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“Great Disney Resort Experience”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #39 of 340 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed February 1, 2013

This was my 2nd stay at AKL, and it was just as nice as the first time. We opted not to have a savannah view this time, and just went with a pool view- which was nice. The savannah view is cool, but since we don't really stay in our room much at Disney, we just didn't think it was worth the extra money this time, especially since you can see animals roam from different common areas of the hotel (lobby, etc.). The resort does a great job of keeping everyone busy with a plethora of activities planned for all ages daily from arts & crafts, games by the pool, night vision glasses to view animals at night- it's pretty nice. I like the vibe of the hotel- it is themed very well and everything is maintained very nicely.

Cons- One con I have about this resort is that the rooms are a bit on the smaller side- but since we're not in the room much it's not a huge deal for us. Another con- I wish the bedding was upgraded a bit- at these prices, I do agree with some other reviews that I'd like a nice duvet as opposed to the tired comforters they have on the beds.

Tips- Make sure you reserve a savannah view room if you must have a view of the animals just in case they get booked up. And do try the turkey and avocado sandwich from room service- it's very good!

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank Ashley A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,960 - 3,966 of 7,029 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2013

My family and I stayed @jambo house on the 4th floor and could not have been happier. This resort is amazing, the decor is beyond words. My mother in law who has been to Africa said it felt like she had gone back. The staff is amazing and the food was great. Our room was more than spacious for 4 and very clean. We had a suite that came with Its own kitchen,perfect for those who wake early wanting coffee but don't want to leave room.

All in all I was very happy with this choice and would not stay anywhere else when next we go to Disney, my mom in law keeps asking when we going back I think she enjoyed more than my 5 year old.

Only complaint is it is a bit far from parks but buses run regularly so wait time isn't bad at all. I even left my cell phone on a bus and it was returned to the resort and held by manager for me, can't say hat for everywhere you go.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank jiffi69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

We just spent four nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge in Orlando. We stayed in a room with the Savanna View where you could always see South African Donkeys (tripadvisor won't let me use their real name) and a variety of antelope from your balcony. Staff would occasionally "salt" a nearer area to bring the animals close to the hotel. The best viewing times for animals was from 3 PM - 6 PM. This was the end of January with a 6:15 sunset so picture taking died by 6 PM. Giraffe and Zebra were hosted in front of the Arusha View rooms (more expensive than the Savanna View). Both room views - Arusha and Savanna - had a great background of an "African plain" with the addition of a hotel in your peripheral vision. Arusha vs Savanna View is a coin toss, but get a second floor room. If you are any higher your view could be limited by trees. But be advised that you came to Disney World. If you are in a theme park in the late afternoon, you will not have much of an animal experience. The food at AKL is supposedly African slanted and EXPENSIVE. Our best dinners were at Johnny's Hideaway and Carrabba's Italian Grill, both less than 15 minutes away by car off of Disney property. If you want to eat dinner on property make your reservations well in advance - weeks. We dined at Sanaa in the AK Villas (a last choice late reservation). The food was really African focused and just OK for someone with simple tastes. Not a kids place! We had the buffet dinner at AKL's Boma. The buffet was good, over-priced, and not a lot of kid food. As retirees, the kid food wasn't a concern other than I like it as I had Mac & Cheese from the buffet. The Boma breakfast buffet is excellent, but high priced. We went to the Mara for breakfast after trying Boma once. The Mara is much less expensive with a limited menu that includes danish, packaged fruit plates, and several canned hot plates, e.g. scrambled eggs, a roll, sausage, bacon, potatoes, and a small waffle for $8 - a good breakfast. This is the place to take kids and yourself unless you want to pig-out at a buffet first thing in the morning. The Mara was not at all crowded between 7 AM and 8:30 as we observed. Occupancy seemed to be picking up as we left the Mara by 9 AM.

The hotel itself is exquisite, well decorated, and "dark". We couldn't sit on our couch and read because there was no light behind it and the 3 fluorescent lights in the living area produced the lumens of 3-60 watt bulbs. But you are at Disney and are usually too tired to read in the late afternoon and evening. In the late afternoon we just watched the Savanna's critters, either from our room of from the few overlooks around the hotel. A camera enthusiast can really get some great shots by following the animals from the various overlooks. But again, I warn that the lighting is difficult in late afternoon in winter.

