Category Archives: Resorts

See Some of the Faces of the Animal Kingdom Lodge

When you decide to make the Animal Kingdom Lodge your resort of choice for your stay, you get more than just a room and bed to lay your head; you get a new and different experience everywhere you turn, including the people you meet.

The lobby of the resort hosts daily activities led by Animal Kingdom Lodge Cast Members, most of who come from a part of Africa. Children and adults alike can be entertained (as well as educated) on the artifacts found in the lobby as well as on animal artifacts that the Cast Members bring out to display.

Part of the Educational Display In the AKL Lobby

When you check in, be sure to check the Lodge’s information sheet for daily events around the resort.

Sample Activities Sheet from July (click on the image for a full size version)

You never know who you might meet in the lobby or in the resort giftshop,  the Zawadi Marketplace.

Zawadi Marketplace - the giftshop in the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Be sure to seek out the King Pin as he’s a very friendly and fun fellow to exchange pins with. Even if you’re not into pin trading, take a peek in the Zawadi Marketplace when he’s in there and just watch his interactions with guests for a few minutes. I guarantee it’ll make you smile.

The King Pin Offers Trades in the Zawadi Marketplace

The next time you visit the Animal Kingdom Lodge, be on the lookout for more than just the animals wandering the savanna, be on the lookout for these great Cast Member interactions as well!

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Boat Rental Options at the Walt Disney World Resorts

Many of the Disney Resorts are located on a lake which allows a large number of water related recreational activities. If you like being out on the water, why not spend an afternoon or evening relaxing on one of the many rental boat options they have to offer.

Boat Rentals at Ft. Wilderness Resort and Campground

The little two person craft are referred to Water Mice and have three different rental options (3o minutes, 45 minutes, or 1 hour). The driver must be 12 or over as well as meet the 5 ft. tall height requirement. Some locations such as Ft. Wilderness (pictured above) offer canoe, kayak, and paddle boat rentals as well. Finally, if you’re looking for a big day out on the water, you can rent one of the pontoon boats. Drivers must be 18 or over for the pontoons.

Boat Rentals are available at the following resorts and Downtown Disney locations:

Contemporary Resort

Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

Polynesian Resort

Wilderness Lodge

Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground

Yacht and Beach Club

Port Orleans Riverside and French Quarter

Caribbean Beach Resort

Old Key West

Downtown Disney Marketplace

Lilo and Stitch Character Breakfast at ‘Ohana

Breakfast at ‘Ohana has always been a must for us since our first trip on our honeymoon. Since then, the characters have changed a little with the addition of Lilo and Stitch taking the place of Goofy, Chip, and Dale, but the food has remained tasty and bountiful. Other characters include Mickey Mouse himself and Pluto.

'Ohana Restaurant inside the Polynesian Resort

When you arrive at the restaurant, you check in at the podium and then are shuffled over to have your picture taken. During your meal a CM will come by your table and share your photograph along with package options that you can purchase. You are not obligated to have your photo made or purchase them if you do. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the photographer to take one with your personal camera.

Once your breakfast time arrives you are introduced to one of your many cousins (you are in ‘Ohana of course, and ‘Ohana means family!). Your cousin will usher you to your table, along the way picking up a basket of the assorted bread which includes the fantastic pineapple bread as well as a very tasty sticky bun.

Bread Basket

Once seated another cousin comes and introduces themselves as your waiter/waitress for the morning. All food is served family style here at ‘Ohana, beginning with the fruit platter which includes grapes, watermelon, pineapple, and melon.

Fruit Platter

To accompany your food, your meal includes coffee and juice. The juice is “Lilo and Stitch’s Secret Recipe” but I asked the CM just what was in it. It is so refreshing and I think I drink a whole carafe full of it during each visit. While I’m not sure of the portions, the juice is a mixture of Minute Maid Passion Fruit, Orange, and Guava Juices. Unfortunately, it seems that it can be very hard to find everything but the orange juice. However, I did find this on Minute Maid’s website and may be trying to track it down for testing!

Lilo and Stitch's Secret Recipe

The main breakfast platter includes biscuits, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and breakfast potatoes. Feel free to request seconds, or thirds, of any item on the platter.

Breakfast Platter

But wait! There’s more! In the past, Mickey Waffles were served on the platter, but now a CM will come by your table and serve them to you out of a basket. Don’t worry, there’s plenty opportunity to get more Mickey Waffles!

Mickey Waffles

By the end of breakfast, you’re stuffed and ready for whatever park the day throws at you! My suggestion is to eat at ‘Ohana on a Magic Kingdom morning. This way you take Disney Transportation (or a cab) to the Polynesian Resort for breakfast and then you can hop on the monorail for a ride over to the Magic Kingdom when you are finished.

Breakfast is served daily from 7:30am – 11am. Adult’s breakfast is $24.99, child’s breakfast is $13.99.

‘Ohana Breakfast Menu

Hua Paka – Scrambled Eggs

Uala Kahiki – Fried potatoes, caramelized onions, scallions

Pua’a – Pork sausage links and smoked bacon

Mickey Waffles

Assorted Bread – Pineapple bread, Cinnamon sticky bun

Fruit Platter – seasonal

Unlimited Coffee, Juice, and Milk

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Gives New Meaning to “Room with a View”

The main attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is of course the animals! When you book a savannah view room at this resort, you just never know what you might come “home” to find right outside your back door! On this particular day, the zebra wasn’t very interested in the treats being offered to him by the CM.

Watching the zebra from an AKL savannah view balcony

Carriage Rides at Ft. Wilderness

Many of the recreational activities at Disney’s Ft. Wilderness Resort revolve around horses and the carriage ride is a great way to relax while riding around and touring the resort campground. Regular rides last 25 minutes and can be booked 180 days in advance. During the fall the carriage will take you on a Haunted Carriage Ride where you can listen to the legend of Sleepy  Hollow while riding around the campgrounds. During the holiday season guests can participate in a Holiday Sleigh Ride around Ft. Wilderness. Both special carriage rides can be booked 180 days in advance. The Haunted Carriage Ride is from Oct. 1 to Nov. 1 and the Holiday Sleigh Ride runs during the month of December.

Horse and Carriage at Ft. Wilderness

Getting Comfortable in the Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

The Animal Kingdom Lodge boasts a very large, very comfy lobby area where guests can relax in hand-carved furniture while they take in the sights and smells of Africa. The lobby just feels warm and relaxed, from the massive African design chandeliers to the inside firepit. The giant showcase window overlooking the Arusha Savanna just completes the space and makes this lobby one of the most special of the Disney Resorts.

Lobby Seating

Indoor Firepit

Lobby Chandeliers

Looking Out to the Arusha Savanna

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Uzima Springs Pool – Swimming in an African Watering Hole

The Uzima Springs Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the largest on Disney property and also sports a zero entry that means guests can wade into the pool rather than there being steps to walk down.

There’s more to this resort’s pool area than just the pool. The Uzima Springs Pool Bar with its thatched roof offers guests a refreshing break during an afternoon by the pool. Also, the Uzima Savannah is  around the perimeter of the pool where you can watch a a flock of flamingos feeding and relaxing. To the left of the pool area and Uzima Springs is more of the Uzima Savannah where Giraffe and Anikole cattle can be seen.

Originally the pool had a dark bottom to help create the look of mineral water instead of chlorinated pool water, which made the pool more like an African watering hole. However, the lifeguards complained it was difficult to see into the pool and in January 2010 the pool was refurbished and the bottom was repainted in a lighter color.

Looking towards the lodge and the pool

Taking a Dip

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