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Old 10-07-2009, 02:22 PM   #91
stacikristine
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Day 1: Exploring Animal Kingdom Lodge (cont.)

Continued from Previous



When we left the Mara, we decided to look around outside some more.


Here’s the little walkway to the pool area




The main building from the poolside—doesn’t it just look like you’re in a different place entirely?! We loved that it was such a get-away!




Near the pool was a flamingo area. These were really pretty (I’ve always been so fascinated by flamingos!) but the area smelled like a zoo.


We wandered a little farther and saw the cute kids playground. The kids that were there looked like they were having a lot of fun! Oh—and we saw “the airport family” again! But this time we walked away quickly so it didn’t look like we were stalking them or something.




Here’s what the balconies look like from the outside looking in





We went back upstairs to drop off my apples, and look what was waiting for us



Our luggage!! That was quick.


We took a couple of balcony shots (I don’t know if you can see the birds and animals or not. I should have zoomed in more)







Then we headed back to the lobby for some more pictures


From the savanna/porch entrance looking back up at the lobby




Aren’t these gorgeous?!




This African fun statue is in the lobby as well. I must admit it’s a little faded from being so close to the big window. It was still really neat, though!




They have a little fireplace inside (off of the lobby) that looks very cozy (even though we never tried it out)





After we took some more lobby pictures, we headed outside to the fire pit area on the porch.




The flowers were GORGEOUS!








Since it was a very, very chilly day , we decided to warm ourselves by the fire






This is one of the pillars outside the lobby. I wish this picture did it justice. It’s truly magnificent!





Continued

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Old 10-07-2009, 02:27 PM   #92
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Day 1: Exploring Animal Kingdom Lodge

Continued from Previous




Next, we headed to the savanna observation areas (still outside the back of the lobby)


See the animals?




There was a CM visiting with a man when we got there, so we looked around for a while and then visited with him after the man left. His name is Jason, and he’s from Zimbabwe. Let me tell you, meeting Jason was one of the highlights of our trip! This guy is awesome. We talked about all kinds of things, and loved learning about his culture and how he likes Disney and all kinds of things. The most awesome thing for us, though, was that we had a special connection with him because of our beliefs. It was awesome knowing that things like that bind people together—even over continents!


Jason took this pic of us




And then I took this of Michael and him (they had a guitar connection!)





After saying goodbye to our new friend, we headed to the gift shop.






The hats were great!! But I think people were probably wondering if we were complete nuts. (No pun intended)




Here’s his little boy face




I’m ready for the safari!




Shy little tot




Ok. The next time I make this face, please stop me!




Ooohhh… Tough guy!





These mixed media artworks were gorgeous! If only we had an extra few hundred dollars lying around…




We ended up just buying some postcards to send to friends and family and decided we’d come back for souvenirs later.


I loved this lion/Simba behind the check-out counter!




On our way out, we saw these incredible rocks. Oh, my word. They were gorgeous!





On our way back to our room, we decided to look down some of the other hallways. These were taken from two different look-outs.


Savanna view




And Pool view




Even though they’re both gorgeous, we’re really glad we had a Savanna view. It just seemed much more peaceful.



When we got back to our room, look who were waiting for us!














There were FIVE giraffes outside our balcony! I think I could have photographed them all day long! Giraffes are such beautiful creatures. I love how each one is different. They’re just stunning.


After we finished watching the giraffes and calling our parents/siblings, we left our little African Studio and headed downstairs to catch the bus to DownTown Disney. And let me say here that I don’t think we ever entered the lobby or walked down the 5th floor from the elevators to our room without gawking at how gorgeous everything is!




Up Next:
DownTown Disney & The Best Counter Service in Disney World



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Old 10-07-2009, 02:43 PM   #93
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OH MY!! Your TR has definately done AKL justice

The pictures are just beautiful. How special to have giraffes outside of your room!? The kids would love to stay there. I think we may have to re-think not staying there while they are young. How did you find the location? Too far from the parks? That was the only negative I had heard. Everything else looks fabulous.

Your pics of the hats cracked me up! Too funny!

Can't wait to see where the best CS is in Disney (especially since we got Quick Service Dining!) Is it Earl or WGP....hummm??
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:18 PM   #94
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Wow! Gorgeous pictures! AKL looks amazing. I'll have to stay there sometime. Almost on this past trip but changed to BCV at last minute. Considering I liked WL more than BCV, I would have probably LOVED AKL. I hope I'm making sense with all these abbreviations.

I love the pictures of you guys in all the different hats!
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:54 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stacikristine View Post
Did you know that there's a hidden Mickey on the other pillar? It's hard to find though, but once you do..it's hard to miss it!

We loved The Mara! B/F and I are definately going back there in March.

The Resort is seriously breathtaking.
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:00 PM   #96
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Oh my goodness! I so wanna stay at AKL now! It's absolutely GORGEOUS!

Mmm, your meals from the Mara look and sound delicious! I'll have to give it a try on our trip coming up!

So cool that yall got to meet Jason! He seems awesome!
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:11 PM   #97
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Okay Staci, I'm totally sold!! Yes Ma'am I am so going to have to look into purchasing at AKL...what gorgeous pictures!!! You and Michael must have had the best time every staying there!! The food at the Mara just looks amazing!!! I'm so sad that I forgot to get Zebra Domes, but no worries I am making up for that in January!!!!

Love the giraffe pictures!!!

Can't wait for more!!
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:46 PM   #98
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I absolutely LOVE giraffes! They are such gentle elegant creatures Your pics are awesome - loved the hats
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:56 PM   #99
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Look at that dedication to the TR! Loving these updates! We explored outside the AKL although it was pretty cold in december, I really liked the giraffee drawings on the wall, kinda looks like cave drawings. And the lights! Ah, love the lights on the lower floor that are kind of metal looking, it's a box shape with moons and stars on it? Can't remember if it's by Jiko or Boma. And then the orange glass looking light by the elevator. It's just SO amazing how many details there are to look at! Dbf and I LOVE the Lion King.

