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Avatar Flight of Passage: Wait Times, Motion SIckness, and Plus Size Guests

Avatar Flight of Passage: Wait Times, Motion SIckness, and Plus Size Guests

Flight of Passage is the better and more popular of the two rides in Animal Kingdom’s newest land, Pandora — The World of Avatar. It is, of course, based on the then-popular-now-not-so-much 2009 film Avatar.

Disney began developing Pandora — World of Avatar in 2011 along with movie director James Cameron. Construction on it began in January 2014 (in the area where Camp Minnie-Mickey used to be) and the land opened to the public in May 2017.

Gift shop in Avatar World of Pandora
Me with a little stuffed Pandora buddy

If you, like many of us, are wondering how and why Avatar, of all things, inspired a new land in Disney World, YouTuber Jenny Nicholson has a very interesting video explaining how Avatar — World of Pandora came to be.

It includes the history of Animal Kingdom, including why it originally was intended to include dragons an unicorns — and why it didn’t end up having them. She also gives a full review of Pandora, including the rides, restaurants, and gift shops.

Don’t be put off by the video’s length. You won’t be bored.

(The Flight of Passage review begins at 21:40 in the video, if you want to just skip to that.)

 

Video: An Excruciatingly Deep Dive into the Avatar Theme Park

 

Now, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t really like the movie Avatar (although my daughter Rebecca loved it). I thought it was beautiful, but surprisingly dull, and I didn’t care about the characters at all.

However, I thought Flight of Passage was absolutely amazing. And here’s the kicker: I don’t have the ability to see 3D effects. So I couldn’t even experience the full attraction (sadly) … and yet I still thought it was incredible. I can only imagine how what the ride must be like for everybody else.

In this post I’ll cover the basics about Flight of Passage and address some of the questions and concerns you might have about it:

What kind of ride is Avatar Flight of Passage?

If you haven’t ridden Flight of Passage yet, you might be a little confused about what it even is. Is it a roller coaster? Does it go upside down? It is basically “Soarin’ Over Pandora?”

The answers are no, no, and kinda/sorta/not really.

Put simply, Flight of Passage a 3D flying simulator ride where you ride of the back of a winged banshee over Pandora. Technically, you’re not really riding a banshee, but rather you’re linking to an avatar already in flight. Whatever.

Yes, the basic idea is similar to Soarin’ in Epcot, but to compare the two does Flight a Passage a major injustice. (And I think Soarin’ is great.) Flight of Passage is much more immersive for many reasons, including the wind in your face and the fact that you don’t see other people’s feet hanging in front of you.

Also, the ride vehicle is an individual one that’s sort of like a motorcyle, so it’s a much more individual experience.

Here’s a short video that explains the ride vehicles and how to board them:

 

Video — Closer Look at Avatar Flight of Passage Ride Vehicles

 

Flight of Passage Height Requirement

The ride’s height requirement is 44 inches, the same as the requirements for both Space Mountain and Expedition Everest. Children under 7 must be accompanied by someone age 14 or older.

 

Does Flight of Passage Have a Single Rider Line?

The short answer to this is “No, but.”

No, there is no separate line for single riders. (The only rides that have this are Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom, Rock n Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios, and Test Track in Epcot.

But …

Once you get to the point where Cast Members split people into different lines for the different theaters, they will ask for single riders to come up ahead to fill in any missing spots. So you will probably get to ride at least a little faster if you’re a single rider.

 

 

Does Flight of Passage Cause Motion Sickness?

As I’ve mentioned before, my hudband Rob is very prone to motion sickness and was sick for several hours after riding Mission:Space (before they offered the “Green” version). I, on the other hand, ride anything and everything and never get sick, much to Rob’s amazement.

So I can’t really answer this question because I never get motion sick, and Rob can’t answer it because he thought it would be best to skip it. (There are signs saying not to ride if you’re prone to motion sickness.)

The general consensus seems to be that, from a motion sickness standpoint, Flight of Passage is fairly mild and comparable to Soarin’. It won’t make you as sick as Star Tours, and it definitely won’t make you as sick as Mission:Space.

Part of the reason it probably won’t make you as sick as those other rides is due to the nature of its motion. Instead of being jerky and frantic, it’s more gentle and gliding.

However, just because you do fine on Soarin’ doesn’t mean that Flight of Passage won’t do you in. Jaiminee Krickit from the DisBoards says:

I made the mistake of not watching a video of the ride before riding it. I wanted to be surprised. I heard multiple times before riding that it was “Soarin’ on speed”. I love Soarin’! I thought it won’t be bad.

