Tiffins And Nomad Lounge In Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tiffins 1

With all of the new nighttime additions to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it was only a matter of time until Disney decided to add more dining experiences to accommodate the evening crowds. Although Animal Kingdom has some of the better quick service options on property and more have been updated and added recently, the park was still lacking a bit in its table service choices. While Tusker House, Yak & Yeti, and the family friendly Rainforest Café are all solid selections, the capacity wasn’t enough for a park full of hungry guests looking for a nice place to sit down and relax after a busy day touring. Just in time for the busy summer season, the signature dining restaurant, Tiffins, and a new watering hole, the Nomad Lounge, have opened in the park. Here’s everything you need to know about these new dining and drinking spots courtesy of Disney:


Celebrating the adventurous spirit of world travelers and explorers, Tiffins is the newest signature restaurant at Walt Disney World Resort, part of the largest expansion in the history of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Tiffins 14“Tiffin” is the Indian word for a lunchbox used by travelers (also a mid-day meal), and the 252-seat restaurant in the park’s Discovery Island area is open daily for lunch and dinner with menus that takes diners to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

“This new restaurant highlights our commitment to introduce new, innovative and immersive experiences only Disney can deliver,” said Beth Scott, vice president of Food & Beverage for Disney Parks & Resorts. “ We are confident that our culinary and beverage professionals have created something that re-imagines theme park dining, and encourage our guests to explore these authentic global flavors just as our Imagineers did when designing Disney’s Animal Kingdom.”

Tiffins 15A detailed map within the restaurant’s entryway sets the stage for an immersive dining experience celebrating world travel, with bold artwork derived from sketches, journals and research from those who created the theme park.

“Tiffins is the signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, celebrating the culture of design and research that went into creating this unique park,” said Emily O’Brien, Walt Disney Imagineering executive show producer for Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

“All the senses are explored and turned into amazing works of art,” said O’Brien. “Two of the three ‘galleries,’ or dining rooms, focus on Asia [Trek Gallery with 74 seats] and Africa [Safari Gallery with 64 seats], and the third [Grand Gallery with 114 seats] pays homage to animal species that the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund works to protect.”

Tiffins 16The travel-inspired artwork includes a static, three-dimensional piece that features prayer flags blowing in the wind. “As our research team traveled up the high mountains of Nepal, the winds were strong,” explained O’Brien. “The prayer flags are rarely seen hanging, they are always blowing.” This portrayal of the motion is realistically captured in the display which will hang above a corner booth in the Trek Gallery.

“Tiffins is not about a make-believe place, it’s about real people and places,” said O’Brien.

Global Menu

From the familiar to something new, the menu offers diners starters such a Lobster-Popcorn Thai Curry Soup with Basil and Peanuts (Asia/Africa) and marinated grilled octopus (Europe). Sustainable seasonal fish crudo (South America) and a salad of roasted baby beets and goat cheese with walnut granola and a sun-dried cherry vinaigrette (North America) round out international creations.

Tiffins 4Entrées include Berber-Spiced Lamb Chop with Mustard Greens, Lentil Stew and Mint Chutney (Africa); Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Huitlacoche Tamale, Hominy Succotash and Red Mole Sauce (South America); Miso-glazed Black Cod with Forbidden Rice in Steamed Bok Choywith Turmeric Sauce (Asia), and Grilled Head-on Shrimp with Tomatoes, Roasted Fennel, Olives and Sea Urchin Butter Sauce (Europe). For vegetarians, the Roasted Market Vegetable Curry with Quinoa, Zucchini and Lime Chutney brings a taste of Asia.

The kids’ menu includes roasted chicken, pan-seared cod and braised short ribs with seasonal vegetables and cous cous or multigrain rice, or roasted vegetables served over spaghetti squash.

Tiffins 7Beverages focus on Africa, Asia and South America, including handcrafted cocktails and beers. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit-flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.

