Yes, they’re cute. However, feeding the zebras is frowned upon in this establishment. This has been a dining review many years in the making. As frequent visitors to the famed dining with animals establishment, this is our first official Sanaa review. Why you may ask. We were wondering the same thing. It’s one of those things you thought you did years ago, but it turns out you never did. You know what we’re talking about right? Good, we thought so. Now that we’ve built up an appetite, it’s finally time for our first Sanaa review!
Dining at Walt Disney World or any Disney park is like none other. Not just because the chefs are amazing, trust us they are supremely talented, it’s because of the unique dining environments. On the bottom floor of Disney’s Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is Sanaa. With giant windows showcasing the majestic animals on the resorts private savanna, guests can enjoy an African inspired meal while watching the animal roam. You’re so close, it feels like you could reach out and feed the zebras a bite of your meal. But, don’t do it. We know you want, we do too, but it’s frowned upon. Plus there’s glass in the way.
This is one of the dining locations where an Advanced Dining Reservation (ADR) is strongly encouraged. However, as we mentioned in our trip review about dining during COVID, Sanaa does offer the waitlist option. If you’re looking for a table by the windows we would recommend taking one of two routes. First, would be to dine early, before the normal dinner crowds arrive. The second is to be willing to wait a little longer. When arriving at the host stand, ask to be seated by the windows and say you’re willing to wait.
Enough said. Ok, this is a Sanaa review so we should elaborate. Sanaa has a variety of different appetizers available like samosas, and which are very good. The deep-fried samosas bursting with earthy flavors, but the star of the plate are the accouterments, as the tamarind and mango chutney brings a sweet rich flavor to the dish. However, if you’re going to Sanaa you’re going to want to try the bread service. With five different types of naan and 15 dipping sauces, there is something for everyone. We’ve yet to get the bread service and have someone in our party not enjoy it.
The first time around we recommend not making any changes (if possible), it’s a great way to find out which options are your favorites. Then, in future trips, you can mix and match. A couple of our all-time favorites are the garlic-ginger naan, paneer paratha (cheese naan), then the tamarind chutney, and mango chutney. However, we do enjoy them all and usually end up getting the standard bread service. What can we say, variety is our spice of life!
If the bread service doesn’t fill you up, no worries, there’s more great food on its way! The next stop on our Sanaa review is the main course. While the bread service usually gets the limelight for the restaurant, the main courses definitely hold their own. For the most traditional African dish, you’ll want to go with either the potjie inspired or one of the biryani plates. More often than not you’ll find Nate opting for the potjie inspired. A potjie is an African meal where food is cooked outside in a clay pot, similar to a Dutch oven. Sanaa’s take on the meal includes the choice of one protein, one plated-based side, and basmati rice. Nate’s favorite combination is the butter chicken with cilantro-coconut vegetables. With tender chunks of chicken and a rich savory sauce, the butter chicken just melts in your mouth.
The past couple of times around Serena went with the market fish, salmon. The perfectly cooked salmon is served with Sukama Wiki (greens), and Geelrys (biryani rice). These two sides steal all the spotlight. While the fish is fantastic, it’s the Sukama Wiki that makes the dish. Collard greens are combined with onions and spices to create a vegetable side dish loaded with depth and flavor. Not to be outdone is the Geelrys or better known as “yellow” rice. Cooking basmati rice with raisins, turmeric, brown sugar, and other spices, you get this truly unique slightly sweet yet savory rice dish.
Did you say you still had room? Who are kidding there’s always room for dessert! Are we right or are we right! Closing out our African inspired meal is Kheer. The best way we can describe this dish is African rice-pudding. The coconut cooked rice is drizzled with a little fruit puree then topped with cashew streusel and saffron-poached fruit. You get subtle sweet notes from the coconut and cashew streusel that are well-balanced by the more savory flavors of the pouched fruit. It’s the perfect dessert if you’re looking for something less sweet. For anyone that enjoys rice-pudding, this is a must-try dish.
Always solid! There’s reason why every Sanaa review raves about the food. While the bread service is out of this world, the overall menu is well-done. It’s so good, we’ve even gone there and not got the bread service. We know right? But, we’ll share that experience in an upcoming Sanaa review. Oh yeah, when it comes to feeding the zebras, don’t worry you’re going to want to save all this food for yourself!
Grand, it’s the word of the day! Or, should we say the word of the article. We’re heading to Disney’s Grand Floridian after all. Stepping into Disney’s newest lounge, The Enchanted Rose is like taking a step back in time. Themed after Beauty and the Beast, the lounge draws inspiration and design elements from the late 1700s, or better known as the French Revolution. To say the lounge is elegant would be an understatement. Rich colors, stunning marble, and sophisticated furniture fill the area, making you feel like royalty. But the real question is how does it stand-up to the other Disney lounges? Will it go down as a tale as old-time, or short story? There is only one way to find out. The time has come to make our grand entrance to Disney’s Enchanted Rose lounge!
