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Our Wild Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

by Mommy Frog on February 2, 2022 Orlando

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - PinterestEnjoy a trip to Walt Disney World Resort and stay at an exotic destination at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge! This deluxe resort celebrates the beauty and wonder of Africa. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a froggy favorite — where else can you see African animals right from your room's balcony? Our whole family loves to explore and watch the giraffes, zebras, ostriches and more. We could spend hours just relaxing and enjoying the views of the savanna.

The resort offers a wide variety of quality dining, including Boma (one of our favorite breakfast buffets), Sanaa (we're all about the bread service) and more. Other amenities include one of the largest pools on property. For families looking for a little more room to roam, the Kidani Village Villas provide spacious suites with separate bedrooms, full kitchens and even your own washer and dryer!

Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge also provides you with all of the perks of staying on-site, such as complimentary transportation, early theme park entry to every park daily, early booking of individual Lightning Lane attractions, a convenient location and full immersion in the Disney magic.

With animals right outside your window, a stay at this deluxe resort is a trip that you are sure to remember. Here's everything to know about staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Overview of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Lobby

Located next to Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is a unique deluxe resort with its own savanna! The grand lobby is a sight to see, and it's worth taking some time to appreciate the architecture (fun froggy fact — the same designer also helped create Disney's Wilderness Lodge, another beautiful Walt Disney World Resort). Note the detailed and incredible art throughout the hotel. In the past, there have even been the sounds of live African drummers in the lobby.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Giraffe

The main building is Jambo House, a U-shaped building looking into the resort's savanna. Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village is right next door, offering larger accommodation suites as a part of Disney Vacation Club.

The savannas at Animal Kingdom Lodge are home to more than 30 species of African wildlife, with more than 200 animals living at the lodge's reserve. There are viewing areas throughout the resort, sometimes staffed with cast members who can teach you more about the animals. Or better yet, step out onto your balcony and take in the view. Depending on your room location and time of day, you never know what species you will see!

There are three savannas at the lodge. Animals will rotate at certain times, so if you don't see any animals, you can try looking at the other savanna or come back a little later. Some animals are only found in certain savannas, so keep exploring!

Rooms at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo Standard Room with Two Beds

With vibrant reds, oranges and browns, the rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge offer lots of African inspiration. Choose between a standard view, pool view or savanna view. The pool and savanna views will cost extra (though we think splurging for the savanna view is worth it!). Be sure to save by purchasing through Undercover Tourist!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Coffee Maker

Standard rooms are typically 344 square feet. For up to two adults, a room with a king bed is available. Sleeping up to four adults, rooms will have either two queen beds, or one king bed and one day bed. For an extra cost, Club Level rooms offer personalized service, complimentary refreshments and an exclusive lounge.

Standard rooms offer a TV (of course, tuned into our favorite resort info channel), small table with two chairs, mini-fridge, coffee maker, closet, in-room safe, hairdryer and iron and ironing board. The table and mini-fridge make it easy to have a light breakfast in the room before heading out on your next adventure (and it saves some money too!). Oh, and of course, there is free Wi-Fi throughout the resort.

We loved the little African touches and nods to "The Lion King" in the room. Nothing like a little sunrise over the savanna with your morning coffee. Hakuna Matata!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Bathroom Sink Area

The bathroom features a double sink and a walk-in shower. A sliding door can close off the sink area, with a separate door for the shower and toilet. This can toadally help if I want Lily to brush her teeth while Tad showers.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Decor

At Kidani Village, enjoy spacious one-, two-, or three-bedroom villas. Each deluxe villa comes with a full kitchen, living and dining area, separate bedrooms and your own in-room washer and dryer! These homey villas are perfect for larger groups, though smaller deluxe studios are also available.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Savanna View from Room

Nearly every room has a balcony overlooking the Savannah! While we had a standard view (which could overlook parking), we still had the back portion of the savanna. We recommend keeping expectations low on the views from your balcony if you're staying in a standard room, so you can be hoppily surprised with what you may find.

Transportation at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House Exterior

As the name suggests, the resort is next to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, making that park the easiest to hop to. Transportation around Walt Disney World Resort is accessible by bus or car. If you're bringing a car, overnight self-parking is $25 per night. (Did you know that you can bundle your hotel room and save up to 50 percent on a car rental through Undercover Tourist?) Theme park parking is included with your stay, so no need to pay twice!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants

There is a variety of quick-service, table-service and lounges at Animal Kingdom Lodge, providing lots of dining options for your budget. Some of these Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants are among our favorites in all of Disney World!

Boma – Flavors of Africa

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Boma Breakfast Buffet

One of our favorite breakfast buffets is Boma – Flavors of Africa. With American and African dishes, there is something for any frog. Enjoy French toast bread pudding, carved ham, turkey bobotie and more. Plus the popular POG juice (that's pineapple, orange and guava — yum!). For dinner, savor oak roasted meats, seafood dishes and more, all prepared in the onstage kitchen. This popular location is open for breakfast and dinner, and reservations are highly recommended. (You may be able to join a Walk-Up list, depending on availability.)