I was horribly wrong. I made it about 30 seconds before I started feeling horrible. I tried closing my eyes, but then there was wind in my face. That caused me to hyperventilate a little bit. Then there was mist blowing in my face. I turned my face away from the screen and that helped a little. After it was over I thought for sure my cookies would be tossed. The woman next to me even asked if I was okay. Somehow the long exit queue made me feel better, but I will never ride it again.

To compare – if I do not watch the road in a moving vehicle (any moving vehicle), I get nauseous. I can handle Mission Space Green just fine, but probably couldn’t ride it more than once in one day. I absolutely cannot do Star Tours any more. That one ruined an entire day for me a few years ago. I can’t handle most roller coasters, especially ones that go upside down.
I say, if you’re prone to motion sickness, maybe take Dramamine or something before riding. I won’t risk ruining an entire day at WDW to ride it ever again.

 

Avatar Flight of Passage Queue Walkthrough
Photo courtesy of Brett at Disney Photo Snapper

 

Is Flight of Passage Scary?

This is really hard to answer, especially if your question is really, “Will my kid be scared if they ride it?” It’s hard to predict what will scare kids — or anybody, for that matter.

I will say that I don’t think it’s an objectively scary ride, either “scary” from the ride itself (like the first ten seconds of Rock n Roller Coaster) or “scary” because of the story and action (like at the end of Dinosaur when they try to convince you that you might die any second.)

When Rebecca and I rode it, we did not see any children (or adults) crying as they exited the ride, for whatever that’s worth.

I think motion sickness is the bigger concern over being frightened.

 

Wait Times for Flight of Passage

When our family went to Disney World in fall 2018, I could not get a FastPass for Flight of Passage. Rebecca and I arrived at Animal Kingdom before it officially opened and followed the masses to the ride’s line, where there was already a StandBy wait of 60 minutes.

However, it definitely did not feel like an hour wait. I wasn’t paying attention to the time, so I’m sure if that’s because the estimate was off or just because the queue is so interesting that time went by quickly.

According to Touring Plans, the average peak wait time ranges from 125 minutes (2 hours and 5 minutes) to 250 minutes (4 hours and 10 minutes). And that’s just the average peak time, so it could be even longer.

So what should your game plan be if you don’t want to spend half the day standing in line for one ride?

First, assuming you want to ride Flight of Passage, try your darndest to get a FastPass for it. Start early, and keep trying.

If, like us, you just can’t get a FastPass no matter how hard you try, here are some things you can try:
1) Arrive at the park 30-60 minutes before it opens (this is what we did);
2) Get in the Stand By line about 15-30 minutes before the park closes;
3) Ride during Extra Magic Hours;
4) Keep trying to get a FastPass throughout the day

 

Flight of Passage Queue

Avatar Flight of passage ride

The queue for Flight of Passage is beautiful, and extensively detailed … and long. (Just like the movie.)

How long is it?

According the Disney blogger Tom Bricker, “It will literally take longer to walk through the Flight of Passage queue when it’s empty than it will to walk through Na’vi River Journey’s line, board the boat, do the attraction, and leave.” Wow.

The queue takes you through Pandora’s mountain range, interior caves, and RDA bunkers.

Avatar Flight of Passage Queue Walkthrough
Photo courtesy of Brett at Disney Photo Snapper

 

Flight of Passage Pre-Show

Flight of Passage two pre-shows (or, I guess, one pre-show with two parts, depending on how you want to look at it. I’m guessing it’s set up this way for some logistical reasons, but I have no idea.

In the first video, you and your ride group are matched to your avatars, while the second one is focused on the details of what’s about to happen.

Rebecca and I both thought the pre-shows were a little … weird. Or maybe a better word is “awkward.” There was one point where it felt like they were literally just stalling for time. I mean, maybe they were … but good grief, it shouldn’t obviously feel like it.

And apparently we weren’t the ones who felt that way. Tom Bricker says:

As much as I’m gushing over the ride experience, I was underwhelmed by the pre-shows. Actually, underwhelmed is way too charitable.

The pre-show videos are downright bad. And uh, felt choppy and amateurish in places. And uh, there was too much exposition. And uh, you’re beat over the head with the how and why of connecting to an Avatar (we get it–we’re not actually flying a banshee). And uh, it just really doesn’t set the appropriate tone for what’s otherwise a graceful and downright majestical ride experience.