On the second floor of the Grand Floridian, you’ll find the Enchanted Rose lounge. When arriving by monorail, it’s directly across from way from the monorails exit. On October 8, 2019, (Happy Belated Birthday) the newest Disney lounge opened its door for the first time. Taking over the area previously occupied by Mizner’s Lounge, a former Disneyphile hidden gem, and a retail store, the Enchanted Rose dared to do something different at Disney. It’s the first Disney World lounge themed after a Disney animated movie. Walking into the lounge for the first time and subsequent times since we would say the themeing is more of a node or the inspiration from the movie. Every thing about the design fits well with the overall “feel” of the Grand Floridian. In the terms of feeling grand. By far our favorite design element has to the chandelier inspired by Belle’s gown.
The lounge is made of three sitting areas, as well as an outdoor patio. Spread around all the rooms is a variety of couches, tables, and unbelievable comfortable chairs. Each of the rooms has a different node to the movie, from the library to the forest, and of course the ballroom (bar area). The patio has grand views of Seven Seas Lagoon and Disney’s Polynesian Resort. For us, we like to pull up a seat at the bar and chat with the bartender.
It’s all about the cocktails at the Enchanted Rose lounge. From table-side cocktails to your classics, the bartenders are shaking and mixing up some of the best adult beverages at Disney World. It definitely helps that they have one of the grandest collections of spirits around. The first thing you’ll notice when reviewing the cocktail list will more than likely be the price per drink. These may be the most expensive drinks on Disney property, and rightfully so, as the bartenders are using nothing the best spirits for the cocktails.
Taste test time! It’s a tough job and we’re more than happy to do it. One of the most unique cocktails we tired has to be the Lavender Fog. It combines gin, English breakfast tea, vanilla, cream, and Creme de Violette. The majority of the time we’re not fans of gin, however, this delightful treat had us asking for another. Upon the first sip, we got the vanilla notes right away, followed by the lavender and it finished with traditional juniper notes of gin. It was very well-balanced, so much so, that the juniper berry didn’t overpower the delicate flavors of the lavender. If you’re looking for something different and refreshing, you’ll want to give this one a try.
Beyond the feature cocktails, we had to try our go-to drinks, a vodka martini, and an old fashion. As we like to say, you can always tell how good a bar is by how they make the classics. Both were fantastic and arguably the best we’ve had at Disney World. If you’re looking for a twist on the traditional old fashion, ask about the seasonal variation. The one we tired has cranberry syrup and rosemary. Let’s just say Nate is still talking about it.
Whether you’re in the mood for a classic or looking for something a little different the bartenders got you covered. Beyond the cocktails, the Enchanted Rose has a wide variety of wines available and beers.
Every great drink needs a great app. They go hand in hand, like Beauty and the Beast. While we are still working our way through all the different starters, there have been a couple that stand out. First and foremost, the artisanal cheese selection. What can we say, we’re suckers for a cheese plate and the Enchanted Rose definitely delivers on that. What really made this cheese board different than the rest were the accouterments. There is a pine nut bread that is out of this world good. As well as, fresh honeycomb.
Outside the cheese board, we’ve also enjoyed the truffle fries. The price tag may grab your attention at first, but trust us, they are worth it. The chef is shaving fresh truffle on thick-cut fries, and we’re happy to say it’s more truffle than we ever expected. This giant bowl of fries is the elevate French fry we’ve been looking for!
Loved it! While Crew’s Cup over at Disney’s Yacht Cup will always have a special place in our hearts, the Enchanted Rose lounge could be topping our list soon. For us, it’s the perfect date night while at Disney World. We’ve always enjoyed well-crafted cocktails and unique takes on classic bar starters. It’s slowly becoming a new tradition to hop on the monorail and head over to the Enchanted Rose after a great day at the Magic Kingdom. There is only one thing left to do and that’s to make our grand exit!
Does the view make the drink? No, the bartender does! Wow, was that a bad dad joke or what? Anyways, we’re back with another installment of our Disney at home recipes. This time around we’re taking the special elevator to the top of Disney’s Contemporary Resort to share our California Grill Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini recipe. Say that 5 times fast. It’s ok, we can wait. No easy task, huh? Anyways we better get to shaking before all our ice melts. Let’s shake up our California Grill Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini recipe!
