Tucked away in the far western edge of Walt Disney World, sits the incredible Animal Kingdom Lodge, where, in the Kidani Village, you will find Sanaa. This restaurant is truly a hidden gem at Walt Disney World. In fact, Sanaa means “work of art” in Swahili, and the restaurant is aptly named. From its creative decor, delicious desserts, and amazing location, everything about Sanaa is truly beautiful. The menu is tasty African and Indian fusion. Clay tandoori ovens slow cook food flavored with Indian spice blends. Need more reasons to make Sanaa your new must-try Disney restaurant? Here’s five:
5. Savanna View
Honestly, how many restaurants in the world offer views of ostriches, zebras, or giraffes while you eat your meal? Situated on the ground floor, you are at the same level as the free-roaming animals. Sanaa’s huge arched windows open the dining room to the spectacular animal view outside. Eating here will truly be an experience your family will not forget! To really take advantage of Sanaa’s views, be sure to book dining reservation while the sun is still shining. This tip is especially true for guests making Advanced Dining Reservations during the summer months for a trip in the winter. Don’t miss out on the view because you forgot to account for shorter days!
4. Dining Plan Value
Sanaa participates in the Disney Dining Plan as a one credit table service restaurant. On the plan, guests receive one entree, one dessert, and one non-alcoholic beverage. Several menu items provide a great value to guests using the Dining Plan. Sanaa’s unique African-Indian fusion menu is a wonderful departure from food you’ll find elsewhere at Walt Disney World. While there are interesting choices, picky eaters can be satiated with “normal” options like New York Strip Steak or slow-cooked Butter Chicken. Plus, you can choose from absolutely delicious desserts. My all-time favorite (anywhere on Disney property) is the Tanzanian Chocolate Mousse!
3. Out of Pocket Value
While guests using the Disney Dining Plan can make the most of their credits, diners not on the plan can also find reasonably priced, delicious entrees. Several menu items are at a similar price point to national chains like Olive Garden or Red Lobster. Couple that price point with Sanaa’s location, flavors, and service, and you’ve got yourself one heck of a meal! Extend the value by splitting dessert– they’re so rich that you will still walk (or waddle) away satisfied. In addition, Table in Wonderland members can apply the discount toward their entire meal, including any alcoholic beverages and appetizers.
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2. Na’an Bread
Why this delicious appetizer does not have the kind of cult following like Dole Whips or Tonga Toast is beyond me. Actually, it’s probably because Animal Kingdom Lodge is off the beaten path. But that’s all the more reason to make the journey to Sanaa! This appetizer, available only at Sanaa, is a variety of flatbreads and assorted dipping sauces, which range from cooling yogurt to spicy chile dips. It may not seem like much, but trust me, you’ll be tempted to order more bread! No shame though, because my family always does, and since we have a wide range in tastes, we order all nine dipping sauces rather than choosing three. Be careful though, if you go too crazy with the na’an bread though, you won’t have any room left for your entree!
1. Animal Kingdom Lodge
The best aspect of Sanaa is undoubtedly its location. Guests who have never ventured to this resort are missing out. Not staying there? No problem, you can visit, walk around the resort, eat at any of the restaurants, and enjoy the views. The resort consists of Jambo House and Kidani Village, and each offers sweeping savannah. After a wild day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, take the short bus ride over to the Lodge for a late lunch, or perhaps dinner at Sanaa. Just outside Sanaa, you will find a deck that juts out into the savanna, making it the perfect place to watch the animals. On the lobby level, step out onto one of the balconies to get an overhead view. Either way, make sure you explore the resort before jetting off on your next adventure!
For me, no Disney vacation is complete until I’ve eaten at Sanaa. I love the atmosphere of the restaurant and the resort itself. It perfectly embodies the Imagineering goal of transporting Walt Disney World guests to another place or time.