Friday, April 28, 2017

Ears the News: April 28, 2017 Edition


Welcome to the latest edition of Ears the News

Brought to you by our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom is scheduled for a lengthy refurbishment later this summer.

The refurbishment is planned to begin on August 28 through to November 16.

Refurbishments of Splash Mountain have typically taken place beginning in January, so this late summer closure is unusual. The last major refurbishment took place in 2014.

The newest Disney Vacation Club property, Copper Creek Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, opens July 17 - bringing a third area to the resort.

Disney's Wilderness Lodge itself opened in 1994, Boulder Ridge Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge (Disney Vacation Club opened in 2000) and now to be joined by Copper Creek Villas & Cabins at Disney's Wilderness Lodge.

Each has its own backstory, expanding on the original Transcontinental Railroad themed timeline. Boulder Ridge is set in the late 1800s, Wilderness lodge the early 1900's and Copper Creek today. Check out the video below from the Disney Parks Blog for a look at this new resort.


Trouble viewing the video? Click here to view the video on YouTube.

No new theme park land is complete without its speciality beverages, and Pandora - The World of Avatar will have its share of creatively inspired drinks.
Image courtesy of WDWMagic.com

At the Satu'li Canteen, the Pandoran Sunrise is a non-alcoholic mix of tropical Juices blended with Powerade Melon – available in the souvenir Satu'li Canteen Flute Flask.


Disney managed to find a winery called Banshee from the Napa Valley, which is of course very appropriate for the land, as guests will be riding a banshee on the land's signature attraction.

A Banshee Chardonnay and Banshee Pinot Noir are on the wine menu by the glass, along with a Dreamwalker Sangria with a splash Blue Curaçao.

At the Pongu Pongu walk-up window, the Night Blossom frozen drink is a non-alcoholic mixture of limeade with apple and desert pear flavors topped with passion fruit boba balls (available in a souvenir Pongu Pongu mug with a glow cube).

The Mo'ara Frozen Margarita is another frozen drink with Sauza Conmemorativo Añejo Tequila with strawberry and blood orange flavor topped with strawberry boba balls (also available in a souvenir mug).

Image courtesy of WDWMagic.com

The single rider line at Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom will be temporarily unavailable due to a refurbishment. During the refurbishment, the standby and FastPass lines will operate as normal.

The closure of the line is planned from April 26 through to May 16.

A brand new interactive character experience has debuted in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland.

Named iCan, the robot travels around Tomorrowland, striking up conversations with guests of all ages.

Besides being highly agile, an impressive feature is his ability to look-up information, on say where people live, and have detailed knowledge of the area.

He is also equipped with a chest mounted video and display and extensive on-board sound effects and music. Check out the video below from our friends at WDWMagic.com.


Trouble viewing the video? Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Image courtesy WDWMagic.com
A newly released marketing image from Disney offers a new look at Pandora - The World of Avatar after-dark.

The land takes on a new life after-dark, with bioluminescent flora providing a colorful landscape and even responding to touch.


Disney has refreshed the operating hours calendar for Summer 2017 at Walt Disney World.

Most parks have seen an increase of at least an hour each day, along with the addition of nighttime shows.

This summer is a busy period for Walt Disney World, with several big openings taking place.

Pandora - The World of Avatar opens May 27, 2017, and with it comes hours of 8:00 AM to 11:00 PM, with morning EMH 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM, and evening EMH 11:00 PM to 1:00 AM.

At the Magic Kingdom, the new nighttime spectacular Happily Ever After debuts May 12. Rather surprisingly, the Magic Kingdom hours rarely extend beyond 10:00 PM close in June and July.

Disney's Hollywood Studios continues with 9:30 PM close throughout the summer, with a single performance of Fantasmic! most nights, joined by Star Wars A Galactic Spectacular.

Portobello Country Italian Trattoria closed its doors on April 24, with work now underway on bringing a new Italian Restaurant concept to the space.

Owner Levy Restaurants is carrying out a multi-million dollar renovation of the restaurant, with James Beard award-winner and Top Chef Master, Tony Mantuano, leading the development.

