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“nice, but a little pricey for what you get” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #30 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Princeton, New Jersey
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“nice, but a little pricey for what you get”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 7, 2012

Stayed 4 nights in November at the Jambo House section of the resort for vacation in a Savannah View Standard Room. Overall, found the staff to be very pleasant, the resort itself visually cool, but the room itself to be cramped.

1) Reception: we elected to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel instead of take the Disney Magical Express bus in order to save some travel time. When our taxi reached the security gate to the hotel, the guard was somewhat hostile to our cabbie. The guard asked the cabbie for not only his driver's license, but also his cabbie's permit, not accepting his cab's medallion sticker. The guard berated the driver for not having this on hand, but let us go after checking my ID and finding I was a registered guest. He suddenly switched his tone with us and said "Welcome Home." Once we arrived at the entrance, however, we were warmly greeted at the entranceway by a staff member, who introduced us to the hotel and escorted us to the front desk. The registration staff was very friendly and courteous, and showered our daughter with Disney princess stickers and a little tiera.

2) the lobby, the hotel, and the grounds: really, really cool. I generally find hotel website pictures of their lobbies to be skewed presentations of what things really look like when you get there, but for this property, what you see online really is what you get. My cell pictures do not do it justice, so I would just go to the Disney resorts website and take a look.

The rest of the hotel is set up to exploit views of the many animals that roam the grounds. For example, between buildings are set up multiple, and different observation areas. Some are covered and have rocking chairs, others are open air and have swivel mounted magnifiers. The highlight would certainly be the elevated observation platform off the lobby, Arusha Rock, though the Disney website pictures give the impression that this is much higher off the savannah than it really is.

The hotel is located about a 20 min Disney bus ride away from the Magic Kingdom. We did not find the bus going to other hotels, but the bus was always full, anyway, when we departed for the parks.

3) the room: here was the real downside. We had a standard room (deluxe slightly larger), which was a bit cramped for 4 people in terms of finding enough space for putting the suitcases out of the way. An extra 2x5 foot alcove for suitcases would have done the trick. The balcony did afford a nice view of the savannah, but we found that the animals were not generally very active. We did see, however, lots of staff cleaning the savannah of animal poop with shovels every morning and evening. Afterall, you never see Disney characters having to use the bathroom, so why should there be poop on the savannah?

Bathroom shower/toilet area was very tight: the door swung into the room, and you had to maneuver yourself around the swing area of the door in order to get into the room and close the door.

4) the food: We tried the most talked about upscale restaurant, Jiko, and found the staff and food to be reasonably good, albeit a bit pricy (about $30-$40 an entree) for sized portions.

We got most of our meals from Mara, the counterservice restaurant near the main pool. Mara had decent food for a theme park resort (our comparison group would be Hersheypark, Great Adventure, Dutch Wonderland).

5) checkout: would have been nice to be able to view your account on your TV, but we needed to wait for the morning of the checkout in order to get a hardcopy to view. We did use the express checkout option.

Overall: you get a 4-star resort with its own wild animals, cool looking lobby, cool animal observation areas throughout, but the standard rooms are tight and cramped, certainly much more so than many of the non-Disney, newer hotels I have stayed in the Orlando area for business. Especially for the price (we probably paid about 20% more than a comparable non-Disney hotel in the area) for the room size, but then again, if you stay at the Shingle Creek or Hilton Orlando, the staff there will not be wishing you to "have a magical day!"

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Horsham, PA
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2012

Just got home yesterday after a 4-night stay at AKL Jambo House. I can't think of a thing I would change to make it better. I read lots of reviews before going. As some said, the rooms with one queen bed and bunks was small--but perfectly acceptable. All we did in the room was shower and sleep. We had 4th floor, Arusha Savannah view. We saw zebra, giraffe, river hogs, pelicans, some other large birds and animals, which is the very reason we booked savannah view. I had checked in online a few days before our arrival and said that we would be arriving around noon. We arrived a bit earlier and our room was ready. On previous trips, we had stayed at the Old Key West Resort and the Caribbean Beach Resort--liked them both.

