Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Average rate: $242 - Hotel class: 4 stars
2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Rates and Deals


Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Lake Buena Vista Reviews

mgradwell mgradwell
9 reviews
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House Sep 13, 2011
For Families with young kids who wish to stay anywhere within Walt Disney World and are humming and haring about which resort to choose, look no more! This Resort is one of the newest, cleanest and best resorts within Disney World Florida and is the main hotel for the Animal Kingdom Theme Park (some 5 Min's around the corner by bus / coach). Granted, this hotel is one of the more expensive hotels, however, if you have the money I would go as far to say it will be worth every penny or cent that you pay extra.

From the moment we pulled up we were impressed. The main lobby is breath taking as you walk through the main doors. Reception and Concierge are located on the left and you are welcomed almost immediately by a hotel representative. The main lobby is impressive and has an almost black glass style floor which is immaculate.

The back entrance of the hotel is served by a huge glass feature which looks out onto a Savannah full of exotic African Animals. There are other viewing area's and platforms located throughout the hotel. We were lucky enough to be allocated a Savannah view room situated immediately next the the Public Sunset Savannah viewing area. The kids were absolutely blown away the moment they opened up the patio doors and were met by a beautiful Giraffe underneath our balcony. This was the moment I realised the extra money was worth paying for the hotel, although we did not pay extra for a Savannah view room lucky enough. In my opinion, Disney will do as much as they can to please and accommodate you so if your not happy with your room, simply ask to change. There are only a handful of rooms with restricted views of bushes and trees surrounding the pool. Some may not mind this as the amount of time you will spend in your room i guess will be minimal. Outside at the rear of the hotel is a campfire area where you can meet and greet some of the Animal handlers and wardens. You can venture around a small viewing walkway surrounded by wooden fence to separate you from the beautiful Animals such as Zebra, Pelicans, Gazelle etc on the Savannah. I would advise to wear mosquito repellent at night times.

There are a number of activities put on for children and adults to get involved with like bongo drumming and learning more about the Animals etc. I must admit, we did not really take part too much. The lobby also has a comfortable seating area and a large TV which plays all of the Disney favourite cartoons day and night.

There are 3 main hotel restaurants in Jambo house and another in the Kidani Village (Sister hotel adjacent to Jambo). The quick service snack style restaurant is the Maya. This will serve most of your needs and there is a shop and a soda drink fountain for unlimited refills. I would advise paying $14 for a resort mug, as you will be able to fill it up as often as you like, ideal for when your around the pool. The sit down buffet style restaurant is Boma. Not perfect for picky children as it has an African flavour to many dishes but the adults should give it a try. This is the perfect place for breakfast in my opinion though. The third restaurant is the more expensive of the two sit down table service restaurants, and is called Jika. This is worth a visit but a reservation is advisory particularly if you wish to eat later at night. There is a dress code but it is not too strict. Beautiful food and worth the money.

There is a fantastic shop within the complex called The Marketplace. This has some basic essentials you might need, but to be honest, who wants to self cater when your in a place like this. The Marketplace is also a pick up point for all of your delivered shopping that you might have bought earlier the day before. Yep, Disney send any shopping you buy, straight to your resort hotel free of charge the next day. This is very handy, providing your not leaving the following day. The Marketplace sells wonderful artifacts and Disney related merchandise and in my opinion was only bettered by the Little Christmas shop in Magic Kingdom and the World of Disney mega store in Downtown.

The Uzima pool is fantastic and has a slide for kids. It is served by 4 lifeguards at any one time and provide children's life jackets so Mum's / Mom's and Dad's can relax safe in the knowledge the kids can play in the water without dramas. There is activities during the day around the pool. My son particularly liked the musical statues game. If it rains, games move inside where the Wii comes out to entertain. The pool is open till very late and is flood lit. There is a pool bar also where cocktails and alcohol is available as you would expect, but for soft drinks I would just use the Mara.

The Hotel is served by an excellent, complimentary bus / coach transport service which will take you to all of the other Disney World Theme and Water Parks. From these drop off points you are able to transfer to any other resort very easily and everywhere is clearly signed at these bus stops. The Animal Kingdom Lodge residents are restricted to the bus service only but this is not a problem as you will have to wait only a maximum of 20 Min's to get anywhere. Transfers to all of the theme parks, water parks and Disney Downtown are quick and comfortable although they can be crowded at times. The biggest test was after the Magic Kingdom fireworks show, when thousands leave the park at the same time. Where the queues for the Ferry boat and Monorail are lengthy and time consuming, the buses are frequent and we did not wait at all. We even had the benefit of having kind bus wardens on hand to give the kids presents whilst they waited whenever we had to wait at other parks. This helped to make the bus system a pleasant experience for us.

The hotel also has a gym and outside jacuzzi.

