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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Address 2901 Osceola Parkway
City Bay Lake
State Florida
Zip 32830
Telephone 407-938-3000
Fax 407-938-4799
Rooms 1293
Official Rating
Members Rating (4.4)

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Reviews from Members
Member Review
Proud to wear my Ears

Join Date: Apr 11
This was 10 nights staying at Jambo House in Room 4404 with wife and 4 year old boy. First time I've stayed at a Disney property despite visiting Orlando 4 times previously and always staying on I-Drive but the lure of the offer complete with Dining Plan was too good to discard.

I'd checked in through the MDE website and had specified a room near to the lobby / transportation bays which to my surprise I got. Hotel check in was very good and effortless which was great following the flight and long (90+ minute) wait at Sanford's border control.

Standard room was lovely and had a double bed and bunk bed arrangement. Plenty of toiletries and all the other stuff you would expect from a decent hotel. My only criticism would have been the view from the balcony as we must have been one of only a dozen rooms that overlooked the lower floor roof which meant a really high wall rather than a fence. No real issue but we didn't ever sit out on it.

Room service seemed a bit hit and miss depending on what time of day they passed the room. One day we got back from the parks early afternoon to find it hadn't been done and they didn't even come back while we were out in the evening.

Transportation was excellent with big TV screens showing when each bus was expected to arrive. The longest wait for any bus even from the parks was only about 20 minutes and that was just the once. Nearest park was obviously Animal Kingdom but none of them seemed particularly far despite a number of road works as they improve the infrastructure with Magic Kingdom probably taking the longest at about 20 minutes.

They have an on site convenience store / souvenir shop which we did not use as we arranged for Garden Grocer to deliver our basics (bottled water / alcohol / snacks) to coincide with our arrival.

Pool area was lovely and was one of 2 with the second being at the neighboring Kidani Village which was either a 10 minute walk / catching the Disney Springs bus or using the little shuttle that constantly travels between the properties. Jambo House pool just had a slide while Kidani had a main slide as well as a splash area. Jambo pool area was very busy most of the time for those wanting a break away from the parks.

Dined at Boma (African cuisine buffet) / Sana'a (Kidani Village) and the Mara while we were there and all were excellent in particular Sana'a which seems to come highly recommended on most peoples itineraries. Lucky diners seated by the window had a view of the Savannah.

The Savannah itself was nice to see although not worth the upgrade to a Savannah view room in my opinion given some of the limited views on offer. The best views were had at Kidani Village as we barely saw many animals within the grounds of Jambo House although to be fair we didn't go looking that often. Given we road Kilimanjaro Safari twice there's only so many times you can see a Giraffe / Zebra etc.

Checkout was again effortless prior to our midday pickup. Any room charges throughout our stay were clearly visible on a very detailed bill so nothing to query.
May 2017
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Sweetie Babes's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 10
This review replaces my review of Kidani back in 2014. This time we had 6 nights at Jambo House - chosen for its proximity to Boma and the Mara, the only QS restaurant on site. It is a beautiful resort. We were originally given a studio overlooking the pool, but I absolutely didn't want that as we planned to sit out quietly on our balcony in the evenings. I'm also a light sleeper and knew I wouldn't sleep a wink with the pool right below us. We ended up on the Zebra Trail, on the 5th floor. While it's a long way from the reception etc, it could have been worse. We had loads of animals the first day (and okapi who literally slept below our window every night), but unfortunately the weather turned and we were unable to use our balcony after all that.

The studios at Jambo are quite small, and the only place to keep my scooter was in the doorway. It was only a double bed and while it was quite comfortable, the pillows let it down and it didn't have the mattress topper that we had at BLT. Once again, totally insufficient in the light department, and as you're only really in your room at night when it's dark, it can be a problem.

When rain set in for the last 4 days of our holiday, I loved the way they had regular character meets in the huge foyer. I actually got to meet a couple of new characters for me (Brer Bear and Gepetto).

The staff were very friendly and nothing was too much trouble. I loved that we could get down to the Mara using the lift just a block up from our room, saving the effort of going all the way through the foyer. It was great for Boma, as well: we had dinner there and breakfast on our last day.

The buses were pretty good. The only problem we had was getting a bus to Animal Kingdom: the time to wait was more than twice the time it actually takes to get there, which was bonkers.

We'll definitely stay again in the future; probably in a one-bedroom apartment with our adult daughter. What amuses me is that while it's one of the most expensive deluxe resorts if you're paying as a hotel, for DVC members it's actually the cheapest.
August 2016
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

amandajane10's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 16
Stayed here for 2 night with a Savannah view room and was lovely. The kids loved seeing the animals from the balcony. Pool was really good as was the food. Would definitely stay here again.
April 2016
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [5]
Earning More Ears

Join Date: Sep 14
We stayed at the Jambo House part of the AKL. It was, frankly, breathtaking. It is as beautiful as the pictures make out, the pool area is lovely and the animals roaming around make this a truly special place to stay. We were here for the whole 2 weeks of our holiday (minus 1 overnight stay at the Hard Rock Hotel) and had a wonderful time. We did book a normal (non savannah view room), but when I checked in I asked if we could have a room with a double bed and a bunk bed for the kids. It took the receptionist about 15 minutes talking to housekeeping but after our first night they had found us a bunk bed room along with amazing savannah views! I think we were lucky as it was the end of October and not too busy.

The hotel inside is a little dark, but the theming stays true throughout the whole hotel. The Disney transportation was fine- I would say about 15 mins to Hollywood Studios, 5 mins to Animal Kingdom, 25 - Epcot and 30 to Magic Kingdom give or take. We waited no more than 15 minutes for a bus either going or returning to a park. However I appreciate the journeys are further than other hotels it wasn't an issue for us.

All in all it was a wonderful stay - a lovely room, a lovely hotel and an amazing experience, one which shouldn't be missed.
October 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
slightly serious Dibber

rinroo's Avatar

Join Date: May 10
We spent 5 night at kidani village in September and we wished we could've stayed longer. This hotel is just breathtakingly beautiful. I was worried that it might smell like a zoo but I couldn't have been more wrong!

The hotel and grounds are spotless, the staff are amazing. From the pool staff to the reception to the maids all brilliant. Check in was fast and easy and our room overlooked the savannah. Beautiful.

Our room was a lovely size plenty big enough for our party of 4, we were close to reception and the pool but still found it to be quiet. The toasting of marshmellows and the film each night was a lovely touch for our children.

September 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer


Join Date: Mar 09
We absolutely loved Animal Kingdom Lodge and we have booked to go back in August 2016. This was our 6th time staying onsite but our first trip to AKL. We had read reviews that it was far out and the location wasn't great. We know WDW well and actually found the location ideal. It was very easy to drive around the parks and I certainly wouldn't let the location put you off. We had a car so maybe that was what made it easier. The staff were excellent at the hotel - they couldn't do enough to help. Great restaurants - ate at both Sanaa and Boma. The savannah is just great and we would wander down on an evening to see the animals. The hotel had a wonderful smell - we all commented on it. Rooms were very comfortable and quiet. Shop was good and had a good selection of items to buy and the pool area was quite large so again it never got crowded.
August 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Dibbing with Tink
- DIBB Advertiser -

ROBBERIFFIC's Avatar

Join Date: May 06
Well what can I say, I was uncertain of staying at this hotel but I should never have worried, what a wonderful place. Stunning hotel fantastic staff not too far out of the way which was a concern, bus transport was frequent and reliable. The restaurants and food hall were really good as for Sanaa i wanted to live in there the food is amazing. The room we stayed in was in Ostrich and we had all the animals in front of our room every day. We would not hesitate to stay here again and thoroughly recommend it to every Dibber.
August 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Apprentice Imagineer

Florida-Sarah's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 13
We stayed here in a DVC 2 bedroom Villa at Jambo House in 2015.

Our room overlooked the savana, however we didn't spend much time on the balcony due to being at the parks!

We loved the grandeur of the lobby and the smell on arrival. We found the car parking facilities to be a little bit of a walk from the hotel and so would get dropped off at the lobby and my husband would park the car!

The pool area was great and the children's activities on kept my children occupied in the afternoons.

We also really enjoyed the Mara offerings for lunch.

Our room was near the lobby but if it was at the end of the corridor then this could have been a negative.

Overall an impressive resort which offers very good value for DVC points!
August 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [4]
VIP Dibber


bambikate's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 07
This was our second stay at AKL, this time at Club Level. It was outstanding, hands down the best hotel we have ever stayed at. The service from every single CM was excellent, the club level lounge was fabulous and a huge selection of food, great onsite restaurant and food choices and a fabulous pool and hot tubs. We also partook in some of the resort activities. The bar is also great with a fab selection of cocktails. Rooms were immaculate and the Savannah view was out of this world. Would definitely stay here again. Our previous stay (not club level) was also fantastic and our "partial Savannah view" seemed like a full savannah view to us!
May 2015
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Excited about Disney

C.George's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 09
Stayed two nights in Kidani Village over looking the Sunset Savannah. Very relaxing and very quiet, just the right start to the holiday after a busy Autumn Term for myself and my three boys. 700 steps from room to lobby, so 1400 steps taken when getting a morning coffee!
The Christmas decorations were brilliant and the night time vision goggles cool. The animals in the morning were great to look at. Pool was nice
Having three bathrooms in the two bed villa meant there was loads of room for all of us. The balcony was long and the view from it good.
The restaurants at AKL were well themed, it is a shame that there is no real QS at Kidani, other than the pool bar, where food was limited.
The shop did not sell a resort pin which was frustrating.
Would recommend it as the starting destination for a holiday before moving on to a resort closer to the action.
December 2014
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [2] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [4]
VIP Dibber


Lovesholidays's Avatar

Join Date: May 08
Just stayed for two nights booked through a Dvc member, the room was nice had a savanah view but it was right in the corner of the building so half of our balcony overlooked next door who unfortunately were VERY noisy! The view of the savanah was beautiful though. We found the hotel to be very noisy at night too, children running up and down the corridors late at night and parent shouting after them, it did spoil our stay to be honest. The pool area was very nice, and my son enjoyed the games room. We ate in the cafe which was great food and reasonably priced, and also we had a lovely meal at Sanaa. I think we just had a bad experience of the place so we wouldn't go back but that's just my opinion.
October 2014
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [3]
Imagineer

