Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom spans the most acres of any Disney park in the world. Despite this, it contains very few table service dining options. Recently, I visited one of these limited restaurants. Just past the Tree of Life and under the shadow of Expedition Everest is the two story Yak & Yeti restaurant where I discovered one of the most diverse menus on property.
Yak & Yeti Lunch Review
With rain pouring down on Animal Kingdom, I pushed in to the tight lobby of the Yak & Yeti. The little room was packed with people trying to avoid the downpour, preventing me from getting much of a first impression and even nearly missing our table call amongst all the noise. Once inside, I was treated to the eclectic theming of the restaurant.
Like so much of Animal Kingdom, you feel transported across the world as you dine at Yak & Yeti. The variety of knick knacks displayed throughout the restaurant mixed with the splashes of clashing colors take you south of the replicated mountain into an Indian residence. If it weren’t for the loyalty program advertisement on the table, you could feel entirely swept away in the theming.
As for the loyalty program, it needs to be noted that Yak & Yeti is not run by Disney. The restaurant is managed by Landry’s and will honor the Landry’s Select Club loyalty program but not the Tables in Wonderland program. Luckily, Yak & Yeti does offer a 10% discount for Annual Passholders and Disney Vacation Club members. Other than this difference, you will not notice any difference when it comes to service compared to Disney run options.
The menu trots around Asia as much as the decor, featuring something from or inspired by multiple Eastern cultures. From sushi to lo mein and trotting through the spices of India and Thailand, this was the most diverse of any single restaurant I’ve visited inside of the parks. For lunch, I skipped the deep list of appetizers and moved straight to the entrees.
Before diving into the food, I was pleasantly surprised to find mango iced tea as an option. This is one of my favorite accompaniments for Asian spiced dishes and it served particularly well for my dish of Chicken Tikka Masala. What made this dish stand out to me was that it didn’t tone down the heat much. Some spicier items tend to be turned mild in Walt Disney World but Yak & Yeti kept enough heat to make the dish feel right. The sauce was creamy and flavorful and the chicken was wonderfully cooked making the entree exactly what I was wanting from it. The side of naan bread included, which I would normally pay extra for back home, was a nice added value.
Though I visited for a simple lunch, I was lured in by the desserts. For me, I had to go with the Fried Wontons. This item was clearly their signature dessert and I had not seen anything quite like it anywhere else. Fried cream cheese filled wontons came skewered in between slices of pineapple like a shish kebab and drizzled with a sweet honey sauce. A small scoop of vanilla ice cream was placed on the side and added a cool neutral flavor to the different sugary flavors on the skewer. This was a delicious and uncommon dessert and I would be happy to try it again someday soon.
Prices actually felt pretty reasonable at Yak & Yeti for the portions and quality we received. At a restaurant of comparable quality back home, I would likely pay nearly the same amount for the portions received. The passholder discount also helped.
As I begin to explore the culinary options of Animal Kingdom, I more and more believe it will become a destination for park-hopping diners. With new late night entertainments beginning soon, it will become a dinner destination. It is good to know that a place like Yak & Yeti will help make it an enjoyable evening.
What’s your favorite dish in Animal Kingdom? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll set off on a safari and find it out in the wild!