“We've been grateful to serve our loyal guests at Portobello for the last seven years,” said Andy Lansing, President and CEO of Levy Restaurants. “We look forward to welcoming our guests back to the location early this fall when we unveil a new concept at Disney Springs.”

The new concept is planned to open early Fall 2017.

Disney is now offering a dining package alongside its new summer show at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Beginning May 26, 2017, The Music of Pixar Live! Dining Package gives you reserved seating, along with breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of the park's table service restaurants.

The Music of Pixar Live! showcases a selection of soundtrack favorites from Cars, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc., Toy Story and UP—all performed by a live orchestra. As the symphony plays, giant screens will feature a movie montage, outtakes and interview excerpts with the folks behind Pixar’s captivating music. Character appearances and a sing-along will also be part of the 40 minute show, performed three times per night, in the Theater of the Stars on Sunset Blvd.

Each dining package includes an appetizer, entrée and dessert—or one full buffet, where applicable—along with a non-alcoholic beverage and one guaranteed seat for The Music of Pixar Live! held on the same day.

Reservations can be made now at 407-WDW-Dine or online through August 27, 2017.

The following restaurants are taking part:

Hollywood & Vine

  • Breakfast – $39 per adult and $25 per child
  • Lunch – $52 per adult and $32 per child
  • Dinner – $57 per adult and $35 per child


Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano

  • Lunch & Dinner – $45 per adult and $18 per child


The Hollywood Brown Derby

  • Lunch & Dinner – $65 per adult and $22 per child

Looking to plan your next trip to Walt Disney World? Contact the agents at Kingdom Konsultant Travel to help you plan your dream vacation. Email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com for a free quote today.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

3 Things to Pack for Your Disney Cruise That You May NOT Have Thought Of


Hey there, Disney Fans!

     I'm baaaaaack! We just got back from our amazing 7 night cruise on the Disney Magic and I have SO much to share, including pictures, stories, reviews, etc., but since we have only been home a couple of days, and the Littles had to get right back into the swing of school and The Hubs and I went right back to work, it's going to take me a hot minute to get organized. In the meantime, I wanted to share with you a couple of little tips that I have for packing for your cruise. Namely, I am going to share three items that you may not have thought about packing, which you will find super useful. What are these life-changing, (well, cruise-changing), items? 
1. Zip Top Bags (in various sizes)
These can be a life saver! There are lots of different uses, but here are some of my faves:

- Use them when packing. Just like you have to do with TSA, if you pop any liquids, gels, aerosols or creams that you may be bringing into one of these babies, you're more likely to avoid explosions within your bags, ruining your clothing. Keep in mind that your bags are going to get tossed around A LOT. Put into a cab, car, limo or transfer van, put onto a baggage cart at the port, tossed into a storage room on the ship to get sent to your stateroom, etc. The more preventative measures that you can take to ensure that you do not have any spills, the better.

- Use them is as an emergency protective layer for electronics when you are on excursions. Tropical rain storms can pop up at any time, not to mention, many excursions involve a water element. At the first drop of rain, or before starting your kayaking adventure, toss your family's iPhones, cameras, etc. into a ziplock bag and you won't have to worry if the rain drenches you through to your underwear, or if your canoe starts taking on water. Your electronics will be safe. (Whew! We wouldn't want your teenaged daughter to not be able to Snapchat her friends about how lame you are!)
- Use them to hoard snacks for times when you're away from the buffet line. Ok, this may sound a little old-lady-at-a-wedding-putting-rolls-in-her-purse, but hear me out. Yes, Disney Cruise Line does give you access to food pretty much non-stop, but any time you are off the ship, you are on your own when it comes to food. (With the exception of any excursion that may include lunch.) So why not toss a couple of apples and bananas into a bag, to bring with you? At breakfast, there is access to dry cereals, granola, dried fruit, and more, all of which are good, portable snacks. And even when you're ON the ship, you could bring snacks in baggies to the Buena Vista Movie Theater, the Walt Disney Theater for the nightly shows, or up on deck for sitting by the pool, or watching a movie on the Funnel Vision. Now, I WILL say this... Don't bring your bag up to the buffet line and shovel food items right into them. Put the items you want on a plate, and then put them into a bag either back in your stateroom or at least at a table. Also, be reasonable with this. I don't recommend filling a gallon-sized bag with Craisins, or taking all of the bananas for yourself. And definitely do NOT plan on taking food off of the ship with you when you disembark at the end of the cruise, as this can be illegal according to the FDA's regulations.

