Walt Disney Resort Showcase
“Mommy, there is a giraffe in the front yard!” Make that two giraffes, three zebras, two ostriches, and five Ankole cattle. No, we aren’t on an Africa savanna, nor are we at the Metro Toronto Zoo. We are at Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club resort and the newest addition to the Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World. Myself and my two sons, Cameron, age 10 and Spencer, 6 ½, are guests here as representatives of SavvyMom for the week. We are here to experience the Walt Disney World Resort Showcase, which is a week-long event to allow members of the media to familiarize themselves with all that Walt Disney World has to offer. We’ll be keeping a special eye open for the best of Walt Disney World from a family point of view, and will be sharing tips with you along the way on ‘how to do Disney’.
We arrived here late Sunday evening and despite how tired we were when we arrived, we were thrilled with our African-inspired accommodations—a one-bedroom villa, complete with kitchenette, two baths, laundry, and a spectacular balcony view of the savanna, inhabited by a variety of African animals.
The first day of our Disney vacation began at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Initially, I wasn’t quite sure how we would get there, but I wasn’t overly concerned. Sure enough, conveniently located at the end of the driveway we discovered the different bus stops for each of the Walt Disney theme parks and attractions. What a pleasure it was to not have to worry about having the correct change for transportation, looking for parking, or carrying a map.
Ten minutes later we were there and, before we got off, were reminded by our bus driver where to catch the bus when we were ready to come home. Fast and simple! There is something to do, hear, and see, for every age and ability. Some of Cameron and Spencer’s highlights from Hollywood Studios included:
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, a 30-minute live stunt show
- Block Party Bash, an interactive street party hosted by some of our favourite Disney characters
- Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, a larger than life playground
- Toy Story Midway Mania, a 4D midway-style game-playing adventure
- And, the number one fave, “The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror”! (Now I remember why I never liked that TV program…)
I was very pleased to find services and amenities, such as washrooms, water fountains, stroller parking lots, diaper changing centres, and food vendors well-marked in each section of the park.
We ended our day with a delicious meal at Jiko, a traditional African-inspired restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The menu includes seasonal vegetarian and meat dishes, using a fusion of African, Indian, and Mediterranean flavours. The kids are welcome to order off of the regular menu, but were offered a kids’ menu as well. I was pleased to see that there were no fries on either menu!
Tomorrow morning we have an early start and are looking forward to experiencing our second (and most widely known) Disney theme park, Disney’s Magic Kingdom—Wishes Fireworks, The Pirates League, rides, and of course, Cinderella’s castle. And, if time permits, we may even get the chance to see a few more African animals on a safari in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.