Today’s post title is brought to you from Aladdin (1992). The song “One Jump Ahead” was composed by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. This song, the second in the animated feature, is about Aladdin’s struggle as one of the poor in Agrabah. It’s a scene-setting song – we meet Aladdin and Abu and the marketplace guards and learn a bit about life in the Agrabah market – and we also get to see a little of our hero’s character. Even though Aladdin is so poor he can’t afford to buy food (he steals it, as we watch through this entire song – criminal by necessity, not choice), he is still kind-hearted and gives up his food to a pair of street orphans. This was likely his only meal of the day, but he knows what he can survive and he is kind.
As we all know, by the end of the film Aladdin is married to Princess Jasmine and they live happily ever after and never need to worry about food. We hope Aladdin remembers his roots and cares for the starving in the streets of Agrabah.
We start with Aladdin because today we start our dining adventure in the streets of Morocco. This World Showcase country is extremely underrated for many reasons, not least of which is its food. During Food and Wine last year, I had the best falafel from Morocco and I’m here again to bring you another overlooked food option.
oasis sips & sweets
Eating breakfast at Oasis Sips & Sweets was not the plan. The plan was to go have a delicious pastry at France’s boulangerie. We waited in line in France for about half an hour, the line not moving at all from where it stretched back along Chefs du France, before we surrendered. EPCOT is too big and there is too much to do to waste time. Oasis was an impulse stop because we walked past the booth on the World Showcase loop and saw pastries in the window. The rest is history.
I’ll be perfectly honest right off the bat. Oasis is, aesthetically and service-wise, nothing special. The cast member running the booth seemed pretty unhappy to have such an early shift. The booth itself is really easy to miss – it blends in pretty well with all the other buildings in Morocco and the sign you see in the picture… that’s the sign. You basically have to stumble into Oasis Sips and Sweets to know it’s there. That, or find it on the map in the Disney Parks app. To add even more to the confusion, it’s referred to as “Morocco Juice Bar” just as often as it’s called “Oasis Sips & Sweets”. Not helpful!
There is no interior section to this food stop – just an ordering window. Their selection is rather limited as well. They serve various pastries and that’s it for food. As for beverages, they have mint tea and a strawberry smoothie, but otherwise? It’s all the traditional soda choices and water. On the alcoholic side, they have a single beer option and a couple of sangrias. It’s nothing impressive or exciting.
Basically, if you’re looking for a special Disney food experience, Oasis is not the place to go.
All that said about the generally unimpressiveness of the location… let’s talk about the pastries.
Oasis has twelve different kinds of pastries on their regular menu and sometimes carries specialty pastries. I only know this because one of the ones I picked is not on their posted menu! So if you’ve been here and you think you’ve tried them all, think again! Always worth checking back and seeing if they’ve got something different in stock.
You can order pastries individually, but there is bulk pricing if you order 3, 5, or 7. I didn’t realize this because I didn’t see any signage but it’s okay, I only wanted two pastries and I settled on the Semolina Orange Basbousa Cake and the Saragli.
First, the Semolina Orange Basbousa Cake. This cake had only the lightest taste of orange, but the flavory was fresh and not that syrupy artificial flavor. The orange flavor seemed to come from a little orange zest, and the shredded coconut flakes on the top were a nice touch. While this cake didn’t taste much like orange, it did taste like perfect moist cornbread served with a drizzle of honey. Cornbread and honey are one of my favorite snacks, so this was pretty delicious. I’d give it 8/10 stars on its own. It really only loses points because it was sticky and hard to eat on the go and because it wasn’t as orange-flavored as the name implied.
The second pastry, the saragli, is my new favorite pastry in the world. How can I describe saragli? It’s like baklava and a cinnamon roll got drunk and created something beautiful. While technically saragli is just rolled baklava, there is so much more spice and flavor in this treat and I am in love.
This was moist, exploded with delicious flavors (cinnamon is my favorite spice), and it tasted like biting into a slice of heaven. I’m not exaggerating. This little spontaneous pastry is one of my favorite things I ate the entire trip. I am definitely stopping at Oasis next time I am in EPCOT to have one of these. Or three. Or seven. There are bulk discounts after all!
