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Reviewed October 23, 2019

I am what you would call a hotel snob.  I like a nice and new, updated room, and when I pay a lot for a room, I expect it to be nice.  I have stayed at Polynesian and Grand Floridian many times, and I have been disappointed each time.  With either outdated rooms, service issues, or dirty sheets; there has just always been a problem.  So I have not had good experiences with Disney Deluxe hotels.

I was looking into staying at a Disney Springs hotel, but once you add in the resort fees, they're not that cheap.  Plus, the shuttle was on a schedule, so I'd likely have had to Uber back and forth most of the time.  I booked this trip pretty last minute, so I decided to see what was still available at the Disney hotels.  Animal Kingdom Lodge had a room available, and I'd always wanted to stay there. It was cheaper than the other hotel I was looking at, and I could take the Magic Express and Disney transportation, too, so it was a no brainer for me.  And I'm so glad I booked here.  It was my favorite Disney resort stay, by far!

When I got to the airport, I got right on a Magical Express shuttle.  I do wish they only stopped at Deluxe hotels since you're paying so much of a premium, but we stopped at several hotels before AKL.  The bus left at 4:22, and we were at Jambo house at 5:07 on a Wednesday.

I looked in the app and got my room number.  I went to find it, and it was FAR!  It was as far away from the lobby that you could be on the Kudu trail.  And then I got to my room and...my magic band would not open the door!  I tried multiple times and couldn't get it to work.  I tried to call the hotel because I had my luggage with me, and it was a long walk back.  She tried to fix it on the phone, but it wouldn't work, so I had to go the whole way back to the lobby.  The girl that helped me there was very nice, and she walked back with me to make sure my door opened.

Once I was finally in the room, I loved it!  I had sent a fax in requesting a renovated room (which was my priority) and a partial savanna view.  I got both!!  The room was really nice. I loved the dark fixtures and the details on the furniture to make it feel more African.  The Lion King pictures were also cute, and I loved the backlighting behind the bed.  Far and away the best Disney room I've ever had!  I have a video of the room if you'd like to see it.  You can message me since I can't post links here.

My trip was only 3 nights, and not without some issues though.  There was a giant hair IN the shampoo bottle in my room (those things are gross, bring your own).  I got sick at Boma, and I'm 100% sure it was from what I ate there.  And the balcony was full of bugs.  Dead bugs and living ones.  Just literally covered in bugs.  I never went out there.  I never even opened the door.  There were just THAT many bugs.  So having a balcony here was useless.  I mention all of this though because I still LOVED this hotel.  That is saying a lot!  And I used their communication system one night to contact a manager, and they got back to me that night!  It was late, and I assumed I'd just get a response the next morning.  I got a call like 5 minutes later!  I was very impressed with the response time with that.

Having the animals right outside your room is also a great plus.  I like unique hotel experiences, and having a giraffe outside my window is about as  unique as it gets.  I spent some time just sitting in my room looking at the animals, and that was great.

I also liked that all the hallways are inside and air conditioned.  I was really far from the lobby and Mara, but I could be inside almost the entire time, which helped.  It's also really nice if it rains.

Speaking of Mara, it was my favorite Disney resort quick service restaurant, too.  The desserts are awesome!  I really was not a fan of the zebra domes that are so popular, but the Nyala brownie, OMG, I could eat those everyday!  And I did while I was there! :)  There were several cupcakes and other goodies I'd have also liked to try.

I would like to stay here again, but the person I usually travel with needs a scooter.  Unfortunately, the only transportation from here is by bus.  Getting the scooters on and off the busses is really inconvenient, and it inconveniences other people since they take up space, and I know she hates that.  The monorail is much easier to get on and off of with the scooter, so we'd probably stay at a monorail hotel again just for that reason.  I'm not sure she'd love this hotel enough to make up for needing to take busses everywhere.  I wish you could at least walk to one of the parks from here, but unfortunately you can't.  If transportation was not an issue, I'd stay here again next time for sure.

All that being said, this is the first Disney hotel I was even slightly impressed with.  The details in the lobby and the rooms is great, and there's just so many little things that they did with the design.  And the rooms being renovated is also a nice plus.  I also spent less here per night than I ever did for a monorail resort.  If you're looking for a Disney resort that can actually impress, I'd book your stay here without hesitation.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank BSBgirl337
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2019

Despite a few little hiccups, I'm thrilled to hear you had a totally wild time at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge! As you mentioned in your very thorough review, there's so much to love about this unique Resort. From the moment you set foot in the grand lobby, you know you're in for an adventure! I am sorry to hear that you encountered a few challenges during your stay, including at the beginning of it, but it sounds like our Cast Members were able to turn it around for you; they are always happy to help!

