#VISITPANDORA - F&B Makes Its Own Mark On Pandora - August 2017

1708_AVATAR_FBNRAA17_logoNo theme park land is fully immersive without something to eat and drink. But when it came to creating the food and beverage for Pandora, Disney didn’t have a lot to draw on—there really aren’t any references to food in “Avatar.” However, “we wanted the basic menu to be just as immersive as everything else in the land,” says Chef Robert Adams, operational director for the restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 

The sole F&B outlet in the land is Satu’li Canteen, a fast-casual restaurant with an industrial look decorated with Na’vi trappings. Like every other portion of Pandora, this establishment wants to convey the partnership between humanity and the Na’vi. 

“Just as if you travel to any exotic region on Earth, you expect that menu to be an adventure. This should be no different,” Adams says. “When we put the menu together, we wanted something that looked a little different, but with a very familiar flavor.”

Disney culinary experts took their inspiration from the Na’vi themselves; such a strong and fit people must eat healthy and well, they surmised, with food that can be found in the forest. Satu’li (pronounced “Sa-too-lee”) allows customers to create their own dishes in a large bowl. Every serving begins with a base of quinoa and vegetable salad; red and sweet potato hash; rice or romaine and kale salad. From there, diners choose from wood-grilled chicken, slow-roasted beef, sustainable fish, or chili-spiced fried tofu, topped with a selection of dressings. 

“This is one of our first fast-casual restaurants that gives guests the ability to customize their meal,” says Ed Wronski, director of culinary development for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “The bowl concept is healthful, lighter, and, with plant-based ingredients, ties back to the world of Avatar.”

Those looking for a bit more traditional theme-park fare will find Satu’li satisfies, as well, albeit with a twist—the cheeseburgers offered here are steamed “pods” in bao buns. The restaurant’s signature dessert is a blueberry cheesecake that takes its decorative flair directly from the Na’vi’s natural colorings, and Satu’li also offers a variety of alcoholic drinks, including wine and custom beers and sangria. 

Satu’li is also the first Disney restaurant to offer Mobile Order, a new option for selecting and purchasing meals on the go via the resort’s My Disney Experience app. Using the app, guests select menu items, customize their orders, and prepay for their meals; when they arrive and hit the “I’m Here” button in the app, the kitchen prepares the meals and guests skip the normal queue. Disney says more F&B outlets will begin to offer Mobile Order in the future.