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Guide to Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort is by far the most spectacular of all the Disney Resorts.  There are many reasons why Animal Kingdom Lodge is so popular among guests, but probably the most important of what sets this resort apart from other Disney resorts is that it is set on a 43-acre wildlife preserve. 

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

Animal Kingdom Lodge allows you to experience the wildlife in its truest form all the while enjoying a full-on Disney resort experience.

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

You will find that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort is divided into two separate resort areas: Jambo House and Kidani Village.

Both Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and Kidani Village have studio rooms and one, two, and three-bedroom villas. 

Each of these sections also has its own restaurants and pools, but the main hub of Animal Kingdom Lodge is Jambo House.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

Designed by architect Peter Dominick, known for the Fort Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House makes you feel as if you are stepping foot in an East African national park lodge. 

The theme will be found in all aspects of the design of this resorts, from the carved woodwork to the lighting.

Animal Kingd om Lodge Firepit

Take time to walk through the interior and exterior of Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort.   There is so much to explore.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Room
Courtesy Disney

Animal Kingdom Lodge Rooms

Animal Kingdom Lodge has several different types of rooms, but the most popular is the Savannah View rooms.

If you get the luxury of having a Savannah view room, you will be able to observe free-roaming wildlife right from your balcony.

We’re talking giraffe, zebra, gazelles, wildebeest, okapi, and more!

Cast members place inconspicuous feeding bins in trees and bushes to attract the animals and provide you the best chance at viewing them.

Wondering what you are seeing exactly? Yes, you know what a giraffe looks like, but what about an Okapi or a Gray Crowned Crane.

Animal Kingdom Wildlife Spotting Guide

No need to worry. Each Savanna view room contains a Wildlife Spotting Guide.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Guide to WilldlifeThese wildlife spotting guides give you a picture of each animal you might see along with facts about the wildlife.

We found that we were able to spot animals throughout the day, but that they were around the most early in the morning and about 6pm in the evening (during the summer months).

Don’t worry, if you can’t afford the luxury of a Savannah room, you can go just outside the main lobby to an elevated rock platform to get an up-close view of the animals!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Dining Choices in Jambo House

Foodies will love the food options at Animal Kingdom Lodge.  You will get the chance to eat at Animal Kingdom Resort’s 2 award-winning restaurants: Jiko- The Cooking Place and Boma, Flavors of Africa. 

Jiko Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jiko – The Cooking Place

The signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is Jiko-The Cooking Place, features African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Moroccan Lamb Shank at Jiko
Courtesy Disney

You will find such dishes as Moroccan Lamb Shank with Parsnip Silk, Root Spinach, & Medjool Date Chutney.

Even the wine list is impressive. Jiko-The Cooking Place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers only wines from South Africa, the largest South African wine program for any one site in the United States. 

Every Wednesday, there is a wine tasting (reservations required) put on by sommeliers at Jiko – The Cooking Place.

Be advised that Jiko – The Cooking Place is a signature dining experience so you have to dress appropriately. This is not the place to dine wearing a t-shirt and shorts!  

Boma Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Boma, Flavors of Africa

One of my favorite buffets at Disney is Boma. There ia a reason why Boma is consistently booked.

Boma’s breakfast buffet is pretty standard (and delicious) as far as Disney buffets go, but the dinner at Boma, Flavors of Africa is pretty fantastic.

It features cuisine from over 50 African countries!

You will find soups like hearty chicken corn chowder, entrees like slow-roasted ribs and whole-spiced chicken and side items like couscous, saffron rice, and sweet potato pancakes. 

You will find fresh bread as well, like African-inspired golden-brown naan, light and flaky chapatis, and a blue cornbread.

The Mara

If you are looking for a quick dining option, you’ll need to head over to the Animal Kingdom pool. Just past it is The Mara.

The Mara, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with everything from fresh soups and burgers to flatbread. 

We found them to be a wonderful treat when you want a quick meal or special treat (they have quite a selection of desserts including the Zebra Dome). 

Be sure to try the Chicken Pita with Sun-dried Tomato Hummus, Cucumbers, Tomatoes, Mixed Greens, and a Mint Yogurt Sauce served with Couscous.

uzima pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Pool

You will want to spend a little time lounging over at the Uzima pool located at Jambo House. This pool features a zero-point entry, a small water slide, and full full-service bar.

