Though we have already gotten an advance look at some of the "alien" menu items that will be served when Pandora – The World of Avatar opens in just a few weeks, Disney has recently given us an in-depth look at the new quick service dining establishment coming to this area. Satu'li Canteen, will be the main restaurant in Pandora - The World of Avatar, and according to Disney this location was once the main mess hall of the Resources Development Administration (RDA) base located in the Valley of Mo’ara.
Now the canteen is owned and operated by Alpha Centauri Expeditions (ACE) tour company and has been redesigned into a beautiful museum-like dining room with plenty for guests to see and explore. Though the construction clearly evokes the military history of this base, guests will see colorful Na’vi items now filling the walls and hanging from the ceiling, including hand-woven tapestries, natural Pandoran elements and even cooking tools.
Walking through this restaurant will definitely be an experience all by itself (especially for Avatar film fans) but in addition to the backstory for this new dining location Disney also released some additional information about menu items and how this restaurant will integrate some interesting technology that has been in development for the past few years.
A new kind of menu focused on customization
Frequent Walt Disney World guests have come to expect the quick service dining experience around the resort to involve burgers, chicken tenders, and a few unique menu items here and there (like at the Harambe Marketplace, for instance). However, Satu’li Canteen will be taking a more customizable approach to fast casual dining at the resort, offering a menu that emphasizes choice.
The majority of entrees served at this restaurant will start with a base of either quinoa and vegetable salad, red and sweet potato hash, mixed whole-grain and rice, or romaine and kale salad. From there, guests can choose to add one of the following protiens: wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish or chili-spiced fried tofu. Finally, these specialty bowls can be finished with one of the following sauces: charred onion chimichurri, black bean vinaigrette or creamy herb dressing.
In addition to these bowls, guests can also order steamed “pods” which are bao buns stuffed with either cheeseburger or vegetable curry and served with root vegetable chips and crunchy vegetable slaw.
Although the above options certainly sound interesting, if you’re worried about these menu items being too ambitious for smaller members of your party, the kids menu at Satu’li Canteen will include grilled chicken or beef, fish or tofu with greens or rice; a hot dog wrapped in Parker House dough; cheese quesadilla, or a steamed cheeseburger “pod”.
The menu is certainly ambitious for this new restaurant, and we’ll be very interested to try this new approach to quick service dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. While we're sure the menu items will be delicious, with such a heavy focus on customization, there may be some issues with expediency, especially during the lunch and dinner rush periods.
However, as it turns out Disney has thought of this issue too and will be employing some new technology to help speed up service for guests who want to drop by quickly and continue on their adventure through Pandora – The World of Avatar as soon as possible.