Sanaa is one of the top places to enjoy a meal at Walt Disney World. When I think about past vacations, good times, and meals worth bragging about at Disney, Sanaa is one that instantly comes to mind.
Most anyone who considers themself a regular visitor knows that Sanaa is a dining venue you’ll return to again and again. It’s just that good.
In this Sanaa review, we’ll take a look at all the many reasons you’ll want to dine here on your next visit. Including the main reason, something you’ve probably heard of before, and that’s their popular bread service.
Let’s face it. I love bread, you love bread, we all love bread. And when it comes to dining here, this is one meal you’ll want to start with bread and maybe leave room for an entree. Maybe.
So grab a snack and mark this one down on your must-do dining reservation list. Because you are going to want to eat here by the time we get through!
One of the many reasons Sanaa is worth a dinner or lunch reservation is the opportunity to visit Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (review). Kidani is the smaller resort next to Jambo House, which is the actual large lodge.
If you are driving your personal vehicle over, you’ll want to park in the parking garage at Kidani. It’s a great covered place to park and fairly easy to access the restaurant. Sanaa is actually located on the lower level, just off the main lobby. Follow the signs to the lobby and then take the stairs or elevators down one floor to Sanaa.
Right outside of Sanaa is a large savanna viewing area for anyone visiting the resort to enjoy. This is another one of those perks for visiting the restaurant.
If you don’t have your car with you and are wondering how to access Sanaa, there are several options. First, I would recommend taking a bus from any theme park to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Just make sure to get off on the Kidani stop. The bus driver will play an announcement stating Kidani and Jambo House before each stop. However, often people aren’t paying attention, so you can always ask if you are unsure. The main thing is to remember that Sanaa is at Kidani.
If you leave from a resort that’s not near a theme park, I would take a bus to Animal Kingdom and then transfer over to the resort. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is located close to the Animal Kingdom theme park, and that bus naturally runs more often due to being nearby. Give yourself a good hour in advance when opting to use Disney transportation.
For anyone planning on visiting Sanaa in the next year or so, you’ll want to know that some items at all the restaurants are being handled a little bit differently than normal. Upon arrival, you’ll receive a QR code to scan with the photo app on your phone. This will pull up a browser of the menu on your phone with all the current offerings available.
If this is an issue, you can ask the server to bring you a paper disposable menu instead. They are trying to reduce handling and waste at the same time by using the QR code menus. Personally, I have found the system to be efficient for the purpose it is serving.
If you would like to preview the breakfast or lunch menu, you can do that here on Disney’s site. At the top of the menu, change the drop-down box to whatever meal you want to preview.
Sanaa is an African-themed restaurant offering notes of Indian spices combined with unique cooking methods like a Tandoori oven. The restaurant is full of warm color tones and coves that look out onto the savanna.
There is a separate lounge and bar area. While Sanaa might typically take walk-ups for the lounge, during these times of social distancing, make sure to acquire a reservation before your visit. Sanaa is a fairly busy restaurant, but it’s often not difficult to obtain a reservation.
The ceiling is really spectacular with the light fixtures hanging from the trees.
But the best part is being able to view the savanna from inside the restaurant. Those of you lucky enough to get a seat nearby a window will have this bonus of live entertainment from your table.
If this is a big deal, you might want to request a table near the window area. For us, it’s not a big deal because we walk out and visit with the animals while waiting for our table. So know that’s an option before or after your meal.
The main thing is considering what time of day you make your reservation. Many suggest an early lunch, but I had excellent luck with a recent meal around sunset.
In fact, that’s where I got all these fun pictures of the animals grazing.
And I took this one from inside the restaurant when the new baby zebra came by our way. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a window seat, but I was close enough to still see some of the animals from time to time.
Sanaa Bread Service
Finally, the main event, bread service at Sanaa. This bread service is probably one of the most famous dishes around Disney. It’s what brings people back to eat here time and time again. And once you try it, you’ll probably become part of the club.
For starters, you’ll receive a choice of five different Naan breads. They are Traditional Naan, Garlic-Ginger Naan, Spiced Naan, Onion Kulcha, or Paneer Paratha.
The service part comprises nine different dipping sauces: Cucumber Raita, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Mango Chutney, Tomato-Date Jam, Tamarind Chutney, Coriander Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Red Chile Sambal, or Spicy Jalapeño-Lime Pickle.
Your server will go over which one is which, but the main thing you’ll want to know is the order of heat. They start with mild and go up one side and back down the other to the hottest.
This is an extremely large and shareable menu item. If you are a party of one or no one else in your group is interested, ask the server for an option to try a smaller portion.
As far as entrees go, Sanaa has a nice selection of items that you would be hard pressed to find elsewhere. This is the “Today’s Sustainable Fish” menu item that turned out to be salmon.
As a person who prepares and enjoys a reasonable amount of salmon, I was thoroughly impressed with this dish.
It came out piping hot, which sent off a warning sign that it might be overcooked. But it ended up having perfectly crispy skin, delicious seasoning, and a nice internal temperature.
This was also a great dish to follow up the bread service. It wasn’t too much, and I felt good about the entire meal after we left.
My son ordered grilled New York Strip from the allergy-friendly menu. This came with green beans, crispy potatoes, and avocado cream.
The steak was a nice portion, and I felt it came in at a much better price point than many of the other steaks we have had on the property. This item was, of course, modified to be safe for his specific food allergies.
Also, we were pleased with the server and the level of knowledge she had about food allergies and dining at Sanaa. It was one of the rare instances where we didn’t feel the need to request a chef.
I ordered the Mishkaki-a gingered Braai Beef Kabab with Kenyan Mukimo and Braised Greens on a prior visit to Sanaa.
This beef kebab was another delicious option. One of the things that’s nice about Sanaa is the side components of the dishes. I especially like the purees and braised greens that accompany many of the meals.
What you probably didn’t see on the online version of the menu is the Specialty Cocktail offerings at Sanaa. The drink in the picture below is the Malawi Mango Margarita.
This drink is a frozen blend of tequila, tangerine liqueur from South Africa, mango puree, and fresh lime juice. While I don’t typically indulge in frozen drinks or drinks in general, I will say this is a pleasant choice. The server on this prior visit recommended it to me, and it is something I would try again.
As far as drinks go, Sanaa has a separate menu offering various specialty cocktails and non-alcoholic specialties.
Final Thoughts on Sanaa
When it comes to dining at Walt Disney World, I can’t help but highly recommend a visit to Sanaa. The overall ambiance of the restaurant offers the feel of escaping to a foreign destination. But, really, the whole Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort offers that feeling.
Sanaa is the perfect place to escape the vacation kingdom that is Disney World. Guests can sit back, relax, and enjoy a very distinctive meal. I’ve yet to have a bad meal here to date, and I doubt you will either.
Additionally, Sanaa offers a 10% annual passholder discount and participates in Tables in Wonderland. Make sure to keep these things in mind and let your server know of any discounts upfront when you dine. It is so easy to forget to use those extra perks unless you make a habit.
For more dining information, check out the Disney Signature Dining and Character Dining resources on the site. Or you might enjoy these specific restaurants that are next door at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant Guide
- Boma Breakfast Buffet Review
- Jiko, Fine Dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge
And a few of my favorite Disney Hotel Restaurants are:
Considering a stay at one of the many Disney Resorts? Make sure to check out our overview of every Disney World Resort Hotel.
As for Sanaa are you planning a dining reservation here? And if so are you going to order the bread service?