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New Offering at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Dine with an Animal Specialist!

Update: See the Dine with an Animal Specialist menu, food photos, and details here!

Thanks to reader Cliff Yow for the heads up on this awesome new adventure! A new dining experience is available at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Dine with an Animal Expert!

Enjoy an exclusive and interactive experience while dining with a Disney Animal Expert at Sanaa, an exotic restaurant offering views of the African savanna. As you immerse yourself in African culture, you’ll get to ask questions of the expert while also learning fascinating facts about the care of savanna’s animals. See the resort’s savanna animals outside the window as you learn special insights into these African creatures.

View from Sanaa

Dine with Animal Specialists: An Untamed Lunch

Offered at Sanaa every Wednesday, 11:30 am to 1:15 pm, this unique opportunity will appeal to animal enthusiasts.

A four course meal and suitable children’s menu will be served for $49 (10 and older) and $29 (3-9), plus applicable tax and 18% automatic gratuity. $5 of the price will be contributed to Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund!

Limited to 12 guests per day; it’s truly a memorable lunch! To make a reservation, call 407-938-6922, option 3 or stop by Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge concierge. Beginning Aug. 1, reservations will be available online at http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/reservations/dining/ or call 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463) up to 180 days prior to visiting.

Sanaa Dining Room

Sanaa (Swahili for artwork) recalls the scenes and smells of an East African spice market. On display, handcrafted artworks are to be admired. The cuisine incorporates flavorful spices and cooking methods from Africa. Using tandoor ovens, chefs slow cook specialties with Indian flavors.

It is strongly recommended that participants be over 8 years old.

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14 Comments

  1. Melissa says:

    I totally would’ve done this 2 weeks ago. The price seems totally fair, the food at Sanaa was amazing (anyone have the Tandoori shrimp recipe? Dying to recreate it), and to hear first-hand information about the animals and learn something would be amazing.

  2. JoAnn says:

    Sounds like a great experience.

  3. Kara B. says:

    Hi AJ,

    I just tried to book this, but the cast member I spoke with said they aren’t taking reservations. You need to do it in person at the AKL — which I thought sounded a bit goofy.

    I’ll try calling later and hope to get another cast member.

    Kara

  4. Wendy says:

    This looks wonderful! However I have just phoned to try and book and got a wonderful castmember at AKL – she took a while to find out the details but according to her computer it can only be booked in person at AKL. I’ll keep an eye out for more details as I would love to do this.
    Wendy

  5. Wendy says:

    Oops – should have refreshed the page before posting! I got a different person than Kara (as mine had never heard of it) but gave the same story.

  6. Colleen says:

    I called this am and got transferred to Dining. No one had heard of it. Called again and talked with three different cast members, no one had any ideas. Called Disney Vacation Club and got an answer. You need to book it in person (as others have mentioned). Called the folks who live in the Disney area. They went over and booked it for our upcoming trip. They had to go to DVC conceiarge area and were helped there. A lot of running around, but sounds totally worth it! Looking forward to the upcoming lunch. We will be celebrating my daughter’s 16th birthday with that lunch!

  7. Galloping Gourmand says:

    Sanaa is one of the hidden treasures at Disney. The price seems like a bargain.

  8. AJ says:

    Colleen, thank you SO much for the added info!!!

  9. AJ says:

    Thanks all!!! (just read the rest of the comments on my phone! Didn’t realize that everyone had offered helpful info!)

  10. Cliff says:

    Just got this email from AKV concierge “The Dining with an Animal Specialist experience is on a trial basis for 16 weeks. Hopefully the experience will be continued after that as it is simply a wonderful time” I hope they extend to October! That when our next trip is out to WDW. If you are booked in a concierge room they can book over the phone/email or book once the dates open up.

  11. Christina says:

    I hope they keep this for December! Hubby would LOVE this experience! Thanks for the info!

  12. That looks like the table we dined out this March…..loved Sanaa! It was evening, so I couldn’t get a shot, but loved the view.

    http://www.afrugalfriend.net/2011/04/disneys-animal-kingdom-lodge-early-arrival-at-disney-social-media-moms-celebration/

  13. Tracie says:

    Sanaa is one of our top 5 WDW restaurants. We’ve been there for lunch and dinner and love it. The price of the special lunch seems very reasonable for the experience. I hope the “dine with a specialist” is so successful that we’ll have a chance to take part when we head back to WDW in mid-October.

  14. Burnt Toast says:

    Dine with Animal Specialists CANNOT be booked by Disney Dining. It is on a trial run right now so it is not added to the dining reservation system (either online or through Disney Dining). You can book this by calling Itinerary Planning Office at DAKL or in-person at the DAKL Concierge Desk (whether in the Lobby or at the Club for Club Guests).

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