The holidays are REALLY on now in Walt Disney World…
… and we’ve seen the crowds and the attraction wait times to prove it!
Fortunately, in Animal Kingdom there are lots of new and limited time eats (in addition to all sorts of longtime favorites) to serve the increased number of guests.
Because, as we always say, the best thing about more crowds in Disney World is MORE FOOD!!!
In fact, if you have plans to be in Animal Kingdom from today through January 2, 2019, you can pre-purchase the Animal Kingdom Tasting Sampler, which offers a $35 digital value card to redeem for select food and beverage items around the park for the price of $30, PLUS preferred seating for the second showing of Rivers of Light on the night of your visit.
Lots of new, limited time items (available through January 2nd) have arrived in conjunction with the availability of the Tasting Sampler at various carts and kiosks throughout the park. However, these items are also available for regular purchase (including several that are available for Disney Dining Plan snack credits) even without the Tasting Sampler!
Even if you aren’t participating with the Tasting Sampler, you can still pick up a handy Tasting Sampler Guide if you’d like to know where all the items are!
That said, if you ARE participating with the Tasting Sampler, you’ll DEFINITELY want to pick up a guide to find out where your digital value card can be put into use!
Now, let’s dig into some of the additional items available around the park during this busy holiday season so you can start making your list — and checking it twice — of everything you’d like to try!
is serving a specialty menu, and it gives a good idea of the “tasting-sized” items available throughout the park to begin.
You’ll notice as we go that several items bear a strong serving resemblance to the Epcot Food & Wine Festival Food Booth items.
We tried the Meatball and Polenta along with the Butternut Squash, Potato, and Prosciutto Pizza. The Meatball and super creamy Polenta are delicious together, with the flavorful meatball also being packed with spinach.
The Butternut Squash, Potato, and Prosciutto Pizza is really enjoyable, too, thanks to the unique and fresh toppings.
The Smiling Crocodile has specialty items as well.
A Pastrami Beef Slider and a Plant-Based Chili make up the offerings.
The Plant-Based Chili is packed with flavor and just a perfect fit for these cool days. Aside from the variety of beans and tomatoes and more making up the chili, the cornbread croutons are also a great touch!
The Pastrami Beef Slider is yet another winner. (And keep this one in mind, because we’ll show you another slider in a little bit that doesn’t live up to this one.)
The terrific toppings over the tasty pastrami include a unique sauerkraut-kale slaw and whole grain mustard along with a pickle spear.
Pastrami fans should not miss it!
If you’ve ever wanted to try several of the Dawa Bar signature cocktails in one go, now’s your time, thanks to the Dawa Bar Flight!
It includes tastings of Ngumu Jungle Juice, Lost on Safari, and the African Margarita.
Curry dishes are the focus for the Sampler offerings at Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery, featuring a Shrimp Curry, a Chicken Curry, or a Curry Sampler to try both.
Before we dig in, just a note that regular menu items are still available at Kusafiri, too.
The Curry Sampler is quite tasty. In particular, the chicken is fall-apart tender, and the curry flavor isn’t too overpowering.
As you can tell, though, you definitely need to appreciate plenty of cilantro in order to enjoy this dish!
Strolling from Africa towards Asia, you’ll happen upon Caravan Road.
On the menu is a Korean Fiery Beef Slider and a Tuna Bao.
The Tuna Bao serves up seared tuna, cabbage slaw, and spicy mayo.
While we didn’t pick up much spice at all from the mayo, it was impossible not to be impressed by the insanely fresh tuna and crisp slaw.
Unfortunately, we didn’t find anything special about the Korean Fiery Beef Slider.
Made with kimchi, black sesame seeds and rainbow carrots to top the beef, we expected to like it much more than we did. But it was just okay.
Directly across the way is Mr. Kamal’s. Chicken Dumplings are the specialty item.
Served with a tart ponzu sauce, the Chicken Dumplings are served in a fried wonton wrapper, giving them an especially nice crisp. They are seriously yummy.
And Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks is getting in on the fun, too!
You can try three of their beers — including the Kungaloosh Spiced Excursion Ale — in a Beer Flight!
Next stop? Dino Diner in Dinoland, U.S.A.!
Corn Chip Pie shows up as a specialty offering among the items!
Chili, sour cream, green onion, cheddar cheese, and jalapeno assemble to make this twist on nachos, which features corn chips as opposed to tortilla chips. (This is a fun one for the kids!)
And at Dino-Bite Snacks, a Peppermint Sundae is up for grabs.
The base is a peppermint brownie with vanilla ice cream and it’s all topped with fudge sauce, peppermint candies, peppermint sauce, and a chocolate garnish.
As you can probably tell from the ingredient list, this one is for serious peppermint fans only!
And Trilo-Bites has added a seasonal milkshake to their selection.
Find an Eggnog Shake on the menu (with or without bourbon)!
We were quite impressed with most of these new offerings today, and hope that some might even become regular menu items. (Hey, you never know!) And if your holiday plans include a visit to Animal Kingdom, we highly recommend checking out any of the items above that may have caught your eye. But before we leave…
FOR GUESTS PARTICIPATING IN THE TASTING SAMPLER:
Remember, the new items we’ve shown today are not the only items eligible when using your Tasting Sampler digital value card. The full list of eligible items and participating locations include items such as Pongu Lumpia at Pongu Pongu in Pandora and the Macaroni and Cheese dishes at Eight Spoon Cafe, and MUCH MORE. You can find all the eligible items by picking up a Tasting Sampler Guide.
FOR GUESTS NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE TASTING SAMPLER: These new items highlighted here are not limited to those who are utilizing the Tasting Sampler. They are available through January 2nd for regular purchase (and, in many cases, for a Disney Dining Plan snack credit).
You’ll always want to keep your eyes peeled for new food offerings in Animal Kingdom no matter what time of year you visit. In fact, the park is packed with all sorts of hidden gems from dining and beyond. Check them out in our DFB YouTube Video!