- Use them to store wet or dirty clothes in your suitcase for your return trip. Trust me, your kids will want to be in the pool until the very last moment possible. This could mean that when you disembark the next morning, bathing suits may still be wet. Rather than let them dampen all of the other clothes in your suitcase, throw em in a gallon sized zip top bag, and you're good to go. Same thing goes for stinky socks or maybe your sweater that the baby spit up on. Toss them in a bag to prevent them from stinking up the rest of your clothes. 
2. Room Spray


No one likes to think about it, but let's face facts... we all poop. And when a family of four is
sharing a small space like a stateroom, that fact will become glaringly obvious to all of you, quickly. If you throw a room spray in your luggage, (be sure and put it in a hand-dandy zip top bag to prevent accidental spraying on your clothes), you will be SO thankful. You can buy small bottles at places like Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candle. Pick a favorite scent, (especially something tropical or oceany), and bring it along. Aside from using it post-restroom visits, you can also give stinky shoes a squirt, to prevent them from making your nice clothes hanging in the closet smell like sweaty feet. You're welcome. 
3. Sports Bottles or Lidded Plastic Cups

It is totally worth going to the dollar store and buying each family member their own sports bottle before the trip. On the same deck as the buffet on the ships, there is a self-service drink station, which has everything from sodas, to iced tea, and coffee to milk. Disney does provide smallish paper cups for your to use, but if you have your own bottle or cup, the drinks become much more portable, and it will save you from having to run back for refills so frequently. Not to mention, you can fill your bottle with water prior to leaving the ship in port, assuring that you will be able to keep yourself hydrated in the hot, hot sun. (Plus here's a BONUS use.... fill your bottle about 1/2 of the way with milk from the self-serve beverage station. Then go over to the self-serve ice cream station and fill the bottle the rest of the way with your chosen flavor of ice cream. Close the lid securely and shake. Instant milk shakes, for FREE!!!! What can I say except, you're welcome!

And here's a little BONUS packing tip for you....

A Whole Bunch of Ones
As you're preparing the 3,000 other things you need to think of for your cruise, it's easy to forget to bring along a nice, healthy supply of $1 bills. No, there is no strip club on the ship, and yes, you'll be paying for most things with your Key To The World card, which gets charged to your supplied credit card, but you WILL need ones to tip room service, to tip porters that help with your bags at the port, to tip taxi drivers when you're visiting ports, etc. Trust me, they'll come in handy.
---
     That's it, kids! My 3 MUST HAVE items when I pack for my cruises. I swear by all of them and hope that you benefit from them too! Please let me know in the comments which ones you will use on your next trip, or if you have your own MUST HAVE items when you sail away! And if you need help planning your amazing Disney Cruise vacation, remember to contact the crew over at Kingdom Konsultant Travel! They are the best!

     Until next week, kids, have a MAGICAL week!

- Jenn aka "Tink"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Free Dining is Back!


Disney released several package and room discounts including free dining!

For free dining, valid travel dates include

  • August 21 through September 30, 2017
  • November 14 through November 20, 2017
  • November 25 through November 27, 2017
  • December 8 through December 23, 2017

Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resort hotels receive the Disney Dining Plan while Value and Moderate Resort Hotels receive the Quick-Service Dining Plan.

Room discounts are available for dates August 1 - October 7, 2017.

Contact your Kingdom Konsultant agent today for a quote or you can email vacations@kingdomkonsultant.com.

We never charge any fees for our services, and flexible payments can be made on your Disney vacation!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Getting Ready For A Disney Cruise

Hi, Disney Fans!!!

     Ohmygod. I'm freaking out a little here, guys! By the time you read this, I'll be less than 48 hours
away from departing for a Disney Cruise!!! So I'm packing. And making lists. And freaking out. And checking my itinerary again. And looking at weather in the ports. And letting the kids watch Disney Cruise Line videos to get prepared. And freaking out. And making sure we have the kids pirate costumes. And triple checking my time off of work. And freaking out. Did I mention the freaking out? It's partial anxious/stressed freaking out, but mostly insanely, euphorically, excited freaking out.

