Animal Kingdom Safari

Animal Kingdom is one of Disney’s deluxe hotel resorts and truly no expense is spared. From a grand entrance lobby with ornate architecture and art, to incredible Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants serving authentic African food, to an actual safari on hotel grounds with views of animals outside guest rooms. 

We had an incredible experience staying at the Jambo House in a savannah room and were privy to watching the animals graze from our balcony room every single night of our stay. 

It was magical. 

Our daughter sketched tiles on the floor of the hotel with with an artist, we played drums in the hotel lobby, and Mr. Penguin Waiter from Mary Poppins came to take photos and visit with guests!  

Mr Penguin Waiter
Anyone else not know who this was at first?

There are so many reasons to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but today we are going to focus on the Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants. 

The Five Fantastic
Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants
That You Need To Try

The property houses 5 truly satisfying and unique Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants. 

  • Sanaa
  • Victoria Falls
  • The Mara
  • Jiko 
  • Boma
The Five Fantastic Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants That You Need To Try
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What Types of Food Can you Get at Animal Kingdom?

All the food served at Animal Kingdom Lodge is true to its theme. Though each restaurant offers a different dining experience, the cuisine is African and offers a window into the culture of the African continent. 

If you think this may not be for you, we urge you to think again. You don’t need to be an adventurous eater, or even a foodie to enjoy these five fantastic restaurants.

The uniqueness of these restaurants is that they take food inspired by African culture with accompanying herbs and spices unique to this region of the world and make them translatable for all palates.

  • Sanaa offers safari views with a famous eclectic Indian bread service 
  • Victoria Falls is a restaurant lounge inspired by the Zambezi River
  • The Mara is a poolside cafeteria; one of the few places you can get Animal Kingdom’s signature coveted zebra domes
  • Jiko offers Disney’s romantic signature dining with stunning views 
  • Boma is a vast buffet serving over 75 different items from a wood fire rotisserie grill 
Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants
Etching the floor plates at Animal Kindgom Lodge

Our Favorite Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant 

Of these five restaurants, our favorite animal kingdom lodge restaurant is Sanaa. Even though I’ve never been to Giraffe Manor in Nairobi, I imagine it’s the closest thing you can find in the states. 

#1: Sanaa 

Table Service
Namesake: “Work of Art” in Swahili
Best Time of Day: Lunch or Dinner
Allergy Free Options: Upon request
Plant Based Options:  Yes
Child’s Menu: Yes
Must Order: Indian Bread Service

With floor to ceiling windows, guests of Saana can view the savannah prairie and dine while watching the animals graze outside. In addition to seeing giraffes, you may also spot a blesbok, eland, zebra, kudu, impala, gazelle, ostrich, antelope and more.

Our kids loved interrupting dinner to run to the windows every time they saw an animal come close to visit.

Sanaa integrates all the flavors you’ll find at the Animal Kingdom into one – from Africa to India. They serve chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes that create lavish and aromatic meals that can please even the most picky eater. 

This restaurant offers an Indian Bread Service that cannot be missed. It comes with 5 types of warm naan and is offered with a wide array of 9 eclectic relishes including chutney and and hummus.

Animal Kindgom Lodge Restaurant Views
Views from our room at Animal Kingdom Lodge

#2: Victoria Falls

Quick Service
Namesake: Waterfall on the Zambezi River
Best Time of Day: Dinner
Allergy Free Options: Upon request
Plant Based Options:  Yes
Child’s Menu: No
Must Order: Bain’s Cape Mountain South African Whiskey

Victoria Falls is most well known for their extensive drink menu, but they also serve a small selection of appetizers including burgers, cheese platters, and wings. 

The lounge is located in a beautiful location onsite with a waterfall to complete the ambience. It overlooks Boma and is only open after 4pm. It has distanced views of the savannah and a cozy feel. Many guests come here while waiting for a table at Boma, or to unwind after a long day at the parks. 

Drink Up! 

Their drink menu includes beer, cocktails, Rosé, white and red wine, and wine flights. 

