AGLET – We're Gonna Tour The World Together! Updated 11/9!!!

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Stringbean&Wingnut, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. marDgreen88

    marDgreen88 DIS Veteran

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    I agree about the Disney bus music! I love it. They put so much thought into everything.

    Disembarking is so much fancier than just 'getting off the bus.' :thumbsup2

    AKL is the coolest idea for a hotel ever. I mean really. Just the IDEA that you might be able to see animals at any given time is awesome! I want to stay there someday too! I'm used to the distance, given that I've ONLY stayed at the All Stars! :laughing:
     
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  3. shan23877

    shan23877 I make lists about my lists

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    I would have been snapping pics of the Chef Boyardee :lmao:

    Excited to hear how you enjoyed Sanaa.
     
  4. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    I totally :lovestruc the giraffe photos! Not to leave the zebras out, of course, because they're also very photogenic!

    We stayed at AKL, and it was wonderful; but at the end of the day when you're tired and just want the pool and an adult beverage, it was a looooong drive. I don't know that we'd stay there again, but I'm so glad we did it once.

    Can't wait for your Sanaa review...I haven't been there yet!
     
  5. Twoboysnmygirl

    Twoboysnmygirl DIS Veteran

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    Oh I'm so far behind! I have to catch up!
     
  6. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Love the back and forth between the zebras and the giraffes and the occasional ostrich...great chapter! Very nice pictures.

    And you'd love it if you stayed there.
     
  7. MeMom

    MeMom DIS Veteran

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    You know, I was having a pretty darn good not craving Disney day - all happy about getting tickets to take the girls to the Disney Princess Live show in March and getting ready to book our October trip within the week....


    but,

    then

    you

    came up with all of those incredible AKL pictures,

    and

    I digressed in a big way! :upsidedow

    I am so glad you felt the AKL love. I can so easily picture us being there in those pictures - feeling the sunshine, hearing the chirps of the birds, and watching the giraffes walk slowly and gracefully from tree to tree finding their food. We have only stayed there once (Jambo), but have visited many, many times, and we definitely plan to stay there again. ::yes::

    Now I have to go write a hundred times
    There is no March trip.
    and get myself back in control.

    June will be here shortly, right?

    June will be here shortly.
    June will be here shortly.


    I think I better do two write-offs to convince myself. ;)
     
  8. Nermel9

    Nermel9 DIS Veteran

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    First, thank you for that link to the Imagination area music, I LOVE it! I feel like you and I really love the Disney area music loops a LOT! :thumbsup2 Now I'm listening to the Norway area music...God I'd give anything to be in Epcot right now! :banana:

    And your description of the bus music makes me want to do a non-rental car trip, just to hear the music on the buses! The only time we ever used the buses was from MK to WL and I'm pretty sure it was music from Four Parks/One World, but I can't be sure, it might have been WL music too...either way, I want to hear Disney music on a Disney bus! :lovestruc

    AKL is beautiful, that is such a cool sink! I really love going outside and looking at the animals, although, we always go out by the pool and none of the cool animals are over there (and by that, I mean giraffes! :love:)

    Can't wait to hear about Sanaa!
     
  9. jecskc

    jecskc DIS Veteran

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    I loved your AKL photos !!! I hope we get to stay near the giraffes. I just love them. Looking forward to your Saana review.
     
  10. MEK

    MEK DIS Veteran

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    I love AKL and I know everyone says its far from everything, but it didn't feel that way to me. Once you are there you get totally immersed. I loved it there. Best restaurants, greats pools and HANDS - DOWN the best relaxation music. DO it!
     
  11. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    Yes! The AK "motorcoach" music is the best! I love that kind of music (I bought one of those Sounds of Africa CDs at Walmart a couple years ago and LOVE it..maybe I'm weird, but hey....). It was great in 2009 when we went to Boma and got a bus to ourselves in the morning...we could actually listen to the music without people talking over it :laughing:


    Awesome shot! :thumbsup2 Love it!


    Dude, your pics may have played a part in the most important decision regarding WDW Trip Planning! I totally just turned to my BF and asked him about doing a split stay in 2013...We're set on BWV....but AKL is SOOO amazing! And since we're going for 2 weeks, it might not be so bad changing resorts after the first few days.... :scratchin
     
  12. IheartDDuck

    IheartDDuck DIS Veteran

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    Hahaha, I would have named the chapter that. "Why does this store have Chef Boyardee in it?" :lmao: That's flippin' hilarious. Oh little one.

    I love AKL. One of my favorite resorts. The animal thing hasn't worn off for me yet. I just love the resort. As BFF Farrell would say "I'll let a giraffe lick my toes anyday!"
     
  13. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    It's basically right along the path to Soarin', around where you start to see the Land pavilion and the wait times board by there. Just look down, you'll see it!

