For some vacationistas, a trip to Disney is all about experiencing the parks. Each and every one of the Disney hotels are held to the famous Disney standard, but for lots of guests they are simply a place to sleep between park visits. Themed like an African animal reserve, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a theme park in itself. Let’s explore the hotel basics and the special activities that the Animal Kingdom Lodge has to offer.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is both a deluxe and deluxe villa resort with rooms that range from a 3 to 8 person capacity. What sets the Animal Kingdom Lodge apart from every other Disney resort is allowing the guest to view wild animals directly from their balcony.
Here’s the breakdown of the hotel with the locations of the various wildlife savannas:
There are two buildings that make up the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village and the Jambo house. Kidani Village houses only Deluxe Villas. The restaurant Sanaa is located in this building. There are no bad views in Kidani Village!
The semi-circle main building is the Jambo house. Portions of this building are standard rooms, and other portions are Deluxe Villas. The Jambo house is also home to several restaurants and the Zahanati Massage & Fitness center.
Hotel Basics & Fun Facts:
Check In: 3:00pm
Check Out: 11:00am
(Jambo House) Boma, Jiko, the Mara, Uzima Springs Pool Bar, Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar, Victoria Falls Lounge
(Kidani Village) Sanaa, Maji Pool Bar
- Standard, deluxe villas, and club-level rooms are available at this resort.
- In each bedroom, the armoire and headboard are made by craftspeople from Zimbabwe.
- Throughout the Lodge, be sure to ask Cast Members and Cultural Representatives about the historical significance of the hotel decor. Each piece has a story and a meaning.
- Animal Kingdom is only about 5 minutes away.
- In addition to animal views from your balcony, there is also an Arusha Rock Savannah Overlook, where you can observe animals directly on the Savannah.
The Kilimanjaro Club
All Deluxe-level Disney resorts have Club-Level Concierge services. When you book your Disney vacation you can select a club-level room for an increased price. You’ll gain access to the club lounge with food, drinks, and concierge staff ready to help you with whatever you need!
Insider Hints from Disney Cast Members:
- If you’re looking for the best Savannah view to see the animals up close and personal, book a room with the Arusha Savannah view. This savannah offers the best views and has the highest amount of animal traffic.
- The Night Safari is a great way to wind down and explore the animals prowling the grounds. There is an additional cost, at $70.00 per adult. Throughout this one-hour tour, you will be able to observe the animals from the safety of an open-sided vehicle. Though there are similarities between the Night Safari and Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom, there are certain perks to the Night Safari that really make it special. At an hour long, the tour is much longer. It is also only available to guests of the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas. This means fewer crowds and no lines! Additionally, a portion of your $70 entrance fee goes to the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund. Totally worth it.
- If you stay in the Kilimanjaro Club Level, you are eligible to journey on the Sunrise Safari Breakfast. This tour takes place in Animal Kingdom. On this tour, you will go on a safari with an Animal Program Specialist and then dig into breakfast in a private room at Pizzafari restaurant. Because this tour takes place in the AM, animals are more likely to be active and since the park is not open yet, your tour guide can drive at a leisurely pace. Be sure to book this ahead of time, this tour is only available on Sundays and Thursdays and there is an additional fee.
Have you stayed in the Animal Kingdom Lodge? Leave a comment below with your best tips and tricks.