The picture above was taken this time last year at the Virgin Holidays store in The Trafford Centre, Manchester. A surprise visit on a rainy Thursday evening turned into the most magical adventure when we revealed to Mila-Rose and Alfie that they would be boarding the plane for the holiday of their dreams to Walt Disney World, Florida in just two weeks time! I’m not quite sure how we kept it a secret for 18 months and we wanted to tell them as soon as we’d booked it but it was certainly worth it to see their little faces.
Fast forward 12 months and it’s highly unlikely that we’d even step foot in The Trafford Centre at this moment in time let alone board a plane to Florida. Thankfully last November we got our opportunity to make these precious memories, ones that will live with us forever but for many other families in a similar situation their once in a lifetime holidays would have been cancelled this year due to COVID-19. Unfortunately some may never get the opportunity to make those memories due to their circumstances.
We had always planned to have a family holiday at Disney but with Alfie’s diagnosis we decided to bring the adventure forward a few years so he could enjoy it to the max! We also visited at the perfect time as Toy Story 4 had been released and Frozen 2 was about to be released throw in the added bonus of seeing Disney all decorated for Christmas. What more could a little girl and boy wish for???
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
As we had planned our visit in November, we were very fortunate to get an amazing deal at the very luxurious Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. It wasn’t really peak time though the parks were still busier than we expected. It’s a very unique resort which for me put Disney in a whole new world (see what I did there!) and away from all the razzmatazz associated — instead it offers a very cultural experience and we were lucky enough to have a room with a part savanna view located at the Jambo House complex. It was almost as though we were benefitting from the luxury of two holidays in one as Africa met central Florida, where giraffes, zebras, and other grazing animals roam just beyond your window whilst you have a morning stretch on the balcony.
The resort feels like you’re actually on safari and at the four savannas you can expect to see zebras, giraffes, gazelles, kudu and flamingos. The themed lobby has floor-to-ceiling windows where you can see balconies that overlook the savanna. There are two sections to the complex – Jambo House and Kidani Village – each with similar amenities.
It’s a very family friendly resort with so much on offer for children it’s easy to take a full day or two out of the theme parks to explore and enjoy the resort. To be honest I could have quite easily had a lot more ‘rest days’ at the resort! Mila-Rose and Alfie loved it in Simba’s Cubhouse where they did lots of crafts, watched Disney movies or just mixed with the amazing Disney ‘Cast Members’ (employees) who were all very attentive. Many are from African countries who happily share insights into their homeland. You would often walk through the lobby and they’d be telling stories to weary children sat in mini rocking chairs around the fire helping to ease their long day at the theme parks.
Food and Drink
Forget the parks! The food and drink was the highlight of the holiday for me and we had some amazing meals! The desserts were literally on another level! Below is also a sample of the menu over at Sanaa which was located at Kidana Village side of the complex.
I hope you enjoyed this little insight into Disney’s Animal Kingdom. All these views are my own and this is not a paid review. Everyone knows pretty much what the Disney Parks are all about but I just wanted to give you an insight into this fantastic resort. I literally just wanted to focus on something positive rather than get caught up in discussing COVID-19. There is far too much negativity in the world right now and it’s more beneficial for me to focus on the positives rather than rant about the negatives.
I decided to take a bit of a break from blogging (and to give you all a break too!) as I felt towards of the end of the first lockdown I was literally running out of things to say! It also seemed to becoming quite repetitive.
Since my last blog in early September, Mila-Rose and Alfie have returned to school, they like many others were badly in need of routine. Alfie is now benefitting from his EHC plan and his learning has come on leaps and bounds in the first couple of months of his 1:1 learning. Just before half term though we did have a COVID-19 scare as a member of Alfie’s class tested positive which meant he had to isolate as a precaution for 14 days. Thankfully during that time he didn’t show any symptoms and the school successfully ran remote learning which he really enjoyed. I think over the coming winter months this sadly will become a regular occurrence as the current situation is getting worse with the infection rate rising.
We are currently in Tier 3 and aside from going to work or shopping for essentials we’ve spent the half term break at home and will continue to do so to not only protect ourselves but others too. I think we’re kind of used to being at home now so we’re looking forward to this weekend and getting dressed up for Halloween by creating our own little scarefest!
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.
One thought on “What a difference a year makes!”
Aww…that’s lovely Kieron. We surprised our girls one Christmas when they were 7 and 10 with a Disney Cruise. Still one of the most awesome Christmas surprises ever. There is nothing like a Disney vacation!
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