Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Is This the Resort for Your Next Vacation?

Animal Kingdom sign, Animal Kingdom resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Animal Kingdom  prices, Animal Kingdom reservations

By Lisa.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a deluxe resort located next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. It contains two buildings, the Jambo House and Kidani Village. Kidani Village was added in 2009 and is a DVC resort.  The resort is designed to resemble a South African wildlife reserve lodge, and it doesn’t disappoint. The resort is situated around savannas, allowing guests the ability to look out at all the animals that were brought in from Africa.

There are several room types to choose from, as well as different views.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge savanna, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge balconyIn the main lodge you can choose  the standard view, which looks out to the parking lot. There is also a pool view, savanna view, deluxe pool view and deluxe savanna view, plus a set of concierge rooms. The deluxe rooms are a larger size than the standard, but all of the rooms, regardless of the view, have a balcony. You will find DVC rooms in the main lodge.

Kidani Village has the majority of the DVC rooms which are available in studio, 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. The room rates vary depending on the size, time of year, and the view. Here are some rates based on the regular season:

  • Standard view room- $325/night
  • Pool View- $355/night
  • Savannah View- $410/night
  • Concierge room- $455/night
  • Studio villa- $400-560/night depending on view
  • 1 Bedroom villa- $565-790/night depending on view
  • 2 bedroom villa- $925-1010/night depending on view
  • 3 bedroom grand villa- $1920/night depending on view

Being a concierge guest at the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a few special perks. You are able to attend the Sunrise Safari. This is a two-hour experience that goes along the Kilimanjaro Safari path, with stops so that you can take pictures. The safari ride lasts around 45 minutes. After the safari you are taken to Pizzafari for a breakfast buffet. You also get a Fastpass for the Kilimanjaro Safari ride at the theme park, so you can ride it the regular way later on. The safari is on Sundays and Thursdays and costs $65 for adults and $32.50 for children. There is also a sunset safari that is set in the savannah at AKL followed by a meal at Jiko. It costs $190.64 for ages 8 and up.

Animal Kingdom Lodge landscaping, Animal Kingdom Lodge entertaiment, Animal Kingdom Lodge animals

Dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge is different from all of the other resorts and parks. There are three full service dining rooms.

  • Jiko – the Cooking Place – is a casual restaurant open for dinner.
  • Boma- Flavors of Africa – is open for breakfast and dinner; it is a buffet with some very unique African dishes.
  • Sanaa is located in Kidani Village with African dishes that allow you to try more than one.

There is also a quick service restaurant as well as a poolside bar and the Victoria Falls lounge where you can get coffee, tea and adult beverages at night.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool bar, Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool kids, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool

As for recreation, the resort has a fitness center that is open 6am-9pm and is free to guests staying at the resort.  A spa treatment area is available, where you can get those tired muscles taken care of after long days walking in the parks. It offers massage therapy, skin care and body treatments. One of the most popular activities at AKL is the pool. Samawati Springs pool is a zero entry pool that has a slide and is set among Florida palms. It is just not to be missed! Other activities are Pumbaa’s arcade, the Hakuna Matata playground, and a small jogging path.

One of our Mouze Amanda’s favorite of all spots at AKL is the lobby of Jambo House, nowhere near the animals. She said, “The lobby is my absolute favorite place to be at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The entire lobby is infused with the irresistible smell of cooking meat. There is a small fireplace for warming hands, and the African architecture is just amazing. The animals were Ok, but I preferred people watching in the lobby.”

Animal Kingdom Lodge bar, Animal Kingdom restaurants,

Amanda cautioned that this is a large resort, and you can do a lot of walking. “We stayed in one of the DVC rooms at Kidani Village, and from our room to the car was .48 of a mile. I swear we added 10 miles of walking to our trip just by driving to the theme parks and walking back to our room. The landscaping is beautiful, but the mileage was brutal.”

Our Mouze Melissa R. of Mickey by Mel  said of AKL,  “Love it there. We just bought more DVC points, so we have it as another home resort. As much as we love the animals and watching the giraffes munch in the morning, we love the food at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma and Jiko are our family favorites. My kids request both of those restaurants before any character meals, and they are 5 and 7! The detail and artifacts that are found throughout the resort are amazing. I can spend hours just wandering the halls and reading about the exhibits. It might not be convenient to the Magic Kingdom, but there is a magic in the resort that should not be missed!”

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby, Animal Kingdom Lodge architecture, Animal Kingdom Lodge African artifacts

Our Mouze Lucinda from  Dizzneemomma  stayed at AKL – Jambo House once. “My favorite part about this resort is Boma – Flavors of Africa. I eat gluten-free and this is one of the restaurants where I have a lot of entrees, sides and desserts to choose from. They can even bring out gluten-free zebra domes if you wish. I love that the food is not ordinary, yet not too exotic. Just always yummy!”

Overall, Animal Kingdom Lodge is a bit pricey, but the resort has a unique theme and lots of different options for people to enjoy. My favorite thing was to get up before the sun came up and have my coffee on the balcony watching the animals. We will be staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge again in the next month, and I look forward to sharing our experience for all of you. Maybe I will get to share my early morning coffee with a giraffe on the balcony.

Thanks for stopping by for a photographical Disney ride, and we’ll see you out on the African savanna.

Lisa

Lisa just moved to Nashville, TN, after spending 28 years in Ohio. She has been a huge Disney fan since her parents took her on her first trip at age two. 2. She has been to Disney over 70 times and worked at Blizzard Beach as part of the Disney College Program. She is now working on finding a way to move to FL, so she can be closer to her favorite place on Earth!

Be sure to stop by Mouze Kateerz on Facebook and Mouze Kateerz on Pinterest.

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Comments

  1. Great blog, Lisa!

    I’m writing this from Jambo House! We have a one bedroom with some type of savannah view, and have seen lots of amazing animals!

    It’s fun!

    Brenda & Roger

  2. AKV is our home resort. I love it because I always feel like I have been far, far away in a special place where life is just right.

  3. Jeanie Carpenter says:

    This resort was our first “on property” stay and we LOVED it!! We are trying to stay at all the resorts but if we had to pick one we have already stayed at, this one would be top pick!!

  4. Hi, i thinjk that i saw you visited my blog thus i camee to return the want?.I’m trying to in finding things to improve my website!I guess its good enough to use a few of your ideas!!

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