In all seriousness, these two pastries may seem underwhelming and small, but they were dense, filling, and flavorful. I have absolutely no regrets missing out on the boulangerie and having these for breakfast instead. Sometimes, the best Disney eats are the ones you stumble upon. It was a $5.00 breakfast and I was full until dinnertime.
To add a couple extra bonus points to the 12/10 star score the saragli already receives from me, I had three different people ask me where I got it when I was walking around eating it. Most notable of these was the PhotoPass photographer in Italy. Who works at EPCOT but didn’t know these existed. While the location as a whole isn’t an impressive place, these pastries are incredible and for this hidden secret, I’m giving Oasis 8/10 stars as a package. Seriously. Go try one of these for breakfast or a snack!
We’re leaving EPCOT and heading over to Animal Kingdom where we find Pandora’s popular eatery. From review sites to friends to bloggers and vloggers, I have heard nothing but praise about Satu’li Canteen. Everyone loves it. Our friends ate there every time we were in Animal Kingdom for this trip. If you’re a fan of Satu’li, you may want to skip this review, because here comes the opposition….
If I’m going to annoy Disney fans, I might as well start off strong – Satu’li Canteen is massively overrated. To be honest, I think all of Pandora is overrated and I would happily spend all my Animal Kingdom day in Asia and Africa (with a stopover in Dinoland USA because I really like Dinosaur: Countdown to Extinction). Since most the world seems to disagree with me, everyone flocks to Pandora where I’m happy to give the rides in that section a miss and focus on the less-crowded rest of the park.
The canteen-feel of Satu’li Canteen is there – inside and out. We ate outside and although it was still loud and crowded, it’s wasn’t too bad as far as quick service restaurants go. There was plenty of shade! The tables were not being kept clean so we did our best to wipe down our own table. This was a consistent experience across quick service locations – we’d occasionally see someone come by to clean off a quick service table if it happened to be empty, but there were no consistent cast members on this task. I’m not sure if this is normal or if it’s because of staffing shortages at the parks, but it’s something I noticed across all four parks.
The aesthetic theming of Satu’li Canteen’s atmosphere is decent. It’s a nice looking mixture of military-style leave-behinds combined with local artistry and color. I’m less convinced about the theming of the food. Pandora and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge are Disney’s two lands where the food options are supposed to reflect things served on *that* planet. The food at Satu’li is Asian-themed and I’m not convinced that bao buns, rice bowls, and noodle bowls are Na’vi food. If nothing else, I’d expect even healthier options. Just me?
Everyone raves about the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods, so that’s what I got for my meal. Molly from AllEars described it like a McDonald’s cheeseburger in a bao bun, and I figured I would be on board for that flavor. I’m also going to be talking about the Chili-Garlic Shrimp Bowl (which my spouse ate) and one of Satu’li’s desserts, or ber’ri. Like berries. Something sweet you can eat after a meal. Get it?
The Cheeseburger Pods are accurately described by other reviewers. It is, in fact, a cheeseburger in a bao bun. They technically are filled with ground beef, ketchup, mustard, pickle, and cheddar cheese. Personally, I only tasted the ground beef and ended up dipping bites into a mustard/ketchup mixture. I still maintain that Disney’s bao is way too much bun and not enough filling. I have a limited range of ground beef dishes I enjoy, and the Cheeseburger Pods land kind of in the middle. They’re fine. They’re also ridiculously overrated. I really think Americans just don’t realize how incredible authentic Asian-style food is. When I compare what I’ve had to Americanized versions like this, I’m not impressed. It’s a cheeseburger bao. Woo.
That said, the accompanying vegetable chips and crunchy slaw were delicious! I may have liked them better than the bao.
Four of us ordered the Cheeseburger Pods, but Matt is super picky about his burger-adjacent foods, so he decided not to take a chance and went for the Chili-Garlic Shrimp Bowl instead. Disney food is overpriced as a rule, but the bowls are probably a better value than many of the meals you’re going to find at the parks. The first thing we learned about this bowl was to mix it at the beginning! The chili-garlic sauce settles to the bottom and if you want the flavor throughout the dish, you’ve got to mix it up. When you order these bowls, you have a choice between rice and noodles – he went with noodles as a personal favorite. The bowls at Satu’li Canteen remind me a little of Chipotle, just a different cuisine.