Sanaa

Located at Kidani Village, enjoy vibrant flavors and a view of the savanna at Sanaa. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, Sanaa operates as a quick-service restaurant with no reservations required. Enjoy sausage, bacon, eggs and African home fries, along with grab-and-go options. For lunch and dinner, enjoy African cooking with Indian flavors. Start off with Indian-style bread service with nine sauces. Then select from a variety of East African-inspired dishes, with some kid-friendly options for any picky eaters. Reservations are highly recommended for lunch and dinner, and you can also order your meal to-go via mobile ordering through the My Disney Experience app. If you just want a quick drink or appetizer, Sanaa Lounge is also available for walk-up.

Jiko - The Cooking Place (Temporarily Unavailable)

This high-end table service offers a blend of African, Indian and Mediterranean flavors. Enjoy steak, chicken, seafood, vegan and vegetarian dishes, with menus changing seasonally. This signature dining experience does have a minimum dress code requirement. Advance reservations are highly recommended; same-day bookings are not accepted at this location.

The Mara

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Flatbread from The Mara

Located near the Uzima Springs pool, this quick-service restaurant offers American cuisine with some African flair. There are also many grab-and-go options for the snacking frog. On our last visit, I enjoyed the Braai Chicken Flatbread, topped with chicken, bacon, red onion, mozzarella and ranch drizzle. This location is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and mobile ordering is available.

Victoria Falls Lounge

Overlooking the Boma restaurant, Victoria Falls Lounge offers some appetizers and a wide variety of specialty cocktails, beers, South African wines and more. The lounge is typically only open in the evenings.

Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar (Temporarily Unavailable)

Located near the Jiko restaurant, enjoy appetizers and a variety of alcoholic beverages. The full Jiko menu is available at the bar.

Uzima Springs Pool Bar

Sip on alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages right next to the Uzima Springs pool.

Maji Pool Bar

Enjoy a variety of sandwiches, snacks and small desserts at the Samawati Springs pool, along with alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.

Amenities at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House Pool

Relax after long park days with a trip to the pool! The Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House is one of the largest pools on property at 11,000 square feet. Tadpoles and tadpoles at heart can zip down a 67-foot-long waterslide.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Pool Play Area

Over at Kidani Village, the Samawati Springs pool floats in at 4,700 square feet and features a 128-foot-long winding waterslide. The pool area also features Uwanja Camp, a water playground for all ages with fun sprinklers, a shallow pool and a climbing area.

While most people will just go to whichever pool is closest, it's fun to try out both. Uzima Springs doesn't have as much extra flair, but the sheer size of the pool allows plenty of room for our swimming frogs. If you're looking for more engaging interactive water play areas, you'll want to head over to Samawati Springs. Both pools may offer activities near the pool, such as hula-hooping or chalk drawing. Towels are provided at both pools.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Arcade

Located near The Mara quick-service restaurant, Pumbaa's Fun and Games Arcade provides classic arcade and video games. The Safari So Good arcade is located at Kidani Village. In order to play, you may be required to purchase a reloadable game card. Other free activities include playgrounds, campfire activities and movies under the stars.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge also provides the following amenities:

  • ATM and banking service
  • Business center
  • Childcare services
  • Laundry and dry cleaning services
  • Mail services
  • Resort airline check-in (temporarily unavailable)
  • Self-parking ($25 per night)
  • Disney Signature Services (for those staying in Club-level rooms)
  • Spa and Fitness Center

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Zebra

Once again, we can't help but mention the animals! This is a really unique benefit and really adds value to the deluxe resort.

What to Consider Before Staying at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Sunset Overlook

The African theming and savanna are the major draw of Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the quality continues with its rooms, dining and amenities. With plenty of viewing areas, allow enough time to relax and enjoy the incredible animals.

While the resort is right next door to Animal Kingdom Theme Park, you will find everywhere else to be a bit further out, especially Magic Kingdom. Depending on where your room is located, allow more walk time. At our last stay, we were at nearly the end of the "U" shape, which meant extra walking.

Consider upgrading to a savanna view, especially for those who have a non-park day in their plans. It really allows a chance to see the animals in the daylight at a relaxing pace. Since animals can be viewed elsewhere, those who are going from park opening to park close may only have a few chances to see animals. Either way, there are plenty of animals to see, either from your room or one of the many viewing decks. Exiting the back of the lobby leads you to a middle viewing area that juts out into the savanna, allowing for closer views. It is similar to the walking paths found in Animal Kingdom, so you can get fairly close to the animals. There is another outlook near the Uzima pool. Other viewing areas found around the resort include large balconies with seating looking out onto the savanna.

Overall, Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite deluxe resorts and is just fun for all ages. With incredible theming, savanna views and quality dining, the frogs give Animal Kingdom Lodge a big thumbs up!

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Giraffes

Have you ever stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge? What was your favorite part of your stay? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Adventure Is Out There with the Wilderness Explorers at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Related: All of the Benefits of Staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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