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“What's brown and woody - the AKL” 5 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 #28 of 326 Hotels in Orlando
Canberra
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
59 hotel reviews
Reviews in 49 cities Reviews in 49 cities
199 helpful votes 199 helpful votes
“What's brown and woody - the AKL”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2012

I stayed here in a Jambo House DVC 1 bed Value Villa up on the 5th floor, which I scored with an Annual Passholders discount rate. There are 12 of this category room and you cannot select your view choice (and all priced the same regardless of view) so I was very fortunate to score a savannah view (when I could have been overlooking at the front entrance).
The room was impressive in size but apparently about a metre shorter than the ordinary 1 bd villas.
Full sized kitchen, with full appliances, and enough of everything to cover about 8 people. Also it was proper crockery and cutlery (unlike Saratoga Springs where I scored paper plates and plastic cutlery). Although my room did not have the kitchen island I have seen in some photos.
dining table / bench and 2 chairs for 4 / 5 people.
one 2 seater sofa + 1 arm chair (both of which pull out to beds) looking at a TV in cabinet.
Bedroom had a small closet, TV and drawer cabinet, desk and chair, and HUGE bed which pretty much filled the room - very little space left.
Bathroom was very big - separate little toilet room, double sink, spa bath (long rectangular one) with shower over bath. Usual disney toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap - no lotion or shower cap).
Long balcony that came off both the bedroom and lounge room.

So the room was a great size esp. for me as 1 person. Everything was very clean and in perfect working order. My only complaint was that the spa was blasting out some pipe mold when used. Plenty of towels in the standard disney postage stamp size.

despite being DVC I was a cash payer so I got housekeeping daily. They did the usual job.

The whole hotel is very heavily themed with the african / Lion King theme. If it can be themed, they have. From the magnificent lobby, through to the tiles and bed head in the room. Even the timber surrounds in the room have been distressed to look older and recycled.

Service here was very good - plenty of greeters at the driveway. Car valet and baggage was very quick. No matter with whom I interacted they were lovely, reliable and efficient - the much highlighted disney service.

having experienced a savannah room I am not sure I would recommend it as essential. I found very little action outside my window - at times nothing. One could see the same thing out the viewing windows in the corridors and go to the special view platforms and walks. And it is not like there are great herds of magestic beasts galloping across the plains - it is 3 zebras nibbling the grass, or a stork wandering around. So think about whether you really want to pay extra for the view.

The resort is a long way away from the other parks. I had a car and used it to go every where - not relying on the buses which would have taken up to an hour to get you to Magic Kingdom.

it is a very popular resort and is heavily used. Perhaps there are also a lot of visitors coming to look. The lobby was always very busy and with the christmas carols, story telling, drumming and big open plan space it always seemed noisy and crowded. My room (the last in the corridor) was very quiet.

I had dinner at Jiko and went and checked out Mara (have previously eaten at Boma) they are all exactly what they purport to be - Jiko is upmarket - the food is good quality, and more interesting plates than you'll get anywhere else - very happy! Mara is your basic takeaway very similar to all the others at Disney resorts.

I really enjoyed my stay here - I had a great room - loved the theming - great service and it was useful I had a car to make it easily accessible.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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4,174 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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English first
Atlanta, Georgia
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed in a 1 bedroom villa on DVC points for the Wine and Dine race weekend. We have stayed concierge level for cash at Boardwalk and Beach Club in the past and found the Animal Kingdom Lodge concierge to be better hands down. The staff, the food offerings, and the lounge atmosphere were all really impressive. The snacks were themed to the lodge which was really neat. There was plenty of seating and it never felt too crowded. All cast members were welcoming and friendly.
Our room was just steps away from the lounge making trips for drinks or snacks a breeze.
The 1 bedrooms at Jambo are smaller than those in Kidani (missing the common area bathroom) but we had no issues. We did see a lot of wasp around the balcony but they never bothered us.

