Mickey and Minnie moved from Camp Minnie-Mickey to the old Beastly Bazaar building on May 15th.
Animal Kingdom can be kind of confusing to traverse, so hopefully these mockups created in Adobe Photoshop CS6 help. The Adventurers Outpost is located in Discovery Island along the walkway into Asia.
The building’s appearance hasn’t changed much – it used to be a small shop that sold merchandise and sandwiches. I’d expect to see an Adventurers Outpost marquee arrive in the coming days. For now, this cast member periodically calls out that Mickey and Minnie meet inside.
Like most attractions, Adventurers Outpost is outfitted for FASTPASS+ and has a standby wait sign above the regular entrance. The wait never changed from 30 minutes, despite the actual wait being closer to 15 minutes.
The air-conditioned queue winds around inside and there’s an extended queue that runs around the outside of the building.
There otherwise isn’t a lot to it, but you will see some photographs of Mickey and Minnie traveling the world:
To help lower wait times, there are two identical rooms where Mickey and Minnie greet. After the initial wait, you’ll be led into another hallway, much like the Mickey and Minnie Meet in Town Square Theater.
The characters meet in the same outfits as Camp Minnie-Mickey with a few props and a backdrop.
I would move Boma to Day 1. And 2. And 3.
So far, Adventurers Outpost does not need to be a morning priority. With just one room operating on a busy Thursday, I waited 15 minutes after getting in line at 1:35pm. Both rooms are now operating. This may change as people familiarize themselves with the new Meet and signage is installed. For now, it’s safe to visit at your convenience. The characters meet from 9am through 20 minutes prior to Park close.
Heading into Camp Minnie-Mickey, signage reminds guests that they no longer meet here.
Instead, you’ll find Pocahontas, who has a surprisingly long line. When she casually greeted guests near the Camp’s entrance, five or six people would be in line.
Chip & Dale also have their own hut in Minnie’s place.
Donald continues greeting guests at the Camp for now, though he’s expected to join Daisy at the Character Landing in the near future.
Baloo & King Louie take over Mickey’s old spot in the far left corner.
That’s it on the character movement front for now.
Rewinding a bit, it’s 1:10pm on the afternoon of Thursday May 16th. I was not originally planning to visit Animal Kingdom and will admit I had not consulted the May Crowd Calendar prior to arriving. Animal Kingdom is usually recommended on Thursdays, but I was relieved that it wasn’t with Star Wars Weekends on the horizon. Wait times are pretty rough. TouringPlans had Animal Kingdom as a “neutral Park.” TOURGUIDEMiKE.com had it “green,” if you can believe that website still exists. Imagine paying $21.95 for a Hollywood Studios touring plan that includes Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and the Stars and Motor Cars Parade, but not Toy Story Mania.
Lunch is at fan-favorite Flame Tree Barbecue. Larger menu: https://www.easywdw.com/reports8/flamebbq.jpg. With one meal at Animal Kingdom, it’s hard to look past Flame Tree for its above average barbecue and beautiful seating area overlooking Expedition Everest.
We’ve got the Smoked Chicken Salad with Mixed Greens Tossed In A Barbecue Vinaigrette and Drizzled with Chipotle Ranch Dressing – $8.99 along with the $3.79 Onion Rings and $3.99 Mandarin Orange Lemonade.
I know I shouldn’t say this, but the Onion Rings are among the best quick service values at Walt Disney World. The rings are freshly fried, piping hot, and piled high. There’s onion in there, but it isn’t overwhelming. I’d charge that they’re as good, if not better, than the onion rings you’d receive at 50’s Prime Time or Sci-Fi and at half the price, you get a larger portion.
Animal Kingdom salads have impressed in recent memory, though the new-ish BLT Salad at Restaurantosaurus wasn’t much to write home about. This one is full of stuff – lettuce, garbanzo beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, cheese, corn, tortilla strips, carrots, cabbage, and the same barbecued chicken you’d get if you purchased a chicken entree.
Mixed up and missing one bite because I know how much you like half-eaten food pix. This one was chock-full of barbecued chicken, to the point where it seemed like there was as much chicken in the salad as one of the $10.49 1/2 Chicken entrees. I thought the beans were a bit superfluous, but they add a bit of protein. They’re otherwise bland with just a bit of salad dressing drizzled on top. There’s a subtle barbecue flavor, but it’s complementary rather than overpowering. The corn, carrots, and fresh lettuce provide a nice contrasting crunch to the chewier beans and chicken.