Pookie3101's Avatar

Join Date: May 14
Wow was our first impression when we arrived. The lobby is just amazing and took our breaths away. This was our first time to WDW and really had no idea what to expect.
All the cast members we encountered were so helpful and fantastic with our children.
Our room was lovely, on the 4th floor, near the lift lobby and quiet. We had a lovely view of giraffes from our balcony and could also see the HS fireworks.
The food in Boma and the QS Mara was nice. It was however freezing in Mara and I needed a hoody on if sitting inside!
The pool area is lovely. It was the prefect size and I could see my children easily. They really loved the waterside and it was very well lifeguarded. When children started pushing in or not following the rules, they closed it for a short while.
We didn't have a car so used Disney Transportation. We waited no more than 10 mins and i thought the journey times were reasonable. Magic Kingdom the furthest park at 25 mins and Animal Kingdom the closet at about 5 mins.
Would stay here again.
August 2014
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Getting to know the DIBB

Join Date: Jul 11
We stayed at Kidani Villas. We were right at the end of the corridor and I have to say, nothing prepared us for this walk. It was a major expedition to get from reception to the apartment. However as we were upgraded from a two to a three bedroom apartment, I'm not complaining.
If you are heading to the pool, you are quicker exiting through the basement garage and I do wonder if you are quicker going to reception this way as well. Apart from that, the apartment was lovely and staff very helpful. There is a regular shuttle to Jambo house which is handy if you want to make use of the facilities there. If you have golf booked at a Disney course, the concierge will organise a free taxi.
Sitting on the balcony with the savanah view is to be recommended. I would be very happy to stay there again.
May 2014
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Yorkie Girl's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 12
This was my first time in a deluxe resort (having only stayed at moderates or offsite in the past). The lobby is very impressive and the check in staff were friendly and helpful. There had been a bit of a mix up with our booking with Virgin, but they sorted this out for us really quickly. The room was a twin (with two double beds) and we had plenty of space, but not much storage space (one clothes hanger and two drawers). We had a lovely view of the savannah and it was great to see the animals during the day. We didn't try the pool but it looked lovely and there is a steam room and sauna in the changing rooms. We stayed in Jambo House and this shares the buses with Kidani Village. We found it easier to walk the 5/10 minutes to Kidani Village to get the bus on a morning because then we could ensure we got on the bus. Kidani Village bus stops also have bus time information so we knew how long we would be waiting.
The housekeeping was fine, but nothing special. We didn't get refills on coffee or tea for the entire time we were there despite using it all on the first evening! Luckily we had resort mugs so just filled up for free at The Mara.
It was a 10 minute bus ride to Animal Kingdom, 15 minutes to HS and Epcot, 20 minutes to MK and up to 30 minutes to DTD.
November 2013
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [2] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
slightly serious Dibber

Alfie2013's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 13
We stayed here as a family of four
Wow is all I can say on arrival , rooms were very clean but on the small side , we had the savannah view which was included in our package , it was amazing but as we didn't spend anytime in our room I would not pay extra if I had to , staff at the reception were extremely helpfull . The interior of this hotel is amazing restaurant s were great too ,
We had the disney dining plan free of charge , which was fab I would not like to think how much it would of cost otherwise. The buses to the disney parks from the hotel were fab too be did not hire a car so we used a combination of the courtesy transport and taxi s which was great too , neither my DH or I fancied driving , can't wait to go back would love to try another disney hotel too x
October 2013
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

fd1972uk's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 11
Stayed at Kidani Village via DVC for a couple of nights. Whilst we didn't get the full benefit of a prolonged stay, we were more than delighted managing a couple of nights in a Savannah Room. As already stated, the rooms are pretty small, but they are beautiful. The rooms from the balcony was lovely, although it's your luck with what animals decide to come your way. Admittedly as we only stayed a couple of nights we never fully benefited time-wise on the resort but did take in as much as we could. The resort overall is fabulously themed and with the animals at close hand, lovely restaurants and great pools it's enough to keep you busy. I had no complaints with house keeping or the transport options either. One thing I would say is if you want to walk from Kidani to Jambo (10-15 minute walk) it is very very dark, although had no issues safety wise. One of the hotels I really did want to sample and thanks to some kind Dibbers via the DVC system managed to do it.
July 2013
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Proud to wear my Ears

aldersv's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 12
I think we were expecting something really too special, first time in a disney hotel. It was nice but nt. as god as expected. The room seemed really small for 2 adults and2 children, smallerb than a uk premier inn family room. It was clean but perhaps a little tired and the smallest safe we have ever seen. Infact opening the bathroom door was a very tight fit not to catch your toes in the door.

Pool was lovely and nice to see the animals outside. Housekeeping very average after a nice tip, no animal shapes, no replacement coffee, soap etc nothing.

Wasn't impressed with disney transport a real free for all, lots of buses arriving and no room and LOng queues, don't know if we were little unlucky bt not really orththe money I felt.
June 2013
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [2] Value for Money [2] Overall Impression [3]
Apprentice Imagineer

knads2012's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 12
We have not ever stayed on-site at Disney before and were in a situation in 2012 were we needed to just make a decision on where to stay and book it with very little research done in order to get the best out of a deal. So - we booked a standard view room at AKL (budget didn't stretch that far and we thought that we could just wander from the room in order to view the animals - no problem!) and got the DDP thrown in. When we arrived I have to say I was blown away - Disney really go all out with theming and AKL is no exception. We all walked into the lobby (accompanied by their greeter) and our mouths just dropped open! Beautiful.
Our check-in was handled by a super friendly guy called Jeff and he was really kind and gave us an upgraded room to the sunset savannah view. Now, I know from reading The Dibb that upgrades are definately not a given and so felt very lucky that we got one and the view was really amazing - the giraffes regularly ate their tea right outside our window! My DH and I were able to sit on the balcony watching the sun set after our DS had fallen asleep. Very calming after a manic day in the parks.
A couple of downsides to the resort though. We made a couple of trips to Universal on shuttle buses and found that we were always the last ones to be dropped back in the evening - it took nearly 2 hours to get home! One day we actually got off the shuttle at PORS (first stop made by the shuttle) and then took a WDW bus to the Animal Kingdom and then hopped a bus back to the lodge instead of staying on the shuttle - it did turn out to be quicker but our DS was so tired that he really struggled with it. Transport to and from the Disney parks however, was great and there was always a bus about 10 minutes wait away.
The other downside is that the rooms themselves are pretty small for a deluxe resort. The theming throughout the hotel is great but it means that the rooms have very big, dark furniture. It takes up almost all available room and my DH banged his shins a number of times on the bed posts when gettting up.
We were thrilled to have had the opportunity to stay here but if we ever get to go back we will try a different resort (we would definately make the trip to AKL just to go back to Boma though ;))
May 2013
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [1] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [4]
Trying for More Ears

panther-ivor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 06
Stayed here for third time - this time just me and DD aged 11 years. Standard view studio but got allocated a savannah view for first time - great view of giraffes and ostriches in the morning from the balcony. Great pool. Very clean. Lovely setting.
April 2013
Cleanliness [3] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [3]
Apprentice Imagineer

bearandbuzz's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 13
This is a beautiful hotel with majestic animals roaming around the Savannah.
We had a Savannah room so had the animals roaming around right in front of us. I could have stayed and watched them all day, unfortunately my two boys were enthralled at first but it quickly lost its appeal to them and made me wonder if it really was worth upgrading the room to a Savannah view when we could have gone to the general look out point. In my heart of hearts I think now I have done it once, if we were to go back I would stick to a cheaper room.
The pool was lovely, we wandered over to the villas pool one day. Although it is not a challenging walk there, be careful of the roads as I don't think it is a very family friendly walk.
Boma served fantastic food and never rpfailed to disappoint.
All in all it was a beautiful hotel, the transport was regular and didn't seem to take too long to get anywhere else onsite. It also was a relief to only share the buses with those at AK villas so you knew you didn't have too many stop offs to get to your destination.
March 2013
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Trading Disney Pins

ClassicFox's Avatar

Join Date: May 15
Food in the restaurants is amazing at every meal time, the theming throughout the hotel is incredible. The safari view rooms really are breath taking. Totally recommend this hotel.
January 2013
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Lell's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 09
We stayed at AKL in October 2010 and thought it was fantastic. We booked a package holiday with Thomas Cook and paid for a standard room but were delighted to be given a Savannah room when we checked in. We did online check in and I had telephoned a few days beforehand to request a bunk bed room as we have two teenagers so everything was ready for us when we arrived and we were checked in and in our room within a few minutes.
The room itself was lovely, comfy beds and the view of the animals was fantastic. Some people have commented that the rooms are dark but we didnt think they were particularly dark. Mousekeeping were great too, although I had hoped for some animal towels but unfortunately didnt get any.
The pool was lovely and there are also two hot tubs which are well shaded. There was pool entertainment for the young kids each day as well as lots of evening activites.
We were on the DDP so ate at Boma and Sanaa which were both fantastic. We also ate breakfast at Mara several times as well as one evening.
The only minor gripe we had was our TV stopped working and despite my husband reporting it twice no one appeared to fix it despite promises to do so.
We had a car so only used the buses a few times but never had any issues getting seats despite Kidani being the first stop.
We would definitely stay there again.
October 2012
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
From the moment you catch sight of the thatched roof of the Animal Kingdom Lodge your heart just skips a beat with excitement! As you enter the lobby it is an amazing moment as you take in the scale of this 4 floor space completely in the style of an African safari lodge. Every detail is attended to in order to magic up a totally immersive experience for the senses! Sights, sounds, textures even the aroma of some wonderful African wood (or is it spice?) fill all your senses and that is before you have even seen the animals on the savannahs. The giraffes elegantly lope by co-ordinating their long legs; zebras switch their tails and the out on the Arusha rock you are so close you can hear the wildebeests feet click (a sound made by their tendons so they can find each other and herd together even in the worst dust storms). And then there is the sense of taste which is amply satisfied by the wonderful African offerings at the three restaurants: The Mara, Boma and Jiko. The planting around the hotel is just beautiful and really enhances the pool and hot tub areas. The rooms are not large for a deluxe hotel but the beds are super comfortable and everything is ultra clean. Finally, there is the usual Disney cast member service which rarely fails to impress. Prepare to relax and enjoy!
September 2012
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


Join Date: Jul 06
We absolutely loved this hotel, ten of us stayed there for two weeks. On arrival we were given three rooms -none of which had any light coming into the room at all, the windows were obscured by some sort of awning, we were so disappointed, we didn't expect savannah but did expect to be able to have some sunlight coming into the room. I asked at reception if we could change rooms and after two nights in these rooms they gave us three savannah view rooms! Absolutely amazing. We loved everything about thus hotel from therein. The pool was brilliant, boma especially for breakfast was fab, the service we received from all the staff was first class. It didn't matter to us that we were further away from the parks, the bus service was great and the bus didn't stop at any other hotel. I can't say enough good things about AKL
August 2012
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


Shifu's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 11
I used to really LOVE this place. But it's not what it used to be.

