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Thread: Mini Trip Report

  1. #1
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    We were offered an overnight stay at AKL Jambo house by DVC Friends who could not use (or bank) their reservation, so we were off to Jambo House yesterday.

    We were at check in about noon, and were given all the paraphanalia (paperwork, maps, perks, etc) but the deluxe studio with Savannah view was not ready yet.

    We left and headed to Red Lobster for lunch. Haven't been there in ages and since nothing at Mara caught our eye, off we went.

    We had a pretty nice lunch (lobster bisque for me, with fish and chips, and Herself had a fish sandwich with french fries). We chose not to have dessert. All told, with tip it was about $40. Very decent food, hot and excellent service, and no wait to be seated.

    While we were on our way there we received a text message saying our villa was ready, so after lunch we "moved in." We were on the fifth floor, and the view was great. We lounged on the balcony watching the animals, and then went off exploring the resort. We tried margaritas at the pool bar. Herself's was better than mine, but mine was ok. Poked around the resort shop, but nothing really caught our eye.

    We returned to our villa (queen bed, pull out couch, small kitchenette) and lazed around some more actually having a nap!

    We met some old friends for a drink at Victoria Falls. It was wonderful seeing them again. Their girls have grown SO MUCH!!! After a short visit, they went on their merry way, and we headed to Jiko for dinner.

    We originally planned on Sanaa, but the menu didn't do much for us so we switched to Jiko. Yep. We were able to have a reservation for the same day that we tried to make it. It was for 7:50 pm.

    We were seated after a fifteen minute wait in the Wine Room. We were happy with that as it was quiet, and more intimate than the main (very noisy) dining area. There was only one child in the Wine Room and she was very well behaved.

    We had the Tastes of Africa for an Appetizer and North African Beetroot Salad. Both were very nice.

    The entrees? Not so much. I chose the Nigerian Prawns, and Herself the Oak Grilled Filet. When the main courses came, my first comment at her plate was, "Oh gosh. That's ugly." It was the least appetizing plate I've seen in quite some time. The filet was quite thin, and sitting atop a bed of mushy (yep, nasty mushy) "ancient grain." Herself said the meat tasted fine, but the grain was really unpalatable.

    The prawns were over cooked and coated in a heavy spice mixture that was essentially a paste. Once I scraped it off, the prawns were a little more tasty. The pea nage (puree of green peas by any other name) and the rice were not seasoned at all, and essentially tasteless.

    The service was attentive, and prompt with cheerfulness and not intrusive at all.

    Dessert was the Milk Tart with a small (perhaps a tablespoon) serving of goat's milk ice cream that was on a thin wafer of salted dark chocolate. The ice cream was the star of the dessert. The Milk Tart was overpowered by the fig layer at the bottom of the tart crust. The tart crust was soggy and not very tasty.

    So, at the close of the dinner we have determined that Disney is no longer the place for "fine dining." Our New Year's Eve meal at Big Fin for approximately the same cost with tip (about $200) was far, far better than Jiko. Disappointing doesn't quite describe it, as Jiko had been a true favorite of ours since it opened.

    After dinner we returned to our studio and watched the nocturnal animals a bit before falling asleep. We slept well! Nearly overslept which caused us to move more quickly than I like to in the morning, so that we could have breakfast at Boma.

    After Jiko last night we almost canceled, but decided to give it one more try, too. It was far better than Jiko (how sad is that; a breakfast buffet is much nicer than a signature restuarant?!). We felt $50 was too much for breakfast though, so won't be doing that one again too soon.

    So there it is, the shortest trip report ever! AKL is a great place to stay. There were many activities to do, if we had wanted to (marshmallow roasting, bonfire, story telling... you can purchase little events too like a tour of the kitchens, etc.). Really enjoyed the stay.

    The food? Nope. Once more Disney has convinced us that eating off site is the best choice for us.






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  2. #2
    Administrator Wendy's Avatar
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    It sounds like you had a nice stay except for the food. I've heard you talk about Jiko in the past and how much you've enjoyed it, it's a shame it has gone downhill :(

    Your room and view sound lovely









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  3. #3
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    The room was very, very nice. We still love Kidani, but this gave us a chance to try Jambo and it's quite nice too! Much would depend upon who you are with (children really do well at Kidani) and how long you were staying.

    I honestly can say we were truly sad about Jiko! I know that sounds a little stupid, but it was such a great place to have seriously nice food. They've even changed the napkins. They are like couch material! Harsh and not soft or nice.

    The cost was ridiculous for the low quality. I think I am going to write to WDW guest services, not for any reason other than to share our disappointment. I know that it won't change anything, but I do think someone should know that two long term WDW fanatics have finally been convinced by Disney that dining with them (for a nice meal, I mean) is no longer an option. I know they get enough business from everyone else, and that is fine, I just think someone should hear what we have to say.

    Of course, the weather forecast was for rain, so we left and went on to do errands and came home. The sun is shining and the breeze is beautiful. We'd have had a lovely day in EPCOT. No complaints though. It was a nice little break.






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  4. #4
    Senior Member uscwest's Avatar
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    Glad you enjoyed your stay at AKL but really disappointed to hear that JIKO was not up to par. It is our favorite restaurant and except for a vegetarian meal that Donna ordered a couple of trips back the meals have always been outstanding. We'll be eating there again in February on Valentine's Day.





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  5. #5
    Senior Member Watchinherskip's Avatar
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    Tink, thanks for the report. Sorry that the meal was less than desirable. Reading a lot about how WDW is sort of messing things up..probably in the name of profit.

    We loved our stay at AKL last January. The tree was still up and it was so beautiful. Hopefully the posts here and on other forums and blogs are getting back to the cast members and hopefully they will make positive changes.










  6. #6
    Administrator Tink's Avatar
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    The Christmas decorations were still up and you are so right, they are lovely. I would like to do a similarly themed Christmas at the house one year.

    John, I would seriously consider changing my ADR for Valentine's day. It was truly that bad.






    Welcome to our new home! It's a lovely and friendly place. If you haven't joined yet, do register. It's a great place to make friends and share all those Disney secrets!!

    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

  7. #7
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    I`m so sorry [and very surprised] that you had a bad experience at Jiko`s.

    I know the manager at Jiko`s [he used to be the manager of the Flying Fish and we were introduced to him by Ricardo a few years ago], and apart from taking really good care of us whenever we visit, he is a very dedicated type of guy who would hate to hear of your issues.

    Do you think I should have a quiet word in his ear when we next visit?





  8. #8
    Senior Member uscwest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowhand, post: 299747
    I`m so sorry [and very surprised] that you had a bad experience at Jiko`s.

    I know the manager at Jiko`s [he used to be the manager of the Flying Fish and we were introduced to him by Ricardo a few years ago], and apart from taking really good care of us whenever we visit, he is a very dedicated type of guy who would hate to hear of your issues.

    Do you think I should have a quiet word in his ear when we next visit?
    Terry, we are visiting next month and trust me, if it is that bad, management will hear about it before we leave the restaurant. I've had chance to talk to them before and they've always listened.





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  9. #9
    Moderator Beccaberry's Avatar
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    Food quality notwithstanding, your short visit sounds delightful...a bit of a salve to a weary soul, and all that...I don't s'pose you managed any photos per chance did you? Any ole thing will do as long as it's Disney :)




  10. #10
    Senior Member Vikki's Avatar
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    Such a shame about the food. We were considering going to jilko for our wedding anniversary since our favourite California grill is likely to be closed. Sounds really disappointing.
    Would so love to experience seeing animals from my hotel balcony :)



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