1) The Savannah!
The Savannah is the highlight of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. If your budget allows you to stay in a room with a view of the Savannah I highly recommend it. Waking up to a Giraffe and Zebra right outside your balcony is a luxury that was always on my bucket list. It is like having your own private safari right outside your door. However, if your room does not have a view of the Savannah, there are still many locations throughout the resort for you to see the animals. For example, there is a look out area right next to the main pool where you can see flamingos, waterbuck, ankole cattle, giraffes, zebras and much more.
There are simply no bad dining options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Every dining experience at this resort is incredible. Whether you are eating at The Mara quick service location, the all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet at Boma or the fine dining experience at Jiko, you are sure to have a delicious meal. The dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge lets you explore your palate with flavors from Africa. The cuisine at all three restaurants provides a unique experience you won’t find any other place in Walt Disney World. Experiencing something like an African Stew at Disney’s Animal Kingdom can really enhance the experience of feeling immersed in the theming of the resort.
3) The Exquisite Lobby!
When you walk into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you feel as if you've walked into an authentic African Lodge. The scope of the lobby is massive, and yet the details of everything are so small. Like the resort hotel rooms, the entire lobby feels warm and welcoming. There are comfortable seating areas throughout the lobby, and a massive mud fireplace that runs all day long. There is also a breathtaking view of the Savannah overlook at the end of the lobby. The resort holds the largest collection of African art in the United States, and the lobby is where many of the pieces of artwork are located. For children, there are Disney cartoons playing at all hours of the day, which is especially helpful when parents are checking into the resort. I had the pleasure of meeting Joe Rhode, the imagineer of the Animal Kingdom Lodge once while touring the lodge with our travel agency.
4) The Refreshing Pools!
Just like all the other resorts in Walt Disney World, the Animal Kingdom is no exception to having their refreshing pools. Uzima Springs, located just outside the main lodge, an 11,000 square foot tropical oasis facing the Savannah is a great place for the entire family to unwind after a long day at the parks or to just sit and relax at on a non-park day. There is also a 67-foot long waterslide and zero-depth entry similar to that of a beach. Here, one can enjoy the food menu, as well as non-alcholic and alcoholic drinks. There is also Samawati Springs located at the Kidani Village where kids can enjoy a 128-foot waterside and a zero depth entry to the pool. You can get snacks, luncheon items and non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks here as well.
5) The Glorious Accommodations!
After a long day at the theme parks, there is nothing better than walking into your resort room, and immediately feeling at peace. The rooms at Disney's Animal Kingdom are warm and welcoming to the point where you feel at home. The design of these room is something you would never find outside of a Disney Parks resort because of their bold African theming, that really engages the guests into the environment in an authentic way only Disney can pull off. The rooms are detailed, yet sharp and clean which is a balance that is very difficult to replicate. You’ll really have to remind yourself that there is a lot to see outside of your marvelously detailed room. I had the luxury of staying in a one-bedroom villa overlooking the Savannah. I truly felt as if I was really staying in the heart of Africa.
Kris Tilton, and her husband, Andy, are Vacation Specialists with Coasters & Castles Travel. As Florida residents, they visit Walt Disney World frequently, have cruised Disney Cruise Line many times and love planning trips! To reach Kris, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.