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Walt Disney World Disney's Animal Kingdom Discussion Thread

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I'm one of the few that absolutely love Animal Kingdom. I'm looking forward to the new land. I really hope it works out well for them!


I too love Animal Kingdom. I can understand why people don't dig it but, after full days at the other parks, AK was a nice change of pace and made for an overall great and chilled out day. And breakfast at Tusker House was by far the single best meal I ate in any of the Orlando parks during my entire 7 day vacation.


Sure, I have no desire in any way to see the Avatar movie, but I do nonetheless expect this addition to be sensational and plenty of incentive to go back to the park someday to see it.

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I think it will greatly increase the parks attendance. Simply because they world they are re=creating from the movie was beautiful. That's what people liked about the movie, its setting was gorgeous.


I agree. That's exactly my thoughts on Potter. I know nothing about the IP, but the area still looks amazing.

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I'm one of the few that absolutely love Animal Kingdom. I'm looking forward to the new land. I really hope it works out well for them!


I've always loved Animal Kingdom but this addition as well as the River of Light should be a nice boost to the park. I was there from last weekend and while you still can't see a whole lto of the section from the park areas/parking lot the buildings that will host the simulator ride are pretty massive. I'm not a huge fan of simulator rides but it should be interesting to see what that do with this one in the particular fantasy world. Could be really good.

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  • 5 weeks later...



Built around a Colonial-era train depot design complete with a 1960s water tower, the marketplace re-creates a bustling center of commerce where guests are welcomed from around the world who have come to visit the little seaside town and venture out to the reserve to observe Africa’s animals.


Chef Lenny DeGeorge led the Food and Beverage concept development team, and tells us it’s the sort of food you’d find in a street market in Africa. “The menus reflect the unique personalities of the establishments’ owners,” says Chef Lenny.


New Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

“Kitamu Grill” offers skewered chicken and a kabob flatbread sandwich. “Famous Sausages” features a corn dog, inspired by a South African sausage called a boerewors, dipped in curry-infused corn batter. “Chef Mwanga’s” serves a spice-rubbed karubi rib with green papaya-carrot slaw.


“With three meaty ribs, the karubi rib is our version of the giant turkey legs served in the Disney theme parks,” says DeGeorge. We give two thumbs up to the curry corn dog, made with a special spiced sausage inspired by the traditional boerewors.


A fourth window, called Wanjohi Refreshments (“wanjohi” means “brewer” in Swahili) offers beverages including six South African wines by the glass; Safari Amber Lager and Orlando Brewing I-4 IPA on draft; red sangria with Van der Hum tangerine liqueur from South Africa; The Starr of Harambe, a frozen drink with Starr African rum with mango puree in a souvenir mug; non-alcoholic tangerine lemonade, and fountain beverages including Sparberry from Zimbabwe and Bibo from South Africa.


With shaded tables and merchandise shops, the new market, together with the recently opened Harambe Theatre (home to “Festival of the Lion King”) doubles the size of the original Harambe Village.



Spice-Rubbed Karubi Rib at Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom


Spice-Rubbed Karubi Rib at Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom



Corn Dog with Chickpea Salad at Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom



Kabob Flatbread Sandwich at Harambe Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
















First Look: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge recently welcomed 4 red river hog piglets!



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  • 4 weeks later...

Yesterday I had the chance to stop by the new Harambe Market at Disney's Animal Kingdom Park! Rounding out the recent expansion efforts for the Africa section of the park that started with the relocated Festival of the Lion King show, the Harambe Market takes over a space that was previously unused in the park, adding several new food and beverage options along with shade structures in a highly immersive environment that you'd swear had been there since the park opened based on how well it fits in with the rest of the surrounding area. While I didn't get to try any food this time around (a rare thing for me), I can attest that everything looked (and smelled) fantastic and I will most definitely be coming back to try it all soon!


New hotness at Disney!


Built onto the backside of the existing side of Harambe, you'd never know that the Harambe Market is a new addition to Animal Kingdom.


The level of detail throughout the Harambe Market is incredible.


Notice the tag on the fire hose valve?


Even backstage access points are heavily themed!


Time to go in!


What's this?


Fichwa Mickey!


The posters throughout the area help to tie the Harambe Market into the rest of Africa.



So many layers of detail!



Wanjohi Refreshment is the first of several counters within the new Harambe Market...


This one features signature drinks including imported beers as well as two African sodas (Bibo and Sparberry) available for purchase.


Kitamu Grill features the grilled chicken skewer and the ground beef kabob flatbread...


And here is the rest of the menu.


Authentic decor!



Chef Mwanga's Rib Shop features Spice-Rubbed Karubi Ribs.


