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“great disney deluxe resort” 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 #29 of 328 hotels in Orlando
hawaii
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 40 cities Reviews in 40 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
“great disney deluxe resort”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Family of four stayed four nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge this March.

One of our family members is a disney cast member so we got a substantial discount on our room. We stayed in a third floor savannah view room for the first two nights and moved to a fourth floor savannah view room the next two nights.



Pros

-Nothing beats waking up in the morning and having coffee on your balcony with zebras and giraffes walking around outside your room.The savannha view rooms are the only way to go here!

-Rooms have a coffee maker with coffee and tea-remember budget resorts do not have this luxury which is a luxury if you are a coffee drinker.

-rooms have a small fridge

-Access to magic hours

-Boma has a spectacular dinner buffet

-Mara which is the quick service restaurant on premises serves some unique dishes which are pretty good including african stew and falafel sandwiches.
Mara is open till midnight.

-Internet/wifi is fast

-Buses to and from the parks are generally frequent and waits were minimal

-Bus stop to return to lodge is usually closer to the park than the moderate and budget resort bus stops meaning less of a walk.When we stayed at pop century last year the bus stop was the farthest away and we had to wait forever for the bus.

-Fitness center is very nice and has some free weights,many machines,treadmills,stationary bikes.Towels are available as is a changing room and i believe there is a sauna on site.Access to the gym is 24 hours with your key card which is nice.

-Large swimming pool with a small slide

-pool has a hot tub

-You have access to the Kidani village pool as well which we did not see but lifeguards told us the slide was bigger and faster at Kidani villlage

-Free shuttle runs between Kidani Village and Animal Kingdom lodge-stops running around 11pm

-Many kids activities especially around the pool

-playground on site

-Comfortable beds

-TV in the lobby area showing old classic disney cartoons all night long

- Kids will love the many areas to view the wildlife

-Wildlife can be seen day and the night.Always enjoyed staying up late watching the animals

-Staff in the savannah area keep it clean and never had a problem with any bad smells

-Close to animal kingdom as expected

-Staff allowed us a later check out when we requested it

-Staff is nice and attentive as expected at a disney resort

cons

-This hotel is not cheap and if we did not have a discount would have a hard time justifying the expense

- Farther away from magic kingdom/epcot/hollywood studios

-Savannah view rooms seem to have a view of certain groups of animals as some tend to stick more to a certain area-for example our first two nights we saw more zebras,guineafowl and giraffes from our room then when we switched we saw more gazzelles and the big horned Ankole cattle.The animals do move around so more than likely you will see a variety of animals.The hotel also provides you with a one page field guide to help the kids identify the animals

-Slide is small and slow- better for younger kids

-rooms are pretty basic and small

-bathroom is very very small

-rooms are done in darker colors to go with safari theme so not very colorful this may be a positive or a negative


tips
1.buses coming back from the parks generally stop at kidani village first and then goes to jambo house which is animal kingdom lodge.Be sure you get off at the right stop as the audio that tell you where you are does not always come on.
on our first night we got off at kidani village and because it was late the shuttle was not running and we had to walk to the lodge which is not too far but after a whole day at the parks and it is midnight the walk seemed like it was 10 miles.

2.Try boma at least once-it is probably the best buffet in disneyworld at least for adults.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (880)
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Calgary, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

If you are ok watching the animals around the property and would like a lush scenic view, ask for a pool view in the giraffe wing. Close to Buses. lobby, and restaurants. Otherwise, ask for savannah view in the zebra trail. You must try the soups at Boma rest., outstanding!! This resort really feels like home, love the African theming!

Room Tip: Zebra trail for Savannah View, pool view in the giraffe trail.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We stayed in one of the Arusha view rooms as a family of four with bunk beds. The room was quite small and the bathroom was so small it was hard to close the door sometimes. The views of the animals were very cool and the pool was okay (we were only at the pool for a few hours one day). Also, the HVAC system was terrible -- you either got heat or air conditioning - once it got to the temperature you wanted by warming it turned on the AC and started cooling back down. This system seemed antiquated to me.

This was our first time staying at an actual Disney resort and I guess I was expecting more given how well the theme parks are run. I would probably try a different one next time. Also, the shuttle system provided by Disney to the theme parks would be better if they ran more often. We waited for quite a while (about 40 minutes). The front desk told us we could get from Magic Kingdom to Downtown Disney directly with the shuttle but that wasn't true -- you had to shuttle to a hotel and then catch another bus to Downtown Disney. It took us over an hour.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 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.
Trondheim, Norway
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We loved our stay at a room with a pool view. Beautiful resort, inside and out. The kids absolutely loved the pool. Great staff and service. The best restaurants on Disney property as well. Would love to go back.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I keep trying to give this place a break. First off, because it's Disney. Secondly, because I love animals. But every time I stay here something goes wrong. I'm not sure if it's because it is such a large resort, but the housekeeping staff here is awful. I've checked into rooms with wet floors, garbage under the beds, and rooms where the garbage had never been emptied. All on different occasions. It just seems like the staff here don't really put as much effort into cleanliness as the other Disney resorts.

That being said - it is a stunning property. The lobby is amazing, the restaurants well designed, and the wine bar extremely relaxing. As for the pool, with it's zero entry point and tropical theme it makes it hard to ever get out. The food court could be better, the menu really is pretty limited.

The gift shop - every parents nightmare - has plenty to offer every member of the family. And not just Disney themed merchandise, but stuff you wouldn't be ashamed to wear in public.

Let's not forget the animals. It is absolutely amazing to step onto your balcony and see the savannah. There's always something wandering around and it is such a tranquil spot to just watch the animals meander. If you don't have a savannah view, there are plenty of spots to watch the animals around the lodge. And at night they have staff members with night vision goggles you can borrow to spot some of them hidden in the savannah.