Room Tip: If walking is not your thing, be sure to request a room near the elevators that are closest to the f...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 5, 2012

Had a wonderful stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Room was clean and neat. Great theme with animals etc. Check in easy/smooth. Room quiet and everything was in working order. Bed comfortable. Kids swam and enjoyed the pool. Food was good. Employees very friendly.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

Our family of 5 checked into the Animal Kingdom's 2 bedroom villa at Jambo house for the first time at approx. 1am. Given that it was so late, we did not pay attention to any details and went straight to bed knowing we have an early day tomorrow at the parks. Husband and I were in the master room and kids (12,11,4) in the 2nd room with bunk beds.

I was the first to awake at 6.30am headed over to the kids' room to give everyone a wake up call, proceeded to their bathroom to find a huge puddle the size of 2 soccer balls joint on the floor between the bathtub and the toilet. I was so worried immediately thinking what could have happened if my 4 year old woke up and went to the wash room and slipped in the middle of the night. I closed off the bathroom and called maintenance. Now the bathroom is off limits , maintenance came up at 7am assured me that it will be looked after by the time we get back or they will switch the room as it appears the leak was coming from upstairs .

We came back at 4 and had to take a nap so we can leave again by 6 for a show. First thing I did was to check the bathroom. Nothing was done!!! The puddle was still there and ceiling still dripping. Thing is - housekeeping had been there ... not sure if they cleaned the bathroom... which brought to my question - if they did, how is it they did not notice the puddle ?? If the moped up, why is there still such a huge puddle ? bigger than before? I was furious at this point. Called Maintenance and room switch personnel... yaddy yaddy.. no guaratees... blah blah.... so what was I supposed to do ?? they wanted to send a tech up at this point but I needed to put the kids to bed. They came anyway, looked at it super quietly.. but of cos could do nothing!!! Before I left at 6, i called front desk, engineering and told them by the time I return and ready to retire for the night, I expect everything to be resolved. Either 1) fixed the leak , or 2) move us. There is no excuse at this point, it would hv been 12 hours + since they first rcvd the notification. There is no excuse the room was not checked by the housekeeping manager and went over with a fine tooth comb for any descrepancies before it is being rented to a new guest. It is totally unacceptable.

Anyway, long story short, they called and told me, they found a room (with handicap access ) and that was why they did not offer me in the first place.! They wanted me to take a room without bunk beds which I did not ask for. I want what I booked. simple as that. I suspect they did not look hard enough initially, bcos the new room was not handicap access . It was identical. ALso proceeded to offer me a $200 compensation. At this point - I was like, " a 100% full refund would be useless if you cant switch my room or you can't give me a 2 bedder with 4 beds total." My kids need the comforts of their own beds. no amount of compensation would have mattered. They required the energy the next day for the park . Grouchy kids , from bad sleep night b4 would have made our holiday hell.

Upon returning I had to feedback to head office and they did call and apologize with another small token of appreciation which again, would not have mattered if our vacation was ruined bcos the kids were not well rested. This should not have happened in the first place.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarksville, Tennessee
Top Contributor
142 reviews 142 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2012

Quick Review:
Hotel is huge and everything you would expect from a four star hotel.
Room had a great view, comfortable bed, and bunk beds for the kids.
Staff was what makes the stay magical.
Pool was ok.
Restaurants, had three choices, all were delicious.
ALL IN ALL, A MUST!!

Now the real review:
We arrived at 0900 on the day of our check in, way too early to check in right? wrong, they checked us in, and then upgraded our room from two queens, to a queen and bunk bed, and changed our view from a standard to a Savannah view. This is all on a room that we got at 40% off, that a $2,382 room that we paid $1252 for. Only Disney would upgrade a discounted room with a smile of their face, it really set the pace for a great week.

