04 August 2009

Mealtime blues

Near the border of Discovery Island and Asia in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a perfect dining hideaway. Just before the entrance of the Asia bridge is a small shop named Beastly Bazaar. Throughout the year it is a quiet place to stop and shop for a few pieces of clothing, some cookware, and the occasional Christmas décor. What is often overlooked are the small coolers filled with snacks, drinks, sandwiches, and salads.In fact, this location is so overlooked, that Walt Disney World has placed another sign near the sidewalk to encourage guests to stop by and sample the fare. There are several factors that have led to this shop not becoming overrun at meal times. For starters, it is not central to any attraction. It is clear of the hub of Discovery Island, where Flame Tree BBQ and Pizzafari can be found close by It’s Tough to Be a Bug, and clear of Asia’s main action of Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids. Secondly, once guests have made it into Dinoland, Asia, or Africa they tend to use the routes that work between these locations, rather than return through Discovery Island. The final piece of the bizarre Beastly Bazaar problem is that it does, in fact, look like a shop not a dining location.

The prices at Beastly Bazaar for a sandwich, such as the Turkey-Chipotle on Foccacia, which looks and taste remarkably like its counterpart at Epcot’s Sunshine Seasons, are reasonable. The Turkey-Chipotle on Foccacia, which is a very large slice of sandwich, runs around $7.00. The snacks here, fresh fruit and sliced fruit, in addition to cakes and candy, are all reasonably priced and just as good as any other snack stand on property. Beastly Bazaar also includes a small selection of tables, outside, for diners who are not taking their meal-on-the-go very far.So, the next time you are in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a burger, pizza, or egg roll won’t cut it, be sure to give the selection at Beastly Bazaar a once over. I guarantee that you will be back for more, even if it just to grab the Mickey Mouse Rice Krispie treat!

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