It is a night place to stay, just check your room before you unpack.

Room Tip: The bunk bed rooms are great. You get one queen and a pair of bunk beds.
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5 reviews 5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2013

I brought my 6 year old to Disney for first time last week. The experience was wonderful!
We stayed at animal kingdom - kidani lodge. I chose this as we lived in Kenya of and on for 10 years and I wanted a taste of Kenya. The service was great and the rooms though a long walk at the end of a long day were far - were fun and felt quite African. There was a bit of a moldy smell in the bathroom- but this smelled authentic! ( also the morning outside smell of smoke reminded me of Kenya). The rooms were ok- but the balcony was great as we saw zebra and other animals day and night.
We stayed in kidani as I bought points from a condo owner otherwise would have chosen Jambo house as its much much nicer.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 25, 2013

My family and I just returned from a wonderful spring break week at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This was the second time at that particular resort in the last 5 years. It is by far one of our favorite resorts on Disney World property. The buildings continue to appear to be in perfect condition, the staff was as attentive as usual, the food above average, and the resort amenities and activities were spot-on. My children enjoyed the pool and slide tremendously, as well as the arcade by the pool. And we all enjoyed the view of the Savannahs from various areas throughout the property.

Our room (2273), which was supposed to be a standard view room, seemed to have a decent view of the Sunrise Savannah. It wasn't a sweeping view as we seemed to look over only a small pond, open areas, and some holding pens for animals, but there were many animals roaming and grazing the area every day, including two giraffes one afternoon. Since we had taken advantage of a 30% discount on our standard room, we felt lucky to have any view at all! We were expecting a parking lot view. I'm sure this was largely due to the fact that we were there before the peak spring break week which is going on now. We were there 3/17-3/24.

I had requested a lower-level room and it was accommodated. We took advantage of the free magic express program that brought us to the resort and handled our luggage and it worked out perfectly, for both airport transfers. Our housekeeping was generous with replacing towels and toiletries. We tipped them twice during our stay. And we appreciated the fact that the rooms include 2 queen beds as opposed to 2 double beds. There were no problems at all with our room.

One tip, for those wanting to stock up on bottled water for your room, do not buy the $3 bottles from the vending machines on your floor. The market in the lobby sells the larger bottles for $3.75. They are at least twice the size. We were also picking up small milk cartons from the casual restaurant The Mara until we realized the lobby market also had the 1/2 gallon jugs. The market also sells a six-pack of Budweiser for around $15 and Skinny Girl margarita bottles for $20. I realize this is much more expensive than back home in a regular liquor store or market, but we didn't have the option to bring anything like that with us, and it still beat the price of the drinks at the pool bar.

However, we did enjoy several afternoons buying great drinks from the pool bar and were served by a great staff: Bob and Laura. Both were friendly and attentive.

An accurate review of this resort would have been 4.5 not 4 but the rating system doesn't allow it. The reason for the .5 mark is that for some reason this particular week we experienced a lot of problems with the bus system. On the two days we went directly to the Magic Kingdom from our resort (Tuesday morning at 10:30 and Thursday at 7:30), we waited more than 30 minutes for a bus. The first time we got there as a full bus was departing unable to fit everyone waiting to board. Another bus did not arrive for 30 minutes, and when it did, there was a second behind it. There was an attendant helping communicate with the buses and he tried his best to remedy the situation. I felt badly for him because he had to deal with very unhappy guests. Likewise, the second time we were trying to get to the MK by 8am for magic hours. There was already a large crowd gathered. I immediately asked another guest how long they'd been waiting and she said 30 minutes. The bus arrived 15-20 minutes after we got there, so she would have waited 45+ minutes! And of course, after waiting that long, 3 buses arrived at the same time! This was hugely aggravating. Some of this could be avoided if they alternated the pick-ups between Jambo House (the hotel) and Kidani Village (the villas at AKL). The buses give priority to the villas by not only picking them up first but also dropping them off first. (I guess this is a perk of being a member of Disney's Vacation Club.) This was very frustrating because the buses would fill up there and not even come by Jambo house. This was confirmed by the attendants there those two mornings. I wish an executive decision could be made at times to pick up at Jambo House first.

We also experienced a problem trying to go from Downtown Disney to Hollywood Studios. NOTE: buses do not run directly to the theme parks from Downtown Disney!! Apparently due to the fact that people would park there instead of the theme parks and avoid the fee. We did not realize that and tried to go from DD to Hollywood after lunch at T-Rex. We were told to get on the first resort bus and get off at that resort and then get on a bus going to Hollywood. Sounded reasonable enough but the entire experience took us 1-1/2 hours in the middle of the day. A total waste of time. We had a similar problem going to Downtown Disney for dinner one evening. We asked our concierge where to get off for Bongo's and were told "West Side". As the bus drove past West Side, the driver told us that he only stops and Marketplace and Pleasure Island. We had to drive all the way to a resort and come back to Downtown. In all, another 1-1/2 hour journey.

I realize this can happen to anyone and probably could be avoided if we were more experienced Disney travelers. However, it made us very envious of the properties that were located much closer to the theme parks and attractions. AKL is closest to Animal Kingdom but we only attended that park once. Next time we hope to stay at the Wilderness Lodge. Seems to be on par with AKL and is far more convenient to MK and other locations. And we like that there are two options for getting around: boat and bus.

Overall a magical Disney vacation with transportation hiccups. I would highly recommend to anyone to stay at AKL but I would prepare them for some transportation frustrations.

Room Tip: As far as Standard rooms go, 2273 had a decent view of a partial Savannah with animals. Not a parkin...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 5
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:
#9 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#15 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#29 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#36 Family Hotel in Orlando
#95 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 4*
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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