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“The best resort on Disney property!” 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
New Orleans, Louisiana
Level Contributor
121 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 149 helpful votes
“The best resort on Disney property!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2009

I loved this hotel! I've stayed at 6 other on-site Disney hotels (deluxe, moderate, & value) and this is the best! Our view of the savanna was amazing and the bunk beds were perfect for our room of adult friends. My favorite moment was when we could see 3 giraffes at the same time- while drinking our morning coffee on our private balcony. So amazing!

Our room also had a ceiling fan, mini-fridge, and roomy closet for our suitcases. Huge bonus for us! We really enjoyed eating at Mara & Boma. Plus, the pool is heated & open 24 hours. The service was impeccable and concierge also gives guests complimentary night vision goggles. This was my favorite hotel/resort stay, ever, and I truly can't wait to return!
*They also have a spa with a full-time masseuse. A must-do after many days of walking in the parks.

  • Stayed June 2008, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FleurDeLis1222
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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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
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GB
Level Contributor
2 reviews
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2009

There were some good aspects of AKL - bus service to parks was excellent ( 5 minute wait (some of the other hotels share routes and therefore large queues). Lobby etc is spectacular. 24hrs gym (good to use during rainy periods). Restaurant really good but poor service (waitress literally ran to our table as she was so busy - why didn't they have more staff??). The canteen area was just yuk!! Dont bother paying for a savannah room - there are a number of viewing areas around the hotel to see the animals (which was also very good). Our children really really enjoyed this place but I felt it was just a big rip off. And the constant piped music!! After a day in the parks it was just Disney overload. If you are a Disney buff you will like it (though it was the only hotel I ever stayed in that I saw two cockroaches:o(

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank GloriaLloyd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Frisco, Texas
Level Contributor
20 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2009

May 31st – June 6th
Room 4214
Two Queen Bedroom
Two Persons

This resort is one of the most magical places we have EVER stayed at. We had been planning our 10 year anniversary for over a year now and we were very excited as the days counted down. If you have never experienced this place before, prepare yourself as you walk through the main doors. You need to stop and just soak in the scenery as you enter. It will literally take your breath away. From endless couches to lounge on, to a TV area playing cartoons for big and little kids to watch, to a fantastic collection of artifacts from Africa found THROUGHOUT the entire resort…you will be absolutely amazed. I know I was.

We DID have a bit of a hiccup during check-in (which we had NO wait for and were checking in about 4:30PM on a Sunday). When we had made the reservations back in March, we knew that what we were asking for were just “requests”, but when we called back in April to pay off the trip, we were “told” what room we were going to be getting…down to the floor and view…which made us happy because it was all what we wanted. This was not the case when we checked in. We were expecting to be on the 3rd floor facing towards the main circular savannah, but we ended up on the 4th floor facing the left savannah. We had a lovely post blocking our view and very rarely had any animals to see. So word of advice…if you’ve been talking to Disney via the phone and they give you specifics about room and location, you might want to take it with a grain of salt OR confirm it a week before you check-in. Be sure and get ALL names. We told the customer service lady this and she actually told us to complain. Meh…just one bump in the road. We really wanted a nice vacation, so we made the best of it. Besides, we got to see a darling Eland just about every time we looked out our sliding door.

The decorations for the rooms are quite impressive. Keeping with the theme, you will see animals in nearly everything in your room…from the Lion King animals in the curtains (behind the drapes) to the hidden Mickeys you’ll see throughout the resort in the carpets, comforters and shower curtains. The wallpaper in the bathroom is very neat. Dual sinks perfect for just the two of us. There are shower and bath combos. Always plenty of towels (housekeeping here is wonderful). A nice ceiling fan you can turn on and off with the flip of a switch. BIG TV! Just the attention to details is phenomenal. It made for a very memorable stay.

We had the two queen bed setup and unfortunately we had horrible sleep while staying here. I know, I know…more complaining. I wish I didn’t “have” to, but I have to share my experience. The sheets are extremely uncomfortable…almost felt like plastic. I actually had to take sleep medicine nearly every night to make myself fall asleep. This part actually made the stay not pleasant, but we really tried to make the best of it. If you are able to fall asleep on just about anything, then you shouldn’t have a problem.

I agree with what others say when they mention that the rooms were small. It was absolutely perfect for just the two of us, but with a family of four or more…I can imagine it getting downright cramped! As for the sheets, if we ever decide to stay on Disney property again, we may decide to bring our own.

And a bit of advice for parents with small children…you might want to put in a request about NOT being next to newlyweds. I’m quite sure we were next to some …and well…they were consummating their marriage nearly EVERY night and were quite loud about it too. Yeah…thin walls I guess. But it IS a hotel! No biggie, but I thought I’d throw that out there.

Even though we didn’t see many animals from our room, they do provide a list of what you can find and even a place to mark off what you’ve seen. They also add identification pointers and behavior tips too. Very cool. We even had the pleasure of talking to several cast members while roaming out in the Arusha Rock Savannah Overlook. We learned a lot about Elands and cows.

