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“The experience will be forever a memory.” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #39 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Wexford, Ireland
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“The experience will be forever a memory.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2013

A disney hotel is never going to be terrible and to be honest this was fantastic. The theme really was great throughout. Our rooms were everything you could expect from the price, but really the best experience was the what i could call zoo just outside the balcony. Where we were a giraffe was meters away with other animals around also. The food was very good and the pool outside was great. Will definitely go back someday.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Albie7877
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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6,573 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,749)
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English first
Dunkirk, Maryland
Level Contributor
91 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

We booked, directly with Disney, a club level room with a queen size bed and bunk bed overlooking Arusha savanna on the Kudu Trail (Jambo House) using a bounce back rate. I am convinced that the best way to get a satisfactory room and rate at Disney overall is to apply special offers and be very specific about your expectations with your booking agent. Most resort booking agents at Disney are excellent, however, if you get someone who does not seem very knowledgeable, call back for another agent.

We are returning in January during the marathon through RunDisney and have the same category and an excellent rate. We actually saved money booking club level through RunDisney. These sorts of strategies will lead you to a positive experience. Disney saves the best rooms for guests that book directly with them.

We checked in early (at 12 noon), and our immaculately clean room was ready. I am the type of person who climbs on furniture and runs her finger over picture frames to check for dust. Our room had been very thoroughly cleaned prior to our check in. It was as clean as 5 star hotels in which I have stayed. We also had turn down service at night and the housekeeping staff serviced our room in midday. The daily housekeeping was not as thorough as that prior to check in, but it was adequate. The housekeeper left adorable towel animals and always left more than enough towels, chocolates, cute touches for the children, etc. On check out day, we received a courtesy call with weather info for our hometown. We checked out late and accidentally left a very pricey car seat in the closet. The concierge housekeeping staff fetched it quickly and with a smile when we came back for it.

I do not think I would stay here without the club level amenities. The snacks were great and the continental breakfast was well suited to my family's tastes. The staff will help you assemble drinks and snacks to bring down to the pool so you don't have to buy them from Mara. The pool is lovely, with attentive lifeguards and fun games for the kids at 3 pm each day, as well as smaller games near the pool at various times of day. The waterside is great fun.

There is much to do at this resort, so plan time to enjoy it. This is not the place to stay if you want to spend every waking moment in the parks.

The Arusha savanna, which anyone can view by the overlook off the lobby, is excellent. We counted at least 12 different species, and the animal care team distributes snacks for the animals near the lodge so that they come by often. My sons adored constantly seeing giraffes and zebras from our balcony.

The animals do not sleep in barnes as a previous reviewer noted unless their is some sort of hazard like a hurricane. You can see them at night using night vision goggles at various points in the resort. All animals spend 2 hours in the barns for main feedings. This varies depending on the savanna. Arusha savanna animals seemed to be in the barnes in midday. If you watch, you will see animal care people driving through the savanna in John Deere style vehicles signaling the animals, often with a dinner triangle. During hurricanes all the animals are in the barnes for their safety. (We learned this through observation and also from the guides on the Sunrise Safari.)

The resort is long and slender to maximize savanna viewing. The best rooms are based on view, not proximity to the lobby, so prioritize your needs and tell the staff at check in or before. We wanted the best view and were willing to walk a bit for it. We were not disappointed.

Restaurant and amenity options at this resort are fabulous. Their is a great kids club for ages 3-12 with toys, video games, crafts, and a quiet area. My 8 year old enjoyed this downtime with his cousin while we dined at Jiko. We tried every restaurant except for Boma and these were our best meals at Disney. Even the quick service restaurant was good, and I generally do not like quick service at Disney. The Mara manager rotated throughout the eating area asking people about their meals and generally showing interest and concern.

The clientele here is generally Americans from the northeast and Europeans. Most of the staff here have worked at Disney for many years. Everyone I encountered, including concierge housekeeping and gift shop employees, had been at Disney for more than 5 years and moved to AKL as a promotion.