Quite bluntly, the pre-show needs serious retooling. And uh.

But a couple clunky pre-shows was a small price to pay for an awesome queue and an amazing ride.

 

Flight of Passage and Plus Size Guests

A big concern among some guests is that they might not even be allowed to ride Flight of Passage because they are “Pooh sized” (as some people like to call themselves). If a guest cannot fit in the seat well enough to have the restraints locked by a Cast Member, they will told they have to exit the ride.

This is potentially upsetting for at least two reasons:
1) It would be awful to wait in line for 3-4 hours (or more) only to be told you can’t even go on the ride;
2) It’s embarrassing, to put it mildly, to have a mini-crowd of strangers watch you be unable to “fit” in a seat and then be asked to leave (and have everybody watch you during your Walk of Shame.)

So let’s talk about whether this could present a problem for you or someone in your party, and if so, what you can do about it.

First of all, Disney now has a test seat outside the entrance to the queue, so you can at least can get an idea of how well you fit before you wait on line for hours:

While this definitely helps, it’s still not perfect, because:
1) It’s not exactly private, and some guests may still find that unnecessarily embarrassing to have stranger watching them struggle to fit into a seat;
2) For reasons that don’t really make sense to me, I’ve heard of some people fitting in the test seat but not the actual ride, and vice versa.

Unfortunately (I guess?), there is no magic number for either height or weight that will tell you if the Flight of Passage seats will work for you or not. Two guests might weigh exactly the same, but one can ride and the other can’t because of their body shape and the way their weight is distributed.

The good news is that, to some extent, you can shift your position on the ride vehicle in certain ways that might make it possible to fit better.

DsnyFan246 from the DisBoards shares how they’ve successfully gotten into the ride vehicle multiple times, despite not being to fit in the test seat outside the queue:

At 5’8’’ and 310lbs I have never been able to fit on the FOP test seat. The last time I tried, the CM told me to go through the line anyway and try the actual seat. I quickly found some tips online, and I was able to fit that time and every time since.

Here’s what I do:
1-sit down and move all the way forward;
2-(when the CM says they’re activating the restraints) sit up straight with perfect posture, hold in my stomach, arch my lower back inward, and lean forward;
3-(right after 2) lift my heels off the floor so only my toes are on the floor (flip flops or bendable sandals are best) and then relax my back and feet after the restraints lock;
4-if the CM comes to check my restraints, I repeat steps 2 and 3. Sometimes the CM has to push the restraints manually. Once the restraints are locked, I relax and experience the best ride ever!

My sister (who is larger than me) follows these tips, and she has been able to ride every time. We also do not wear thick or layered clothing on the ride. Hope this helps!

There has been some talk that Disney eventually will — or least should — make some changes to this ride so it can accommodate more guests, but all of that is speculation and opinion.

 

Now it’s your turn.
What did you think of Flight of Passage? Did it make you motion sick? How long did you have to wait, and did you think it was worth it? What did you think of the pre-show? Let us know below in the comments!

 

Avatar Flight of Passage Tips

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Review of 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Review of 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

In my post about the best Disney restaurants for first time visitors, I recommended the 50’s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios even though our personal experience was not that great (because our waiter was not that great).

I still wanted to give 50’s Prime Time Cafe the proper praise that I think the restaurant deserves (after all, the people at the nearby table with a different server were having a great time).

So I asked my friend Gini over at MickeyIsLife.com to do a guest post review of her own experiences there.

By the way, if you’re heading to 50’s Prime Time Cafe and want to avoid having the lame experience we did, when you arrive ask the host for a good server who “really gets into it.”

Unless, of course, you don’t want a server who’s going to play around you … in which case, I suggest you eat somewhere else. (More on that later.)

And now, here’s Gini!

*****************

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is a family-friendly diner that takes you back in time. Located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the restaurant is known for its old decor, which serves as a fabulous throwback to the 1950s.

Open for lunch and dinner, the vintage joint offers reservations for those who’d like to skip the line (it can get quite busy sometimes!). Planning ahead is easy—just use the My Disney Experience app!

50s primetime cafe sign

 

Theming

The American eatery is a blast from the past with its retro theme. Not only are there old school TVs scattered throughout (be sure to watch the black and white clips!), but each table is designed to resemble “mom’s kitchen” from the 50s. Did I mention that the floor is covered with black and white tiles?

