It seems we just can’t get enough of snacking on fries topped with all kinds of unique flavors. Can you really blame us? Well, now it’s time for ANOTHER poutine treat — the all NEW Butter Chicken Poutine!
Now that we’re back in Disney World, you know that means we’re basically required to eat our way through the parks (for research, of course)!
And over at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, after we practically WALKED on Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest with the low wait times we’ve seen, we headed back to Tiffins for a lunch date!
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.
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.
Happy Sunday! We hope you’re staying cool this weekend! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and catch up on all the Disney food news from the week!
We’re still celebrating the grand launch of the DFB Guide to the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival e-book! You can order your copy today for 20% off the cover price with the code Chefs16!
We have a lot to share with you this week, so let’s jump right in…
Disney Food News
- The Plaza Restaurant recently added new items to the menu and we had to check them out!
- We shared some tips on what to expect on peak booking days for special events at Walt Disney World!
- We checked out what’s new around Walt Disney World.
- Did you see the sneak peek of the AbracadaBar on Disney’s Boardwalk?
- There’s a new Crush souvenir sipper cup at some quick service restaurants!
- Do you love Butter Chicken? Check out our Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipe from the Africa booth!
- We love cupcakes so we just had to check out the Cherry and Banana Cupcakes at the Contempo Cafe!
- The Coca-Cola Store’s rooftop bar recently added an Adult Beverage menu!
We now have nearly all of the pieces in place for the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival!
And I don’t know about you guys, but around here, we’re pretty excited. 😀
The Festival will last longer than ever in 2016 — get ready to Eat and Drink Around the World from September 14 through November 14!
Of course, we love all of the Special Events and Low Cost Seminars and Demonstrations. And this year, we already have our seats booked for the brand new Mix It, Make It, Celebrate It Workshops. This new hands on experience promises to make the festival more interactive than ever. [Read more…]
We are back with some of our very best kept Disney Dining Secrets. And we want to share them with you!
Planning where you’ll be spending your food budget in Disney World is a BIG deal. There are so many choices to make! Maybe you’re worried about getting the advance dining reservations you’d like the most. And what about your favorite brands and foods? Will they have them?
These are all great questions, and we address them all in our DFB Guide to WDW Dining e-Book! But today, we’re exploring one of the biggest concerns: Is it possible to save a buck or two when you’re at Disney?
Secrets to Saving Money in Disney World
Today, we’ll share some of our favorite ways to save money during your visit to Walt Disney World. And if you like what you see here, be sure to check out even more secrets in the brand new DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, 2016 Edition, where we gather over 530 pages of tips, recommendations, and secrets to make your Disney trip the best ever!
Here we go!
Ditch Unwanted Sides
I love this tip, and it can save you some serious cash (and calories!). You may think the price printed on the menu board or in the menu is non-negotiable. But we’ve got a secret to share!
Did you know that you can often forego unwanted sides? For instance, say you order a sandwich that comes with fries, but you don’t really want them. Ask if you can order your sandwich as an entree only and save!
And if you’re a light eater, or someone who doesn’t really care about (or literally can’t EAT) that side of salad/chips/fries/coleslaw/pasta salad, then you’ll never miss it.
Hello out there!
Welp — it’s official. The Boathouse did indeed open its doors last week!
The new restaurant is beautiful…and huge. We brought you a first look and our impressions of both the decor and the food recently.
While The Boathouse continues to refine service and work out all the details, Advance Dining Reservations are not available during this soft opening. It’s purely walk-up for the time being.
We have plenty more details about Disney’s newest restaurant below. So let’s take a look at this and the rest of the news we reported on this week. For more details on the above news and more, just click on the links below!
Disney Food News
- La Cava del Tequila fans can try a brand new version of the popular Pomegranate Margarita during their next visit.
- Speaking of tequila, Dockside Margaritas opened this week at Disney World’s Downtown Disney, serving mixed drinks inspired by the flavors of the Sunshine State.
- Olaf’s Perfect Sundae Day has debuted at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. Looks like Summer is on its way!
- Some brand new Sweet Treats and Drinks are set to appear at Disneyland in honor of the Park’s 60th Anniversary.
- We have an update to the Epcot Starbucks “You Are Here” Mug story at Walt Disney World — a new version is now available.
- Disney has begun rolling out Allergy-Friendly menus at more than 100 of its restaurants at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. See an example here!
- We have our very first tour and review of The Boathouse, Disney’s newest restaurant, which just opened at Downtown Disney (soon to be Disney Springs).
- The pool at Disney World’s Polynesian Village Resort has reopened after a lengthy refurbishment, and the Barefoot Pool Bar has reopened right along with it!
Check out all the latest Disney Food News — even the stuff we don’t mention in posts on the blog! — on our Disney Food News Pin Board, including menu updates, restaurant closures, special events, and more!
We’ve got all the latest for you, so check it out before you go.
DFB Reader Finds
Do you have a favorite Disney Food find? Share your photos with us!
Deal of the Week: 2015-2016 Disney World Vacation Must-Have E-Book Sale!
OK — so you have a Walt Disney World Trip on the books for this year — Woohoo!! There’s nothing more exciting than counting down the days to your next Walt Disney World Trip!
But, even the most spontaneous Disney fan knows that planning ahead is the key to a stress-less vacay. And that mantra is absolutely true when it comes to dining.
If you really want to dine in the hottest restaurants, you pretty much have to plan ahead. Be spontaneous, of course. But get a couple Advance Dining Reservations in place.
But which ones?
That’s where Disney Food Blog comes in! You already enjoy our reviews, news, and tips daily on our Blog. But did you know — that’s JUST the tip of the iceberg. Because we have lots more to share with you in our complete line of DFB Guides.
