Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s not often you get the opportunity to sweep away for the weekend and head down to Disney, but a few weeks ago I decided I needed some much needed quality time with my kids and it happened to be Jersey week in Disney, so away we went!

Because we booked our trip so close, there were barely any rooms available. I ended up getting the very last room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We arrived at the hotel late in the evening. It was SO cool. Very straight out of Africa for sure! There was a lady in the lobby, playing a bongo drum and entertaining the littles.

We checked in and were led up to the 6th floor, which was concierge access. There was a whole station with different desserts available for us to enjoy. When we got to the room, I was a little less impressed. There was 1 queen bed and bunk beds for 5 of us. The hotel quickly brought us up a cot, but the quarters were tight. The beds were super uncomfortable, but we were going to make the most of it. If you are looking for a 5 star experience, the Lodge is not it. However, the Suites may be a different story. 

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When we woke up in the morning, we faced out into the Savannah where the animals roamed. We opened the door and there was jungle music playing and people were already out and about. We headed to the concierge level where there was a nice continental breakfast set up. They were accommodating to our gluten free/dairy diet as they had bagels, muffins and donuts in the back.

After breakfast we headed down to the pool. Even though the hotel was sold out, you wouldn’t have known it at the pool. There was a water slide that my kids loved and life vests for the littles, which is good to know for next time. We hung out by the pool for a while then took a walk around, we saw giraffes, donkeys, and zebra! We were told there was a playground and a spray park for the kids so we headed over to Kidani Village for some more fun. The slide there was bigger and more fun. The kids had a blast! We ate lunch at Kidani Village. They had gluten free/dairy free options and it wasn’t your typical amusement park food, which was nice!

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When we returned to the room there were all kinds of animals outside our room just roaming around. Very fun to see! While the little guys napped, my oldest and I went and hung out on the concierge level. They were playing a movie on the big screen and cartoons on the smaller tv. At 5 o’clock they had a light fare dinner set up that we got to snack on.

When the kids woke up, we took a free shuttle down to Disney Springs. It’s been quite some time since I was there and has changed so much. We did not have a dinner reservation, so we headed over to TRex first and put our name on the list. It was a 15-20 minute wait so we headed over to the “Build a Dinosaur” area where for $45 you got to pick a dinosaur or bear, stuff it, a heart beat or sound, a smell and a complete outfit. If you didn’t want the extras, the dinosaurs started at $22-$24. That killed the time while we waited.

TRex was very cool, just like Rainforest Café, but with dinosaurs. Every 20 minutes a meteor shower would happen and everything would come to life.  The chef came out to take our order to accommodate our dietary restrictions. The food was your typical fast food restaurant type, nothing special, and the wait time was long, so be prepared. My little guys were starving by the time we ate.

At the end of the night we headed back to the hotel and packed our stuff. We had to have bags outside at 8am, so that we could head over to the Disney Dream cruise! Stay tuned for part 2 of our Disney vacation!

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