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Old 11-16-2009, 01:23 PM   #1
wilma-bride
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Bad Mothers' Handbook - Chapter 2

Chapter 2: Giraffes are Boring!

Back in March, when we were able to switch our DVC reservations to Animal Kingdom Villas, there was much merriment in the Alcock and Longstaff households - with the exception of one 6-year old boy….

Daniel is a creature of habit. He knows what he likes and he likes what he knows (goodness knows where he gets that from )

So, when I broke the news to Daniel on his return home from school that afternoon, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Guess where we’re going to be staying in October
Daniel: Wilderness Lodge?
Me: Nope, Animal Kingdom Villas, isn’t that great?
Daniel: No, I don’t want to stay there. I want to stay at Wilderness Lodge
Me: But at Animal Kingdom Villas, you can see animals from the windows and everything
Daniel: Like lions?
Me: No, but…
Daniel: Elephants?
Me: No, but they have giraffes
Daniel: Giraffes are boring!

Fast forward now to our arrival at Animal Kingdom Villas.



We pulled up in the check-in parking lot opposite the main entrance to Kidani Village and unloaded all the bags and cases. I’d read that the lobby was small, compared to Jambo House, but I had never been to Animal Kingdom Lodge so was not really sure what to expect. To me, it was still fantastic. Not quite as awe-inspiring as the lobby at Wilderness Lodge and I didn’t do the open-mouthed staring thing but it still took my breath away momentarily. If I had to sum it up, I would say that it is beautiful yet understated.



At the check-in desk, we were welcomed home, checked in incredibly efficiently and given our room keys and some family reunion badges (presumably because we’d registered for a Grand Gathering). Nat and John checked in immediately afterwards and we discovered our rooms were fairly near each other. As we walked through the lobby and round to the right towards the lifts, we passed the animal viewing area (one of many) and much ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’ followed as the children (and adults) spotted various animals, including zebras, ostriches and buffalo (or was it bison?)

Into the lift and up to the fourth floor, we came first to Nat and John’s room (room 7807).

A standard view studio, it overlooked the entrance to Kidani Village and the bus stop – not entirely unpleasant.

I have to say I was thrilled that we were staying at Kidani village. Animal Kingdom Lodge was my Mum's first choice of hotel on our 1st trip but sadly the budget didn't allow and we ended up offsite - and we always stay at Pop so this was a real treat for me. The room we had was lovely and the view not bad at all! I was slightly miffed when I saw how huge Joh's room was (lol) but of course you get what you pay for (as I was to discover later on in the trip). I never tired of checking out the savannah as we passed the viewing areas!

Then it was down the corridor to our room, 7819, a dedicated two-bedroom standard view. Again, we overlooked the entrance to Kidani, although from a little further away and, if you stretched right out over the balcony and looked over to the right, you could just about make out the swimming pool area.

View to the left...



And to the right...



The room itself was absolutely gorgeous – I do think I am spoiled for life now, I can’t imagine ever going back to a studio even if there was only the two of us. Hmm, I sense the need for an add-on (are you listening Gary?) My favourite thing was the carved headboard on the beds and the massive shower and bathroom area off the master bedroom. I really don’t think the pictures do it justice and, to be honest, if I was to find fault at all, it would be that the rooms sometimes (not always) seemed a little dark, particularly the master bedroom.











After dumping our cases and taking pictures, we all agreed that we could use some sustenance and agreed to head to Downtown Disney to get something to eat. Nat and John went back to their room and we unpacked a little and had a good look round before leaving to call on them a few minutes later.

As we exited the lift on the first floor, we passed the animal viewing area again and I spotted a giraffe. ‘Ooh, a giraffe’ I squealed. ‘Giraffes are boring’ replies Nat and we all crack up laughing.





We decided to catch the bus to Downtown Disney and, for the first time, it struck me why people comment a lot about Animal Kingdom Lodge being too far away from everything. This thought did occur to me quite a lot over the course of the next few days too and I really do understand it now. I wouldn’t say it would prevent me from staying there again but it does detract a little from the enjoyment when you consider it’s actually quite a long journey to get anywhere (with the exception of Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach).

