Disney Dining Series: Part V - If You are What You Eat Then I Only Want to Eat the Good Stuff (Orlando 2021)

If You are What You Eat, Then I Only Want to Eat the Good Stuff (Disney Dining V)

Posted February 25, 2022 by Amber in Around the World / 0 Comments

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Back at Disney means more Disney Dining! If last week’s Food and Wine post didn’t tip you off, then an official welcome to more Disney Dining! Disney is one of my favorite places eat – as a general rule, unless you’re eating snacks from carts, Disney restaurants are my favorites anywhere. There are so many cuisines, generous portions, and dishes burst with flavor. Planning food is one of the highlights of planning a Disney vacation. This trip, we mixed some old favorites, new places, and redemption dining. … This wasn’t entirely by choice. I confess. I dropped the ball with this trip and missed the 60-day sign-up and five days later… a lot of our first choices were gone. But it worked out really well! It was a reminder that meeting our Disney deadlines is important.

I’m only going to be sharing restaurants I haven’t blogged about before. This post, I’m talking about the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant, Oga’s Cantina, Sanaa (only for breakfast), and the San Angel Inn Restaurante.

This format will mirror the Food and Wine post. I judge each restaurant on two qualifiers – food and experience. Experience is an overview of service and aesthetics, and food is… well… food. We’ll start with the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant.

Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant

Experience

We visited the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre in 2013. I loved it. The aesthetics are so cool. Our table was the front seat of a 1950s-style Cadillac and we spent the meal watching a reel of B-rated horror trailers. I didn’t remember the food as anything special, but the aesthetic was just so cool I couldn’t resist booking again. Fast forward 8 years later and it’s interesting to see how the restaurant has changed.

Most tables are still in Cadillacs, but there are several accessible tables in the back – picnic tables suited for large parties. To be COVID-safe, clear plastic dividers have been inserted in the cars. Table space is limited at this restaurants, but these new shields limit it even more. You have about a foot of space in front of you, but there’s a tilted overhead so your beverage, for example, needs to be pretty close to the edge of the table.

From my memory – which, granted, after 8 years could be faulty – the lights are higher so it’s on the dark-side of dim rather than dark-dark. The reel, too, has changed. It’s much more family friendly and shorter. The B-rated trailers are gone. I was surprised to see colored sci-fi cartoons and trailers on screen – I don’t remember those from last time. It was still cute, but did not live up to my memory.

Regarding service. This is a bit of a complicated point for this trip because I suspect all the restaurants were a bit short-staffed due to the pandemic. Our server was friendly but it took a long time to get ketchup, refills, and he never cleared dishes. We had so little table space that it was cluttered. As someone who likes things clean and organized, it bothered me.

Food

The food at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant was “just okay”. It most closely resembles Applebees. This was the first meal we had after getting off the plane and it was extremely underwhelming.

We ordered an appetizer, two entrees, and I had a milkshake. The Crispy Chicken Strips (Buffalo, of course) were small and lightly sauced. Also, as I mentioned, dishes were never cleared and so this empty plate stayed on the table until we left.

For entrees, Matt ordered the Drive-in BBQ Burger and I had the Classic American Burger. Both were… burgers. Just burgers, nothing special. The Drive-in BBQ Burger was a barbecue bacon cheeseburger with a scoop of pulled pork on top, and the Classic American Burger was a simple bacon cheeseburger.

Similarly, the Cookie Shake was a basic Oreo milkshake, nothing special about it. If you’re sensing a theme, you would be correct. I had such good memories of the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant from our first visit, I was disappointed it changed and I could probably get the same meal for half the price at Applebees at home. The aesthetic is neat, but there are so, so, so many better places to eat at Disney that unless you have your heart set on it, skip this restaurant.

Rating: 3 out of 10.

Oga’s Cantina

Experience

Oga’s Cantina is the most desirable dining reservation at Hollywood Studios, and rightfully so. You need reservations and it’s almost entirely standing room only.

If Oga’s had been anything other than a very-immersive-Star-Wars-experience, I probably would have given it a pass in planning stages since the last thing you want to do at Disney is stand more, and anyway, bars aren’t my scene. That would have been a huge mistake! Such a cool place. At Oga’s you have to order off the menu, but there are a lot of different drinks.

