June 15, 2018

By: Festiva Getaways

Disney Magic Without Paying Theme Park Admission: Animal Kingdom Lodge

Every good vacationer to Florida theme parks builds a “resort day” into their plans. You simply can’t go to the parks each and every day you’re in Orlando – it’s just too much walking, too many crowds, and too much sun. But, what if that “resort day” wasn’t exactly at your resort?

Disney World is a big place with a whole heap of fun things to do – and that includes at their resorts. And here’s a tip you may not know: you don’t have to be a guest of that resort to enjoy them! For instance, the Animal Kingdom Lodge has attractions, games, and activities for the entire family.

What are the attractions? Well, the animals, of course. The resort is famous for its animal habitats all around the property that allow guest to watch them from their rooms. But, the rooms aren’t the only areas from which to view the animals. There are several viewing areas located around the hotel where guests – or non-guests – can watch zebras, giraffes, rhinos, etc. frolic and play. Some areas even have night vision goggles so you can see the animals at night! Expert resort staff are also there to answer questions you or your kids might have about the animals. It’s not as intensive as the Safari in the Animal Kingdom park, but it’s certainly the next best thing.

The resort also offers little workshops for kids throughout the day, allowing them to enjoy a craft or treat. For instance, one day they may have a marshmallow roast outside near one of the animal viewing areas. Or, they may have a cupcake decorating cart in the lobby where the kids can decorate and then eat the cupcake. The activities change constantly, and there’s a bulletin board in the lobby listing that day’s activities and times.

The on-site restaurant, Boma – Flavors of Africa, is a real treat as well. Heaps of African inspired cuisine is served on the buffet, including their signature dessert, the Zebra Dome (pictured above); Amarula Cream Liquor mousse encased in white chocolate with dark chocolate drizzle for “zebra stripes.” For kids, there are childhood staple favorites like Macaroni & Cheese. For adults, there’s everything else and it’s all delicious (but the ox tail stew is particular delicious)! It’s a popular destination, so reservations are recommended, although they can accommodate walk-ups if you don’t mind waiting an hour or more.

All in all, your family can have a fun-packed afternoon exploring the hotel, visiting the animals, and stuffing yourselves silly at Boma, and still have plenty of time to visit other parts of Walt Disney World!