I’ve enjoyed meals at over 30 restaurants at Walt Disney World Resort. Many of these restaurants are unique in both their theming and menu offerings. But I’ll tell you, of all the places I’ve been, there’s nothing like watching giraffes and zebras stroll by in the Sunset Savanna while dining at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village.
If you’ve never stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I highly recommend making an Advanced Dining Reservation at one of the three table service restaurants on site—Jiko, Boma, or Sanaa. It will give you an ‘excuse’ to tour the magnificent lobby and grounds and will probably leave you considering a future stay here. If you want to experience a unique meal with an outstanding view, consider lunch or dinner at Sanaa.
When my family and I arrived early for our dinner reservation, we were provided with a pager device that worked just outside the restaurant in a savanna viewing spot. While we waited for our table, we were able to ask a friendly Cast Member all sorts of questions about the animals in this area. Time seemed to fly by and before long, our buzzer was going off. A lovely waitress from Kenya escorted us to our table right by a floor-to-ceiling window that faced out to the savanna. If you aren’t lucky to be seated at a window-side table, fear not. Many of the tables still offer an excellent view, even if set back a bit.
DIStracted Tip- If dining at dinner, I recommend timing your reservation so most of your meal occurs while there is still daylight. That way, you can truly enjoy the view of the savanna.
Fortunately, Sanaa offers more than just amazing scenery. The Indian-African fusion menu is exquisite, as is the service. My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary, and the waitress surprised us with two flutes of bubbly. It was a sweet gesture to mark our special event. Since we were staying at the resort and didn’t have to drive that night, we enjoyed additional libations. This restaurant offers some unique drink offerings that I have not seen at other locations at Walt Disney World. Let’s just say the mango margarita and tangerine mojito went down a little too easily.
As a starter, the Indian-style bread service is a must. Those dips and sauces! While you can go for a portion that provides you with three dipping sauces (like we did), I recommend trying all nine accompaniments. Next visit, we will opt for the larger size so we can dip our naan bread in all the varieties of chutney, raita, and hummus.
The dinner menu boasts dishes featuring chicken, lamb, fish, shrimp, and vegetables. My husband and I devoured our meat and vegetarian entrées. He loved the butter chicken (which is probably the most popular dish at Sanaa) while I enjoyed the vegetarian sampler with vegetable curry, basmati rice, and paneer tikka (cheese). For those who are vegetarian/vegan (or a pesco-vegetarian like me), Sanaa is an excellent choice. I hear the lentil dhal is also quite delicious.
My husband loves spicy food and is sometimes disappointed by the lack of heat in some of the entrées at Walt Disney World Resort. But at Sanaa, he was pleasantly surprised. When they say something is spicy, it truly is! Be sure to order to your taste preference.
For those of you with children, there’s no shortage of options for choosy or adventurous children on the menu. Our four-year-old, when she took her eyes off the animals, gobbled up her shrimp and pilaf dinner. Best of all, she loved the Decorate-Your-Own Sugar Cookie. To her dismay, I might have had a little fun decorating (and tasting) as well.
Before I conclude this review, I must state that a meal at Sanaa is not a rushed experience. Prepare accordingly because it does take some time for each course to arrive. Take in the sight of the animals of the savanna as you enjoy this leisurely meal. You might even be visited by this feathered friend, an African crowned crane, pictured right. He stared at me with much curiosity during most of our visit. Perhaps I was simply his entertainment for the evening.