Most Walt Disney World visitors know that there is far more to this vacation destination than just theme parks. Walt Disney World hotels offer world class dining locations, plenty of fun activities and some expert theming that will delight those who venture beyond the theme parks, whether or not they are actually staying at the resorts or not!
This month brings a number of updates to the various hotels around Walt Disney World, including new tours at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge as well as Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, a new dining location for Disney's Polynesian Village Resort exclusively for guests staying at this hotel, plus the addition of new dates of a popular event at Disney's Beach Club Resort. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World hotel in the near future, here are all of the essential updates from the past few weeks:
1. New Sense of Africa tour coming to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge has announced that it will soon be offering a new premium tour that will provide guests with an intimate close-up experience with the animals of the Kilimanjaro Safaris. Named Sense of Africa, this new 3.5 hour experience will kick off with a breakfast buffet at Boma that will not only include this restaurant's typical breakfast fare, but some exclusive dishes made only for the tour group as well. During this breakfast (which will take place before the restaurant opens for the day) a cast member from Africa will share stories with guests and talk about some of the African-inpired elements of the restaurant.
After guests have had their fill of breakfast, they'll then be able to board a special safari truck that will take them backstage for some close-up encounters with animals including giraffe, ostrich and okapi. To make sure that each guests gets as much from the experience as possible, tour groups will be limited to 12 persons each. Cost is $249.99 per person (ages 10 and up), but a 15% discount is available for Annual Passholders and DVC Members. Reservations are not available yet, but are expected to be available online in the next few days. Guests can also contact the resort for more information on this brand new experience.
2. Floridian Express tour announced for Disney’s Grand Floridian
And speaking of tours, Disney has also debuted a new walking tour at the Grand Floridian Resort, somewhat confusingly named the Floridian Express. While this guided walking tour through Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa does not include a train ride, guests who do want to get a closer look at this hotel will be able to learn how Floridian culture shaped the heritage of this unique hotel. The tour also includes a behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning Victoria & Albert restaurant.
The Floridian Express will be available to any guest (even those not staying on property at Walt Disney World) and will be offered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9:00 AM. This tour is designed for guests 10 years and older and can be booked through the Grand Floridian's concierge desk. Cost is $15 per guest.