All in all this hotel is clean, comfortable and an absolutely brilliant experience. Whenever you are asked where your staying, and you reply with the Animal Kingdom lodge, people are always impressed. I would thoroughly recommend this hotel to enhance the Magical Disney experience
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Glynnes says:

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Posted on: Sep 18, 2011
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JoePink JoePink
2 reviews
Deluxe Indoor Camping May 17, 2009
This is my very first hotel review; let me know if it’s to long?

Disney's AKLodge is surrounded by a man made safari, with live free roaming wildlife.

I arrived late at night; the outside was very dark; intentionally done for the animal’s sake which is a good idea. The lobby is very rustic with an African Theme; dark polished wood floors, like walking on black glass. The back of the lobby has an impressive floor to ceiling window stretching about 5 stories. The valley of the lobby has tons of art work and furniture, like an African inspired furniture gallery.

The service at check-in was quick. The front desk agent advised us we had been upgraded from standard view to a savannah view (Awesome), But there is no difference between the two rooms.

The lobby is located on the 3rd floor and theres very few elevators in the lodge makes getting around a little hard. If you want to save time you should use the stairs opposed to hunting down an elevator. Be sure you bring hiking boots if you get any room to far from the lobby.

The rooms are small and dark even with all the lights on. Over-sized furniture in the room makes it seem even smaller. Hoping to see some wildlife, I wasn’t too impressed with a view of a 6ft bamboo round up fence / animal pen outside my balcony. The animals don’t exactly want to hang out by the hotel for your viewing pleasure, so they hide out far away from the Lodge for more privacy. FYI the balconies are monitored by surveillance cameras, I think that’s for the animals safety, so remember to close your curtains before you shower and dress or like me you will be giving security and your neighbor's a XXX show. There’s no mini bar, no robes, and no welcome package. The bedding wasn’t plush, the beds were kinda hard; the bathroom was small and dark, The only station you will be watching is the Disney channel and all the Disney Resort Vacation Club Channels. After 12 midnight there is no room service, also the front desk agents seem reluctant to give out dining alternatives, if you order food delivery you will have to go wait outside in the front parking lot to pick up the your ordered food.

The Lodge has 3 themed restaurants, Boma is the African influenced buffet style restaurant. The wait time is very long even with reservations. The food at the buffet all tasted kinda bland, and a lot of it had a SWEET flavor. I can eat anything when I’m hungry, but I’m not a big fan on sweet flavored foods, I like spicy, salty, savory foods. Oh yeah and restaurant staff is very slow and they seem unhappy.

Mara is an African style market / cafeteria. Its pretty chaotic, there’s no direction as to how to serve yourself. Not much of a food selection either, You can get better food at McDonalds for less money and more organization.

The spa/gym is like a ghost town, you will need to be given a special locker card to lock and pull the key from the lockers(no one tells you this). The steam room smelt of mildew and the sauna was cold. Actually the sauna didn’t work at all, even after I turned it on and waited for awhile, no heat ever generated. The gym is small, nothing special. The pool area is pretty standard for resorts, nothing memorable about that either.

The gift shop prices are off the charts. Oh and If you’re a smoker, prepare to walk at least 4 miles to find the only two designated smoking areas on the property. This lodge isn’t a place I would enjoy relaxing in, its closet like rooms and its long complicated obstacle course of stairs and hallways, makes this place exhausting to hike through. Maybe if you book their concierge club level suite you would have a Deluxe 5 star stay with better service.

On a positive note, during the day plenty of wonderful animals can be seen, plenty of detail throughout the lodge, in all areas especially the lobby its pretty impressive, the shuttle service offered by the Lodge is fast and convenient which is a great time saver, oh and the gift shop staff is very friendly and always willing to help with a smile, but that’s about all that this place has going for it, There building the new Animal Kingdom Villas, maybe it will be better.
AKL- Main entrance at Night, Orlan…
AKL- Back view of lodge, Orlando F…
AKL- Incredible Lobby, Orlando FL.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
boxinbcn says:
Thanks a lot for the helpful review! I'm planning a trip this summer and will check alternatives!
Posted on: Jun 08, 2009
yarasil says:
A very informative review!
Posted on: Jul 22, 2008
TYoungTX says:
Great review and very detailed, which is very helpful. I'll definitely avoid.
Posted on: Jul 04, 2008
shoolie shoolie
2 reviews
Animal Kingdom Lodge: Better than the real thing. May 19, 2008
Traveling to real places is great, but sometimes staying at a themed resort is better. This is the case with the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney's version of an African safari lodge. Staying in a safari lodge in Africa may seem like the real thing, but it's set up for tourists and is an exclusively tourist experience. The safari lodge is really just a fantasy, and that is why it is best done where fantasy is done best: Disney.

