Does Disney World’s Sanaa Restaurant Still Got IT?

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a mecca for unique dining at Walt Disney World.

Whether you’re sampling the buffet at Boma, selecting stellar wines at Jiko, or digging into soulful food at Sanaa, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House and Kidani Village have always been destination eating.

And it’s clear to see why. From the moment that you set foot into one of these restaurants, you are embraced by the warm atmosphere and intrigued by the art of Africa all around you. And then there’s the aroma, which you know means amazing eats await.

Sanaa is the newest of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants, and it’s made its mark on guests since day one. We’ve loved the Indian-Style Bread Service every time we’ve tried it, and the Butter Chicken has stood the test of time.

But I’d been hearing from some of our readers and followers that Sanaa’s time was up. That the experience there wasn’t living up to the hype and the food just wasn’t what it used to be. So I made a reservation and headed over ASAP to experience it again for myself.

Atmosphere

Sanaa is themed and highly visual, with artwork greeting guests from the moment they arrive. The sign outside the restaurant is surrounded by woven baskets of various designs. And while they are stationary, something about their arrangement is still energetic.

Sanaa

Sanaa

[Read more…]

The Best Thing I Ate All Week in Disney World Was At Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge.

Brown Derby Lounge is a terrific place to dine if you’re looking for a little Hollywood Flair at Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the best part is that there’s no ADR required!

That’s right! You can saunter up to Brown Derby Lounge on a whim and experience the understated elegance and tasty menu that so many have lauded in the Brown Derby Restaurant proper.

We’ve enjoyed our visits here, where Margarita and Martini Flights rule and you almost can’t go wrong with the menu of Brown Derby Restaurant-approved eats. And with outdoor seating on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s a great place for people watching!

During a recent visit to the World, I dropped in for a few plates of food — and left having eaten the best thing I ate in my entire visit! I love being surprised by awesome food — even more so when it’s served in such a great location!

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

Hollywood Brown Derby Lounge Bar

[Read more…]

Review: Disneyland Resort Halloween Time Treats for 2017!

Halloween is HERE! No matter what the actual calendar says ;) , the Disney Parks on both coasts are already celebrating  the most epic Halloween ever — especially when measured in Seasonal and Spookerrific eats!

Disneyland Minnie Mouse Jack O'Lantern!

Disneyland Minnie Mouse Jack O’Lantern!

We recently checked out Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at Walt Disney World, so today we’re kickin’ it west coast style.

Halloween-ified Disneyland Maps and Times Guide!

Halloween-ified Disneyland Maps and Times Guide!

And Disneyland is killin’ it this year! Take a spook… I mean, a LOOK!

Haul-O-Ween in Cars Land

They’ve introduced a super cool Halloween overlay in Cars Land that we can NOT get enough of!

Cars Land Signage and Fun!

Cars Land Signage and Fun!

The Halloween-ization of Cars Land is just… well, look for yourself. [Read more…]

#OnTheList: The Secret Drink Menu and MORE at Cove Bar in Disney California Adventure

DisneyFoodBucketList 8-018
This post is part of the DFB #OnTheList series, where we feature eats you’ve GOT to have while you’re at Disney! Let us know what’s on YOUR Disney Food Bucket List @DisneyFoodBlog #OnTheList!

December 2018 update: Ariel’s Grotto — which offers Princess character meals — and my beloved Cove Bar will become a new lounge and grill and will close on January 8th.

Cove Bar‘s job is to remind you that you’re in the Happiest Place on Earth, over and over again. And it does that job well.

Cove Bar Sign

Cove Bar Sign

That’s why it’s #OnTheList this week!

[Read more…]

Review: New Cocktails at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

It’s almost September, but everyone knows that we’re still looking at summertime temps to continue in Florida — expanding well into October (at least). So you may find it good to know about some cold adult refreshers that have popped up in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in recent months!

The Cold Front

Let’s start on Commissary Lane at the ABC Commissary.

The ABC Commissary

The ABC Commissary

The Cold Front not only promises a relief from the heat, but it’s also well in keeping with Frozen Summer Fun (which won’t conclude until September 7th, so you’ve still got time a little time to catch it!).

[Read more…]

Disney Food Post Round-Up: July 26, 2015

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Food and Wine Festival Updates

No, I’m not talking about Christmas in July. Instead, we’re excited to have nearly all of the details about the 2015 Epcot Food and Wine Festival in place!

It’s been a week full of news gathering where this year’s Festival is concerned, as we’ve also been busy putting the final touches on the DFB Guide to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival! More about that in just a bit.

First, let’s look at all the Disney Food News — there’s a ton of stuff happening!

Disney Food News

Review: Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

C’mon kids!! Everyone into the Studios for another look at Hey Howdy Hey Takeway in Pixar Place!!

This is one of my favorite little kiosks in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Lots of folks just wander on by, but there are so many cool themeing elements here to gawk at!!

Banner Over Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway Kiosk

Atmosphere

Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway is a wagon-shaped kiosk located across from the entrance to Toy Story Midway Mania.

Hey Howdy Hey Takeaway Wagon

Theming for the spot comes from the Toy Story franchise — specifically, Toy Story 2, which explores Woody’s history as a TV personality.

