Let’s face it. Animal Kingdom gets hot. When exploring hidden paths in the savannah, battling the Yeti at Expedition Everest, and coming face-to-face with 500-pound tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, adventurers need to know where they can seek refuge. In this week’s installment of “Unique Sweet Spots at Walt Disney World,” I’ll take you to two special locations that will satisfy even a gorilla’s quest for relief from the hot, tropical sun.
Image: Join me on an adventure for unique sweet treats at Animal Kingdom!
Before I begin, let me preface this article by saying Animal Kingdom is my favorite park in all of Walt Disney World. The sense of adventure and exploration you gain from walking through Discovery Island’s twists and turns and then traveling throughout the various lands is great. But, I’ll talk more about that in the future. For now though, let’s focus on the sweets and treats that will provide a break in your travels.
Image: The city of Anandapur originated as a royal hunting reserve, but soon became a thriving village.
According to Disney legend, the city of Anandapur was established in 1544 as a royal hunting reserve. In this “place of delights,” the actual translation of the city’s name, a village was born and grew to what it is today. High above the streets, one can find colorful Tibetan prayer flags, bells, and pots that chime to the spirits and bring good wishes to those below. Tucked into a tiny corner near Mount Everest, one will find the Royal Anandapur Tea Company, a true hidden jewel of Asia.
Image: The Royal Anandapur Tea Company in Asia
About halfway between Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids, the Royal Anandapur Tea Company is a delight for those looking for a refreshing break. A large assortment of loose leaf teas are available ranging from Assam, a bold black tea from India which revolutionized tea drinking habits beginning in the 19th century, to one of my personal favorites, Masala Chai, another black tea blended with cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, lemon and orange peel, black peppercorn, ginger, and Madagascar vanilla.
Image: A variety of fresh, loose leaf teas are available for purchase.
Now you may be asking why someone would consider drinking a hot liquid in the Florida, um…”Asian”…sun? I’ve heard of the argument that doing so would only heat your body more. However, I have found no evidence that proves this to be true. Instead, many articles claim that drinking cold liquids actually holds the heat within your body making it more difficult to cool down. Sound surprising? I thought so too.
For those not looking to test the theory, Royal Anandapur Tea Company also makes several of the loose leaf teas in a cold version. The options for iced tea change, but varieties I’ve seen in the past include English Breakfast, Cranberry Pomegranate, Green Honey Ginseng, and China Green Jasmine. This is a great way to try something new while feeling instantly refreshed. Personally though, I tend to stick to my traditional frozen Chai which blends ice, milk, and tea together into a smooth, delectable refresher. I’ve been known to visit Animal Kingdom park just to get one of these before heading elsewhere for the day; they are that good!
Image: Cold tea drinks are also available including my beloved frozen Chai.
Coffee lovers will also find solace here through the form of iced specialty coffees and drinks available. The stand even has a small collection of pastries for sale including cookies, muffins, and danishes. Prices range on average from $2-$6 depending upon the beverage or food item.
Image: An assortment of pastries and coffee drinks are also on hand.
If your wild trek takes you to the other side of Animal Kingdom and looking for a treat, consider Kusafiri Cofee Shop & Bakery.
Image: Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery in Africa
This small eatery in Africa has a selection of beautifully decorated cupcakes and pastries to snack on. Would a brownie paw satisfy your sweet tooth? What about a zebra cupcake?
Image: Nature-inspired treats are among those items sold at Kusafiri.
I found these treats to be just adorable and unique in comparison to others found in the park. Cappuccino, espresso, mixed fruit, and yogurt are also available. Note that while I have not been able to tear myself away from Royal Anandapur’s treats, I did talk with a few folks near Kusafiri who did enjoy their purchases there.
Image: Coffee drinkers might enjoy a cappuccino or espresso with their Kusafiri pastry.
I hope you’ve enjoyed our little adventure around Animal Kingdom. Keep these two unique locations in mind the next time you are feeling a bit parched in the savannah.
Image Credits: N. Mancini & wdwinfo.com