If you’re ready for a fun, easy way to personalize eating and drinking your way through Disney, then check out the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book.
Fully updated for your 2015-2016 adventures, the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book is an instantly downloadable PDF guide, featuring over 490 full-color pages of photographs, information, and advice about our favorite subject — Eating Your Way Through Disney! So you save time and money as you enjoy planning one of the most important parts of your trip. 😉
And to thank all of you for your support of DFB, we are offering extra savings on our most popular DFB Guide right now. Just enter promo code 2015 at checkout and you’ll save $4 off of our cover price of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World® Dining 2015 e-Book!
But if you’d like to enjoy even more detail, check out another great offer.
DFB Everything Bundle SALE!
If you’d like even more great information, pictures, and tips, then the DFB Everything Bundle is the right fit for you.
And to get you ready for that next big trip, we are offering the DFB Everything Bundle for $15 off the already low price! It’s like getting an entire book for free. Just enter promo code Everything15 at checkout to take advantage of this offer.
You’re in for a treat today, as we visit one of my most favorite Disney World restaurants —
Sanaa is truly a hidden Disney treasure, and while I hope you all have the opportunity to enjoy it, honestly, I hope the word never totally gets out!
I know that may sound selfish, but Sanaa is a favorite of mine for many, many reasons. In addition to a number of truly exquisite meals in the past, I also appreciate the quiet atmosphere. And it’s never been difficult to get an Advance Dining Reservation here — even at the last minute.
There had been some changes in the menu since I visited last, so I was anxious to book dinner at Sanaa on a recent trip to see if it’s still just as wonderful as it’s always been.
Sanaa is a hidden gem in part because it’s actually somewhat hidden. To get to Sanaa, you’ll need to head to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Once there, look for signs pointing you toward Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club portion of the resort.
As with all of the other restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sanaa has been thoughtfully named. The word “sanaa” is Swahili for “art”. Step up to the restaurant’s entrance, and you start to see why. Hand woven trays decorate the area behind the podium and beautiful beads line the counter.
Be on the lookout for this guy though. (We’re talking about the Hidden Mickey…not the bird. 🙂 ) You’ll catch a an artistically rendered glimpse or two of him throughout the area.
One of my favorite touches are the African Proverbs that you’ll find on walls throughout Kidani Village. Think about it for a while!
While you wait for your table — and the wait isn’t likely to be long — you’ll get your first glimpse of Sunset Savanna. Keep your eyes peeled. The area is home to dozens of birds and animals, including gazelles, zebras, cranes, ostriches, and more. And right outside THESE windows, you my get to see a tortoise or two.
En route to your table, you’ll pass the Lounge. This is one of my favorite spots to relax and unwind.
Because it’s opened continuously from 11:30 to midnight, it’s a good option if you’re looking for a meal at one of those in-between times, or you just want to meet friends for a quiet night cap.
This is a detail that I love about Animal Kingdom Lodge (and most spots in Disney, actually) — no space is left untouched. Check out the rich detail on the ceiling in the bar area, which provides a subtle sense of definition…
…And this is what I mean. Once you enter the main restaurant, you leave the “building” of the entrance, and you’re under the canopy of a sprawling acacia tree.
It blends beautifully with the wide-arched picture windows, and melds the interior with the exterior.
Request a window-side table, and you’ll enjoy great views of the savanna as you dine.
Chances are pretty good that you’ll even see a few of these guys.
And it’s a good time to note — the ever-changing parade of wildlife outside the windows is a great diversion for little people in your group! There are few better ways to distract a toddler than by pointing out real life zebras!
Seating is broken up into small alcoves, and tables and chairs are fashioned with the same artisan detail as other surroundings. The mismatched chairs give the space an eclectic feel.
Padded booths also offer a cozy option, if you prefer extra comfort to views.
And remember when I said to keep an eye out for Mickey sightings? 🙂
Because the restaurant is decorated to resemble an East African spice market, you’ll find some interesting elements. I always stop to take in this [Read more…]
Today, we welcome @MealTrip back to Disney Food Blog with an in-depth look — and some incredible photos! — of the opening night performance of Harambe Nights!
We enjoyed our first experience with this new hard ticket event at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom when we brought you a sneak peek from a media event recently. Now that the performance — which includes the new show The Lion King –A Concert in the Wild, a Welcome Reception, and a Street Party afterwards — is open to the public, we wanted to bring you another look at the event.
Let’s see what works — and what still needs a little work.
Harambe Nights at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
I made my way to the event location in plenty of time to check out the area for Harambe Nights before many of the guests arrived, and the set up is quite well done.
Festively-capped Cast Members greet guests of the event at the front gate of Animal Kingdom.
Here’s a close up of the Harambe Nights sign.
Let’s head in and take a look around.
As you enter the area, don’t forget to grab a program right after you check in and receive your wristband. The program contains information about merchandise, food, and the show.
It also gives you a handy schedule so you know just how the evening will unfold.
Here’s the view as I arrived. The streets of the new Harambe Theater District are set up and ready to go before the party.
And here’s the area after 1,000 people are let in!
There are numerous beverage and food stations set up throughout the area. Here’s an example of one of the beverage stations. And yes — that’s Jungle Juice!
The Welcoming Party menu is somewhat light, and everything food and drink-wise is repeated at all stations, so if you’ve found one, you’ve found them all.
The self-serve hot “appetizer” stations are well-looked after by Cast Members, and if you feel the line is too long when you walk up to one, just hang back and wait a few minutes. The crowds tend to ebb and flow, and there’s plenty of time to visit the food tables multiple times without standing in a long line.
Also throughout the area, there are numerous [Read more…]