Top 5 Things to Love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite Deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World. From the incredible views of the savannas, to the delicious dining options including Jiko, Sanaa, and Boma, there's so much to love about Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Top 5 Things to Love about Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeTop 5 Things to Love about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today we'll focus on the top five things we love most about the resort - both at Jambo House and Kidani Village.

The Lobby: It's pretty safe to say that the lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge is amazing and probably the best lobby on property. The Jambo House lobby features a soaring ceiling with exposed beams, log pillars, and incredible chandeliers. The back of the lobby is taken up by a picture window that gives guests a great view of the grounds of the resort, including the savanna.

As soon as you step in the lobby you're greeted with a breathtaking view, much like when you step into the lobby at Disney's Wilderness Lodge. This is no coincidence as both resorts were designed by Peter Dominick, the architect of Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.

The lobby at Animal Kingdom LodgeThe lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Don't forget to check out the African art in the lobby (and throughout the hotel).

The Artwork: Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to more than 380 pieces of African artwork on display in the public areas of the hotel. An additional 4,000 pieces of artwork are found throughout the rooms of the resort. The centerpiece of the art collection is the Igbo Ijele (pronounced e-bo e-jelay) mask featured in the lobby. The ijele is more than 16 feet tall and 8 feet wide and, in Africa, may be seen on rare occasions at important events and celebrations.

Igbo Ijele mask at Animal Kingdom LodgeIgbo Ijele mask at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Views: Whether you've booked a savanna-view room (which we highly recommend), or if you're viewing the Arusha savanna at Jambo House or the Sunset savanna at Kidani village, the views at Animal Kingdom Lodge are incredible. The resort is surrounded by 33 acres of savanna, giving guests a chance to observe more than 200 species of animals and birds from their rooms and from public viewing areas. The resort's savannas feature more than 100 Sand Live Oak trees and more than 35,000 shrubs. The seeds for many of the plants came from Africa.

While nothing really compares to waking up to giraffes right outside your hotel room (what you might see from your savanna-view room), you can also check out the animals on the savanna from the observation areas that are open to all guests. One of our favorite spots is located outside Kidani Village where you'll find a row of rocking chairs meant for you! And at night you can use the resort's night vision goggles to see the animals after dark.

Giraffe and zebras outside a savanna view roomGiraffe and zebras outside a savanna view room

The Dining: Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to several incredible dining locations including Boma, Sanaa, and Jiko - The Cooking Place. The quick service location at Jambo House, The Mara, is one of the best resort quick service spots on property. Boma is home to a buffet that is anything but a standard Disney buffet. The restaurant features an open kitchen with fire-roasted meats, traditional African dishes, and of course Zebra Domes for dessert.

Jiko - The Cooking Place is the resort's signature dining location and it is considered one of the most delicious (and most romantic) restaurants at Disney World. The menu features a unique take on the flavors of Africa and goes beyond the standard steak, fish, and chicken menu.

Sanaa, located in Kidani Village, is often considered a hidden gem in Disney Dining. The restaurant features a menu inspired by the spice routes of Africa and India, but even the pickiest eater will find something on the menu. Also, the Indian-style bread service is a must.

Zebra Domes from BomaZebra Domes from Boma

Other great destinations at Animal Kingdom Lodge include the Victoria Lounge, the Maji Pool Bar (at Kidani Village), and Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar. It should also be noted that Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to the largest collection of African wines outside the continent of Africa! So if you're a wine connoisseur of if you're looking for a new favorite wine, be sure to check out the wine lists at Jiko, Boma, Sanaa, and the bars.

The Extras:
In addition to the pools (which are incredible) and the other standard amenities at Animal Kingdom Lodge guests will also find an abundance of resort-specific extras.

One of the most interesting are the Cultural Representatives who hail from different African countries who are more than happy to discuss the customs, cultures, and wildlife of their home countries. Be sure to take some time to talk with a Cultural Representative the next time you're at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Guests can also take part in cultural programs, animal programs including night vision viewing of the animals, culinary explorations including wine tastings and free tours of the restaurants, campfires, cookie decorating, face painting, and much more. If you're visiting Animal Kingdom Lodge as a guest or if you're just stopping by for a meal be sure to find out what kind of programs are happening that day.

Artwork at Disney's Animal Kingdom LodgeArtwork at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Those are just a few reasons why Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorite resorts at Walt Disney World. You can also check out the unofficial fan site for the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You'll find photos, information about the resort, and more. We'd love to hear what you love about the resort. Be sure to leave us a comment.

What do you love about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge?What do you love about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge?

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 01/24/2017 - 15:16:

Kristen K.'s picture

This is my DVC Home Resort and I love it so much. One of my favorite things about it is the lush landscaping around the pool area. While many Disney pools seem sparse and out in the open, these are designed to feel like a private oasis and it works.

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