We lucked out and waited no more than 5 minutes for a bus at any time. Downtown Disney service is slightly less frequent than the parks, and the buses seem to come at the same time. I noticed that they also came two at time and stopped at Kidani Village first, so often the first bus would be nearly full and the second empty.

If you like the African theme and African flavors, you will love this place. The theme is everywhere- even the staff are predominantly African- so if you are lukewarm on it, book elsewhere.

The only thing truly 4 star about the hotel was the size of the room, which others have noted. It was comparable with a Marriott. We were comfortable but it was tight in the bedroom area. The split bath is wonderful for a family getting ready.

If you do book club level, call six months out and book the Sunrise Safari. It is a 2 truck (60 people) tour of the savanna at Animal Kingdom park followed by a nice buffet in the park. The animals are most active at this time of day and a manager from the lodge along with an animal care specialist will be on your truck and at your breakfast to tell stories and answer questions. Ours were very approachable. I especially enjoyed seeing the animal care areas behind the scene on the bus ride to AK park. This tour is offered on Sunday and Thursday mornings and books up quickly. The concierge will take your reservation prior the 180 days out and make it for you as soon as it becomes available.

We loved it and are coming back!

Room Tip: Kudu trail, club level, 4th floor has excellent views.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lovesmaryland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Exeter, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
196 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

We stayed at the Jambo House for our first visit to Disneyworld. We had been debating upgrading to the Savannah view rooms but baulked at the +£60 extra per night. We were glad we didn't as the savannah had a very sparse collection of animals in it. If you've never, ever seen a wild animal before you might want to stay in these rooms; otherwise you'd be better off taking the Safari ride in Animal Kingdom. We chose a pool view room and it was fine. We asked for a Kingsize bed with a rollaway bed for our daughter, but got 2 doubles instead. So one of us was happy with the sleeping arrangements! Try and get a room not too far away from reception; the hotel is massive.
There was a good amount of storage in the room and the bathroom was spacious. But why did they keep giving us 2 hand towels each day when there were 3 of us?! We spoke to housekeeping directly and to the concierge but all that did was generate an extra 3 bath towels!!!
We used the Boma restaurant for breakfast each day and at 07.30 is was OK. It's a substantial buffet which should satisfy all tastes and appetites. It became manic after 08.00 and it's worth making a reservation if you want to ensure you get breakfast when you want it. For dinner, Boma was far too noisy; all hard floors and wood with the sound of very loud dining parties being amplified very effectively.
The concierge service was wonderful. We had made all our Fast Pass and Disney Dining reservations online before leaving the UK. With the experience of being there we wanted to make a lot of changes and the concierge teams in all the Disney hotels were really helpful. Also you need to be very careful on what your Disney Dining Plan actually covers and what it does not.
Finally, although the Disney buses provide a good service there's nothing better than hiring your own car; especially for convenience if you want to go 'off compound'.

Room Tip: Only pay extra for a pool view room, 2400 series are quite convenient.
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  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DevonBlueboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Portage, Indiana, United States
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2013

We reserved a savannah view and when we arrived we had a full view of a staging area and a lower rooftop! We had our room changed but the way the rooms are designed is like a horse wearing blinders, you can only see the savannah straight on, so if the animals were not in your limited view area you saw nothing, even though there may have been animals out. The animals are not out ALL the time, in fact we learned that they go into a stall at night which I think is not a way for a wild animal to live more than half it's life. It would have been better to save your money and get a pool view. The breakfast buffet was awesome the food elsewhere was not that great and very over-priced. There are more Europeans/South Americans at the parks than U.S. citizens. Disney has not kept their parks and hotel modern and updated.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Tammy M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Plymouth, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
14 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

I usually stay at the Wilderness Lodge and I wanted to try this one because I love animals. I don't think this hotel compares to the Wilderness Lodge. It doesn't seem to have a pleasing and cohesive theme like the other property. The pool area isn't as pretty. The biggest problem here is the aesthetics or beauty of this property. It just does NOT look that 'pleasing to the eye' because the animals need a specific environment (without a lot of beautiful landscaping and gardens). It looks flat and muddy. I got to see all the animals at the actual Animal Kingdom Park so I would rather stay at a lovelier property with a nice vibe and views. Also, it's far away from the other parks...the Wilderness Lodge has a ferry to the Magic Kingdom. The only pluses at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are the restaurants and the self-service food restaurant. They're huge and have lots of offerings.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank viacarrozza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Monroe, North Carolina
Level Contributor
11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

