One of Walt Disney World’s most popular resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers breathtaking views amidst a 43-acre wildlife preserve. African-inspired architecture is evident everywhere you look, from the thatched ceilings, large wooden beams, hand carved gold tone furnishings, and authentic African artifacts. A large mud fireplace serves as the centerpiece in the main lobby, as well as a beautiful flowing stream, and the landscaping – a semi-circle design popular in Africa – affords amazing views of the savanna and wildlife that inhabit the grounds.
Outside the main lobby, Arusha Rock, an elevated rock platform, allows guests the opportunity to see the animals that call Animal Kingdom home up close, as well as the varied shrubs and grasses that are indigenous to Africa.
There are also several restaurants on the property, including Jiko – The Cooking Place and Boma – Flavors of Africa. Each restaurant offers delicious, authentic African cuisine and Jiko has one of the largest collections of South African wine in North America. Other restaurants include The Mara, a casual dining establishment that features plenty of soups, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and salads, and is home to the world-famous zebra domes, which can be purchase from their grab-and-go food section. Sanaa, a restaurant in Kidani village, and offers delicious tandoori oven and slow-cooked specialties inspired by African culture.
Other amenities include the Uzima pool, which encompasses 11,000 square feet and includes a 67-foot water slide. Guided tours, led by wildlife specialists, are also available to guests who would like to tour the savanna and learn about the various animal species and landscaping.
In fact, the animals are the biggest draw for guests who visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The lodge is home to over 30 species of wildlife across four savannas, including waterbuck, white-bearded wildebeest, ostrich, red river hog, okapi, and more. Guests can view the animals from special alcoves, as well as from the balconies of specific guest rooms.
One of their most popular room views, the Arusha Savanna view, will cost $30 extra to obtain, but rooms that face the Arusha Savanna are considered to be one of the best places for catching a glimpse of the diverse wildlife that inhabit the property.
Disney Vacation Club members can also take advantage of the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s DVC options – Jambo House and Kidani Village. The Animal Kingdom Villas offer a true home-away-from-home experience. Choose from a deluxe studio or a one, two or three bedroom villa with various room views depending on availability.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge was also recently awarded AAA Four-Diamond Status, a prestigious award given only to four percent of AAA-rated hotels. The award was given shortly after Animal Kingdom Lodge celebrated its 10th anniversary, and the lodge is now the seventh Walt Disney World resort to have been awarded this distinction.
For the guest looking to enrich their stay at Walt Disney World beyond the parks and other attractions, the resort also offers plenty of activities for children and their families, including a special wading pool just for kids, as well as unique animal-themed activities that are perfect for children and families alike. A 24-hour high-tech game room is also on property, as well as as 24-hour playground. Finally, Simba’s Cubhouse, a supervised activity center for children ages 3-12, is available for an additional fee.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge definitely has a little something for everyone, making this particular Walt Disney World resort a visitor favorite year after year.