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Posts Tagged ‘animal kingdom lodge’

Sigh, to be a kid again. Oh wait – that’s what we did today. Acted like children. And it was a hoot. 🙂

Today was Magic Kingdom day. We had breakfast (Mickey waffles!) and headed over to the park at around 10am. The cool thing was there were hardly any lines – we didn’t need to Fastpass anything – 5 minute wait times or less on each ride. Cool. The park was also decorated for Halloween. 🙂

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So our first ride was the Stitch Adventure (the one that replaced the Alien ride). There are quite a few scary moments in the dark where a level three prisoner has escaped and is wandering around us “guards” in the teleportation pod. It was cute.

Next was the Buzz Lightyear ride where you get to shoot at things like you’re in a large video game. Chris kicked my butt but it was fun nonetheless.

We then did 3 “kiddie” rides that I absolutely didn’t want to miss: the Winnie the Pooh ride (really sweet), the Snow White ride (the beginning of this might be scary for kids – the witch is downright creepy), and the Peter Pan flying adventure (very cool – you fly in a mini pirate boat!). I also got Pooh and Tinkerbell loot after the rides. 🙂 Christina and Sue: They had Lumpy, so I got 3 (one for Chloe, Sienna and Maddie). They’re really cute.

We went to the Haunted mansion and got stuck!!! The ride stopped for a good 5 minutes. It was pretty funny actually. Especially since we knew there was a kid on the ride that started yelling in the waiting area (“Let me ooouuuut”) so he must have been freaking out when the ride stopped… *evil laughter* This haunted house is just awesome – my favorite part is the dining / ballroom area (Angie: it reminds me of Karazhan).

Then we headed over to Frontierland, stopped for a quick corndog and water, then hit Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster which was really fun. It’s a mild coaster but the scenery is cool.

Next was the Pirates of the Caribbean boat ride, still fun and the gift shop is fun too.

And a surprising ride that Chris and I both really enjoyed was the Jungle boat ride. You ride in a boat and sail through the various rivers of the world and see animals and natives (not real), and our skipper’s jokes were really funny. 🙂

Then we went shopping along Main Street…and back to the lodge where all the animals were out and about!!

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Zebras and ostriches eating some grub

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Ignore our balcony railing but isn't it awesome how close we are to the animals?! In this pic, there are ostriches, zebras, wildebeasts and our friend a giraffe.

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Better view of the wildebeasts.

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Cute pic of the three ostriches.

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After arriving back at the lodge from Animal Kingdom and taking a nap (we *are* on vacation after all), we headed down to Boma for our African-themed buffet dinner.

Tasty! There were lots of selections and the dishes included things we knew (falafel, pita chips and various hummus-based dips) and lots we didn’t (bobotie which was like a meat pie, fufu which tasted like spiced pureed squash, and a ton I don’t remember the names for). The meat station was awesome – there was beef, chicken, a sausage dish, several different sauces, MmmMmm. I ended up having lots of falafel (one of the best I ever tasted), two slices of beef (medium rare and awesome), slaw, rice, couscous, fufu, sausages, pita chips and dip (I liked the sundried tomato hummus and the white bean hummus), Sprite Zero, …

There was a salad area and the slaw and couscous were fantastic. We didn’t try any of the soups but they looked very good too.

Dessert. Anyone who knows me also knows that I love desserts. But I held back and only chose 4 of the mini-portioned items: one spoonful of a warm pear cobbler (yum), a mini kenyan coffee tart (this tasted like a tiramisu), a mini vanilla pannacotta which tasted like passionfruit (yum), and one of their famous zebra domes (small cake filled with chocolate cream). Excellent meal.

Tomorrow is Magic Kingdom. Can’t wait!

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Oh my.

We had reservations to go to Jiko for dinner on Day 1. It’s the higher-end African-themed restaurant at the resort with beautiful decor and fantastic food. Fantastic doesn’t even begin to describe it actually. This was a splurge dinner.

