15 Amazing Reasons We Love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney provides guests with plenty of terrific reasons to stay at its hotels.
You’ll always feel like you got your money’s worth no matter where you stay.
That’s because of the wonderful amenities available at all official Disney resorts. Today, I want to highlight one of my favorites.
Here are 15 reasons we love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Regrettably, DisneyQuest closed at Disney Springs in 2017. However, Disney didn’t leave families without options for entertaining their kids.
Several resorts operate arcades onsite, and Animal Kingdom Lodge hosts one of the best.
In this huge room, you’ll find all sorts of interactive games, including classics like pinball and Space Invaders, along with modern stuff like interactive snowboarding.
On a rainy day when you aren’t in the mood for the parks, this arcade will entertain your children…and probably you, too.
Before Boma, I had no idea what bobotie was. Now that I’m aware of this meat pie recipe, I want nothing else.
That’s the beauty of Boma. The international cuisine here highlights exotic African flavors, many of which will make your palate dance with glee.
Animal Kingdom Lodge overflows with quality restaurants, as many people believe it serves the best food at Disney.
Out of all the options I can list while praising the hotel, Boma is easily my favorite.
The Concierge Floor
Surprisingly, only a few Disney resorts offer a concierge floor. Sure, you’ll find concierge service at most of them, but a full floor is rare.
At Animal Kingdom Lodge, staying on the concierge floor comes with a secondary benefit.
Sure, you feel important when you get to access the elevator floor that nobody else can, but that gets old fast.
What I love about the concierge floor is the food that’s always available in the lounge.
The snacks and meals provided in this lounge fill me up so much that I eat light the rest of the day.
Oh, who am I kidding? At this resort, I’m always eating.
Did you know that Animal Kingdom Lodge is a twofer? Disney runs two standalone hotels at the same general location.
Well, they’re not standalone in a technical sense, but they easily could be. Each one features distinct amenities.
So, you can stay at this resort twice and enjoy entirely different experiences.
The two options are Jambo House and Kidani Village. I prefer the former, but I have friends who swear by the latter.
Your preference will likely come down to whether you like a larger space or a more intimate setting.
Kidani’s the smaller building while Jambo House is quite spacious.
Jiko – The Cooking Place
At Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll find a pair of sublime Table Service restaurants and an extremely popular Quick Service eatery.
However, the place that foodies treasure the most is the Signature Dining experience available at Jiko.
Anyone who loves wine will discover that Jiko’s their happy place, as it features a deep list of exceptional vintages.
Many folks have made Jiko their celebratory meal of choice, spending birthdays and anniversaries here. It’s that good.
Disney fanatics know all the inside-outs of the parks and resorts. So, when something develops a buzz, you know it’s special.
For years now, people have raved about the POG Juice that’s only available at two or three places on the Walt Disney World campus.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is blessedly one of these places, and I can assure you that you’ll want to try it while you’re visiting here.
This Jungle Juice possesses a life-altering flavor. Devoted fans even try to make it at home:
I’m referencing Jambo House here, as it’s the one with massive lobby space.
When I take a seat in this serene room, it’s like 70-30 that I’ll doze off. It’s my go-to nap spot at Walt Disney World.
I feel entirely at peace as I admire the remarkable theming and detail. It’s like the deluxe version of the lobby at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.
By the way, the Kidani Village lobby is magnificent, too. It’s just not as grand in size and scope.
For obvious reasons, you cannot walk from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
That’d be the quickest way for a hotel guest to wind up in a literal lion’s den.
Still, the resort’s location ensures that you’re only a five-minute bus ride away from Animal Kingdom.
These logistics allow you to hop back and forth between the park and resort whenever you want.
This hotel is the place to stay for anyone who intends to spend a lot of time at Pandora – The World of Avatar.
Whenever I poll people on their favorite Quick Service restaurants at Disney resorts, The Mara receives plenty of votes.
While it wouldn’t make my top three, I admire the combination menu that blurs the line between American and African cuisine.
This place doubles as a grocer, as it offers plenty of grab-and-go foods, too.
The best part is that you can sit outside and eat if you like. It’s such a relaxing spot.
Hakuna Matata! No, I’m not randomly breaking into song. That’s the name of the playground area at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
This secluded area includes a couple of play buildings plus several slides.
Kids will happily spend half an hour burning energy here, while parents gladly sit down on the nearby benches and relax for a while.
I love every reason I list here, but if I could only name a top three, I’d cheat and group the restaurants together in third place.
First place would come down to the hotel lobby vs. the residents at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
I’m talking about the animals that live in the savannas.
The moment you exit the lobby, you’re overlooking the area where these creatures happily live and play each day.
Giraffes, zebras, and other animals interact in the communal areas. It’s remarkable to watch, but that’s not even the best part.
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a room type that provides a view of the animal habitats!
Yes, you can sit in your hotel room and gaze on the action occurring beneath you.
So, I have an obvious pro tip for you. Always book Savanna View!
If you’re not sure how, speak to an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner at MickeyTravels.
One of these agents will book the hotel room of your dreams, and their services are free!
The other restaurant of note at Animal Kingdom Lodge resides at Kidani Village. And it offers something that the other eateries don’t.
While dining at Sanaa, you should ask for a seat by the window. There, you can watch the animals who live at the Sunset Savanna.
Children will delight in this opportunity to study the cute critters from a safe distance.
Meanwhile, parents will lose their minds over the famous bread service at Sanaa. It’s another favorite of Disney foodies.
I mentioned that Kidani Village and Jambo House are standalone hotels on the same campus. Well, each one gets its own pool!
At Kidani Village, you can hole up at Samawati Springs, which is smaller but also features an extremely popular waterslide.
That’s sort of the running theme at Kidani Village. Everything is done on a smaller scale, but Disney added unique touches to make it stand out.
Meanwhile, Jambo House operates one of the largest pools on Disney property.
Uzima Springs features a zero-entry pool, a couple of hot tubs, a pool bar, and arguably the best waterslide this side of Stormalong Bay.
You can’t go wrong with either pool, although you should know that Pool Hopping isn’t allowed here.
The pools reside too close to animal habitats. So, Disney forbids guests from other resorts to swim here.
I’m not saying that Zebra Domes are the best dessert at Walt Disney World. That’s not a fight I’m ready to start right now.
What I will say is that any list of the top 10 desserts at Walt Disney World will feel incomplete without Zebra Domes.
These sweet treats marry cake, mousse, and white chocolate in a single bite. Your mouth should water at the mere thought of Zebra Domes. I know mine does.