Yak & Yeti, in the land of Asia at Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park in Walt Disney World ® Resort, near Orlando, Florida, is reminiscent of the western Himalayan foothills in India and Nepal. Yak & Yeti is located at the major crossroads of two well-traveled hiking trails near the small rural village of Anandapur. The location offers weary trekkers a place to stop and refresh at the cool fountains, grab a quick bite to eat or leave messages for others travelers.
For those trekkers wishing to linger and experience the local hospitality of the restaurant, they are welcomed into the refreshing air-conditioned world of a converted fifty year-old stone house. The house, barely recognizable under its 17,000 sq ft of decades old enveloping multiple additions, was a wealthy merchant’s private two-story residence that has been converted to a 250-seat restaurant and hotel. Inside, after walking through the warm and welcoming lobby, the traveler is greeted with a space filled with the merchant’s personal collection of Asian artifacts, puppets, furniture and cabinets. The interior architecture, mimicking the eclectic exterior, ranges from British Colonial to present day. There are even remnants of an old exterior garden and patio inside!
For those on their way to the base camp of Everest or exploring other regions of Anandapur, Yak & Yeti offers a Marketplace of retail shops and food vendors serving quick meals of delicious local fare. Adjacent to the Marketplace vendors is a 350-seat seating area set in a quiet tranquil tree canopied garden. This shaded garden has at its center a village water fountain with softly splashing water adding to the peace and quiet of this special place.
The food vendors offer some of the most recognized cuisine dishes from Pan Asia and the Pacific rim including Vietnamese Spring Roll appetizers, Chicken Pad Thai, Grilled Hoisin Barbeque Glazed Ribs to specialty dishes as “Clay Pot’ Coconut Curried Fish, Shrimp and Mussels.
Yak & Yeti’s retail wares are displayed in a separate building near the Marketplace. Merchandise offerings, like the decorative elements of the restaurant, reflect artifacts, gifts and souvenirs originating in Asia and the Pacific Rim.
One other notable structure on the site is an authentic Indian marble pavilion for travelers wishing to sit and reflect about the beauty of this region. In the lush garden adjacent to the pavilion is a collection of rare and revered lingam stones.
Next time you are trekking through Anandapur, stop and visit Yak & Yeti for good food, warm hospitality and maybe a little rest during your expedition.