I thoroughly enjoyed the salad, but I think I give the nod to the Pizzafari Pasta and Chicken Salad if I had to pick a favorite. I realize not everyone enjoys cold pasta though.
And there’s Tamu Tamu’s South African Quinoa Salad if you want to go the vegetarian route. Correct me if I’m wrong, but you should be able to order the Smoked Chicken Salad sans chicken if you want to go that route. Regardless, Flame Tree’s salad is a good choice in my opinion. And a hearty, cold entree may be just the ticket during the hot summer.
I’m less enthusiastic about the Mandarin Orange Lemonade. It tasted like someone had stirred in a Crystal Light package. It had a fake sugar taste to it. It’s a relatively small cup for the $4 price tag. 16 ounces minus the space taken up by the ice I would guess. It wasn’t bad by any means, but not a terrific value for the money as far as I’m concerned. I’d stick with the complimentary cup of water next time, possibly with a Crystal Light To-Go packet pulled out of my cargo shorts.
Changing gears slightly, we’re now at the Royal Anandapur Tea Company located across from Yak & Yeti in Asia. Menu:
Their Frozen Drinks are excellent – particularly the Cappuccino and Chai.
With the 90+ degree heat, I was interested in another cold beverage. I can’t imagine they sell much hot tea from May – October.
A Green Honey Ginseng Iced Tea, which ran about $3.25 with tax. It’s a larger cup than the Mandarin Orange Lemonade from earlier, but had a much more subtle flavor. I was expecting a little more sweetness from the honey to show through, but it wasn’t there. It was refreshing, but again, a cup of water would have a similar effect.
It’s that time of year when Kali River Rapids has longer standby waits than the “major attractions” due to its limited capacity and increased popularity with the high temps.
There had been some forum questions about FASTPASSes at Animal Kingdom. As you can see, this FASTPASS was pulled at 2:44pm with a 3:50pm return time and I can collect another FASTPASS at 3:40pm. So instead of the usual two hour minimum between FASTPASS pulls found at the other Parks, you may only have to wait an hour at Animal Kingdom if the return time is more than an hour out. Make sure you check the time another FASTPASS ticket will be available on Kali River Rapids and Expedition Everest in particular.
Speaking of Everest FASTPASSes, this is the return line backed up outside. I’ll occasionally here or see people with FASTPASSes state that they would be better off in the standby line because the FASTPASS line “feels” so long. That line of thinking is inaccurate because FASTPASS and standby riders aren’t taken at a 1:1 ratio. FASTPASS returners have priority and you’ll often see several FASTPASS groups be admitted for each standby group. So even if there are 100 people in the FASTPASS line and 50 people in standby, the last person in the FASTPASS line would be admitted long before the last person in the standby line. Here, a cast member is announcing that the FASTPASS wait is five minutes with the 40 minute posted standby wait. That’s close to being accurate.
Flat out of the camera.
It otherwise “feels” crowded around here.
Some Everest merchandise, some of which is new-ish:
I feel like they should sell wind-up Yeti toys that after you wind them up, they just sit there. But they come with a flashlight that you shine on and off the toy to make it look like it’s moving. Am I right?
Flat out of the camera.
The extended queue at TriceraTop Spin is in use – tres relieved that Animal Kingdom wasn’t recommended.
Animal Kingdom 15th Anniversary shirts have moved to Island Mercantile from Creature Comforts. As you enter the Park, you’ll see the store on the left before arriving at the Tree of Life. The other items appeared to be sold out.
Not much else going on. The nets are still up around the Tree of Life to help prevent you from being crushed to death from falling “limbs.” I was reading a MiceChat article a while ago and one of the comments asked why Disney didn’t simply prune the tree at night to prevent falling branches. These people can vote. And probably handle our food. And potentially teach our children.
Walls are still up all around Africa on the Tusker House/Dawa Bar side as Disney builds a new theater for Festival of the Lion King.
The Anandapur Ice Cream Truck is back.
That’s about it.