5 Reasons to Stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge

Wake up, walk out onto your balcony, and take in views of an African savanna. This is just the beginning of the many amazing possibilities that await you at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Here are 5 reasons why you should consider staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge on your next visit.

1. Atmosphere. Situated among a 43 acre wildlife preserve, Animal Kingdom Lodge stays true to its African theme and creates a one of a kind atmosphere for guests. Guests and visitors are allowed the unique experience of viewing exotic animals from special alcoves inside the hotel and certain guest room balconies.

Dining Room at JikoDining Room at Jiko2. Dining. The dining options offered at Animal Kingdom Lodge are some of Disney visitors' favorite dining experiences. At Boma enjoy the variety of African dishes as well as American favorites that are available on the buffet. Jiko- The Cooking Place is the perfect setting for a romantic dinner. Head to Sanaa were you can enjoy a fusion of Indian and African cooking styles as well as a breathtaking view of the Sunset Savanna.

Mara, the quick service dining option at Animal Kingdom Lodge, made our Top 5 Disney World Resort Quick Service Locations list for it's unique food and wine options.

One of Animal Kingdom Lodge's secrets is that guests are allowed a free culinary tour that will take them through Boma and Jiko.

3. Animal and Cultural Programs. Animal Kingdom Lodge offers its guests the opportunity to immerse themselves into African experiences through their animal and cultural programs. On the Wanyama Safari guests enjoy a sunset adventure through the Lodge's savannas and a dining experience at Jiko. For early-risers who are staying concierge level the Sunrise Safari is morning adventure you won't forget. Concierge guests also have the unique opportunity for a Wildlife Discovery Tour through the Harambe Wildlife Preserve.

Animal Viewing with night vision goggles is offered nightly from 9pm to 11pm at Uzima Overlook. And daily at 8:30pm at the Sunset Lounge Culture Safari presentations are given by Animal Kingdom Lodge cultural representatives.

Uzima Springs PoolUzima Springs Pool4. Uzima Springs Pool. The Uzima Springs Pool is a relaxing oasis in the midst of what can be a busy vacation. Relax by the zero-entry pool or in one of the 2 jacuzzi hot tubs. If you are looking for a little adventure take a ride on the water slide. The Uzima Springs Pool Bar is the perfect place to grab a snack or a drink while you relax.

There is another pool on property at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Samawati Springs Pool. It is also a zero-entry pool and features a water slide and 2 whirlpool hot tubs. Enjoy a drink from the Maji Pool Bar.

Rooms with a Savanna ViewRooms with a Savanna View5. Rooms. Short of traveling to Africa there is a good chance you won't be to find a room with a view quite like the savanna view rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The many room options at Animal Kingdom Lodge offer guests the opportunity for rooms with savanna, pool, or standard views. In addition to regular guest rooms, Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers suites and concierge level rooms.

The Animal Kingdom Villas is the DVC property at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Accommodation options at the Villas range from studios to grand villas, with the options of staying in Jambo House or Kidani Village.

Have you ever stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge? What was your favorite part?

Mase wrote on Mon, 08/15/2011 - 12:01:

Mase's picture

Jambo is our DVD home. We have loved it there. My Father keeps saying we need to switch it up sometime.... but so far I just don't want to change. Since we only go once, and my parents go twice I understand why.... but for now... we just love Jambo. Especially at Christmas time. The tree there is amazing!

Kasey O'Connor wrote on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 03:53:

Kasey O'Connor's picture

I completely understand! It's hard to want to stay somewhere else when you love where you are staying!

Jennifer wrote on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 13:00:

Jennifer's picture

I'm not trying to be a spoil-sport here, but I think I'm the only person who doesn't love this place. In fact, my husband and I will never stay there again. I usually have nothing but rave reviews for Disney resorts, but this one fell far short of our expectations.

We requested and paid for a Savannah view room. Our first room had us looking at a pole - square, dead-on pole and very little around it. When the agreed to move us to another room the 2nd day, there was very little improvement. We saw mostly dirt and fences (in part from the AKV construction and in part because it was where they kept only a small amount of animals). We saw very few animals, except one bird who was with us every day and become our "friend." I think one day there was a giraffe, but other than that we were very disappointed.

