Did you know Boma~ Flavors of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers free cookie decorating to kids of all ages every afternoon! Head to the restaurant at 1:30 for a 30 minute decorating session. Guests are provided with an animal shaped sugar cookie and decorating supplies such as icing and sprinkles.
While this is not something I’ve ever done for FREE at Walt Disney World, I have found this information on several web sites and in The Unofficial Guide Walt Disney World, 2015 book. Throughout Asia and Africa at Animal Kingdom, you can find cast members who will discuss their native countries and the wildlife found there if you ask. You can find these ambassadors on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, the Maharajah Jungle Trek, and at The Oasis. I’ve also found that the African Goodwill Ambassadors can be found at the Animal Kingdom
Lodge and may also have trading cards with information
about their native country.
For parents who are taking children out of school for a trip to Walt Disney World, locating these individuals would be an excellent educational opportunity for the students! I’d much rather learn about an African country from a person who lives there rather than my teacher at school! 🙂
Ten years ago I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time. We had a fabulous time there. There were so many unique things to do there, we could have made a vacation out of this resort alone! One of my favorite FREE things to do at Animal Kingdom Lodge is use night vision equipment to view the animals in the savanna. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of this experience because this trip was “pre blogging” and I wasn’t taking a photo of every. little. thing. we. did. at that time! 🙂
Typically from 9-11pm, you can find a cast member at the Uzima Savanna Overlook who will teach you how to use the night vision equipment and help you identify the animals you find. Check with the front desk or a cast member to confirm the time night vision viewing is being offered. One unique thing about the savanna is at night, they are all illuminated by artificial moonlight to make it seem like there is a full moon each night. This will definitely help you spot those animals with the night vision equipment!
You can read more and see a video on the Disney Parks Blog!
This week, I’m encouraging you to take some time to head to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. While this is a deluxe resort and very pricy, it isn’t closed to those who aren’t staying there. Visit this resort, take in the African decor and spend some time wandering the Savannas You and your family will see lots of authentic plants and animals on the grounds. There are “Safari Guides” outside in the viewing areas. Guests staying at the resort will get an animal guide in their room, but you can also request one from the front desk. Don’t forget your camera!
I’ve often considered taking a trip to Walt Disney World and not entering the parks… at all. The tickets are an expensive part of our vacation and sometimes I just want a small Disney fix! So, here are my top experiences to have outside of the 4 main parks at Walt Disney World- whether you are or aren’t actually visiting those parks during your vacation!
- Typhoon Lagoon and/ or Blizzard Beach. These water parks are excellent for the entire family. Both parks have areas for little ones to play, a lazy river and beach for those who like to lounge, speed slides for those who like thrills and wave pools for the entire family. Each park is home to unique water park experiences: at Typhoon Lagoon you can swim with sharks and at Blizzard Beach you can go down the second fastest and tallest slide in the world!
- Downtown Disney. This is where Disney and shopping collide! You can find almost anything Disney related and in any price range at Downtown Disney. You need to shop here for those hard to shop for friends, those family members who have everything and everyone in between! And there are fantastic restaurants and entertainment options here!
- Monorail Ride and Resorts. We always take a ride on the Monorail while we are at Walt Disney World and 95% of the time, we get off at the Monorail Resorts and look around. We visit the resorts lobby, gift shops and restaurants. We also like to look at the “extras” such as pools, playgrounds, beaches and more!
- Fort Wilderness. There is so much to do here! You can go to a petting zoo, catch a dinner show, eat some home cookin’, watch a free Disney movie, sing with Chip and Dale, ride a carriage and the list goes on. I’d love to rent a camper and actually camp here- especially at Christmas or Halloween when the campers decorate with gusto!
- Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is so much more than just a Deluxe resort. Outside the resort is an actual Boardwalk around Crescent Lake where you can eat, visit an arcade, listen to dueling pianos, dance, see performers, rent bikes, ride boats and enjoy all there is to offer!
- Mini Golf. While it has been a while since I’ve done this (due to my boys being so young) this is a fun thing to do outside the parks! Winter Summerland and Fantasia Gardens are both outstanding mini golf courses. That’s just what they are- mini golf courses complete with sand traps, water hazards, and obstacles just like “real” golf!
- Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you have enough time and have done as much of the things listed above as possible, consider taking a bus to Animal Kingdom Lodge just to look around! The resort is beautiful and during the day you can walk through the Savannah and see animals out and about. At night, you can watch them through night vision binoculars. Check with the front desk to see what else you can experience while you visit!