TV at 50s Prime Cafe in Hollywood Studios

 

The theme extends to the staff as well; most waiters and waitresses will be sarcastic and sassy—50s style. If anything, they play the part well. Many will be happy to pull out all of their “tricks” so that you can enjoy the experience.

A sense of humor is highly recommended!

 

Where is the 50s Prime Time Cafe?

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe is one of the many restaurants at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Located in Echo Lake, a themed land that features a small oval-shaped lagoon, it sits between the Tune-In Lounge and the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost.

 

Cafe Hours

The restaurant is open from 11:00 am to 9:15 pm on most days; they close early at 9:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. As far as their lunch menu goes, it runs until 3:15 pm. From there, they serve dinner until closing.

Know what day you’ll be visiting? You can look up their hours for that day on the Disney website.

 

Is the 50s Prime Time Cafe Quick Service or Table Service?

Decor Disney 50s Prime Time Cafe

The cafe offers table service. In other words, you get to sit down and enjoy the meal that’s brought out to you by your waiter. You might not feel that they’re your waiter, though—after all, they’re in character. Some of them might even refer to you as their cousin! Don’t worry, it’s just part of their role play.

Just sit back and have fun with the experience!

 

Is 50s Prime Time Cafe on the Disney Dining Plan?

The Disney Dining Plan is available for those who are staying at a Walt Disney World hotel. Essentially, it’s a prepaid meal plan that allows guests to budget their dining costs in advance.

There are three types:
Disney Quick-Service Dining Plan
Standard Disney Dining Plan
Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

You’ll be happy to know that the 50’s Prime Time Cafe does accept two of them—that is, the Standard Disney Dining Plan and the Disney Deluxe Dining Plan.

In both cases, it will require one credit. (you get one of these per night during your stay at the resort).

 

The 50s Prime Time Cafe Rules

Once you’re seated at your table, your waiter will let you know about “Mama’s Rules”.

These rules include:

– No elbows on the table
– No cellphones (that didn’t stop me from sneaking in a few photos, though!)*
– Use your manners at all time

* Note: Your waiter won’t hesitate to call you out if they see you on your phone! Just something to keep in mind, you know?

 

The Menu

fried chicken at 50s Prime Time Cafe

 

The 50’s diner offers six different types of appetizers:
Beer-battered Onion Rings
Fried Herb and Garlic Cheese (served with apples, grapes, and raspberry sauce) Chicken Noodle Soup
Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge
Grandpa’s Crab Cake (with bacon and chili sauce)

I was feeling a little under the weather that day so I opted for a bowl of chicken noodle soup. As much as I’d hate to admit it, there was nothing spectacular about the dish. It tasted exactly like what I’d eat at home—I suppose chicken noodle soup will be chicken noodle soup no matter where you are, hah!

Entree-wise, they have:
Pork Chops
Pot Roast
Chicken Pot Pie
Meatloaf
Caesar Salads
Vegetable Lasagna
Blue Plate Special (more about that in a minute)

Personally, I went for Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken (because you can never go wrong with fried chicken, right?). It came with a scoop of garlic mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn. (see photo above.)

My first impression was that it came with a lot of chicken—”there’s no way that I can finish all that!” I thought.

The fried chicken was flavorful, yet not to the point of being too salty. While the meat was slightly dry, it was nothing a little gravy couldn’t fix.

Being the small eater that I am, I got pretty stuffed after eating two large pieces (don’t forget, there were the sides as well!). What did I do with the rest? I offered them to the BF, who happily devoured them.

Note: Don’t worry if you can’t make it to the restaurant for dinner. Their lunch and dinner menus are pretty much the same!

 

Vegan Menu

As with most Disney restaurants, the 50’s Prime Time Cafe does offer a few vegan options:

Cousin Ryan’s Vegetable Lasagna—Order it without cheese.
Fruit Salad
Garden Salad
Spaghetti (unfortunately, the vegetarian meatballs are not vegan, as they are made with eggs)
Vegetable Platter

I have heard mixed info about whether or not you can get vegan ice cream (made with either Tofutti or Rice Dream). Some people say you can get ice cream, but not milkshakes. Some people say they’ve gotten both, some people say they no longer offer either one. So you might want to call ahead and ask.

 

Allergy Menu

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe does have allergy-friendly offerings. Do note, however, that you’ll have to ask for the special menu. It covers the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish.

