Update: A Minnie sippy cup. No wonder I liked it so much.
Arriving via Disney bus from Kidani Village. It’s about 20 minutes out here from Magic Kingdom. Less than ten from Animal Kingdom theme park.
The resort’s Maps and Times Guides. The resorts do not ordinarily have the individual theme park Times Guides. Instead, they offer that one in the lower right that simply has the theme park hours listed along with other major events like Fireworks and Parades. It looks like this.
Into the Lodge’s main lobby – one of the most majestic on property.
Whatever it is – it’s neat.
Panels around it explain its meaning.
This neat little nook is off to the left side of the lobby near the back.
With a balcony overlooking the savanna below.
“European Female Travel Accessories for African Photographic Safaris Circa Late 1800s.” Too much information.
A couple more:
Certainly worth checking out if you’re staying at or visiting the resort. We should probably ignore the whole European colonialism thing.
Then it opens up to a narrow balcony that anyone can step out on.
Overlooking the same savannas as those paying $300+/night to stay here.
Not much going on out here at this time of day with the cold weather, unfortunately.
Art like this is scattered all throughout the lobby and the resort.
This Animist Protective Figure looks more like something you would need protection from rather than the other way around. Maybe that’s why it’s so successful.
Check-in and the Concierge is conveniently located just inside the main entrance on the left side.
You may recall my review of Boma from last month. We’ll check out the Jiko menu and have dinner at The Mara this evening.
Took a bad angle on this one.
We’ll pop into the Zawadi Marketplace to see about any resort specific merchandise.
It’s a big store.
A nice selection.
A couple Animal Kingdom 2012 pieces:
And a Mickey (Minnie) Safari sippy cup:
A bad look at the bridge that connects the two sides of the resort. If we could put up a blockade on the ends and a couple lawn chairs in the middle, I feel like we would have a good scotch drinking location.
The Victoria Falls Lounge in between the lobby level and the lower level. The bar area immediately around the bar is popular, but there is plenty of seating off to the right and around the lounge.
The large Boma seating area. Despite being $40/person and huge, Disney has no problem selling out night after night.
A quick peek into Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s signature restaurant and one of my personal favorites. This is one of your best opportunities to get away from the millions of kids without venturing up to Alaska or something.
Over to Mara, the resort’s quick service location. This one is located on the “pool level” outside. You’ll need to head to the lower level where Boma and Jiko are located and then proceed outside for a few steps.
A nice selection with a few Disney staples and some more interesting options. It’s nice to see the roasted chicken as an option for kids. Like Boma, the soups here are excellent and the dinner specials offer another layer of variety. Check here for a list of specials for other nights.
Full size bakery picture for more readable items: https://www.easywdw.com/reports3/akbake.jpg. Nothing too out of the ordinarily over here.
Some interesting African choices here too. Expect to pay about twice as much as you would from a standard grocery/wine shop. That Indaba Merlot runs $8-$10 or so for example.
Full size wine: https://www.easywdw.com/reports3/akwine.jpg. I have the full wine booklet if anyone actually has interest.
But let’s be realistic here. The real reason people come to The Mara is the Zebra Domes. If you stay/visit and don’t pick some up, we’re going to have a problem.
Beer and chilled wine:
More refrigerated choices:
Carrot Cake and Cheesecake: $3.59
Paw Print Brownie: $3.29 and Cheesecake: $3.59.
Kids Picks on the right: A Turkey Sandwich Meal, Pudding, Cookies, Grapes, Carrots, Beverages, etc.
Fruit, Salads, Sandwiches, Yogurt, Yogurt Parfaits,
Chef Salad – $7.29 and below that a Small Tossed Salad: $3.29.
The Mara Ham and Swiss Sandwich: $7.09.
On the bottom: Carrots and Celary – $3.69.
Two of the three hummus choices. Something fun to bring out to the pool with you.
The third hummus.
So this one works sort of like the Contempo Cafe over at the Contemporary Resort. Only sort of though. You enter here where it says enter (are you following so far?) and a cast member will be standing there with a pad and pencil. You tell them what you want, the cast member marks it on the order form, and hands you the sheet. He/she then whispers sweetly what you ordered to the cast members working behind the counter. You’re given a pager that will go off when your food is ready. You then proceed to pick up anything you want from the fridge and then over to pay once you’ve collected everything.