Another nice touch is the “welcome home” you will receive each time you come through the security check. It’s very pleasant to receive after a long day of playing at the parks. People who are driving will get to experience this. You might not get to if you are taking the bus. If you ARE driving, you will get free parking at all the parks. Parking now is $12 for cars. OUCH!

There is LOTS of parking for the Animal Kingdom Lodge and some people complain that it’s too far from the main door. But there are LOTS of rooms for this enormous resort, so you need someplace for these folks to park! It’s Disney, you will be walking almost the whole time anyways. It’s all part of the experience. If you just can’t stand the walk, they have valet parking available. There’s always somebody at the front waiting to help you out. The Animal Kingdom Lodge definitely has an impressive staff THAT’S for sure. We were very impressed with everybody that we talked to there.

We ate at two of the restaurants at the hotel (see my other reviews for these). We had breakfast at both Boma and The Mara. If I could have Boma for breakfast every day for the rest of my life…I would die a happy person. It is a buffet full service restaurant and they are always preparing food to make sure the bowls are FILLED. The Mara is your usual quick service…waffles and eggs type…which was good. We didn’t experience either of these for lunch or dinner, but Boma always seemed busy. We always heard lots of drums playing down there in the PM. Such a wondrous experience for those dining I’m sure.

We only nosed around the resort for a little bit during our stay, but what we saw was really nice. They have a very big spacious swimming pool which always had lots of people in it when we walked by. Life guards were on duty. The Mara is located right next to the pool as was Pumba’s Fun and Games Arcade. I was able to mail a bill in the room located just to the right of the Lobby Concierge. You can also find internet and payphone access in the same room. They also have a gift shop located just beside the main doors. Here you will find souvenirs that you can only get at The Animal Kingdom Lodge and then there are the usual goodies you can get throughout the parks. Also there’s a little “convenience” section in case you forgot to bring something…bathroom stuff, etc.

Overall, I would highly recommend staying at this resort! There were so many more good things that we experienced than bad. I saw so many smiles on children and adults alike that it was just contagious. It’s such a happy place and something that you just have to experience for yourself. If you are staying here in the future…be prepared to be amazed. You are so LUCKY!!! Enjoy your vacation!!

  • Stayed June 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank pandd1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ohio
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 July 2009

First, the highlights: Lobby is lovely with rich, warm colors, exceptional decorative touches to match the theming, with a comfortable, peaceful feel throughout. Rooms are the same, great theming albeit rather dark and at times the lighting is just not sufficient. Very nice main pool with lavish foliage and waterslide.

BUT... AKL is SO large and spread out that you can literally get lost in it. It has a strange layout...the lucky ones were close to the lobby, we were not so lucky. There are also some extremely LONG hallways which lead to some rooms that make you feel quite isolated. If you like to feel as though you're part of the action, you won't if you're at the end of the hall...it feels as though you're off in no-man's land.

When we saw the standard room we were given, with it's not-too-thrilling view of the parking area, we politely asked to switch rooms. NOTHING else available--in the entire, enormous resort--unless of course we wanted to pay more. And it was expressed quite rudely, too. This is the first time I've ever experienced such a lack of helpfulness, accommodation or understanding; usually Disney tries to make their guests happy but by the unfriendly staff's demeanor, I could tell they were not about to go even an extra millimeter or do anything remotely accommodating to help us out. Our only options were to pay $15 more for a pool view, or $75 more for a Savannah view. Figuring that this would give us a rare opportunity to see animals up close, we opted to pay the $75 extra and go with the Savannah view--after all it IS the AK Lodge, seeing animals is what it's all about, right? This is where the extremely long walk to our room came in...we found ourselves having to be escorted (the attendant said he didn't want us to get lost, since the route from the lobby to the rooms is "very confusing"--no kidding) down hall after hall, finally to nearly the last room on what seemed to be an endless and empty hallway. Frankly, it bothered us to be so isolated and removed, but we tried to focus on the positive and were eager to see the view, which the front desk called "one of the best savannah views." Wow, what a disappointment.

Yes, there were animals, although very far away--but I didn't have any illusions that they'd be right outside our balcony all day long. But in this supposedly great Savannah view room on the edge of the resort, we also got to see the high chain-link fencing, the large gate where the vehicles enter and exit, some sort of utility building, associated machinery/equipment, etc, and a striking lack of natural beauty--no grass, few bushes, trees were well off into the distance...mainly just dusty desolate acreage. And it seemed like the animals were rather avoiding this area too; I don't blame them, it really was a rather depressing sight.

I loathed dragging my family around to switch rooms yet again, but common sense prevailed to say "why are we paying $75 more for THIS?" So, I went to the lobby while my family waited and switched rooms again...for a pool view. Most pool view rooms are partially or fully obstructed by some sort of foliage which, while lovely, natural, fits in with the theme etc., really does need to be trimmed or managed so that those who want a pool view are actually getting one. But at least when we were above the pool we could again hear music and activity, see other people and hear happy voices in the air, like we were actually at a Disney resort. We learned that we don't like to feel that isolated. Some people might...it just wasn't what we wanted. Also note: these rooms are noticeably smaller than nearly all other deluxe resorts--hence the lower price.