They’ll be happy to work with you as long as you let them know about your allergies!

 

Children’s Menu

One of the great things about the restaurant is that they have several options for kids under the age of 9.

They offer three types of kids’ appetizers:
Garden salad
Vegetable Platter
Chicken Noodle Soup

Children’s entrees include:
Goofy’s Salmon
Grandma’s Macaroni & Cheese
Grandpa’s Grilled Chicken
Aunt Betty’s Chicken Tenders

All the entrees come with two sides (green beans and carrots, mashed potatoes, corn, fruit salad, cupcake) and a drink (milk, water or apple juice).

They also have a specialty drink for kids that’s served in a cool-looking souvenir Character Cup—one that comes with a glowing clip-on light!

 

Dessert

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe boasts a variety of desserts, including
Apple Crisp
Dad’s Favorite Chocolate-Peanut Butter Layered Cake
Ice Cream Sundaes
Cheesecake
Mom’s Brownie (everybody’s favorite!)

Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try the brownie (mainly because I was too full from the soup and chicken), but judging from how fast the people next to us ate it, it must have been pretty darn good!

If I ever go back, I’ll be sure to save some room for dessert.

 

Milkshakes

The 50’s Prime Time Cafe has two types of milkshakes on their menu:
Standard Milkshake (Chocolate, Vanilla, or Strawberry)
Peanut Butter & Jelly Milk Shake

They are Big.
And they are Good.

 

Blue Plate Special

Aside from their regular entrees, they also offer a Blue Plate Special. As per their menu, it’s a “healthy seasonal alternative with all the fixings.” Just keep in mind that they’ll charge you the market price.

Some examples of the Blue Plate Special are:
Mahi Mahi
Osso Bucco
Braised Pork Shank

 

The 50’s Prime Time Sticker

Once you’re done your meal, your waiter will give you a nice little souvenir to take home—a 50’s Prime Time Cafe sticker. Be sure to ask for one if they forget to give it to you (sometimes they’re a little busy)!

 

50s Prime Time Cafe or Sci-Fi Dine-In?

When people are making their Disney dining reservations, there are often two similar restaurants they have trouble deciding between.

In the case of 50’s Prime Time Cafe, the obvious “comparison” is with Sci-Fi Dine-In, because
1) They are both in Hollywood Studios;
2) They both have a unique theme;
3) They serve similar types of food

I’ve never been to Sci-Fi Dine-In (and neither has Jen), but it seems to get pretty good reviews (for people who like a themed restaurant and are not expecting fine dining).

So which to choose if you can only do one?

As usual, Disney expert Tom Bricker nails it when he says:

The question is whether your party is primarily introverts or extroverts. If you have a bunch of introverts, or people who simply want to decompress and be left alone while eating, 50’s Prime Time Cafe is a bad idea. The ‘relatives’ serving you won’t break character if your party isn’t into it, either. They still pick on you and insist you clean your plate (etc.), and we’ve witnessed some awkward encounters at adjacent tables that inexplicably didn’t ‘get’ the concept through their entire meal.

Extroverts and older guests who were children of the 1950s through around the 1970s tend to love 50’s Prime Time Cafe. It’s a situation where you get out of it what you put into it, and the interactions can be a hoot if you roll with them and engage in a bit of banter with the servers …

By contrast, Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater is the ultimate restaurant for introverts or decompressing. Not only is the entertainment entirely passive (and the service low-key as Cast Members stay ‘out of the way’ of the movies), but you are seated in rows of a car, meaning you pretty much only have to interact with one person for the duration of the meal. For extroverts or families with kids, this seating arrangement can be a definite downside–it’s the most common complaints we receive about Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater.

 

50’s Prime Time Cafe Recipes

Want to pretend you’re at 50’s Prime Time Cafe even after you come home from vacation? Just push play on one of these classic TV shows and put together one of these recipes:

 

Fried Chicken Recipe

This recipe for Aunt Liz’s Golden Fried Chicken includes wheat flour, soy flour, and non-fat dry milk.