You are a good 20 minute plus bus ride from Magic Kingdom and, at this time of year, working with a 20 minute bus schedule thus losing an hour per day in travel time. For drivers coming from the airport, follow the Disney signs to AKL. Our Android GPS was not aware of a direct route via Osceola Parkway from Interstate 4 and wanted to run us around Disney. Take exit 65 from I4 and zip right into AKL.

Service at AKL was excellent. Disney seems to make sure employees treat guests well as the excellence was also observed in the Parks.

This was a great place to stay for a once in lifetime experience. That was our plan - splurge this once. I wouldn't bother taking my grand-kids (or kids) here as it is not a value proposition for kids. Remember, you won't have great animal viewing unless you are back at your room by mid-afternoon and if you spent the previous 6 hours in the park, the kids (and you) would be too tired. Heck, as I remember my kids, we'd end up at the pool if they had any energy left and then would have to find fast food to keep their dinner time a happy time.

Room Tip: The Savanna View is cheaper than the Arusha View and the critters you see are different. However, ma...
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank KenFromIllinois
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 31, 2013

Stayed here for a week in April, 2012. There was three of us, myself, my wife, and our 2.5 year old daughter.

The rooms were very clean and the staff could not have been more helpful or friendly. The bathrooms, while a bit small, did not offer any issues. The pool area was fantastic, I especially liked the little pool bar. The kiddy pool area could not hold our little girl's attention very long - this is about the only negative I could say about the resort, as there is not much to it and could stand to be upgraded with some kid friendly features. The kids play/splash area just outside the Jambo House resort was unfortunately closed at the time we were there for repairs/renovations, so she was unable to experience that. All the restaurants were good and I would recommend any of them to a family.

Per my wife, she wished there was more things "on the menu" at the spa. The services were limited, but good. The massage I got was excellent.

While we will try to experience many other Disney resorts in future trips, we will not hesitate to come back to this one.

Room Tip: Since there are a ton of places to see the animals throughout the resort, we opted to save money wit...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Johnny7885
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

My family/friends and I have stayed in this resort MANY times. There are now 2 different buildings named Kidani and Jambo house. The only real difference between the 2 buildings is the dining locations in each resort. Kidani village has an Awesome pool area and the parking is under the actual building. parking for the jambo house is out by the check-in area, so guests have to park, walk inside and then walk all the way to the room. I have reserved all kinds of rooms from concierge level to the regular standard room, the room that I choose the most is a regular standard room as some times I still get a view of the savannah.

There is nothing better than waking up in a hotel room and seeing animals out the balcony which has 2 chairs to sit out there.

I run a lot and there is a nice distance from Jambo house to Kidani Village and if anything you can run down to espn sports center.

Room Tip: ask for Kidani village when making the reservation for the better pool area!
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  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Bradleyv1714851
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

This is a awesome hotel. Lots to do without leaving resort. We did not get a Savannah room however we saw plenty animals around the resort. A savannah room would have been nice though. We really enjoyed the pool,movies under the stars, courtyard food, and night vision goggles. The restruants were a little different than my taste. Absolutely Love this resort! The bus wait was alittle long so plan ahead for time. You can not go wrong with this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank StarlaandJosh W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 30, 2013

Just returned from a 4-night stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We had a great view of the animals from our room in Jambo House on the Zebra Trail, #4576. We loved sitting on our balcony each morning, drinking coffee and watching lots of animals. The field guide the hotel provides added to the fun as we could identify the various species roaming the savannah. The hotel staff was very friendly and helpful. Our room had two queen beds and was very small.

We spent the majority of each day in the parks, so we only had a chance to eat at The Mara quick service restaurant for breakfast and snacks at night. The food was good, but the selection wasn't too exciting.

The lobby, pool area and other public spaces were beautiful. We wished we'd had more time to spend at the hotel.

Buses were crowded and the rides to each park, including Animal Kingdom Park, were long. However, we didn't feel like we waited too long for buses to arrive. I might recommend renting a car if you are staying at AKL.

Overall, we loved the hotel and would recommend it to others. Without a savannah view, it probably isn't worth the price as the rooms aren't large and the decor, while nice, isn't anything spectacular.

Room Tip: In Jambo House, the Zebra trail rooms have a great view.
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank UpforanAdventure
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 32830-8410
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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#13 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $342 - $690 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 972
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Step into the heart of Africa at this magnificent Resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design provides spectacular views of 4 lush savannas that over 200 hoofed animals and birds call home. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and one of the largest collections of African art in the United States as you experience your own African safari adventure with a touch of Disney magic. ... 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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