The bus situation is pitiful--a real knock when you have sleepy children who need to get back to their room. The distance from nearly ALL the parks was quite a disadvantage at AKL. This resort made up my mind that I'll never stay this far from the parks again. WDW being about 48 square miles, it's an arduous journey back at the end of the night--even IF you're lucky enough to catch the first bus...don't be surprised if you have to wait for the next one. And there's no such thing as a quick afternoon break to use the pool at your resort--AKL's just too far away to make any midday break practical unless you really cut into your day.

If you absolutely love animals you'll love this resort. But for us it was a bit different, perhaps in part because the expectation is built up so high with regard to the animal viewing, theming etc., that after a couple minutes we were already thinking: "Okay, it's a giraffe...it's lovely...and pretty much looks exactly like the one we just saw at the Animal Kingdom. Very nice. Not thrilling, but nice..." It is pleasant to see them out of your hotel window; for some guests, this may make all the difference. However, I found a lot more enjoyment seeing the animals from the observation deck at the end of the hall (in lush surroundings that look a lot more pleasant for the animals, since it was the INTERIOR courtyard) than from that savannah view room--the cost difference didn't seem worth it AT ALL--or by simply going to the Animal Kingdom itself. The distance and location of AKL simply overshadowed our enjoyment of this resort such that we're unlikely to return. We're glad we tried it, but see no compelling reason to ever go back.

  • Stayed May 2009, travelled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank deMom09
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2009

Better late than never review . Stayed for 10 days May 2008 free upgarded to savava room on check in had a family of giraffes outside our room for the full holiday it was amazing. Would i have paid for the upgrade probably not. Disney bus service to parks are very good had to wait 10 mins at the most . Food at hotel not so good and over priced so stay well clear. Dinner at the royal table with cinderella is a most for anyone with small children most book before you leave uk .

  • Stayed May 2008, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chazanddi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
101 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2009

We stayed at the Jambo House July 18-25th. It was my second visit. They have an excellent and friendly staff, very clean rooms a breath taking lobby. I checked in ahead of time on line. Our room was ready at 9:30am which is when I said I would arrive. We had a pool view room with bunk beds. It was steps away from one of the many animal viewing areas. Also very close to The Mara and pool area. What a great location. My 2 boys ages 8 and 11 really loved this place. We had the dining plan which saved us a bundle. We ate at Boma one night which was fabulous. We hardly ever had to wait for a Disney bus. We had a great experience and can't wait to go back!

  • Stayed July 2009, travelled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank PAdisneyfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
scotland
Level Contributor
35 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2009

Stayed at this hotel for 2 weeks at the beginning of July. Check in went very quickly and smoothly - arrived at 3pm after just over an hours drive from Sanford International. Only slight down side was that it was difficult to understand the check-in clerks accent even though his disney badge said he was from London! However he was very informative and went over all of the hotel amienities and recommended booking for Jiko and Boma - we had done this from home already! After explaining on the map how to get to our room we made our way there.

Our room (2484) was on the second floor although from the lobby this is actually down one level. The lobby is actually on level 3! After 5 minutes the luggage arrived and we were very pleased by what we saw. I was staying with my mum so had 2 queen size beds. The room was not at all dark and although we had a standard room we saw giraffes nearly every day from our balcony - bonus! Overall I can't fault the room or location.

We ate at Boma during our stay - fantastic - one of the best meals we had at Disney. We had booked - via the american disney internet site - and I would thouroughly recommed doing this. The restaurant was VERY busy. We stood in queues for up to 10 minutes at a time to pick our food from the buffet. It was worth it though. Try the Zebra Domes - pudding - they are delicious.

We also ate alot at The Mara - the quick service restaurant - serving burgers, chicken nuggets , pizzas and soups. A quick and simple way to grab something to eat between trips to the parks. Buy a refillable mug - about $13 - you can refill it with soft drinks, tea, coffee and hot chocolate as many times as you want for your entire stay! $13 for a 2 week stay was well worth it.

The disney bus service to the parks was excellent. The longest we stood at the hotel or a park waiting for a bus was 15 minutes - and that was on the 4th of July at the Magic Kingdom after the fireworks! If you arrive at the hotel bus stop and see your bus leaving wave at it - more often than not the bus driver will stop for you!

A word of warning. The Animal Kingdom Lodge now has 2 bus stops - Kidani Village and Jambo House. The first stop on the way back from the parks is usually Kidani Village (Disney Vacation Club Members) do not get off here! We and several other people we spoke to made this mistake. The two parts of the hotel are Not joined and it is a good 15 minute walk in the blistering heat back to Jambo House - the original Hotel!
Remember to stay on the bus - some drivers warn you , others do not!

Overall this was an amazing hotel - I would definetly stay at this hotel again.

  • Stayed July 2009
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank hazelzak
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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