Indoor seating – there’s usually plenty.
And outdoor seating that’s pleasant maybe three months out of the year. Assuming the birds are busy harassing someone else.
This is the “African Stew” – With Beef, Turkey, Ham, Carrots, Potatoes, Peas, Chickpeas, and Raisins Served Over Basmati Rice: $7.99. My assumption is that this is “African Stew” in the same way that a Hamburger is a Dutch Pizza, but I digress. It was pretty good. Not particularly appetizing as far as just looking into its eyes. A little spicy, but not overly so. Served very hot, which is always nice. This would certainly be a nice change of pace if the kids have you eating Mickey Burgers and Nuggets at most other meals. A nice light choice that doesn’t break the bank. Plenty of room for Zebra Domes afterwards, but then I was starving. It’s a bigger portion than it might look like on first inspection (assuming you can look at it, it’s kind of hard). It’s worth noting that this iteration of the African Stew is completely different than the previous version, which was much more “stew-y” and served in a bread bowl rather than over rice. I prefer this one, personally.
It’s 47 degrees out, which can only mean one thing. Pool time! Take off your clothes and join me! The water’s fine!
It’s really not. These people are insane. The pool slide in the distance.
Another look over to the side with the pool bar hut sticking out. When the lifeguards are in pants, sweatshirts, jackets, and their hoods up, you know it’s time to find something else to do.
Pool activities this month:
I wonder what “Corn Hole” is on Monday at 4pm.
Zero entry, like the ocean. Not suitable for diving. Though it wouldn’t surprise me if some of the people in the pool right now tried anyway or have tried previously in their lives.
We’ve seen most of this before.
Marshmallow roasting sounds better.
Ducks and flamingos located just feet from the pool.
Hakuna Matata Playground, also just feet from the pool.
One of the two hot tubs in the background there. And a blurry shot of a trash can.
Where the flamingo water meets the pool. It’s a neat area.
Another look at the pool from across the way.
The other hot tub. You might have to take my word for it.
Over to the savanna viewing location near the pool. To get here, you’ll pass the pool bar on your left and continue walking up to the flamingo pen. Then take a left and you’ll be here.
Unfortunately, it’s too chilly for the giraffes and zebras. These guys are troopers though.
These guys too.
Uzima Pool menu:
With the $3 delivery fee, prices that are already a few dollars more expensive, and 18% gratuity, you should probably just take your lazy behind over to Mara. I mean really.
A wading pool for the little ones right across from the arcade.
Over to Pumbaa’s Arcade. That fun loving warthog.
Tron and Pirates of the Caribbean pinball machines.
More of the games we’ve seen elsewhere. A decent selection.
Pool lockers for $1.
Back up to the lobby and back out to the savannas. Need to warm up at the lobby fireplace.
And then to the outdoor fire pit.
Here we are in the back of Animal Kingdom Lodge walking through the savannas. Imagine there are more animals out. Cool birds though and the area is beautiful with or without zebras, giraffes, and hogs getting in the way. That’s the spirit, right? Wait, aren’t I owed a Grand Floridian upgrade if there aren’t any giraffes?
There’s a lot more room to walk around here than at Kidani Village.
Looks like we have a something-or-other in the distance.
Beautiful views from the various balconies. I just wish Animal Kingdom Lodge was within walking distance of the theme park. Or closer to Magic Kingdom.
A lot of space to look around. It’s more popular when it’s warmer and more animals are out.
Animal Kingdom transports you to another place better than any of the other Disney resorts (in my opinion).
On the right or left, you can walk up stairs to the two observation decks.
I think it’s a blanket, a babe, and a gallon of scotch away from being heaven. And turn up the heat about 20 degrees please.
The view is better than this picture would suggest.
It looks like there is another viewing platform all the way up here, but there isn’t. You can see a bit through the chain link fence at the top, but not much.
On the lower level inside is another great location to sit and relax. The savannas are just outside these doors.
Back out to the buses.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite Walt Disney World resort to visit. You can experience just about everything that someone staying at the resort can experience merely by busing over from the Animal Kingdom theme park. It’s only five-ish minutes away and buses run frequently because the two are so close and Disney knows a lot of people like to visit the Lodge.
We’ll head back for night vision goggles and (hopefully) some pictures of the savannas with some giraffes around.