We don’t drink, but word is that the Bain’s Cape Mountain South African Whiskey is one of the best drinks served in the lounge. 

#3: The Mara

Quick Service 
Namesake: Serengeti ecosystem in Northern Tanzania
Best Time of Day: Late Night Dining
Allergy Free Options: Upon request
Plant Based Options:  Yes
Child’s Menu: Yes
Must Order: Zebra Domes 

The Mara is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant cafeteria, named after the Masai Mara part of the Serengeti ecosystem in Northern Tanzania. But, this is much more than a cafeteria. 

Like Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, The Mara offers a great selection of good quality quick service food. It’s not at all what you’d expect from a poolside eatery.  

You can order an entire chicken rotisserie dinner, ⅓ pound cheeseburgers, deli sandwiches, flatbreads, salads and an extensive drink menu. 

They also offer late night eats, which is great for park goers that want to eek out every second of their time at the parks. Or, parents that have put the kids to bed and want a treat for themselves. Be sure to grab one of their terrific desserts. 

Best of all, it’s one of the few select places you can purchase Zebra Domes. 

Zebra Domes 

Whatever you do, do not skip the Zebra Domes. 

These delectable goodies are white chocolate covered, chocolate mousse cakes that are every bit as irresistible as they are scrumptious. 

You can find these in packages of 4 in the refrigerated section. 

#4: Jiko 

Signature Dining  
Dress Code Required 
Namesake: Translated to “A Cooking Place” from Swahili
Best Time of Day: Dinner
Allergy Free Options: Upon request
Plant Based Options:  Yes
Child’s Menu: Yes
Must Order: Chermoula-rubbed Colorado Lamb Shank

Known by the moniker, ‘The Cooking Place’, Jiko is the Swahili name the restaurant is named after. It’s appropo because the dining room is designed around an open kitchen with wood burning stoves where guests can be a part of the full meal experience. 

The restaurant offers a romantic setting, incredible food, and a personal experience with the chefs during your meal. 

Wanyama Safari is a 5 hour private safari for up to 12 Disney guests that includes animal encounters, and ends with a dinner at Jiko. 

#5: Boma 

Table Service
Namesake: “Community” in Africa
Best Time of Day: All
Allergy Free Options: Upon request
Plant Based Options:  Yes
Child’s Menu: Yes
Must Order: Everything 

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants
Boma Restaurant (courtesy of Disney)

Boma serves over 75 unique dishes at each meal service in a beautiful restaurant that combines an outdoorsy natural feel with the warmth of a communal gathering.  

For breakfast the selection includes fruit, breakfast cakes, pastries, grains, vegetables, omelettes and meat. The best thing offered at breakfast here is the French Toast Bread Pudding served with caramel sauce. It is decadent, filling, and too tempting to resist.

Dinner offers a full selection of soups and stews from Butternut Squash Soup to Mulligatawny with 13 other flavors in between. Salads, sides, and entrees are full of African native spices and seasonings including Ghana Tomato Salad, Avocado Papaya and Grapefruit Salad, Spice-crusted Sirloin, Pap Chakalaka, Kokonut Rice, Couscous, and Zulu Cabbage.

You can also get zebra domes at this restaurant, but only in the evening during dinner service. 

For Kids: Disney offers a great experience from start to finish, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants are no exception. These restaurants offer an excellent introduction into African world cuisine on a small scale. 

We love Disney, but there are a few things that make us gnash our teeth. Check out our 9 things we hate about Disney and learn what things to avoid to make your trip as magical as possible. 

WDW Family Bus Photo
Mickey Accomplished

What We Learned: The best treat money can buy at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants are zebra domes. 

Do you have a favorite restaurant at Disney that you can’t miss? 

Nap-Time Version: The Five Fantastic Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants That You Need To Try, especially Sanaa. 

Don’t miss the best restaurants at Animal Kingdom park, and the best attractions at Animal Kingdom park! Plus, is the Disney Dining Plan worth it? 

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