The resort is beautiful, and we were there in early December, so the Christmas decorations were up. I have nothing but good things to say about that. The African artifacts sprinkled throughout the resort were fascinating and the headpiece in the lobby is nothing but amazing! While Disney did give us a second room (since we paid for a view and weren't originally given one), it still didn't come anywhere near meeting our expectations. We're just not willing to try again since there are so many other resort options.

DisneyGirl1955 wrote on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 14:21:

Zebra Domes....Frunch.....Zebra Domes....Frunch....and my husband says the carving station. We love going to Boma after a fun day at the Animal Kingdom, but I seriously would never pay those prices for a room there. There are too many great things to buy and take home....Dooney & Bourke purses....oil paintings for our family room...limited edition merchandise....I'll spend $$$ on that...Sorry.

jbarkee wrote on Wed, 08/17/2011 - 21:36:

jbarkee's picture

It's too bad Jennifer had a bad luck with her room views.

We had a savanna view room and animals were constantly within view. (even when I'd wake up and peak off the balcony at 3AM)

The AKL stay was right at the top of my 20 years of WDW vacations.

A truly amazing Resort in every sense!!

cindy wrote on Wed, 08/31/2011 - 14:08:

cindy's picture

We had rented a dvc standaard studio whit savannah view and we have not payed for it . We has a blast out there every morning theres a diffrent sight from youre room ......who can tell they have seen zebras and giraffes from youre balcony ??? And everything is sooo relaxed we loved the whole resort . I have bin in many disney hotels and i think this it for me . I left a piece of my heart in it .

Laurel wrote on Wed, 08/31/2011 - 14:22:

Laurel's picture

We are going to AKL in about 2 weeks. I have not been to WDW since 1975, dh hasn't been in about 25 years & the kids (9 & 7) have never been. I expect it will meet & exceed all our expectations. Since this is our first ever family vacation, I think we will be happy with everything we encounter (except rain/hurricanes! LOL!).

Anna wrote on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 12:53:

Anna's picture

We stayed at AKL in January 2012 for our honeymoon. We arrived in time to see the Christmas decorations, and although we requested a Standard View Room, we were assigned a space in Jambo House that overlooked the Sunset Savannah (though our view was somewhat obscured by the roof--we weren't complaining, especially since we didn't pay for the Savannah or Arusha views). Our room was lovely, and we really enjoyed the ambiance of the resort. Although many complain that AKL is too far away from the other parks (excluding AK, of course), as honeymooners (and a childless couple) we appreciated the seclusion and romance that AKL provided. We can't wait to go back!

Janie wrote on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 14:09:

Janie's picture

Love my AKL too. It is also one of my DVC home resorts. I like it best of all the resorts thus far for its relaxed feel. And FYI, Sanaa does a free tour every day too! Can you say free bread service?

Kerrie wrote on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 19:57:

Kerrie's picture

My DVC home resort is Kidani Village and I was impressed during my first visit in November. I can't wait for my next visit in October since I have a Savannah room booked. The resort is beautiful, nicely decorated, and the animals are amazing. Last time I did not have a Savannah view room but I went out on the viewing balcony and the viewing area outside. I loved it !

Ed wrote on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 20:28:

Ed's picture

I stayed at Kidani Village in 2011. First trip to Disney without the adult children. For the many trips we took with our kids, Animal Kingdom was always our dream resort. Every time we drove past we would always say "some day". Well, that day came and it was fantastic. I didn't opt for a savannah view because we never stay in our resort room much. Plus, AK has all those nice community viewing lounges mixed in with the resort floors so you can enjoy the animals and be outside. We took in one of the private resort safaris and it was great. We took in Jiko for one of the wine and dinner meals. We ate at Sanaa and it was great. And then there is Boma! Oh my goodness. If you stay at Kidani Village and use resort transportation, it's the first bus stop for the AK resort, so you always have a seat going to the parks. We'll definitely go back as soon as we stay at other resorts. We stayed at the BoardWalk Villas in February ... with our adult children this time.

CCK wrote on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 21:43:

CCK's picture

I've stayed at AKL 3 times & love it! I would stay there every time if I could afford it. The food is something unique & wonderful.

kim peacock wrote on Tue, 04/22/2014 - 23:34:

kim peacock's picture

I am looking forward to staying at AKL in August savannah view Kidani Village. I hope it is going to be amazing and quiet.

Kristen K. wrote on Wed, 04/23/2014 - 12:33:

Kristen K.'s picture

This is my DVC Home too and we've always loved our visits.

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