A Day at Animal Kingdom Lodge
As the popular saying goes, wake up and greet the giraffes. Everyday, guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge rise and shine right alongside Africa’s most diverse of animal species like giraffe, ankole cattle, and zebra just to name a few. As a resort guest, spending a non-park day lounging around the savanna is reason enough to choose to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Waving to the animals from your room sounds like a great day to me, but for the more adventurous guests, there are so many more activities to discover beyond animal watching!
Young guests of the resort can spend their day at the resort completing animal-themed activities and collecting super cool beads! At various locations around the resort and Kidani Village, activities are offered free of charge for children to participate in. The activities are usually offered daily and are offset on a time schedule so that you and your party can complete each activity and collect the corresponding bead to add to your collection.
The list of activities the resort offers is impressively long, so I’ll highlight a few in the article and leave the rest for you to discover. Children can listen as a cast member teaches them the eating behavior of the pelican and how they eat. Scoop up ‘fish’ in a bag designed like a pelican’s beak and you too can eat just like a pelican! Complete the activity and catch a fish or two, and you’ll be presented with a bead to take home!
If you want to add more than one bead to your necklace (and who wouldn’t?!) there are tons of other bead activities offered daily! My personal favorite takes place at Kidani Village where guests can help put together snacks and treats for the animals living at the resort, how cool is that? Each activity has a corresponding bead, so make sure to give yourself enough time on your vacation to complete them all!
Stop, Cookie Time!
Ahhh cookies, a classic Disney snack staple. You can find delicious cookies all across the resort, and with offerings that range from snicker doodle to carrot cake, there is certainly a cookie out there for everyone’s tastes.
But do you know what makes a cookie even more delicious? When you get to decorate it yourself. And just when you thought a Disney-baked, self-decorated cookie couldn’t be any more appealing; I’m here to tell you that it is also free. You read that correctly, each day at 1:30pm, guests of the Animal Kingdom Lodge are invited to attend a free cookie decorating located inside Boma.
Guests have their pick of a house baked sugar cookie in the shape of either an elephant or giraffe and are presented with an impressive lineup of toppings that include: colored frostings, chocolate drops, chocolate coated candies, white chocolate dots, and more!
When I visited, I chose a giraffe shape cookie and got busy decorating my giraffe. The cookies are a decent size and were very tasty. Mine was almost too cute to eat, don’t you think? Almost…
No day spent at a Disney resort hotel is complete without spending some time splashing around at the pool. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers daily poolside music and games for the entire family!
You name it, they’ve got it: trivia games, dance parties, beach ball challenges, and so much more! Check the board located at the resort’s main pool for a listing of what games you can play that day.
***If you’re visiting during the chillier months and can’t quite force yourself into the pool, have no fear! The resort lights a firepit complete with rocking chairs daily, so you can grab a hot cup of tea and relax with a book.
A New Way to See the Savannah
While there are plenty of opportunities to spot animals out on the savanna during the daylight hours, animal-watching takes on a whole new meaning when the sun sets in Africa. You’ve collected beads, made (and ate) cookies, played a round or two of Disney movie trivia, and are looking to call it a day at the Lodge. Not so fast, you simply can’t head to bed without saying goodnight to the animals!
My favorite free activity at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is night vision! You can don a pair of precision night vision goggles and see the savannah the way nocturnal animals do. Slip the strap around your head, and instantly the savannah becomes visible in a glow of green, and the animals you couldn’t see just moments before are as visible as they were at high noon! A cast member is always on hand at the night vision area to ask any animal-related questions you may have.
While any deluxe resort hotel is a fantastic option, the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers perhaps the most extensive list of free of charge activities for its resort guests. You can easily spend two days at the resort and never run out of things to do! Have you decorated a cookie? Do you prefer seeing the animals during the day, or at night? I want to know what your favorite activity at the resort is, so let me know in the comments below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!