The pool is very relaxing and also includes two whirlpool spas.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village
Courtesy Disney

Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort: Kidani Village

Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club property at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was inspired by the traditional African kraal (traditional African village of huts, typically enclosed by a fence). 

You’ll find many areas fashioned in a circular themed, with seating and room design.

Rooms in Kidani Village

Rooms are very similar in styling to those in Jambo House with typical African-themed bedding and decor. If you are staying in a studio villa, you will find a mini-fridge, sink, toaster, coffee pot, and microwave.

Kidani Village Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Samawati Springs Kidani Village Pool

The Samawati Springs pool at Kidani Village is small, but nice if you just want a change of pace from the larger Jambo House pool.

Slide at Kidani Village Pool
Animal Kingdom Kidani Village Water play area

This pool has a much better slide than Uzumi, and the pool areas has kid-friendly features like a water-play zone and playground. You will find plenty of seating in the shade at this pool (and play area).

Sanaa at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Courtesy Disney

Kidani Village Sanaa Restaurant

One of Disney’s most sought after restaurants happens to be inside Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort.

Sanaa is an East-African restaurant serving authentic African dishes with an Indian flair and sits right along the reserve so you can watch the animals as you dine.

You will start your meal with Indian-style bread service that comes with 9 different accompaniments consisting of chutnies, hummus and butters.  Be sure to try them all! 

Menu favorites include the Butter Chicken and African Triple Mousse for dessert.

Kids Activities at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Activities

Families staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge will really love how many activities there are at the resort. Whether it is playing African drums, hearing stories told by African storytellers or roasting marshmallows, kids can stay busy during their entire stay.

You’ll find a list of activities by the front desk and at the bottom of the stairs near BOMA.

Starlight Safari Animal Kingdom Lodge
Courtesy Walt Disney World Resort

Wanyama Safari *Currently Unavailable

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge guests can observe birds and animals during the Wanyama Safari. This  3-hour experience includes an excursion out to view the animals by safari vehicle and dinner at Jiko-The Cooking Place. 

Sunset Safari

The sunset safari will make you feel as though you have been transported to African with free-roaming wildlife in an authentic environment. 

The sunset safari is offered seven days a week with a maximum of 12 persons per night so be sure to sign up for this as soon as you book your stay.

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Saturday 21st of January 2017

We are DVC members and animal kingdom lodge is our home resort. We visited Nov. 2016 we were in a 3 bedroom savanah view Suite , every morning we had coffee and breakfast with the animals . The view was spectacular the animals were amazing and right up close to our room. One afternoon the vultures were being fed below our balcony, the keeper answered all of our grandchildrens questions about the birds and his responsibilities as there keeper. We have stayed in many of the resorts but this is our favorite and why it is our DVC home resort! I recommend if you can stay here the exspirence is unforgettable and educational.

Jennifer B

Monday 11th of April 2016

Loved, loved, loved Animal Kingdom Lodge when I stayed there. It's so amazing to see all the animals at your hotel, plus they offer a chance to see them at night with night vision goggles. I wish I would have gone on that one. The pool is also amazing. I didn't have a Savannah view, but I did a pool view and it was just as nice. It's so beautiful at AKL. Just a minor correction. Sanaa is at Kidani Village, another table service restaurant, while Mara is actually in Jambo House (or at least it was in 2014). Mara is VERY GOOD for a quick service. Needless to say, the atmosphere is the best. I have stayed at three different Disney resorts (AKL, Caribbean, and Saratoga Springs) and this is by far my favorite.

another jennifer

Thursday 29th of November 2012

Love that you can see wildlife from your window from some rooms. My kids might never leave the room! Well, until they realized there was a pool out there...

Happy SITS Day!


Thursday 29th of November 2012

Exactly. You know, it is hard keeping the kids entertained in the room so having animals outside and a pair of binoculars works wonders!

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf

Thursday 29th of November 2012

We just returned from our first trip to Disney World and stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was beautiful, especially with the holiday decorations up. My kids loved the pool and being able to check out the animals right from our window!


Thursday 29th of November 2012

I am so jealous! The pool is one of my favorites! Thanks for stopping by!

Sheila Skillingstead

Thursday 29th of November 2012

Definitely a nice option to go to a lodge with so much green space around. It would be a great way to decompress after spending the day in Disney park with so much happening. Thanks for the heads up. I've never heard of this part of Disney. Enjoy your SITS Day.

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