“With a focus on South American and South African wines, the beverage program is very special – we don’t have another one like it at Disney,” said Master Sommelier Brian Koziol, Food & Beverage Concept and Development director for Disney Parks & Resorts. “The program will focus on environmentality: producers that focus on sustainability, organic wines, and bio-dynamic viticulture,” he explained. “Environmentality is a core value at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and this beverage program is a great way to share that with our guests.”

Nomad Lounge

With beautiful waterfront views, the adjacent Nomad Lounge focuses on storytelling, and also on guests’ travels.

Tiffins 2“We’re trying to tell the story of how guests can make a change,” said O’Brien. While the answers of Disney experts are displayed, guests also have the opportunity purchase a tag that supports the Disney Conservation Fund and to write their own answers to the questions to display above the bar– a way to share their own travel stories “so they can be a part of the story,” said O’Brien.

Tiffins 3With 55 seats inside, and 46 seats in a covered outdoor area, Nomad Lounge offers a half-dozen small bites such as a vegetarian summer roll, a seared Wagyu beef skewer, honey-glazed coriander-spiced pork ribs, Indian butter-chicken wings, seasonal fish balls with shishito peppers and house-made head cheese and chicken liver pate with chutney.

Like Tiffins, the lounge offers handcrafted cocktails with African, Asian and South American flavors, imported beers and a South American and South African wine list. Non-alcoholic beverages include exotic-fruit-flavored lemonades, Asian and African premium loose-leaf teas and coffee beans from Columbia, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Tanzania.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Will you be trying Tiffins or the Nomad Lounge?
Please leave a comment; I would love to hear from you!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom After Dark Begins Memorial Day Weekend

DAK at Night 2

If you’re like me and have a trip to Walt Disney World coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve probably been anxiously waiting for Disney to release more details about the much anticipated Disney’s Animal Kingdom nighttime experiences. Recently Disney announced that the opening of these new evening activities was being pushed back from its originally scheduled date of April 22, 2016 to an unknown date this summer. Well, great news, most of the after dark experiences will begin Memorial Day Weekend! Here’s everything you need to know courtesy of Disney:


Nightfall brings more mystery and majesty to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park as guests discover rich new experiences under the stars. Whether riding Kilimanjaro Safaris at sunset, rollicking aboard rafts on Kali River Rapids at twilight, dancing alongside African performers in Harambe, or reveling in a live musical celebration of Disney’s new hit film “The Jungle Book”, guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can enjoy the park’s captivating new vibe and tone when it expands its offerings with extended hours and enhanced entertainment, scheduled to begin Memorial Day Weekend.

DAK at Night 2“Disney’s Animal Kingdom is such a majestic and beautiful park,” said George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort, “With new experiences and new ways to experience favorite attractions, nighttime at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will be a can’t-miss experience for Walt Disney World guests.”

Like the animal world itself, Disney’s Animal Kingdom continues to evolve since opening on Earth Day in 1998. As the park shifts to nighttime, a magical ambiance emerges, inviting guests to share in its wonder with heightened senses. At nightfall the sounds of rustling foliage, animal calls, and colorful prayer flags flapping in the wind become even more distinct. Softly lit, once-familiar paths now cast in shadows make every twist and turn a new discovery. Most of the park’s popular attractions will remain open for guests to enjoy after dark.

The animal encounters shift at twilight, too, as darkness camouflages the boundaries between wildlife and guests. The kingdom comes alive with intriguing nighttime animal behaviors — never disappointing humanity’s enduring fascination with creatures of our planet.

Highlights of new experiences:

DAK at Night 1The Tree of Life Awakens

The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life will undergo extraordinary “awakenings” throughout the evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that reveal colorful stories of wonder and enchantment. High-tech projections of nature scenes take on a magical quality as they appear to dramatically emanate from within the Tree of Life.

