Posts Tagged by Jambo House

Anaheim Antics: Keeping Fit at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today is a day that forever changed me and the events that occurred 13 years ago live with me everyday. Take a moment today to reflect, remember and most importantly tell people you love them…life is too short.

Now…let’s talk about vacations!!  Everyone loves a vacation, but what about your fitness?  Does that begin to suffer due to all of the fun you are having?  Well John is here to tell us that it doesn’t!  This month’s Anaheim Antics are brought to you from his recent vacation to Walt Disney World where he heroically kept up with his race training.  No excuses!!

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“I’m on vacation!” The mantra we use to enjoy some much deserved time off. We get to eat what we want and do what we want, all guilt-free. But like all vacations, we eventually get the bill, and when it comes to our health, the bill can come with post-vacation lethargy and a few extra pounds.   In recent years, however, consumers have become more health conscious, and true to the laws of supply and demand, the market has responded. The fitness club industry is now a $25 billion industry, and vacation resorts are no stranger to wanting a piece of that pie. Disney is no exception, having added fitness centers to its Resort Hotels. Even the four Disney Cruise Line ships have fitness centers that rival the competition.

For better or worse, vacationing is no longer an excuse to not stay fit. On a recent stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I decided to see what the fitness possibilities were. Being a Disneylander, I was already familiar with the fitness centers at the three Disney Anaheim hotels. And, to be honest, on previous visits to the Walt Disney World, fitness was furthest from my mind. Not so this time. If you’ve never visited Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, it’s a must see. The acreage is ample, the architecture and design are top notch, and the immerse experience is all-inclusive. And fitness? How’s about two fitness centers appropriately themed to the Resort?

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Adjacent to Jambo House is the Zahanati Massage and Fitness Center. Loosely translated as “wellness center”, Zahanati is a full-service workout facility and sauna offering full-service massage, body and facial treatments. The workout room is nicely appointed, with a full variety of machines. There is an abundance of cardio equipment and strength training machines. Were this not African themed, I’d use the phrase “practically perfect” to describe this venue. The atmosphere was relaxing, clean, and motivating. It would be easy to spend an hour here as you work your way through a workout circuit and finish with a treadmill run while enjoying the lush view outside.

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Zahanati is the larger of the fitness offerings, but its location at Jambo House makes it a bit of a hike for Kidani Village Guests. Sure, you could get on a shuttle or golf cart to Jambo House, but that’s the equivalent of pulling into an LA Fitness parking lot and finding the space closest to the entrance. Thankfully, Disney Imagineers took Kidani Village Guests into consideration.

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Adjacent to Kidani Village is the Survival of the Fittest Fitness Center. The name alone is enough to make you smile. It’s smaller than Zahanati, but no less appointed.   A full array of cardio machines including treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals, stair climbers, and weight machines are available here. It has the same relaxing and motivating ambience of its big brother at Jambo House. Its view adjacent to the Samawati Springs Pool makes good use of its bank of windows and ample natural lighting.

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Both Zahanati and Survival of the Fittest Fitness Centers make use of MagicBand technology to grant access to Guests. But these fitness centers are not the only fitness opportunities available to Resort Guests. Being an Anaheim resident, where land at the Resorts is at a premium. I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of acreage dedicated to, well, just roaming. There are numerous walking paths coursing throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge that are perfect for that morning run, jog, or walk. Anyone jogging along these paths in an early morning will be taken by the lush greenery and spectacular views.

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Contrary to popular belief, you don’t burn off more calories than you take in when walking a theme park. If that were so, theme park visits would be a mandatory part of every fitness plan (hey, I might be onto something there!). It’s still necessary to stick to a health and fitness plan when vacationing. Thankfully, vacation spots like Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and other Disney Resorts make it much easier to stick to a plan. That means you’ll be able to continue training for that Disney race while on vacation, and when the vacation is over. We can officially say goodbye to weight gain and post vacation lethargy. Okay, maybe not, but at least we have the option, and that itself can be enough to make our vacation even more relaxing and enjoyable.

