Friday, November 11, 2022

On This Day Last Year: WDW Trip Report - Day 2 // A Magical Morning & Staying Club Level at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Hello, sweet readers and cherished friends!  I want to start with a great big heartfelt thank you for the sweet comments on yesterday's blog post and happy messages sent my way on Instagram.  It meant so much to hear from you!  It felt good to be back behind my computer and knowing that you care to return after all this time fuels me to continue with this series of sharing.  Whenever I sit down at my computer for this hobby of blogging it feels like I'm chatting with friends.  The messages and comments received reminded me just how sweet these friends of mine are!  Thank you for being among them!  My heart is full and I'm thankful for you! :)

Now let's get to those Disney deets!  A year ago today I was happy crying in Magic Kingdom and over the moon about checking in for our first ever club level stay!  Wanna hear all about it?  Great!  I can't wait to share!

Day 2 - Thursday, November 11, 2021

We kicked off our day at Magic Kingdom and what a sweet sight it was to see that golden "Welcome" once again!

A stroll past metal Mickey to board the ferryboat and we were on our way!

Our first glimpses of celebratory goodness here at Magic Kingdom made my heart happy!  How darling is the cute cake between golden bowed Mickey and Minnie?

Using the passholder entrance never loses its excitement for me!

I was taken back by just how emotional returning to Magic Kingdom was for me.  I expected to be overjoyed, but not moved to tears which flowed without warning.  I cried right down the middle of Main Street U.S.A..  (Wait, that's not how the song goes. ;))  It was a really good (happy) cry.   I think the reason it hit me this way was because life had been seemingly been turned upside down for nearly two full years prior to this.  We all ached for normalcy.  Being here, in this happily familiar place, life felt normal.  Sure we had masks around our necks and at that point would still be required to cover our faces upon entering any building, but being back here once again after all that time and two cancelled trips, it felt like all was well in the world.  

We weren't the only ones rope dropping that day. ;)

The extra half an hour early entrance offered to Disney resort guests only includes a portion of the park, making that a very busy space.  We initially got in line for Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train, but it was down, so off to Spaceship Earth we (and everyone else it seemed) went.  Thankfully the wait wasn't as long as it appeared it would be.

Isn't she lovely?  Isn't she wonderful?  
Cinderella Castle looking her best for the big 5-0.

My youngest was excited to wear this dress to ride Haunted Mansion as the print reminded her of that iconic wallpaper.

On this trip and the one we just returned from last month there have been many more characters out near their attractions waving and interacting with passersby.  So fun!

When our tummies started grumbling we made our way over to the Lunching Pad to enjoy our longtime favorite, cream cheese pretzels.  Yum!

Yo ho!  Yo ho!  I pirates shadow selfie!

In Outside of  the tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki, tiki room!

Time to ride the Peoplemover with my people.

Selfies were so weird on this trip.  Yet we took them to remember the odd time we were living in.  Masks were required on Peoplemover because the ride temporarily goes indoors.

Tron construction

Stitch wanted a purple wall pic. ;)

Our Home Sweet Disney Vacation Club Home, Animal Kingdom Lodge!

After skipping trips we'd accumulated quite a bit of Disney Vacation Club points.  We weren't about to let those go to waste and the surplus allowed for some fun splurges!  The first of which was an evening at Animal Kingdom Lodge's club level!  Club Level (sometimes called concierge level) is a special floor of the resort where guests enjoy exclusive perks and offerings.  You actually need your room key/magicband linked to a room with a reservation there for the elevator to allow you to enter the club level floor!  On previous trips while we were pushing a typical elevator button to get to our floor, we'd see that little black electronic box that guests of club level "boop" their magicbands or room keys on for admittance to that floor and daydreamed of staying in that intriguing, exclusive floor.  Today would be the day that elevator daydream came true, when our magicband allowed those elevator doors to open to a floor we'd never been on within our own Disney Vacation Club home resort.  That was just plain fun!  One thing I absolutely love about Disney is no matter how many times you go, there is always something new to do, experience, and enjoy and that was the case on this fine day!

Disney stopped offering club level at their resorts in 2020 since a big perk of staying club is the buffet style food offerings that were done away with during that time.  They remained closed most of 2021 and had just recently reopened before this trip, which we were thrilled about!  There were a few things yet to return.  One that comes to mind is that guests normally receive complimentary evening turn down service which they weren't yet offering by the time of our stay.  This was not a big deal though.  We'd experienced that once before when we stayed at Monterey Plaza Hotel.  While it was fun and felt fancy to come back to, it definitely didn't spoil our stay to miss out on it here.