 

Meatloaf Recipe

This copycoat recipe for meatloaf is made with beef and pork and topped with a glaze or ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

Video — PB&J Milkshake Recipe

 

If you’re interested in making more recipes from Disney restaurants, be sure to check out these cookbooks:

Mickey's Gourmet Cookbook: Most Popular Recipes From Walt Disney World & DisneylandMickey’s Gourmet Cookbook: Most Popular Recipes From Walt Disney World & DisneylandMickey's Gourmet Cookbook: Most Popular Recipes From Walt Disney World & DisneylandChef Mickey: Treasures from the Vault and Delicious New FavoritesChef Mickey: Treasures from the Vault and Delicious New FavoritesChef Mickey: Treasures from the Vault and Delicious New FavoritesCooking With Mickey and the Chefs of Walt Disney WorldCooking With Mickey and the Chefs of Walt Disney WorldCooking With Mickey and the Chefs of Walt Disney World

 

 

Final Thoughts on 50’s Prime Time Cafe

There’s just something special about eating at a ’50s themed restaurant so I would definitely come again given the chance! There are plenty of other dishes that I’d like to try (I’m eyeing their crabcake appetizer), not to mention their desserts.

One thing to remember, though, is that your experience depends largely on your waiter—some are more “immersive” than others. We were lucky in that ours was super fun and interactive!

In any case, anyone who’d like a blast from the past should go check out the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Even if you’re not from the ’50s, you’ll have lots of fun—I guarantee it. And anyway, who can say no to American comfort food?

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Gini has been a Disney fan for as long as she can remember. Enticed by the magic, she makes an effort to visit the parks at least once a year. When she isn’t planning her vacation, she enjoys playing with her five-year-old husky and working on her blog, Mickey Is Life.
Click here to follow Gini on Instagram.

50s Prime Time Cafe in Hollywood Studios

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Review of Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora

Review of Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora

A few months ago I wrote a round-up post where I had various Disney bloggers vote on their favorite quick service meals in Disney World.

While several different restaurants got a lot of love in that post, Animal Kingdom’s Satu’li Canteen was one of the most popular choices.

Since I’ve never eaten at Satu’li Canteen myself (and since I was “busy” hanging out at the beach in St. Augustine with my family last week), I asked my buddy Nicole to write a guest post reviewing Satu’li Canteen and sharing why she, too, considers it to be one of the best quick service restaurants.

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Hi there, guys! My name is Nicole Graber from The Disney Journey. Jen asked me if I could tell you all about one of my favorite Quick Service restaurants in all of Disney World.

Satu’li Canteen reached favorite restaurant status because of the excellent food quality and the variety of options for people with gluten sensitivities like myself.

Satu’li Canteen is a Quick Service restaurant located in the Pandora area of Animal Kingdom. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner only, opening at 10:30am and staying open until park closing.

Guests are able to use Disney mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app, which can be a real time saver. Satu’li Canteen is an ideal place to grab an early lunch after a busy morning spent enjoying rope drop at Animal Kingdom.

Is Satu’li Canteen on the Dining Plan?

Yes.

A meal at Satu’li Canteen uses one quick service credit if you are on the Disney Dining Plan.
It also offers some snack credit options, including two desserts (which we’ll talk about shortly) and several drink options.
Unfortunately, there are no discounts for Annual Passholders or Disney Vacation Club members.

 

Restaurant Atmosphere and Theme

As with all other aspects of Pandora, the theming of the
restaurant is top notch. The basic idea is that the facility is a former RDA
mess hall that is now owned by Alpha Centauri Expeditions and allowed to
embrace the Na’vi culture.

 

Satu'li Canteen

 

The building itself is quite large and fits a good number
of tables.
In addition to this, there is substantial covered outdoor seating as
well. There are fans outside to cool you down in the hot weather, and heaters
built into the ceiling that throw a surprising amount of heat in the cooler
weather.

Following Pandora’s overall theme of environmental
conservation, Satu’li does not have lids for their cups, uses paper straws, and
uses real plates and flatware. While this is great in terms of conservation and
keeping a smaller footprint, it has the secondary bonus of creating a dining
experience that is a step up from “fast food”.

 

 

Satu’li Canteen Menu

The food offerings at Satu’li Canteen are truly unique. You will not find another restaurant around that has similar food. The bonus of Satu’li Canteen being a newer restaurant is they seem to have planned the menu with food allergies in mind.

 

Create Your Own Bowl

The basic idea behind the majority of the menu options at
Satu’li Canteen is to create your own bowl. As such, you choose a protein, a
base (i.e. potatoes, rice, etc.), and a sauce
. This allows you to personalize
your bowl exactly how you want it, and also gives you a lot of different
combinations to try out on all those return trips to Disney World you’ll end up
planning.