     Let me give you a little of my DCL history. So, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, I'm straight up obsessed with Disney Cruise Line. I first sailed in September of 2002, on a 4 night Bahamian cruise on The Wonder, and was smitten from the moment I stepped onboard. From the impeccable service of the Crew Members, to the gorgeous details all around the ship, the scrumptious food, to the fabulous shows and entertainment... each new thing was better than the last! I immediately started planning for a 7 night cruise in April of 2003, (since 4 nights was not nearly enough). Well, that 7 night cruise on The Magic  happened to be the one where I met the man who would become my husband. While dating, we did one more 3 night and one more 7, and then in September of 2005, we got married the only place that felt right... on a Disney Cruise! Since then, we have been on two more short cruises on The Wonder, three more 7 nighters on The Magic, and one 3 nighter on The Dream.Then in September of 2003, just after our kids first moved in with us and long before they were legally adopted, we got to do a 14 night Panama Canal crossing on The Wonder. That was an incredible cruise! Of course, it helped that it was my first cruise as a mother to the kids I had always dreamed about having, but it was also an amazing experience getting to spend 14 nights onboard the ship, befriending the Crew Members, and getting to do all sorts of activities we had never had time to do onboard before. Of course, with the Littles in school now, and not being kajillionaires, I don't foresee any more 14 night cruises in our immediate future, so I'll settle for a 7. (I know, how snotty of me!)


     So now, here I am, amidst pre-cruise chaos, trying to get my stuff in gear. Do all of our cameras, phones and devices have batteries or power chords? Are all of our documents in order? Do we have a pet sitter? Have I cancelled all appointments that may have been scheduled during the time we will be away? Do my clothes fit? Do I have a pirate night outfit? (I swear that eye patch was around here somewhere...) So much to do, with very little time left to do it. So how do you go about getting it all done? Personally, I break it up into three categories: Stuff That Needs To Get Done FOR The Cruise, Stuff That Needs to Get Done At HOME Before We Go, and The Fun Stuff. This just helps me make different lists and get organized. You can also use it as a way to incentivize yourself to get the more tedious stuff done. Do two things from each of your "Needs" lists, and then reward yourself with something from the "Fun" list. You'll have your own items in each list, of course, but here are some of my items to inspire you:

Stuff That Needs To Get Done FOR The Cruise
- Make final payment
- Make flight, transport and hotel arrangements, if necessary
- Buy trip insurance if desired
- Get family documents organized, including passports, birth certificates, or whatever else is needed
- Complete online check in, including entering all documents and registering kids for the Oceaneers Club. Print documents and keep in an organized folder with all confirmations.
- Notify Disney Cruise Line of any food allergies, and special needs or requests
- Get out suitcases
- Make packing lists for each family member
- Try on clothes and buy any needed clothing or toiletry items
- Iron and do laundry
- Fill suitcases
- Make sure all devices have storage available and have charging chords with them
- Notify credit card company or bank that you will be traveling so that you can use your cards in ports
- Double check weather to ensure that you have packed appropriately

Stuff That Needs to Get Done At HOME Before We Go
- Get time off of work
- Notify kids' schools of trip (if necessary)
- Arrange for house/pet/plant sitter and have keys made for them
- Pay all bills that are due while you are away in advance
- Cancel any appointments you may have for while you are away
- Leave instructions and emergency contacts for house/pet/plant sitter
- Set timers for sprinklers, lights, etc.
- Arrange a ride to the airport or port