There’s only four pieces of shrimp in this bowl, but the report is that these shrimp were absolutely delicious. Cooked perfectly and spiced just right to bring out their natural flavors. On the other hand, there are quite a lot of sliced red bell peppers mixed into this dish. The description didn’t win about this and it soured the dish for Matt, since bell peppers are pretty pungent and if you don’t like them, there’s no escaping the flavor once they’ve been cooked into something. Other than that, the sauce was pretty light on his dish (even after you mix everything together). If you’re looking for a kick of spice or strong flavors, the Chili-Garlic Shrimp Bowl may not be what you’re looking for.
I’m of the opinion that if I’m going to review a dining location, I might as well really commit to it. At a lot of these places, I ordered a snack, appetizer, or dessert along with my meal, and Satu’li Canteen was no exception.
I decided to try Chocolate Cake. Yup, that’s the name of the dessert. Like everything else on the menu at Satu’li Canteen, someone forgot to tell the chef to come up with fun Avatar-esque titles for the food like they have at pretty much all the other Disney restaurants and food stops. This cake is cookie-coated with a banana cream dollop and garnished with dried pineapple bits, dried goji berries, and a chocolate disk. It has the most interesting presentation of the foods we ordered at Satu’li Canteen, but like everything else, it fell a bit short of its promise
This cake was a mousse, not a cake, and while it was rich and tasty, it was only a few spoonfuls of dessert. I liked the tang from the dried fruit, but in retrospect I’m a little surprised as most photos of this dessert seem to include hydrated pineapple (or mango? I’m not 100% without having tasted the other version). I’m not sure why I had something different, whether it was a supply chain issue, a mistake, or a change from previous versions of the dessert. It really was quite tasty and I enjoyed it more than the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods. That said, even at Disney prices, I did think this was too pricy for the portion size. I think I’d skip it next time.
Overall, I’m sorry, but I can think of several other places in Animal Kingdom I’d choose over Satu’li Canteen. I appreciate the atmosphere of this quick service restaurant, but the portions and prices and flavors don’t match up to Animal Kingdom’s other dining options. If you love it here, then I’m really happy for you, but it’s a miss for me. Satu’li Canteen gets a 5/10. It’s fine, but it’s not special.
While technically I reviewed Sanaa after last year’s trip, I knew then it would be a very different experience for dinner. Sanaa is considered one of Disney’s best kept secrets, but over the last few years, it’s become a bit of a popular dinner location. The trick? Get an early reservation so you can sit by the window and watch the savannah.
Just like last time, Sanaa is a beautiful restaurant. It’s not a perfect memory, but I’m pretty sure our party got seated at the same exact table Matt and I chose for breakfast in 2021. It’s a great seat – a huge round table right by the window that could comfortably sit up to eight people. It’s hard to beat a restaurant that has a view of zebras grazing a dozen feet away from you!
I will be honest and admit – having just stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the magic of the savannah view was a bit lost on us. I was, however, excited to see the baby zebra again! Zarina was only about three weeks old when we visited last, and she’s grown so much since we first saw her! She is obviously the best zebra in the entire world and my favorite part of the Sanaa aesthetics.
The service at Sanaa at night was great and they were extremely thoughtful and attending. This was a birthday dinner for our friend, and they took extra good care of us. “Happy birthday!”s abounded. No singing, though. By request.
Oh my gosh, this food y’all! They aren’t kidding when they call this a hidden gem. There could be no animals to watch on the savannah and I would still go out of my way to have dinner at Sanaa.
The only food dish I’ve heard specifically recommended from Sanaa is the Indian-Style Bread Service. Friends, I am going to add my voice to that choir. This bread service is delicious. It comes with five different flavors of naan and eight different dips. There were five of us sharing this dish and I think we could have each had our own bread service and lived a very happy life.
My favorite flavor of naan was the garlic naan. I adore anything garlic flavored so this was bound to be a favorite, but I really appreciated the buttery flavor it had as well. For the dips, I will be honest and admit… I didn’t try them all. I believe I tried five of them, but got immediately stuck on three favorites: roasted red pepper hummus, mango chutney, and garlic pickle. Luckily for me, nobody else seemed remotely interested in these three, so I commandeered the dip cups and had a lovely appetizer all to myself. If you order this and run out of naan, make sure to let your server know because they will bring you more! Absolutely delicious.