At Downtown Disney we alighted the bus at the Market Place. For us, there was only one option for dinner – it had to be Earl of Sandwich. Yummy, toasted sandwiches and lashings of fizzy pop all round!

While we were eating, we discussed the plans for the next day. We had a breakfast ADR at Crystal Palace at 8.15 so decided we really needed to leave no later than 7.30 and agreed we would call for Nat and John on the way down to the bus stop. Leaving Gary, John and the kids still eating, Nat and I headed to Guest Services to exchange our vouchers for 14-day Ultimate tickets. I also managed to get the two 1-day tickets Gary and I had bought (and I had subsequently lost) back in August 07, replaced with two brand new tickets (which I haven’t managed to lose yet).

Back at Earl of Sandwich, we collected the kids and husbands and assured everyone we would have plenty of time for shopping when we returned the next night and over the course of the next 10 days.

All feeling tired now, we trooped back to the bus stop, jumped on the waiting bus (how lucky can you get) and off we went, back to Kidani Village. The entrance looked even prettier at night, lit up by loads of lanterns tucked into crevices around the doorway.

We stopped in at the shop, Johari Treasures, to buy refillable mugs and fill them up, and then we said goodnight and headed off to our respective rooms.

Daniel was more than ready for bed by now and we had no problem getting him to put on his PJs and get into bed. He had decided to share a bed with Sian, and Rea was delighted to have a double bed to herself. We spent a little while unpacking but soon it was done and we were in bed ourselves by 11.

We pretty much did the same thing as Joh. It was at this point I began to seriously consider that I had got way too many clothes as I had trouble fitting them into the wardrobe That done and we were all ready for bed at this point...and a very comfy bed it was!

Coming soon - Chapter 3: Magic doesn't work on Buses
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Old 11-16-2009, 01:36 PM   #2
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Great stuff girls I really want to stay at AKV/AKL the rooms and place in general look amazing and those beds so comfy.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:25 PM   #3
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Nice one joh, You have your work cut out for you, getting the report finished before we go.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilma-bride View Post
Back in March, when we were able to switch our DVC reservations to Animal Kingdom Villas, there was much merriment in the Alcock and Longstaff households - with the exception of one 6-year old boy….

Daniel is a creature of habit. He knows what he likes and he likes what he knows (goodness knows where he gets that from )

So, when I broke the news to Daniel on his return home from school that afternoon, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Guess where we’re going to be staying in October
Daniel: Wilderness Lodge?
Me: Nope, Animal Kingdom Villas, isn’t that great?
Daniel: No, I don’t want to stay there. I want to stay at Wilderness Lodge
And here we have further proof, Joh, that Daniel and I were fated to have a WDW trip together some day. The boy knows a great resort when he finds it. I'll give you that your Animal Kingdom Villa accomodations look lovely, but as Daniel and I know--There's no place like home!

You make a great reporting team, Joh and Natalie. I start smiling just opening each segment.
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:38 PM   #5
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AKL looks amazing
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjk View Post
AKL looks amazing
I agree Your photos are fab girls
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Old 11-16-2009, 03:58 PM   #7
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The room looks lovely
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:15 PM   #8
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Great pics I just love AKL, we stayed there in May and it was so amazing the kids loved the animals. I wanted to stay here again in a few weeks but DH picked WL!
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:16 PM   #9
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To be fair to Daniel those Giraffe's in the pics are doing themselves no favours ! they are just standing about
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #10
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Another great tirp report! Keep them coming
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Old 11-16-2009, 04:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natalielongstaff View Post
To be fair to Daniel those Giraffe's in the pics are doing themselves no favours ! they are just standing about
See! Boring!!!
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:25 PM   #12
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Really enjoying your review .... can I ask I notice you mention grand gathering ... is this where groups of eight or more can book meals/safari etc. If so can you arrange this through disney uk if booked through them rather than US website?? I would love to stay at AK
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:28 PM   #13
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I can't wait to stay at AKL as I LOVE Giraffe's (sorry Daniel).

I'm ready for chapter 3 now.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:27 PM   #14
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I agree it looks fab, it does seem far away from places.
cant wait for part 3
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:35 AM   #15
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Great report and photos.

Loving the banter between the two of you. Reminds me of my get togethers with my best pal.
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