Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are reviewing Walt Disney World deluxe resorts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my absolute favorite Disney Resorts. There is something so unique and relaxing about the property, and my son adores watching the animals from the many viewing spots throughout the resort. There are also a lot of special activities and amenities that only add to the charm of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and whether you are staying at Jambo House or Kidani Village there is definitley something for everyone.
Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village Overview
Animal Kingdom Lodge is situated near Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge theme park, and as such has a style similar to what you might find if you were staying on an African reserve. The resort is separated into two sides, Jambo House and Kidani Village, with an internal shuttle running between sides in order to allow guests to enjoy the amenities of both resorts. Jambo House is the traditional Disney Resort side, with a couple of floors having been converted to DVC rooms, and Kidani Village is all DVC studios and villas. The conical-domed roofs give off the appearance of thatched roofs and are inspired by traditional African architecture, and the large picture windows overlooking the savannas from the lobby bring in the natural sunlight while being highlighted by what appear to be large vines. The colors within the resort are those of the earth, with lots of browns, taupes and oranges throughout, and African artifacts adorn the lobbies and hallways of both Jambo House and Kidani Village. The lobbies themselves are grand and truly breath-taking!
Resort rooms on property follow the same style as the lobbies, and there are numerous different room catagories availabile at both properties including standard rooms, savanna view rooms, bunk bed rooms, and villas from studio to 3-bedroom grand villas. Personally we have stayed in a standard view one-bedroom and a savanna view studio, both at the Kidani Village side of the property. We adored the one-bedroom with it’s Lion King tiles in the shower, oversized jacuzzi tub, full kitchen and two full bathrooms, and we found our studio to have adequate space and storage for our family of three (much, much larger than the size of the studios at Bay Lake Tower). The one downside we found in both rooms involves lighting. Because the rooms are decorated in dark woods and designed to make you feel as though you are “camping” on the savanna they are dark. I highly, highly recommend traveling with a make-up mirror!
Authentic Dining Experiences
Dining options at Animal Kingdom Lodge are numerous, and all are delicious. From Sanaa at Kidani Village (a personal favorite) to The Mara, Boma and Jiko at Jambo House you can’t go wrong. Sanaa features the most amazing bread service and butter chicken you will ever taste, Boma has a buffet that is unrivaled by any other restaurant at Walt Disney World, featuring some of the best soup dishes you could possibly enjoy, and The Mara is a perfect place to grab a quick lunch, featuring both African-inspired dishes (including the famed Zebra Domes) and standard American fare. And while I haven’t had the opportunity to dine at Jiko I have heard nothing but amazing things about this Walt Disney World Signature Restuarant. And I’m not even mentioning the amazing bars and lounges throughout the property.
You can also find two lovely resort shops located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Johari Treasures is a small store front located at Kidani Village featuring a relatively limited amount of merchandise, much of which is DVC branded, and also a cooler area and refillable mug station. Zawadi Traders at Jambo House, on the other hand, is one of the largest resort gift shops on property. It features an extensive assortment of merchandise ranging from run-of-the-house Disney Parks items to masks and carvings from African artisans and books about various African cultures, as well as a nice selection of food and drink.
A few of the things that set Animal Kingdom Lodge apart from other Disney Resort hotels are the cultural offerings at the resort. In each lobby you will find cultural representatives from various African nations there to interact with guests. Children can take part in games designed to teach them about life in Africa, collecting beads and country cards as they go, and at night you can enjoy night-vision viewing of the animals on the savanna’s located at Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are also two special safari experiences available (at a cost) only to guests staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, The Sunrise Safari which is available to concierge and DVC guests, and the Nightime Safari which is available to all guests staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (Jambo and Kidani). You can also sign up for daily tours of the resort where you learn about the cultural significance of many of the artifacts, as well as about the Imagineering of the overall resort, and tours of Sanaa where you learn about this unique restaurant (and get to sample the delicious bread service at the end). Both the resort and restaurant tours are free.
Animal Kingdom Lodge, while a Deluxe property, is on the lower end of the Deluxe Resort pricing spectrum, making it a fantastic venture for those seeking to try a deluxe property out. It is well priced, absolutely gorgeous, and a unique combination of African-inspiration and Disney Magic. Whether you are staying at Jambo House or Kidani Village you will find yourself immersed in a completely new experience and might even find yourself forgetting you’re at Walt Disney World as you sit on the patio and watch the zebras, girrafes, and other animals graze upon the savanna.
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!
Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Orange | Walt Disney World Deluxe Resort Reviews Loop:
- 1st Stop – Family Travel Escapades | Bay Lake Tower
- 2nd Stop – The Delightful Life | Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club Resorts
- 3rd Stop – Rolling with the Magic | Disney’s Boardwalk Inn
- 4th Stop – My Dreams of Disney | Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
- 5th Stop – Disney Mamas | Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Kidani Village