Our fast food culinary adventure at Animal Kingdom continues with a look at what to expect from Asia.
We also checked out what’s on the menu everywhere in Africa, including this very exciting ear of corn, which is grilled fresh in the heart of Harambe. Pizzafari and the family-style quick service dinner is also covered.
A couple of years ago now, Disney repainted and renamed most or all of the kiosks that circle Discovery Island, including Caravan Road, which you’ll find on the left as you exit Africa towards the back of the Park and head towards Asia.
Caravan Road operates a lot more often than Terra Treats, but you’ll still typically see the window open only during busier days and typically from just 11am to 5pm.
Whether it’s open or not, you may want to continue walking.
According to my review:
Longtime readers may remember that I have unusually dainty hands, which should accentuate the small size of the sandwich. We’re talking four or five bites depending on your tolerance for salt. I thought the sandwich was dominated by the too-thick slice of pickle and the sodium and vinegar that come with it. The beef was otherwise sweet with a syrupy sauce not unlike what’s served at Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion. The bun was about as fresh as it gets with a nice soft chewiness. Overall, it was probably a waste of money. $5.50 is about half of the cost of a quick service entree and this is maybe a sixth of the food, if that. As a snack credit, it may make sense if you’re looking for something “savory.”
As I mentioned back when we were looking around Africa, it’s probably time to make all-new arrow pictures. While it might not always “feel” like things are changing, the show and the character meet in this picture were completely different two years ago compared to what you’d find today. Earlier this month, Disney announced that Kevin from “UP!” will be debuting in February, though they neglected to say exactly where and in what capacity. If you can take a picture with her, it would make some sense that she’d perch herself across from the Theater in the Wild where her show takes place.
Anyway, Mr. Kamal’s is the name of the kiosk that situates itself sort of across from the same UP! theater in the back of Animal Kingdom along the walkway that connects Africa and Asia.
While the menu physically looks different – it’s now brighter and easier to read – the items that comprise it have been the same for a couple of years now.
The kiosk has long been home to a variety of vegetarian snacks, including these Samosas.
Way back in the day, also known as “circa 2k11”, you could pick up one of these Chilled Summer Rolls for two dollars.
Does anyone remember these bags of Potato Chips that look like they’re straight out of the 90s? Haven’t seen those since at least 2013. These Chicken Nuggets were also available from Mr. Kamal’s for a while.
“Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries topped with Tzatziki Salad and Sriracha Ketchup” headline the menu. I was initially a little wary of the flavor profile.
But I was surprised by how well everything worked together – there’s some tomato and cucumber mixed in with the yogurt 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 zesty Old-Bay-esque seasoning. Still, for six bucks, there isn’t a lot of value here given the portion size and we’re going to run into basically the same fries without the toppings for $4.25 at Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe, where the portion is a lot larger.
Warung Outpost is the name of the margarita kiosk located just outside the entrance to Theater in the Wild.
If it was in a more prominent location, or the theming was a little more fabulous, then the Outpost would probably be a lot more popular. But it’s rare that any more than two people will be in line, if that. Very similar Frozen Margaritas are incredibly popular over at the Mexico Pavilion at Epcot.
Here’s a look at Warung’s $11.50 “Triple Yeti Blast – A Layer of Kali River Mango, Maharaja Lime, and Bali Hai Strawberry Margaritas.” You can actually see a bit of the fruit involved in the strawberry portion and I thought it was surprisingly refreshing.
You’ll definitely want to carry at least one into the UP! show if you’re planning on seeing it.
Drinkwallah is the name of the outlet located across from the entrance to Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Asia.
The quick service was closed for much of 2018, while the front wall was knocked out to make it more obvious that this was a drink installation.
The seating area to the rear was also expanded with some beautiful details added. You can pull up 100+ pictures of Animal Kingdom at night, including more pictures of the artwork here, in this post.
Frozen beverages is/are the name of the game here, with or without a splash of Captain Morgan.
The $9.50 “Coconut-Lychee Lemonade – Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, Lychee, and Odwalla Lemonade” is unique to Drinkwallah and costs a couple of dollars less than most cocktails, including the ones that went from $11 to $12.75 at Dawa Bar in Africa. That price reduction probably comes with a similar drop in potency as there’s very little alcohol to speak of in this drink, but it ends up being a refreshing cocktail that doesn’t overwhelm on the sugar or the booze. That may be just what you’re looking for.
This arrow points down to what is still semi-hidden Lower Garden Seating, which is one of the prettiest areas in the Park.
It also enjoys an amusing look at the people rushing through to get to their Primeval Whirl FastPass+.
