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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Review
January 8, 2019
Author: Lex Tingey

Our Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge review explores everything the deluxe resort has to offer; rooms, amenities, dining and more.

Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Review Exterior

Photo courtesy of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Walt Disney World Resort is huge, spanning across four theme parks, two water parks, a shopping district and up to thirty Resort hotels. That’s right; thirty hotels on property! To help you choose the best hotel for your next Disney World trip, we’ve started to review the different properties. You can find our most recent review on the All-Star Sports here or check down below for links to the other property reviews.

Today, we’re taking a closer look at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. This is one of Disney World’s deluxe properties, which means you can expect a theming and experience unlike any other. While deluxe Resort hotels do have a higher price tag, they usually come with amenities that warrant the higher number. Keep reading our Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge review to find out more about the rooms, dining, location and more.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – Rooms:

The bedding at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will depend on which room type you choose. For example, Standard View and Savanna View rooms come with two queen beds. Only the Pool View has the option for two queens, one king, or one king bed and day bed. The Pool View and Savanna View rooms also have the option for a bunk bed setup, which comes with two queens and one bunk bed. No matter which room type you choose, your family will love the safari-theme and spacious rooms.  

Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Review Room

Photo courtesy of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

If you haven’t stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge before, you’re probably wondering what we mean by Savanna View. We’ll talk more about this in location, but the Animal Kingdom Lodge is located right next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and on its safari plains.  So when a room says Savanna View, it really does mean views of a savanna! On our last trip there, we decided on the Savanna View and woke up to giraffes right by our window several times. It was magical and well worth the higher price to my family!

Our Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge review on the rooms wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the suite options. For families with six to eight people, there are one and two-bedroom suites available. The best part is that these suites come with access to the Kilimanjaro Club. The Club offers food and beverages throughout the day along with express check-in and check-out.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – Amenities & Resort Perks:

For this part of our Animal Kingdom Lodge review, we’ll look at the Resort perks first. When you stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge or any other Disney Resort hotel, you get special perks during your stay. You’ll have free transportation to and from the Orlando airport, as well as access to the complimentary shuttles that run throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort. If you have tickets included with your order, everyone in your family will receive a free Magic Band and access to Extra Magic Hours. Extra Magic Hours enable you to either enter the designated park an hour earlier or stay an hour later than guests who don’t stay on property. You can’t forget the package pick-up either! If you purchase anything in the Parks, you can have it delivered to the hotel’s gift shop and not worry about carrying it around all day. Win-win!

Now, let’s look at the amenities specific to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Resort hotel offers free WiFi for all of its guests, as well as help with airline check-in. If you’re driving, you’ll pay either $24 a night for general parking or $33 per night for valet. For those flying in and taking advantage of Disney’s Magical Express to and from the airport, you don’t have to worry about any parking fees. Childcare and laundry services are also available for an additional charge.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is also one of the few Resort hotels to offer a spa alongside their fitness center. You work up a sweat and then relax with a massage at the Zahanati Massage & Fitness Center. We recommend spending a day to relax and enjoy the spa services – your feet will thank you after so much walking around the Parks!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – Pools & Activities:

Another way to rest your tired feet is in the pool – and you won’t be disappointed with the pools at Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can choose from the Uzima Springs Pool or Samawati Springs Pool. The Uzima Springs Pool is the biggest, with 11,000-square-feet that face the Uzima Savanna. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a tropical paradise with canopy trees, a zero-depth entry into over 230,000 gallons and 67-foot-long waterslide. It’s the perfect pool for everyone!

Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Review Pool

Photo courtesy of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Samawati Springs Pool offers 4,700-square-feet focused on fun. You can brave the 128-foot waterslide or simply relax near the beach-like zero-depth entry. Little ones will love the Uwanja Camp water playground, as it offers different zones for kids of all ages. No matter where you choose to splash, you’ll have a blast!

If you’re looking for something besides swimming, don’t worry. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers campfire activities on select resorts as well as Movies Under the Stars at the Uzima Springs Pool. There’s also the Hakuna Matata Playground to help get the wiggles out and Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade for the older kids.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – Dining:

Now it’s time for the best part of our Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge review; the dining! You can enjoy every mealtime at Animal Kingdom Lodge with award-winning food. Start at Sanaa, The Mara or Boma – Flavors of Africa for breakfast. Sanaa offers views of the Sunset Savanna while Boma – Flavors of Africa is like dining in the middle of an open-air marketplace. For lunch, head back to Sanaa, The Mara or try any of the pool bars. The Mara sits under a canopy of banyan trees and offers dining for every time of day, even into the late-night hours.

Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Review Dining

Photo courtesy of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Where should you go for dinner? Sanaa, The Mara, Boma – Flavors of Africa and Jiko – The Cooking Place all serve dinner. Jiko – The Cooking Place is one of the most popular dining spots for guests both on and off property. We recommend making reservations as soon as you can, up to 180 days before your vacation. Why is it so popular? The entire restaurant embodies the South African culture, focusing on an ambiance and menu that will transport you to the heart of Africa. It’s important to note that there is a dress code for this Signature Dining experience which you can read here.

If you’re looking for a meal unlike any other, we’d suggest either the Dine with an Animal Specialist or Wanyama Safari and Dinner experience. At the Dine with an Animal Specialist, you’ll enjoy a 4-course lunch at Sanaa with an animal expert. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the animals on the savanna and what The Walt Disney Company is doing for conservation efforts. The Wanyama Safari will give you an exclusive look at 46 acres of savanna before a delicious multi-course dinner at Jiko – The Cooking Place. Both experiences book up fast, so you’ll want to make the reservations as soon as possible.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – Location:

Where Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is located is just a tad obvious; at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge! If you love Disney’s Animal Kingdom, then staying at the Lodge is a perfect choice. You’ll be closest to Animal Kingdom as well as Disney’s two water parks. Since the Walt Disney World Resort is spread out across 30,000 acres (wow!), that does mean you’ll be a little bit farther from the other parks. However, each of the Parks is only a shorty drive away when using the shuttle transportation.

Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge Review Animal Kingdom

Photo courtesy of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Review – How to Book:

The last part of our Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge review is how you can book a room at this amazing property. For the best price and availability, you’ll want to book as soon as you can. You can currently book through December 2019, with specials like Free Dining and up to 30% off your room for select dates in 2019. Browse any of our Walt Disney World packages here and then call our Disney experts at 855-GET-AWAY when you’re ready to book. You can always book online, but we suggest giving our office a call to make sure every part of your Disney World vacation is set up just right!


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