The servers were all in character and joking around and were generally delightful. We got standing space at the bar right next to the cast member mixing drinks. I think that is one of the most interesting spots in the bar. I’m a people watcher and our spot let us watch the cast members, listen to the conversation and orders of other patrons, and just generally enjoy being in the environment. I expected it to feel cramped and claustrophobic (especially in COVID-times) but it didn’t!

It’s a little busier than the Mos Eisley cantina A New Hope, but it still familiar. I enjoyed the experience and we’ll be going back. Star Wars fans should be pleased and like the rest of Galaxy’s Edge, this bar feels like it’s in another world.

Drinks

At Oga’s, you can order two drinks per person. This allows the traffic to keep moving in-and-out while also limiting the alcohol intake of guests. It’s difficult to pick just one drink… or even just two! Matt and I spent considerable time before our trip pooling over the menu and looking up reviews of Disney bloggers/vloggers trying to decide what we’d like best. There’s a menu of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks… and they’re completely different concoctions. Ultimately, I decided on two drinks while Matt chose one.

My first drink was an alcoholic choice – the Jedi Mind Trick. This drink is served in an eight ounce glass and it’s bright, Powerade blue. I may have ultimately settled on it because I thought it would be more aesthetically pleasing for the blog than my other favorite on the alcoholic list. Most of the drinks on the menu have a citrus of some sort in them. Disney lists the Jedi Mind Trick as follows:

Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit and Rose Vodka, John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, Bols Blue Curaçao, White Grape Juice, Lime Juice, and Grapefruit Bitters

– Disney Parks, WDW, Oga’s Cantina Menu.


There’s a lot of grapefruit in there and I was a little worried I wasn’t going to like it! My fears were misplaced. It was fruity and light and delicious and I’m glad I ordered it. I’m not sure how you all feel about the prequels *prepares for hate* but the color of this drink is pretty close to Obi-Wan’s drink in Attack of the Clones when he does a Jedi Mind Trick on the individual trying to sell him “death sticks”. So many things I love about that scene, and I appreciate the nod to it.

The rest of the drinks we chose for night were non-alcoholic, which brings me to Matt’s choice! Matt doesn’t like citrus, so Oga’s menu was a bit challenging for him. He finally decided on the Carbon Freeze. He spent so much time agonizing cocktail ingredients that we were unprepared for the drink when it arrived.

Reviews of Oga’s Cantina talk about the alcoholic drinks, so I want to take a moment and appreciate this non-alcoholic option. The Carbon Freeze is an unappreciated treasure on the menu. Here’s what it’s made up of:

POWERADE® Lemon Lime, Wild Strawberry, Blueberry, and Green Apple Popping Pearls

– Disney Parks, WDW, Oga’s Cantina Menu


Popping pearls, for those who are curious, are boba! This mocktail arrives with just the lemon-lime drink (dyed a light orange) and there’s food-grade dry ice in the bottom so when the boba pearls are poured in, they bubble and dance! It’s so much fun and wedidn’t expect it. Matt liked it so much that I would be genuinely surprised if he didn’t order it again when we return.

The Carbon Freeze is just the right side of sweet, and honestly, who doesn’t love a drink with boba in it? I highly recommend this one.

My final drink was the Blue Bantha. This non-alcoholic drink is fairly uncomplicated – it’s blue milk with a bantha cookie on top. I ordered this one because I wanted to try Blue Milk, but didn’t really want to stop somewhere and wait in a line to get it? I know, so lazy.

I also wanted a small snack and it came with a cookie. There are couple of food items on the menu at Oga’s but I’ve heard they are nothing exciting and we didn’t order them. Our reservation was at 9:45pm, right before the park closed, so it had been a while since our late lunch at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant, and I confess to being a little peckish.

If you’ve been to the Disney parks and have already tried Blue Milk, then the Blue Bantha won’t be anything surprising.

Blue Milk served chilled with Bantha-inspired Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookie (contains tree nuts: coconut)

Disney Pars, WDW, Oga’s Cantina Menu


Star Wars fans are familiar with the iconic blue milk. I didn’t researched the flavor before going to the park – the most I’d heard was that the Blue Milk is better than the Green Milk? I think Mickey Views mentioned if you’re a Star Wars fan, then you have to try the Blue Milk… but otherwise…? Meh.