You’ll find Yak & Yeti’s quick service arm, the Local Foods Cafe, to the right of the entrance into the restaurant.
My advice is to avoid the breakfast, which is served fro 9am to 10:30am, at all costs as we saw back in this review.
As far as the Animal Kingdom quick service landscape is concerned, Yak & Yeti is right around average, in my estimation.
Back in the day, food was served in large quantities in these fun, themed to-go boxes with piping-hot fried rice sitting underneath a large amount of whatever main course you ordered.
The menu is now dominated by hamburgers and hot dogs. And while it isn’t exactly false advertising to call them “American Kobe,” those words have absolutely no meaning here other than to imply that the beef is much higher quality than it is.
Above is 16 bucks worth – 50% more expensive than other entrees for what is just a regular old frozen hamburger patty that’s even less substantial than Disney’s own quick service burgers. It’s literally just a larger version of the kids’ cheeseburger that they’ve served for years.
Yak & Yeti isn’t operated by Disney, which means they have more leeway in what they can offer than something like Restaurantosaurus, which is directly run by Disney. The fact is that a lot of people on vacation are looking for burgers and hot dogs and it doesn’t seem detrimental to offer those on the menu. Adding “American Kobe” and charging four extra dollars because of it”feels” a little shady, though.
Here’s the $12 “Teriyaki Beef Bowl – Marinated Beef, Carrots, Snap Peas, Onions, and Mushrooms in Sweet Teriyaki Sauce with White Rice.” I thought the portion on the chewy beef was a little chintzy – just four or five bites as virtually everything that isn’t rice is visible in the picture – there isn’t anything hiding underneath the initial layer. On the plus side, the familiar teriyaki glaze is flavorful and the snap peas, mushrooms, carrots, and onions were as nicely sauteed as they were colorful. The sesame seeds in the rice are a nice touch, but it’s a pretty underwhelming, cheap overall side. It boils down to being Panda Express quality, probably in smaller portions for two or three dollars more.
Here’s $12 worth of Honey Sesame Chicken with about six large chicken nuggets covered in sauce and the same gritty rice.
The $11.50 “Vegetable Tikka Masala – Garbanzo Beans, Zucchini, Peppers, Onions and Tomatoes in a creamy Tikka Masala Sauce served with White Rice” is another tasty vegetarian entree, but one that’s an even smaller portion.
You don’t have to push the beans to the side of the shallow bowl very far before the bottom shows. But the sauce was appropriately rich and surprisingly creamy with just a little bit of spice with cumin, coriander, and turmeric notes. It’s adequate for a smaller appetite, but you’d have a hard time convincing me that it’s 12 bucks worth.
The $14 “Rib Tips – Pecan-smoked St. Louis Rib Tips glazed in Korean Barbecue Sauce with French Fries” are now part of the printed menu after being a “Daily Chef Special” for a couple of years. The “ribs” are mostly boneless and if you can get past the fat, gristly mouthfeel, and off-puttingly sweet flavor, about 98% edible.
I actually like Yak & Yeti’s fries pretty well – they’re thicker and crispier than your typical Disney fry and after being tossed in the same Old-Bay-esque spice blend as what we saw at Mr. Kamal’s, tastier.
Speaking of sides, the $6.50 pair of Pork Egg Rolls is a bit of a guilty pleasure. They might be fried up from frozen, but they’re deliciously crispy and packed full of crunchy vegetables and pork.
The Egg Rolls along with the $5.25 Chicken Fried Rice make for a nice, easy, comforting meal.
The Chicken Fried Rice comes in two sizes with the “Side” on top coming in just a dollar less than the full size carton, which looks to be at least twice as large. The smart money looks to be on going big.
If you know what you’re getting yourself into – mall quality fast food Chinese for a few dollars more per person – then Yak & Yeti quick service may do the trick. But with no mobile order and all-outdoor seating, I think most people will do better at Satu’li Canteen, Flame Tree Barbecue, or Harambe Market. With that said, it would be nice to see something similar at Hollywood Studios or Magic Kingdom, where I think the same food at the same prices would be recommended higher given the lesser options currently available at those Parks.
One of these days I will bite the bullet with a $16 Turkey Drumstick; they look significantly smaller than Disney’s version from afar. On the plus side, that probably means there’s less to eat. Maybe I will be #turkeyleghosted if I play my cards right.
Yak & Yeti has a somewhat obscure drink window down to the right of the main ordering area.