Ready for a room tour?  This room is quite a bit different than those in the Disney Vacation Club section of the resort, so enjoy a peek at the beautiful details below and I invite you to return tomorrow to see the differences once we move over to a DVC room!

This photo looks a bit distorted due to being panoramic, but shows the layout of the room.

Our balcony overlooked the savannah which is always a treat to view!

Of course we had to pop into the shop downstairs.  This is one of my favorite resort shops.  So well themed and there are always ample things to temp me there!


The best perk of staying club level is the lounge with complimentary food and beverage offerings, so we didn't wait long to make our way there to check it out!  Upon entering the lounge we were greeted by a cast member at the Kilimanjaro Club desk and given this welcome packet that included details of the club level offerings and a special chocolate bar that itself was a work of art.

At the time of our stay the offerings included:

Miamko       Adventurous Awakenings     7:00am - 10:30am
Vitafunio     Safari Snacks                           11:30am - 4:30pm
Kisikusiku   Twilight Offerings                   5:00pm - 7:00pm
Rehema       Evening Indulgences              8:00pm - 10:00pm

Our first visit to the lounge fell within the Safari Snacks time.

This trail mix was very yummy!  It's also nice that they have things individually wrapped like this making it a wonderful grab and go option.  If we ever spent an extended stay here I'd happily grab a few things to tuck in my park bag for later enjoyment!

Lovely jars willed with candies

They had all sorts of drink offerings.  I only snapped a pic of this drink station, but you could also request alcoholic beverages and they had a fridge fully stocked with coke products.  We found out after our stay that a freezer near that fridge was always fully stocked with Mickey ice cream bars!  We missed out on those this time around, but I definitely made a mental note of it for any possible return. ;)

I felt like my glass of sparkling wine was watching me.  Ha! 

After some sips and snacks we headed back to our room to relax on the balcony and watch some wildlife enjoying some snacks of their own.

Back to the lounge for their Twilight Offerings!

This is my kind of spread!

During these two hours there is a cast member replenishing hot offerings that are also found in the Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants!  The menu changes nightly and we were there for excellent offerings, butter chicken and tomato bisque!  I enjoyed the butter chicken so much that I ordered it a few evenings later when Jason and I enjoyed an anniversary dinner at Sanaa.  (More on that on November 14th. ;))  It was all you care to enjoy, so I may have helped myself to a few of these little butter chicken dishes. :D

On the left side of this image you can see the food station where the butter chickens and bisque were offered.

My handsome dining companion for life. :)

With full tummies and a cold Coke Zero in hand Jason and I made our way to the cozy fireside seating area just off the side of the lobby for a little more relaxation.

Meanwhile, our daughters (who are sometimes pickier eaters) skipped out on the Twilight Offerings in the lounge and opted for cheeseburgers and chicken from the quick service restaurant downstairs and sent these pics my way.  They grabbed their grub to go and enjoyed a cozy dinner in bed, so we were each living our best vacation night.

A Sweet Ending to our Evening 

We all returned to the lounge together at the end of the day during their evening indulgences.  It was a sweet conclusion to a memorable day!

I snapped pics as I passed through the buffet of sweet treats and just after I did a cast member apologized as he noticed the plates were in need of replenishing.  All that to say that immediately following these snapshots of less than full platters, the treats placed on these plates were plentiful.

A couple snapshots of the beautiful bridge and art in the lobby.

This was a truly wonderful day!  While the parks are great, many Disney days can end with exhaustion.  This was a different type of Disney day.  While we started our day out with a sweet return to Magic Kingdom, we spent every bit of the afternoon and evening in full relaxation mode.  We enjoyed the beauty of this magnificent resort and flavors of deliciousness that literally have my mouth watering even now as I chat with you about it!  It was a scrumptious day in every way!  Thanks for allowing me the joy of sharing it with you here!  

Wishing you a fantastic Friday night, friends!  Hope to see you back at my bloggy place again tomorrow!


  1. I love strolling around AK Lodge! Unlimited Mickey bars sounds dangerous though haha.

  2. The room looks amazing and wow, all that food included??


I would love to hear from you today! I enjoy reading each and every comment I receive. (I do moderate them before they're published. Gotta keep it family friendly! ;)) Let's chat! B.Y.O.C. {Bring Your Own Chocolate!}