Not Your Every Day “On the Way to Work” Breakfast!

By John Peters

Hi, there!  Long time, no “see”, eh?  Anyway, I’m glad to be back!  Let me present “Dining Recon: Breakfast at The Mara”!

Hey, I recently had a Sunday morning shift over on the train at Animal Kingdom.  Trouble is … that’s when we record the WDW Main Street Podcast!  What to do?

Listen to the show at … Episode 421 – Our Sunday News!

How about recording from the Animal Kingdom Lodge, I thought!  What an awesome idea!  Anyway, instead of stopping at a fast-food joint on the way into work, I decided to eat at The Mara!

For those who don’t know, The Mara is the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter service restaurant.  Their bakery opens at 6:00 AM. The kitchen starts serving at 7:00.

Quoting Disney, “Named for a river flowing through Kenya and Tanzania, this savanna-like space serves African stew, pitas, half-chicken dinners and more.”

The Mara is clean, efficient, and offers plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.

For breakfast, the menu includes many traditional items … such as WDW’s infamous Bounty Platter! They also serve a Croissant Sandwich.

They also offer one of my favorite breakfasts on property – the Bobotie Platter.  This dish comes with bobotie (baked egg custard with turkey, peppers, and raisins), chakalaka, and pap.

The chakalaka is the hot stewed tomatoes in the picture above.  The pap is like white grits.  Honestly, it’s non-traditional, but the combination of these three, eaten together, is delicious!  Priced at $7.19, it’s also a good deal!

Fans, the next time your heading over to Animal Kingdom, why not swing by the Animal Kingdom Lodge and have a great, inexpensive breakfast!

Hey! What Happened to Rivers of Light?!

Seriously, folks.  What did happen to Rivers of Light?  With only 17 total votes, Animal Kingdom’s much-ballyhooed light show didn’t even make it out of the 1st Round of this past weekend’s competition!

Like Pandora’s attractions, is River’s poor showing another example of ‘not enough of us have experienced it yet’?  Or, even though we hear how beautiful it is, could it be that it’s not ‘all that’ after all?  What do you think?

Let’s start with just a tad bit more tournament history, my friends.  In fact, I really needed to record this on the web site somewhere.  That way, I wouldn’t have to research it every year!  Anyway, here’s our ‘honor roll’ of champions …

  • 2013 – Expedition Everest
  • 2014 – Expedition Everest
  • 2015 – Expedition Everest
  • 2016 – Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • 2017 – Expedition Everest
  • 2018 – Kilimanjaro Safaris

We’re a consistent bunch, I’ll say that much for us.  Only two champions across six years of voting.  Six years?!  A six-year All in WDW tradition?  Wow, these polls are popular!

Two quick comments before we proceed to the “main course” of today’s “meal”.  First, let me express my sympathies to Pandora’s Na’vi River Journey.  It missed our Top 10 by one measly vote!  Give it an Honorable Mention, OK?

Then, there was Kali River Rapids.  Our results scream one loud and clear message … the readers recommend that we “stay dry”, baby!

Anyway, Mrs. All in WDW and I often get asked, “We’re going to Disney.  Where should we stay?  What should we do when we get there?  Where should we eat?”

How about you?  Has a family-member or friend ever wanted your expert advice?  I love answering all of those questions.  Don’t you?  Of course, it takes a lot of time to dole out suggestions, doesn’t it?

Want to know what we do?  We let you, our readers, weigh in with your opinions!  We let you provide the advice!  That’s right!  It’s one of the main reasons why we created the All in WDW Readers’ “Top 10’s”!

Does someone want to know what attractions to hit when they visit the Animal Kingdom?  Well, you’ve already sorted through the various options for them!

In fact, if they follow this list, your family-members or friends will be right on target.  Folks, let me introduce you to your advice!  Welcome to the 2018 All in WDW Readers’ Top 10 Favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions!

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Festival of the Lion King
  3. Avatar Flight of Passage
  4. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
  5. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  6. Tree of Life
  7. Maharajah Jungle Trek
  9. It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  10. Tree of Life Awakenings

A Well-Earned Victory? Or, A Shocking Loss?!

Wow!  The sixth annual running of this “tournament” was like no other, my friends.  How so, you ask?  Well, we have a returning champion, I’ll say that much.

Other than that … what a difference a year makes!  One year ago, on its way to its 4th Animal Kingdom “title”, Expedition Everest destroyed its competition!

Yes, last year, in an epic and vengeful 58-vote landslide, Everest recaptured a crown that it had lost to Kilimanjaro Safaris one year previously.

This year?  The heralded roller coaster that has spent much of All in WDW’s history at the top of the “mountain” – pun intended – has sunk like a stone!  Our four-time “champ” finished in 4th place!

Of course, this post should be less about failed former favorites and more about new conquering heroes, eh?  Welcome back, Kilimanjaro Safaris!  You are the 2018 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Animal Kingdom Attraction!

A two-time “champion”, itself, I’ve said this in the past … the Kingdom’s real animals have captured the crown!  I’ve always felt that Kilimanjaro Safaris is the Animal Kingdom’s “signature” attraction.  I’m happy to see that the animals finally got their just reward.

As much as these words should be all about Kilimanjaro’s victory, I’d be remiss if I didn’t also throw a shout out to Festival of the Lion King.  A perennial 3rd place finisher – four times in five years! – it turned in a very solid 2nd place run this year.  Congrats, Simba!

And, as for our upstarts … well, maybe its still too early for Pandora to land the “gold”.  Avatar Flight of Passage did slip into 3rd place, but Na’vi River Journey got little support in its campaign to make our six-attraction finale.  Not enough of us have been able to enjoy these two as yet?  Quite possibly.

Thank you for all of your support over the weekend, folks!  As always, your time and votes are very-much appreciated.  Come back tomorrow!  We’ll share just a little bit more Animal Kingdom “tournament” history as well as present your 2018 Top 10 Favorites!

A Great Big Fabulous Animal Kingdom Finale! VOTE Your Favorite Attractions!

Wow!  An unquestionable park icon, two former “tournament” champions, and a testimony to the present-day grandeur of Disney imagineering – what a fabulous finale!

We accomplish two things today, my friends.  First, we crown a “king”.  We elect the 2018 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Animal Kingdom Attraction!

Second, we set our so-called “hit list”.  Has anyone ever asked you for your recommendations?  Have friends or family asked you for your list of Animal Kingdom “must do’s”?

Well, folks, that’s why we created the All in WDW Readers’ Top 10 Favorite Disney’s Animal Kingdom Attractions!  Hey!  Take a look at our final group.  These six could fill a great day in the park all by themselves!

We have one last task in front of us this weekend.  We need to VOTE one last time.  It is our fabulous finale, everyone!  In the group, below, VOTE for your THREE favorites!

Round #2 is Open! The “Animals” Await YOUR Support! VOTE!

Great job, folks!  My thanks to all of you who participated in Round #1 yesterday!  Where does that effort leave us at, today?

Well, we enter our semi-final day of voting surrounded by a terrific collection of twelve Animal Kingdom attractions!  Not many surprises among them, I’d say.

Our job, this fine Saturday, remains similar to yesterday … below, I present you with two groups.  Each group includes six attractions.

As in the 1st Round, you can VOTE for as many as three attractions in each group!  That’s right, you can choose as many as six favorites today!

By the day’s end, the Top 3 vote-getters in each group will move forward into tomorrow’s final round!

Let’s get VOTING, folks!  We need to “elect” the 2018 All in WDW Readers’ Favorite Animal Kingdom Attraction!