Unique dining experiences and Walt Disney World are synonymous with each other. Sanaa is one of the best restaurant examples of this. I’ll get to the gluten free food in a moment but let me explain the atmosphere of this restaurant a little bit. First, it resides in a hotel called the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The first restaurant I reviewed, Boma’s, is located in this hotel as well which I rated very highly. This hotel is unique (and massive) because when you walk out into the back of the hotel, you are immediately brought to this huge savannah looking land. Within that land are zebras, giraffe and other types of animals you would never find in the United States. The hotel rooms overlook it which must be an incredible sight to wake up to every day (I’ve never stayed here). Sanaa is a restaurant that also overlooks this savannah (albeit in a different part of the hotel complex) which makes for an amazing dining experience. We were lucky to enough to snag a window seat and had a few zebras as lunch guests.
By the way, if you choose to eat here, make sure you come for breakfast or lunch and request a window seat to get a good viewing of the animals. If you eat when it is dark out, you won’t be able to see anything. This isn’t a zoo so the animals aren’t out and about with spotlights overhead. This is their home and where they roam so it is treated as such. Now, onto the review.
The food here is really good. The allergy friendly menu is full of gluten free options so it is hard to choose. But the item that came recommended the most was the gluten free Naan/bread service. They are quite famous for this appetizer. You can imagine why – where else can you actually get homemade gluten free Naan? I don’t know of any places. The gluten free Naan is fantastic and unlike any gluten free bread I’ve had before. They pair this bread with about 9 different small portions of dipping sauces that are fantastic. They range from sweet to mildly spicy to very spicy. I love spicy so the spiciest sauces were my favorites.
For entrée, I ordered the tandoori chicken which was tasty but I would probably order something else on a return trip. I typically like tandoori chicken a lot and enjoyed this being on top of their famous gluten free Naan. But overall it tasted a bit bland to me. I wasn’t a fan of all the other extra accoutrements either. The gluten free Naan service (appetizer) would get a score somewhere in the high 9’s while this entrée would receive a low 7. Hence the reason for the 8.6 score for food.
As with most Disney World restaurants, there are a lot of gluten free options on the allergy friendly menu. It was a good lunch menu and I didn’t find myself asking for more.
Since this is Disney World, you can ask for the chef but I didn’t think it was necessary. My server had a relative that had celiac disease so he knew how to communicate it to the chef. Plus, most of the menu is already naturally gluten free or can be modified to be gluten free. That is the nature of Indian/Mediterranean food in general so I wasn’t worried and felt the need to ask for the chef here.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
Not asking for the chef worked out fine at this restaurant as I did not get sick. It was actually a light meal, which is rare in Disney, so I didn’t need to be rolled out of the restaurant either. All in all, very positive experience on the gluten free front.
Even though I would definitely choose an alternative entrée on my next visit, this place deserves a great score. It is a great restaurant with incredible dining views and a great gluten free offering. The Naan service alone is worth the visit. I highly recommend this spot and hope you have a chance to visit this place on your next Disney World trip.