Disney’s Animal Kingdom is one of the best examples of how the elements of nature and the cultural influences of people connect in celebration of life and prosperity in our world. Although the park is designed to give guests an opportunity to observe and discover many animals from the different parts of the planet, Animal Kingdom also showcases the lifestyles and traditions of the people native to those same areas. One of the most exciting (and delicious) aspects of these cultures is their food. All of the dining locations in Disney’s Animal Kingdom do an incredible job of giving their guests something Disney prides itself on, a unique culinary experience, really bringing the flavors to the cuisine they are offering. Whether it be a snack or a full entree, drink or dessert, diners and snackers alike will be given a taste of each of the native cultures represented throughout the park. Disney’s Animal Kingdom now certainly rivals EPCOT in offering delicious cuisine from around the world.
Throughout Animal Kingdom, from Discovery Island to Dinoland USA, there are many places to sit down to eat a meal with family and friends (I’m talking to you Tusker House), to grab a bite from one of the many quick-service locations (you heard me Flame Tree Barbeque), or to pick up a few yummy snacks to satisfy you between attractions and rides.
With the addition of the eateries in Pandora: The World of Avatar and Harambe Market, along with the new snack carts scattered throughout each land, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is certainly now getting its due as a fantastic place for food. Each of the items we will talk about below are available as a snack credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan and, as you will see, whether you are on the dining plan or not, they will be quite worth it. While you can still get popcorn or a Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar, with all of the fantastic additions provided to us, we decided to check them all out, and here are our recommendations for the best snacks at Animal Kingdom.
Pongo Lumpia (Pandora: The World of Avatar)
One of the best themed lands, not only in Animal Kingdom, but in all of Walt Disney World, is Pandora: The World of Avatar. As guests are transported to the native land of the Na’vi, the food and drink available once there is as creative and inventive as the land itself. We are going to start our list of best snacks at Animal Kingdom the Pongu Pongu. Located next to the exit of the Windtraders Shop, you can get what the Na’vi call Pongu Lumpia, a delicious spring roll filled with the unique pairing of pineapple and cream cheese. We love how the smoothness of the cream cheese with the crunchiness of the outer layer works in perfect balance. We can imagine the Na’vi, after a long ride on their banshee, relaxing and enjoying this sweet treat. So, after taking YOUR turn riding a banshee on Flight of Passage, why not do the same.
While you are there, pair it with a Pandora inspired beverage such as a Hawkes’ Grog Ale, the extremely pretty looking Rum Blossom, or the non-alcoholic Night Blossom, and enjoy the beautiful atmosphere of this unique area of Animal Kingdom. To make this an even cooler experience, enjoy your Pongu Lumpia after dark when the land transforms itself into a bioluminescent forest. It is a sight to behold. An honorable mention goes to the creative, colorful, and delicious desserts right next door at Satu’li Canteen!
Colossal Cinnamon Roll (Kusatiri Bakery: Africa)
If you are looking for a more traditional treat, the next item on our list can be found in one variation or another at each of the Disney Parks. However, as far as best value goes at Animal Kingdom, NOTHING compares to the colossal Mickey-shaped cinnamon roll at Kusafari Coffee Shop and Bakery. This dinner plate sized treat is definitely a contender for one of the biggest snacks in all of the Walt Disney World Resort., and one that guests continuously flock towards. And as if the size isn’t impressive enough, the sweet taste of the soft roll lands this treat high up on our list of yummiest treats in Animal Kingdom.
Unless you want to impress your family and friends by eating this monster all at once, a benefit of choosing this sweet treat to nosh on is that you can enjoy small pieces of it at a time, or share it with others in your party (though it’s so good you may want the rest of your party to get their own). Wash it all down with a coffee or juice and this makes not only a great snack, but if you get there early enough, it could be breakfast!! We highly recommended this gigantic treat as a snack for when you have a longer gap in between dining experiences as it definitely won’t leave you hungry. Not only will it give you the sugar kick you need to power through from attraction to attraction, but will keep you full as well.
Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries (Mr. Kamal’s: Asia)
What you will observe, french fries are easily one of the most popular types of snacks to nosh on while walking around amusement or theme parks, but Mr. Kamal’s Seasoned Fries are at the top of this potato classic, with a kick. Now, if you have been to Animal Kingdom in the last couple of years, you may remember that these fries were topped with a tzatziki salad and siracha ketchup. Not only a delectable delight, their appearance was worthy of all the posts throughout the internet. As originally constructed, these fries were one of the top-rated snacks at Animal Kingdom, not only by your friends here at Capture the Magic, but by the Disney community in general. In early-2019, a menu change was made, that, no matter how controversial to Disney snack-a-holics, has quickly re-established itself as a fan favorite among guests. The fries themselves have not changed, they are still crispy perfection and topped with that addictive seasoning. However, now instead of the tzatziki and siracha ketchup, guests now have the option of choosing their own dipping sauce for their fries – along with traditional ketchup, you can choose from Saffron Aioli, Honey Kimchi Ketchup, or Tandoori Honey Mustard. Although the change did disappoint some, we still love them and believe that these fries are a must have snack at Animal Kingdom due to the perfect seasoning and unique, inventive dipping sauces. Mr. Kamal’s also offers some other super tasty snacks in Animal Kingdom, like dumplings with Ponzu sauce, and hummus served with vegetables and mini pita.
Pineapple Dole Whip with Rum (Tamu Tamu Refreshments: Africa)
The DOLE Whip has become a staple iconic treat for Disney guests over the years, and was only offered at one of two locations at Walt Disney World; Aloha Isle at the Magic Kingdom and Mr. Cooks at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. As is typical of Disney, they thought “but how can you make something the best”? Their conclusion: add a splash of rum to it! And folks, we have a winner!! This flavorful, island inspired treat makes its way to the heart of the Africa section of the park. It continues to be one of the most refreshing snacks for guests as they stroll through the Animal Kingdom’s many discovery zones on those hot Florida afternoons, or as they take in the evening show on the Tree of Life.
Snackers have a few different ways they can get this goodness served to them – with either dark rum or coconut rum, and either in a cup or as a float with DOLE pineapple juice. The blend of pineapple and rum is fantastic, and adding the cool and refreshing DOLE pineapple juice turns this non-dairy treat into a float. This snack is only for guests over 21, but you can also purchase the original DOLE Whip from Tamu Tamu Refreshments, as well. Be sure to take your time to enjoy this treat, you don’t want to get an ice cream headache.
Fried Rice (Yak & Yeti: Asia)
Looking for a snack that is not on the sweet side and can give you the energy you need to trek the Himalayas in search of the Yeti? Yak and Yeti Restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is well known for offering Asian inspired fare in a table service setting. But did you know they have a quick service option too? Located right outside of the entrance to the sit-down restaurant, this Animal Kingdom favorite offers not only entrees, but a number of sides that can also double as snacks. Among the available options, the side of chicken fried rice is not only delicious, it offers tremendous value when it comes to portion size compared to price. It’s a great portion, but not too heavy, and there is just something that we just can’t get enough of. Chicken fried rice may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking “snack”, but we included it on this list as one of the best snacks at Animal Kingdom because it’s considered a side item, and could provide some sustainability with the ability to also hold you over between your lunch at Satu’li Canteen and dinner at Tiffins.
Did we tell you that these snacks would be worth it or what? And for only one snack credit if you are using the Disney Dining Plan. While these are the snacks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that we like best, there are many other great choices throughout the park. The Harambe Market section of Africa has many different delicious items to try, such as shave ice. Also, if you like your snacks with cheese, be sure to check out the pimento-cheese BLT sandwich at The Smiling Crocodile or the baked mac and cheese topped with pulled pork at Eight Spoon Café, both located to the right of the Tree of Life in Discovery Island. With the wide variety of selections available, we are sure you will find many things to add to your list of snacks to return for at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The best way to find your favorites… come up with a plan to try them ALL!!
As you can tell, we at Capture the Magic LOVE the snacks at Walt Disney World. In fact, we’ve made days of simply eating nothing but snacks (and if you share, you can try more things!). Indulgent, sure. But it sure made for a pretty fun and delicious day touring the parks from Hollywood Studios to the Magic Kingdom.
If you enjoyed our review of our favorite snacks at Animal Kingdom, you may enjoy some of our other articles like the best quick service at Animal Kingdom.