Easter Treats and Spring Break Eats Around Walt Disney World

The 2015 Chocolate Easter Egg Display at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort isn’t the only sure sign of spring around here these days! Easter treats have been “hopping” up everywhere around Disney World Resort to celebrate this weekend’s holiday — not to mention the remainder of the Spring Break season through the end of next week.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a holiday at Disney World without all sorts of specialty cupcakes, and Easter is no egg-ception. (I. Can’t. Stop. Doing. That!). At Epcot, a Chocolate Cupcake with marshmallow filling and marshmallow buttercream frosting can be found at Fountain View from now through April 11th, and at Sunshine Seasons for a very limited run on April 4th and 5th.

©Disney

©Disney

This beauty of a Carrot Cake Cupcake topped with a mini Bunny Macaron will be at the Contemporary Resort only through April 5th! The inside has a pineapple-coconut filling and it’s all topped with white chocolate buttercream frosting along with toasted coconut and — hooray! — jelly beans!

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©Disney

While there, be sure to check out the Contemporary Resort’s display of Chocolate Bunnies and decorated Easter Eggs presented by the Resort’s pastry chefs on the fourth floor!

BoardWalk Bakery boasts its own Easter Cupcake: vanilla cake filled with raspberry panna cotta, topped off with a coconut nest filled with jelly beans.

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©Disney

And, of course, you can check out spots at [Read more…]

What’s New Around Walt Disney World: November 18th, 2014

Ready for another trip around the World? We’re heading to three parks and a few resorts to check out holiday treats, gingerbread feats, and new menu eats! And which Counter Service location is now serving up steak? Just read on to find out and see What’s New!

HOLIDAY TREATS

Red and green aren’t the only colors taking over Disney World now that the holiday season has launched around here… hues of blue decorate the festive snacks at this year’s brand new “Frozen” Gingerbread Display at the Contemporary Resort!

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

Contemporary Resort Gingerbread Display

We tried the Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Blue Raspberry Cake Gelato

Read our review and see all the other treats available at the new display here!

Get ready for all your favorite Disney World bakery items (we’re talking Krispy Treats, Candy Apples, and Mickey Macarons) to be dressed up for the holiday season in spots like the Main Street Confectionery, Seashore Sweets, and Big Top Treats.

Holiday Bakery Case

Holiday Bakery Case

Ornament Candy Apples

Ornament Candy Apples

More candy apples!

More candy apples!

Holiday cupcakes

Holiday cupcakes

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

Red and Green Mickey Macarons

And now let’s look into some ways the Parks are getting into the [Read more…]

Review: Sanaa at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

On a recent whirlwind trip to Disney World, I planned to get together with friends for lunch. I had a hankering for the totally incredible Butter Chicken at Sanaa, so I couldn’t wait to head over there for lunch!

This wonderful restaurant, located at Animal Kingdom Lodge‘s Kidani Village, still flies under the radar. However, in the past, it has been the location of some of my very favorite meals.

And, let me tell you dear DFB readers, it is going to be VERY difficult to edit this review considering how much I want a big ol’ plate of that Butter Chicken right now. I had half a twix bar in preparation, but I don’t think it’s going to do the trick.

That said…we’re off to the races!

Atmosphere

You’ll find Sanaa at Kidani Village, the portion of Animal Kingdom Lodge that’s a Disney Vacation Club property.

Outside of Sanaa

The same care and attention to detail that went into the decor of Animal Kingdom Lodge is at play here as well. The soaring lobby greets you with colorful African decor and a thatched roof! I love it!

Kidani Village Lobby

Once you get to the restaurant downstairs, you’ll see why they chose the name. The word “sanaa” is Swahili for art, and is the perfect description of this beautiful spot that marries handcrafted artisan touches with food that’s prepared with care and tradition.

Sanaa is open for lunch and dinner. We suggest lunch or an early dinner for first timers — more about that in a minute.

Sanaa Hours

The entrance features some beautiful, handcrafted African artwork. The beads that line the podium are gorgeous.

Entrance

Look closely at the mats on the wall and you’ll likely spy a Hidden Mickey! We have two more hidden mickeys for you in this post — can you find [Read more…]

Tip from the DFB Guide: Free Tours at Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

We’ve added lots of fun and new dining info to our updated e-Book — The DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2013. One of my favorite tips in the book is the recommendation of the free tours at the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants! Yep, free!

After you read all about this great Disney Dining Tip, learn more about our DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining grand launch — including a limited-time discount code — here!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant Tours

The Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World is known for quality table-service restaurants that offer some exotic menu items and exquisite, African-themed decor. But there’s a way to explore the restaurants without actually dining there!

Learn The Meaning Behind the Decor At Jiko Restaurant

Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa offer half-hour culinary tours each day! These tours cover some of the decor and meaning behind the architecture of the restaurants, and also explain certain menu items. You may even get to sample some of the restaurant’s dishes.

You can see our review of the Boma and Jiko Tour here.

