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Tour Animal Kingdom Lodge with me! Learn about the FREE Culinary Tour and more!

Published July 2, 2017 by Disneyways.com

On June 30th 2017 WDWMagazine.com was so kind to let me take over their FACEBOOK PAGE to take viewers on a tour of the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Here it is on our youtube channel so you can TOUR Animal Kingdom Lodge with me! Learn about the FREE Culinary Tour and more!

SING ALONG!!! WDW Discounts, Animal Kingdom after dark and more!!!

Published March 16, 2016 by Disneyways.com

March 15, 2016 at 7pm Eastern we did a live facebook broadcast that included Animal Kingdom after dark, a new WDW discount club, details and menu regarding table service at the Diamond Horseshoe! I had someone ask me about my history of working with disney dining – from home – so we covered that too. Click HERE to see the video with all the links and comments attached. Thanks to everyone who tuned in live. See you next Tuesday at 7pm Eastern on Facebook!

Catch Jerry on the Sweep Spot Podcast HERE

Get your Kingdom Classics CD  and so much more cool Disney stuff at this website – with a discount!!

Details on the CD Launch Party and dinner with Peter Alden can be found HERE.

Here’s what I’m doing on St. Patrick’s Day if you want to come.

Menu for the new Table Service lunch and dinner at the Diamond Horseshoe is HERE.

Click here to learn my secrets on how to get last minute dining reservations at Be Our Guest!

Match The Species – Poop Treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom by Guest Authors Amber and Jacquie Montes de Oca

Published June 19, 2015 by jpmdo

**UPDATE: Disney discontinued these treats and they are no longer available.**

What do Disney, sweet treats and poop have in common? Our favorite topics of conversation!

When we heard there were new treats at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and they look like animal poop, of course we had to find out more about them and better yet… taste them!

So we started our journey by arriving at Disney’s Animal Kingdom then made our way to Africa.

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We then found the location… Zuri’s Sweets Shop right across from the new Harambe Market.

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And there, among the other sweets… Match the Species Treats (animal poop)!

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Of course we had to try all four. And this is what we thought:

Elephant Poop: Chocolate peanut butter fudge with sweet rolled oats and yellow coconut flakes.

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J: I could tell right away it tasted like peanut butter, then the oats and coconut made their appearance. It’s dense and cakey. Yummy

A: To me it tastes like peanut butter and coconut. It’s a bit hard to bite into.

Hippo Poop: Chocolate fudge caramel brownie with peanut butter and rolled oats.

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J: Very similar taste as the Elephant Poop, except for the coconut. Also dense and cakey. Feels a bit heavy when you pick it up.

A: Same thought, very similar to the Elephant Poop.

Cotton Top Tamarin Poop: Pretzel pearls coated in chocolate peanut butter fudge with sweet rolled oat flakes.

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J: Again, similar taste to both the Elephant and Hippo Poop, however this one is harder to bite into.

A: Also similar taste as the two above, however this one has that extra pretzel taste. Watch your teeth… hard to bite into.

Giraffe Poop: Rolled chocolate fudgy brownie and freshly made caramel.

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J: This one was my favorite. Soft brownie texture and more of a chocolate taste.

A: I liked this one the best as well. Soft and rich.

In conclusion, although it’s a bit disappointing that three of the four tasted almost the same, this is definitely a fun thing to get if anything for the topic of conversation and it definitely will be fun for both kids and adults!

About the authors:

Jacquie is an annual passholder and Disney fan who visits the parks often with her oldest daughter Amber. She is a freelance social media strategist, consultant, advisor, and content creator for Living the Dream Podcast.

 Amber Montes de Oca is a huge Disney fan. She’s an annual pass holder and loves to visit the Disney parks often. Her hobbies are singing, acting, and drawing. She has a BA from the University of Central Florida.

Rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra Born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Published November 4, 2013 by Disneyways.com

There’s a new baby at Animal Kindgdom Lodge. A rare Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra…the proper term for her is a “filly”…and she was born in October 2013. I am hearing through the grapevine that her name is Prima, although this has not been confirmed by Disney. Her photo is below, isn’t she a cutie?!

Photo credit: Disney Parks Blog

Prima the baby zebra

Prima’s mom was pregnant for a whole year, so you know she is probably as overjoyed as the rest of us for this new arrival. The filly and her mother are bonding well and doing fine.

Typically found in mountainous regions of southwestern Africa, the Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra is characterized by a striking pattern of narrow vertical stripes covering its head and body. They can weigh up to 800 pounds and grow up to eight and a half feet. This species is considered endangered, with only 50 of Hartmann’s Mountain Zebra in the United States and an estimated 7,000 throughout the world. Disney’s Animal Programs team is actively involved in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan for this critical species. The team is proud to have a successful birth of a rare species.

It might be fun to head over to the mara and celebrate the new baby with a zebra dome – or by doing some of the free activities that Animal Kingdom Lodge offers! I know I can’t wait to head out there to see if I can get a photo of Prima.

Photo property Disney

Photo property Disney

Some fun zebra facts:

There are three species of zebra, two of which live on the savannas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can see plains zebras as well as Hartmann’s mountain zebras during your stay. The Hartmann’s Mountain zebras (Prima and her mom) have thinner stripes that don’t extend around the belly.

Just like snowflakes, no two individual zebras look exactly alike.

Most scientists believe that the zebra’s stripes may serve to break up the outline of the zebra’s body in the herd and provide some camouflage when the zebra is standing in tall grass.

Mountain zebras eat mostly grass, bark, leaves and tree and shrub shoots. Though they prefer mountainous regions for their habitat, they are known to move to lower elevations to graze in cold weather and seek shelter in caves or wooded areas.

Mickey and Minnie New Meet and Greet Spot Inside Animal Kingdom May 15, 2013

Published May 14, 2013 by Disneyways.com

On May 15, 2013 Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse will begin making appearances at a new, indoor venue at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park called Adventurers Outpost.

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Adventurers Outpost on Discovery Island will be Mickey and Minnie’s exploration headquarters and the new location where Guests can meet the famous duo before they head onto their next adventure within the park.

Meanwhile, over at Camp Minnie-Mickey, Guests will still be able to meet other Disney friends and catch a performance of the incomparable Festival of the Lion King.

Lion King show

Over the next few months, additional character changes will occur at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park with the arrival of Daisy Duck. Also, Winnie the Pooh and Tigger will soon greet Guests in Camp Minnie-Mickey. Several of Guest favorites including King Louie, Baloo, Pocahontas and Chip ‘n’ Dale will remain in Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Eeyore will no longer greet Guests at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park after May 9. Eeyore appears at the Crystal Palace at Magic Kingdom Park.

Just in Time for the 15th Anniversary! Your GO-TO Source for Animal Kingdom Information!

Published April 9, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Have you heard? Monday, April 22nd is Animal Kingdom’s 15th anniversary! I wanted to quickly re-post for you what Disney has sent out so far about the occasion.

But first I need to let you in on a secret. If you are looking for more information on the entire Animal Kingdom Park in general – you really need to join Safari Mike at the MOST comprehensive site I have found so far on the web!

Read all the way to the bottom of this post to get the stuff from Disney and then head to:

JamboEveryone.com

DAK anniversary

The information from Disney about the anniversary begins below.

  • Special opening ceremony – Meet at the Tree of Life at 8:40 a.m., to hear from Josh D’Amaro, Vice President of Disney’s Animal Kingdom; Dr. Jackie Ogden, Vice President of Animals, Science and Environment; and Joe Rohde, Senior Vice President of Walt Disney Imagineering Creative. Make sure you arrive early for this!

