Love how you think and are looking at things. I agree that the only problem/not great days I have ever had at WDW are when not having a plan to follow.
When we landed at MCO and I took my phone out of airplane mode, I saw that we had both a room-ready text from WDW and that our room assignment was showing in MDE, a new feature of the latest MDE update that is fantastic if you can’t get texts or if they fail to go through to you. While planning our trip, when scoping out which standard room with a queen and bunks we hoped to get I focused on the sneaky partial savanna views that many Liners have reported enjoying over the years. My room request fax read something like this:
“Thank you for your efforts to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable. We are most interested in room 3230, but if that room is unavailable we would like a room in Jambo, on Flr 3,W-facing Example: 3230,3228,3232,3226,3234,3236,3281,3282,3283. Bunk beds are our top priority, otherwise 3rd floor near lobby would be perfect.”
I also had put something in there about not wanting a connecting room, as we had had a room like that at Pop in September and it was very noisy and disruptive to our sleep.
The room-ready text indicated that we had been assigned to room 2033. I anxiously pulled up the Hotel Room Views page here on TouringPlans to see where that room is located. I was so deflated to find that we were on the second floor, far from the lobby, in a room that had queen beds. I said to my husband, “It’s like they looked at the fax and gave us the exact opposite of what we wanted!” Still, we had booked and paid for a standard view room in Jambo and that’s what we got so I couldn’t exactly be upset or complain. Perhaps some people would ask for another room, but that is just not in my nature.
I gave a full report of the room here so I will not reiterate everything in this report again. The short story is that, while we initially were disappointed with the room, after settling in and spending some time there, realizing how close we were to everything we needed, we wound up loving it and will request that location again in the future if we aren’t paying for a savanna view room. Lesson: don’t knock it til you try it
After checking the room out a bit we changed into our swimwear which we had wisely packed in our carry-ons. What we hadn’t been so wise in packing in the carry-ons was a hairbrush, so DD and I would have to be a little bit cautious in the pool; we had dinner reservations a bit later and dealing with wet hair that needed tending to without a brush would be difficult at best. So please be careful to pack a hairbrush in your carryon!!!
We headed to the Uzima Springs pool. Our short walk to the elevator and the ride one floor down was the first clue that our room was in a very good place. We snagged up some towels from the poolside “Towel Issue” stand and scoped out some lounge chairs. At this hour, finding even two lounge chairs beside one another was challenging; the pool was quite busy and people do tend to hog up chairs they aren’t actively using. We were lucky enough to find some, though, near the pool bar (how convenient!) and we wasted no time getting in that gorgeous water!
After an hour or so of swimming, we headed back to the room to change for dinner. We hung some of our wet things on the retractable clothesline over the tub, but not everything fit. It would be nice to have a drying rack in the room for this purpose. If one had room in their luggage, it would be smart to pack! We improvised and used the luggage stand that was in the closet for the same purpose. While in the room we also called to bell services to have our Garden Grocer order brought to the room, which came quite quickly; we tipped accordingly. We had ordered very little on this trip – mainly some quick breakfast items and bottled water – but looking back, with changes to the dining plan now including 2 snacks per person per day, this was really unnecessary. More on that later.
We headed over to Kidani Village for our dinner reservation at Sanaa. It was a gorgeous, warm, sunny, breezy day so we opted to walk. There is a shuttle between the two sides of the resort in case you’d rather not. We were about 30 minutes early for our 7:30pm reservation, so after checking in at Sanaa we spent some time enjoying the savanna overlooks. It was bliss.
When our pager sounded off we returned to the check-in desk at the restaurant. This was one of those moments we were reminded that we were in Disney: the hostess took some time to converse with us, especially our son, sharing information about where she is from and asking about our home. They talked about what our plans were for the week, and really connected in that brief moment. You just don’t get that most of the time at home, where a simple escort to your table and a “your server will be right with you” is pretty standard. It was a very Disney moment.
