Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has to be one of my favorite Walt Disney World resorts. I know…..I say that about all of them we have enjoyed on past trips. However, after staying at this Deluxe Tier Walt Disney World Resort twice, I have come to realize that it is a hidden gem, and definitely one that guests of the Walt Disney World Resort should choose as their “home” for their next stay. Check out what I learned on my recent stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a hop, skip, and jump from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park. If there was a walking path, I think you could easily walk to Animal Kingdom from this resort. So, the bus ride is VERY short. While it is off the beaten Disney path of most of the other resorts, I can’t help but think that is intentional on Disney’s part. It is unlike any resort on Walt Disney World property.
Like all Disney resorts, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has a unique, yet Disney theme all throughout. Hidden Mickeys are in all the decor, yet is is very culturally focused on Africa. Hearing the drummers in the lobby, being greeted with a “JAMBO!”, and the African music in the background all contribute to the amazing theme of this resort. The rooms have dark wood, African map wall paper, and even animal sketches on the shower curtains. The thatched roofs of the guest wings, along with the wildlife preserve and animals roaming outside, all make for an amazing experience at this resort. The moment you step into the lobby, it is breathtaking. You are immediately surrounded by culture and beautiful scenery.
The rooms at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge typically house 4 guests, plus one in a crib. The rooms have queen beds, or a queen bed with a set of bunk beds. The bathroom has a double sink area, separate from the shower and toilet. There is a good size dresser just inside the door, a closet, as well as a small refrigerator and a coffeemaker. The rooms also have a balcony, which is nice for animal watching. I feel that even with all the African touches, the rooms are light and airy.
There are some fabulous restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Many guests will venture over to get breakfast at Boma, or bread service at Sanaa. I personally had breakfast at Boma, and thoroughly enjoyed my Simba shaped waffles! Amongst the other options on the buffet was the papaya, avocado, and grapefruit salad. Plus, they serve their yummy “Jungle Juice” at breakfast. It’s my fave! Bread service at Sanaa is a great way to end your day in the parks, and Jiko~the Cooking Place has the true ambience of the Lion King as you enjoy your authentic meal. Outside of these are the Mara, which is the quick service place, and the pool bar. I personally appreciate that Mara is located close to the pool, so you can easily access it and enjoy some pool time.
Adding to the ambience and atmosphere of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the savanna, and the animals that roam on it. I personally do not think you NEED a Savanna View Room, as there is no guarantee you’ll see animals from there anyway! You can see them from the HUGE observation windows that surround the resort, as well as from the pool area and the observation porches all around the resort. The animals definitely set this apart from the other Walt Disney World Resorts. No other place allows you to observe flamingos while walking to the pool! Also, the pool area is one of my favorites. It is so pretty, surrounded with huge trees and gorgeous flowers. Plus, kids love the zero entry area at Uzima Springs and the water slide.
As with all Disney resorts, there are plenty of resort activities to keep guests busy while they enjoy a break from the parks. I have seen mask making near the pool, drummers in the lobby, and even a wood carver just inside the main entrance. Plus, you can enjoy a FREE culinary tour at JIKO during set times of the day.
I have stayed at most of the Walt Disney World deluxe resorts, and I truly love Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is one of my favorite places to call “HOME” on my Walt Disney World vacations! Will you be visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge on your next trip?