DAK at Night 5Kilimanjaro Safaris after Dark

Each evening, the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris daytime experience is artfully bathed in the glow of sunset with special lighting allowing guests to explore this attraction well into the night. During the expedition, guests can now encounter the nighttime behavior of the wildlife and better tune in to the unique vocalization of the animals. Plus, there are two new species to discover: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Jungle BookThe Jungle Book: Alive with Magic

For the summer, Discovery River becomes the stage for music and pageantry in a limited-engagement show inspired by Disney’s hit live-action film “The Jungle Book”. The Jungle Book: Alive with Magic is a live show filled with music and special effects that celebrates the new film and the classic songs, now infused with an Indian influence.

DAK at Night 6Harambe Wildlife Parti

When the sun sets, the popular Village of Harambe will become a hot spot with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti. Here, “party animals” can dance alongside a variety of entertainers and local street musicians, and enjoy the lively rhythms of African music. Guests can also partake in exotic foods and libations, and explore the diverse wares of village artisans and merchants in the vibrant marketplace.

DAK at Night 4Discovery Island Carnivale

The spirited community of Discovery Island has come together to celebrate their love of the natural world with the Discovery Island Carnivale. This nightly experience will captivate guests with lively music, jubilant dance, vibrant costumes, stilt walkers and tasty culinary creations — winding from one end of the island to the other.

Tiffins 3Tiffins Signature Restaurant

In addition to the diverse new entertainment offerings, guests will enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s new signature eatery, Tiffins. Open for both lunch and dinner, this new signature dining experience will celebrate the art of traveling and include waterfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating areas. “Tiffin” is an Indian English word meaning midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling.

DAK at Night 7New Adventures with Favorite Attractions

Most attractions remain open at nightfall, and will shine like never before. At sundown, Kali River Rapids will reveal mysterious twists and turns throughout the rainforest with dramatic and drenching fun. Expedition Everest thrills adventurers as it lurches forward and backward through the icy peaks of the Himalayas. At night, the majestic mountain challenges trekkers to an evening ride revealing breathtaking views of the Animal Kingdom canopied by starlight. Amidst the colorful midway games at Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama in DinoLand U.S.A., the thrills turn up aboard the zany Triceratop Spin or Primeval Whirl under the lights.

DAK at Night 3More Magic to Come with “Rivers of Light”

The nighttime will grow even more magical with the premiere of the majestic nighttime jewel, “Rivers of Light.” This illuminating musical experience – currently in development with a premiere date to be announced soon – will celebrate the magic of animals, humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and theatrical animal imagery.  The Disney creative team collaborated with the award-winning filmmakers at Disneynature to bring never-before-seen footage, telling dramatic and compelling stories from the animal world to the show.

On the natural stage of Discovery River, guests will marvel as a timeless custom comes to life before their eyes in a stirring performance. The ceremony begins with the arrival of a pair of mystical hosts, two complementary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels, engaging in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits. With these storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” unfold, building to a magnificent finale with bursts of light as animal images soar to the heavens– signifying the ancient belief that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Are you looking forward to visiting Animal Kingdom at night?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!

Nighttime Experiences At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Have Been Delayed

Rivers of Light

If you’re like me and have a trip to Walt Disney World coming up in the next few weeks, you’ve probably been anxiously waiting for Disney to post the updated hours for Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Every day I’ve been checking; ready to book Fastpass+ for the new nighttime experiences, just hoping to see extended park hours. Unfortunately, Disney has announced that the opening of these new evening activities is being pushed back from its originally scheduled date of April 22, 2016 to an unknown date this summer. According to Disney Parks Blog, more information regarding the timing of the opening will be shared by mid to late May. I’m still hoping for a miracle so that maybe there will be at least a soft opening going on during my vacation! In the meantime, here’s a look at everything we have to look forward to this summer courtesy of Disney:


The magic of nature after dark takes center stage at Disney’s Animal Kingdom when the all-new Rivers Of Light waterside show premieres marking the Walt Disney World theme park’s thrilling transformation from a day-into-nighttime experience.