You’ll remember that in that film, Woody learns that “he” starred on a TV show, along with Jessie, Bullseye, and the Prospector. And of course, there were many products created to promote the kids show. (Sound familiar??)

What self-respecting Woody fan wouldn’t start the day without a heapin’ helpin’ of Cowboy Crunchies?

Cowboy Crunchies Giant Box

And, much like you’d find in the [Read more…]

Review: Gingerbread Hot Cocoa and other Holiday Treats at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios is one of the best parks to visit during holiday time — especially if you’re a food fan like me!

Disney's Hollywood Studios at Holiday Time!

On this visit, I got to check out several new holiday additions to the DHS menus — especially around the Streets of America area. These are in place to create a more festive atmosphere for Osborne Spectacle of Dancing Lights attendees! :-)

Streets of America Newsstand Holiday Eats

First up, a Newsstand decked out in holiday gear…

Disney's Hollywood Studios Holiday Newsstand

The menu included goodies like caramel corn, spiced eggnog, and two flavors of hot cocoa!

I began my perusal with checking out the new Mickey Popcorn Buckets for this holiday season! These are different from last year’s Mickey Snowman buckets, and are found throughout the parks.

Disney's Hollywood Studios Mickey Popcorn Buckets

Turns out, you can get the caramel corn in these festive containers! But how they open — basically the “caramel corn is Mickey’s brain” as the cast member put it — is a bit disconcerting… ;-)

Disney's Hollywood Studios Mickey Head Caramel Corn

Disney's Hollywood Studios Holiday Mickey Popcorn Bucket

So after checking out Mickey’s innards, it was time to try some of the new holiday beverages here at the Studios! I had a choice of [Read more…]

13 Questions and Answers About Bringing Your Own Food to Disney Theme Parks

Erin Foster is the Disney Food for Families columnist and a behind-the-scenes guru here at Disney Food Blog! Check out more of her posts here.

At the Disney Food Blog, we are obviously HUGE fans of dining at the Walt Disney World restaurants. But there may be times when, due to budgetary, medical, religious, or other restrictions you may want or need to bring your own food into the parks with you. Here are 13 typical questions and answers about having non-Disney food at Disney.

  1. Am I allowed to bring my own food and/or beverage into the parks?

    Yes, with limited exceptions.

  2. Exceptions? What exceptions?

    The Walt Disney World website states that you are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages or glass containers into the parks. Glass baby food jars are allowed.

  3. But what about the security check points?

    They’re looking for weapons and things of that nature. They will not question your consumables unless they’re alcohol or in a glass container.

    In my many hundreds of park admissions, the only item I’ve ever personally seen confiscated at the security checkpoint was a bottle of Heineken, which obviously failed both the alcohol and glass tests.

Soft-sided, insulated bags are easy to carry in the parks

  1. There are no limits on the quantity of food I can bring in the parks? Really?

    It’s correct that there are no specific limits on how much food you can bring with you into the parks. You’re not limited to just snacks or just a water bottle; a full lunch of sandwiches, fruit, dessert, etc. is fine.

    However (and this is a big however), there ARE limits on the size of the container you can use to carry your food into the park. No box, cooler, bag, or other container larger than 24″ x 15″ x 18″ is allowed into the parks as a food receptacle, or for any other purpose. This means that you’ll have to leave that giant Coleman you use for tailgates at home.

    Also, other than strollers, you may not bring any wheeled conveyances into the parks. This means no rolling coolers or wagons to transport lots of smaller coolers.

  1. What types of food have you brought into the parks?

    Nearly every time I enter a Disney theme park, I’m carrying some sort of beverage: water bottle, Diet Coke, or juice box for the kids. When my children were small, I always brought baggies filled with their favorite munchables like Goldfish and Cheerios.

    I have a friend whose son has severe allergies; she brings entire meals for him when she visits the parks.

  2. Have you ever had any problems with this?

    Nope. Not once. Really.

  3. Any ideas about what I should use to carry my food in?

    In my experience, I’ve seen guests have the most success with [Read more…]

Review: Paradiso 37 Drinks, Appetizers, and Dessert

Paradiso 37 in Orlando’s Downtown Disney has been one of my favorite tapas and drinks places in Walt Disney World since it opened on Pleasure Island back in 2009 (…back when Pleasure Island was Pleasure Island).

Today, even though Paradiso has lost a few of its neighbors, it’s still going strong (in my opinion) and offering some of my favorite appetizers and margaritas on property.

A few weeks ago, Erin Foster and I stopped into Paradiso (at my urging — I hadn’t been there in WAY too long) for some eats and treats.

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Paradiso 37 Entrance

Atmosphere

Once again, I was reminded when walking into Paradiso 37 that this restaurant is all about fun — and all different kinds of fun at that!

The martini-glass-and-tequila-bottle chandelier hanging over the foyer is a good indication that this restaurant means business when it comes to happy hour.

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

Paradiso 37 Bar Glasses Chandelier

And the floor-to-ceiling tequila bar centerpiece showcases [Read more…]