Satu'li Canteen Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken
Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken with Rice Base and Creamy Herb Sauce

 

The type of protein that you pick will be the determining
factor in the overall price of your meal. You have a choice of beef, chicken,
shrimp, tofu, and a beef and chicken combo bowl.
The combo bowl is the most
expensive, with the chicken and tofu bringing up the rear as the cheapest
options.

The bases give you the opportunity to make vastly
different meals. If you are a meat and potatoes type of person, you can try the
red and sweet potato hash. For those who like salads, there is a hearty salad
base. Rice lovers can gravitate towards the rice and beans. And finally, noodles
round out the four base options.

There are 3 different sauces to choose from to top off the meal:
1) Charred green onion vinaigrette;
2) Black bean vinaigrette; or
3) Creamy herb sauce.

If sauce just isn’t your thing, you can always opt to go without sauce as well.

As you can see from these combinations, Satu’li Canteen offers up some of the healthier food options in any of the parks. Considering this a Quick Service restaurant, that is very impressive.

 

Satu’li Canteen Menu Changes

Once upon a time, there were other menu options, but those have since been removed. There used to be an entrée size version of the cheeseburger steam pods. Also, there was a shrimp and noodle bowl.

While this second option is no longer directly stated on the menu, you can make your own version if it via the create your own bowl using shrimp as your protein and noodles as your base.

 

Satu’li Canteen Breakfast

At one point, Satu’li Canteen offered a scrumptious looking breakfast menu. However, this was pretty short lived, officially ending in September 2017, lasting only a few months. Let’s face it, during breakfast hours, anyone who is in Pandora is trying to get on Flight of Passage, not eat breakfast.

There were murmurings that breakfast would be offered seasonally, specifically during very busy times like Christmas and Easter. However, I have not seen any reports of this so am unable to verify whether or not this is true. Considering the lack of information, I’m guessing this never happened.

 

Satu’li Canteen Kids’ Menu

The kids’ menu is more varied than the adult menu, likely to accommodate the picky palates of most children. The kids are able to order kid size versions of the protein bowls if they so choose, but they also have the opportunity to have cheeseburger steam pods, cheese quesadillas, and hot dogs wrapped in dough.

The more traditional meals come with vegetable chips and grapes on the side. The create your own bowls do not come with any other sides.

 

Satu'li Canteen Teylu All Beef Hot Dog wrapped in Dough
“Teylu” All Beef Hot Dog Wrapped in Dough

 

You might also like:
Best Disney Restaurants for Kids

 

Satu’li Canteen Desserts

The menu at Satu’li Canteen is rounded out by a couple of
dessert offerings, one of which is VERY Instagram friendly.

The most popular dessert is the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse. This is perhaps the most colorful and prettiest dessert I have ever seen.

However, if chocolate is more your thing, then look no
further than the Chocolate Cake. This cake has a crunchy cookie layer with
banana cream topping. But don’t be fooled, this looks like no other chocolate
cake you’ve ever seen.

 

Satu’li Canteen Allergy Menu

One of the things I like best about Satu’li Canteen is
how easy they make it for people with food allergies to enjoy their delicious
food. As soon as you enter the restaurant there is a cast member there to hand
you the menu. Simply ask for an allergy friendly menu and they have them right
there for you to peruse.

The allergy menu for Satu’li Canteen is quite detailed for the top 8 food allergies. You will find a wide variety of options to choose from because of the different combinations you can make. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

 

Satu’li Canteen Gluten Free Menu

In terms of gluten free options for the entrees, all of
the protein choices are available as an option, and all the bases except
noodles are gluten free
. From there you can choose from 2 of the sauces: creamy
herb dressing or charred green onion vinaigrette.

I’m not going to do all the math of exactly how many
choices this gives us, but you choose from 4 proteins, 3 bases, and 2 sauces.
For those of us who are gluten free, having this many options is a game
changer.

The removal of the boba balls is the only thing necessary to make this combination bowl gluten free. I have no idea what is in the boba balls that makes them a gluten risk, but I’m OK with the absence.

 

Satu’li Canteen Review

In the past year I have eaten at Satu’li Canteen 4 times
over the course of 3 trips, so clearly, I’m a fan. On the 3rd trip
to Satu’li I forced myself to get a slightly different bowl just for the sake
of trying something else for blogging purposes, but then went right back to my
usual by the 4th trip, because it’s just that good.