The Harambe Market is built on the edge of the railway between Harambe and the Conservation Station, so it provides a great view of the passing train.


Authentic crafts are on display in the market near the seating area for dining.


Lots of new seating and shade added to the park for the Harambe Market.


It may seem insignificant to most, but the level of detail put into the design of these covered seating areas has me thrilled.


Not a corner unfinished.


Time to make our way out...


Another not so hidden Mickey!


It looks like a new sweets shop is coming to Harambe soon!


Time to make one last pit stop on the way out!


I gave the Sugar Cane Mojito from the Dawa Bar a try for the first time--and I highly recommend it!

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I think that Animal Kingdom is second only to Tokyo DisneySea in the sheer amount of detail that Disney puts into the theming.


That (along with a nicely balanced portfolio of great rides & shows) is why it's our favorite day at a US Disney theme park.


I'm incredibly impressed with how well they've managed the move of Festival of the Lion King into Africa... I mean, it should have been there all along, but still...


Now here's hoping the continued new additions to DAK continue to be at this level over the next few years!

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Looks incredible. Love their continued attention to detail with these highly themed areas. The Africa section has really been transformed in the last year with the addition of the Harambe theater (Festival of the Lion King show), and now this! I can't wait to see it and experience it firsthand in 22 days!

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  • 3 weeks later...



I’m excited to give you a first look at delicious treats coming to a new shopping experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom called Zuri’s Sweets Shop. This location will be found at Harambe Market starting June 17. I caught up with Patrice Guy, a merchandiser at Disney Theme Park Merchandise, to learn what guests can expect.


“We have created approximately 80 new items that range from decorative candy apples to uniquely flavored chocolate bars to delicious popcorn,” explained Patrice. “With Zuri’s Sweets Shop, we wanted to offer highly-themed goods inspired by the sights, sounds and flavors of Africa. Many of the items will be unique to this location making them delicious gifts for loved ones, or something special to enjoy during a visit to the park.”


Guests will find three distinct art programs for these new treats. The first program uses characters from Disney’s “The Lion King” including Simba, Timon, and Pumbaa. Guests will find a lollipop shaped like Simba’s paw, animal crackers, and, my favorite, chocolate mini crocodiles.


Colorful patterns and whimsical animals inspired the second art program. Items will include Rice Krispies treats with nods to the animal world, or Mickey Mouse-shaped creamy, chocolate-dipped coconut patties. The five chocolate bar set includes flavors such as milk chocolate with spicy cinnamon and banana chip.


Patrice let me try African Spice popcorn that has a hint of cardamom. It was fantastic (she had to take the bag away from me).


Finally, the location will offer African spice rubs and a gourmet cocoa set. The item I can’t wait to use is a bottle of Flame Tree Barbeque sauce at home! Patrice worked with chefs from Disney’s Animal Kingdom in order to correctly capture the sweet and spicy flavor.


Stay tuned for additional looks inside the shop in the coming weeks.









Zuri’s Sweets Shop recently opened its doors in Harambe Market at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to showcase a bevy of new animal-inspired treats.


The location features 80 new items, including decorative candy apples, uniquely flavored chocolate bars, African-spiced popcorn, animal-shaped lollipops, animal crackers, chocolate mini crocodiles and other treats. Zuri’s Sweets Shop will also offer African spice rubs, a gourmet cocoa set and Flame Tree Barbeque sauce.






Beginning today, guests can enjoy Starbucks beverages at Creature Comforts at Disney’s Animal Kingdom while supporting conservation efforts for the cotton-top tamarin – a critically endangered species of monkey that resides in South America.


The menu will include regular Starbucks coffee and espresso beverages, Frappuccino blended beverages, breakfast sandwiches and pastries, as well as treats crafted by Disney chefs. A portion of the sale of each Starbucks Flat White Latte at the reopened Creature Comforts will benefit conservation programs already underway to help preserve the cotton-top tamarin in Colombia. This drink was specifically selected from other menu choices because of the cotton-top tamarin’s fluffy white crests that appear on their heads.


Located on Discovery Island area of the park, Creature Comforts will reflect the theming of the park with African design elements such as geometric designs and carvings, warm colors, African maasai shield designs and hand-painted coffee beans.






As we mark the 20th anniversary of Disney’s “Pocahontas” today, fans of the Powhatan princess now have a lovely new spot to meet her, just around the riverbend.


Pocahontas has made the journey down river to the Discovery Island Character Landing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, where she has stepped ashore to meet friends old and new. You can find her there throughout the day, in a setting filled with details inspired by her adventures.


