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Old 05-06-2009, 04:40 AM   #1
raph_b
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My First Ever Trip Report - Day 8 - African Wednesday - Busch Gardens & Jiko

2 updates in a week!! - I can't believe it myself!

Here's the old stuff:

My First Ever Pre-Trip Report

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 1 - It Starts

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 2 - Adventures in Epcot

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 3 - IOA, Aquatica & Lots of steak!

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 4 -Sea World Saturday and Chicken N' Wine

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 5 - AK, Narcoossee's & DTD

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 6.1 - The Day

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 6.2 - The Evening

My First Ever Trip Report - Day 7 - A Universal Hangover & Roy's

Day 8 – African Wednesday – Busch Gardens & Jiko

Another early start was needed today to try and get to Busch Gardens for opening; luckily it didn’t open until 10 so we didn’t have to get up stupidly early. We left around 8.30 and went via McDonalds for a quick breakfast (for a change!)

It took just over an hour to drive down to Tampa, and we got to the park at just about 10 (perfect planning!) There were only about 50 cars here before us too (I love September, so few people! )

We walked in and headed straight over to Egypt to try out Montu *In case you haven't been to Bush Gardens, each area or land is named after a place in Africa, so when I say we walked to Egypt we walked to the Egypt part of Busch Gardens - not the country! * This ride looked pretty scary and as there was no queue we went on the very front.


Pic of Montu from the car park

This ride was amazing! Such a smooth roller coaster, so good we decided to go straight on it again! It does look really scary but when you’re on it it’s just so much fun – if you come to Busch Gardens you have to go on this ride (in fact I think its been voted one of the top 5 roller coasters in the world)

After this we wandered around the park, through the bird gardens and over to Stanleyville to have a go on Sheikra. Now this ride is scary!



It looks like oblivion at Alton towers but 100 times worse! I hate these kind of rides, they really scare me, and when we stood at the bottom of Sheikra I was seriously thinking about not going on it! But I braved it and got in the queue. When we sat in the seats I was so nervous – more so than I was at the California Grill!

It was actually a really fun ride, and we both really enjoyed it – despite dreading it!

After that adrenaline rush we grabbed some lunch and shared a chicken fajita wrap and fries, and then wandered around the park some more, and saw the elephants being fed and then saw the rhinos.



Then we did the rhino rally – which is very similar to Kilimanjaro safari at AK. It was good fun, although definitely not as good as Kilimanjaro.

We wandered around the grounds (which were really pretty) taking a few pics:







We then went to the new area ‘Jungala’ which is kind of a giant kid’s playground with some cool interactive animals experiences there.

We met the orang-utans (I love these animals so much, they are so cute!)





Then went to see the white tigers, which were amazing these are one of my favourite animals in the world



Next up was my favourite ride of the day - the old school ‘Gwazi’, it’s a wooden ‘rickety’ type rollercoaster, but it was so much fun! Em wasn’t overly keen though as she claims to have got whiplash from it!

The other ‘big’ ride – Kumba, was closed today



We kept passing these birds and Em loved their 'hair'

We finished the day off by watching the ‘Katonga ‘ show, which is a musical based on African tribal stories and was absolutely brilliant

Overall Busch gardens was a great day out, some great rides and attractions, but it was more like Alton Towers than the Disney and Universal parks we were getting accustomed too.

We then left Busch Gardens and headed for Jiko (Now this is the part of the day I was really looking forward too - and I'm sure my fellow food porn fans are too!)
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Last edited by raph_b; 05-06-2009 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 04:44 AM   #2
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JIKO

I was really excited about this one, all the reviews of it were great, its based at AKL (and the Lion King is my favourite film ever ), the menu looked amazing plus Em and I went to South Africa this time last year and absolutely loved it, so everything was setting up Jiko to be amazing – and once again, Disney did not disappoint!

We drove straight there from Busch Gardens, got to AKL and parked up, one quick change in the car and we were ready for some Jiko action! Yep – we’re classy like that!

AKL is amazing, even nicer than I imagined it would be, the main lobby is huge and so impressive. We were there about 30 mins early so we checked in and wandered around the grounds for a while. I have always wanted to stay at AKL and now I want to even more!







When we were buzzed in we were taken to a nice table at the back of the restaurant. When we got to the table there was a birthday card waiting for Emilie, which had been signed by all the staff working that night

When I made the ADR plans I mentioned to the cast member on the phone that the 28th was Em’s birthday, so they must have decided this was close enough and treated Em to a birthday card!

Now I knew what I was going to have at most of the restaurants we had been too, as I had spent so long choosing the ADRs and browsing the menus, but for Jiko there was so much that sounded so nice I wanted to order everything!

After much deliberation we finally decided what to order:

Starter:



Taste of Africa - Trio of Dips with Assorted Breads and House-made Naan

The breads were all delicious, one was a pita type bread, one was Naan and the other was a poppodom type thing.

The dips were really good too, and we asked the waiter what was in each one, he not only told us but got a copy of the menu for us and wrote down the ingredients of each dip! Now that is good service

We also shared a bottle of South African wine which was from the vineyard we visited in SA

And then for our main courses:



Me – Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon - with Macaroni & Cheese and Red Wine Sauce



Em - Swahili Curry Shrimp - with East African Curry Sauce, Artichokes, and Coconut Rice

All I can say about these dishes is ‘wow’!