It tastes… odd. Odd to me. The closest I can come to describing it is to say it tastes like a thick, viscous pineapple juice? Tangs of citrus. I didn’t like it myself, because it messed with my senses. The consistency and flavor didn’t match up. I’m glad I tried it because I always would have wondered, but it was weird and I don’t recommend it. Blue Milk or the Blue Bantha.

The bantha cookie was tasty! It resembled a Samoa on a sugar cookie with a swirl of hardened frosting on top.

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Sanaa (Breakfast Only)

Experience

I feel I need to clarify why I keep referring to Sanaa as “breakfast only”. Typically speaking, folks don’t go to Sanaa for breakfast. We wouldn’t have gone out of our way if we weren’t staying in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it was right there. We’ll be going to Sanaa for a friend’s birthday dinner, and I’ll blog about it more later.

Folks used to say Sanaa was one of the best kept secrets at Disney, but so many Disney bloggers have spoken about it so it’s not much of a secret any more… except at breakfast. Sanaa serves African-inspired dishes and for breakfast. These are great, but Sanaa’s draw is the windows facing the adjacent savannah. Some animals walk right up to the windows!

This is very cool, and at breakfast, it’s not busy. You seat yourself and can choose a window seat. Sanaa gets busier later in the day, so you have less chance of a window seat at lunch and dinner. During breakfast, every window seat was available and we happily indulged.

It doesn’t get much better than eating delicious food surrounded by beautiful roaming animals in a spacious restaurant. This was the nicest, easiest morning we had on this trip. Popping into Sanaa for a quick breakfast was a whim, and I recommend it if you’re looking for something low-key and different.

Food

Sanaa’s breakfast menu is limited. There are five African-themed breakfast options and two options on the kid’s menu. There are also several grab-and-go items.

Matt ordered off the kids menu and had Mickey waffles. I talked about the Mickey waffles when we went to Chef Mickey’s in 2018, so I don’t really feel the need to revisit them here. I fell in love with the Methi Paratha Sandwich and this breakfast sandwich is the reason I’m talking about Sanaa’s breakfast. It was so good. The Methi Paratha Sandwich is as follows:

Scrambled Eggs, Potatoes Masala, Gouda, Chermoula, and Papaya Achar

Disney Parks, WDW, Sanaa Breakfast Menu


It was crunchy and soft; sweet, savory and spiced. It was delicious. I worried about the seemingly small portion size, but it misled me. This meal is deceptively filling and flavorful It was one of my favorite eats on this trip. YUM!

Sanaa for breakfast is getting a 6/10 but only because I know it gets more impressive at night. Breakfast is quick service and always less impressive than table service. If you’re heading to Animal Kingdom and want something different for breakfast, swing by Animal Kingdom Lodge and try this sandwich or one of the other themed offerings. Sit by the window and watch the zebras and African crowned cranes while you eat! Magnifique.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

San Angel Inn Restaurante

Experience

I have wanted to eat at EPCOT’s San Angel Inn Restaurante since… forever. In my opinion, this restaurant has the coolest aesthetic of any restaurant at the Resort. And, yes, I am including Be Our Guest, because while the West Wing is amazing, I’m indifferent about the other two dining rooms. Online reviews roasting San Angel Inn Restaurante kept us from booking here sooner, and I wish I hadn’t listened to them.

First, let’s talk aesthetics. This restaurant is inside the Mexico pavilion between the open market and the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros ride. If you get good seating – which we did – you are by the water and can see the Mayan temple and watch boats go by on the river below. I could have sat there happily for hours in the vibrant nighttime aesthetic. Loved it, loved it, loved it. This photo is the unedited view from our table and I know it’s all artificial but dang that’s a great view.

The service we experienced in this restaurant was fantastic. I read reviews about waitstaff never returning to the table, but that was not our experience. Our server was attentive and the food arrived quickly and was hot and tasty. Our experience here was fabulous and the setting around the restaurant is so nice (I’m surprised how quiet it is despite being open and settled between two other experiences).