“Disney’s Animal Kingdom is such a majestic and beautiful park,” said George A. Kalogridis, President of Walt Disney World Resort, “and to now show our guests original stories that reveal the magic of nature and bring this special park to life like never before — makes nighttime at Disney’s Animal Kingdom a can’t miss experience for Walt Disney World guests this summer.”

Disney’s Animal Kingdom will transition from a day-into-night theme park, aglow with wondrous new nighttime experiences and entertainment celebrating marvels in nature, epic storytelling, innovative effects, and a festive street party. Across the park, guests can experience long-time favorites such as Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, and Kali River Rapids with more time to enjoy them into the night.

Rivers of Light 3“Rivers of Light”

After the sun sets, guests will gather waterside for the majestic nighttime jewel, “Rivers of Light.” This illuminating musical experience celebrates the magic of animals and humans and the natural world with a blend of performers, floating lanterns and theatrical animal imagery.

On the natural stage of Discovery River, guests will marvel as a timeless custom comes to life before their eyes in a stirring performance. The ceremony begins with the arrival of a pair of mystical hosts, two complimentary forces who come to the river bearing gifts of light. They set out from the shore on elaborate lantern vessels, engaging in a dramatic dance of water and light to summon the animal spirits. With these storytellers as guides, the wonders of “Rivers of Light” unfold, building to a magnificent finale with bursts of light as animal images soar to the heavens– signifying the ancient belief that when animals passed from one world to another they danced in the sky and became beautiful rivers of light, according to Michael Jung, Creative Portfolio Director, Walt Disney Imagineering.

To create “Rivers of Light,” Imagineers and Disney Creative Entertainment partnered with experts including award-winning master designer Michael Curry, whose Disney Parks contributions include “Finding Nemo: The Musical” and “Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.” Film composer Don L. Harper created the soaring musical score for the nighttime show which also includes an original song by noted composer Mark Mancina. Disney also collaborated with the award-winning filmmakers at Disneynature to bring never-before-seen footage, telling dramatic and compelling stories from the animal world to the show.

Here’s a sneak peek for you:

Rivers of Light 2The Tree of Life Awakens

Nearby on Discovery Island the area will come alive each night with a celebration filled with music and dance. The theme park’s iconic Tree of Life will undergo extraordinary “awakenings” throughout the evening as the animal spirits are brought to life by magical fireflies that open a window into the body of the tree, revealing colorful stories of wonder and enchantment.

Here’s a sneak peek for you:

Safari at NightKilimanjaro Safaris after Dark

Each evening, the popular Kilimanjaro Safaris daytime experience is artfully bathed in the look of sunset with special lighting allowing guests to explore and enjoy this attraction well into the night. During the expedition guests can now enjoy the wildlife at night, and may discover two new species: African wild dogs and hyenas.

Harambe Market at NightHarambe Wildlife Parti/Discovery Island Carnivale

When the sun sets, the popular Village of Harambe will become a hot spot with the new Harambe Wildlife Parti. Here, “party animals” can dance alongside local street musicians and entertainers, partake in exotic foods and libations and explore the diverse wares of village artisans and merchants.   And the new Discovery Island Carnivale will captivate guests with lively music, spirited dance, vibrant costumes, and tasty culinary creations, spreading from one end of the island to the other.

Tiffins 1Tiffins Signature Restaurant

In addition to the masterful new entertainment offerings beginning this summer, guests will enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s newest eatery, Tiffins. Open for both lunch and dinner, this new signature dining experience will celebrate the art of traveling and include waterfront views from both indoor and outdoor seating areas. “Tiffin” is an Indian English word meaning midday meal or type of container used to carry food while traveling.


501 WaysHeading to Disney World soon?

If you are planning a vacation to Disney World, be sure to check out these valuable resources to help you save time and money:

Are you looking forward to visiting Animal Kingdom at night?
Please leave a comment; we would love to hear from you!