The Fun Stuff
- Create a Disney Cruise Line mix CD or playlist to enjoy as you get ready for the cruise, (you can borrow mine from Spotify HERE.
- Create a Disney Cruise Line countdown with a paper chain, or simply a calendar, so that the kids can countdown too
- Research the various ports that you will visit, and decide on excursions and/or plans on your own
- Join a Facebook group of other cruisers that will be on the same cruise as you, or join a chat board thread of the same nature. There are various fan sites that you can do this through.
- If you're a "joiner" and like partaking in fun little activities, do some research on "fish-extenders" and join up. This is kind of like a "Secret Santa"-type of activity, where cruisers leave small gifts for one another in special pockets that hang from the number outside of your stateroom. It's fun to do, but this takes a lot of pre-planning and can cost you a pretty penny if you aren't careful.
- Design, make or buy matching t-shirts for your group for boarding day.
- Put together your pirate costumes for Pirate Night.
- Design, make or buy cool door magnets to decorate your stateroom door. There are lots of pre-made options through various markets on Etsy.
- Check out some of the awesome Disney Cruise Line ship tour videos on YouTube. There's even an e-brochure and video that your can get through DisneyCruiseLine.com. Kids especially will love checking out all the cool stuff they are going to see and do. Plus, if your Littles are like mine and get overwhelmed easily, it gives them a chance to be more mentally prepared.
- Download the Disney Cruise Line Navigator App to your all of your traveling party's smart devices, so that once you're onboard, you can chat via text without using data, have access to the ship's activities schedule, (aka "Personal Navigators"), and even see menus for your meals in advance. The only function that works from home is the little countdown, but it's a cool thing to have for a quick reminder of how few days you have until you're in paradise!
- Anything else you can think of!!!

*o*

   And there you have it, folks. That is how I'm spending the next couple of days, along with chasing the Littles around the house, peeling them off of the ceiling. They are excited out of their minds at this point! (Me too!!!) I can't wait to tell you all about our cruise when we come back, but in the meantime, have a magical week!!! I'm saaaaaailing AWAAAAAAYYYYY!!!!! (Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with meeeee!)


   Oh, and if you'd like some help planning your very own Disney Cruise, contact the fine folks over at Kingdom Konsultants Travel. They'd be happy to help you plan everything, (or nothing at all), to your heart's content!

- Jenn aka "Tink"

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Breakfast at Tusker House

With the crew in my family, dining at Disney World is not just any old eating experience - It's an event!  We take it seriously.   It's not just about the food.  It's about the atmosphere. It's about the interactions with cast members.  It's about memories being made. Like Cinderella (but in a good way!), we anxiously watch the clock waiting for it to strike midnight at the 180 day mark so we can begin making our Advanced Dining Reservations or ADR's.  We scour the menus, argue back and forth, and finally narrow down our choices.  Disney World has so much to offer.  The variety of dining options can be challenging when it comes to deciding where you want to use those Dining Plan credits or spend those hard earned dollars. Everyone in my family has their own individual favorite but one is always, always, always a must: No Disney World vacation is complete without breakfast at Tusker House at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Tusker House is a character, buffet-style restaurant located in the Africa section of Disney's Animal Kingdom Park.  The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner - all buffet-style.  It can be easily overlooked while passing through because it is a somewhat non-descript building that blends in well with the overall African village landscape.  A small sign gives it away.

The theme of the restaurant is of an authentic village market.  When you enter the buffet area you will notice the food stations resemble market stalls laid out in an open, airy space. 

       
The decor is rugged with the appearance of being weathered. Intricate carvings, fabrics, and informative and sometimes humorous signs hang throughout the establishment. I particularly like the ones with African names for animals.  It's a lot of fun trying to say those with a southern accent.  The cast members that serve as wait staff get a kick out of my attempts, I think! The wait staff are fantastic, and most are from one of Africa's many countries.  They love to engage in conversation, and are a fountain of information about their native countries.  They always go out of their way to make dining at Tusker House special.  I find the overall atmosphere to be simultaneously laid back and upbeat.  I'm not a morning person, but Tusker House has the amazing effect of making the early morning grumps just melt away!

I always recommend Tusker House when family and friends come to me for help with planning a visit to the "happiest place on Earth". I always tell them, "you have to eat breakfast at Tusker House!!" They all always ask the same thing: why? I thought about that, and the reasons are many. I have, for the sake of time, narrowed it down to my five main reasons to eat breakfast at Tusker House. 


5. The Characters


I am a grown woman, but I admit I love the characters that call Disney World home.  Breakfast at Tusker House is a great way to meet some of my favorite classic Disney characters. While munching on the fantastic fare, characters arrive to help start the day in true Disney fashion.





Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and my personal favorite, Goofy, all make their rounds, and the excitement skyrockets! They are all dressed in khakis and field hats strolling happily from table to table.  Each character takes time for autographs and photos. Minnie even throws a few kisses. Goofy's antics always bring smiles and laughter around our table. 


Even though my children are no longer preschoolers, I still love watching them interact with our Disney friends. It also does my heart good to watch the families that do have young children enjoy this moment. It is Disney magic at its best. 

4. Early Entry to the Park

Making reservations at Tusker House as early as possible is some the best advice (in my humble opinion) that I can give anyone planning to eat breakfast there.  For a non-morning person like myself, the idea of rolling out of bed at the crack of dawn (on vacation, no less!!) just to eat breakfast may seem a little daunting.  But trust me - it is worth the bleary-eyed stumble that morning.  Arriving early can require a little extra planning as far as transportation goes. Resort buses typically begin running early enough to get to an 8:00 AM reservation. Unfortunately, they run less frequently at the start of the morning so you may want to be at the bus stop extra early to ensure you do not miss it. Upon arriving you will be allowed into the park once your reservation has been verified by the cast member at the front entrance.  That is when something magical occurs.  Animal Kingdom is yours!!! 

I highly suggest that you arrive at the park early enough to be able to take a leisurely stroll down the walkways to your destination.  Take a picture in front of the Tree of Life without crowds roaming into your shot.  Since Tusker House is located at the far end of the park in the African section, take your time and enjoy the walk.  Look out for the birds and other creatures that are waking up to start the day. (Look but don't touch!) Their calls and songs add to the almost surreal atmosphere.  Admire all the flora and fauna that bring their natural beauty to the park. Take in all the little details and special touches that only Disney adds to bring their parks to life.  The architecture and native artwork are amazing and often overlooked in the hustle and bustle of the crowds. Take a moment to smile and greet the cast members you meet along the way.  There is something magical and serene about being in the park before opening.  Immerse yourself in the feeling and enjoy!


3. Kilimanjaro Safari

Being at the park early has a magical atmosphere but it also has a very important perk.  Tusker House is in the African section of Disneys Animal Kingdom.  As luck would have it, another great attraction is it's next door neighbor: Kilimanjaro Safari! Kilimanjaro Safari is Animal Kingdoms signature attraction.   It takes you on a jeep safari into the heart of Africa.  Along the way you will have the unique opportunity to view countless animals roaming freely in their natural habitat.  As you bounce and jostle down the muddy trail with your very knowledgeable tour guide, you can see rhino, elephants, and my favorite, the giraffe.  Lions, real life versions of Simba, hang out, just chilling in the early morning sun.  (Hint: Be on the lookout for Hidden Mickeys!) Flamingos add a splash of color to your day.  Ive taken this trip many, many times. Each one is unique.  I am always transfixed by the majestic beasts that share our world.  
Going early in the day means those magnificent creatures are likely to be pretty active.  It is cooler and many of them have just finished or may be still enjoying their own versions of Mickey Waffles! I am not the only one that loves this glimpse into the wild.  Kilimanjaro Safari is a favorite, must-see attraction for almost everyone that visits.  It often has longer wait times, and fastpasses also get filled quickly.  Eating at Tusker House before opening gives the advantage of being able to get to Kilimanjaro Safari right at park opening.  Lucky you!  You can now be one of the first guests in line for this exciting journey thru Africa.  Yay! Being able to get on quickly means no wasting time standing in line.  This frees up more time for you to visit other attractions, do a little shopping, or explore the trails filled with other animal friends and plant species.  And, besides that, there is no need to use a fastpass on Kilimanjaro so you can use it on other coveted experiences. Double score! 

