Disney Dining Tip: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Private Dining at Uzima Springs Pool Bar

I don’t know about you, but it’s Monday where I am, and I could use a trip to a pool bar. Fortunately, we are headed straight for Uzima Springs Pool Bar today!

Uzima Springs Pool Bar Sign

Wow — I haven’t written about this place since waaaaaay back in 2009 (awwww…look at the baby food blog!). Shocking, since it’s one of my favorite pool bars! :-) I mean — check out these pics! This is from back when Uzima Springs Pool was GREEN!

OK, enough reminiscing. I’ve got some news about this spot that makes it even more fun to visit!

Uzima Pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Located poolside at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, this spot is truly an oasis. It’s often a most welcome sight — especially after a hot hot HOT Orlando day.

Uzima Springs Pool -- LOVE Zero Entry!

The enormous pool offers a fun, family-style atmosphere amidst gorgeous jungle-like landscaping.

Pool from Another View. Waterslide -- WOO!

Poolside information (starring PUUMBA!) gives you a rundown of the activities at the resort, as well as operating hours for most of Disney World’s attractions.

Uzima Springs Pool Info

C’mon! Grab a hula hoop! You know you wanna!

Hula Hoops!

Uzima Springs Pool Bar Food and Drink

For a long time, I’ve loved the pool bars at Disney’s various resorts. I mean, nothing says, “Hey, you’re on vacation!” more succinctly than sidling (c’mon; everyone sidles on vacation) up to a waterside watering hole, and grabbing a brew or a drink topped with an umbrella.

Uzima Springs Pool Bar

You’ll find the [Read more…]

Review: The Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara is absolutely a “go-to” spot for me at Walt Disney World. It’s a great place to get away from it all and just take a breather in the middle of one of my favorite Disney resorts.

Located at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, The Mara counter-service restaurant offers exotic eats inspired by the diverse flavors of the African continent, while also providing more traditional American fare for the less adventurous eaters in your crew.

And don’t even get me started on all of the special Disney food cult favorites that we’ll make a trip here just to snag!

But I just realized that for all of my visits to Mara, I didn’t actually have my own review of the spot up on the blog! Time to remedy that right away.

Atmosphere

Located on the ground floor, The Mara is just a stone’s throw away from Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Uzima Springs Pool. It’s accessible through an outside entrance near the doors to Jambo House’s other restaurants, Boma and Jiko.

Outside Menu and Information Stand

The Mara is named for the Masai Mara National Reserve in North Tanzania, a game conservation area established in 1948.

The reserve serves as home to dozens of native animals and over 470 species of birds, making it an excellent place to observe the big game with which Africa is associated.

The Mara Story

The indoor seating area takes its themeing from the wetlands and grasslands of the Reserve, with colorful murals painted on the back walls, and a canopy of trees overhead. With the predominant background color of blue, the setting is soothing with plenty of natural light flooding in, which gives you the impression of a cool space.

Indoor Seating

There is also ample outdoor seating at tables that are shaded by umbrellas and plenty of foliage and trees.

Outdoor Seating

On your way over to the ordering area, you’ll find last minute pool gear and an assortment of bagged candy available for purchase. This is a great option near the pool since the gift shop, Zawadi Marketplace, is relatively far away if you forget your pool noodle or need some extra sunscreen!

Gifts and Gear

On the day we visited, we found the restaurant to be fairly uncrowded and quiet as we headed to the food area to make our selections. This is often the case with the Mara for me, but perhaps I’m just visiting during “off-hours.”

Eats

You’ll find The Mara open from 7 a.m. until 11:30 p.m. daily, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Mara Menu and Info -- Click to Enlarge

The menu features many [Read more…]