It's a Jungle out there!
(Well, actually, it was a Savannah.... but "It's a Savannah out there!" doesn't sound quite right.)
Vacation days 1 and 2 (9/12 and 9/13)- Animal Kingdom Lodge and Downtown Disney.
The trip from the Orlando Airport to the Animal Kingdom Lodge went very smoothly. We signed up to take the Magical Express (Disney buses). It was so nice. They mailed us luggage tags to put on our checked bags, so when you arrive you just let the Disney desk know how many bags you have and they pick them up from baggage claim and deliver them to your hotel room. All we had to do was get on the bus and wait. No stress.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is just beautiful. You feel like your hotel is just stuck out in the middle of the African wilderness. Zoe loved the balcony in our room. She seemed to especially like the giraffe (when we could see them). We're really happy we went with the Savannah front room.
We had dinner at one of the hotel restaurants. The food was delicious and when we were done we were completely stuffed. We went for a walk around the pool and savannah overlook areas. It's amazing how much there was to see right at the hotel.
We spent the next morning looking for more animals, visiting the playground, wandering around the hotel and swimming in the pool. After a busy morning Zoe took a nice nap in the hotel room, I relaxed on the balcony with a (very very good) book, and Nick went to see what the hotel gym looked like and (I think) road a gym bike.
After Zoe woke from her nap we went to take one of the Disney shuttle buses for dinner. We had made reservations, but at the last minute (after we were already on a bus) decided we should change plans. We thought it might be a better use of time (and more fun) to walk around Downtown Disney and have dinner there. Our late decision made it necessary to take 3 or 4 different shuttle buses, though. It was hot and took us a while, but eventually we made it. Thank goodness Zoe loves riding on buses!
Once we were at Downtown Disney we had a nice time. We skipped bringing the stroller (since our original plan didn't include strolling) so Zoe enjoyed walking through the crowds (with 2 nervous parents). We had dinner at Bongos Cuban Restaurant. Again, a delicious meal. Zoe especially enjoyed sharing my dinner. I don't remember the name of it, but it was a mojo marinated shredded beef. Yum.
After dinner we took the water taxi/ferry from one end of Downtown Disney to the other end. It was a nice relaxing ride... although it was quite windy. Zoe enjoyed a ride on the carousel and train... and we both enjoyed some Ghirardelli ice cream before heading off to find out shuttle bus. We had a much quicker ride back to the hotel since we only needed one bus. Next time I guess we'll try to plan ahead and stick to the plan.
Our vacation really had a great start.