Bringing the African theme of my life full circle. . . .
If you ever get a chance to stay at The Animal Kingdom Lodge, do it! You won't be disappointed.
When they said animals are right outside your window, they weren't kidding!
Our area of the savanna was usually quiet in the morning, but very popular in the afternoons. Even if your room doesn't look out onto savannas, there are tons of community viewing places with rocking chairs and shade. I absolutely loved that the hotel was just one really big building. It was nice not having to travel from building to building.
The bunk beds. . .good idea in theory. Actuality? Maaaybe not for marathon weekend. They were really made for kids, so the spacing of ladder steps were awkward and the opening was small. Just imagine climbing up and down as an adult in the dark the night before a marathon with a nervous bladder. Not pleasant to say the least!
Every day, guests can take a tour of the 2 restaurants in The Animal Kingdom Lodge, Boma and Jiko. It was really interesting how they explained why specific design elements were used. This was totally up my alley. As an added bonus, you could sample their soups and desserts at Boma and homemade bread with spreads at Jiko.
We made it to Africa!
The day after the marathon, we got up early and headed to Animal Kingdom. I was really excited, because even though I spent close to a year working there, I didn't travel much outside of DinoLand USA. Even when coming back to the parks on vacation, DAK wasn't usually high on my priority list (I know, shame on me!) To be honest, Fred had to tell me what Tusker House even was. But once I found out it was a character buffet that was it! I made reservations for an early brunch for the day after the marathon. This idea was genius, if I do say so myself (can't take credit; this was an awesome tip from a fellow blogger/ runner). The Runger hadn't really hit the night of the marathon, but the next day it was in full force! A buffet full of glorious yummies was exactly what I needed.
Since I booked the reservations later, we had time to go on Kilamanrajo Safari- which, again, worked out perfect! The rumors are true. When you go to Animal Kingdom, go first thing and ride the safari. The line tends to be non-existent and it's feeding time, so there are tons of animals! I was almost shocked at how many different animals we got to see. It's definitely something to do! I found it comical that the little girl sitting behind us was convinced the animals were fake. Afterall, we were at Disney; everything is supposed to be make believe!
Brunch was the most amazing thing I think I've ever eaten. . . and I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact I had run a marathon the day before and skipped breakfast. Either way, I was a very happy camper after the meal. A character buffet the day after a marathon/ half (I dont think it work the same the day of. I wasn't that hungry) is seriously the most genius idea ever, and I will forever rave about it. Not only could I eat as much as
5 men I wanted, I didn't
have to chase down Mickey (or Donald, Goofy, or Daisy!) to get a picture
with him. They all came to me!
He really liked it medal.
On our way to Asia, we got to see DiVine! I had always heard about her, but this was my 1st time seeing her. It was pretty cool!
I wish we would've had more time in the park, but we had a few missions. We hopped over to Epcot and rode the new Test Track (not worth the 40 minute standby line IMHO) and then over to The Studios to end the day with Fantasmic!
We got our picture with Wreck it Ralph, which made my trip complete!
On our walk to the theater, we noticed Lumiere and Cogsworth were doing meet and greets, too! (apparently that's what happens when they cancel all of the Beauty and The Beast shows for the day.)
Total Cherry on top!