Stayed here (Jambo House)in February for the third time with DH and DS.

Our first stay in 2002 (honeymoon) was not long after the opening of the hotel so as expected over the years you begin to see some wear and tear. Sadly though the changes we saw this time were what appeared to be Disney cutting corners and the 'going through the motions' of the Mousekeeping staff and reception.
The reception staff over the time we spent there we the most miserable bunch. Instead of the usual Disney 'nothing is too much trouble' it felt more like -Yes! What is it? and I hope you realise you are interrupting my paper work here!
Mousekeeping back in the day were fun, chatty, towel origami experts providing MM soap, moisturiser, shampoo and bath stuff. This time no one on nouse keeping seemed to speak english, we got one towel 'mouse ears' on entering the (second) room which was it for the whole stay (disappointing for DS as I'd told him each day we get a different towel animal to come back to), 1 shampoo (for 3 of us) and 1 moisturiser. I realise you have to ask but when its visible that the tiny bottles are running out common sense prevails perhaps? Shower gel/bath stuff isn't provided. You need to take your own - they dont sell it in the shop in the hotel either.

Initially we were given THE furthest room away from the main lobby. We had paid for a Savannah view. It was just about one, but was soooooooo far away. Thankfully were were able to change rooms as there was ONE other room vacant about half the distance than the first. Unfortunately this room it turned out was under the concierge floor which sounded like they were cleaning up after a night club each night in the early hours. Something you dont realise during the daytime. I'd have preferred River Dance in the room above, it would have been quieter.
The bed frames are also squeaky now (after all the use over the past 12 years) so much so we could here next door turn over in bed (fortunately they didnt appear to be an active couple) and you catch your 'above knee' area numerous times on the bed frames as the base sticks out. My husband and I had matching bruises for a week on our return lol. Sound proofing sucks at AKL. The toilet flush has the power of a 747 and the noise of a NASA rocket, something that cannot be helped but be heard over a distance of two or three rooms .
They need a better system when queuing for the Disney buses. Those arriving to wait first always end up being shoved to the back as thats where the seating is . It needs a rat run system ala theme parks or the bank/post office. And there were 4 or 5 times we waited 40/50 minutes for a bus from the AKL. And had to stand once we actually got on it as it was full/half full from passengers already on from AKL Kidani.(it stops there first- this didnt happen a few years ago as Kidani didnt exist back then). To make matters worse, Jambo House are not only picked up last, but dropped off last on the return trip!

On the positive side...it's still and always will a stunning resort building wise, the pool was clean, the food was fantastic, and the lobby is still an incredible sight when you first arrive. To sit on the balcony sipping a drink after a 'hard day' at the park and watch the zebra and giraffe wander quietly by is an experience everyone should have at least once a lifetime.
The shop, bell hops and restaurant staff were great...no complaints there at all. So friendly and helpful. King Pin was also very friendly and chatty each afternoon that my son went to swap pins.

If you haven't been before, you'll love it.

If you haven't been since Kidani has been built you may not. That said...Sanaa at Kidani was our most enjoyed meal. Gorgeous food- something a bit spicy that makes a change.

Won't be going back again though... I think AKL has seen better days. The magic has worn off a bit.


February 2012
Cleanliness [3] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [2] Overall Impression [3]
Getting excited


mermaids1960's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 09
Lovely really nice staff, okay little further than other onsite but nice to go back watch the animals, pool great children liked the pool games, will stay here again
November 2011
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


bel's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 09
A beautiful hotel.

The staff bent over backwards to make things right when the company we booked with messed up and we ended up with a fantastic room upgrade.

The restaurants are all fantastic and the pool is wonderful.

Didnt at all feel 'out of the way' as the only other time we went to disney world we stayed in a private villa so this was a fantastic location right in the heart of disney.

The free dining plan was amazing.

We also did the wanyama safari which was a fantastic evening and we would certainly do this again!

Didnt notice 'darkness' of the rooms that much, it just added a lovely atmosphere and there is plenty of light in the bathrooms for applying make up etc.

Would return in a heartbeat.
October 2011
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Excited about Disney

mollies_mum's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 09
This hotel is breathtaking, I've never stayed anywhere like it. We are animal lovers anyway so it really suited us. We got a free room upgrade without even asking and all the staff were really helpful. The pool was great, my daughter really liked the free pool games and disco. We ate at Boma a few times and each time the service and food was great, we also used Mara for breakfast and lunch, again with no problems.
The ambience of the rooms and the lobby is fantastic and walking around the lobby looking at the artefacts and crossing the bridge from one side of the room to the other became a daily event. We did not think it was too dark although I can see why some people say that.
I would love to return to this hotel, we didn't find it too far away from any of the parks although we didn't think that the buses were very reliable and will be hiring a car next time.
All in all we had a wonderful family holiday here and would highly recommend it, especially to those people that love animals and a hotel with it's own styleand grace!

October 2011
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Join Date: Jan 10
Amazing hotel - we spent our 10 night honeymoon at this hotel and I honestly can not fault it. The lobby for a first impression is breathtaking and the rooms are gorgeous too! We hadn't booked a savanah view room but after asking if one was available we were given a spectacular view, animals there every morning and afternoon.

With regard to the restaurants, we ate in Boma on our first night and it was so good we ate there again on our last night, we tried Sanaa at the Kidani vilaage too and the food was amazing! We also had breakfast from the Mara a few days which was very handy.

Before we left we were a bit anxious about the location as we had read it was out of the way. Well we didn't have a car for the first 4 days and even when we did we still used the busses to get to all the Disney parks, i think Magic Kingdom was the furthest away but it still only took about 15 minutes and the bus journeys are good fun!

So to sum it up it was fantastic, I would stay here again in a heartbeat! Highly reccomended!
January 2011
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Surfing at Typhoon Lagoon

Join Date: Mar 14
Stayed here in 2011 with 2 adults and 2 children (9) & (1), I have to say it was our first on-site Disney stay and we loved every minute, We had a savannah room which was brilliant for the kids who loved spotting the different animals... We used the Disney transport which was good but can get slightly busy on a night from DTD. All in all I have to recommend this to anybody uming or arhing about it...take the plunge it will be well worth it.
January 2011
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
WOW! What can I say, this is a beautiful hotel. We had a savhannah view room which was breathtaking.

We arrived before check-in time which was not a problem our luggage was left with the bell hop service and our cell phone number was left at reception once we had checked in as the room was not ready, we received a text message once it was available.

The room was spotless... just the right size which included a fridge, microwave etc. The view was fantastic, infact as my daughter described it "breathtaking"

We did the night vision which is looking through night goggles to spot the animals and we saw the giraffes...grandmother, mother and son.

The pool area is fantastic with a shower changing cubicle to use which is ideal if you are using this as your last nights stay and your luggage has been checked in at DTD.
November 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

warbiespig77's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 09
Excellent savannah view room was very clean we were very close to the kidani lobby but counter service dining options were only available at Jambi house but all in all an excellent trip with great memories
October 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


Lisa29's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 10
We stayed for 5 nights in a 2 bedroom savannah view at Kidani villas. We were a very long way from the lobby and after finding the lifts a bit further from our room went to where we parked the car, we rarely went back to the lobby which was a shame as it was lovely.

The villa itself was lovely and spacious with 2 bedrooms, the master being very large, the kitchen with dining area, living room, 3 full bathrooms and the washer/dryer area. There was also access to the balcony from both bedrooms and the lounge. The master bathroom was huge with the shower big enough for all 7 of us to stand in!

The only downside to me personally was that it seemed a bit dark with all the dark wood but my parents loved it for this reason so all down to personal preference.

The pool and water play area were brilliant. My 2 year old at the time loved the little slide going into the big pool and played on this for hours.

I did find the resort to be a bit out of the way but we used the disney transport often and never had to wait too long.

A lovely resort that I would be happy to stay at again.
October 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [4]
Imagineer

Join Date: Aug 09
This has to be one of the most impressive Disney hotels in all of Florida, the resort screams luxury and the savannah views are truly magical. The lobby area is magnificent and the rooms are surprisingly big. The lobby is on level 3, rooms on Levels 2 to 6 (?) with the fitness suite and restaurants on level 1.

The pool is certainly big but not deep and they have 3 lifeguards on duty during pool hours, they truly keep a close eye on things. We did build the pool up in our heads in be bigger than it actually was based on what we have heard but it is ample for the size of the resort.

The Mara (quick service) is clean and provides a reasonable selection however can be pricey (unless on DDP like we were). The resort mug can also be filled up here however it can only be filled up here meaning if your in your room you have a small walk to fill it up... ideal for using around the pool however.

Both restaurants are lovely but very different, one is a buffet and the other is signature dinning. We did the hotel resort guests only safari which included a massive selection of food from the signature restaurant with the chef introducing each meal, the Safari was close and personal but the meal really made is special.

We found the hotel's corridors can get a little loud during the morning and after parking closing at night, people tend to pass your room speaking in full volume which can annoy slightly if your having a lazy night. Having a room as far along as possible will certainly help.

While we don't have kids they appeared to have plenty of activities for them which appeared to play in to the african culture. The hotel staff are as you would expect, extremely friendly! The car park can get VERY busy so if you arrive back late you can expect to park right at the back, minor point really.

Internet access was wired only and expensive. I think this is perhaps my only major criticism, not having free wifi access in any Disney hotel is plain dumb. We stayed at one of the cheapest hotels on iDrive in September 2009 and this even had free wifi! Disney NEED to resolve this at some point... as my only real down point you can imaging how much we love it hear!