    Hahaha you snuck in there! The giraffes and zebras were out and about that day, it was great!

    The sink was so awesome! It was that waterfall-type spout too. I love all of the details too, it's just amazing HOW detailed everything is!

    We would definitely have to rent a car to stay there, it just is too far from the things we love! I do think it would be a cool place to stay though! I'm glad you enjoyed your stay there!!

    Hahaha hey, gotta give the '80s some love!

    It really isn't. You just have to ride Spaceship Earth. I think it's a requirement for stepping foot into Epcot.

    The savannah area was gorgeous! But agreed, SO many busses!

    LOL we're unpredictable, I guess!!

    The music really lends the perfect atmosphere to your destination! The outlook was wonderful and peaceful! Yes, there was a CM there answering questions, she really seemed to love her job!
     
  14. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Hahahaha I'm always impressed by a fun bathroom!! :rotfl:

    He really was. He loves that stuff. I don't know how or why (well, he always says it reminds him of when he was a kid), but I won't touch it! :laughing:

    Welcome!!! :goodvibes Thanks!!

    I think he uses Pandora, and he has a mix of 70's and 80's songs. I can confirm this later :thumbsup2

    She really does have crazy nails there!

    Location really does play such a big role with resort selection. I love love love the restaurants and atmosphere there, but it's just SO far from Epcot!! That would be such a cool Disney week trip! And I agree, AKL really does have the greatest bathrooms!

    They really do! I love those Disney details!

    It so is!! I can't imagine just waking up and seeing zebras and giraffes, that seems just so awesome to me!

    :rotfl: I should have!! I totally didn't think to!
     
  15. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Thank you!!! All of the animals were big posers for the camera that day! :laughing:

    That's what I'm afraid of. It seems like a fantastic place to stay though!

    Don't worry, we're still on day 1 here! :rotfl:

    Hahaha thank you!!! I'm thinking we would, but there's still a bit of hesitation!

    Hahaha sorry MeMom!!! :flower3: June will be here before you know it!!! And the Disney Princess Live show will definitely help bridge the gap before then too!
     
  16. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Anytime!! I think we do too!!! They're just so great to listen to!! Ugh, I would LOVE to be in Epcot right now!!

    Hahaha the busses aren't always fun, but the music is a really fun touch!

    I loved all of the details around AKL. It really is fantastically done.

    Thank you!!! That'd be awesome, the giraffes are beautiful!

    Hahahaha I'm REALLY tempted, believe me!! :laughing:

    Hahaha that's awesome! I loved that music too while we were there! It is great when the busses are quieter, and you can really hear it!

    Thank you!! :goodvibes

    LOL glad to help! You know, this was also the first trip that I really understood the logic of a split stay. Before this, I wouldn't get why people would pack up and switch resorts after only a few days, but I would TOTALLY split stay at AKL. Especially since you're going on a 2-week trip, that's a great amount of time to get to experience 2 resorts!!

    LOL :lmao: that's a good one!

    It really is gorgeous!! (I don't know about letting the giraffes actually REALLY close to me, but I did love looking at them! :laughing:)
     
  17. Simba22

    Simba22 DIS Veteran

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    I always wanted to try a split stay but my BF was always against it for your exact reason...why waste time packing up again? But for our 2013 trip, we planned on doing 4 park days, then a resort day...so we could easily use that day to change over. And I'm pretty sure that Disney will move all of your luggage for you. This could actually work! :idea:
     
  18. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    You definitely could! I know that they do move luggage, which makes it even easier! I think 4 days at a resort isn't TOO short an amount of time! That would be really fun to be able to stay at 2 places on one trip.
     
  19. Stringbean&Wingnut

    Stringbean&Wingnut DIS Veteran

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    Despite it being a late-ish addition to our ADR roster, it would be an understatement to say that Wingnut and I were pretty excited for this meal. We really enjoy Indian food, and also have loved our meals at Disney's African-inspired restaurants, Boma and Jiko, so we couldn’t wait to try another Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant.

    We made our way to the podium a few minutes before 5, and checked in. While we checked in, I asked if it would be possible for us to have a window table, since we had been so enjoying watching the animals on the savannah overlook, and would love to keep watching them while the sun was still up. I was told that the request would be noted on our reservation.

    We stepped away from the podium, and Wingnut discovered this cozy little nook (with very comfortable seating) right off to the side of the restaurant's check-in area.

    [​IMG]

    A few brief moments of lounging later, we heard drumming and singing coming from Sanaa.

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    The staff performed a fun welcome song, drumming and singing and clapping. We clapped along and were led to our table pretty much immediately after the song ended, which had an absolutely gorgeous view of the savannah. :yay:

    [​IMG]

    We both had mango lassis to drink (yes, included on the DDP).

