April 2001 Trip Report

April 2001 Trip Report: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire--Play It!"

Dates: April 16-23, 2001


  • Jennifer Watson: 32, Disney veteran and co-author of PassPorter Walt Disney World, on her umpteenth trip to Disney (from Ann Arbor, MI)
  • Dave Marx, 46, Disney veteran and co-author of PassPorter (from Ann Arbor, MI)

Transportation: Southwest Airlines (from Detroit Metro Airport) and Tiffany Town Car

Resort: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

Parks: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, Magic Kingdom, Pleasure Island

Restaurants/Eateries: Jiko, Boma, more to come later

Other: This is a research trip to check out the new resort and new attraction. Most of our time will be spent researching in great detail and thus will go outside the realm of the typical vacationer experience. Thus, this resort may not make for scintillating reading, but it should be full of great observations, facts, and information.

Updated 04/21/01

Copyright 1999-2001
PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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  Day Five: April 20, 2001

We've yet to say much about the Lodge itself, so quickly (before we head out to the Magic Kingdom to research some rumors) we'll share one of our very favorite spots in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Sunset Overlook is a cozy, oval lounge and animal-viewing site on the left-hand side of the main lobby as you face the Arusha Rock overlook. The decor is a "legit" version of the decorations at the Adventurers Club -- black and white photos dating back to the 1920's, exhibits of antique African sculpture, and the personal travel accessories of European explorers and native Africans from the late 19th and early 20th Century. The room is packed with comfy arm chairs and divans (room for 50 guests). Although it's all the way across the lobby from the nearest bar (Victoria Falls) this seems like the perfect place to gather with friends, sip a tall gin and tonic and share the adventures of your day. What's more, you can walk out onto a semi-circular veranda to watch the wildlife on the Sunset savanna, with expert commentary provided by one of the resident nature guides.

Ogun's Fire Pit is a gas bonfire inside the lobby. Chairs and "thrones" surround the fenced firepit, inviting guests to sit and enjoy the warmth. We haven't seen any events happening here, but there could be storytelling here some day in the future. For now, it makes a lovely spot to sit a while, swap adventures with your traveling companions, and enjoy the ambience of the lobby.

OK, it's time to go! More to come tomorrow! We're late, we're late, for a very important date!

Next Report: Day Six

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