Dining Recon: Yak & Yeti Restaurant at Animal Kingdom

By Evan Chaisson

Hi, all!  I’m glad to be back!  As I think about our last trip to Walt Disney World, I find myself reflecting on our dinner at Animal Kingdom’s Yak & Yeti Restaurant.

Unfortunately, though, the only thing that pops into my head and makes my stomach growl is desert.  Everyone, it was “to die for”!  That being said, let me get into the whole meal.

Yak & Yeti is located in Asia very near to Kali River Rapids.  The restaurant is themed nicely with statues and Asian-inspired artifacts everywhere.

There is a small bar with about 8 to 10 seats to the right as you walk into the restaurant.

As an appetizer, my wife and I got their Pork Pot Stickers.  They were pretty basic and very comparable to the ones you can get at any Asian-inspired restaurant.

For main courses, I had a shrimp and lobster garlic noodle dish.  My wife got their Crispy Honey Chicken.

Honestly, neither dish was overwhelmingly good.  The shrimp and lobster was priced at $35.00.  The honey chicken, which I personally thought was more enjoyable, was a much better value at $18.99.

As I hinted above, the best thing of our entire meal was the desert!  Fried Wontons.

Skewers of fresh pineapple and cream cheese wontons, vanilla ice cream, and honey-vanilla drizzle.  Wow!  I’m telling you, they need a place in Disney where they just sell these! They were that good!

When it comes to the Yeti, our recommendation, fans, is that you order a few appetizers … and, then, go straight to the wontons!  You won’t be disappointed.  I promise!

It’s Tough to Be a Bug! The Final Verdict!

Hey, folks!  Good afternoon!  While you’re watching your Saturday football games, I’d like to take a quick second to update you on another final score – It’s Tough to Be a Bug!  The Final Verdict!

The poll is now closed.  The results are in.  After days and days of voting and tons and tons of comments, your voices have been heard!  You have spoken your minds.  Disney will be compelled to listen … we hope!

  • Leave it Alone  –  44%
  • Rehabilitate  –  32%
  • Eliminate  –  24%

Do you see that, Disney?  All in WDW’s re-imagineers have contemplated the question.  We have overwhelmingly decided.  You need to put away your cans of Raid.  The bugs can be spruced up a bit, but they must be spared!

Beverage Recon: Nomad Lounge in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

By Evan Chaisson

As we all know, Disney’s Animal Kingdom has been going through many, many changes over the past few years.  In my opinion, one of their newest additions has not yet been appropriately noticed by the Disney masses.

What is it?  Tiffins?  Nope.  Located at the main entrance to Pandora, and right next to much-ballyhooed Tiffins is … Nomad Lounge!

Check out Nomad’s lounge menu at this link!

Nomad Lounge is an adult paradise!  Their huge wrap-a-round outdoor seating area features tables for two and for four with comfy chairs and couches for all.

They boast a full-service bar outside!  In addition, perfect for hot Florida days, they also house a nice bar inside.  It provides Nomad with a vast amount of seating.

The lounge offers a tasty-looking small plate menu which ranges from Vegetarian Pad Thai to African-spiced Wagyu Beef Sliders.  They serve other intriguing items such as Florida Lionfish Tacos, Pork Ribs, as well as Tiffins Bread Service.

Having said all that, we didn’t come for food.  We came in search of delicious adult beverages!  Let’s hop right into those!

The first one we tried was the Annapurna Zing.  A Bombay Sapphire gin-based drink, we ordered both the adult and non-alcoholic versions.  Why?  Our family is growing by a set of Mickey ears.  We’re pregnant!

The alcoholic version of the drink was much better than the non-alcoholic.  The reason?  Honestly, the alcohol cuts the taste of the drink’s ginger beer and lime juice.  Note: the non-alcoholic version is in the tall glass.  The “adult” is in the short glass.

The second drink I tried is called the Snow Leopard Salvation.  Made with Snow Leopard Vodka, it was really good!  To me, it tasted just like a Moscow Mule.  Quite refreshing on a hot Summer night!

The next beverage in which I wanted to indulge was called Mustang Coffee.  It was pressed hot coffee that was laden with Crown Royal, brown sugar, and butter.  What?!

Folks, all I can say is … coffee lovers’ beware!  This coffee should be on your radar.  Even on a hot day, it was still a thirst-quenching drink that went down very smoothly.

Finally, I sampled Jenn’s Tattoo.  Ketel One Vodka-based, the drink had tremendous flavor.  I picked up a hint of cucumber which added to the beverage’s watermelon, hibiscus, and lime juice taste.

I guess our verdict goes without saying … this bar is definitely a “must do” for any cocktail enthusiast.  Add it to your list of future Animal Kingdom stops.  Better do it now!  The place won’t stay a secret for long!

So, What SHOULD We Do With It’s Tough to Be a Bug!?

My friends, I’m not sure that we know!  If there ever was a split decision, this was it.  Check out these results (to-date):

  • Leave it Alone – 33%
  • Rehabilitate – 37%
  • Eliminate – 30%

The poll is STILL open!  To weigh in, go back to … Rehabilitate? Or, Eliminate? – It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

Wow!  Surely Disney will leave this attraction alone, yes?  At the most, they’ll spruce it up a bit?  I mean, they do read these polls, don’t they?

Hey!  They could be!  For example, look back at … Rehabilitate? Or, Eliminate? – Mission: Space!  We clearly recommended that they “Rehabilitate”.  And, they did!

Want more proof?  Check out … Rehabilitate? Or, Eliminate? – The Great Movie Ride.