Personally, I believe in having at least one adult beverage per day when on any vacation. I don’t drink much at home, so this is part of the experience for me. I had a Malawi Mango Margarita and it was just the thing I needed! The kids each had a smoothie - my son ordered the berry one and my daughter ordered the mango one. My husband had a Sprite. We of course enjoyed the Bread Service, with all 5 breads and all 9 accompaniments. Everyone enjoyed it as always
The menu at Sanaa is a bit adventuresome for my family, but we know this as we have enjoyed meals here before, so we know that everyone will find something to enjoy. Our son had the kids’ pizza, our daughter enjoyed the butter chicken with basmati rice, my husband had the Braaivleis, a trio of African meats (sausage, pork tenderloin, and ?beef - we can’t remember LOL), and I had the braised beef with basmati rice and cilantro-coconut vegetables. It was all so delicious! We ate as much as we could, and opted to share dessert even though it was included with our meals. We just couldn’t eat an entire dessert apiece. My husband ordered the celyon spiced cheesecake and I had the African povu, a chocolate mousse dessert that is to die for.
We rolled on out of there around 9pm and headed back to Jambo House. My kids and husband wanted to visit the Zawadi Marketplace, the hotel’s extensive gift shop. I, on the other hand, preferred to sit and take in the lobby. I just love this space and could sit here for hours.
We were pleased to find our luggage had arrived when we returned; we had packed pajamas and a change of clothes in our carry-ons just in case. So we spent a few minutes setting up the room “just so” for our stay, prepped our park bags for the morning, and hit the hay. We had a full day of touring ahead of us and needed to be fully rested to start our adventures!!!
Up next: our first experience spending part of our family vacation in separate locations
Can’t wait to read more. Great report!
My son and I had lunch at an Indian restaurant that recently opened in town. We got the bread basket. I may have to ask him if he wants to try Sanaa. DH & I ate there but it was December so it was too dark to see animals.
Loving this!! I’ve wanted to try Sanaa, but dh and kids are so picky. You give me hope!
I hope that you don’t take offense, but my love for the beauty of Jambo House made me do a bit of adjusting to your picture, so others can more full appreciate the details.
No offense at all! I just did the same on another photo. I hadn’t had the chance to do it to this one and I appreciate the change.
@bswan26 could probably qualify as a professional photographer.
ZOMG! ZOMG!! ZOMG!!!1!!1!eleventy
Loving your trip report , thanks
So it is definitely a bit of a stretch for them, especially my daughter. My son is still a “Disney kid” so he just orders from the kids’ menu. The kids’ menu has a lot of pretty basic stuff: grilled chicken, fish, pizza, burger/cheeseburger; there is also a shrimp meal and a kids’ sized serving of butter chicken. Plenty for those with basic tastes to enjoy. Looking back, we should have just had my daughter order something from there. She enjoyed her meal, but it was a ton of food and she eats like a bird.
I am forgetting how old your kids are, but if you opt to try Sanaa (and you definitely should!!!) maybe have them order off the kids menu and pay OOP instead of dining plan there.
That’s what we have considered doing. Boys will be 14 and 13 in October and daughter will be 8. None of them would try anything on that menu. I think my husband would like the trio of meats dish. I’m going to gave to squeeze it in!
DH and I shared our meals between us some, so we got to taste a little of everything. Then there was all that butter chicken leftover from DD too. My word, so much food
I just want to say how refreshing your attitude is. I have recently spent some time on another forum which I won’t name and the attitude from people there is so disheartening. It almost felt like a group of people who just got together to bash Disney while claiming to love it. I know Disney doesn’t always get things right and I think we could all think of improvements but the way you handled your room situation is exactly what the world needs more of.
Anyways, back to the regularly scheduled program.
Loving your report so far! Can’t wait to read the rest!
Great trip report! Thanks! I bet there are a lot of us Type A first children here!
Thanks for the great trip report, @OB!
Glad that you liked Providence airport, I love that place. Used to live 30 mins from there, now 1 1/2 hours either to there or Logan, which I’ve paid extra to avoid as much as possible haha.
Sounds like a great start, wonderful stay at AKL, and a wonderful trip for your fam!
I love reading this!! Keep it coming!