Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

(61 Reviews)
100% Recommended

Laurie Zeller

Apple Valley, MN
Walt Disney World, Florida ~ A Dreamer's Paradise

I don't specialize in Disney Destinations because I took classes or studied books. It’s because I truly have a passion for Disney. I take my own personal vacations to Disney Destinations and have been to them 50+ times.

Walt Disney World. A...

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Namaste from the savannah at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World!

This resort is a Deluxe Disney resort located near Disney's Animal Kingdom.  

Disney’s Animal Kingdome Lodge: Jambo House is the original building of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. In 2007, some of the guest rooms were converted into 216 villas. There are still over 950 standard guest rooms in Jambo House.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: Kidani Village is comprised of studios, 1, 2, and 3-bedroom villas its own front desk for check-in and additional amenities.  Kidani Village has 492 villas.

Guests at either Jambo House or Kidani Village can enjoy all of the services and amenities of the other. It is a ½ mile walk between the two or you can take a shuttle.

What makes Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge different from any other property is the amazing savannah views!  This about as close as you can get to an African wildlife reserve lodge as you can possibly get without actually traveling to Africa.  Jambo House offers several room types including standard (with views of rooftops or parking areas), pool view (with views of the pool or flamingo pond), and the amazing savannah view rooms. 

Choosing a savannah view room will give you views of one of Jambo House's three savannahs: Arusha, Sunset, or Uzima.  Choosing an Arusha view room will give you the ideal view of the Arusha savannah which is the central savannah enveloped by the arms of Jambo House.  I am specifically focusing on savannah view and Arusha view rooms here since they are clearly what sets this resort apart.

When I checked into my room on the Kudu Trail arm of Jambo House, I found a Wildlife Field Guide.  It gave a detailed explanation of the animals I could be seeing from my balcony including giraffe, impala, kudu, and zebra. The animals live on the savannah during the day and sleep I backstage areas during nighttime hours.  Each savannah closes for 2 hours for cleaning and maintenance every day.  Only one savannah closes at a time so there are at least two savannahs open at all times.  Part of this process includes maintaining feeding areas that draw the animals into easy view. Before I arrived, I found myself wondering if I would encounter unpleasant animal smells from my balcony. But that was never an issue due to the constant maintenance.

My arrival at the resort timed perfectly with a complete downpour!  I stepped out on to my balcony to find the savannah fairly empty except for three zebra.  They stood in the rain with their heads down and waited out the brief shower.  The following morning, I watched as two crowned cranes appeared to play a game of Tag while the horticulturists performed their 2 hour maintenance.  When I came back from breakfast at the Mara, the savannah was abuzz with wildlife.  I enjoyed watching the giraffe walk gracefully across the grass while the zebra munched on their breakfast.

The big consideration when choosing a savannah view room would be how much of your vacation would you spend sitting on that balcony.  I would recommend Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for guests who are return visitors to Walt Disney World staying on property for 6 days or more.  This gives you plenty of time to sit on your balcony and really enjoy these animals while still having time to have fun in the Disney Parks. While the resort is very close to Disney's Animal Kingdom, it is slightly removed from the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Which means you might have an extra 5-10 minute bus ride to get to these areas, which really isn’t a big deal overall. This quiet seclusion from could be a positive for some guests and a negative for others. 

I would also recommend these rooms for photographers who would like to get some incredible wildlife shots.  While Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park can give you such an opportunity, photographers know that patience is truly key in getting the perfect wildlife shot and a theme park attraction just doesn't give you that luxury.  Be sure to bring your binoculars and tripod.  Sit back with your morning coffee and watch the wonders of Africa pass by your lens.

Asante sana! 

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