To support the new iteration of Tale of the Lion King at Disneyland’s Fantasyland Theater, Troubadour Tavern features a range of new elements that support the show’s narrative.
During a preview, we had a chance to try some of the items and they were delicious.
The first item we had was the sweet potato with chicken and coconut curry. I’m told this item contains chicken and coconut curry from Malawi, but although my palette isn’t adventurous, I thought it was delicious and said Troubadour Tavern is raising its standards by compared to its “YUMZ” heritage.
I washed it down with the Pride Rock Punch, which contains iced tea, pineapple, mango, tamarind, and orange juice. It was the perfect thirst quencher on a hot summer day. It was refreshing and flavorful without being overpowering. Cardamom Cold Brew is also available, made with cold brew coffee, brown sugar and cardamom.
I also got to try some of the snacks. The salted plantain chips were nice and much less salty than most theme park snacks. While the berbere spice popcorn was too spicy for me, Alex enjoyed it. However, he recommended having a drink with you to wash it down. My favorite desserts were the trio of animal print cookies, including the coconut macaroon, pineapple thumbprint, and buttery chocolate cookie topped with cocoa nibs. All three were delicious, but the thumbprint was my favorite. Additionally, as the location continues to be featured by Dreyer’s, orange push-up pops are available that pay homage to the citrus fruits of Africa while also being a spin on a theme park classic.
Popcorn buckets are also a theme park staple. While the Simba bucket is currently still in the veld with Timon and Pumbaa, he’s sure to be a hit when he visits Disneyland Park later this summer (the bucket may also sound familiar to those who have visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom in the past).
We had the chance to speak with chef Natalie Willingham about her creations for the revived experience. When it comes to how she started developing her concept, she went back to basics. “The first part of the vision was The Lion King himself, so I went back and watched the movie again. From there, once I knew which direction they wanted to go for the cuisine, I did a lot of research, just looking at African cookbooks, looking at African menus, and doing a bunch of Google searches to understand what was true of the Region.”
On how she balanced the palettes of a diverse theme park audience with the rich, African-inspired flavors, chef Natalie said she kept that in mind and wanted to make sure there was had something for everyone so they could enjoy the food while feeling the taste. taking them to Africa. “So we tamed the spices a bit. As with Berber, normally it is much spicier than what we do, but to tame it for the average palate we have reduced the cayenne pepper inside. But we just tried to keep everything very accessible. And a lot of the ingredients, these are cultures and items that you’ll find in Africa, but they’re also very, very common in the United States.
Another thing she kept in mind is that the food should be able to be enjoyed while watching the show in the bleachers of the venue. So everything had to be easy to eat. Handmade snacks crisps and popcorn, also sweet potato. Natalie made sure the customer experience, both from a storytelling and convenience perspective, was top of mind at all times.
You can enjoy these new items when Troubadour Tavern reopens with Tale of the Lion King May 28.