Podcast Episode 170: Planning a First Trip to Disney – An Interview

Join us this week as we talk to our guests, Jennifer and Ryan, about planning their first trip to Disney!  This family of four has never been to a Disney park before so we’re discussing all the different aspects of their late December 2017 trip including resorts, dining, tickets, and planning!  And watch this space in the coming weeks as we have Jennifer and Ryan back with us to find out how their trip actually went, including what they loved, and what they might changes for future vacations!

Happy listening!

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Podcast Episode 130: Early 2017 News

We’re back with more updates all about what’s happening at Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Lines!  We’ve got dates for the new shows (Rivers of Light), new attraction openings (Pandora, anyone?), and more!

Happy listening!

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Unique Dining Outside of the Parks – Part II

Tired of the same old restaurants in the parks at Walt Disney World, or just looking for something new?  Check out the first installment check it out here to learn about unique dining options in the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Resort areas. **LINK** 

Animal Kingdom Resort Area:
La
ndscape of Flavors located in the Art of Animation is one of the few quick service restaurants on my list of unique dining.  It makes the list due to its lunch and dinner menus where you can custom make any different types of meals such as pasta, omelet, burgers, and salads.  It is fun to custom make your own pasta with sauce and meat choices.  It is sure to win over even the pickiest of eaters.

 Dine with Animal Specialist with in the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a 4 course lunch at Sanaa where you can learn all about the animals that are just outside the windows of the restaurant!  This is a truly intimate lunch that is limited to 12 guests.  Once you are finished eating you will head into a secure area for and up close and personal encounter with radiated tortoises. 

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Photo via Disney.com

Wanyama Safari is available only to guests of Animal Kingdom Lodge and features a 90 minute tour with unique vantage points for observing the animals.  It is limited to 12 guests so you will have a very personalized tour.  Prior to the safari you will have a reception with the chefs and cultural representative from Jiko and then conclude your safari with a fabulous dinner at Jiko.  This is a one of a kind dining experience.

Disney Springs:
If you are in the mood for some fantastic food by a famous chef you will want to see Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs.  There is a large sushi menu and plenty of Pan-Asian food for every palate. The menu is extensive with lots of seafood but plenty of steak, noodle and chicken dishes.  Don’t miss this fantastic restaurant.

Wolfgang Puck Express is an easy choice for a single table service credit with amazing food.  People always rave about the macaroni and cheese as well as the bacon wrapped meatloaf.  Not to be mistaken with Wolfgang Puck Grand Café, the express is just a smaller version of the main restaurant by the celebrity chef. Here is a great review we have!

Boathouse

Photo via Disney.com

The Boathouse is another recent addition to Disney Springs, right on the water front.  You cannot beat the location and ambience at Disney Springs and the food is pretty darn amazing too.  They feature American, seafood and steaks and have gotten a reputation for the gigantic Gibsons S’mores Baked Alaska that serves four!

What other restaurants would you add to the lineup of unique offerings outside of a Walt Disney World park?  Let us know!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

One of Disney’s Deluxe category resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African safari adventure themed resort located near Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Pros:

-Food options. Jambo House is home to Boma, an African themed buffet (which is delicious, review to follow!), Jiko, a signature dining experience with an extensive South African wine collection, and The Mara, a quick service restaurant with some African flair.

-Simba’s Cubhouse, the onsite Children’s Activity Center where your child can be entertained by Disney staff members while you get a parents’ night out!

-The pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House is gorgeous! It also is equipped with a water slide, and a zero entry shallow end.

-The savannahs! By far the number one draw to Animal Kingdom Lodge is the savannah views. You can choose a Savannah view room, where you can wake up in the morning and take your coffee out on the balcony to view over 30 species of animals just outside your door. However, even if you decide not to stay in a savannah view room there are viewing stations throughout the hotel, including just off the lobby. You can even grab a “field guide” from the concierge desk to help you identify the animals you are seeing. During my visit we also met some incredibly knowledgable Animal Specialists out in one of the viewing areas who was happy to answer any questions we had… and we had a lot! It’s always fun to talk to these unique Disney cast members.

Cons:

-Animal Kingdom Lodge is located further from Disney’s Magic Kingdom than any other resort on property. While I personally don’t find this to be much of an issue at all (the bus ride is 20 minutes, which is about as long as some hotels that share buses) some families may find this not to their liking.

Room photos:

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Sitting area

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Two queen beds

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Entryway

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Bathroom

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Area just outside the bathroom door with double sink and large mirror

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Balcony with table and two chairs

Resort Photos:

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Sitting area and fire outside the lobby

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Jambo House Lobby

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Animals on the savannah!

Overall I’d absolutely recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge as a must visit resort. If you’re not so sure, next time you’re at Animal Kingdom just take a quick 5 minute bus ride over to Jambo House to have lunch or dinner and see the savannahs. After that I’m sure Animal Kingdom Lodge will be a top contender for your next stay! Another benefit to this resort is that it is one of only three Disney resorts that currently offers a bunk bed option. For siblings who aren’t good at sharing beds these bunk beds can be a vacation saver! Animal Kingdom Lodge is also one of Disney’s most reasonably priced deluxe resorts. If you’re interested in visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge or Disney World in general please click the “Free Vacation Planning!” tab at the top of this page and one of the Dole Whipped ladies would be happy to help you find the best option for your family!