I decided to go for the signature dish of fillet steak with the mac and cheese, it sounded like a weird combination but it had so many amazing reviews on here and so I took the view of even if the mac n cheese wasn’t great, I still had a steak

The steak was delicious, I think this was the best steak I had during the whole trip, the red wine sauce was amazing too and as weird as it sounds, the combination of the steak and the sauce with the mac n cheese worked perfectly.

As good as the steak was, I still wanted to try Em’s curry and that was just as good! We actually ended up swapping dinners about ¾ of the way through. The curry was ridiculously nice too!

As you can imagine both plates were licked clean by the time our waiter came to collect them!

At this point we were stuffed and couldn’t possibly have ordered dessert. However as it was Em’s birthday, they brought out a little birthday present for her, which was the house speciality dessert:



Pistachio Crème Brulee - With a chocolate-layered bottom

I‘m not a massive fan of pistachio or crème brulee but this was delicious, and once again Em and I, despite being absolutely stuffed, managed to finish it off in record time



And check out the little Mickey decorations

Jiko was absolutely amazing, definitely one of the nicest restaurants we went to in Orlando and this is a definite must do for our next trip

Total without tip was $115.11

Jiko Scores:

Me:

Ambience 8/10
Service 9.5/10
Food 10/10
Value for Money 9/10

Overall - 9.5/10

Em:

Ambience 8/10
Service 9/10
Food 9/10
Value for Money 9/10

Overall – 9/10

We popped in to Downtown Disney on the way home to walk off our dinner with a nice stroll around the shops



Can you spot the non-lego person?!



Em was in love with the Lego shop, she used to be in the Lego club when she was younger!

No Goofy treats were needed tonight though

By this time we were both absolutely knackered and it was definitely home time

Tomorrow's adventures – MGM Studios, Blizzard Beach & Chili’s
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Thank you O' great Tag Fairy - You have made this Proud Redhead a very happy bunny!!

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Old 05-06-2009, 05:29 AM   #3
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Wow, I am all caught up!

I wasn't keen on Busch Gardens but then I am a total wuss and don't do coasters. My DH, however, says Sheikra is the best ride he has ever been on.

I would definitely recommend staying at the AKL in a savannah view room - we did it a few years ago and loved it. We spent a lot of time sitting on the balcony animal spotting - we were amazed at how many animals we saw and how close they came.

Laur's xx
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:31 AM   #4
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Excellent report once again.

I like that you have been to so many restaraunts, and given such good reviews, as I am still trying to figure out where me and DW can go for our anniversary (minus kids).
A couple of yours have already made it to the short list

How long will we have to wait for day 9
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Old 05-06-2009, 10:51 AM   #5
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Another great day that steak looks lovely although I don't like mac and cheese I can't stand cheese lol. I do love the pics with the animals at Busch I love the animal's there but I'm not so keen on the huge rides there.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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amazing photo's - the fencing on the tiger enclosure looks a bit thin my rabbits have better fencing than that.

food at jiko looks so yummy.
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Old 05-06-2009, 11:48 AM   #7
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great report, i can see im going to need to be very brave when we go to busch gardens
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Old 05-06-2009, 02:32 PM   #8
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Great day, love the rides at BG! I thought Sheikra was scary until I rode X2 at Six Flags Magic Mountain I ordered the shrimp curry and the creme brulee at Jiko but didn't think much of it, just shows how varied people's opinions can be and one reason why I take restaurant reviews with a grain of salt, you just never know til you try it yourself
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:55 AM   #9
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Wow looks like Busch is a great day out (we have decided to go here this time around) the rides look
AKL looks amazing,sounds like you had a wonderful day (off to read more)
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Old 05-07-2009, 09:48 AM   #10
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What a great day, I love Busch Gardens. Montu is my fave....Sheikra was

Great photos, I love the one of you lying with the Hyena.

AKL is lovely, we stayed a few years ago and it was magical to way to start the day by sitting out on the balcony watching the animals in the Savannah.

I would love to hear about your trip to South Africa! I am hoping to go in the next few years.

Any chance of a hat trick this week?
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Old 05-07-2009, 10:28 AM   #11
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Another lovely day. I hated that Gwazi ride as I felt my brain had been bounced around inside my skull (it's not that big you know). I kindly volunteered to stay with my youngest son for the Sheirka ride, I am kind like that wouldn't want my son to be lonely, far better keep him company. I cannot remember why none of us went on Montu now but we did do the Kumba, loved that.

It looked lovely in AK and your meal looked delicious.

Looking forward to reading the next part.
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Old 05-07-2009, 11:06 AM   #12
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MMMMMMMMm!! The food looks JUST amazing!!

Love your BG photos too!

Eeee, I can't wait for AKL!!
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Old 05-07-2009, 04:24 PM   #13
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I've just found your trip report and i'm loving it, you put so much work and attention into the trip to make it so special and magical the photos are brilliant i can't wait to hear more xx
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:27 AM   #14
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Brilliant day, I would love to get to Busch Gardens one day
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:03 AM   #15
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another fantastic day for the both of you. love the photos and you and em make such a cute couple. I too love Jiko but not sure dh and dd did.



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