The lobby is as it appears in all the pics, only nicer in real life. The pics that i viewed before coming did not do the details the justice they deserve. Since it was November they already had their Christmas tree up, and it stood about 20 ft high and was decorated to the hotels theme, they almost always had a photo pass photographer standing by ready to snap photos of you and your loved ones. The lobby is definitely a high point of the hotel, it is a place you just dont mind sitting and taking in the decor.

The room was average size (# 2306), the bunk beds were standard size and my two children loved them. The queen bed was nice, the mattress was comfortable and the pillows even better, this was a definite upgrade compared to our bed at Port Orleans (which we also loved). The balcony looked over the savannah and it was a great spot for the kids to eat their breakfast or for the wife and i to have a drink during their nap time, very peaceful, very special. The bathroom had an open double sink vanity with a small room that had the shower and toilet in it. Our room service lady would organize all of our toiletries on the counter, and would make animals out of the towels. She also would place the children's stuffed animal in fun ways around their beds. They loved coming home and looking to see what she would do.
-this is a side note, if you are not tipping your guest services, you need to. They have the dirties job (cleaning up after others, and they go out of their way to make it special) we would leave a dollar bill on each pillow where someone slept each morning, its not a lot, but it shows that we appreciate their extra care.

The pool was a spot i felt was somewhat lacking, it was good in size, but did not get very deep (i think maybe 5ft). It had one children's slide, but was not very fast, and most kids seemed done with it after one ride. The staff did do activities during the early afternoon for the kids and that was fun to participate in. There is a pool bar, and i highly recommend the Pina Colava, it was delicious.

The hotel transportation was one thing i had read about a lot before i came. And what they wrote was correct, this is the only negative we had. By the end of the trip we just drove ourselves to and from the parks. The buses are said to arrive every 15-20 min, but it seemed closer to 25-30, plus the travel time is longer on the bus. From the lodge to the Magic kingdom, depending on when your bus arrives could take 35-50 minutes of your time one way. This would be fine except the parks were closing 8-9 each night, and i dont like wasting an 1 1/2 in transit.

Food on site is all delicious and i have written reviews about them separately.

I highly recommend the Animal Kingdom Lodge, it was a magical stay and some of the best service i have ever received in my life. Thank you Disney.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
164 reviews 164 reviews
45 hotel reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2012

This is a top luxury hotel, with large rooms. We got a room with Savannah view and we were able to see giraffes, kudus and other animals from our room. We were deligthed and surprised for their presence. the only remark on the service is when I arrived with my daughter - a 23 years old women - they front desk agent gave usva room with a small bed and a bunkbed, totally innapropriate since we have no children and only 2 person in our part. I called to the front desk again and the agent changed us to a double room without any problem. This is Disney, a company that looks for provide the best service. Restaurants in the hotel great, beautiful pools that I did not use and Safari át. The hotel. You just need to schedule it. I loved the placê and definitely will com again.

Room Tip: If possible ask for a Savannah view room. There are standard rooms with view and it worth paying a l...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Yes there are closer hotels. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom by bus. But when you open the blinds in the morning, a giraffe is standing there! The kids love the animals, I love the animals. The rooms are pretty standard, decor in the lobby very nice. We tried two of the restaurants and both were good. Customer service was good for me, I didn't have any problems at all.

Room Tip: Just ask for one near the lobby. These hallways are LONG after a day at the park.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Address: 2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#10 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#12 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#32 Family Hotel in Orlando
#75 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 972
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African lodge-style resort amidst a 43-acre wildlife preserve. The Resort offers authentic African-inspired architecture and the kraal African-village landscape design—a semi-circle design popular in Africa which offers expansive views of the surrounding savanna and its many animal inhabitants. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Florida
Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney Animal Kingdom Resort
Disney Animal Kingdom Hotel
Animal Kingdom Lodge Disney
Animal Kingdom Lodge Orlando
Animal Kingdom Hotel Disney
Disneys Animal Kingdom Hotel
Animal Kingdom Hotel Florida

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