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Old 10-05-2009, 10:48 AM   #61
stacikristine
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Originally Posted by MiaBella05 View Post
joining in
Yeah! Thanks for reading!


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Originally Posted by bballdiva View Post
jumping in too
Hi! Thanks for reading!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ibedancin824 View Post
Hahaha you guys must have the patience of saints because Scott and I would have been pretty cranky waiting in that line at the airport!!!
No...I'm usually a VERY impatient person--Just ask Michael --but we were WAY too excited to let anything get to us!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by LilAnn View Post
You guys are too cute! That was a great post! I love how excited you guys are. It sums up my feelings exactly whenever I go on vacation to Disney! Can't wait to read along for the rest of your trip!
Thanks! It was a lot of fun to write...I'm excited about the rest! I think Disney just brings about a whole new level of excitement


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Originally Posted by xoktenox View Post
Hey, just got all caught up and you can count me in!!

I'm sooo excited to hear about your trip. My BF and I are staying at AKV in Kidani Nov 29-Dec 5 and are soo excited. I am interested to see what you thought of the resort and the buses. We're thrilled to be able to stay there thanks to renting DVC pts too! The best invention ever

My BF and I took an "we're really excited to be here" picture like you guys took too, the one with your mouths open LOL Can't wait to read more
Hey! Thanks for reading! Oh my gosh--You're going to love staying there! It's just gorgeous. We took some pictures of Kidani Village that I'll post in one of the later days. I just love feeling like I'm in some other world there... Isn't DVC renting the greatest thing in the world?!?!? We're hooked! I can't wait to post more--hopefully today or tomorrow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
I'm here Staci!!! I promise to catch up in the morning but I wanted you to know I'm here and can't wait to read all about your trip!!
Hi Jen!! You're home!! I'll have to go over and see if you've started your TR yet. I'm sure you had a fantastic time--but I'm excited to read all about it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by BippityBoo View Post
Staci-
LOVE the update (as usual). My husband and I went on a cruise 3 months after we were married, and we felt the same way about asking permission, etc.

However, it was even more of a reality check when the bill came and we could not just pass it off to my Mom. HA!

Here is the website for the beignets...

www.cafedumonde.com

Click "Shop" then "coffee and beignets". The mix is only like $3 a box and it makes lots. Pretty easy to make as well. You will love it. Might as well order some of their famous coffee while you are on the site!

Anxious to see how you start your vacation off!
Hi Katie! Thanks! It was fun writing it. Haha--I'm glad we aren't the only ones that felt like that! It was the weirdest feeling...Haha!! I know what you mean about the bill Thanks for passing that site along. I'm going to go order some right now! They're just toooooooo yummy! I'll hopefully update today or tomorrow...
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Old 10-05-2009, 01:26 PM   #62
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I am just now making it over here.
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:17 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by tinkgurl View Post
I am just now making it over here.
Hey! I'm glad you made it!! Just about to post again...
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:25 PM   #64
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Day 1: AKL Check-In and Room

Last time, I left you with us seeing this:





By this time, we were literally about to jump out of our seats! We were almost to our resort!!!!


Before long, we were in front of Animal Kingdom Lodge! Here’s a picture of us pulling up to the resort:




We got off the bus, handed Richard a tip, and got ready to walk into our African Paradise.


Underneath the entrance:




Oh, wait—we almost forgot to take a picture of our DME bus…


It turns out this was a great bus for us to be on…but more on that on our DHS day(s)



Can you tell we’re about to burst?!





Aahhh. Home.





Let me just say, my pictures do not do this lobby justice. It is the most beautiful lobby I have ever seen in my life! I know some don’t feel this way, but it was absolutely perfect for our tastes. It was SO big. I knew that it looked big and gorgeous in other peoples’ pictures, but I wasn’t prepared for it being this incredible. I think my jaw had to be picked up off the floor!


When we walked in, we immediately saw the HUGE window that faces the savannah.




And the gorgeous light fixtures




And the detailing on everything:





I wanted to keep taking pictures of everything I saw, but I knew that there would be plenty of time for that. So we went over to Guest Services (I should have taken a picture of the beautiful wall hangings…) to check in.


Since we had already done online check-in, we were able to bypass the line (even though it wasn’t very long) and go straight to the online check-in section. I didn’t write down our CM’s name, but she was there with the College Program. She was very helpful and very cheerful! She gave us our “Welcome Home” DVC packet (since we rented points, we were treated like DVC owners) with our discount and perks info as well as AKL information and maps.

Since we rented points for a value studio room, I knew it was a toss-up as to whether we would have a pool or savanna view room. There was just no way to know. Then, when I checked-in online, it said we had a pool view. I was completely ok with this. I’d heard that the pool view rooms were still gorgeous. And there was no way I was complaining with the incredible deal we got. I was also prepared to have to wait to check in. That’s no problem—we could just check our carry-ons with Bell Services, and go swimming or whatever we wanted.


Well…….


Our CM told us that our room was on the Fifth floor (I think this is where most of the DVC rooms are…) and that we had a SAVANNA VIEW room!!!! Woo-Hoo!!! And I didn’t even have to ask!! She also told us that our room was ready (What?! ) and pointed us in the right direction. Could it get any better than this?!


Our room was located on the Ostrich trail, which is one of the short hallways right off the Lobby. It was immediately to the left of the Lobby and the check-in desk. She had told us that there was an elevator, so we looked for one as we tried to take in all of the incredible-ness of the resort hallways.


