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

T-REX… A Prehistoric Family Adventure

When I ask my son to tell me the coolest restaurant he’s ever been to, his answer is T-REX.  Located in the Pleasure Island area of Downtown Disney, this is not your average restaurant.  From the minute you step through the entrance you’ll feel instantly transported back in time complete with a 15 foot tall T-Rex and other life-sized creatures.

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Let’s start with the food (I like to eat)…

T-REX serves lunch and dinner (American cuisine) with a bit of prehistoric attitude. Here you can find chicken, steak, seafood, pasta and many different specialty drinks. Whether you’re in the mood for a “Neanderthal New York Strip Steak”, “Layers of the Earth Lasagna” or a “Prehistoric Smoothie”- you’re sure to find something for everyone. Reservations are suggested at this location as it is a popular place for a sit down meal. One table service credit is required on your Disney Dining Plan.

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Now, let’s move on to the atmosphere.  There are so many cool details here that I don’t know where to begin.  You will be seated in one of a few different rooms- each having their own theme.  In the undersea room, be sure to notice the 13 ft. wide octopus that seems to envelope the bar area;  its tentacles stretch up to the ceiling. Jellyfish hang from the ceiling and aquariums surround this area.

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Animatronic insects move and buzz in the prehistoric insect room.  The blue and pink ice age cave is home to animatronic wooly mammoths that seem to watch as you eat.

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The dinosaur area is also home to a gift shop. Here you will find the perfect souvenir for your little paleontologist. They can Build-a-Dino (T-REX partners with Build-a-Bear Workshop – the dinos are super cute!) and check out lots of cool prehistoric merchandise.  Paleo Zone is an area where kids can dig for dinosaur fossils and play on interactive screens. Panning for precious gems and stones and splitting geodes is also fun in Discovery Creek.

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As if the atmosphere alone weren’t cool enough here, every 20 minutes a 2 minute meteor shower takes place in the “sky”. When this happens, asteroids fly through the sky and every animal in the restaurant roars, screams and basically goes bananas! The ice age room glows from blue or pink to an orange color.  This is meant to signify the ice melting. A word of warning: We did witness a few very young children who did not like the meteor shower and found it a bit scary…but most children love it!

For more information on restaurants, dining, parks and more – Contact me today!

Erin Santamaria 1-877-377-0505 or erins@travelwiththemagic.com

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