An Overview of Disney World's 8 Deluxe Resort Hotels

Giraffe Savanna Animal Kingdom Lodge

1. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge may well be the wildest Deluxe Resort in all of Walt Disney World. Having opened back in 2001, this resort may be the youngest one on this list, but in many ways it boasts the most charisma. That’s largely due to the over 200 hoofed African animals and various bird species that call this place home. That’s right, this resort actually has its own resident menagerie of live animals right onsite! You’ll also find four all-encompassing savannas surrounding the hotel grounds—a truly remarkable feature, to say the least. As for the hotel’s style and design, you’ll no doubt notice the horseshoe-curved architectural pattern that was modeled after the traditional African kraal and providing for outstanding views of both savanna lands and the many animal inhabitants. Within the walls the décor follows a traditional African motif and architectural design, and guests may choose from a wide range of accommodating options to stay in, from standard and club level rooms, suites, and even villas. And as is always the case, each accommodation comes with all those magical conveniences and amenities Disney does so perfectly.

In addition to the abundance in wildlife you get to experience on your stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the resort boasts plenty of recreational activities and endeavors to pursue around the grounds. Swimming is an ever-popular pastime at the resort’s two pools—Uzima Springs and Samawati Springs. Both are zero-entry oases that feature waterslides. There’s also Uwanja Camp—an interactive water playground and poolside area for children of all ages. Other activities around the resort include the Hakuna Matata Playground that operates 24-hours a day, arcade games, rejuvenating services at Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center, family-fun campfire activities, movies under the stars, and so much more.

Those who decide to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge tend to already have a taste for the wild side, and the numerous onsite options for dining do not disappoint. Most notably are the resort’s top three picks—Boma, Sanaa, and Jiko—The Cooking Place. Boma, which is open daily for breakfast and dinner, is an especially popular family-friendly choice. Presented in lavish all-you-can-eat buffet format, here you can enjoy all those traditional well-loved American classics alongside house specialties for breakfast. Then at dinnertime you can indulge in an abundance of continental cuisine picks featuring flavors and fusions from over 50 African nations. Sanaa, which is “artwork” in Swahili, lives up to its name by way of the vibrant interior design and décor as well as innumerable artful culinary delights served up throughout the day. The restaurant boasts grand windows overlooking the savannas and makes for spectacular close-up views of the resident wildlife. Then there’s Jiko—The Cooking Place, an onsite signature dining option that’s beyond compare. Treat your taste buds to robust, globally inspired flavors from around the world as well as intricate fusions combining traditional African ingredients with elaborate original entrée enticements. There are also special wine tastings to enjoy at Jiko as well. Watching through the open “performance” kitchen as your meal takes form is definitely entertaining indeed, but that’s not the only lively showcase to be had at dinner. What really sets this classy culinary quest apart from all others is when you opt for a combined dinner and safari package. This means that in addition to fine dining at Jiko you and your group will also be treated to a private Wanyama Safari through the savannas where you can get up close and personal with all the animals.

Disney Deluxe Resorts have so much to offer for guests looking to enhance their already magical vacation experience by staying in premium accommodations. As mentioned before, Disney World also offers plenty of different lodging designations to suit any budget, and staying on property is always worth it. Just remember, whichever resort you choose to stay at comes with a whole host of exclusive perks and benefits you just can’t get find anywhere else.

By Laura Hermoza


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