It’s where the animals roam- the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
No seriously, you can go outside and stand in a small enclosure in a field full of animals! It’s like animal kingdom, without having to pay for a ticket (maybe not quite as immersive, but still fun for a 20 minutes stroll).
Also at Animal Kingdom Lodge- The Mara. It’s a quick service that delights those staying at the resort and those visiting for a quick bite to eat.
Where’s it located
The Mara is located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. It will be the first turn to the right after security if you come by car.
You can access the Resort by bus or uber. If coming by bus you will have to go to a Theme Park and then go to the resort. You can walk here from Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village.
Once inside the resort, head to the first floor and walk outside where you can enter The Mara. It’s located by the pool, and you can bring your food outside to eat in the shade (or stay inside in the A/C)
My late mother in law was 100% dependant on mobility devices so I also check for things like this when I visit. Hopefully this helps someone else have a smooth trip!
There is handicap parking right at the entrance to the resort, and once inside you’ll stay right to get onto the elevator. Head down to the bottom floor (main lobby where you enter is on the third floor). You’ll then need to head out a double set of doors and down a covered walkway to the restaurant. There are handicap buttons for the doors (though kind of hard to see unless you look for them).
Bathrooms are OUTSIDE of the quick service area. They have a tight entrance but several roomy stalls.
Once inside The Mara you’ve got a bit of turning room, but it gets crowded quickly so take that into consideration. Like always- they have trays and food kept in fridges that extend from 2-6ft.
What’s Special There?
First things first- this place is special because when I go to Animal Kingdom in the mornings, I need to eat! And animal kingdom sucks when it comes to allergy friendly breakfast options.
The Mara (and Boma- the upstairs resturant) are known for one very special things.
Dun dun dun…
The Zebra Domes!
These yummy mini shaped domes are available in gluten free versions at the Mara. They are separately packaged and appropriately labeled so you don’t have to worry about CC in the restaurant.
Here’s some pics and an ingredient list to see if you can indulge in these yummy treats that get a 10/10 from me! (yes, they are sweet- I like to eat one and pop them in the fridge for later)
Precautions and Eating with Allergies at Disney World
For one, when you reserve dining, make sure to list your allergies (they don’t have options for all, so pick what you can!) Then CLARIFY at check in that you have allergies, get an allergen menu and ask to speak to a chef or manager.
Please consider talking to a manager or chef- especially if you have more than one allergy and ESPECIALLY if you have a cashier that might seem like they don’t know what they are doing.
As far as the kitchens, Disney has dedicated allergy kitchens and we know that they follow FARE guidelines. If they have a risk of CC they tell you.
For me, the times I’ve had exposure was when the cashier/server didn’t understand/didn’t properly list the allergies/gave me incorrect information. In their defense, they aren’t necessarily trained in allergies- so talk to a chef or manager if you are concerned.
You know those gut feelings that something isn’t right. Speak up! They have never (ok once at a quick serve place did a cashier give me grief) given me any problems.
Our Review and what we ate
I went from breakfast this time (the time I took the pics!) but I’ve also been there for lunch (no pics of that!)
I had some yummy gluten free waffles- the namaste brand. They were slightly doughy inside, but honestly, after eating at so many of the resorts this summer and always getting waffles (I dont eat pork) I just expect the waffles to be somewhat doughy. I’m just glad they dont give me a reaction (like that one time I got served regular waffles at grand floridian cafe)
Plus I grabbed some Zebra Domes mentioned above.
Check out the menus below for an idea of what you can get!
Ordering Food and The Menus
When you are ready to order you can go to this section and a chef will come out to talk with you. (note- always look for the “breaks” in the food servings, or some places will have a sign. Generally thats where you meet for allergies)
Keep in mind, these menus are just guidelines of what they have on hand. If you see something or want to know if they have other options- just ask! The worst they can say is no.
I ordered and received a pager!
Lunch and Dinner Allergy Menu
Want to know more about the Mara? Check out Disney’s site
Overall- I love The Mara. It’s a safe place to eat when headed to AK, especially since it’s about 5 minutes by car and I’m not the biggest fan of breakfast bars for the most important meal of the day!
Other Allergy Articles to check out-