It was only appropriate that Ray and I celebrate the anniversary of our engagement at Disney World – so we planned a last-minute trip to the place we were exactly one year ago. By last minute, I mean we planned our Disney trip a week out from the actual trip. We got lucky with snagging a room on the Disney property; it was the week of President’s Day and a marathon weekend so our options were little to nonexistent when it came to staying on the property. But like everything with my relationship with Ray, everything just fell into place when it came to planning this last-minute celebration.
We called Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge home for 7 nights. We had gotten lucky with finding a room here for our exact dates, a standard view room which we didn’t mind since finding a room was such a challenge to begin with. The resort is stunning with its South African theming and safaris. We checked in and luck was on our side as we were placed in a Partial Safari View King Bed Room that was right next to the lobby! When we entered our room for the first time there were giraffes and zebras waiting for us right outside our room! Every morning and afternoons spent at the resort, we’d hang out on our balcony watching the animals roam the safari.
There are plenty of activities for kids and adults throughout the resort. One of my favorites was the “Taste Of Africa” which gave a tour of restaurants of Boma & Jiko. Disney is great with details and this tour helps point them out. It was also sweet that we got to sample a few items including the popular Zebra Domes.
We leisurely strolled and hopped all four parks in the span of 5 days. Since we had been here just a year ago, so the need to “pack it all” in each day wasn’t necessary. We discovered that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is now one of our favorite parks to visit, right behind Epcot of course. The theming at AK is really pretty and there’s an alcoholic beverage option at each food/drink kiosk – a detail we may have missed last year or maybe a new addition?
We had the opportunity to spend time at Disney with Ray’s cousins and nephews. It had been their first time on the bigger rides and it was so fun being able to enjoy it with them!
Remember when I said everything fell into place perfectly when planning our trip? My first thought after confirming we were doing this Disney trip was to try to get a reservation at Be Our Guest inside Magic Kingdom. We didn’t get a chance to do this restaurant last year so I was really hoping we’d get to on this trip. Sure enough there was one dinner reservation available for our stay and I booked it! I fangirl’d the entire time we were inside the restaurant. Disney paid attention to the littlest of details and it was incredible to see in person. I won’t share too many details other than it’s worth getting a reservation if you haven’t been to the restaurant. While the food was okay, the Grey Stuff was delicious!
When researching for restaurants worth trying within the Disney property, Kona Cafe at The Polynesian came back multiple times. Breakfast at Kona Cafe was delicious with an island twist.
Another new experience was visiting Disney Springs and having dinner at The Boathouse. Disney Springs is a shopping district with a handful of restaurants. The Boathouse was a great option to dining outside the parks. We ate outside along the water and were able to have a view of the fireworks happening at Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
One night we ate at Tokyo Dining at the Tokyo Pavilion inside Epcot. It was our first time dining at the restaurant and we got an awesome seat for Illuminations.
The food at Animal Kingdom Lodge was surprisingly good – we found ourselves really enjoying both breakfast and dinner at Boma and dinner at Jiko. Boma‘s breakfast had all-you-can-eat Mickey waffles! Okay, aside from the Mickey waffles the entire line up for breakfast was heaven. Right when you take a seat at your table, there’s glasses of Jambo juice waiting for you — it’s so good!
Jiko was hands down our favorite dinner on our trip. We started off with Manti Dumplings and Wild Boar Tenderloin. The wild boar was tender and really good! For our mains Ray and I shared the filet mignon and beef short rib. The filet mignon was cooked perfectly but it was the beef short rib that surprised us; the beef was falling off the rib so easily and it tasted amazing.
Celebrating our engagement anniversary at Disney was perfect! We were able to experience Disney in a different way than we had on our last trip. Looks like we won’t be over Disney for awhile 😊