We had booked 'Old Key West' fro September 2011 however on arrival home we changed resort to AKL... just can't imaging staying anywhere else!

UPDATE: Didn't even spend a single night of our most recent (Sept 2011) 2 week stay at AKL. They have some terrible rooms at the resort (which they tried to give us) and the staff can't handle check in when systems are down. I have no doubt it is a one off but really put us off the resort.
September 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [4]
VIP Dibber


scotgirl's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 11
This is for Kidani Village - our DVC home resort. Having stayed at the Boardwalk Villas on the same visit and looked at the model homes for the other resorts I have to say the layout for Kidani is hands down the best. We had a one bedroom villa which had a full kitchen and two bathrooms. The master bathroom is just fantastic! The huge bed was extremely comfortable and the whole apartment was very spacious. Everything was clean and having your own washer/dryer makes a huge difference. The staff are fabulous and can't do enough to help.

With regards to the issue of distance - I'm pretty sure if you did have genuine mobilty issues the staff would do their best to accomodate you. Other than that our room was a 10 minute walk from the lobby and and a 10 minute walk from the pool - so what? It's a Disney holiday - if you don't want to walk a lot then it's probably not the holiday for you! You can fill your resort mugs at Johari Treasures in the lobby and the Mara quick service restaurant at Jambo House is a five minute walk away. If you wanted to be really lazy you can get the bus round to Jambo House. I've never found the location of Kidani or Jambo to be an issue with regards to getting to the parks. The transport is free and we've never had to wait very long for a bus. You're on holiday - most of the time not on a clock so just relax and roll with it.

We're going back as a family of five in October to a two bedroom villa and absolutely can't wait - the countdown is most definitely on!
September 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Ycryan's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 09
Fantastic. We had requested a Savannah view and weren't disappointed we had a great view overlooking the Sunset Savannah. The only drawback was that we requested a low floor for a better view and ended up on the 5th floor, but it was still good. Although the room was fab and the view was fab I do slightly regret selecting Kidani Village over Jambo House - mainly due to the lack of restaurants and food court which are all at Jambo House. You can however top up your resort mugs at the gift shop and at the pool.

We loved the pool at this resort was really entertaining with the games that went on during the day and loads of atmoshpere.

Staff were really friendly and helpful at check in and we were able to get into our room much earlier than expected - about 12pm which was great as we transferred to this resort from the Beach Club.

The only draw back about staying at this hotelis that you feel quite far out and your only Disney transport option is the bus, unlike other resorts where you have boats, water taxis and monorails to choose from.

I would stay here again but possibly choose Jambo House for the additional facilities.
August 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Getting Excited

Valeriebarrow's Avatar

Join Date: May 05
This has been my favourite hotel out of the three that we've stayed in on Disney property. It's just so beautiful! The lobby is very big and very impressive. All dining experiences at the Animal Kingdom Lodge were enjoyable. We used the Mara the most (quick service restraunt selling american favourites). The Boma is brilliant. We used it for dinner and breakfast and we preffered the breakfast. It was much more relaxed and not so much pushing and shoving. The food in the Jiko was out of this world. (The Jiko is a signature restraunt and the Boma is a buffet).

Our room was so good. We got into the room on that first night, went on to the balcony, and saw a giraffe about to go bed. It was just stunning. The beds were very comfy and the room on the whole was good. We were slightly disapointed with the mousekeeping. One evening my daughter spilt some ice tea on her bed sheet so we put a towel on it. When we got back from the parks, we noticed the maid had not changed the bed sheets and the towel was still there. Overall though, the maids were polite and the room was well kept.

The pool was beautiful. It's simplicity works so well but it does have a slide for the little ones. I was told though that the pool at the Kidani Village was slightly more kid friendly. We were staying at the Jambo House.

Altogether, we loved this hotel and I would definatley come again.
August 2010
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
slightly serious Dibber

tappers01's Avatar

Join Date: May 05
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is the most enjoyable hotel we have stayed in whilst in Florida. The genuine African theming sets it apart - I have styed in hotels in South Africa, as well as been to game reserves, and they have captured all of the atmosphere in this hotel perfectly. I defy anyone that walks in here for the first time not to look up and say 'Wow', it really is magical.
The rooms themselves are very standard Disney hotel layout - we stay DVC so we get a kitchen etc, which we are always very pleased with, the theming in the rooms though is consistent with the fantastic 'feel' of the rest of the hotel with dark woods and plenty of authentic items and decoration.
The pool is lovely, including the hot tubs, the facilities for children are fantastic, and the open fire pits are great to sit around in the evenings.
We loved the restaurants too, Boma we found to be great, Jiko fantastic, and the food court was one of the better ones on property.
You cannot beat the feeling of waking up, rushing to the balcony and seeing the sun rise over the savanna while you watch the animals. You can forget for a while where you are, and just get lost in it all. A truly amazing place!
June 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Back from our second AKL club level trip. Only negative was the evening selections being scaled back to next to nothing and cheap spirits rather than baileys and such they had last year.
The pools were great as ever, hot tubs in lovely shaded areas at Jambo house. Kidanis water slide good fun. Mara was very quiet. Plenty of animals on the Savannah. Our room was bunk beds room which the boys enjoyed instead of sharing a bed lol. Loads and I mean loads of towel animals. Forgot to request turndown service so no chocs on pillow. If you want this free service ask it does make you feel a bit more magical.
Would love to go back but sadly (ok not so much) we have to go to the yacht club next time as we no longer fit in AKL rooms
May 2010
Cleanliness [3] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [1] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber

Fantasia Sam's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 02
Stayed Concierge at AKL in March 2010.

We requested a King Room but only handicap accessible room available as King, so Concierge got us another room with 2 queen beds and a most amazing view of the Savannah. We had a little walk to the Concierge Lounge but this didn't stop us from making use of the lounge.

Rooms are lovely if a little on the dark side - our savannah view was pretty amazing I know we will stay here again in the future, we're sort of wishing we had points here as well as at BCV LOL

Turndown service every night!

Concierge team were really nice and even though I had been warned that the food had been downscaled we were more than happy with the offerings. We managed to eat a substantial breakfast before hitting the parks. Afternoon tea was a welcome respite and in the evening we would have cheese before going out for dinner with a glass of wine and then after dinner drinks when we returned.

We also did the Sunrise Safari at Animal Kingdom and it rocked - a great experience and a great way of seeing the safari we must have been out there for over an hour.

The pool is one of the best on property IMHO but you have to get out early to get a bed in a good spot.

The Mara has a great counter service and we ate at Jiko which we had one of our best meals.

I also went for a massage in the health club and very relaxing and enjoyable.

This was our 2nd week on property and we used this week for a more relaxing part of our stay and we did a lot of off-site stuff so it was handy using Sherbeth Road is it to take us to the 192.

March 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
New Member

Join Date: Aug 10
We stayed here for the second time, in January this year. In addition to the marvelous theming, Disney's attention to detail and the wealth of different activites available (craft making, night vision goggles, story telling by the fire pit, African hosts teaching you Zulu and Swahili etc.), what we also like about the location of this hotel is the proximity to non-Disney restaurants such as Olive Garden, as well as a huge Publix supermarket. You simply take the first right onto Sherberth Avenue and then right again at the end of the road.

The Savannah view rooms are obviously fantastic as are the food options and pool area. We found every single cast member to be very helpful and pleasant.

A trip to this hotel is certainly a treat and I would definitely recommend it.
January 2010
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Stayed here over the Christmas period and loved the hotel. We were in room 5104 which doesn't have a savannah view but overlooked the lobby, which at this time of year meant we walked out of our room onto a beautifully decorated 30 foot Christmas tree. Glad we didn't pay extra for the view because you spend so little time there it would have been an unnecessary expense. Staff were really helpful and courteous and couldn't do enough for you but we didn't really make use of all the facilities. The weather was not very warm so we only used the pool once (open 24 hours but only manned from 8-8) but son enjoyed the slide and the hot tub was amazing. Ate breakfast in Boma each morning (on the DDP) and twice on an evening. Ate once at Jiko but have to say was not overly impressed. The quick service restaurant Sana did exactly what you expect of it. There are good laundry facilities and the rooms are large, warm and comfortable. My husband used the gym once and it was very well kitted out. All in all, a lovely hotel which was well served by Disney bus transportation.
December 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Very Serious Dibber

Join Date: Jul 04
We actually stayed at The Villas at Animal Kingdom Lodge in a studio which we were lucky enough to rent DVC points for - thank you Alison you're a star :-) however there doesn't yet seem to be a category for it and as we were in Jambo House ( the main building) I hope this section will do :-) Our room was adequately spacious, well equipped with simple kitchen essentials and beautifully decorated. However as might be expected the real high point was balcony with a view over the Sunset savannah where we sat gazing in awe at the giraffers, simply beautiful. We used The mara quick service which was fine, we didn't eat at any of The table Service restaurants Boma, Jiko or Sanaa, we have previously eaten dinner at Boma while DD played in Simba's child care facility and while I enjoyed the food choices at Boma I found it a bit too noisy to relax.We liked the main pool but DD was particularly impressed with the water play facilities over in the new Kidaani Village section and is consequently very keen to go back. She also loved a free craft activity for children that was going on in the lobby and involved making wild animal mosaics with real ostrich egg shell.
December 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Very Serious Dibber

jules_c's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 05
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Lodge with our DVC points. The theming was really good with some very lovely rest areas and the lobby was beautiful. The open pit outside was lovely too. However unfortunately it had many down sides for us. We were in a studio which was located at the farthest end from the lobby and pool. It took around 10 -15 mins to get to both making it quite inaccessible for anyone with mobility problems. We had to work out when we were going to visit as it was such a trek! We had a room overlooking the Savannah and saw some animals the first afternoon, otherwise they were at the other end of the lobby and out of sight. The beds were very uncomfortable and hard. My DS could not sleep on the sofa bed whilst it was a bed and had to sleep on the settee. The restaurant Saana was lovely and the highlight of our stay both with food and service. The pool area was nice but as said it was a very long way to get there and god help you if you left something back in your room. Much preferred Wilderness Lodge for everything.
December 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [2] Value for Money [1] Overall Impression [2]
Very Serious Dibber

Torsie24's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 09
We stayed here for 2 weeks in a room on the Zebra trail with a view over the Ausha Savannah. It was the PERFECT location as we were less than a minutes walk to the lobby and restaurants if we turned right out of our door, and equally as close to the pool and Mara if we walked left.

