5 Things About Animal Kingdom Lodge You May Not Have Known

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Entrance at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is like hanging out with your family in the middle of Africa. The Imagineers outdid themselves when they created the framework for this spectacular resort.

Your story begins when you walk in and see the big beautiful windows, decor, and architecture. All the details exhibited at this resort may not be evident at first glance, but once you see them, they take you through an adventure that is a unique experience you will never forget. Disney’s commitment to creating an authentic story begins when they send their Imagineers on location to learn the culture and collect artifacts. How will staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom add to your experience?

Did You Know?

Disney built this entire resort around the needs of the animals. There is low lighting outside at the resort to keep the animals from being disturbed when they are most active.

Experience Wildlife From Your Room

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the only Disney resort property where you can walk out onto your balcony and see wildlife. The Savanna Rooms are by far the neatest room of all the Deluxe Resort Hotels. They cost more than the standard room, but they give you a unique advantage. Before I stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, I was never very interested in seeing animals from my room. I thought ok big deal, but when I stayed there, I was amazed at the experience. It is so relaxing to sit on your balcony and enjoy nature. One thing to keep in mind is most wildlife is not active during the day, so it will not be an all day and all night viewing. But, it is still lovely to enjoy the quietness and low lighting of this resort. I highly recommend this resort and staying in a Savanna View Room to experience Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge to its fullest.

The Views

What makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is, of course, the animals. There is no shortage of animals throughout the entire resort. You will find viewing areas at every corner and hallway of the resort, along with open-air balconies. When you are at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, go to one of the outdoor terraces and relax in one of the rocking chairs while enjoying your favorite snack.

Animals are more active during night hours or very early in the morning.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has three restaurants and a counter service restaurant (grab and go), unlike any other property. They all offer Indian, Mediterranean, and African cuisine.
Jiko-The Cooking Place
Jiko-The Cooking Place is an excellent restaurant that you have have to try. I always heard how incredible the food is, so I decided to give it a try. The menu is authentic, and the food is terrific. The atmosphere is a very relaxing and unique experience. The back wall at the restaurant mimics the sun rising and setting while you enjoy your meal. It is an excellent place to unwind after a day at the parks or exploring the resort.
Boma
Boma is a buffet-style restaurant that offers a variety of food. If you want to explore different types of foods but are not sure if you will like them, Boma is your place. Even picky eaters that are not keen on exploring other foods can find something to eat at this buffet. You can enjoy this delicious buffet for breakfast and dinner.
Sanaa
In my personal opinion, Sanaa is the best restaurant in the entire Disney World Resort. The atmosphere is impressive, and the food is so good. Sanna is infamous for its bread service. I admit I have not tried it yet, but I will give it a try the next time I am there. Sanna offers a quick-service breakfast and table service for lunch and dinner. The restaurant features windows that look out into the savanna, where you may see some of the animals hanging out. With the views at this restaurant and the fantastic food, it is a win-win in my book.
The Mara
If you are looking for a quick meal before heading to the parks, then head over to The Mara. Breakfast offers classics like bacon, eggs, and Mickey Waffles. Lunch and dinner both offer African entrees as well as American classics like the Black Angus Cheeseburger. The best part is ordering your food on your phone using the Walt Disney World Resort App.

Jiko-The Cooking Place

Jiko-The Cooking Place is an excellent restaurant that you have have to try. I always heard how incredible the food is, so I decided to give it a try. The menu is authentic, and the food is terrific. The atmosphere is a very relaxing and unique experience. The back wall at the restaurant mimics the sun rising and setting while you enjoy your meal. It is an excellent place to unwind after a day at the parks or exploring the resort.

Boma

Boma is a buffet-style restaurant that offers a variety of food. If you want to explore different types of foods but are not sure if you will like them, Boma is your place. Even picky eaters that are not keen on exploring other foods can find something to eat at this buffet. You can enjoy this delicious buffet for breakfast and dinner.

Sanaa

In my personal opinion, Sanaa is the best restaurant in the entire Disney World Resort. The atmosphere is impressive, and the food is so good. Sanna is infamous for its bread service. I highly recommend trying the bread service. Sanna offers a quick-service breakfast and table service for lunch and dinner. The restaurant features windows that look out into the savanna, where you may see some of the animals hanging out. With the views at this restaurant and the fantastic food, it is a win-win in my book.

The Mara

If you are looking for a quick meal before heading to the parks, then head over to The Mara. Breakfast offers classics like bacon, eggs, and Mickey Waffles. Lunch and dinner both offer African entrees as well as American classics like the Black Angus Cheeseburger. The best part is ordering your food on your phone using the Walt Disney World Resort App.

So much to see and do

Take a day and explore this resort. Just like wildlife, there is no shortage of African Culture. Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of those resorts that you can visit a hundred times and walk away learning something new or seeing something that you missed from previous times. Even the gift shop is different from other resorts and will land you some pretty unique gifts.

Explore the Savanna

Wanyama Safari and Starlight Safari are exclusive to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can get a front and center view of the animals that reside at this resort hotel for an additional cost.

If you want to experience one of the two safaris, but don’t want to stay up too late, then the Wanyama Safari is for you. Wanyama Safari takes you through the savannas located at Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can observe up to 30 different wildlife animals during your tour. Because this tour limits the number of guests, you will have a more personal experience. Also included in your journey is dinner at Jiko-The Cooking Place. There is no better way to end your evening.

If you want to see animals when they are most active, then the Star Light Safari is for you. This tour lasts about an hour and has two-time slots. You will want to make your reservations early to ensure your seat on the tour. Don’t worry about not being able to see in the dark. Night vision equipment is a part of your journey.

TIP: Try renting or buying a night vision device if the Safari is too bumpy for you. You can still view the animals from one of the open-air balconies or your room’s balcony if you stay in a savanna view room.

Wanyama Safari

If you want to experience one of the two safaris, but don't want to stay up too late, then the Wanyama Safari is for you. Wanyama Safari takes you through the savannas located at Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can observe up to 30 different wildlife animals during your tour. Because this tour limits the number of guests, you will have a more personal experience. Also included in your journey is dinner at Jiko-The Cooking Place. There is no better way to end your evening.

Starlight Safari

If you want to see animals when they are most active, then the Star Light Safari is for you. This tour lasts about an hour and has two-time slots. You will want to make your reservations early to ensure your seat on the tour. Don't worry about not being able to see in the dark. Night vision equipment is a part of your journey.

Try renting or buying a night vision device if either of the Safaris is too bumpy for you. You can still view the animals from one of the open-air balconies or your room’s balcony if you stay in a savanna view room.

Wildlife, great food, and activities like no other resort will be what you can expect at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. I love this resort for its uniqueness and charm. You will love it there because it is easy to have fun and make memories. Grab your family and your camera, and give this resort a try.

Christina Cronin has worked in the travel industry for 11 years gaining unparalleled experience in Disney vacations, family travel, and reunions. She has "dragged" her test subjects, we mean her family, on numerous Disney Vacations to bring first-hand experience to the table. When she is not working, she is busy wondering which one of her kids ate all the popcorn.