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    We really enjoyed these, they were a bit more mango-y and a bit less yogurt-y than the ones we are used to, and it was very smoothie-like and icy in texture.

    Wingnut: The lassi was good, it was pretty standard. It had a lot of mango in it, which is nice.

    They were an excellent and refreshing way to begin our feast. (You'll see in a few moments that "feast" is in no way an exaggeration to what we had to eat that night.)

    Current Disney cocktail napkins:

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    Throughout our meal, we were visited by one of the birds roaming the savannah. Our server told us his name (which we completely forget now), and that he and his brother love visiting Sanaa.

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    [​IMG]

    Wingnut was absolutely set on trying the bread service as his appetizer, which came with a choice of three breads (between Naan, Onion Kulcha, Papadum, Paneer Paratha) and three dips (between Red Chile Sambal, Cucumber Raita, Coriander Chutney, Mango Chutney, Garlic Pickle, Mint Chutney, Roasted Red Bell Pepper Hummus, Tamarind Chutney, and Coconut Raita).

    I decided to order the appetizer sampler for 2 as my contribution to the appetizer round. (Our wonderful server told us that only one of our appetizers would count for both of our appetizers on the plan, since they were both intended for 2 people. That was totally fine by us.)

    (Yes, we started our meal with food for 4. Let the remorseless eating begin!)

    Soon after, the food arrived.

    [​IMG]

    Our bread service consisted of Onion Kulcha, Papadum, Paneer Paratha and Cucumber Raita, Coconut Raita, and Tamarind Chutney. We had decided to try the three breads offered besides naan, which we have had more often before. Out of the dips, we chose the tamarind (which I love), and the coconut and the cucumber because they sounded interesting.

    We really enjoyed all of the offerings in the bread service. My favorite bread was the Onion Kulcha, it was chock-full of sweet onions. The Papadum was the thin and crispy bread on top, it had a nice light flavor. The Paneer Paratha is a cheese bread (paneer is made from cottage cheese), it was a bit heavier, but had a great flavor.

    Out of the dips, the Tamarind Chutney was great, nice and sweet. The Cucumber Raita was very good, it had a nice slight heat to it. The Coconut Raita was the only disappointment, it was a bit too yogurty and not enough coconuty for our taste.

    Wingnut: The Paneer bread was my favorite. It was more dense than the others, and it had a lot of curry flavoring. Out of the dips, I liked the Cucumber Raita. The Tamarind is always nice, it's got a nice sweetness. The other one we had was way too yogurty. It was nice, but it lacked...pizzazz.

    (Yes, all of Wingnut's reviews are direct quotes.)

    The appetizer sampler came with Potato and Pea Samosas, Lamb Kefta Kabobs, and Roasted Cauliflower

    I really enjoyed the potato and pea samosas. They had a wonderful flavor and texture to them, a crispy exterior and a nice soft and warm interior. I especially enjoyed the chutney that accompanied them. The roasted cauliflower had a little bit of heat to it, it was very good. Around 99.3% of the lamb went to Wingnut, save for the teeny tiny bite he insisted I try (I'm not a huge lamb fan). I thought they were pretty good, but let him have most of them. (Especially since he said I could have most of his samosa in exchange for the meatballs.)

    Wingnut: That was REALLY good. The lamb kebabs were fantastic. They were very spicy, but not overwhelmingly spicy. I liked the cauliflower, it was seasoned well. The samosas were very good. Standard samosa-y kind of things.

    For our entrees, we both chose from the Slow Cooked in Gravy options. I asked, and you ARE allowed to mix and match from the meats and the vegetables lists, which is what I did. Wingnut went carnivorous for both of his selections.

    (Do not be deceived by the size of these bowls. I promise you, these servings have a LOT of food in them, much more than Wingnut and I had been expecting, based on pictures.)

    Wingnut and his entree, the Spicy Durban Shrimp and the Coconut-Curry Lamb.

    [​IMG]

    Wingnut: The Spicy Durban Shrimp was AWESOME. They gave a ton of shrimp in the dish. Usually when you order shrimp, you only get a few, this was like, 10 of them. The lamb was really really really tasty. They know how to do a good lamb.

    I went with the Beef Short Ribs and the Vegetable Sambar.

    [​IMG]

    The short ribs were honestly one of the best dishes of our trip. Wingnut described them as "Indian pot roast," and I think that's really the best way to describe them. They were perfectly cooked, deliciously seasoned, and simply awesome. The vegetables were also great, but were nowhere near the amazingness of the short ribs.

    We both had the Basmati rice with our meals (you have a choice of that or 5-Grain Pilaf), which our server recommended. It was very well-cooked and nicely flavored.

    Yep, we're pigs.