Food

I don’t know what other reviewers are talking about when they criticize the food at San Angel Inn Restaurante. It’s perfectly fine Mexican-inspired food? We opted for an appetizer each and a dessert. All three were tasty. I have nothing to complain about. There are three different Mexican restaurants in this part of the World Showcase and having now eaten at two (we haven’t tried the quick service option) I would recommend either.

I ordered the Queso Fundito off the appetizers menu. Please forgive me as it had been a few years, but once the food was delivered, I had to laugh because Queso Fundito was the same appetizer I ordered at La Hacienda de San Angel in 2018. I loved it then, and I loved it in 2021. Another reason I don’t understand the complaints about San Angel Restaurante alongside La Hacienda de San Angel’s amazing reviews – this was the same appetizer.

Queso Fundido – Melted Monterey Jack Cheese topped with Chorizo, Poblano Peppers and Onions served with Flour Tortillas

– Disney Parks, WDW, San Angel Inn Restaurante Lunch Menu


Maybe it’s the choices on the menu that folks are unenthused about rather than the overall quality? This must have come from the same kitchen as La Hacienda de San Angel. It looks a little different – there were peppers and onions (delightfully removed – I’m not a fan) and the chorizo was crumbled instead of sliced (this was better to me). It tasted exactly the same as my memory (delicious). I stand by my word that La Hacienda de San Angel is indeed delicious and I loved every bite of my meal there but San Angel Inn Restaurante is pretty good too.

We shared our appetizers (one of the best ways to try more stuff!) and after some deliberation, Matt ordered the Tostadas de Pollo.

Tostadas de Pollo – Crispy corn tortillas topped with beans, chipotle chicken, chopped romaine lettuce, queso fresco and crema Mexicana

Disney Parks, WDW, San Angel Inn Restaurante Lunch Menu


Tosadas are a common staple at Mexican restaurants in New England, so we are familiar with the Americanized version of tostadas. We liked them! They were perfectly tasty tostadas and the corn tortillas were especially yummy. There wasn’t a lot of heat to them, which is a common complaint from me at any American-catering Mexican restaurant. I always want more spice, but I understand that I’m in the minority, so I don’t blame the restaurant. Always best to cater to the most sensitive palate.

We also had a dessert! I will detailed more about it when I write my 50th anniversary food post, but I would like to give y’all a sneak peek. We opted for the 50th Anniversary Celebration Chocolate Fiesta Pyramid. This dessert is expensive at $34 but it was also enough dessert for six people.

IIt’s one of the best desserts I’ve had in my entire life, a perfect balance of sweet and rich and satisfying. To me, it’s worth the price, especially if you’re sharing with others. Don’t be deceived by the photograph – this pyramid is larger than it appears.

This incredible dessert is available at both San Angel Inn Restaurante and La Hacienda de San Angel during the 50th Anniversary celebration and it’s something special. I’m hoping to talk the group of five I’m going with next to order it to share when we go to La Hacienda because months later I’m still dreaming about its deliciousness.

If you’re going during the 50th Anniversary, I recommend this restaurant just for Chocolate Fiesta Pyramid. And the other food! Don’t believe the disgruntled reviews you may read online about San Angel Inn Restaurante. We had an excellent experience and I’m between the two table service restaurants, we’ll always eat in Mexico when we visit EPCOT.

Rating: 8 out of 10.
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In quick review, here’s the TL;DR for those who skipped to the bottom:

  • Sci-Fi Drive-In Theatre Restaurant: It’s kinda cool aesthetically but the food and service will leave you wanting. 3/10 stars.
  • Oga’s Cantina: The hype is real. If you see anything on the drink menu you may enjoy, make a reservation. 10/10 stars.
  • Sanaa (Breakfast): Delicious if you’re in the area and want something light and flavorful while watching the animals. 6/10 stars.
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante: Best freaking aesthetics anywhere and the menu is much more decent than the internet gives it credit for. Also the 50th Anniversary cake? 8/10 stars.

I hope this post didn’t make anyone too hungry! Next Friday, we have one more post about food from the 2021 trip, then we’ll take a break for a week before jumping into the 2022 trip I know, I know. So much Disney. It should, um, die down in 2023….

send me your thoughts

Which of these restaurants sound tastiest to you?

Which aesthetic do you like best?

Share with me in the comments!

stay magical amber

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