My family has been Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members for 16 years. We do Disney annually and usually like to rotate staying at the various DVC resorts on our trips. This year we decided to stay a couple of days at Kidani Village after our Disney cruise as we'd never had an opportunity to do so before. I was really disappointed in this resort.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is separated in to two resort areas, Jambo House which is the hotel section and Kidani Village which is the DVC section. The main restaurants and shopping area are at Jambo House. There is one sit down restaurant at Kidani Village. In order to get any quick service food you need to go to Jambo House. This can only be done by shuttle, you cannot walk there unless you want to walk a very LONG distance to do so.

My mom was told there was an internal shuttle to take you between the buildings. I was told that I had to take one of the park buses to transfer me over to Jambo House and that the only way back was to wait for a Downtown Disney bus to return me to Kidani. I went to Jambo House looking for the quick service area at dinner time in order to feed my family. The two restaurants they have are near each other. In looking at the map of the area it appeared that the quick service location was in the same area yet I could not find it. There were no signs, directions or any other markings to alert you on how to reach the quick service area. It was dark outside so you couldn't see if there was anything outside in order to reach it. After several minutes walking around this busy resort I gave up in disgust. I then waited an additional 15 minutes outside waiting for the Downtown Disney bus to take me back to Kidani. It was now 45 minutes since I originally left to get food and I returned empty handed, still hungry and very disgusted at the whole ordeal. Our family wound up eating from the very small store in Kidani where prices were 2-3 times more for a frozen dinner than at the grocery store. As I found out later the quick service area could only be accessed by going outside the building near the pool area or by the elevators that didn't have signage as access.

I have been to many Disney resorts and DVC resorts. I know how they're set up and how they're supposed to work. This did not work at all. To be told different ways to travel between the buildings by cast members was absurd. To not be able to walk to the other building yourself because of the savannah is absurd. To not be able to find your way around a resort by yourself is absurd. The lack of signage and directions throughout the resort made it almost impossible to find your way around the maze of the resort. Sure I could've asked a cast member how to get there but once you've reached a certain point of disgust are you really going to ASK for help and be pleasant about the information given? You may be but I certainly am not.

The resort is well themed to be sure. The savannah is a nice feature but it really didn't add to my trip at all. The resort is clean and typical of Disney standards. The maze of the lay out and logistics of getting around between the buildings and lack of knowledge to find your way around really detracted from our experience. The resort itself is fine, but I know we won't be staying there again. If you like the theme and are willing to work with the logistics of the resort then you won't have a problem. If you're not up to that then do yourself a favor and stay somewhere else where things are easier to get to.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mackinac1026
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sault Ste. Marie, Canada
Level Contributor
95 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 63 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 October 2013

Disney's animal kingdom resort is nothing short of fantastic. The rooms are well kept, well themed, and the savannah view makes this nothing short of a perfect experience. Although you are certainly paying a premium, to wake up to giraffes right outside your window is awesome. As per many other peoples comments, you will want to request a room close to the lobby. It was 355 steps from the lobby to our room, making it quite the walk... it reminds me of the Detroit airport, where you need those moving tracks to help you speed up the walk. but its understandable that its laid out this way for the optimal experience that disney offers!

  • Stayed November 2012, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank SaultDiner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Property: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Address: 2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8410
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#12 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 972
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step into the heart of Africa at this magnificent Resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design provides spectacular views of 4 lush savannas that over 200 hoofed animals and birds call home. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and one of the largest collections of African art in the United States as you experience your own African safari adventure with a touch of Disney magic. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Florida
Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney Animal Kingdom Resort
Disney Animal Kingdom Hotel
Animal Kingdom Lodge Disney
Animal Kingdom Lodge Orlando
Animal Kingdom Hotel Disney
Disneys Animal Kingdom Hotel
Animal Kingdom Hotel Florida

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