Animal Kingdom, Disney, Disney Dining, Disney for Adults, Disney for Foodies, Girls Getaway Weekend

Girls’ Getaway Weekend: Day 3 – Animal Kingdom

A Wild Safari Breakfast

The second unique event for Girls’ Getaway Weekend involved getting to ride the first Kilimanjaro Safari of the day, followed by a private breakfast in Africa.  When I was a Cast Member, my primary role was selling tickets at the front of Animal Kingdom. Getting to walk through the park as the animals are waking up, before the crowds start to file in, took me back to some of my favorite memories from my CM days.  If you get chance to enter the park before it opens (like by having an early breakfast reservation at Tusker House), I really recommend giving yourself some extra time to really look around and experience the animals in the quiet peacefulness of the early morning.

Anyway…  back on topic! Once everyone in our group arrived, we were escorted into the park.  Our group was just the right size that we filled our own safari truck.  One of my favorite things about the Kilimanjaro Safaris is that you will never have the same ride twice! Even if you ride twice in a row, things will change. With live animals, you never know what you’re going to get – from a rhino so close you could touch it (please don’t try) to an ostrich who decided the middle of the road was a good place to lay down.  I always take way too many pictures during our safari, but I love looking at them later and remembering all the animals we got to see! I am honestly really excited to see the new nighttime safari and how different animals respond in the evening compared to what we’re used to witnessing during the day!

After our safari, we made our way back into the heart of Africa. We were guided into a hidden courtyard area that was sectioned off with fabric.  I had never even noticed it was there before, right behind Tamu Tamu refreshments. Upon arrival, we were greeted with a buffet of food and drink, including a coffee station complete with flavored syrups. The food had a slightly African flare and it was delicious! It was such a fun experience to be able to share a breakfast with the ladies in our group in such a unique way.

After breakfast, we split off into our smaller groups. My friends and I made our way back to one of my absolute favorite rides, Expedition Everest! We rode once with our FastPasses and then each rode again via the single rider line. As much as I love Animal Kingdom, I ended up leaving shortly after riding Everest. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, but I had a pinched nerve in my back during this trip. I was trying to push myself in a manual wheelchair and decided I needed a break so I made my way back to the hotel, grabbed lunch in the Pop Century cafeteria and took a much-needed nap!

I also ordered an electronic wheelchair for the remainder of our trip from Apple Scooters. While I would have much preferred to just walk, I didn’t want to have to keep leaving the parks or sitting for extended periods of time while everyone else was having fun. To rent an ECV (Electronic Conveyance Vehicle) at a Disney park is $50/day plus a $20 refundable deposit. These are convenient to the parks, but you have to turn them in at the park entrance so they aren’t really helpful around the hotels.  I my rental from Apple was around $100 for the remaining 2 1/2 days and I was able to take it where ever I needed to! Plus, they dropped the scooter off at the resort and will pick it up on our departure day. If mobility is an issue for someone in your family, I really recommend them. I haven’t used anyone else for comparison, but I had a good experience.

Raglan Road

For dinner, we had reservations at Raglan Road, another restaurant I had never tried before. I have heard great things so I was definitely looking forward to trying it.  Spoiler Alert: It was not my favorite.

I liked the live entertainment and the company, but I otherwise was not impressed. The food was not memorable – I think I ordered a steak, but I honestly don’t remember. It took over an hour to get our drinks and place our order. Our food came out within a reasonable time after ordering, but then it was another hour before we were able to order our desserts (we were all on the dining plan). When it was all said and done, we were there for over 3 1/2 hours. While I understand we were a larger party (16 of us), I just felt like things were not handled appropriately… and I served for years so I’m generally pretty forgiving.  We ended up unable to shop after dinner as it was 11:30pm and the shops were closing for the night.  Rather than try to rush through the stores, we decided to just head back to the hotel and get a good night’s sleep. I may give Raglan Road another try just because it gets such rave reviews, but there are other places much higher on my list. At least I can now say I tried it!

Read All About Girls’ Getaway Weekend: Arrival Day — Epcot — Animal Kingdom — Magic KingdomHollywood Studios

Never Grow Up!

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