I have stayed at most of the Disney World hotels, and though many are really great, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is, in my opinion, the best. It's the newest Disney hotel in Walt Disney World and was designed by the same architect as the Wilderness Lodge (the Second best Disney hotel in my opinion), Peter Dominick, so it shares this resort's perfect theming and grandeur. The Animal Kingdom Lodge has a feature that sets it apart from all of the other beautifully themed Disney hotels, and that is that you can see African animals right from your window.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is spectacular. It has a beautiful lobby that is always full of activity. In true Disney fashion, every small detail of the resort makes you feel as if you are immersed in Africa (the fantasized version, of course.) They have, though, used real African pieces and designs to create a wonderfully African experience. Be sure to ask the friendly and professional staff that are all from different places in Africa to tell you about anything you see or to teach you phrases from their native language.

Another one of the best things about this hotel is the restaurants, which are (again in my opinion) the best in Disney World. Jiko is very upscale, and serves as a great introduction to African food. Boma is buffet-style dining with almost equal quality food. It's designed to feel like an African marketplace. People love to get the Zebra Domes chocolate dessert they have here. There's also a counter service restaurant that is a standard in all Disney resorts called Mara which provides quicker food.

The rooms, though, are the main feature of this resort. Although you can view animals from many places in the hotel, the magic comes from seeing them outside your window. There are giraffes, zebras, flamingos, and many other exotic animals in the three savannas. The key thing to know about this resort is the importance of getting a savanna-view room. The best rooms are the ones that face the middle savanna, Arusha, and are in the middle of the wings, called "trails", and are on middle floors.

The one downside to the rooms is that the bed mattress and the bathroom layout are the same ones used in all the Disney resorts, from the cheapest to the most expensive. For the cost of this resort, I feel they should be very different, but these details won't hurt the overall experience of staying here.

The resort has two main drawbacks that are important, though. The first is that it is far away from all of the Disney parks except Animal Kingdom and Blizzard Beach. The reason for its remote location is for the animals' comfort, but the thirty minutes it takes to reach most of Disney World can be a little obnoxious. The other major drawback is the cost. But it definitely delivers if you can afford it.

If you do stay at this resort, be sure to reserve an extra day in your travel plans just to spend at the resort and experience all it has to offer. There are tours, kids' activities, crafts in the gift shop, a large themed pool, and just so much to see and explore. If you are seeking the Out of Africa fantasy, don't go to Africa. Just go to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
sylviandavid says:
nice review
Posted on: Jun 20, 2008

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Overview

A replica of the African Savanna offers a backdrop to the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, a centered and convenient launching point for ventures into all areas of the Walt Disney World resort. There are many corporate headquarters buildings just outside of the resort for those who have arrived to do business, and the hotel is a short distance from the Orange County Convention Center. Popular destinations of interest near to the hotel include Universal Studios, MGM Studios, Disney's Magic Kingdom, SeaWorld, Westside, Cirque du Soleil, the Richard Petty Driving Expo, and Daytona Beach. The airport stands less than twenty-five minutes from the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, and car parking is available onsite. Shuttle and boat transport are frequent to this area.

Guestrooms at the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offer private balconies, room service, wireless Internet access, satellite television, and valet laundry.

There are a multitude of dining options available at the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, as well as a children’s clubhouse, a wading and a swimming pool, a full service health and beauty spa, and regular safari trips and exotic animal sightings.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Amenities

  • Business Center
  • Room Service
  • High-speed Internet
  • Fitness Room/Gym
  • Parking
  • Swimming pool
  • Airport shuttle
  • Disabled Access
  • Concierge
  • Valet Parking
  • Tour Desk
  • Massage / Beauty Centre
  • Elevator / Lift
  • 24 Hour Reception
  • Dry Cleaning
  • Babysitting / Child Services
  • Air Conditioned
  • Non-Smoking Rooms
  • Golf Course
  • Housekeeping
  • Currency Exchange
  • Multilingual Staff
  • Safe-Deposit Box
  • Sauna
  • Security Guard
  • ATM / Cash Machine
  • Refrigerator
  • Cable / Satellite TV
  • In Room Movies
  • Wake-up Service
  • Kitchenette
  • Coffee / Tea Maker
  • Microwave
  • Hair Dryer
  • Complimentary Toiletries
  • TV
  • Laundry service
  • Shops
  • Excursions
  • Golf Course (nearby)
  • Playground
  • Lake
  • Computer
  • Desk
  • Direct dial phone
  • Ticket Service
  • Office Supplies
  • Wheel Chair Access
  • Fitness Facilities
  • Jacuzzi
  • Steam Room
  • Massage
  • Internet Connection (wireless)
  • Towels
  • Shower
  • Child Pool
  • Pool Outdoor
  • Kids Club
  • Cots
  • Games Available
  • Shops in Hotel
  • Souvenirs/Gift Shop
  • Express Check-In/Check-Out
  • Free Parking

Check Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Rates and Deals

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Map
Value: Location:
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2 reviews - $125
1 review - $158
Lake Buena Vista
photo by: Jamal1280