Everything about our stay was perfect. And we can't wait to return to AKL (15 months!) Concierge was very helpful, the whole resort is gorgeous, and seeing giraffes and zebra every day from your balcony never gets old!

We thought the room was a great size, AC worked great and wasn't noisy at all, we loved the shop aswell.

We never had more than a 15 minute wait for any bus, and most times is was a lot less. The journeys never felt long, (other than to TL/DTD) as I was worried MK would feel really far away, abut we did it in 9 minutes one day!
October 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
slightly serious Dibber

enchantica's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 06
Public areas - the lighting in the lobby, corridors, bar areas etc is all rather subdued (some might say gloomy, I prefer subdued) and takes a little getting used to. The lobby area and the intersections on the corridors have lots of African artifacts on display so you're always spotting something interesting as you walk through.

The lobby area has lots of comfortable seating and a tv playing Disney cartoons. Each evening there's a photopass photographer available, and during the day they occasionally take pictures around the pool and grounds.

We didn't pay for the upgrade to the savannah view as we felt the price quoted for this was very expensive and we'd previously been told that about 95% of the rooms do get a view of the savannah of some sort. (95% is probably a little optimistic but certainly the majority of the rooms do have a savannah view of some sort)

Our room was number 2345 which, looking at the AKL map on the DIBB doesn't look, as though it'll have a good view - however, it does have a savannah view - and free! This room looks across the savannah towards Kidani village. The view of Kidani is very much obscured by the trees and as their lighting is also subdued it doesn't detract from the view of the savannah at all. There was a small "service compound" on this savannah surrounded by a bamboo fence. It looks as though it might be used for vehicles. During our 14 night stay we didn't see it used at all.

The bedroom itself was of adequate size, and was furnished with heavy dark wood furniture. It had 2 large double beds, small fridge, coffee maker, one bedside table (shared between the beds) which had 1 drawer and and open cupboard underneath. The TV cabinet had 2 drawers and an open cupboard space underneath. There is also a double wardrobe (built in) which also contains the safe. There's a ceiling fan and of course, air con which was very efficient! The vanity area has twin bowls, a hairdryer, large mirror and is well lit. The bathroom is small but adequate with a bath and shower over, as well as the toilet. There's a retractable clothes line over the bath.
The balcony has 2 chairs and a small round table and is quite narrow, but ok for 2 people. The guests laundry was 2 doors down from our room. We didn't hear any noise from this but could smell fresh laundry now and again. We didn't venture in to use it but it did look well equipped.

The pool area is clean and the waterline in the pool was scrubbed clean on most days. The zero entry part of the pool was mainly used by children in preference to the wading pool which I only saw it used once or twice - the rest of the time this was the quietest place to sunbathe. There were ample sunbeds, although they were packed in with no spaces between beds. There were a number of beds with umbrellas and lots of shade was provided by the trees around the pool area. The pool is open 24 hours a day but is only manned by lifeguards from 10am until 8pm (?) During these hours the water slide is available. Pool towels are provided and were always in ample supply. They weren't always stain free. There are free life vests available for children.
There are 2 spa (jacuzzi) pools. Only one was in use while we were there. The planted areas around the pool is inhabited by small lizards which stray out onto the paths so you have to be careful not to step on them!

I didn't use the gym but my husband did. He says it was quite well equipped and was staffed during the day. Access was available 24 hours with your room key (although I'm not sure if this was by prior arrangement as he only used it during manned hours)

There is one designated smoking area close to the pool (just outside the gym) and one outside between the main entrance and the bus stop. There may be others that we don't know about.

There are several viewing areas outside overlooking the the savannah's and usually rangers are available to answer any questions you have about the animals at these. I believe they have night vision glasses available between 8-10pm. There are also ample viewing points along the corridors, some are outside and have rocking chairs so you can sit and enjoy the view.

We tried all 3 of the restaurants at AKL. We were rather disappointed with the range of hot food available at The Mara but it was freshly cooked to order. The quick service restaurant at Pop Century had far more variety. The food in Jiko (2 dinner credits on the DDP) was ok but the service was very "stuffed shirt". We found all the food served at dinner at Boma was too sweet for our tastes.

All in all, a lovely hotel.
September 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Gone all Goofy

Mike & Sulley's Avatar

Join Date: May 09
Spent the last 5 nights of our stay here, the rooms here where lovely and big and the attention to detail where fantastic. From our room to lobby tho was a fair distance and walk which was not fun after a long day out. It was great going out on balcony and see the animals but after a few days, it was like oh another zebra lying down, so would only stay here for a few days not whole holiday. but like most disney places staff where super nice and helpful.
September 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [3]

Join Date: Jan 70
Well, what can i say! This villa is absolutley AMAZING! I just can't beleive how good it was. We went for my dads birthday and when we went and were disapointed about not getting the room we wanted they upgraded us and we got a view of the animals all the time we saw zebras giraffes i think there were buffalos and lots more! The hotel was clean and the way it was made was very african and very stunning! I just want to go back there again! the outside was brilliant too the pool being big enough for everyone the hot tubs luxourious and the restraunt the mara was fab too. You can buy these cups and just go back and refill anytime you want for free which was really good! There are other restaraunts inside the hotel which are brill and also the gift shop is outstanding aswel! It was very sad saying goodbye and i cried on the aeroplane after taking off away from the most amazing hotel ever made!
September 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


Join Date: Jul 09
I love AKL, I would stay here again if the budget allowed, yes it's slightly further away from the parks (other than AK) but that is part of it's charm for me, it allows for a slightly more relaxing holiday. The lobby is phenomenal and, in my opinion, AKL has the best hotel counter service location in Mara.
September 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

tiggerfan144's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 05
1st impressions walking into the lobby were wow. Took 10 mins to check in. Friendly staff. We had a savanah room view and the room number was 4312. Loved the room and the view even more. Didnt think we would spend much time looking at the animals from the balcony but we did. Only ate in the food court but was nice enough. Not a great variety of things to eat but adequate. A few morning i was walking round the hotel at 6am and was lovely and peaceful all the staff said hello as they were passing. We didnt have a car so relied on disney transport that got us to where we wanted to go and got us there on time even for our 8-05 Crystal Palace booking. Its a very peaceful laid back hotel and would not hesitate to stay here again if money allows
August 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Trainee Dibber

Andrina's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 10
Stayed here for a week,
First thoughts of it was wow!
Staff were friendly, location was wonderful, view of the savannah was spectacular!
August 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Very Serious Dibber

Join Date: Sep 10
Hi All

Stayed at AKL in August 09 having previously only staying in All Star Resorts, fell in love with the place so will be staying there again this August.
Some people say the hotel is very dark, it is a little dark but I think it adds to the atmosphere. All staff were very friendly and helpful and after staying in the ASR (which we did enjoy)we found this hotel very relaxing it's almost like being in two holidays in one. If you want a hotel that screams Disney then this isn't the hotel for you but if you would like your own little escape from the Disney hustle and bustle then this hotel is perfect.
August 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Apprentice Imagineer

Koalabottle's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 11
We decided to splash out and treat ourselves to a Disney hotel as we thought our trip would be a once-in-a-lifetime event. How wrong we were- we caught the Disney bug and now Animal Kingdom Lodge has spoiled us!
We arrived via coach from Sanford and the excitement grew with each passing road sign reading 'Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge'. As we turned off the main road and our view bacame filled with our first sight of the Lodge, I have to say I thought I was going to burst- it is a fantastic first sight of Disney to have!
We collected our cases and tipped the driver, then trundled our way through two sets of electric doors... and our jaws hit the floor. The lobby is simply breathtaking! The attention to detail is limitless and I swear I teared up for a second. We checked in, aided by lovely, welcoming staff and set off for our room(On the giraffe trail, I think). Which was, to be fair, about a five minute walk from the lobby but there are several windows on the way with a savannah view to keep you occupied. We didnt make any special requests about our room either, but I've heard good things about how accomodating the staff strive to be if you have specific needs.
The room itself was fabulous- uber clean, spacious and marvellously well appointed. We puzzled over the abundance of bedding but it became clear later that night- the air con is extremely efficient and we woke in the wee small hours, freezing cold! Word to the wise- we changed our air con temp daily as the mousekeper kept resetting it to be colder! Brr!
We did not have a savannah view as such, but we were at the very end of the building and a few animals did venture out our way. Again, you can't imagine how breathtakingly wondrous it is when you open your curtains and come almost face-to-face with a graceful giraffe, while zebras strut hither and thither, and African Cranes roam free, in search of a tasty morsel... honestly, its truly marvellous. You could watch them for ages, and we took to keeping milk in the fridge so we could have a bowl of cereal on the balcony each morning. Gives me goosebumps just thinking about it.
We found our mousekeepers to be excellent- we got new towels every time we needed them, new toiletries at a ridiculous rate, towel animals to greet us each day... even the flipping toilet roll end was folded into a neat point- this amused me highly! Our bedding was changed frequently (not every day, but this would have been wasteful, IMO!) and our beds were consistently beautifully made. Nary a crumb was to be found on the carpet, the bathroom suite was squeaky clean... and though the bath was low set and looked oddly shallow, it was more than ample and it was lovely to have a soak after a hard day's fun! Their job cannot be easy (have you ever had to make a bunk bed? Backbreaking! )
The pool was fantastic! Not huge but more than big enough and the kids loved the water slide- which is only open when the lifeguards were there. And such care taken over guests' safety and comfort- loungers/towels/buoyancy aids in abundance, the pool was clean and we spent many happy times there. There is a jacuzzi tucked away in a quieter spot and it is heavenly...and you can peruse a small area of the savannah, too. Just brilliant.
There is a well appointed laundry room which we used- I hate going home with tonnes of dirty clothes! Simba's clubhouse is just beside this though we couldnt convince our two to go- but it looked great!y The Mara is just off the poolside though I dont think ou can stroll in dripping- it was fairly standard Disney self-service, the food was nice and there was a fair amount of choice . Lots of seating and some screens for the kids to watch cartoons on as they munch. And Mums, too!
Back to the lobby- there is lots of comfortable seating, another big telly with cartoons showing- its weirdly discreet, mind you. There is a small area down some steps where kids can do crafts with staff, learn zulu words, listen to traditional African tales and songs- I loved this! The lobby ends in a virtual wall of windows out onto the pool area- go down the staircase here and you can use the night vision facility! The shop is just on the right as you enter the lobby and it is packed with gorgeous merchandise and a fair selection of food, medicine, newspapers. We bought milk from here, cereal (because our eldest developed a froot loops addiction, yeuch!) and every now and then, this is where the kids spent some of their daily allowance. Its really nice to wander around in, spacious and the decor is inkeeping with the rest of the hotel (that is to say, gorgeous! )
Further up on that side are the stairs down to Boma and Jiko. We LOVED Boma, the choice is huge, the food is great and the servers most accomodating. The only downside is the queue if you dont prebook- I cant advise enough that you prebook your restaurants! We loved this and will certainly be going back next time. Jiko, we didnt try as nothing on the menu appealed toour eldest but he does have a very limited diet. (Tsk!) Again, it looked great and everyone leaving seemed happy. There is also a dor leading out to the poolside between the two eateries, and a bar one flight up from the ground floor.
Back up the stairs, there is a firepit under a thatched roof structure, with high backed chairs to sit around it. A nice touch, not that we got the chance to use it, with 2 kids on the go.
One thing that some find troublesome is the distance that AKL is away from the parks- to us, this is a bonus because it kinda separates the two facets of your holiday, without the hassle of self-catering and driving every day. And the buses are abundant, clean and fun to ride on. Can you tell we loved it yet?
I have heard that some find this hotel a little too dark- we love it. The ambience is phenomenal, the hotel truly does smack of authenticity (as per, Disney have worked with several indigenous groups to create many of the features), the staff are uniformly wonderful and I cannot wait to get back.
In all truth, there were no downsides to this hotel for us. It ticked every box, threw in a pile of bonuses, gave us a massage and a sprinkle of fairy dust to boot! Thank you, Disney!
August 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Join Date: Jul 11
We stayed here for our honeymoon in 2009 and are so glad we chose AKL. The resort is absolutely stunning, and the lobby is like nothing you'll see anywhere else.
We had paid for an Arusha savannah view room and we are able to view animals at all times of the day-sitting on the balcony with a drink as the sun came up is something I'll always remember. The staff bent over backwards for us and we were lucky enough to have access to the concierge lounge where we had breakfast every morning.
The games room is great fun and the pool looked lovely though we didn't use it. We ate at The Mara one night and it was decent counter food.
Just be sure to use insect repellant as there are mozzies near all the animals and stagnant water such as near the birds.
July 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