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the only place to meet Pocahontas at Walt Disney World Resort, and the park is also the exclusive home to several other popular characters who can’t be found anywhere else. During your next visit, look for Tarzan, Rafiki from “The Lion King,” Dug and Russell from Disney•Pixar’s “Up” and Baloo and Louie from “The Jungle Book.”



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  • 3 weeks later...

Today we were invited by Walt Disney World to come check out the new Harambe Market and sample some of the different food offerings. In addition to Zuri’s Sweets Shop mentioned on the page before, the new Harambe Market features four more food stalls sort of in a "food court" layout that each offers very different items from spicy ribs, curry corn dogs and "adult beverages." Everything we tried today was very good and highly recommended. Check out some of the photos we took from todays' Animal Kingdom visit...


Spending our afternoon at Disney's Animal Kingdom today!


Main reason for coming out was to check out the new Harambe Market and enjoy some of the new offerings the park has introduced.


First off, I just want to say that we highly approve of the new selfie stick ban! Thank you Disney!


The new Harambe Market is located just around the corner from Kilimanjaro Safari and it's great to see more "quick service" food offerings in the park.


Ribs, corn dogs & beer! What's not to love?


The signage around the area was great! lol


We were given some of the new BBQ sauce and this combined with the ribs was a huge win!


Taking a look at some of the theming of the new area...


It really fits right in with the rest of the park, and this was all just a "backstage" area before, but you'd never know it. It feels like it's been there since the park opened!


Let's check out the ribs first since we've heard a lot about these.


It's basically a "ribs & beer" shop. I'm 100% down with that!


The ribs did NOT disappoint! They were awesome! First it's a huge portion and then throw in some very tasty flavors and a slight spicy kick and you've got a winning combo!


Yes, the ribs were absolutely "dreamy!"


Next up.... some sausages...


Or should I say "Curry Corn Dogs!


The curry spice was baked into the corn dog batter and for those who aren't into spicy food, don't worry, it wasn't over-powering but gave a perfect hint that it's in there!


Once again, craft beer is the theme here, and I'm totally ok with that!


The sweet shop had some amazing looking treats!


Cookies of all shapes & sizes.


Apples turned into monkeys...


...and elephants!


Kristen chose to go with the giraffe cookie!


And it's pretty much the rule that with any animal shaped food, you have to eat the head off first...you know....quick death.


We spoke with Walt Disney World Executive Chef Al and he talked about the Imagineering team that went to Africa and tried some local foods and it was important that they included some of the spices and flavors into the offerings at the new Harambe Market.


While the Walt Disney World parks are focused on "family fun" they also understand the importance that adults need to have fun, too...


The wide variety of alcoholic drinks and souvenir cups is always a huge plus of these parks!


The last location for us to check out was the "grill."


Two REALLY GOOD offerings here...


The Chicken skewer had very tender pieces of chicken, again, spiced perfectly to be very flavorful, yet not too spicy to scare away some people.


And the ground beef flatbread sandwich also followed in those same flavorful footsteps wrapped in a great tasting bread.


What's interesting about some of the theming is that you do actually see Mickey Mouse paintings like this all over these parts of the world!


Like I said before, the area really fits into the park and feels like it's been there forever! It's really well done.




"Do not feed the baboons!" Of course we will obey those rules! (Sorry, Banks!) ;)


Yes, we get it! We get it! =)


Some of the other merchandise items found around the market and Animal Kingdom.


And just like in the Lion King...you can eat bugs!


I know I'm spoiled with Tokyo Disney's flavored popcorn, but I will give this a try!


More awesome African-inspired Mickey drawings. I thought these were really cool!


More of the theming and if you've been to Animal Kingdom before, you know it's one of the more immersive parks in the world!


Thank you Harambe Market! We will have a fine day!


We decided to have "Second Lunch" at one of our favorite locations on WDW property, Yak & Yeti.


The food here is soooo good!


With restaurants like Yak & Yeti and quick-service areas like Harambe Market, there is so much good food around the parks!


And of course no trip to Animal Kingdom is complete without taking a ride on Expedition Everest!


Still one of the top Disney attractions in the world!


From the lift hill of Everest, you can see some of the Avatar area construction in the background. It's gonna be huge!


Bird on a Stick was not with us today...maybe next time...


That yeti is always causing problems for us...


And I don't care what people say, no matter what condition the yeti is in, he still looks amazing!


Oh! We had to make a quick stop by the new Starbucks in Animal Kingdom!


This is the final of the Starbucks locations to be installed at Walt Disney World and it looks fantastic!


A little bit of Tokyo Disney follows us home! =)


Thank you again to WDW for having us out! Great day at Animal Kingdom! The ribs were the star of the new Harambe Market, but really everything was great and highly recommended!


And we'll just end our little report with this... =)

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