The Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African inspired deluxe resort that consists of two separate buildings. The Jambo house was the first building which opened in April 2001. The second building, Kidani Village opened in May 2009. Both buildings share the exotic African decor and have their own restaurants and pool areas. This resort offers unique restaurants, Simba’s clubhouse zone for children, beautiful zero entry pools, and of course for most, the once in a lifetime experience to have wildlife walking outside your balcony!
Kidani Village is the DVC section if this resort. It is home to the restaurant Sanaa which means “artwork” in Swahili. Sanaa serves lunch and dinner and has a wonderful view of the savanna. Samawati Springs is Kidani’s pool area which includes hot tubs and an elaborate children’s water play area. There is a kiddie pool, snakes that shoot out water, a water fall, and a children’s water slide. Although Kidani’s lobby is not as extravagant as the Jambo House lobby, there is still beautiful African artwork and artifacts. The architect’s design of Kidani’s lobby was intended to be less conspicuous than Jambo’s lobby simply because the less extravagant lobby is more authentic to Africa’s architecture and design. I personally tend to think that Kidani is a little more remote and quiet than the Jambo house.
Jambo House, the original Animal Kingdom Lodge building has 6 floors, the 5th and 6th floors reserved for DVC members. It is home to restaurants Boma, Jiko, and the quick service Mara. Boma is a table service restaurant that serves a buffet style African inspired breakfast and dinner. Jiko-”The Cooking Place” is a signature dining experience offering African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisine. The Mara is the quick service food option at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and tends to be one of the highest rated and most sought after quick service options in all of Walt Disney World. The Mara not only offers your standard fare of burgers, fries, and kid friendly options, it also serves some of the most unique and exotic dishes on Disney property. Along with the fact that you can always find some of the offerings from Boma or Jiko in the grab and go section of The Mara.
The lobby in the Jambo house is quite breathtaking, with a huge window looking out onto the Arusha Savanna. The architecture as well as the attention to detail in Jambo’s lobby is unparalleled. When you walk through the doors of The Jambo House some of the first things to catch your eye will obviously be the large window looking out to the savanna as well as the rope bridge closing the gaps of the 5th floor over the lobby. While this floor is reserved for Disney’s Vacation Club members, all guests are welcome to take a stroll across the bridge over looking the lobby of The Jambo House.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers several different room types at a varying cost. You can choose from a Standard View, a Pool View, and several Savanna Views. Even if your wallet doesn’t allow for the extra cost of a Savanna View, you can simply exit the rear of Jambo’s lobby onto the savanna overlook. After dark night vision goggles are offered to guests. Kidani Village also offers an overlook onto the savanna as well as a savanna view for certain tables at Sanaa.
Another great thing offered exclusively to those staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Wanyama Safari. This safari is a great opportunity to take photos of the animals, learn more about the resort itself, and spend time with the members from the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The safari is for guests 8 years and older, and no more than 12 guests are allowed at a time. Included with the safari is a multi-course meal at Jiko.
After many stays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, it remains a family favorite for us. We enjoy both Jambo and Kidani, and highly recommend either. So if you are ready for an African adventure, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is for you.Share