In that “challenge”, we overwhelmingly (the option only got 12% of the vote!) protested any idea that they “Eliminate”.  See how that worked out?  Oh, wait …

What did Walt say?  “Disneyland will never be completed.  It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”  That applies to WDW, as well, of course.

I guess the point is that Disney will do what Disney does – improve the parks.  My opinion?  Whether by a Zootopia experience or something else, It’s Tough to Be a Bug! will eventually be replaced.  It’s sort of inevitable.

What SHOULD we do with the inside of the Tree of Life?

In the meantime, your votes were almost as numerous as your voices.  What did you have to say about Flik and Hopper?  There was a lot of love tossed around – and even a little bit of distaste.  As we close this effort, take a look …

______________________________

Eliminate!  Only two rides in all of The World I dislike!  This is one of them!

It’s 20 years old?!  That’s hard for me to believe.  I voted to keep it.  But, only because I enjoy watching the reaction of friends that haven’t experienced it.

Love it.  Keep it.  Rehabilitate it.

Love it!  Keep it!  Just because it’s old, and you’ve seen it so many times, doesn’t mean it needs to go!  Mickey is way older.  Should we get rid of him?

I love it, and that’s even with my fear of the fake spiders!

I always struggle with changes – like the parade and fireworks changes.  Those are part of my memories of past trips, and part of the magic for me, so I’m always uncomfortable to see things go … even though the next new things may be just as wonderful.

I think there is something to be said for keeping some “classic” rides, shows, and attractions.

Eliminate!  Still creeps me out … even as an adult!

We just saw it for the first time last week, and our family loved it.  The show was packed!

I voted to eliminate.  I have seen it, and enjoyed it, but it is 20 years old.  Why not replace it with something else?

Saw it when it opened, saw it last week, and countless times In between – rehabilitate.

Rehabilitate.  It’s still fun.

My daughter went at 4 1/2 – and again last week at 16.  She still loves it.  Could be scary for little ones.

We think it is fun.  My 4 year old hates it, though.

Eliminate!  I will never forget my son, who is now 28, but when he was of course much younger, screaming “Mom, there are bugs in my socks”!  I love the Tree of Life, but I have no interest in ever seeing or smelling It’s Tough to Be a Bug! again.

Love it!  Just make sure all of the effects work … especially Hopper!

Get rid!  I’ve never liked it.  Zootopia would be fun, but there are lots of animal-based films that could go in there.

We have always loved this!  Leave it be!

I like this show.  Enhancements would be awesome, but keep it for sure!

I loved it.  Cool and enjoyable.  However, my daughter cried for about an hour afterwards.  Hopper scared her to death.  That was 2015 – when she was 5 – and she wouldn’t do it again.  Not even this year when we went.

I spend a lot of time sitting in Animal Kingdom.  So, there I was sitting one day on the path between Asia and Africa.  I watched as two Cast Members were trying to hand out something to guests.  They were ‘good anytime’ FastPasses for It’s Tough to Be a Bug!  People were turning them down!  That attraction is probably on the chopping block.

My all-time favorite attraction.  The last time I went I talked to the Cast Members working and asked if I could just sit in the back for a few showings.  I sat for six shows in a row, and, then, they presented me with a special pin proclaiming me an official “friend of bugs.”  I could watch people reacting to that show all day long.  I love it, and I would be sad if it were gone.

Rehabilitate? Or, Eliminate? – It’s Tough to Be a Bug!

Welcome to the weekend, my friends!  Where applicable, don’t forget to turn your clocks back tonight.  Just your friendly reminder!

Hey!  The fact that this particular attraction came up in our last conversation at the WDW Main Street Pub got me to thinking … just how old are all those bugs?

It’s Tough to Be a Bug! – which I mistakenly kept referring to on the show as ‘It’s a Bug’s Life’ – is based on the 1998 Disney-Pixar film “A Bug’s Life”.  The WDW attraction, itself, opened seven months before the movie dropped – on April 22, 1998.

Wow.  Almost twenty years old?  Already?  Hmmm.  That piece of information got me to thinking further … should the show be near to the end of its run?

Let’s consider … the movie was pretty successful.  Yet, at the same time, the characters aren’t exactly counted amongst Disney’s mainstream.  The Tree of Life is a park icon.  Shouldn’t it house an iconic attraction?  Again, hmmm.

Hey, how about a Zootopia attraction?  Just a thought.  It was one of the highest grossing animated movies in history, after all.

So, referring back to the post’s title, what’s this “rehabilitation or elimination” thing all about?  Well, if your new to All in WDW, folks, open up your imagination, because it goes something like this …

Welcome to the The Walt Disney Company, my friends!  I hope you are enjoying your “career” in Disney’s design and development division – Walt Disney Imagineering!

As you know, WDI is responsible for the creation and construction of Disney theme parks worldwide, and we need your help!

Tap into your creativity.  Imagine that you’re an … Imagineer!  Yes!  In fact, in today’s case, you’re a “re-imagineer”!

It’s Tough to Be a Bug!  Should we rehabilitate?  Leave the theme alone, but give it a bit of a facelift, maybe?  Should we eliminate?  Replace it with a new attraction altogether?  Or, should we simply leave it completely alone?

Your task, today, is a two-part job.  First, what’s your vote?  Second, if you want to rehabilitate, what do you suggest we do?  If you want to eliminate, what should take its place?  What’s your “Project Plan”?

Leave your comments on this post, on Facebook, or on Twitter, my friends!  This is what we do.  It’s Imagineering.  It’s “Re-Imagineering”!  We need your help!  Now, get to work!