RADically yours,

John

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John grew up in the Orange County area of California, always living in the shadow of the Disneyland Resort.  Known as the consummate storyteller to his friends, he has had an admiration of Disney since childhood, and is most interested in the Company’s history and heritage.  His favorite memory to date is setting foot in Walt’s apartment over the Main Street Firehouse.  John lives by what he calls the three F’s: faith, fun, and fitness.   Being healthy isn’t about adding years to your life; it’s about adding life to your years.  Nothing sums that up more than making Disney races a goal in every fitness plan.

Friday Feast: Boma Breakfast Coma

Without a doubt, Boma is my favorite breakfast on Walt Disney World property.  Not only is it an all you can eat buffet (great for those post race munchies!), but you can find some incredibly interesting dishes, making this a very unique dining experience.

Boma is located on the lower level of the Jambo House at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The restaurant was designed to resemble an outdoor African market and in true Disney fashion the themeing is spot on.  Make sure to look up at the exquisite detailing in the “thatched roofs” and tapestries.  Given that the entire restaurant (including the kitchen) is open, it tends to be a bit loud especially around the busier meal times.  Tables in the back near the windows tend to be quieter, so request those if you are looking for a quieter breakfast.

I’ve found it to be fairly easy to get a breakfast reservation there, especially if it’s later in the morning around 10 am.  Once you are seated, your server will great you and take your beverage order.  Trust me and get the Jungle Juice.  It’s a a combination of orange, guava and papaya juice and is really yummy!  Now let’s hit that buffet!

The first thing we see on the right side of the buffet are these giant rotisseries over a wood burning fire.  Here is where the ham and turkey are prepared for the carving station.  The ham is my favorite because it has this nice smokey flavor from the wood.  It goes so well with the Boma mustard, which is a sort of sweet mustard glaze, and I am obsessed with it!

Wood Burning Rotisserie

Carving Station and Boma Mustard!

Next to the carving station are an interesting array of vegetables like grilled tomatoes, asparagus and Chakalaka, which are spicy stewed tomatoes and onions.  Here we also have Pap, a white cornmeal porridge, and Quinoa with a variety of accompaniments, such as dried fruit, nuts and spices.

Moving down the line, we come to some more familiar items like scrambled eggs, a make-your-own omlette station, breakfast potatoes, bacon and sausage.  But we’re not here for the familiar right?!  On my last visit, I was very disappointed to find that my beloved Goat Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs were gone.  In their place were Spinach, Tomato and Feta Scrambled Eggs, which were very good, but not the same.  Disney Dining, if you’re reading…bring back the goat cheese!!  I’d still recommend going for the spinach version over the plain ‘ole eggs.  Also at this station is French Toast Bread Pudding served with a warm Pecan Praline Sauce.  If you have a sweet tooth, this is for you!

One of the most unique dishes on the buffet is the Bobotie.  This best way to describe this is as a quiche with interesting African spices.  This is another one of my favorites here, but yet again they made a change.  It used to be served with corned beef, but it now has ground turkey.  I kind of liked this substitution as a healthier option and all the flavor was still there.  Even if you’re not a very adventurous eater, give it a try!

At the end of the line are the pastries, which they definitely do not skimp on!  The sticky buns are nice and gooey and covered in pecans, and the croissants are perfectly flaky.  There are also bagels, toast, banana bread and scones.  But my favorite have to be the mini muffins…orange bran in particular.  I could easily eat the whole basket of these and usually end up with a few in my pockets as I’m walking out of the restaurant.  (Hopefully Disney Dining has now stopped reading this post 😉 )  Oh and don’t forget all of the great jams to go along with the pastries.  Orange marmalade and croissants = YUM!

Croissants, Scones & Marmalade

Mini Muffins!

As you can see, Barry and I go all out at Boma and usually have multiple plates.  My plate is always piled high and you will see me slowly rolling my way out of there after my meal in a Boma Coma.  The great thing about eating at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is that you can walk off some of your meal by taking a stroll around the Savannah to see some of the animals.  So make a trip over to the Jambo House on your next visit to the World and give Boma a try.  You can thank me later 🙂

Plate of Deliciousness!
(Jungle Juice in the Background)

Have you been to Boma for breakfast?  What is your favorite item?