I loved seeing these lights every day:








We walked all the way to the end of the hallway and realized that we must have missed the elevator. So then we walked all the way back and still didn’t see one. She must have just been a little confused. Oh well—no sweat! I offered for us to go find another one, but Michael said the carry-ons weren’t heavy and we could just take the stairs.

Let me insert here that AKL is a little strange when it comes to floor levels. The Lobby is actually on Level 3 (and the rooms start on this level as well). I don’t really remember what is on Level 2 (we never went there) and then the restaurants and pool are on Level 1. We were a little confused at first, but quickly got the hang of it.

All that to say, it was only 2 flights of stairs up to our room from the first floor of rooms.


We made it up to the fifth floor and excitedly hurried down the hall to find our room. But not without a few pictures at the lookout on the way:


Is that gorgeous, or what?!


Our first animal friend:




Continued

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Old 10-05-2009, 02:31 PM   #65
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Day 1: AKL Check-In and Room (cont.)

Continued from Previous



When we got to our room, Mousekeeping was just about to head in. No worries—she said she had just forgotten to put the laundering bag in the closet. We visited with her for a while, and then took time to take everything in.


Outside our room:




I just love all of these little decorations on all the doors. Each door is a little different:





Oh my goodness. Our room was gorgeous!!!! We loved it as soon as we stepped in! Everything was perfect for us.


Our kitchenette with fridge, microwave, toaster, and sink (we never used the coffee pot, but we did use everything else)




Here’s an up-close shot of the sink décor:


Yay for The Lion King—it’s one of our favorite movies!



Next up: The bathroom. Here’s the vanity area outside the bathroom. We loved having the huge mirror and counter-top space. Again, the detail is just so gorgeous! I didn’t get an close-up of the wallpaper, but it was this really pretty African/Disney paper…




Our actual bathroom area was a little small, but it was fine for the week. One thing to note, however: It’s dark! We learned that you have to open up the curtain to get any light in there.





After these areas, you walk into the studio room. To the right was our couch and coffee table:






And to the left was our closet, chest of drawers, and TV.





Next to these was a little desk and mirror (what a gorgeous mirror!!)





Next, we come to our bed. Look at that fantastic headboard/wall décor!







I’ll probably forget to say this later, so let me say now that the bed was very comfy! It didn’t have quite enough pillows (we like a lot), but they had extras in the closet. The mattress was very nice, and the pillows were great. And this is saying something coming from me—I’m the pickiest pillow person! I take mine with me whenever possible.



Anyway…back to the room!



Lastly was our balcony:


I don’t know if you can see the details on the shades or not, but they had animals in the lace!


Our little zebra chairs on our balcony:





And now, our view!


To the left:


You can see Kidani Village there in the distance.


The center:




And the right:


This is where a lot of the animals hung out throughout our stay.




We were SOOO pleased with our room and our view. We just couldn’t get over how awesome it was that we were staying HERE!





Up Next:
Exploring our African Paradise
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:40 PM   #66
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Very nice room! It looks like you guys lucked out with getting the savannah view! I also didn't know you could do online check-in if you rented DVC points. We did for our trip in December and I thought I'd have to wait in the normal line---good to know!

Sooo, I've never been to AKL but we have a dinner ressie for Jiko on our upcoming trip. Does this mean we go in and down two floors to get to the restaurants?? That is a bit confusing if you don't know you enter on floor 3.

Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 10-05-2009, 02:41 PM   #67
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oooh! Looks like I logged at a perfect time! Just in time for another awesome update! Love all of the pictures. Nothing like a little pixie dust to start off your trip! I think we may have to look into renting DVC points on future trips after reading about your experience. Anxiously awaiting your arrival into a park......
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:28 PM   #68
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What a gorgeous room! And a nice surprise on that Savannah View!!

That lobby sure does look amazing. I had it as a "maybe" on our resort hopping tour, but I might have to bump it up to the "for sure" list! It looks great in the pictures, I can only imagine how much better it looks in person.

Looking forward (anxiously!) to the next update!!
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:44 PM   #69
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What a beautiful view from your balcony! I hope to see some animal pics from there soon! Your room is so pretty and I love all of the Disney details. Can't wait for more!
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Old 10-05-2009, 03:52 PM   #70
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WOW! What a room! I love it.

I also love the carpet from what I saw on the DVD and my brother in law's pics. Everything is so nicely decorated! Can not WAIT to stay at AKL in the future! Kids would love the animals

So happy for you two...what a great trip!
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:14 PM   #71
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AKL is really so gorgeous!! I love it!! Your pictures are awesome!! I love all the animal details and Lion King ones...that's one of the best movies ever!! I'm so excited for more!!
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:37 PM   #72
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I'm thoroughly enjoying your trip report.

We loved AKV Kidani! I'm thinking about doing a trip report myself. For me, this was our most satisfying trip to date.

I was disappointed we didn't run into each other. Maybe next time

By the way, I grew up in OK and my family still lives there. Glad you like it. I keep trying to talk my DH into moving back there.
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Old 10-05-2009, 04:46 PM   #73
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OOOOOH those pics are making me a little sad that we aren't staying at AKL again. We stayed for for our last two family trips and it's just GORGEOUS!!!

So they changed your room after you checked in online??? I haven't done the whole "check in online" thing yet...do you see an actual room assignment or just a building? Sorry for the questions- just getting excited for our trip!
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:06 PM   #74
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I'm so excited for you What a great view!
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Old 10-05-2009, 06:15 PM   #75
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How awesome of a view to you have!!! Can't wait to read more!!!

OT when did they change the magical express busses? I thought they had the round windows and said magical express?
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