 

  • Earth Day “Party for the Planet” festivities – Special interactive activities that focus on animals and nature will take place throughout the park from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Artists and other vendors will present their work on in Africa and on Discovery Island, with their work available for purchase.
  • Opportunity to purchase special 15th anniversary merchandise, available in limited quantities.
  • Special food & beverage.

 

We’ll have more details on Party for the Planet fun, food & beverage and merchandise closer to the event date – stay tuned!

To join the conversation about the park’s anniversary online, use the hash tag #DAK15 on Twitter.

Wild and Free nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge

2 AK Restaurants that Give You the Most Bang for your Buck

5 Things you May Not Know About DiVine

Awesome Animal Photos and More

World Secrets – Wild and FREE – Nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Published April 4, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Are you ready for a wild time? Zebra, Kudu, and Uzimas – oh my!  Altogether, more than 200 mammals and birds of nearly three dozen species can be found roaming the savannas of Animal Kingdom Lodge, 24 hours a day.

So we’ve covered the WILD part of this edition of World Secrets. But what about the FREE part? Well, as gorgeous and unique as the Lodge is during the day – it truly comes to life in the evening with some unusual (and FREE!) nocturnal activities that you just can’t find any where else. Activities that create a perfect way to cap off a (not free!) romantic dinner at Boma, Sanaa, or to unwind with the family after a long day at the parks.

The secrets begin with sunset.

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As the sun goes down, you can make your way to the Sunset Savanna Overlook viewing area. It’s secret? THIS savanna is designed specifically for viewing at sunset. Giraffes, zebra, impalas and more will be active at this time of day, increasing your chances of seeing them up close. It’s free to take all the photos you want, and even tripods are welcome.

Next on the list of free night time viewing fun – check out the Arusha and Uzima savannas. Each has its own unique look and feel, and not all savannas have all the animals. For instance, ostrich are unique to the Sunset savanna, zebras to the Arusha savanna, and kudu will only be found spending their wild nights on t the Uzima savanna. Giraffes are the only animal found on all three savannas.

The next World Secret is pretty well-kept! Once you’ve gotten your fill of picture-taking at the Sunset Savanna – nightfall brings the opportunity to view animals with night vision goggles! A cast member will be on hand to teach you how to use the goggles to identify the animals, or you can also pick up a  FREE guide at the front desk. This activity is currently offered at the Uzima Savanna Overlook…the price of this activity? Believe it or not, absolutely FREE.

Giraffe through night vision goggles at AKL

Usually night vision viewing is available  from 9-11 p.m., but be sure to check with a cast member, as times may change through the seasons. At night, all the savannas are illuminated by artificial moonlight as if a full moon were ever present.

How about  some FREE African story-telling while you cozy up to the warmth and crackle of a camp fire? African cast members will regale you with a story each night around the fire pit in the beautiful lobby area, or at the outdoor fire pit under the stars – usually right around 7:30PM each night. Location and times may be subject to change so be sure to double check with a cast member.

Random fact for you – Victoria Falls (or Mosi-oa-Tunya (Tokaleya Tonga:the Smoke that Thunders) is the world’s largest waterfall. You can find it in southern Africa on the Zambezi River at the border of Zambiaand Zimbabwe.

Victoria Falls LOUNGE  is a relaxing, oasis perched above Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Boma restaurant. Here you will enjoy the sounds of a gorgeous indoor trickling waterfall that is 2 stories high. Every now and then you will also hear a duo of African drummers walking down the steps. Relaxing in the beautiful atmosphere in this  quiet lounge will make you feel like you have discovered a wonderful, FREE World Secret. You may just forget you’re at Disney World.

My son found the lounge to be the perfect place to practice his latest card tricks for my nephew!

Maybe your wallet is feeling heavy from saving all that money on these free activities – and you are ready to spend some dough? Here at Victoria Falls Lounge, you can buy yourself a glass of South African wine, or indulge in your favorite martini, beer or mixed drink. (I highly recommend the Victoria Falls Mist!)