wizzo's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 08
We were due to stay here for 3 nights and loved the hotel so much we changed our reservation and stayed for 10 days instead. Personally I wouldn't stay here without a Savannah view. That is the whole point, otherwise you could stay at Wilderness Lodge for less money and enjoy the same standard of facilities. It is bliss sitting on the balcony overlooking the savannah in the evening and having a quite drink.

The resort boasts and excellent pool and the addition of being able to use the pool next door in Kidani Village also.

The food and service were excellent throughout. Couldn't recommend this hotel highly enough.
May 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
I loved it here. We stayed for 3 nights at the end of our honeymoon and it was a lovely ending to our holiday.
We had booked a Standard room as couldn't really afford a Savannah Room. The view was overlooking the entrance but it was ok as weren't going to be there that much anyway. The room was lovely and clean and had a huge bed and the bathroom was really big! There was also a pull out sofa if you needed another bed.
Stewart was cheeky and asked for an upgrade as it was our honeymoon. They couldn't move us that night as it was Mother's Day but we could have a Savannah room for the next 2 nights. This room overlooked the Savannah and we saw Ostriches, Giraffes and Zebras as well as other things I can't remember the name of! This room had 2 double beds.
The detailing everywhere was fantasic and you did feel like you were in Africa and not Florida. We ate at Boma, the food was really nice but expensive compared to what we had eaten on I-Drive! We had breakfast there too which was really good. The pastries were delicious! We also had breakfast at Mara which was cheaper but good.
Stewart didn't think the hotel was as good as he thought it was going to be (he had VERY high expectations) but I thought it was wonferful and would stay there again if I could afford it.
We don't have children but there seemed to be lots of activites for them. The pool looked great and it was open 24/7 but we didn't get the chance to use it. We used the night vision goggles which were free. The bus stop was near to the entrance and we never had to wait long. The staff were very friendly and helpful. On our last night while we were out staff had come in and left us some chocolate mints and a chocolate heart on our pillow. Every room also got a free paper in the morning.
Watch your shins on the bed bases as the corners stick out a bit and are wooden, and hitting your legs on them hurts! The corridors and savannah look outs are a but mazelike so take your map with you to get used to the layout. I can also see what people say about it being dark but I think it is the theming but I wouldn't say it's dingy.
I wish we could have stayed there longer as it was fantastic. It would take ages to look at everything and take all the details in. Stay here if you get the chance, it's wonferful :-)
May 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Apprentice Imagineer

janine1's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 08
Have just returned today from 14 nights in AKL and all I can say is WOW! Was a little concerned after booking when I read reviews about it being dark and dinghy. I can see where people are coming from but for me the low lighting and the African decor just added to the whole experience. Found all the staff really friendly and helpful. Plenty of lifeguard supervision at the pool - which was always quite busy. The savannah view was amazing and looking out to see giraffes and zebra's from the room was stunning. We ate at all 3 restaurants and food was good. Jiko's was not my favourite signature dining but food was of a high quality. Boma was excellent for breakfast and OK for dinner (although the kids thought dinner was one of the best!) The Mara was great for quick snacks etc. The buses to/from the park were regular - longest wait was probably 20 minutes. We had a fantastic time staying at AKL and definately hope to return again in the future
April 2009
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

macl1uk's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 08
Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge is like having two different holidays at the same time, at the hotel you could be in Africa not in the middle of Disney. The hotel is thatched and everything is themed around Africa including the food. Zawadi Marketplace - the gift shop has a great selection of African artefacts including drums, Ostrich eggs, carved elephants, beads and there a few Disney gifts.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is a fantastic hotel, you will love it. We have recently returned from Animal Kingdom Lodge and this was out third time there.

The hotel is fantastic and there are plenty of viewing areas around the hotel to see the animals.

The Animal Kingdom Hotel is magical. We love Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2004 we stayed 16 nights and had a fantastic view of the Uzima Savannah even though we only paid the standard rate. In 2006 we returned for 21 nights and were initially given a room overlooking the car park, soon swapped to the Sunset Savannah, view was not fantastic, but again I only paid the standard room rate. 2009 we stayed for 15 nights and had a fantastic Savannah room (this time we paid for the upgrade).

Each room has a reasonable size fridge (empty), a large TV and DVD player, coffee/tea making facilities, a mini wall safe and the usual hairdrier.

I would recommend that you hire a car for the full period, especially staying at this hotel. Besides it being isolated, it is also expensive to eat at. This time we only ate at Mara in the hotel (self service), the rest of the time we ate off site. Boma was expensive in 2006 we could have 2 meals at TGI Fridays for the price of one at Boma. One English couple with two kids had a meal there at Easter this year, with a bottle of wine the total bill was USD150.

Mara sell refillable mugs, they cost about USD13 each and you can refill them with hot and cold drinks (excluding juices) as many times as you like at your hotel during your stay and they are a great souvenir to take home, this compares with a charge per drink of USD2.50 if you do not use the refillable mugs. Unfortunately you cannot refill them in the parks.

We love sitting on the balcony watching the Giraffes, Zebra, Thomson Gazelle, Bongos, Wildebeest, Blesbok, Eland, Impala and a whole host of other animals. Also down by the pool are Flamingos. The theme is African and very little to indicate that you might be in a Disney hotel.

Our daughter loves the place and painting ostrich eggs. I am up early watching the animals being fed by the hotel, I get some fantastic close-up photos of the animals.

The staff are friendly, but not pushy!

For a tour of the hotel:-
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wdwi/en_GB/resorts/resortLanding?id=AnimalKingdomLodgeResortLandingPage&count=1

For a map of the hotel:-
http://www.plan-a-magical-vacation.com/support-files/animal-kingdom-lodge-map-pdf.pdf

April 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

envoguemia's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 05
We stayed here for three nights at the end of our trip driving around Florida. We booked a savanna view room which was fabulous. We didnt do the theme parks so really enjoyed the evenings watching the animals. Whislt we were there they launched the shuttle and we sat and watched that go up from our balcany which was amazing.

I would have liked to have had more access to wander around outside for evening walks but I may have missed them if there were any. The rooms themselves were pretty much Disney rooms and the dressing room area was plenty big enough as we were three friends sharing. Boma was perfect as always and I really liked their shop by the main entrance, there was a good variety of Disney merchandise available. The buses were frequent and they stop close to the main entrance. We used the bell service for luggage who were excellent and did not hover or make me feel uncomfortable at tipping time.

I cant recal which savanna we were on but we watched the sun rise which was fantastic. I know you can get one which watched the sun set and if I stayed again I would like to try that one. Of all the girls I was always up way before them so used to go and sit quietly on the balcont watching the sun rise in the morning which I loved.

