Disney visited numerous African countries and over 20 African lodges in their quest to create a culturally relevant resort that celebrated the people, wildlife, and art of the vast African Continent. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is the first resort to be designed and built that is themed to one of their parks, The Animal Kingdom. The grounds were built to resemble a South African Wildlife reserve with more than 200 species of African animals. The resort was built to allow rooms with views of the reserve called the Savannah. With 4 Savannah areas, guests can enjoy a really unique experience by viewing giraffes, zebras, and other African animals right off of their balconies.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby is a site to behold. It is larger than life and every direction you look you are awed by the detail and enormity of the construction. Designers, builders, and building materials were brought in from Africa to maintain the integrity of the culture and artistry of the African continent. Even when we don't stay there, we try to make time on our vacation to visit and just sit, relax, and take in the culture of this amazing resort lobby. Of course then you can feel like you have stepped into South Africa when you stroll out to the Savannah viewing area.
The rooms are authentically themed as well and every one has a balcony. There are several options with views including standard, pool view, and of course the Savannah view. Speaking of the pool, it is amazing and has a zero-depth entry on one end and a rock feature with a slide at the other end and surrounded by palm trees and lush vegetation. It also has a poolside bar.
Besides the main resort, which is called Jambo House, Disney built another lodge as part of the resort called Kidani Village as part of the Disney Vacation Club and features studio units with kitchenettes, as well as multi-room villas to accommodate larger families. The rooms are not limited to DVC members only and can be reserved depending on availability. Kidani Village has it's own pool with a wet play area for kids.
The resort has 3 restaurants and a food court. Boma is a popular buffet serving American and African delights for breakfast and dinner. Jiko offers incredible African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. This is a specialty dining restaurant serving only dinner. Reservations aren't required by highly recommended. If you have the dining plan, it requires 2 table service credits per person.
I am ending this post with a video from Disney Parks You Tube channel to give you an animated tour of the Animal Kingdom Lodge. If you've never stayed here, you should add it to your bucket list. It is a one of a kind experience that you and your family will never forget.