Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Deluxe Resort at Walt Disney World Florida. It has been a dream of mine to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge ever since i saw a show about the resort over a decade ago on The Travel Channel and it has come true- eek!
So here are just 5 of the the Amazing things you will see, do, experience, at Animal Kingdom Lodge at the Walt Disney World Resort. These are in no particular order and it’s not a countdown just a count so i’ll start with 1 😉
1. The Theming/Decor:
As soon as you walk in the door Disney’s incredible attention to theme is going to smack you in the face… in a good, this is amazing kind of way. If you look closely you’ll be able to enjoy the details representative of Africa, the chandeliers of warrior shields and spears, the thatched roof, Savanna motifs, and clay fire place (the perfect spot for late night hot chocolate or Zebra Domes).
Everywhere you look there is something new to see. Disney Imagineers thought of everything.
Victoria Falls Lounge overlooks Boma a buffet style restaurant for breakfast and dinner which is also beautifully decorated.
2. The Animals!
Of course the animals! Where else in North America can you stay and see Giraffe grazing as you walk down the hallway to your room- or better yet, right off your room’s private balcony? Giraffe sighting with my morning coffee? Sign me up!!! We booked our stay by renting DVC points (something i highly recommend!) but not enough points were available to have a Savanna View. Instead we had a pool view which i was ok with because we spent minimal time in our room and there are so many viewing spots available all over the resort- even just walking down the hallway!
We took full advantage of these rocking chairs- aren’t they adorable!? Each morning we would head to The Mara to fill up our resort mugs (yay coffee!) and head across the lobby to this viewing spot. It was always empty and we had the beautiful, quiet savanna view all to ourselves. It’s the perfect, relaxing way to start the day- especially if you’re about to be visiting a busy park all day.
3. The Food!
The Food at Animal Kingdom Lodge is the best on Walt Disney World property if you ask me! Jiko, the signature dining restaurant is where we have spent the majority of our anniversary dinners the last eight years and each time has been incredible. Jiko boasts the largest selection of South African wine outside of South Africa and wonderful cocktails as well. Service is above and beyond- if they know it’s your anniversary you may just be surprised with an anniversary card signed by the cast members after your meal! Sanaa is located at Kidani Village and serves lunch and dinner with a view of the savanna- watch giraffes and zebras stroll by as you enjoy your African/Indian inspired food. The bread service here is incredible and not to be missed! I found myself craving it when we got home and got a few of the recipes online to make at home. While you wait you can walk outside where a cast member is waiting to tell you all about the animals found on the savanna- our son enjoyed asking questions and learning about Animal Kingdoms conservation efforts. Boma is a buffet serving breakfast and dinner- at breakfast instead of Mickey waffles they have Simba waffles! The Mara is the quick service option and where your resort mug can be refilled- very busy but this is where you’ll find cult favorite Zebra Domes as well as beautiful Zebra and Giraffe cupcakes! They are worth the wait.
While the food does have African and Indian flare never fear for the picky eaters in your life- each restaurant has options the america food lover will enjoy too! But hey- if there is a place to branch out… this is the place. Everything is done so well you’re sure to be pleased.
4. The Children s Activities!
When i asked our son what his favorite thing about Animal Kingdom Lodge was he didn’t even hesitate “the beads!!” Each day the Resort has different, educational activities. After they complete each activity they earn a special bead. It’s really wonderful and adults can participate as well. I earned a few beads simply because our son was the only child that showed up for the activity and what kind of Mom would i be if i just watched hime do all these awesome things ;). They do take place during the day when many people are touring the parks- so my recommendation is if you can set aside a day or two just to enjoy the resort and the schedules are readily available so you can plan around them. At a later date i will do a longer post on each of the activities we did- for now here are some photos! Sidenote: These activities are at no additional charge!
Face painting by the pool is also a fun option but no beads… your reward is getting to go to magic kingdom later looking incredible!
You will love the Cast Members at Animal Kingdom Lodge from the moment you walk in the door. Many are there on a work program for several months from Africa. We met quite a few from South Africa and Botswana and they were always so kind and excited to tell us about life in their country. The Cast Members in safari uniforms are incredibly knowledgeable about the animals and are happy to tell you about their habitats at the reserve as well as Disney’s work in conservation. The Cast Members really make this resort an enjoyable place to be. And they’ll even take a selfie with you if you ask nicely…
6. The Gift Shop
Ok… i know i said 5- it’s a bonus! The gift shop here is great! It’s aesthetically pleasing and has unique items different from what you’ll find at the theme parks. Kingpin also comes here to trade pins during the day- he even dresses like a king- a very neat experience for little and big pin collectors.
There are so many great things about Animal Kingdom Lodge but these are some that i think are particularly unique to this Resort. We really love Animal Kingdom Lodge and i’ll post much more about it in the near future i’m sure!
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