Walt Disney World & World Travels

Wonder of Wonders – part 3

Posted on: June 11, 2009


After waking up way too early in the morning, I threw my luggage into the truck and got on the road around 5:45am.  It was a pretty easy/relaxing drive.  OK, it was really boring after awhile.  I made great time (only stopped twice) and pulled up to Animal Kingdom Lodge around 2pm.

Check-in was quick and simple.  While I was waiting in line a manager came up and asked if I was a travel agent.  Guess I stood out being all by myself.  He led me to the concierge check in where I was treated very well.  My room was ready and off I went to find it.

I was never real excited about the savanna rooms, just thought they’d be “eh” and it would get boring after a few minutes.   All right, here it is in print (cyberspace): I was wrong.  I stood on my balcony and watched a baby giraffe run by and then get something to eat with its parents.  Looked back out and saw a zebra.  It really was amazing!  I actually hated to leave, but it was time to meet up with the group for our afternoon of training.

We met in the lobby of AKL Jambo House and boarded a private bus to take us around for the evening.  Our first stop was to check out the brand new AKL Kidani Village.  Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House & Kidani Village are Deluxe resorts and also Deluxe Villa resorts.   While there are obviously similarities between the two, there are differences as well.  Jambo House is more muted & neutral while Kidani is much more colorful & vibrant.  The whole resort seemed much brighter, less dark than Jambo House.  Some of my favorite things at Kidani: The lobby has incredible lights/art sculptures that look like torches & flames.   The 2BR villas are beautiful and “The Lion King” artwork on the shower tiles is that detail work that no one does as well as Disney!  We took a quick walk thru the new restaurant Sanaa and saw the Community Hall before going out to see the pool area.  Since we were just touring, we didn’t get to try the water slide, but I asked a few people as we went through the pool area and they all gave it 2 thumbs up.

Back on the bus and our next stop was Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.  CBR is a Moderate resort.   Rooms are a little smaller than at the Deluxe resorts, but so are the prices.  Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort is the very 1st moderate resort Disney built and one of the oldest resorts.   Each area of the resort is named & themed after different islands in….you guessed it, the Caribbean.  CBR has recently gone under a major refurbishment.  There are now “Pirate” rooms that can be booked (these are a booking category) and the rest of the rooms at the resort are down in a Nemo theme.  Again, Disney with their attention to detail!  In the Pirate bathroom, there is an “engraving” of the Flying Dutchman on the shower wall.  The tables & dressers all look like wooden crates from a ship & the beds look like pirate ships!  The Nemo rooms are themed like…… Finding Nemo.  Tropical & Ocean/Beachy themes throughout the room.  There is a playground on the beach and the pool area looks like a lot of fun!  Again the tropical & pirate themes take you away and you forget that you’re in Central Florida.

Our “work” session was done.  Now it was time to get to know each other and enjoy a good dinner & Illuminations.  We boarded our bus and were taken backstage at Epcot (no pictures allowed).  We parked behind China and were led by a tour guide to Norway, thru a secret door and upstairs for a buffet dinner.  We were greeted with complimentary wine & soda and then helped ourselves to a very nice buffet.  —I have to mention here, that unlike previous reports, I don’t have a lot of detail on the meals or pictures of the food 😦   We were a group of 26, 25 women and 1 poor/lucky gentleman.  It was too hard to get pics of food when 8 women sat down at a table!–  Dinner included a very good salad, broiled fish, beef tips with gravy, sliced turkey, macaroni & cheese, pork and several other items.  Dinner was supposed to be followed by an Illuminations Dessert Party on the UK terrace, the weather had other plans.  It worked out all right.  Dessert was served after dinner.  There were wonderful little treats: mini cheesecakes, éclairs, tarts.  They were all delicious and yes, I tried them all 😉 While we had our coffee (Nescrape as MickeyNicki calls it) and dessert, we worked a little and then followed our tour guide around the World Showcase over to the UK terrace.  Shortly after we took our seats, we were handed rain ponchos and then it started raining.   Hmmmmm, would it have rained if they hadn’t passed out the ponchos?  Thankfully it didn’t rain too hard and we still enjoyed Illuminations from a wonderful viewing area.  When it was over, we followed our tour guide out the back of the United Kingdom where our bus was now waiting for us.

We arrived back at AKL Jambo House just after 9:30pm.  My roommate & I decided to try out the pool.  This is a research trip after all 😉    Pool was a very comfortable temperature and the hot tub was perfect! It was just what the Dr. ordered!  All of the tension from the long day just melted away.  We returned to the room around 11pm, packed our bags & put our cruise tags on them; then drifted off to sleep. 

Tomorrow is a big day.  We’ll start with breakfast at Cape May Café, followed by a site inspection of the Beach Club and then it’s off to the port for our cruise on the Disney Wonder.



2 Responses to "Wonder of Wonders – part 3"

Great review! My DH has his TA license and did a similar tour a few years ago. I love all your pictures since we have not seen Kidani yet (will in December though). Can’t wait to hear how you liked DCL!

Thank you for reading! This was my 1st AEP and I look forward to going on more in the future. I got a lot out of it.

I have to say, I loved Kidani. I always thought Jambo House was neat, but dark and not my style. Kidani is so much more vibrant and bright. I look forward to staying there sometime.

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