We've stayed at a few Walt Disney World Resorts but by far one of our favorites is Animal Kingdom Lodge. We've stayed here three times and was the resort of choice for our daughters first trip. This Deluxe resort is split into two parts. Jambo House is the main building, housing both regular and Disney Vacation Club members. Kidani Village is the smaller section of the resort and is dedicated primarily to Disney Vacation Club members. So what makes it one of our favorites? 


Disney is known for their storytelling and attention to detail, and this resort is no exception. In fact we think it is one of their best examples of immersing you in the experience. Pulling into the property you really feel like you've left Florida and were transported to the heart of the African savanna. Walking into both Kidani and Jambo house you're greeted by a large open space full of beautiful wood carvings, artifacts, and art work. 

Even the building is inspired by African architecture. Inspired by the African kraal, the horseshoe shaped hotel surrounds 4 savannas. Yes, that's right there are multiple savannas on this property each with gorgeous animals, including giraffes. Your proximity to the animals allows for some amazing photos.


Sanaa, Boma, Jiko, and The Mara are the main restaurants at this resort, serving a mix of African, Mediterranean, Indian, and some common favorites. There are also 5 bars and lounges serving up exciting pool side treats to adult beverages in a relaxed atmosphere.

  • Sanaa serves both breakfast and dinner. Breakfast is a quick service affair and dinner service almost requires a reservation. Sanaa is known for their bread service. During one of our visits we ordered it to go and we were not disappointed. We loved mixing and matching the different naans and sauces together.
  • Boma-Flavors of Africa is a buffet style restaurant serving breakfast and dinner. Dinner comes with a show as guests can watch the chefs cooking in the showcase kitchen.
  • Jiko- The Cooking Place is a signature dining experience and guests are expected to dress accordingly. The menu changes with the season so there's always something new to try out when you visit. They also have the largest collection of South African wines outside of Africa!
  • The Mara is a quick service location perfect for those lunch by the pool days or for grabbing a snack on the way back from a long day in the parks.


There are two pools, and a splash pad on this property. Uzima Springs and Samawati Springs pools both contain a water slide and are zero-depth entry pools. Samawati Springs Pool in Kidani village is smaller, but usually less crowded. It's also attached to Uwanja Camp which is a three part play area for kids.

Not looking for water activities? Relax and watch the animals on one of the overlooks, shop for souvenirs at the mercantile, play a board game or rent a movie from the community hall, play some games in the arcade, go for a run, play in the sports courts, or participate in one of the planned activities like movies under the stars or roasting marshmallows by the campfire.  


There are a variety of rooms to select here. You have: studios, deluxe studios, 1 bedroom villas, 2 bedroom villas, and 3 bedroom villas. The villas come equipped with a full kitchen and washer and dryer. Rooms in each category have either a standard view or a savanna view and each come with a balcony. 

Jambo house also features club level rooms. Club level guests have an exclusive lounge where they can get a variety of drinks and snacks throughout the day. They also have their own concierge desk to assist with any needs they might have during their stay. 


Disney's fleet of buses services this resort and is the easiest way to hitch a ride to the parks. Bus rides to Animal Kingdom Park are quick and easy. However, bus rides to any of the other parks will take a bit longer as this resort is the furthest away. If you don't want to use the bus service there is always the fashionable Minnie Bus Service you can reserve for a fee.

Our Review

This resort is perfect for those looking to be in a more relaxed atmosphere. There's so much to see and do here that you won't have a problem filling up those resort days during your vacation. During our last stay our daughter was about 16 months old. After touring both pools we opted to use Samawati Springs Pool so she could play in Uwanja Camp. She loved it so much that we went back almost everyday! During this trip we had a 1 bedroom villa with a standard view in Kidani Village. Our room was close to the lobby and one of the outlooks. The proximity to the lobby made it convenient to get food and to catch a bus, however, we did miss having that beautiful savanna view from our past stays. Having the 1 bedroom villa meant that we had a full kitchen and washer and dryer. We found ourselves making breakfast every morning and, because kids are super messy, we took advantage of having that washer and dryer. This is definitely one of our top resorts to stay at when visiting Walt Disney World and we will be back in the future to enjoy it even more!

Our pro tips when visiting this resort:

  • If you plan to eat at Sanaa, Jiko, or Boma try to get a reservation in advance
  • Always book the Savanna View
  • The best time for animal viewings are sunrise and sunset
  • Give yourself extra travel time to get to the parks or Disney Springs
  • If you have kids, especially young kids, make a visit to Uwanja Camp

Interested in booking a stay at this resort? Reach out to me today to get started!