Top Reasons to Love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jason SwainAnimal Kingdom, Disney Vacation Club, DVC Resort Reviews, Vacation Planning TipsLeave a Comment

I thought I would start with my family’s absolute favourite Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge. 

In a nutshell, this Disney Vacation Club resort is the most unique on property and it offers the most immersive experience with amazing amenities to satisfy the young and old alike.

Want to be transported to a whole new world and be totally enveloped in African themed food, fun, flora, and wildlife?  Animal Kingdom Lodge is the place for you!

Animal Kingdom Lodge

 

Top 9 Reasons I Love Animal Kingdom Lodge

#9. Special Tours 
Starlight Safari Animal Kingdom Lodge

Starlight Safari, night vision goggles

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, be prepared for opportunities galore, including special behind-the-scenes tours.  The resort offers guests 2 special tours:

  1. Sense of Africa’ – breakfast followed by a private, small-group safari ride through the resort’s Savanna with time to speak with animal caregivers, and lots of up-close encounters with the resort’s star attractions, the animals!
  2. Starlight Safari – under the cover of a night sky, enjoy up-close encounters with the Savanna animals on a safari ride and enjoy viewing the activity through night vision goggles
#8. Awe-Inspiring Lobby

This is a top-3 lobby on property that will definitely slacken your facial muscles when you first walk through the main reception doors.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby

Jambo House has a much larger lobby than Kidani Village and it is very impressive.

Jambo House Lobby Animal Kingdom Lodge

Jambo House Lobby

The lobby boasts a soaring ceiling, rich woods, regional features, a flood of natural light, and an unobstructed view straight out onto the Savanna. It even has a functional rope bridge (Masai Bridge) spanning from one side to the other! In a word… AMAZING!

#7. Two Resorts in One

This is one resort that you never have to leave! We once stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for 8-nights without ever visiting a Theme Park!  You have access to not one, but TWO amazing, side-by-side resorts, Jambo House and Kidani Village.  Two separate shopping areas, arcades, pool areas, community halls, activity programs, and Savannas with different animals.  Animal Kingdom Lodge has twice as many fun things to keep the family busy!                      

Animal Tracking String of Memories Program Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Tracking

#6. Unique, Educational Activities

Unlike activity offerings at any other Disney Resort, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers unique experiences that are fun, immersive, educational and culturally enriched.  Yes, they still have the standard events like Movies Under the Stars and Fire Pit Marshmallow Roasting, but they have so much more to peak the mind and sense of community with the environment.

String of Memories Program: Ever heard of Beaded Activities or the String of Memories program? The string of memories program offers a selection of special activities like African Drum Playing, Animal Tracking, or Flamingo Behavior, to name only a few. These activities earn you special beads for your beautiful string of memories.

Beaded Activities String of Memories program Animal Kingdom Lodge

String of Memories

#5. Fun Pools and Kids’ Water Play Area

This resort offers guests the large Uzima Springs Pool (water slide and zero-entry) at Jambo House, and the smaller Samawati Springs Pool (kiddie’s slide and regular slide, as well as zero-entry) over at Kidani Village. 

Uzima Springs Pool Slide Animal Kingdom Lodge

Uzima Springs Pool Slide

In addition to the Pool at Kidani Village, they also have an awesome oasis of water fun for the kids!  Welcome to the Samawati Trading Company!  Here, kids will frolic in the shaded water park for hours with dry and wet areas. This water play area is a hidden gem for the kids! From waterfalls and tipping buckets to water cannons and spitting snakes. This place is super fun!

Samawati Trading Company Animal Kingdom Lodge Children's Water Play Area

#4. Dining – Boma, Sanaa, Mara, Jiko
Peri Peri Chicken Animal Kingdom Lodge Jiko the Cooking Place.

Jiko’s Peri Peri Chicken… Yummy!

Animal kingdom Lodge has options to please everyone’s palette, but for those of you who do enjoy more of an African or Indian inspired menu, this resort will dazzle your taste buds!  Our favourite buffet on property, BOMA. Yes, Boma even has Zebra Domes!

One of our favourite all-around restaurants offering amazing food and Savanna-view seatingSanaa! Favourite Main Dish: Butter Chicken, Chickpea Wat, Basmati Rice Potjie Meal.

The Mara is a large Counter Service restaurant located at Jambo House.  It offers a variety of American options as well as some African options for those who are a bit more adventurous! This is our typical order – Black Angus Cheeseburger Platter for Mom, Pepperoni Flatbread for Kiddo, and a hearty African Potjie for Dad. 

Finally, one of our Top-3 favourite Signature Restaurants at Disney World, Jiko the Cooking Place.

#3. Concierge Kilimanjaro Club Food Concierge Animal Kingdom Lodge

Did you know that Animal Kingdom Lodge is the ONLY Disney Vacation Club property at Disney World that allows a DVC Member to use their points for booking at The Kilimanjaro Club?  Yes, that’s right!  An amazing perk to be able to stay in Concierge, located at Jambo House. The big question most people ask is about whether Concierge is worth the points… and my answer is always YES!  The value just INCREASES as party size or appetites increase.  

Kilimanjaro Club Food Concierge Animal Kingdom Lodge

Love to: Snack often?  Hydrate often with regular or adult-friendly beverages?  Have access to specialty coffee all day?  Have elevated service?  Well, you get it all in Concierge. You have access to luxurious snacks and foods in the Kilimanjaro Club from morning to night, including beverages.  It is amazing! From fresh vegetables, to stews and dinner samplings, you will not go hungry while staying in Concierge. Our favourite thing about Concierge is being able to save money on breakfasts each morning, while satisfying our lunch and sometimes dinner needs during resort days.

#2. Savanna View Balconies

In my family’s opinion, there is no better view than from an Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna view room.  People always ask if the Savanna View Rooms are worth the extra points, and my answer is always YES!

Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna Balcony View

Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna Balcony View

#1. Animals! Animals! And More Animals!

So, we made it to the Number One Reason for loving Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.  The resort offers guests two separate Savannas with a host of different animals to be found on each.  From wildebeests to giraffes, you can spend hours exploring the Savanna.

Addax at Animal Kingdom Lodge

We watched these two addax challenging one another before running off in separate directions.

Young Okapi Animal Kingdom Lodge Savanna

We were also lucky enough to watch this young Okapi.

Verdict:

Animal Kingdom Lodge

Of all the Walt Disney World Deluxe Resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge is my family’s #1 resort.  It just offers so much of everything that we feel it is the best place for adults and kids to get away and enjoy all that a vacation should offer.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is truly a home away from home.




About the Author
Jason Swain

Jason Swain

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Dr. Swain is the President of a Canadian medical assessment company by day but his true passion is all things Disney. He and his family are avid Disney Vacation Club members who enjoy thinking about, planning and visiting Disney as much as possible. Jason enjoys YouTubing, blogging and watching Disney+. He knows a lot about Disney vacationing, but learns new stuff with every visit!