Thanks for stopping by with such a detailed description of your visit! No matter where you choose to stay next, we look forward to welcoming you back for a visit that's just as magical.

Liz
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 23, 2019 via mobile

We thought we would take advantage of a $275 rate. BIG MISTAKE. The room was nothing more than a glorified closet. With Wi Fi that didn’t work. Maybe two places to charge your electronics. Just a full size bed. With Bunk Beds?????? If I was charged the regular price of over $450 I would have actually punched somebody. Disappointed is an understatement. Why would anyone stay here? When there are countless options just seconds away. With much nicer rooms and modern amenities. Yeah! I’m Pissed!!!!!!!

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
4  Thank 359gerarda
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2019

My 31 year old son and I checked in for a Father/Son trip. How cool was that, right? When we walked into the incredible lobby, the stunning sight just took our breath away. the African culture and majesty just set the stage for a wonderful trip. The staff is fantastic and so incredibly helpful. We stayed in the Savana King rooms which were perfectly appointed. Outside of our rooms were the animals roaming around the warm Orlando sun...wildebeasts, giraffe, zebra...to name a few. My son was over the moon! As there are no characters at Animal Kingdom Lodge--thank heavens---the animals, the genuine African artifacts, and atmosphere bring you to a place of understanding and appreciation. It literally was the perfect place and we can;t wait to go back.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Bill5042
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2019

A father/son trip is always special, but when you combine it with your own African safari it becomes something magical! From the moment you arrive, you can't help but get lost in the atmosphere that makes you feel like you are far away from Florida. It sounds like you had a perfect room, and I just love the photos you shared.

Thank you for taking the time to mention our friendly Cast Members in your review. They are committed to making sure you are having the best vacation possible, and I am so glad to hear they had such an impact on your stay.

We hope you will join us for another wild adventure soon!

Anna
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 20, 2019

I went to celebrate my birthday at the Boma restaurant, which has a fabulous lunch buffet. Afterwards we had the opportunity to walk around the hotel lobby and the surrounding grounds. The number of African artifacts on display around the lobby ad other common areas were absolutely marvelous! They are museum quality displays.

Room tip: Rooms that overlook the hotel grounds give a safari feel to your stay.
Date of stay: October 2019
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Donna W M
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2019

Dumela, Donna, and happy birthday! I think you picked the best buffet around for your celebration – not only is the food unbelievably good, the décor surrounding you from the moment you enter the lobby is worth taking the time to explore. Your photos tell me you saw it all!

Until next time!

Emma
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 20, 2019 via mobile

Animal kingdom Lodge is a beautiful high end Disney hotel . It is located in over 30 acres of land away from most of the other Disney attractions . I highly recommend a savannah view . It is so amazing to sit on the balcony and watch the animal activity . The rooms are small especially for a family of 4 or with a crib . The balcony helps expand the room size . The rooms have a refrigerator , safe and coffee machine . There is only a small table for 2 and no other chairs to sit . The bathroom has a separation between the toilet and the 2 sink vanity . There are excellent adventures held through the property such as drum playing , face painting , cookie making and pool fun . The safaris fill up fast so book them early . The night safari looks like lots of fun . The food options are limited and most other restaurants are over 30 minutes away . There is a shuttle to the Kidani village but Sana’a is often booked . The pool is nice but not much to do . The pool has a slide and playground for 2 to 5 year olds . There are a few games like ping pong available on the pool deck . Animal watching is the best activity for all ages .

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Traveled with family
4  Thank laj2e7
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 21, 2019

Jambo, and thanks for your review! I couldn’t agree more about the magnificent savanna views of this Resort hotel. There are few things more astonishing than sipping a coffee out on your balcony, watching our giraffes graze among the treetops. Even still, there’s so much to learn and do across the property, you don’t even have to leave the lobby to learn something new. I just love walking through and reading about the unique art pieces we have hanging around the lobby and through the Resort itself.

We can’t wait for you to safari with us again. Kwaherini!

Emma
Disney Social Reviews

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