But, first. There is always a but. What can we say, we like to add a little context to our recipes. Known for its majestic views of the Magic Kingdom and arguable some of the best food on Disney property, the California Grill also boasts an impressive cocktail list. The most popular drink by far is their take on the classic lemon drop martini. Who knew a little blueberry could make all the difference for this cocktail. Well, it’s a little more than just blueberry juice, but we’ll get to that in a minute. By far of our favorite things to do is grab a seat at the California Grill bar and enjoy a cocktail or two, along with a fabulous meal. What can we say, we’re definitely lounge people. Alright, let’s make our martini!
Blueberry Lemon Drop Martini Recipe
2 oz of Three Olives Blueberry Vodka
1/2 oz of Lemon Juice (about 1/2 of fresh lemon)
1/2 oz Pomegranate Juice
A few fresh blueberries
Fill the shaker halfway with ice
Add Three Olives Blueberry Vodka
Add Pomegranate Juice
Add Lemon Juice
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Sugar the rim of your martini glass
Pour the drink in the sugared rim martini glass
Add a few fresh blueberries
Sometimes we like to mix up! When it comes to shaking up cocktails there is always more than one way to do it. Feel free to make substitutions and adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Three Olives Blueberry Vodka with any blueberry flavored vodka
Use pre-squeezed lemon juice
This is a drink best enjoyed with a great view. We recommend a patio or your favorite Magic Kingdom pic displayed on the TV.
To the cave! Cava is the Spanish word for cave after all and also a cellar. But, the cave sounds better to us. Why are we heading to the cave? We’re digging up our next installment of our Disney at home recipes. This time around we’re heading back to Epcot to share our La Cava Blood Orange Margarita recipe. You know how we like our margaritas after all. Without any further ado let’s get to shaking up our La Cava Blood Orange Margarita Recipe!
Ok, a little more ado. What can we say, we like to give a little insight into where our recipes come from. As we shared in our La Cava Cucumber Margarita recipe, this is a hole in the wall tequila bar located inside the Mayan temple within Epcot’s Mexico pavilion. Known for offering a wide variety of tequilas. La Cava del Tequila also has a small seating area where you can find delicious apps, like queso. Did someone say queso, yes, yes we did! What’s not to like about melted cheese? Beyond the queso, you’ll find other apps like guacamole, chips and salsa, and of course tacos. Alright, that completes our ado, let’s make this margarita!
La Cava Blood Orange Margarita Recipe
2 oz of Blood Orange Juice
1/2 of a fresh lime
2 oz of Tequila (blanco)
1 oz Orange Liquor
1/2 oz of Rum
Splash of Vanilla
Fill the shaker halfway with ice
Add orange liquor
Add blood orange juice
Add fresh lime
Shake until the shaker is too cold to hold
Rim a margarita glass with Tajin seasoning
Serve in a margarita glass with the ice
Let’s spice it up! From time to time we enjoy making adjustments to the drink. Feel free to make these substitutions where you see fit.
Replace Orange Liquor with Triple Sec
Replace Tajin Season with salt, ground dried chili peppers, and little chopped lime zest
Just looking at this cocktail reminds us of the fall colors!
We wandered back! That’s right we’re back at Nomad Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last time around we shook up our Night Monkey recipe. For our latest rendition of our Disney at home recipes, we’re sharing our Annapurna Zing recipe. Quickly becoming one of the best lounges at Disney World, Nomad Lounge is crafting some of the most unique cocktails on property. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after seeking out the infamous yeti or flying on the back of a banshee. Well, let’s get into it. Grab your favorite shaker it’s time to mix up our Annapurna Zing recipe!
Situated on the outskirts of Pandora is the Nomad Lounge. Whether you’re looking to chill inside or outside on the patio, there’s a spot for everyone. It’s hard to beat the outdoor patio with its comfy chairs and tons of shade. Many times we forget we’re in a theme park, especially with the lush green foliage surrounding the patio. Throw in one of the many great Nomad Lounge appetizers and you got the makings of a fantastic afternoon. Alright, let’s get to shaking before our ice melts too much!
Annapurna Zing Recipe
2 oz of Bombay Sapphire Gin
3/4 oz of Passion Fruit Puree
1/4 oz of Simple Syrup
1/2 of a Fresh Lime Juice
Top with Goslings Ginger Beer
Homemade Simple Syrup
1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar to a saucepan
Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes
Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice
Add Bombay Sapphire Gin
Add Passion Fruit Puree
Add Homemade Simple Syrup
Squeeze half a fresh lime
Shake until it’s too cold to hold
Pure over ice
Top off with Goslings Ginger Beer
For us, we love to mix it from time to time. Below are a few substitutions. Feel free to make adjustments where you see fit.
Replace Bombay Sapphire Gin with your favorite gin
Replace homemade simple syrup with pre-maid
Replace Goslings Ginger Beer with your favorite ginger beer
In honor of Nomad Lounge we suggest enjoying this cocktail on a shaded patio while sharing stories of your latest expedition.