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    After those plates were cleared away, I noticed a Mickey on the table!

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    If you think that we're going to let a thing like enough food for 17 people stop us from having dessert, well, you're new to my food reviews, aren't you?? :laughing:

    For dessert, I chose the Orange Sesame cake with Strawberry Ginger Kulfi. Kulfi, as I had Wikipedia'd before we left, is like a super-creamy ice cream.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I thought that this was very good. It's essentially a lightly-orange flavored pound cake with a sweet sesame topping (don't worry, it doesn't taste like you're eating a bagel). I really loved the flavor of the cake. The kulfi was very interesting, and I don't say interesting in the sense that I hated it, because believe me I didn't. It was literally a flavor explosion, in a little pink package. I have never had such gingery strawberry flavor before, especially in a creamy ice cream sense. The ginger flavor was very prevalent, as was the strawberry. I thought that it was an interesting component with the cake, although the ginger flavor was a teeny bit overpowering when paired with the lovely orange cake.

    Wingnut went with the rice pudding. He is a HUGE fan of rice pudding, and was excited to try Sanaa's take. Our server did warn him that it was not really a traditional rice pudding, per se, but he was still on board.

    [​IMG]

    (The rice pudding is in the glass, topped with a crispy cookie. In the small pitcher is a cinnamon-scented milk.)

    Wingnut: I was disappointed by the rice pudding. It was very dry, and it wasn't very sweet. And it just wasn't what you expect from a rice pudding. The crunchy cookie on top was tasty and sweet though.

    Overall, we LOVED Sanaa. It absolutely lived up to our expectations, the food and the atmosphere were both incredible. It was one of our favorite meals of the trip, and as we pretty much rolled out of the restaurant, we were almost giddy that our meal had been THAT good, and that our vacation dining was off to THAT great a start.

    I would absolutely, completely, entirely recommend Sanaa as a wonderful wonderful meal. Do not be scared away by unfamiliar ingredients or cooking methods. The servers are more than happy to answer any and all questions. Believe me, I am not that adventurous an eater (I don't even like dark meat chicken! Oh, and while I'm on the subject, Sanaa only uses dark meat chicken in its dishes, except for ones that specify that they are a chicken breast), but I was thrilled with our dinner here.

    Leaving Kidani Village, the temperature had dropped considerably. During dinner, we had discussed our plans for the evening. Magic Kingdom had EMH's that night, but Wingnut suggested since we had been up since 5 that morning to fly down to Disney (yes we're still on day 1!), why don't we relax, get our refillable mugs, and explore the resort a bit. I agreed that this was a good idea (now decreeing that we had to stop at our room for warmer clothes before heading the GCH!), that I was tired too.

    We decided to return to the Polynesian by way of either Magic Kingdom or Epcot (depending on which bus came first), then monorail. The Epcot bus showed up, and I joked that I hoped we'd have an easier time finding Tokelau from the TTC than we had had with the reverse earlier…

    (I'll leave you with that bit of foreshadowing for now…)
     
  20. SoNotAPrincess

    SoNotAPrincess Disney Diva

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    OMG...seriously, you should write Disney food reviews for a living...imagine being PAID to eat yummilicious Disney food! My mouth is positively watering! I am NOT an adventurous eater, but everything sounded SO good.

    And I love the bird that sauntered up to the window like, "Hello, I know you're really here to see me, so, TA DAH, here I am, for your viewing pleasure!"

    GREAT installment...kudos! :cool1:
     
  21. 3prettyprincesses

    3prettyprincesses "These pretzels are making me thirsty!"

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    Ya, sure you did.;)

    I completely agree! It's so theme park specific and just puts me in such a good mood!:goodvibes

    :lmao:Chef Boyardee?? Oh, I'd have busted a rib laughing over that! Ah, Wingnut clearly has sophisticated taste!

    Love the sink! It's so cool, I'd have taken a picture too and then told DH and watched him roll his eyes at me for well, taking a picture of a Disney bathroom sink.

    Oh, Wingnut so gets you, doesn't he. You guys are a match made in heaven!:goodvibes


    I was going to say antelope...:rolleyes1 Maybe there was some kind of zebra/giraffe convention?:confused3 They were probably mulling over territory lines or something.

    Wingut has a very valid argument. Though my DH would side with you on this one, he really wants to stay at AKL!

    This looks pretty darn cool! And your table view is stunning.

    Oh, I knew dessert would be had!:thumbsup2

    I can't believe you did all of this on just your arrival day! I'm impressed Sara.

    Ah, the elusive Tokelau via the TTC. Yup, been there done that.:rolleyes1

    Fantastic dining review to Sara! You should be a food critic, your writing is very succint and detailed. Makes me want to try Sanaa now!:goodvibes
     

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