Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is unlike any other resort in the world. If you love the atmosphere of Animal Kingdom and being fully immersed in an experience, this is the place for you. Here are 10 reasons you’re sure to marvel in the Lodge’s awesomeness!
10- Special Activities
Feel like having a low-key night? Check out a scheduled story time, participate in campfire activities at Jambo House, or enjoy a Disney movie poolside!
9- Amazing Cast Members
Walt Disney World cast members (or employees) are known for being accomodating and kind, but the cast members at Animal Kingdom Lodge are especially interesting and friendly. You’re sure to be greeted with lots of warmth at every turn. Be sure to chat with them about their home countries- you’re sure to learn a thing or two!
8- Fun Activities for Children
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a particularly exciting resort for children. From the splash pad, to the pools, to the arcade, the resort certainly has plenty to offer the youngest guests. Additionally, kids from ages 3 through 12 can enjoy games, dinner, crafts, and movies at Simba’s Clubhouse while their parents have time to themselves!
7- Incredible Resort Rooms
It should be no surprise that this deluxe resort has beautiful guest rooms featuring beautiful African-inspired textiles and art. Couple that with the fact that most of the rooms have savanna views and you’ll be looking forward to returning “home” at the end of a busy park day!
6- Exciting Pools & Water Play
Animal Kingdom Lodge has 2 great pool areas. The Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village is definitely one that will please the kids in your group. The pool itself has a waterslide, and nearby the children can enjoy a water playground with lots of squirting and splashing fun. At Jambo House, guests can also enjoy a beautiful pool (also with a waterslide) and children’s wading area. Whirlpool spas are available at both locations as well.
5- A Breathtaking Lobby
If walking into the Jambo House lobby doesn’t make you say, “Wow!”, here is what you need to do: turn around, walk back outside, and try again! Jambo house boasts a breathtaking lobby with floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the savanna and rich, dark wood all around. Take some time to really explore and examine the artifacts that are kept in the room as well.
4- Behind-the-Scenes Resort Tours
Did you know that the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers 2 behind-the-scenes tours? The “Sense of Africa” Tour begins with a delectable breakfast at Boma. Then, you’ll spend a few hours on a private safari vehicle visiting with cast members responsible for animal care- and, of course, up-close encounters with their animal friends on the savanna! More of a night owl? Consider the Starlight Safari. Departing at 10:00pm, this ride on a safari vehicle will bring you up close and personal with many of the savannah’s most popular animals. You’ll even get a pair of night-vision goggles so you can really see what’s around you!
3- Zawadi Marketplace
Zawadi Marketplace, the resort gift shop, is amazing! It is one of my favorites in all of Walt Disney World! It’s fairly large and has a great variety of unique, African-themed items. If you love animal print, or want to find something a bit off the beaten path, you will love this shop.
2- Incredible Dining Options
Animal Kingdom Lodge boast 3 great sit-down restaurants- Jiko, Sanaa, & Boma- and they are not to be missed! Jiko, which means “the cooking place”, is known for its blend of Indian, Mediterranean, and of course African cuisines. Jiko is located in Jambo House and is a Signature Dining location, which means it’s a bit fancy. Nearby, at Boma, enjoy the views into the open kitchen as well as all-you-care-to-enjoy buffets at both lunch and dinner seatings. Still hungry? Head over to Kidani Village and tempt your tastebuds at Sanaa, where you can enjoy a savanna view while you dine. Don’t miss out on the well-known Indian Style Bread Service on the appetizer menu!
1- The Animals, of course!
There is no denying that the biggest draw at Animal Kingdom Lodge is the animals that live at the resort. Being surrounded by wildlife before you even step foot into the Animal Kingdom park is a truly unique experience. There are lots of great vantage points at the resort, so you don’t even need to be staying in one of their beautiful rooms to see the creatures. One of the best spots is the walkout located near Sanaa. Take a seat in one of the rocking chairs and enjoy the views, or perhaps chat with the friendly and knowledgeable cast members who can tell you all about the animals before you.
There you have it- 10 reasons why you must stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at least once. And remember- even if you are not staying there, you can absolutely still explore and enjoy the resort and its animals. I recommend at least making a dining reservation and giving yourself ample time before or after before returning to the bustle of the parks.