It’s actually open most days from 11:30am through 6pm. The Specialty Beverages, Kirin Ichiban, and Orlando Brewing I-4 IPA are unique to this “Quality Beverages Window,” but lines are typically short to nonexistent if you’re after the other items available here. I’ve been known to skip a 20+ minute wait at the main ordering area by picking up my egg rolls here.
Across from Yak & Yeti is a Joffrey’s kiosk that goes by the name of Royal Anandapur Tea Company.
While the drink list isn’t as expansive as what you’ll find at Creature Comforts Starbucks, what is offered is typically high quality.
The Frozen Cappuccino is probably my favorite non-alcoholic beverage on property. Cold and refreshing, it enjoys that perfect icy texture while packing enough sugar and caffeine to get you through writing 7-15 blog posts about fast food at one Disney World theme park. For a little more than three more dollars, they’ll toss a shot of Bailey’s Irish Cream in too as stipulated under the list of $9.99 “Alcohol Beverages.” That may make writing the 7-15 blog posts a little more palatable for all involved.
You’ll find an expansive number of tea options here – about 16 in all, in addition to some Latte options.
Here’s an example.
Seasonal beverages are also available throughout the year with some winter choices currently on offer.
Here’s a reminder of the standard ice cream novelties that you’ll find at the various carts scattered around the Park.
In between the entrance to Maharajah Jungle Trek and the exit from Kali River Rapids, you’ll run into this cart, which isn’t often open.
If it’s not, Drinkwallah serves both kinds of Glazed Nuts and you won’t have much trouble finding a Draft Beer or Mickey Pretzel with Thirsty River Bar coming up.
You’ll see Animal Kingdom’s version of the ice cream truck on the walk towards Everest here in Anandapur.
Floats, Waffle Cones, and Soft Serve are the name of the game here.
I know it looks easy, but there’s actually quite a bit of skill involved in taking these menu pictures as we creepily zoom in on this Hard Cider Float sign.
And there it is, almost in focus as you can order a Hard Cider Float for $7 more than the cost of Root Beer.
Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is located just before the entrance to Expedition Everest as you walk over from Asia.
With three specialty cocktails on the main menu, plus two mocktails, two wines, four draft beers, and five more bottles, there’s quite a bit of variety offered.
The Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale was originally unique to Tiffins and Nomad Lounge, but has since been added to the menus here and over at Skipper Canteen at Magic Kingdom. I like it a lot – the cinnamon and cardamom are present, but not overpowering, and the beer works surprisingly well during the warmer months given this style is typically seen more often around the winter holidays.
The Golden Monkey is your best bet on the ABV front at 9.5%, which is more than twice the amount of alcohol you’ll find in a Bud Light. It’s a good way to “just have two,” while still feeling pretty good about yourself in more ways than one.
You’ll find a couple more cocktails advertised at bar level.
The $11.25 “Dragon’s Breath – ByeJoe Dragon Fire Spirit Liquor, Mango Puree, and Pineapple Juice” is a potent mixture of the sweet and spicy ByeJoe with a chili flavor that’s cooled by the refreshing Mango Puree and then sweetened up with the tropical sugar in the Pineapple Juice. The texture is pleasantly icy and with the help of the juice, easier to drink than a lot of other frozen beverages. It may be worth noting that it’s just the $6 “Flying Yak” with a shot of the booze mixed in for $5.25 more. It ends up being an interesting, refreshing cocktail that comes recommended given the obscurity of the Fire Spirit.
That’s the $10.50 “Singapore Sling – New Amsterdam Gin, Bols Cherry Brandy, Sweet-and-Sour, Grenadine, and Sprite” on the left. It ends up being more of a “Black Cherry Lemonade” than your typical Singapore Sling with the addition of the Sprite, which thins out the syrupy quality of the Brandy, and the Grenadine, which adds some more cherry and ruby red color to a drink that would end up looking like Sprite otherwise. Sling purists are probably flipping their proverbial table over at the thought of this thing, but it ends up being fruity and refreshing for the most part. It’s also on the inexpensive side of things. Both drinks were $9.50 as recently as October with the Sling up “just” a dollar compared to the $1.75 rise of the ByeJoe.
At the next window is where you’ll find a variety of snacks, including healthier options like the Hummus with Vegetables and Pita or classic options like the Mickey Pretzel with Cheese Dip.
Beverages and ice cream novelties are also offered, including the full lineup of Frozen Lemonade/Orangeade Cups. Lines are typically short to nonexistent, which can make it a quick and easy way to grab a drink or snack if other carts are closed or it’s busy elsewhere.
That’s what’s going on in Asia. We’ll close things up with DinoLand and Discovery Island.