On our last trip to Walt Disney World we wanted to try a restaurant that we have never been to before. After spending a long day at Magic Kingdom and eating "ok" theme park food, I wanted something unique and different. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants have always peaked my interest because we love to travel and try unique food. My concern was getting our two daughters on board with African food. Surprisingly, everyone in the family agreed and off we went to try it out.
The restaurant is located in the lower level of the resort. I recommend asking to be seated in the main restaurant, not the wine room area, especially if you are dining with children. The main dining area has dark ceilings but light walls and a large bank of floor to ceiling windows overlooking part of the beautifully landscaped resort. The main focal point of the restaurant are the two wood-burning ovens. If you look towards the ovens and up to the ceiling you might even spot a hidden Mickey.
The menu is a little daunting at first glance because your eye will immediately focus on the exotic items like Wild Boar and Elk. But if you are not feeling adventurous they have plenty of normal menu options available. We opted to start with the Taste of Africa appetizer which consists of African inspired dips with Naan. This was a great choice for a family. The dips were very tasty and everyone loved the homemade Naan. Our main dishes were Botswana-style Seswaa Beef Short Rib which is a hearty meat and potatoes type of dish and was perfect for my husband. I ordered the West African Koki Corn which is a vegetarian dish. I love meat dishes but it was late at night and I did not want anything to heavy. Both of our daughters ordered the Macaroni & Cheese. Everyone agreed that this was one of the best meals that we have eaten at Walt Disney World. I recommend trying one of their South African wines to pair with your meal. They are known for their huge South African selection and I can say that the wine did not disappoint.
We will definitely go back to Jiko in the future. Everyone gave it two thumbs up!
Looking to plan your next trip to Disney? Consider staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge so that you can experience Jiko yourself. Contact Premier Travel Escapes to help plan your Magical Disney vacation. Plus a bonus when booking four nights or longer at any Disney property.
Just a short plane ride from Florida sits a beautiful island called the Turks & Caicos. My husband and I have visited many tropical islands but the crystal blue ocean water truly made this island stand out. We took our two daughters to test just how family oriented Beaches Turks and Caicos really is and to see if there is more to the hype than just the pretty water.
Beaches Turks & Caicos is an all-inclusive resort owned by the mega adults only all-inclusive giant Sandals Resorts chain. Beaches Resorts cater to all generations from infants to grandparents. There truly is something for everyone to do at the resort.
The resort has four different villages to choose from: Italian Village, French Village, Caribbean Village and Key West Village. Each village has their own special feel and touches. Accommodations range from luxury rooms all the way up to Four Bedroom Oceanview Butler Villas. Before we arrived I thought that getting from one village to the other would take forever and we would be doing a lot of walking. Some are far apart depending on which village you stay in but honestly we were able to walk them all frequently. Plus if you get tired or don't want to walk, a golf cart shuttle will come and take you to your desired location. This is especially helpful when the little ones get tired.
We stayed in the newest area called Key West Village. This section is setup in a condo/villa style format and most include kitchens, multiple bedrooms and bathrooms, very spacious patio and some even have washers and dryers. We stayed in a One Bedroom Concierge Suite which had a king bed in the master and a day bed along with trundle bed for the children. Our unit also had an extra half bathroom, full kitchen, very large patio and washer and dryer.
After checking in, our girls immediately wanted to check out Pirates Island Waterpark. We had been showing them various pictures of the resort and the gigantic waterslides, numerous pools, lazy river and swim up soda bar before we left home. In addition to the water park, the beach is huge with very soft sand overlooking a huge stretch of ocean. Beaches also offers ocean kayaks, snorkeling, hydrobikes, windsurfing, paddle boarding, hobie cats, beach volleyball, pool tables, basketball, tennis, billiards, numerous kids camp activities for all ages including a train for the little ones plus teen areas. The list goes on and on. The best part is that it is all included in the price that you pay before you go.
Restaurants and Bars (Still Included!)
In addition to all of the great activities that are included at Beaches Turks & Caicos, there are also 22 dining options and 15 bars to choose from. The problem is narrowing down where you want to each for every meal. The solution is to stay at least a week so that you can experience all of the restaurants and bars. Our favorites were Kimonos (Teppanyaki), Neptunes (overlooking the beach and amazing for a great seafood dinner) and Jerk Shack (casual lunch on the beach...beware that it is definitely spicy).
Spoil Your Family
As if having unlimited food, drinks and activities is not enough, Beaches Turks & Caicos offers some room categories that offer the best accommodations, views and unmatched butler service. As I mentioned above, accommodations are tiered at Beaches starting with entry level called Luxury Level then up to Concierge and then the creme de la creme Butler Level Suites. The Butler level suites come with a fairly high price, but you do get amazing service and extras that will make your family vacation outstanding. Around each of the pool cabana areas you can tell who are the Butler guests because they are sitting underneath covered cabanas. A perk for butler service is they have beverages and food brought right to them by their butler. But the most amazing thing that we noticed is the butlers seem to be in competition with each other to see who can make the best towel animals for their clients. Here are a few favorites that we saw during our trip and also pictures of the amazing Key West Beachfront Four Bedroom Butler Villa Residences with private pools.
It's Time To Plan Your Family Trip
It's never to late or to early to start planning your next vacation. Consider Beaches Turks & Caicos for your next trip. You can bet that your family will not be disappointed!
Contact Premier Travel Escapes today to start planning.