I would stay there again in a heartbeat
March 2009
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [4]
Very Serious Dibber

CupcakeJoo's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 08
I have now stayed at the AKL twice - once for 4-nights in July 2008 and then again for 8-nights in November 2008. (The first trip was the last few nights of our 2-week holiday - my Mum got her feet badly burned so it was a bit of a wash out! We decided to go again a few months later!)
I LOVE this hotel and can't say enough good things about it.
We have always received excellent service from all CMs.
We have eaten at Jiko, Boma and plenty of CS meals at the Mara.
The hotel was always super clean - our rooms were always cleaned very very well.
For our first stay we had booked savannah rooms. They were next to each other and right at the top of the curve. I asked to be moved as I didn't want to be next to my parents (I was with my hubby!) and so far away. They did this with no problems at all. The 2nd trip was just Mum and I and they upgraded us at check-in to a partial savannah room. They were so nice. I was 17-weeks pregnant and they gave my "tummy" a "first trip" badge! So kind!
The shop was great - we spent soooo much time wandering around and always found something new to look at (and buy!). Also great when I couldn't shut my suitcase and had to buy a new one in a panic!
We spent a lot of time just chilling in the room or around the hotel. As I was pregnant we were taking it easy, plus we had less park time as Mum won't do "big" rides and I couldn't!
There is nothing negative at all to say about AKL! We LOVED it and would definitely go back - but only after we have tried some of the other Disney hotels!
Julie xxx
November 2008
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

paulrae's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 06
Stayed here for 3 nights in a 1 bedroom Dvc villa, We were lucky enough to get a savannah view - Your are given a spotting list and we managed to get most of them! The room was really lovely - if a little dark with the dark wood furniture, but very relaxing. Staff very helpful - wonderful pool area as well
October 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Excited about Disney

DicksonGR's Avatar

Join Date: May 06
The best hotel on property in my opinion. Have stayed there six times and have booked a trip for 2009. We've had a savannah view every visit and only payed for one once, so the upgrades are common. Even if you don't get the upgrade then the hotel is still amazing. The rooms are adequate size and the staff are great. Would recommend to anyone and everyone. As many people have said we're now spoiled in that it was the first hotel that we've visited and now don't want to stay anywhere else!
July 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
I love this hotel it is so family like and I love the savana view we where going to get a car park veiw but we got upgraded! I love looking at the animals it is so nice. It is close to animal kingdom and it is one of my favourites!
July 2008
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Join Date: Jan 06
This is one resort I was absolutely desperate to stay in, after many visits for meals and looking round during previous holidays. Had a mix-up at check-in with transferring our last DDP and park tickets onto room key, but the staff were really helpful and soon sorted it, and by way of an apology gave us a free round of mini-golf each. The room was nice, but they were doing some building work and decorating at the time so the view from the room was not good and we hardly saw any animals. Did enjoy staying here, but it would not necessarily be first choice next time.
July 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [4]

Join Date: Jan 70
We stayed here in June 2008, there was good points and bad points. Unfortunately our experience didn't start very well, they placed us in a room with 1 double bed (we had booked 2) We were not willing to share a bed (brother and sister!) so we went down to reception to change. We were changed pretty quickly but in our second week they started doing work on the exterior, we had a savannah view but this was replaced with builders and cranes literally touching our balcony! We complained and got $300 compensation because there was no other rooms free to swap - they were fully booked. The rooms were pretty standard, slightly better furnishings than the moderates but nothing noticeable different. I suppose the marble worktop in the bathroom area was nice. The room was quite dark, as was most of the hotel.

The pool area is nice but again nothing special, just a basic pool with no slides or special theming.

The hotel is probably the furthest from the parks (apart from Blizzard Beach and Animal Kingdom) so bus journeys were long.

On site restaurants and shop were very good and when animals did appear on the savannah (a rare occurrence because of the works) it was great.

The lobby and parts of the hotel are beautifully themed.

Would we stay here again? no. We found the price was way too high for what were were getting. Normally for that price you could have a suite in a 5 star hotel.
June 2008
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [1] Value for Money [2] Overall Impression [2]
Imagineer

fuzzystone's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 06
The hotel was lovely, although absolutely huge. Our room was a cheaper one and overlooked the building work of Kidani Village at the side. However, there were also animals wandering past, and we enjoyed sitting on the narrow balcony watching the zebras and giraffes.
It took a LONG time to walk from the room to the lobby, but after running into Zack and Cody (from The Suite Life) in the corridor, my children were so ecstatic they would have walked twice as far!
The room was an acceptable size and nicely furnished. We didn't take advantage of most of the hotel's amenities as we only stayed a couple of nights. I'd be happy to go back, but only if we got the same cheap deal as before.
May 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
This is the only hotel I've ever stayed at in Orlando as we usually stay in a villa instead but it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. The first thing we saw as we walked into the hotel was a group of African dancers playing all sorts of instruments and the kids dancing along with them, the atmosphere was fab. The workers there are so friendly and we woke up every day with a view of the animals in the Savannah. The lobby is the best I've ever seen, really took my breath away.
May 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
We atyed here in a savannah view room for 16nights for our honeymoon and WOW! It cost a small fortune but was worth every penny, its the most stunningly beautiful, awe-inspiring, romantic and fantastic place I have ever stayed at!
The whole theming is amazing and very authentic, the view was wonderful and had me in tears every morning to see the giraffe and zebra just under our balcony, the staff were fantastic, room service first class, its just FAB!
The pool are is excellent and really spacious, the gift shop is lovely with a good mix of Disney and more authentic African souvenirs, we weren't fussed about Boma so probably wouldnt eat there again and the distance is quite far form all the parks apart from AK but we always have a car so it didnt bother us too much, would love to stay here again :)
April 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
I was asked to tag along on a trip back to the World in 2008. I hadnt been for nearly 7 years and I was dying to go back. As I didnt plan the trip initially my mates girlfriend had already picked the accommodation and they (she) had already decided on Animal Kingdom Lodge. The Holiday invoice came through and once I picked myself up off the floor, I figured Its Disney, its Deluxe..it will be worth it.

I was fairly unfazed of the prospect of staying at AKL. Back then, as I wasnt a massive fan of the Animal Kingdom Theme Park. To be honest I was just glad to be back at Disney after a regrettably long absence. As soon as we arrived through the Security checkpoint at the Lodge I was amazed by the sight of the resort. It was everything youd expect to tie into the African theme but very smart at the same time Then came a very big surprise.

At the time they where building the DVC buildings and we understood that wed be staying in a room that would give us a wonderful of the car park. Due to the renovations and the noise we where advised that wed been moved. Imagine my surprise when they moved us to .A SAVANNAH VIEW ROOM.

We didnt get the main Savannah but the one we had was still full of wildlife Giraffe, birds and a seemingly angry Zebra. The room itself had a similar floor plan to my experience of Value resorts. However there where lots of additions such a fridge, ironing board and iron, double sinks etc. The furniture itself was a big step up from what you get in the Value resorts. The balcony was incredible, an amazing view to wake up to every morning, couldnt have asked for anything more.

It was very easy to get around and we where lucky to get a room near to the central hub. I was never more than a short stroll from the bar, restaurants or shop. The shop is one of the best at the WDW resorts. Lots of themed goods and the usual WDW products. The Victoria Falls bar was fantastic a great way to spend an evening after a long day at the resorts.

When dining at the Hotel we ate at the Mara most of time, which was typical of the Disney Counter Service, you experience at the Resorts. Bouma is worth trying if youre on the DDP but Im not sure Id pay those prices if I werent on the DDP.

The pool is fantastic, very big and not too overcrowded (however it was January). There is a hot tub hidden away up near the gym, which not many people seemed to know about back then. The availability of the gym helped me to work off some of the holiday indulgences Id taken on during the fortnight.

The only downside to Animal Kingdom Lodge is that if you do not have access to car, the bus ride to the Downtown Disney area takes a long time. They drove around the back of the DTD area to drop off at the Market Place first, not good if you have tired party members.

The biggest bonus about the Animal Kingdom Lodge is that unlike any of the other resorts, it feels very much like an extension of the park. The Savannahs provide lots fantastic views with information boards and very helpful Cast Members who can tell you lots about the animals. The fire pits (indoor and out) are fantastic meeting places and there is even a night-time safari.

On reflection whilst it was more expensive after the event I didnt regret it. My stay at AKL has increased my interest in the Animal Kingdom theme park. I even took at detour on my most recent trip to explore the Lodge and show my folks. Quite simply amazing!
January 2008
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber

Join Date: Jul 03
This is my favourite Disney onsite hotel.

We stayed in a Savannah view room and no matter what time day or night I went out on the balcony, there were always animals in view.

The rooms were lovely, spacious enough for the three of us. On the table was an animal/bird guide so we could identify everything!

We ate at Boma for breakfast and dinner - very enjoyable.

I don't have a problem driving to the parks (prefer that to the courtesy buses) so it wasn't a big deal that the hotel was a little further out/had no other transportation to get to the parks.

The pool was very enjoyable, we spent a fair bit of time there on downtime from the parks.

The whole atmosphere/ambience of the hotel is second to none IMHO - front the decor to the nighttime campfire, the African artefacts to the staff.

I will most definitely return one day.
October 2007
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Join Date: Jun 07
Booked 1 night in Savannah room for DD 11 birthday. Check in was briliant we got a free upgrade to vice president suite wih concierge, was told this goes for $1800 per night! It's very dark inside the hotel, i suppose it's the themeing. The staff were fantastic, treated us like royalty and always greeted us by our names!
Brilliant
September 2007
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
VIP Dibber


Join Date: Oct 10
This resort is spectacular, and completely immerses you in the African culture. You feel as if you're in a different land to WDW while you there. The CMs are all from Africa and most are happy to share stories about their homeland. The lobby takes your breath away and we spent lots of time looking around at the African art and artefacts on display. We enjoyed hearing stories sitting in rocking chairs around the firepit at night; using the night vision goggles to see the animals and browsing the marketplace.
We had a Savanna view room and it was on the first floor of balconies, just 3 rooms along from the lobby - so our view was fantastic, opposite the savanna viewing area. Having breakfast with giraffes and zebra close by is something we never thought we'd do. The rooms are totally themed to the African safari lodge.
Mara has a good selection for CS and Boma was delicious - plenty of choice for both adventurous and picky eaters. We still haven't been to Jiko! There's a little bar area overlooking the lobby.
We had no problem with the bus service, but I must admit - it does seem far away from everywhere, we drove to parks sometimes as it seemed easier.
I've seen reviews that complain about AKL being dark, but it's all part of the theming and we'd certainly return.
Edit - we have stayed a second time, and really enjoyed it again - but our room was further along the trail and the view wasn't as good. Jiko is amazing!
September 2007
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [2] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Wow! Wow! Wow! What more can I say about this hotel, the staff were amazing, from the lifeguards to the housekeeping staff. No problem to big, we had a problem with a wet carpet in our room(just a small area). I went down to inform the reception within six minutes we had been changed rooms. Yes there are works going on. the first room we were in was 2828 and you could see the diggers not to far away. then we were moved to 2527 no sign of any diggers just to watering hole for the zebras. If you are not happy when you get there they will change your room. they are most helpful. the food is good we eat at Boma every morning apart for one, when we eat at the Mara, very much like a canteen, didn't like it! Boma was great. Would definately stay there again A+++++++++++
July 2007
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Stayed the in 2007 !
I loved it !
It probably has to be the best hotel ever !
The giraffes came as close to the balcony they could get without getting a shock lol,
It was paradise !
I would definatly stay there again ! :D
April 2007
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Stayed here for 4 nights. Found it to be very dark and a maze of corridors. Stunning theming and giraffes outside our room in the morning! Glad to have the experience but would not return.
December 2006
Cleanliness [4] Child Friendliness [3] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [3]
Relaxing at the Grand Floridian

shysarah's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 06
This was the first time my DH & I had stayed at a Disney hotel - what a start ! We stayed for 9 nights. This hotel is fantastic. Obviously I don't have anything to compare it to.
The lobby is a sight to behold, the theming is brilliant. We had a Savannah room. Lovely views of the animals from our balcony - so relaxing after the Disney parks.