2. The Food

Since Tusker house is a dining experience I suppose I'd better mention the food! Let me just say that Tusker House offers some of the most delicious fare in the Worldfor breakfast.  The food is served buffet-style and is all you can eat  (which is a huge plus when travelling with two hollow-legged teenage boys!) The variety of what is offered will blow you away.  Even the most picky of eaters will find something they love here.  I find this to be a special blessing since I am constantly trying to find something to appease the diverse appetites in my hungry crew. Traditional breakfast fare like eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, and gravy are served, along with other carved meats. Lots of fresh fruit, cereals and different types of yogurts are available.  Tusker House has a delectable bakery section that has different breads, muffins, croissants, and doughnuts. Yes, I said DOUGHNUTS!! YUM! For more adventurous eaters, and in keeping with the African theme of the restaurant, there are several native dishes to sample.  Mealy pap, a type of porridge, and beef bobotie, a minced meat dish served with a egg topping, are some of the native fare to sample. And of course, Mickey Waffles! My favorite is the fresh frittatas. Even though there are different kinds just waiting to be devoured, I always load up on the ham and cheese version.  I would love to take a bite of that hot, cheesy goodness right now! Everything is always hot, fresh, and delicious. 

I can say without a doubt that you will not leave Tusker House hungry.  In fact, stuffed to the gills is a better description.  Disney always goes out of the way to make sure the food being served at their restaurants is above standard.  Tusker house goes beyond Disney expectations. It is fabulous!




1. Jungle Juice




I have talked about the food and how amazing it is but there is another little offering that steals the show.  Tusker House serves a tangy, sweet breakfast  drink known as Jungle Juice.  It is a non-alcoholic blend of passion fruit, guava, and orange juices that you just have to try in order to appreciate.  I am not much of a juice drinker (I NEED caffeine!) but I cannot get enough of this stuff.  I slurp down gallons of it while enjoying my breakfast.  My kids simply adore it.  My eldest son, a college freshman, described it in terms like ambrosiaand micturating jungle princesses...well you literary junkies get the point.  It is good. Very good. In fact, its out of this world! It is tangy but refreshing.  It is a little like drinking liquid sunshine!! I have tried to find something similar to it in grocery stores back home in the real world, but to no avail.  Other fruit juices, even with similar juice blends, just don't match that special flavor of true Jungle Juice.  It must be Disney magic! Disney has a way of just making things that you thought could get no better...well, better!! 



This happened recently with my beloved Jungle Juice. Mahindi, a popcorn cart in the same African section as Tusker house, now serves Jungle juice.  Not just any Jungle Juice, either. JUNGLE JUICE SLUSH!!! Yep, that's right. You can now get that delicious, one of a kind flavor in a frozen treat!! And, (for a little extra moolah), it comes in a souvenir music cup!! The musical cup has the appearance of wood-carved animals decorating its outside.  The handle is the cool part.  It is an ocarina, a traditional African wind instrument.  The handle has small holes that produce a sound when you blow into the mouthpiece.  Make up your own tunes. or follow the included directions to play things like “Its a Small Worldand other Disney favorites. Fun and refreshing all in one!! Of course, beware: It can also be used as a torture device to terrorize annoying older siblings with!  For those of you that may not want to pay the $13.99 for the special cup, you can buy a throwaway cup full of frozen goodness for just $3.99.  It also counts as a snack on the Disney Dining plan if you forego the souvenir cup. This new treat is edging out Dole whips and/or Mickey ice cream bars as my favorite snack at Disney World! Yummo! Either as a breakfast beverage or as a frozen treat, Jungle juice is definitely worth a try!



There are many reasons that my family and I love Tusker House and make it a written-in-stone, must-do on every trip.  It is definitely a highlight.  We started this tradition by chance many years ago when just looking for a place that served breakfast.  Our accidental discovery has led to countless stories, tons of laughter, new food favorites, and of course, untold precious memories! Im smiling as I am typing this just thinking about those priceless moments sitting around a carved, wooden table, sipping jungle juice, and just loving the time together.  Thats Disney. And thats Tusker House!

- Lori

Tusker House Info

Location:  Disneys Animal Kingdom Park (Africa)
Service: Table Service: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Style:  Buffet
Times: Breakfast 8am-10:50 am
              Lunch   11am-3:30pm
              Dinner    4pm-9pm
Price: $15 to $59 per adult depending on the meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner) and the season.
Dining Plan:  1 table service meal credit

**Reservations are highly recommended. Call (407) WDW-DINE or your Kingdom Konsultant travel agent for more information or to reserve a table**

***Be sure to ask about the New Rivers of Light dining package that includes premium seats to Disneys newest nighttime extravaganza.***


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