A Magical Celebration: Walt Disney World for Grown Ups

The past few weeks have been chock full of good times, travel and excitement, hence my absence from my blog. But never fear: I have enough material from this period of time to write blog posts until the end of the year. I know you’re as excited as I am!

I’m going to start with one of my recent weekend adventures. You see, Mr. B and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in early November and were unable to travel anywhere distant due to our restricted schedules. Fortunately for us, we live a mere hour away from the Happiest Place on Earth, Walt Disney World, so we decided to venture over there for the weekend to stay at an on-site hotel (something I’d never done) and visit the parks. Epcot Center was winding down their annual Food and Wine Festival, so this was the perfect weekend to visit.

Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House Lobby

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House Lobby

For lodging, we decided upon the Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is one of Walt Disney World’s Deluxe Resort accommodations. The resort is located directly next to Animal Kingdom, but is quite a distance from the other parks. Fortunately, WDW has an incredibly efficient bus transportation system that is no additional charge and will take you wherever you need to go.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is comprised of two sections: Jambo House (where we stayed) and Kidani Village (Deluxe Villa Resort). Each section has its own pool, restaurant(s), and savannah, where a variety of animals freely roam the grounds. There are a number of observation decks where you can watch the giraffes, zebras and antelope meander about, but for the best experience, make sure you book a Savannah View room.

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We had a chance to partake in the breakfast buffet at Boma-Flavors of Africa, which was AMAZING. The french toast bread pudding…OMG. I’m drooling just thinking about it. We could also get freshly prepared omelets, freshly carved turkey or ham, and a variety of dishes native to the continent of Africa. The breakfast buffet cost approximately $18.99 per person.

The other dining venues at the resort are Jiko, Sanaa (at Kidani Village), and The Mara, where we stopped for a quick and yummy breakfast on our last day before heading out to the parks. BVB Tip: Look into the Disney Dining Plan if you will be spending a number of days at Walt Disney World. The food costs paid separately add up QUICKLY.

Our actual room was modest but well appointed. We requested a King room, but when we got there they only had an Accessible Room available. It was fine – the only difference was the walk-in shower instead of a tub – but watch the water when showering because it will go EVERYWHERE.20131115-160832.jpg

I also enjoyed the fact that the resort had free wi-fi throughout the public spaces and in the rooms. Although I 20131115-160814.jpgpromised I wouldn’t use it while there, it was nice to know that the feature is included in the price of the room.

Upon booking and again during online check-in, I indicated that it was our wedding anniversary. Once we pulled up to the gatehouse to gain entry into the resort (yes, they are very thorough), the security guard greeted us with a hearty “Welcome Home” and added “Happy Anniversary” after looking us up in the computer. At the front desk, we were given two “Happy Anniversary” buttons to wear. The folks at Disney really pay attention and make you feel special when you’re celebrating a special occasion, which is a really nice touch.

We also received our own MyMagic bands upon check-in, with our names etched inside. MyMagic is a new program being rolled out at Walt Disney World; the bands contain a chip that acts as your room key, debit card (you have to create a PIN number and enter it when making a purchase), and fast pass at the parks. Guests can go online to MyDisneyExperience.com prior to arrival and personalize their band, even down to the color. I REALLY wish I had completed my training so I would’ve known about this; the gray band was cool, but the orange one was even better!

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Next Post will discuss our Saturday adventure in the rain…..to be continued!

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One thought on “A Magical Celebration: Walt Disney World for Grown Ups

  1. Pingback: A Magical Celebration: Animal Kingdom and Epcot | Bon Voyage by Barbour: The Travel Blog

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