Monday, September 5, 2016

Home Away from Home: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Mezmorizing. That is the only way I can describe my first experience with Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Well, that's not exactly true. Awe-inspiring. Breathtaking. Amazing. The stuff dreams are made of. Yeah, that seems to cover it a bit better.

That's a lot of talk right? Trust me, it lives up to the hype. You see I had my eye on this resort for many years. We had even made a quick visit during the holiday season one year just so we could see if it would be worth it to stay there. Well, that and to see all the Christmas decorations. The resort did not disappoint. The lobby alone lives up to all the hype. And then some. When we booked our next trip we decided to give Animal Kingdom Lodge a try.

Our first stay had a slightly less than magical start. We were checked in by a cast member in training and she had forgotten to alert housekeeping that we had checked in. So, housekeeping didn't know to tell the front desk that our room was ready. Which meant that we had to sit in the lobby. For nearly four hours. To make the most of the time, and the super hot day, we hit up the pool for a little while and then had lunch. We explored the resort grounds, well it was more like we ran around each floor to see what kind of view each window had.

After a few hours were were tired. It was well into the afternoon, and we wanted to relax before we had to head out for dinner. So, my father and brother decided to start unpacking the car. I stayed in the lounge area by where we were told our room would be and my mom was still taking pictures of animals. This is were the head of housekeeping found me. Sleeping on a couch surrounded by luggage. As soon as he found out about our situation he immediately began working to correct it. We were in our room, which had been ready since our arrival, in less than ten minutes. He even stopped by to make sure that we were completely happy with our accommodations. A perfect example of why Disney is known for its excellent customer service.

That trip was simply amazing. We sat out on the balcony every morning and watch the giraffes eat breakfast. There were crested cranes nesting not too far from our window. We could even hear the flamingos by the pool. We discovered new hidden features of the room each day. We truly enjoyed every minute of our stay.

We loved talking with the various cast members that we encountered. Many of them were from different countries in Africa. They loved talking about their culture and asked so many questions about our hometown. Many of them were excited about using their time off to visit different parts of the United States.

By far, this is my favorite resort on property. And that is saying something.

When I say that I do also include Kidani Village, which is the DVC area of Animal Kingdom Lodge. The entire grounds, even those between the two resorts, are themed so well. I know that it is the closest I am most likely ever going to get to visiting Africa.

My family, which isn't always  open to new culinary adventures, even decided to expand their horizons. We gave Boma a try. It is now one of my favorite restaurants at Disney. Again, that is saying something. The flavors were something I had never experienced before. Some, I absolutely loved and others I can say that I have tried and most likely won't give them a go again.

Overall, I do highly recommend this resort. If staying the night will break the bank I suggest making some time to explore the grounds. The main lobby is spectacular and larger than life. If you are feeling a little adventurous make reservations for dine at one of the three restaurants on property.

Have a magical day!