We started out our day with our first tram & monorail rides of trip. We had a photo bomber on the tram, which I thought was pretty funny!
Our first stop was the Grand Floridian. This is such a beautiful hotel! We looked at the Christmas trees & stopped for a few photos, then went downstairs to admire the giant, 16-foot-tall gingerbread house. There are actually people inside selling real gingerbread! We then took photos in front of the massive Christmas tree in the lobby (I believe it's 60 feet tall). Our PhotoPass photographer was great, & got a cool panorama of us as well. In the lobby, we could see the NYE balloons hanging on the ceiling, ready for the balloon drop. Mackenzie, Tenley, & Ben came back to celebrate NYE here later in the week! We had lunch at Gasparilla Island Grill, which consisted of flatbread pizzas for most of us. Then we explored the grounds a bit before heading off to the Polynesian.
During our monorail stop, we saw a cute Christmas topiary, & had to stop to admire it!
I loved hearing about the theming in Boma. We were told that the lamps were made to look like the night sky, & fire, as villagers in Africa often gathered around a fire at night to talk. The cloths on the ceiling represent the wraps women use to carry things. Each seat in Boma is unique, & all of the tables are made so that they can fit together. There is a row of "royal tables," where the family of the day at Disney sits. The rest of the tables are for the "village." This is similar to the village leaders, who preside over the rest of the village during meals. Along the walls, there are coins from each African nation.
We tried carrot ginger soup, which was sweet with a kick of spiciness at the end. It was interesting, but not something I'd like to eat every day! We also got to try Boma's signature dessert, zebra domes, which we were told had a popular elephant food in the middle. We walked through the whole restaurant & were given descriptions of the rest of the food, too, as well as an introduction to one of the chefs.
The Jiko part of the tour was less organized & personable. We weren't really given any descriptions of the restaurant, or our guide's home country. Although two of the chefs were there, neither really said anything to us, although they did answer questions when asked. No one really told us, either, that we were just supposed to leave when we were done eating, so there was some awkward standing around for a bit until we figured it out.
The food was super good though! We two types of bread, as well as some kind of chips. There were four dips to go with it - a mango chutney, a pineapple something, a lime cilantro something, & lamb hummus. I couldn't tell you specific details about any of it, but all of them were great, & I would definitely recommend them all!
After our tour, we watched the animals hanging out around the resort. They weren't too far from us at all, & the resort itself was so peaceful. It's neat to see so many animals just hanging out, knowing they're just outside someone's hotel room. I'd love to stay somewhere like that someday!