Resort guests searching for luxury, culture and fun need look no farther than Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This Deluxe Resort is sure to please the safari seekers, pool loungers, and park hoppers in the family. Join us for an overview of Animal Kingdom Lodge, it may be the perfect resort fit for your next Walt Disney World vacation!
1. Location and Theming
Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to Disney Vacation Club properties in the Kidani Village building. As well as traditional guest rooms filling the main lodge property, named for the towering atrium lobby Jambo House. Both buildings are surrounded by beautiful savanna and African animals roaming the savanna. Located near Animal Kingdom, this resort seems quiet and tucked away while still being within a quick bus ride of the parks. Bus access to all Walt Disney World Parks, Disney Water Parks, Disney Springs and ESPN Wide World of Sports is available at the Kidani Village bus stop and Jambo House bus stop.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is excellently themed. With savanna and animals surrounding the resort, elegant animal furniture accents and African flairs in décor the resort lobbies and resort rooms exude upscale elegance while staying true to the natural theme. Animal observation areas surrounding the savanna are available for guests hoping to get a closer look at the wart hogs, giraffes, zebras, antelope and other species that call the savanna home. Those wanting to enjoy the scenery from a higher vantage point can lounge in the rocking chairs on viewing balconies. After a long day in the parks or a great meal at Boma, kick back in a chair around the campfire on the outdoor viewing area or around the indoor fire ring in the lobby. Designed to convey the coziness and facilitate the conversation and storytelling that is such an important part of tribal societies, these fire rings offer the perfect place to decompress after a day and reconnect with your family.
2. Dining and Drinks
Some incredible meals and drinks are available at Animal Kingdom Lodge. This resort offers opportunities for guests to taste dishes native to different parts of Africa and Asia while also providing Disney staples guests know and love. Quick service offerings for meals and snacks are available at The Mara inside Jambo House. Visit during breakfast for classics like Mickey Waffles or later in the day to eat flatbreads, sandwiches, pasta, desserts and an array of other options. Poolside guests at Kidani Village should visit the Maji Pool Bar for frozen drinks, sandwiches and quick bites. Jambo House pool guests can grab a snack and African beer at Uzima Springs Pool Bar.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to one of our favorite Disney Buffets. Boma offers salads, soups, roasted meat, seafood and sides from Africa and the Middle East alongside classic American favorites. Those looking for a different table service experience should consider Jiko- The Cooking Place. This eatery specializes in seasonal flavors, bold spices and authentic African food. Prefix menus, wine tasting menus and seasonal food makes this a popular restaurant for Walt Disney World foodies. Table service dining options at Kidani Village include Indian and African themed dishes at Sanaa, a restaurant with plenty of perfectly placed windows for animal observation. There are an array of bars and lounges around Animal Kingdom Lodge to enjoy a signature cocktail. Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar and Victoria Falls Lounge are some of the best wine bars at Walt Disney World each with an incredible assortment of African wines. Mixed drinks, beer and frozen cocktails are easy to snag at bars or pool bars around the resort.
3. Pools and Amenities
My family always takes a park free day during our stay at this resort just to kick back and enjoy the resort pools. Wandering between one of the two pools to enjoy the waterslides, foliage shaded deck chairs and beauty of the pool is a great way to relax on vacation. Uzima Springs Pool and Samawati Springs Pool each have a water slide and zero entry point. Uzima Springs is the larger of the two pools but Samawati Springs has Uwanja Camp, a nearby splash pad for kids to enjoy.
Outside the pool area kids can enjoy playing games at Pumba’s Fun and Games Arcade or hanging around on the Hakuna Matata Playground. Evening brings fun activities to the resort like nightly movies under the stars at Uzima Springs Pool and family camp fire fun at Jambo House fire rings. Take the time to recharge and relax in Zahanati Massage and Fitness Center during your resort stay.
4. Animals and Culture
What other resort allows you the chance to spend unlimited time animal watching during your vacation? The savanna laden with African animals is of course the biggest crowd pleaser at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Splurge for a savanna view room and wake up to views of giraffes strolling by your window. Guests without a savanna view room have access to observation decks around the property, some even with lounge chairs or fire pits nearby that make animal observation one of the most fun activities at this resort.
Disney ties in excellent theming with educational opportunities for families to learn about African culture and animals. Classes and lectures outlined weekly in the resort newsletter allow guests the chance to learn from experts. Woodcarving, African music, African art, animal experts and culture experts teach guests adding a new dimension to the décor, art, food, drink and animals that abound at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.