Whether you are a self-professed foodie, or if you just eat to live, no one can deny that part of the Walt Disney World experience is dining – and experience is the key word. Every restaurant and food cart found in the WDW parks has a specific design – and responsibility – to enhance the theme that surrounds its location. Satu’li Canteen does not just meet that responsibility – it takes it to the next level.
For those who are not familiar with the newest land in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Pandora is an amazing recreation of the world of Avatar. Now I will admit, I enjoyed Avatar when we saw it in the theater the first time. I appreciated the story line and the effects that were – at the time – incredibly new and exciting. I will also admit that I have not seen the movie since that original viewing, and really haven’t desired to. (I did try one time on a very long flight to Bulgaria – I was incredibly tired and did not make it past the first 5 minutes.) So, I was intrigued when the announcement was made that Animal Kingdom was going to create this new world, but not overwhelmingly excited.
When you see the first promotional pictures for a new Disney attraction you will notice that they take some artistic license with the image – making locations look almost dreamlike. As I walked into Pandora for the first time, I looked up at the floating mountains and the water falls and said to my husband that it actually looked just as amazing as it did in the photos. You do feel like you have stepped into another world – it is just astoundingly beautiful.
Satu’li Canteen fits perfectly in the theming of Pandora. While the building is intended to represent an RDA mess hall, the design is an example of the artistry of the people native to Pandora – the Na’vi. And while that makes it a really cool building to look at, what I am most looking forward to is eating there!
Typically, I feel that food found at counter service restaurants is mostly good (sometimes just fair) but not special – Satu’li is one of the exceptions – the food is unique and excellent, and one of the closest thing we have healthy food at Disney World. Every one of the Grilled Beef or Chicken Bowls that we have had has been great. On one of our last trips I finally decided to give the Cheeseburger Steamed Pods a try (I had never had Bao Buns before) and now they are one of my favorite meals! We don’t usually get dessert, but it looked so pretty we just had to split the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse and really enjoyed it also. Now I never know which meal to pick, each one has become one of my favorite counter service meals. (Check out the menu from the Disney World Website)
Make it a stop on your next visit – I cannot recommend it enough – you will have an amazing meal with a beautiful atmosphere. I am so impressed with the creators of pretty much all the Animal Kingdom counter service restaurants, particularly: Satu’li Canteen, Flame Tree Barbecue, and Harambe Market. I wish that some of the other counter service restaurants at the Disney parks could learn from them. (I’m talking to you Magic Kingdom!!)