Today’s dining tips are all about the largest and most WILD park at Walt Disney World. Another fun fact, this is also the hottest park. Because of all the vegetation and animals this park is actual the hottest so be aware and time your visit for early morning or at night. The at night part is actually new this month so make sure you check out the new nighttime water show, I’m sure if its anything like world of color in Disneyland it will be spectacular! It centers around the tree of life and that’s already my favorite thing to look at in the part. All those carvings!!
Ok dining. I must admit Animal Kingdom is not know for its cuisine, which is why Disney is currently working on a few new restaurants and re-vamping menus of current kiosks. This list is based on my knowledge and visits. I’m not going to mention the new dining because most of it isn’t open yet and I haven’t read anything about it or experienced it myself.
- Bloody Mary—that’s right my friends, I said Bloody Mary. Dawa Bar is a hidden gem before you get to Festival of the Lion King. Hidden behind canopies this unassuming bar serves up some solid mary’s as well as mimosa, beer, and mixed drinks. Trust me on this one though, get one of the specialty bloody mary’s. I got the Dawa Bloody Mary and loved it. A little on the spicy side for me but pretty strong as Disney standards go. Dawa bar is Africa’s Harambe Village before Festival of the Lion King.
- Margarita—again with the alcohol I know but Animal Kingdom does have some solid drink offerings. Since this is the hottest park why not cool off with a nice cold margarita?! I love the simplicity of the lime margarita but the Warung Kiosk has a few different varieties to sample. Always be on the lookout for seasonal offerings, these kiosks are known to switch things up with the seasons. Warung Outpost is located in Asia next to the Flights of Wonder attraction.
- Mickey Bar—while you can get these anywhere, and you should, I would be remiss to not mention them in Animal Kingdom. After all Mickey is a mouse! These delicious bars can be found at pretty much any kiosk and should be enjoyed year round. If you have never had the cookies and cream mickey sandwich before, add that to your list as well. They are divine. Below is the one I got on our cruise, so your wont come with sprinkles but the rest is the same 🙂
- Mac and Cheese Hot Dog—While not on the official menu I had the pleasure of enjoying this masterpiece after completing the Expedition Everest Challenge last year. To say I love this hot dog more than life would be an exaggeration but hot dang its good. Its very filling so make sure you bring your appetite! You can find a mac and cheese hot dog…hopefully…at Restaurantosaurus in Dinoland USA near the entrance.
- Breakfast with Character—one of my favorite character breakfasts was at Tusker House. Traditional breakfast fare mixed with African offerings made this breakfast delicious but adding the Fab 5 in their safari gear was too cute! I love meeting the characters in different outfits, and you can definitely do that here. Make sure and score reservations, although its not as difficult as other locations you sometimes need a reservation to get early entry into the park. When we went a few years ago, the characters were actually pretty bad about coming to tables with just adults. Chef Mickey’s was the same as well, we had to ask our server to bring the characters over. I think this has changed in recent years, but adult only groups be warned, you may need to force those characters over. Tusker House is located in Africa before you get to Festival of the Lion King and after Dawa Bar.
- Pot Stickers and Duck—As much as it pains me to put a Landry’s owned restaurant on this list, I really did enjoy the Asian-fusion cuisine here. You could probably get by without reservations here but during peak season I always recommend reservations no matter what. I love pot stickers, they complete me and the pot stickers here are pretty legit. Appetizers are great but lets talk main dish. There is plenty to choose from at Yak & Yeti but I love duck. If there is duck on a menu I’m going to try it. The Bhaktapur Duck here was no exception. Cooked perfectly and with great flavor I would highly recommend this dish if you are looking for something a little more out of the ordinary. Service is ok since its not 100% Disney but the food was great. Joe and I both enjoyed our meals here. While there is a Yak & Yeti quick service location right next door, you really should try the sit down experience at least once. Yak & Yeti is located in Asia on the opposite side of Flights of Wonder.
- Barbecue—Anytime you talk to someone who has spent enough time at Walt Disney World and you talk about Animal Kingdom they will most likely mention Flame Tree Barbecue. It seems to have some sort of cult following and it doesn’t make sense but once you try the barbecue you will know why. Joe and I both loved the barbecue (keep in mind this is Disney food, not an award winning barbecue competition) and have eaten here a few times. I tend to stick with what I know and get the pulled pork sandwich but Joe likes the ribs. The barbecue sauce is what makes these great though, being slightly sweet, trust me its a great lunch/dinner. Flame Tree Barbecue is located in Discovery Island before the entrance to Dinoland USA.
Not as many recommendations as Magic Kingdom and you can probably see from this list the re-vamping of restaurants and kiosks are much needed. I cant wait for my next visit to check out all the changes at Animal Kingdom.
CHIME IN!!! What do you love at Animal Kingdom? Bloody Mary or Mimosa? Do you like food from unusual countries?