicken Fried Rice. The $4 “Side” on top is incredibly small, while the $5 regular size is still smaller than it used to be, but much more substantial for just a buck more. Only the smaller version is good for a snack credit on the Disney Dining Plan.

This time around, I went with the $11 “Vegetable Tikka Masala – Garbanzo Beans, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes in a creamy Tikka Masala Sauce served with White Rice.”

The sauce was appropriately rich and surprisingly creamy with just a little bit of spice with cumin, coriander, and turmeric notes.

The vegetables added a nice crunch and the beans probably offered some heft, but I didn’t feel like there was a ton of actual food involved for the money. White rice is not particularly expensive and it’s a shallow serving dish – you may be able to get a better idea about the portion from one picture above. But I think those with smaller appetites should be plenty satisfied and it’s not another bean burger or salad, which vegetarians should appreciate. I can see some people seeking this out again and again.

I also tried the $5 Mini Mango Pie, which is unceremoniously served in a bowl covered by plastic wrap.

I thought the portion size was on the small side given the $5 price. But it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I would order something that “literally” has miniature in the title and then complain that it’s small.

I mentioned to the cast member that I had “heard good things” about it and she confided in me that “it’s not as good as inside, but still really good.” “Perfect,” I thought. And it was really good as far as defrosted pies go – refreshing with a fruity flavor and a slightly sweet cookie crust with an almost-cheesecake-like quality to it. I’m not sure it was worth five bucks, though.

A few more pictures around Asia:

How I feel when I can’t get Flight of Passage FastPass+.

As I mentioned during my review of the St. Louis Rib Dinner earlier this month, Flame Tree Barbecue did away with offering cornbread with some of its entrees. Prices on those items dropped by about 70 cents each.

My face when I saw they replaced a seemingly-healthy option in the Turkey Sandwich with the heart attack that is “Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork Topped with Onion Rings and Coleslaw.”

Originally, my plan was to move to Orlando for about six months, take a bunch of pictures, learn everything that there was to learn about Walt Disney World, and return to my estate back in Seattle. I wanted to create a sort-of online guidebook that could be kept mostly the same, but updated here and there with big changes. But as the website became more popular and people seemed to enjoy these picture updates, what I set out to do seemed like a loftier and loftier goal. And once Florida sucks you in, there is no getting out. So seven years later, I’m still here posting the same pictures and making the same jokes. Above is an excerpt from my original Restaurantosaurus review, which was probably the third or fourth post ever published on This might be the first in-park update. But it might also not be.

And I’m happy to report that Disney is finally making strides in adding -osaurus to the name of everything WDW. It wouldn’t surprise me if everyone’s favorite southwest-inspired resort reopens as Coronadosaurus Springs.

Get the Hot Dogosaurus while it’s still a novelty.

Otherwise, it’s pretty smooth sailing here in DinoLand most of the day:

And over to Africa:

The lion was a particularly lucky shot as the male only stood up for about two seconds before rearranging himself and plopping back down on his heated rock.

The “Shaved Ice” options are made more permanent with their appearance on the overhead menu.

In reality, the ice is anything but “shaved” and is much more coarse. With weekend temperatures threatening lows in the 40s, you may want to save your icy indulgence for a kakigori from the Japan Pavilion at Epcot.

Over to Pandora as the sun sets:

If it fits into your schedule, situating yourself inside Pandora around sunset and watching the alien landscape transition into night offers many different picturesque colors and views.

Don’t miss the Tree of Life Awakenings on the way out.

Otherwise, Animal Kingdom continues offering some of the most pleasant nighttime experiences at Walt Disney World – the majority of which don’t require anything other than your casual presence.


  1. Cupcake says

    As a local who has been reading here since the early days, I’m considerably offended that I have yet to stumble across you in the parks.

  2. Different Josh says

    Your posts are a great excuse to pour a glass of scotch and take a guided photo tour of the parks.

    The sad part is when they come to an end.

  3. Claire says

    Hey Josh, we were there from 7th through 21st and the parks were so busy, even the second week which I thought would quieten down a little. We were also in Magic Kingdom same day as you on the 12th ! We have serious holiday blues and thinking 2019 but can only do last 2 weeks in June or mid October again – how would you estimate crowd levels would compare at those two times? Thanks!

  4. Al says

    That May 2011 MK report looks like it was from a generation ago, not just six years ago. Dumbo with a 30+ minute wait at opening? A Motorola flip phone? A hard ticket Fastpass machine at Buzz Lightyear? Quick service entrees for under $10? The manually updated wait times board at the end of Main Street? The Fantasyland skyway station? It really puts into perspective how much has changed in a relatively short amount of time.

  5. Kimann says

    Oh my goodness, those Tree of Life pictures are beautiful Josh! Really appreciate the time you take to do that. And I remember the post from 2011, it was always so exciting when you did the walk thru’s. No one else was doing those.

  6. Disney Fanboy says

    I tried that -osaurus thing with Mrs. Fanboy. I walked around all day saying “do you want to go on the safariosaurus”. “Should we meet Poohosaurus and Tiggerosaurus?” Let’s watch Nemoosaurus after lunch”

    She finally said if I didn’t stop she was gonna knee me in the junkosaurus.

  7. Carrie says

    The colors in these pictures are truly beautiful. When you started talking about coming to Orlando for 6 months and staying….I was worried you were getting ready to say that you are finally going home.

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