Seating at Sanaa

When you don’t have time to eat at each restaurant, [Read more…]

Dessert Menu Changes at Sanaa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Sanaa, the table-service restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village, features an African- and Indian-inspired menu, delicious food, and gorgeous savanna (read: Zebra! Giraffe!) views.

While many of us don’t need any further enticement to return to Sanaa, there’s a new dessert on the menu that looks delicious!

Check out the Banana Kulfi Sundae with warm chocolate sauce, strawberries, and spiced cashews for $5.49. Looks amazing, right? I hope I get to try it soon.

Sanaa Dessert

Dessert at Sanaa

Also note that the Chai Cream is no longer available as a single-serving option; however it remains part of the Dessert trio, which includes [Read more…]

Review: Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Found at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa is a full-service restaurant offering fantastic meals with Indian and African influences.

From the floor-to-ceiling windows of the restaurant, guests have a fantastic view of the safari animals on the Sunset Savanna, meaning you’ll have a stellar show of zebra, giraffe, African birds, and several other breathtaking animals.

And while the animal viewing is a great draw for Sanaa’s guests, the interesting menu, food quality, and great service will surely bring them back time and time again. And the new test-phase of the Dine with an Animal Specialist program is surely going to bring plenty of folks to Sanaa!

Atmosphere

Sanaa is located in Kidani Village, which is the Disney Vacation Club Villas section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It sits next door to Jambo House, the main and original part of the Lodge.

Outside of Sanaa

A major complaint about Sanaa is its distance from the parks and other resort hotels in Disney World — you will have to use a Disney Transport bus, your own car, or a taxi to get here — but with all of the great [Read more…]

More Details on Disney World’s New Dine with an Animal Specialist Option: Menu, Photos, and Activities!

Jambo! Thanks to Vallen Tucker at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge concierge office, we have some great NEW information about the resort’s Dine With An Animal Specialist opportunity!!

As you know, the dining option is offered at Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Kidani Village. Guests can dine with an Animal Specialist, savoring cuisine from Sanaa while learning about the animals grazing outside the window. During the “untamed” lunch, your family will be immersed in African culture while posing questions to the animal expert regarding the animals on the nearby savanna.

Dine With An Animal Specialist: Menu

The four-course menu will delight your senses during this exclusive experience limited to 12 guests. It is recommended for guests over 8 years old. Special Diets can be accommodated and there is a separate menu for kids

First Course: Indian Style Bread Service
Breads – Naan, Onion Kulcha, Papadum, Paneer Paratha

Accompaniments – Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, Coriander Chutney, Mango Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Green Mango Pickle, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney

Parts of the First Course Offerings

Second Course: [Read more…]

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 [Read more…]

Sanaa Wine List Suggestions

Thanks again to Amanda Tinney for the fantastic Sanaa Review yesterday! To accompany that piece, we’re thrilled that our friends at Cork’d.com have put together a list of highly-recommended wine list suggestions, and have even explained specifically why these wines will complement the unique menu of Indian and African cuisine at Sanaa.

Sanaa Wine Recommendations
The Sanaa wine list has a rich focus on South African wines, but also highlights some great options from around the world, including offerings from Italy, California, and New Zealand.

Sanaa Wine List -- Subject to Change -- Copyright Disney -- Click for Larger Version

Sanaa Wine List -- Subject to Change -- Copyright Disney -- Click for Larger Version

2008 Martin Codax Albarino: A crisp, refreshing, and highly acidic grape varietal, Albarino is most often found in the Northwest of Spain’s *Rias Baixas* region. Because these wines are so aromatic and flavor filled, they pair really well with the intensely flavored, aromatic cuisines, such as Indian. Martin Codax is one of the most recognized wineries in Rias Baixas, producing consistent and well-received Albarino year after year.

2008 Boutari Moschofilero: Moschofilero isn’t your everyday Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. This grape has made a name [Read more…]

Sanaa Restaurant Guest Review

Sanaa is almost a year old (!!), and it’s settling in nicely with a couple of new menu items and one of Disney World’s most incredible views. Amanda Tinney from DisneyEveryDay.com dined at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s newest restaurant recently and was kind enough to share this rockin’ report. Take it away, Amanda!

Sanaa

Sanaa means “Work of Art” in Swahili, which is fitting because the food artists at Disney’s Kidani Village are crafting unique dishes for Disney Guests in their flagship restaurant… Sanaa. As the menu professes, Sanaa is “The Art of African Cooking with Indian Flavors.”

I had the privilege of dining here last week during a lunch meeting. I consider myself an adventurous eater, but I had my doubts once seated and presented with the menu. Luckily, I was dining with friends who had experienced Sanaa previously, and I let them take the lead when ordering appetizers.

We started with the Indian Style Bread Service ($8.99), which gave us a choice of three breads and three accompaniments. For the bread, we selected Naan, Onion Kulcha, and Paneer Paratha. [Read more…]