 

Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken Bowl

Satu'li Canteen Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken Bowl
Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken Bowl with Red and Sweet Potato Hash Base and Creamy Herb Dressing

 

The favorite combination for my family so far is the
Chopped Wood Grilled Chicken bowl with red and sweet potato hash base with the
creamy herb sauce. All of this is then topped with a slaw, and for those who
can eat gluten, boba balls.

Between the Chicken and the Beef bowls, I prefer the chicken.
I think the flavors of the base and sauce blend better with the chicken than
with the beef.

 

Slow Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl

The quality of the beef is very good, nice and tender,
not overcooked, which is always a risk when ordering beef from what is
essentially a fast food restaurant. You can see from the picture that there is
still a nice amount of redness to the meat, which is how I prefer my beef.

 

Satu'li Canteen Slow Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl
Slow Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl with Sweet Potato Base and Creamy Herb Sauce

 

My only potential criticism for both the beef and chicken
bowls, and I’m assuming all of the others, is regarding the quantity of the
sauce that is put on the bowl. As someone who loves sauces and rarely seems to
have enough, I found that they are very liberal with their sauce application.

For me this is fine, though even I would say that it
would probably taste better with just a little less sauce. The flavor of the
creamy herb sauce is great, but it is strong.
As a result, it can overpower
some of the other awesome flavors in the dish. If you are someone who tends to
like less sauce on things, I would highly recommend that you ask for the sauce
on the side
or specify that you only want a little.

 

“Teylu” All Beef Hot Dog Wrapped in Dough

Both of my kids chose to get the hot dogs wrapped in
dough. They really enjoyed the hot dogs, even requesting to go back to Satu’li
Canteen for lunch on our second Animal Kingdom day.

For kids, the presentation of the hot dog is pretty
interesting and novel. The dough the hot dog is wrapped in is a nice golden
brown, while remaining soft and fluffy. But whatever it was they liked about
it, both of the kids ate the whole thing, so that’s a win in my book.

The chips that come with the hot dogs were also a nice
touch instead of the standard French fries. They are made with a mix of potato
varieties and are pretty darn tasty. Because I absolutely had to sample them,
for the sake of blogging, of course!

 

Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse

And finally, we reach perhaps one of the most unique and
Instagram worthy foods around: The Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse. Even though I
couldn’t eat this, I ordered it for my hubby and the kids simply because I
wanted to take pictures of it and hear their opinions. They were totally on
board with being the guinea pigs on this one.

It appears that the only thing which makes this not
gluten free is a thin layer of cake at the very bottom. This is a real bummer.
If they had just left that part out, more people could enjoy it.

So here it is! Feast your eyes upon the Blueberry Cream
Cheese Mousse!

Satu'li Canteen Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse
Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse

Pretty cool looking, right?

So … did it taste as good as it
looks?

When I asked my husband how it was, he said he liked the passion fruit
curd the best. Granted, both of us tend to like lemon curd, so this isn’t
surprising, but perhaps not a ringing endorsement for the dessert as a whole.

In the end, it seems like the Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse was a decent dessert, but taste wise not one to go out of your way to get.

However, I would still suggest you get it, simply for the novelty of the dessert itself. Let’s face it, it just looks cool.

 

Satu’li Canteen Copy Cat Recipes

Do you want to get a feel for what the food at Satu’li
Canteen tastes like from the comfort of your own home? Here’s a video I found that shows you how to make the grilled beef bowl. The recipe is Whole 30 compliant, paleo, low-carb, and gluten free!

Grilled Beef & Sweet Potato Bowl with Chimichurri Sauce

 

Final Thoughts on Satu’li Canteen

It’s no surprise to you by now that I am clearly a fan of
Satu’li Canteen and encourage everyone to give it a try. The pickiest eaters
will no doubt be turned off by the rather unique choices here, but you might
end up surprised by how much you like it.

On top of the food just flat out tasting good, the
portion size that you get with each bowl is huge. With the prices coming in at
around $13-$17 a bowl
, that makes Satu’li Canteen a good value for your money.

The quality of the food and the sheer amount of it makes this a very filling
meal, which is key in my world. And when you combine the value with the ease
that Mobile Ordering offers, it’s a win-win.


About Me The Disney Journey

Nicole is a mom, a Disney lover, and a social worker all rolled into one. Her passions for planning Disney trips and helping people collided to create the blog, The Disney Journey. The goal of The Disney Journey is to help people plan the ultimate Disney vacation, without the stress and anxiety. Come follow the Disney Journey on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest happenings.

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