Day 1, Wednesday 6/24:
Easy peasy getting into MCO & even our Magical Express bus showed up within 5-10 minutes of being assigned to the Animal Kingdom Lodge que. We arrived on property around 11am and we were HUNGRY for lunch. We had already decided that this was going to be a ‘do nothing’ afternoon to explore the resort, go swimming, & hopefully get into our room before heading out to Studios for dinner.
Unfortunately NOTHING went our way after arriving & it just seemed to get worse as the day went on. In retrospect I am thankful that all the rough spots got out of the way on Day 1 'cause there was hardly a glitch for the entire trip afterwards.
We decided to walk over to the Jambo House for lunch at the Mara, which took exactly 6 minutes by the way. The walkway is shaded in some spots but NOT protected from rain so I’d suggest taking any park bus 'cause they all stop at Jambo after Kidani (EXCEPT the DtD bus). Lunch at the Mara was good & as much as we both love the original lodge we were anxious to get back to Kidani & explore.
Kidani is WAY more intimate & less grandious in size compared to Jambo but what lacks in size greatly makes up for in atmosphere & warmth. It REALLY does feel like a village that’s ‘home,’ even though we had never been there before. Everything just smells & looks new and however Disney accomplishes this everytime I’ll never know but Kidani absolutely feels as comfy as your own living room & every CM we encountered was beyond kind and helpful.
After lunch our room still wasn’t ready so I went to bell services & retrieved the small beach bag I had pre-prepared just in case. There are GORGEOUS bathrooms with spa style changing rooms & a shower down by the Kidani pool, which was greatly appreciated since we didn’t have a room to get ready in.
We were both amazed by the pool area. It’s hard to get a photo of the entire thing b/c it’s fairly large & the play area is AMAZING. Gushing water falls, interactive water play games, a mini baby wading pool, playground,water guns, dry slide, water slide, and a nicely sized zero entry adult pool. It felt sooooo nice to sit under that waterfall, which Daniel and I did for about an hour. :laugh:
When I went to retrieve our stuff (clothes, cell phones, wallet, etc.) from the locker it was COMPLETELY STUCK! The key wouldn’t open it! A life guard walked by and I told her what happened, she said she would call someone. I waited around for about 10 minutes & nobody came. So here I am dripping wet & had to walk back to the lobby & tell the front desk what happened. The CM said, “well if you go to the store they can return your $1.” :laugh: I was like NOOOO, I don’t care about the dollar, I need my CLOTHES and wallet, & cell phone!!! It’s stuck!!! (if you are staying at Kidani & need a locker don’t use #28) :laugh: Maintenence had to come & eventually I got my stuff out. :laugh: And YES, and after changing I did get my $1 back.
We used the changing rooms again to get dressed & headed inside to inquire about our room, it was approximately 2pm & still no dice. Daniel played in the arcade for awhile, we played pool in the AWESOME Community Hall, & sat in Kidani’s gorgeous ‘library’ listening to the live African drumming circle they have going on in the afternoon. At 3:30 we decided to check again… no room. 3:45… no room.
At that point a manager saw us sitting in the lobby and said “Our rooms are guaranteed to be ready by 4pm, I am sure if you come back in 15 minutes it will be ready.” We were starting to get nervous 'cause we did have a 6:10 reservation at Hollywood & Vine and Daniel would still have to get his annual pass from Guest Services. :pinch: We didn’t want to hang out in the room for long we just wanted 15 minutes to change, throw our stuff in, & get refreshed.
We waited until 4:15 and NO ROOM!!! :pinch: The CM said to try back at 4:30pm. We told him about our dinner plans & that we were going to have to leave and get our room later b/c we didn’t want to miss dinner. The same manager ended up finding us again 5 minutes later & apologized. Apparantly there was a BIG mix-up between the computer system & housekeeping. :pinch: Our room MAY have been ready for hours but the computer system was reflecting that it was never cleaned. They sent someone up to check it & sure enough it was ready. The manager offered to credit us 2 table service credits & also said that they’d hold our dining reservation 15 minutes after our time.
We RACE to room 7506, change, wash up & get down to the bus stop at 4:50pm, should be plenty of time, right? OMG, a Studios bus didn’t come until 5:40!!! :blink::eek: We were even ready to jump on a cab at this point. We were CONVINCED we were going to miss dinner but were also VERY discouraged that on our first day a Studios bus took 50 minutes to arrive!!! :ohmy: After picking up some VERY cranky people at Kidani & Jambo House the bus driver was unfortunately VERY unkind. She told an older man who was VERY upset about the wait “Well Sir, if standing for long amounts of time isn’t comfortable for you maybe you need an assistance device.” :eek: At least 5 people on the bus asked for her name & were upset about the way she was talking to people. She really did have a big attitude, yes a lot of people were complaining & it wasn’t her fault BUT she could have handled things WAY differently.