Would definitely stay concierge at AKL again.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 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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Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
128 reviews 128 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
61 helpful votes 61 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

excellent rooms, service and food. and, of course, the animals!! we stayed for 4 days in Dec. Weather was good - usually about 80 degrees for high, low 60's for low. room averaged about $260 per night before taxes, so not cheap. We ate breakfast everyday in BOMA and one dinner there, a lunch and dinner in MARA ( more casual). even for breakfast, advance reservations for BOMA minimize the wait, and for dinner, they are essential (this seems to be true of most signature Disney restaurants now - reserve at least a week in advance) Food in BOMA (always buffets) was uniformly good to great. service was also excellent with very friendly waiters. Food at Mara was different and ok, not great. wasn't able to get a reservation for JIko.
Our room looked out on the Savannah, and various animals wandered by All day - several different kinds of antelopes, giraffes, zebras, pea fowl, pelicans, etc. You will not see Gorillas, lions, tigers, or elephants from the hotel - need to go to the theme park for that. self parking is also free here, and not too bad a walk from the lodge, but guest with disabilities should use the valet parking ($15 a day). All in all, a very good experience for our second stay there.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jackson, Mississippi
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We stayed at the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge for 2 nights (1 bedroom villa). Our kids enjoyed the views from our balcony. We get to see Zebras and Giraffes being fed right outside our villa every morning. It was an experience of a lifetime. Would stay there again? ABOLUTELY NOT. We have huge issues with roaches in the kitchen. We notify the hotel staff on 2 different occasions. The second night we stayed there, my husband had to keep all of our baby bottles and plates in the refrigerators. The bathroom is another issue on its own. Every time the shower is used, the water leaks all the way to the other parts of the bathroom. It is practically a wet bathroom. We have to put the towels on the floor to keep the water off our vanity areas. There is not a single hanger around the shower area either so you have to put your clothes and towels on the floor. We notify the hotel management of the roach issue during our check out. I sure hope they do something about it.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Marblehead, Massachusetts
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 10, 2012

We just returned from a four night stay. The rooms are very comfortable, large enough with a split bathroom which makes for a pretty organized morning for a family of four. The food court, Mara, is very good with friendly staff. We like the atmosphere of the hotel although we rarely saw any animals, even night viewing. Glad we did not have a savannah room for extra money.
Check in was pretty slow with a cast member who struggled with English, had a hard time understanding questions because of that, thus the check in took a pretty long time.
Free wifi now, so great, but Disney still has no business center! One computer can be reserved to use for 15 minutes if you do not feel like taking your laptop on vacation.
Love the airline check in! Boarding passes are delivered right to your room. Very helpful.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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ft. lauderdale, fl
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2012

This hotel was amazing! You really feel like you are on your way to an African safari the second you walk in the door! We had a savanna view room, and saw giraffe and zebra the second we walked in. The Mara (food court) had pretty good food, i wish we had time to try the other restaurants. And, this hotel has endless activities for kids. The room was a typical Disney size room, a little small, but serves the purpose. As a frequent Disney guest, I'd definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Bristol, Connecticut
Top Contributor
196 reviews 196 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 74 cities Reviews in 74 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2012

This African Theme resort is beautifully decorated and well kept. My husband and I stayed in the Jambo area. We stayed in a "Vacation Club" room, from the kindness of my daughter and her husband. We were fortunate to experience Disney with our two beautiful Grandchildren after a 25 year absence from Disney. The only difference with Vacation Club, and regular rooms is the maid service. With a VC, you only get service once during the week, where in the regular rooms, maid service is daily. No problem here. We had a savannah view, and saw at least one animal each day from our window. We noticed TV reception was snowy, but I suppose Disney would rather have you in the parks. All the rooms had refrigerators and microwaves. The gift shop sells drinks, snacks and food for the microwave. Most days we ate breakfast at the quick serve restaurant Mara. There was a variety of choices which were good, but pricey. The air conditioning in the restaurant was uncomfortably cold compared to the outdoor tempts and humidity. We used the pool a couple of times. It has a gradual drop, ideal for small children, and a small slide. The dept is only 31/2 feet, with a full lifeguard staff. They provide life jackets for those needing them. My three year old grandson conquered the waterslide over, and over, and over again. They have a nice playground and area to watch the animals. We spent some time in the game room where both my granddaughter and grandson ran around to let off some energy. From here, it takes about 30 minutes to get to the Magic Kingdom and other parks. Animal Kingdom is of course closer. The Shuttles are extremely efficient and easy to use, even for the navigation-challenged senior citizens. Beautiful place for kids of all ages. I'd recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge to everyone. The only reason I didn't give AKL a solid 5 rating is because it is a bit far from Magic Kingdom and Epcot.

Room Tip: You don't need a Savannah View room to see the animals. If you want to save some cash view the...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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.
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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
#13 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#64 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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