(A version of this article was published on Pirates & Princesses, along with similar articles on other Disney Resort Pocket Guide pieces.)
If you want to feel like you’re in the heart of Africa, while still enjoying the amenities Disney is so well known for, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the place for you. Tucked into the Animal Kingdom neighborhood of Walt Disney World Resort, guests will forget they are surrounded by four world-class theme parks. Complimentary bus service is the primary option for transportation to other WDW locations, other than by car (and don’t forget Minnie Vans are an excellent option).
Just like the sizes of the animals that populate the grounds of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the room sizes at Animal Kingdom Lodge range from modest to humungous. The smallest rooms feature one king-size bed, and can sleep up to two adults. The largest accommodations are whopping three-bedroom villas, which can sleep up to twelve adults. And there’s a wide range of sizes in between. As with most Disney resort hotels, preferred rooms can offer guests better views and more convenient placement within the resort area, but Animal Kingdom Lodge is the ONLY resort offering savanna views, where you can watch the animals roam the nearby grounds. The planDisney PDF Pocket Guide offers more details on the different room types.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is well known for its exciting dining options. Three in particular stand apart from the rest. Boma – Flavors of Africa feels like a real African marketplace, and offers many regional tastes for breakfast and dinner, all in a buffet style service.
Jiko – The Cooking Place serves only dinner, and does it up in signature style, offering African, Indian, and Mediterranean flavors. Keep in mind, there is a dress code to dine at Jiko. Sanaa is located in the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge, offering quick service for breakfast, and table service for lunch and dinner. The food at Sanaa is fabulous, especially the famous bread service. Guests at Sanaa can enjoy views of over 300 different animals that roam the savannas of the lodge.
If you are looking for a half gallon of milk or a couple last-minute souvenirs to bring home, Zawadi Marketplace offers small groceries and resort-specific merchandise.
Guests of Animal Kingdom Lodge have two wonderful pool options. Uzima Springs Pool at Jambo House is surrounded by lush vegetation, and features a 67-foot-long water slide. The Uzima Springs Pool Bar offers drinks and light snacks. Samawati Springs Pool is located at Kidani village, and features a 128-foot-long water slide, as well as Uwanja Camp – a multi-feature water playground friendly for kids of many ages. Drinks and snacks are available nearby at Maji Pool Bar. Both pools at Animal Kingdom Lodge feature zero-entry areas and kiddie pools for younger swimmers, as well as hot tubs for unwinding after a busy day in the parks.
Aside from the pool areas, the Lodge offers evening campfires, the popular Movies Under the Stars, Hakuna Matata Playground, and Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade. There are no official running trails around the resort, but guests can workout at Zahanati Massage and Fitness Center.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge just might be the most beautiful of all Walt Disney World resorts. Between the authentic art and decor, the unique dining options, and of course the animals, staying here feels like a safari experience in its own right!
planDisney Pocket Guides are especially helpful to guests who are considering staying at a resort they’ve never before experienced. The Pocket Guides take the form of 5-14 page PDF slides, which are easily printable and savable to smart devices. They offer efficient snapshots of the resort basics, including:
- Transportation options
- Room sizes
- Food and beverage options and locations
- Pools and recreation activities
- Tips from the planDisney panel
In addition to Disney Parks Blog, planDisney also releases Pocket Guides via their Instagram page. Following their IG feed may be the best way to stay updated on the newest releases. We’ll continue to update this list of Pocket Guides as planDisney releases them.
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