And the food pics! Good start! I love the pictures too, although they make Dbf want to change his mind back and forth and I just end up ordering on my own trying to wait for his decision

I'll tell you what though, you had some awesome timing so far! Quick bus ride, quick check in, rooms ready and the luggage is waiting! I'll have to go back and see when you landed, although I think you two just had some awesome luck...hope it continues!
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:52 PM   #100
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I can't say enough how awesome your updates are with all the pictures! It really makes me want to either visit AKL again or stay there one day. It must have been amazing to look out the window and just see giraffes hanging out. Sigh. By the way, super cute outfit! Loving the jewelry too!

You guys are too cute with you faces and the hats! Such the newlyweds!
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #101
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Thanks for additional AKL pics!!! Reminding me again how much I love it there!!! We are going in two weeks. We are only staying at POP this trip as it's my 2nd trip this year The trip is a surprise for DD's bday. My DH is NOT happy about POP. AKL totally turned him into a Deluxe snob
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Old 10-08-2009, 09:55 AM   #102
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I love your update!! I got so excited for you when I went there!! So glad you were able to rent DVC and stay there! It's so gorgeous! I love all your guy's hat pictures! Too cute! I wish I had giraffes outside my balcony! That's so awesome. I love them too! They're so gorgeous!

Mara was so good! Did you end up going back there a lot? I enjoyed it when I went! Did you ever try the zebra domes? I LOVED those!! (I guess I could try being patient and waiting for the rest of your tr! lol!)

Can't wait for more!!
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:23 AM   #103
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wow the resort is gorgeous!!! I can't wait to head over there and explore.
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Old 10-08-2009, 10:41 AM   #104
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You take amazing photos! I'm enjoying your trippie.
Oh, and just FYI, the 'rock' you thought was gorgeous in the gift shop is actually something my husband has always wanted to buy but I'm too nervous to take it home - they are actually painted ostrich eggs!!! Amazing, I know!
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Old 10-08-2009, 11:56 AM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BippityBoo View Post
OH MY!! Your TR has definately done AKL justice

The pictures are just beautiful. How special to have giraffes outside of your room!? The kids would love to stay there. I think we may have to re-think not staying there while they are young. How did you find the location? Too far from the parks? That was the only negative I had heard. Everything else looks fabulous.

Your pics of the hats cracked me up! Too funny!

Can't wait to see where the best CS is in Disney (especially since we got Quick Service Dining!) Is it Earl or WGP....hummm??
Yay! I'm glad you're liking the AKL photos--we loved it! Yes, I think they would like it! There are TONS of little kids' activities throughout the day and at night, too. I think you all would really like it.

We didn't think the location was too terrible. It took about 5 mins to get to AK, 10 for DHS, 13 for E, and 15 for MK. We rarely had to wait more than 5 mins for a bus too. The DTD trip was the longest--almost 30 mins! It also was a little longer for some because AKL is still picking up Kidani village people. I don't know if this will continue like this or not. For us, it wasn't a big deal. But there was one family that said it was too hard for them--they had a baby and 2 little ones. I guess it really depends on your preferences. I'll include the wait times and bus ride times in my report, so you can get a feel for it.

Haha--thanks. These aren't the only hat pics you'll find!

Ooohh--good guesses! You'll have to wait and see!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenny105 View Post
Wow! Gorgeous pictures! AKL looks amazing. I'll have to stay there sometime. Almost on this past trip but changed to BCV at last minute. Considering I liked WL more than BCV, I would have probably LOVED AKL. I hope I'm making sense with all these abbreviations.

I love the pictures of you guys in all the different hats!
Thanks! It was amazing. We loved it so much! Yeah, I hear if you like WL, you'll like AK. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts on BCV and WL! Haha--yes--you made perfect sense!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkgurl View Post
Did you know that there's a hidden Mickey on the other pillar? It's hard to find though, but once you do..it's hard to miss it!

We loved The Mara! B/F and I are definately going back there in March.

The Resort is seriously breathtaking.
Oh my goodness--I didn't know that! We'll have to look for it next time. We loved it too! Yall are going to have such a good trip! I know...we never quite got our chins off the ground!


Quote:
Originally Posted by lauren_elizabeth View Post
Oh my goodness! I so wanna stay at AKL now! It's absolutely GORGEOUS!

Mmm, your meals from the Mara look and sound delicious! I'll have to give it a try on our trip coming up!

So cool that yall got to meet Jason! He seems awesome!
You need to!!! It's incredible! Yes--then you can visit the AKL! And the food at the Mara is good too. Jason was very cool. We actually talked about him last night!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jenjolt View Post
Okay Staci, I'm totally sold!! Yes Ma'am I am so going to have to look into purchasing at AKL...what gorgeous pictures!!! You and Michael must have had the best time every staying there!! The food at the Mara just looks amazing!!! I'm so sad that I forgot to get Zebra Domes, but no worries I am making up for that in January!!!!

Love the giraffe pictures!!!

Can't wait for more!!
Yay! I think you would LOVE it, Jen! And another good thing about purchasing AKL is that it's a longer contract (or whatever the correct term is). Have you looked at http://dvcbyresale.com/index.php? It seems like a great way to buy--you still get the normal benefits for a fraction of the price! If we're going to buy, we'll probably go this route. They have some great AKL ones right now. We had a FABULOUS time!! Haha--I tried Zebra Domes, but I liked some of the other desserts at Boma a lot better! Thanks--they're such gorgeous animals!
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