If you want to stay all holiday with the Disney thing then this hotel isn't for you. You feel as if you've 'escaped' from Disney here but you're only a bus ride away. We used Disney transport all the time - excellent. Longest wait at the hotel was 10 minutes.

We didn't use the restaurants as we don't like to be restsricted by bookings (but then we didn't use any table service restaurants in Disney) so I cannot comment, however, people we spoke to said Boma was great.


The hotel was clean, staff friendly, transport good and, most of all, the hotel made the holiday from being great to magnificent - can't wait to come back !
December 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Absolutely stunning public areas. Rooms good but not much better than Carribean Beach. Very quiet and peaceful on balcony with Savannah view but not all views are good - if you have paid the extra insist on a good one. 2 weeks would be a bit long I think because of limited dining options. Be sure to spend some time talking to Afican guides - they are fascinating.
October 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Join Date: Jun 05
This is the 1st Disney hotel we have stayed in and all I can say is wow, we loved it and it has certinaly given us a taste to stay at others. I loved the savannah and pool. We stayed for 4 nights and feel this was the perfect amount of time. Highly recommened
October 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
Me-then 19-and my sister-then 15-stayed here for a week in September 2006, and this was our second holiday to Florida on our own. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the hotel was clean.

The hotel was quite close to Blizzard Beach and Animal Kingdom-but it is the Animal Kingdom Lodge-but was quite far away from EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios-then MGM- and Typhoon Lagoon. We had a great view of the animals when we looked out the windows and went out on the balcony.

We didn't get a chance to experience the amenities-as we were to busy having fun in the parks!

We ate at the Boma and to me that was an experience in itself! We also ate at the Mara, but found that at this was an over the counter restaurant, it was a lot busier.

The hotel was good and deluxe, clean, close to Animal Kingdom, but further away from the other parks, the staff were helpful, and not that we used it, had babysitting services for children ages 4-12. I would not say it was a value hotel-which is why we only stayed here for a week out of our 3 week experience.

Will come back here...One day.

I rate this hotel 8/10.
September 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

Jools99's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 03
We stayed at the AKL for a week at the end of July/August. What can i say about the AKL, other than WOW, what a beautiful hotel. The staff where friendly and always happy to help. Rooms where clean and inviting. A savannah room is a must we spent hours just sitting around watching the animals pass by. Mara is great for quick meals and is always well stocked. We had breakfast and dinner at Boma, and found the food lovely though not very kid friendly. We used the gym and i managed to have a massage which i can highly recommend. Would we stay here again? Yes without a shadow of doubt. We where very sad to leave.
July 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Proud to wear my Ears

DisneyGeorgia's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 11
Lovely hotel very stunning
but on a bad note i did not like this hotel for me as i found that unlike the value resorts you can not mess about in the pool being to loud can upset certain guest so the lifeguard tell you to lower it down.. the arcade is not amazing either fort it would be better with it being a 5* also if you dont pay extra for a room over the animal part you end up looking at the car park which we did.. very small and small range of food at the goodcourt..
June 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [1] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [3]
Imagineer

lainey5565's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 06
Just returned from 14 days at AKL. Our room overlooked the Arusha Savannah, and it was beautiful..waking up to Giraffe, Zebra and Ankole. The room was spacious with 2 double beds, and the wash area had twin sinks which was handy.
Boma was a delightful place to eat breakfast, buffet style with a very good choice of food. Mara was a counter service - but could get quite busy.
The pool has a water slide and was popular all day...its was nice to cool of in the evenings after watching the fireworks.
All in all I totally enjoyed my stay here, and Im finding it hard to find somewhere else to stay for the next holiday.
May 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Excited about Disney

Join Date: May 05
Stayed here for our honeymoon after being married at WL and it was magical!

The rooms were slightly dark but waking up to the animal was amazing and on one evening sat of the baloney watching the animals and a thunderstorm in the distance was an amazing feeling.

Sat around a camp fire being told stories and having guides answering questions about the animals is a nice touch to.
May 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]

Join Date: Jan 70
We have just returned from our second stay here. Its the first hotel we have returned to as we like to experience something different every time but this drew us back.
We found it to be so relaxing and quiet compared to the other hotels we have stayed at. Its our only deluxe experience so we can't compare with others in that respect but we felt it was worth every penny.
The decor and atmosphere were magical. The room for 2 adults was more than adequate. Our balcony overlooked the middle of arusha savannah and as such had a splendid view. I could literally open my curtains in the morning, lie in bed, watch the sun cime up and still see the giraffe, zebra and antelope. Equally beautiful was to just stop some days rather than run to the parks and just sit on the balcony in the morning, afternoon or evening and just enjoy the sights and sounds of the animals.
In the main lobby area you have Mara (foodcourt), Boma (informal restaurant), Jiko (more formal but still park attire restaurant) and Zawadi (shop). We had a breakfast and dinner at Boma and both were good. We didnt try Jiko as for the price I didnt personally see anything of interest on the menu at least with Boma as its buffet style I could try many new things. Zawadi is a well stocked nice shop. Mara is OK put I founf after 2 weeks the menu restrictive, that migh be unfair as I guess that is a genarl comment that could apply to most of the foodcourts.
The cast members were always excellent. There were loads of free activities for the kids to do. We dont have any but check the bulletin boards in the lobby or ask whats going on. Educational, fun and free! (brass rubbings, story telling, cookie decorating, bead making, animal trails etc)
We always use the bus service where ever we stay. Never had to wait more than 5-10 mins. Excellent, busses were very empty generally. 5 mins to AK and 15-20 for everywhere else.
I love this place, its the best place I have ever stayed at ever and probably ever will.
January 2006
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Getting Excited

24seven's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 05
we stayed here Oct 05 (during the hurricane )
we loved the place, very clean, fantastic food, hidden mickey search and tales by the fire pit etc for kids brilliant. would definatly stay again
October 2005
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

mariechez's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 03
Gorgeous hotel, expertly themed although a little dark. It was my first on-site experience and l really enjoyed staying there. I wouldn't stay there with my children as for me one room would not be enough but the kids would love it. Staff were helpful and friendly. Couldnt fault the bus service from the hotel. Pool area was gorgeous and being able to go and view the animals from various locations was a great bonus.
September 2005
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [4] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [3] Overall Impression [4]
Imagineer

loadsapixiedust's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 04
AKL is a stunning resort with a very deluxe feel. The themeing is gorgeous and there is lots to see and do in the resort. The detail is fantastic with some wonderful African artifacts. The lobby certainly has the wow factor. The pool is one of the best in WDW, very large with 2 hot tubs too.
The rooms did seem quite dark and a little on the small side, (we may have been spoiled by having 2 rooms at another resort before our stay here), but I am happy to lose some floor space to the baclony with the unrivalled view over the savannah. Nothing else can be quite as cool as waking up to giraffes outside your window every morning. The animals are the real stars of this resort!
We ate at the Mara (food court) and Boma and both were excellent. Boma is an experience in itself and not to be missed.
The bus service from this resort is excellent and exclusive, so even athough the resort feels quite remote, the parks are reached quickly.
Would I stay there again, you bet I would, but I would make sure I had more time to savour it!
July 2005
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
slightly serious Dibber

deano1212's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 04
What can I say. We only stayed one night and it was amazing. We ate at Bomas in the evening then sat around the camp fire outside. Words do not do it justice but if your going you need a savanah room. Oh, don`t forget to sit in the rock pools outside at night and listen for the animals. . . . . . .
November 2004
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Imagineer

goodevans's Avatar

Join Date: May 05
Just a wonderful resort with beautiful theming and atmosphere !
Great for animal lovers and very romantic too!
Fantastic food in The Boma at breakfast and dinner.
Shot ourselves in the foot by going there as now whole family don't want to stay anywhere else!
Can't wait to return!
(Never had any mossie problems there ourselves)
August 2003
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]
Administrator


SMAX's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 02
We loved this resort. Bomas restaurant is fantastic. All you can eat buffet style with hundreds of dishes. The hotel is very lush and you get a sense of luxury as soon as you enter the vast welcoming reception. Just make sure you take insect repellent as the mosquito's bite like alligators.
June 2003
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Moderator


BevS97's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 02
We had a lovely stay here a few years. I also found the rooms quite dark, but the view of the animals was superb and we were quite happy with the rooms. There was no coffee maker at that time which we missed, but I believe you can request one.
It is a very large hotel and it can be a long walk to everywhere, but the theming in the hotel is stunning and the rooms are beautiful.
We enjoyed both Boma and Jiko.
June 2002
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [3] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [4]
New Poster (4)

mickymoosewife's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 12
This is by far my favourite Disney hotel so far. The theming is excellent and that main lobby at Jambo house takes my breath away everytime I go.

We have stayed here a few times now and the whole atmosphere is incredible. The last time we went we were able to stay for 9 days and we were amazed by the activities that the children could get involved in. The cast members were fantastic with the children and our children enjoyed learning new things (including a new game - mancala, which we then had to find back in the UK).

The resturants are superb and again well themed. The rooms are very spacious and the beds are so comfortable. We have stayed in one bed and two bed rooms overlooking the safari and there is nothing better than opening the curtains to find giraffes and zebras wandering around outside your room! Truly magical!
January 1970
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [4] Value for Money [4] Overall Impression [5]
Getting Excited

bigred's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 09
January 1970
Cleanliness [5] Child Friendliness [5] Location to Attractions [5] Value for Money [5] Overall Impression [5]



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