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We hope you’ve enjoyed this Wild and FREE version of World Secrets. What do you love most about Animal Kingdom Lodge in the evenings?

 

 

Animal Kingdom Dining: 2 counter service options that offer the most bang for your buck (or dining credits!) – Posted by Jennifer

Published February 20, 2013 by Disneyways.com

Flame Tree BBQ is located near the Discovery Island Bridge to Dinoland. Flame Tree has beautiful views of Expedition Everest over the Discovery River, this is especially nice when the sun is setting over the mountain. All seating is located outdoors but there are some pavilions to shade you from the Florida sun. The BBQ menu features ½ Rib Platter with baked beans & cole slaw, 1/2 Smoked Chicken Platter with baked beans & cole slaw, Rib and Chicken Combo with baked beans and cole slaw,Pulled Pork Sandwich w/slaw, and Smoked Turkey breast as well as a Barbecue Salad (crispy lettuce, garbanzo and pinto beans, cheddar cheese, corn, and crispy tortilla strips). For dessert you can choose from Key Lime Mousse or Chocolate Mousse. On my last visit I had the Rib/Chicken Combo, my goodness is this a HUGE meal!

Certainly enough for 2 adults to split, if you are on the dining plan you can use 1 quick service credit and save a credit for another meal. The BBQ was a wonderful sweet flavor and you can find the not so secret recipe in a few Disney cookbooks. Flame Tree’s children’s menu offers a baked chicken drumstick with two sides, a hot dog or a PBJ Sandwich. You can also order fries or onion rings and assorted beverages. This location is open for lunch and dinner and does accept the Disney Dining Plan for 1 Quick Service credit.

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Next stop is Anandapur for Yak & Yeti counter service, this is another outdoor location for dining. Open for lunch and dinner, the Yak and Yeti Counter Service restaurant serves LARGE portions of Asian cuisine in cute little take-out cartons. Offering meals such as Honey Chicken, Sweet & Sour Chicken, and Beef Lo Mein – vegetarians don’t really have a lot of options here. They also serve an Asian Chicken Sandwich and Mandarin Chicken Salad. Side items are Egg Rolls, Fried Rice or Fries. The children’s menu offers Cheeseburger or Chicken Tenders served with carrots and fresh fruit . Dessert options here are Chocolate Cake, Frozen Lemonade or Chocolate Mousse. The Frozen Lemonade is a great choice on a hot Florida Day. Yak & Yeti is located close to two of Animal Kingdom’s most popular attractions, Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids, because of this the Yak and Yeti counter service restaurant can get busy during peak dining times. This location is 1 Dining Plan quick service credit, however the portions are very large and can easily be split between 2 people.

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Both restaurants can be very cost efficient if you are paying out of pocket for your meals while in Disney. I highly recommend either restaurant when dining in Animal Kingdom for the cost, quality and portions. And don’t forget to keep the camera out as both of these locations have amazing views of the park! So sit back, relax and enjoy the meal as well as all of the gorgeous scenery that Disneys Animal Kingdom has to offer.

Jennifer is the author of this post, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner with Destinations in Florida Travel. Contact her here for a FREE no obligation quote when planning your next Disney Vacation.

Christmas at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Published December 24, 2012 by Disneyways.com

The most widely spoken language in Africa is Swahili. “Jambo!” meant the cast members over at Animal Kingdom were saying hello to me, NOT calling me fat, as I originally thought.

Visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge at Christmas time means you may find the cast members saying “Kuwa na Krismasi njema!” – or – “Merry Christmas!” in Swahili. The decorations at Animal Kingdom Lodge are lovely, understated, and of course African themed, as you will see here.

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To check out Disneyways Animal Safari Sundays series click here.

Animal Kingdom Kilimanjaro Safaris – Zebras!

Published November 25, 2012 by Disneyways.com

Once upon a time there were Zebras at Animal Kingdom!

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