Everything on this bread service was amazing. Every dip, every naan, it’s all very tasty and your favorites will revolve around your own personal preferences. Sanaa’s Indian-Style Bread Service seems to be on a lot of “Disney Food You HAVE to Try!” lists… and yeah. You absolutely have to try it.
I could have had just this bread service and died happy, but that was only the appetizer! I had decided on the Zanzibari Vegetable Curry with Chicken for dinner and at the very last moment switched my order to the Potjie Inspired dinner because everyone else at the table was ordering it and I got some FOMO. I have no regrets.
For the Potjie, you choose three different items, so you can mix and match different choices. I went with the Butter Chicken (everyone else was ordering it!), Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables, and of course it came with scented basmati rice. The Butter Chicken was incredible – spicy in a rich-with-flavor kind of way that, even now, makes me yearn for just one more bite. I was the only one at the table who ordered Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables and they, too, were absolutely incredible. I’ve started to learn that I love anything cooked in or mixed with coconut milk.
I think my favorite part of this dinner was mixing the remaining sauce from both the Butter Chicken and the Cilantro-Coconut Vegetables with the basmati rice. These don’t look like a lot of food in the picture, but by the time I was finished, I was so content. My tastebuds were singing from the amazing flavors of the night and my stomach was just the right amount of full. We don’t eat a lot of Indian or African-inspired dishes at home, but I love them. Particularly African dishes. It’s a cuisine that Americans don’t pay enough attention to and it’s so incredibly delicious. Just writing about this meal, a little over two months later, I am dying to have it again.
Sanaa may be a hyped restaurant, but this one absolutely deserves that hype. An easy 10/10. Can I give 20/10? If so, lets up the rating because this place is fire.
pecos bill tall tale inn & cafe
The Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe is the only dining location on this list that was not chosen by us. On the fifth day of our trip, the ladies split off and took in the Keys to the Kingdom tour in Magic Kingdom, which includes a lunch stop! I’ll be talking about this tour in more detail later on, but for now, you can know that the lunch included in this tour may not be super fancy, but it was tasty!
The Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe has little to no interior theming. Basically? It’s a place with barbecue and Tex-Mex dishes were you can get in out of the sun and have lunch. Like tacos? This is the place in Magic Kingdom where you can get tacos.
Pecos Bill is an American folk hero, best known for lassoing a tornado and riding it like a horse. There’s a 1995 Disney live action film called Tall Tale that shares the stories of Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, John Henry, Calamity Jane, and a few other American folk heroes. That film was generally considered a flop and now gets only 48% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it is nonetheless a Disney film that starred Patrick Swayze (Dirty Dancing). I’m surprised that not only is there no reference to the film inside the restaurant, but there’s no reference to any American folklore. Retrospectively, this is probably for the best as American folklore is filled with cowboys, mountain men, and relics of the westward expansion and therefore also riddled with racism. That said, the 1995 film isn’t bad outside of the complete lack of any non-white characters (except John Henry). Um, don’t quote me on that, it’s been a decade since I’ve watched this childhood favorite and my brain may have blocked out the awful parts.
All this to say… there’s nothing special about the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe, theming-wise. It’s a place to eat, but not an experience.
Because we were on the Keys to the Kingdom tour, we had a limited dining menu. That was okay, though! The options revolved around a couple well-loved Tex-Mex staples. I picked the Chicken Taco Bowl. When we sat down for our lunch, I was pleased and surprised to see how fresh the vegetables in the salad were! I tend to write off the overall freshness of restaurant vegetables if it’s not farm-to-table. I know that’s sort of sad and terrible, but most vegetables at restaurants are just okay. I wasn’t expecting a quick service Disney restaurant to have a salad that tasted like it had just been picked that morning, but there it was!
This salad was flavorful, but it was the freshness that won me over. Let’s face it, while Disney has a lot more options than your average amusement park, it’s still not easy to find healthy options. We usually frequent table service restaurants, which have more variety, but wholesome quick service options are rare. The chicken taco bowl delivered some nutrition while not compromising flavor, and have I mentioned how fresh it was?
Because Mexican-inspired dishes are my favorite, I think Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe would be a repeat location for me. This may not be a winner for everyone, but it’s my kind of food and it’s good to have a few favorite quick service restaurants in your back pocket – they’re much more affordable when you’re on a budget. Besides, I’d like to try something on the full menu!