At the start of the dinner, they brought us hot damp facecloths to freshen our hands with, and they smelled like rosewater…nice. We began our meal with 2 shared appetizers: “A Taste of Africa” which was 3 different types of bread (naan, pappadum and flatbreads) with 3 dips (a coriander chili dip, a red spicy dip and a hummus-olive dip. Oh my lord, was this ever delicious… There was also the house bread which came with a special spiced butter – heavenly. Our second appetizer was the Crispy Savannah Rolls which were also good but the breads won this round hands down.

For the main course, I chose the Chermoula Tanglewood Chicken which came with goat cheese mashed potatoes, harissa and preserved lemons. Yum. Chris had the Grilled Berkshire Pork Loin which came with spiced lentil dahl, spinach, and pickled okra. Yum.

The restaurant had a special tea menu, which we enjoyed with dessert. I chose the Organic Rooibos African tea. Chris chose the Chai (duh-he’s a big chai fan). My dessert was the Kenyan coffee ice cream with spiced doughnuts. I thought I died and went to heaven. The ice cream was a highlight of the meal. Chris chose the apple tart with cinnamon ice cream.

Absolutely fantastic. It was pricey – total cost was $135 for both of us, no liquor. But for a special splurge meal, oh so worth it. 🙂

The full menu can be seen here for those interested: http://themouseforless.com/tripplanning/menus/wdw/jiko.shtml

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Our flight to Orlando was smooth and uneventful. We took the Disney Magical Express to the resort and as soon as we walked into the lodge, we knew we made the right the choice (and by “we” I mean “me”). 🙂

The lobby is 3 stories high, with thatched roof,  firepit, african decor, drums and tribal music playing in the background, the lighting was dim. It was awesome. There are a ton of little sofas and chairs all over the lobby to hang out in, by the firepit, or secluded areas just to relax. We saw someone taking a nap on one of the sofas – it was that relaxing. So we checked in and got all our paperwork. Yours truly got a special birthday button 🙂 and you bet your asses I’m going to wear it. Figure it’ll be nice to be wished a happy birthday by a bunch of strangers. LOL

We get to our room (savannah view!) and race to the balcony but our first look was uneventful – some animals in the distance. Then, out of nowhere comes this giraffe sauntering around – that was pretty cool. I also hunted around the room for hidden Mickeys and found some on the shower curtain (see pic below).

We hit the quick service buffet for a light lunch (at the Mara) and were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. I had a falafel pita with spiced couscous (amazing) and Chris has the Mara salad with spiced chicken (also very good). Since the lodge is African-themed, a lot of the food has African and Mediterranean flavours. Score!

After lunch we decided to explore the resort and get our bearings. What we saw was amazing – there are lots of overlooks where you can see all the animals, firepits are everywhere with chairs nearby to enjoy the fire, the pool is quite big and has a cool waterslide. We checked out the restaurants (we already have reservations for Jiko and Boma), both African-themed. Boma is buffet-style and highly recommended, and Jiko is the higher-end one, a la carte. Chris was drooling over the menus posted outside. 🙂 Score!

So as we were exploring the lodge the feeling of tribal vibes were overwhelming. As such, we decided we had to have a tribe name. So we agreed on “Gooneegoogoo”. 🙂

Our dinner is at 7:15pm – I’ll let you know how that goes. Until then, here are some pics you can enjoy of our trip to date. Tomorrow is Epcot FutureWorld, with lunch at the Mexican pavilion and dinner at the Japan pavilion. Pretty sure there will be shopping too…

Giraffe viewed from our balcony

Giraffe viewed from our balcony

View of Boma restaurant during our recon mission

View of Boma restaurant during our recon mission

View of hidden Mickey on shower curtain

View of hidden Mickey on shower curtain

Chris, chillin at the lodge :)

Chris, chillin at the lodge 🙂

Me, chillin at the firepit

Me, chillin at the firepit

Zebras - there were quite a few zebras out

Zebras - there were quite a few zebras out

Rubber ducky, you're the one...

Rubber ducky, you're the one...

Random pic of the lodge - wonder if that's someone's room

Random pic of the lodge - wonder if that's someone's room

Part of the lobby - near the back windows

Part of the lobby - near the back windows

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