Sanaa; A Savannah Dining Experience

The Sanaa Restaurant located in the Kidani Village of the Disney Animal Kingdom Villas, is definitely a welcomed change of pace from your Disney adventures. Sanaa serves both lunch and dinner and is a pleasure that is missed by many but was enjoyed by my family at our last visit to Walt Disney World.

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Having planned our reservation to Sanaa on a day we were exploring the Animal Kingdom, we caught a bus to the Kidani Village from the Animal Kingdom Villas bus stop. The Kidani Village lobby is beautiful with a glass back wall, giving you a full view of the Savannah. The restaurant is found down the staircase in back of the lobby, and once there you feel as though you have arrived at an African Game Reserve: gazing upon giraffes, zebras, ostrich, kudu, and gazelles. After checking in for your reservation, walk out onto the deck. This view should never be passed up. It’s amazing to see the animals so close. You and your will family quickly get immersed in the wonder and magic of Disney and forget for a moment that you are still in Walt Disney World!

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I always encourage guests to talk to the Cast Members they meet, as you will hear fascinating stories of far away places and cultures. We met a special Cast Member, Bulelani, from South Africa, and he shared with us the many facts and stories about giraffes. We hung on his every word and really enjoyed talking to him! Did you know that giraffes in their native habitat sleep only 30 minutes a day? They take very short naps because of the constant danger of predators. We saw a giraffe lying down, and he told us you would never see that in the wild. So fascinating! Bulelani continued to entertain us by talking about his home, and we were amazed that there are 11 official languages in South Africa.

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Our adventure continued as our name was called and another wonderful Cast Member sat us at our table. Amee was from Botswana, and she told us that is was very hot in Botswana but that Florida was way too humid for her – she could hardly breathe!

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The menu at Sanaa is a fusion of African and Indian – the best of both worlds! They did include a Bison Burger on the menu in case your tastes were more traditional. The entrees were delicious, but the desserts could not be beat in display or taste! I had the Tanzanian Chocolate Mouse (my mouth waters just thinking about it today!). Everything on my plate was made of chocolate – including the butterfly and the writing on the plate! At this point, I became a little selfish, and would not share with anyone, no matter how much the begged; it was way too good!

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After the enjoying your meal, don’t let the adventure stop – be sure to explore the Resort! One place to stop is The Library. As you enter the lobby from the stairway, walk down the hall on your left… you will find a sign for the Library. We actually thought we were going to a Library (we are readers). However, we found a beautiful sitting room with an outdoor porch where you can sit in rocking chairs and enjoy the Savannah View.

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With the beauty of this Resort and the tremendous views, you can understand how easy it would be to get lost in the moment and feel as if you had been transported to the exotic continent of Africa! It was a perfect ending to our visit to the Kidani Village. Don’t you think it is time for you to enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

sylvia@travelwiththemagic.com

Animal Kingdom Lodge

With over 20 resorts to choose from, Disney has something for everyone.  One of the most unique experiences can be found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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 This resort falls into the deluxe category and is separated into two separate areas, Jambo House, and the Villas at Kidani Village.  Most rooms in Jambo House sleep 4, plus one child under the age of 3 in a crib.  There are club level accommodations in Jambo House where guest will receive concierge service, including a lounge with continental breakfast, snacks midday and hors d’oeuvers in the evenings.  In Kidani Village you will find studios sleeping 4, one bedroom villas for up to 5 guests, and 2 bedroom villas that will accommodate up to 9.

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 While the accommodations are great, the best part about this resort is the animals.  If you have a savanna view room, you can watch them from your private balcony.  But, if you don’t, there are still plenty of viewing areas around the resort.  There are times when you can also get night vision goggles and watch the animals after dark, how cool is that?!

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 In addition to animal viewing, there are many activites to enjoy at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  If you are staying here be sure and check the Daily Activities Board that is located at the bottom of the stairs next to the restaurants.

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 This board will alert you to all that is going on around the resort.  Activites can include fireside chats and storytelling with castmembers who are actually from Africa

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 There are arts and crafts, animal tracking games, face painting, and so much more! And, if you are a club level guest you can purchase the Sunrise Safari Breakfast, a private, guided safari followed by breakfast.  In addition to all of that, you will find two great pools on property.  The Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House is one of the largest pools on property, it features ‘zero entry’, meaning you can walk straight into the pool, no steps to walk up or down, and a 67 foot long slide that my kids just love!

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 There is a second great pool that you can enjoy at Kidani Village.  Samawati Springs also features zero entry, has a 128 foot water slide, and a children’s splash area!  Both pools have bars nearby for refreshments and small meals.

 If all of this isn’t enough to convince you to give Animal Kingdom Lodge a try, there are some really great dining options available.  At Boma you can  dine on a buffet  of African dishes as well as many American favorites, one of the best breakfasts on site, in my opinion!  Jiko is their signature restaurant, their menu is full of great dishes and they also boast an award winning wine list.  If you are looking for quick fare, look no further than Mara, open from morning until late at night you’ll find great options for everyone in your family here!

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 Animal Kingdom Lodge is definitely a destination in and of itself!  If you’d like more information about this or any other Disney resort, just drop me an email at michelle@travelwiththemagic.com.  You can also find me on facebook.  It doesn’t cost you any extra to book your Disney vacation through me, so contact me today and let’s get started!