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“A little out of the way but a wonderful place to stay at Disney”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #39 of 335 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
New Jersey
Level Contributor
121 reviews
64 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 150 helpful votes
“A little out of the way but a wonderful place to stay at Disney”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2010

Kidani Village is a new property adjacent to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The rooms are generally all suites. Ours was a one bedroom, with a full kitchen, washer/dryer and sleep sofa and sleep chair in the livingroom. Two full baths, with the master having both a whirlpool and stall shower. The room also has a safe. Internet is wired only and $9.95/day.

Service is Disney's specialty and it shows in this hotel. A "cast member" greeted our party by name as we got off the free Disney Magical Express from the airport. Special pins for the first timers and recent graduate in our group were part of the special package that he handed to us. Because it was early in the day, our room was not yet ready but they offered to text my phone when it would be available. Our room keys were given to us ahead of time and our luggage stored. Less than a hour later, while we were eating lunch, the text came through.

This resort's beautiful African decor is a mere setting for what is outside -- animals that rove the 100 acre preserve. It was incredible to observe the wide variety of animals.

The resort has its own bus area, with buses to all of the Disney attractions. This was the only negative of the location -- because it is further away from most of the parks, the wait for the bus tends to be longer than when I stayed at other luxury resorts and you only have the bus system available.

The room and hotel were kept spotless by a cheerful crew. The front desk was always eager to please.

Everything was geared towards having a wonderful time and we most certainly did. Everything was wonderful.

What also makes this resort special is the size. Unlike the larger resorts, the smaller size of this property made it seem more intimate and exclusive.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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2 Thank Often_on_road
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 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
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Virginia Beach, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 31, 2010

Myself, Spouse, and 4 year old son stayed at the AKL from 7/20-7/27 and absolutely loved it. Disney really has the vacation experience down to a science! Starting a few weeks before or trip, we received our bag tags and travel info from the Disney Magical express. I have to be honest, i was a little nervous about the Magical Express baggage pick up and bus situation. But no need to worry disney pulled it off with no problems! We just checked our bags in Virginia and through “The Disney magic” they were in our rooms by the time we returned from the park on our first night. The bus from the airport went off flawlessly. We waited for about 20 mins on the bus for it to leave. It took us about 45 mins from the time we left the airport until the time we got to our hotel. This seems like a long time, but they have a movie that you can watch on the bus (a plus for the kids) and the bus does make stops at other resorts. When we got the the AKL, our room was not ready for check in. We did the online check in, so we bypassed the long check-in/out line and headed right to the counter. The front desk staff was so helpful and happy to answer all the questions that we had. We checked in and headed down to the Mara for a quick bit to eat for lunch. By the time we were done with lunch our room was ready for us and we went right up!

The room was beautiful! We had the Savanna view room, with bunk beds. The room was a decent size. It has a mini fridge, flat screen TV, Safe, Small table ect. The BEST part about this room was the Savanna view/balcony. My wife and I spent every night and early morning sitting out on the balcony while our child slept. A few nights we could even hear and see the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom! Also, at night the giraffe would lay down in front of our room! I would recommend the 3rd floor and up, if you have a choice.

We also spent sometime every day at the pool. It was great and refreshing on those hot florida summer days! It is a large pool with a small kids type slide. I think the max depth was under 5 foot. It ha large lights that keep it well light at night. There is a small bar, and plenty of seating. They also have life jackets for kids. There is a small kids pool and a small hot tub also.

There are 3 restaurants at the hotel. We ate at Boma, and the Mara while we were there. I would HIGHLY recommend a Disney Dining plan, and the meals can be expensive. We had the Deluxe plan for everyone in our family. This includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day for everyone. We ended up having 5 meals left over and used all of our snacks. We did ask on the last day if we could exchange out some of our meals for snacks, which they gladly did at a rate of 3 snacks per meal. So we had plenty of snacks for the plane ride back! We also received 3 refillable resort drink mugs! These were great because you could fill them with any of the soda, tea, or coffee at the mara drink stand. We ate breakfast @ the Mara/Boma most of the mornings that we were at the resort. Dinner at Boma is excellent! I would recommend making a reservation though, as it is really busy. We did walk in 1 night, but had to wait 45 mins.

I read a lot of complaints about the distance of the hotel to the parks and having to wait for the bus. We only had a problem with the busses one night. The first night we stayed at the magic kingdom until it closed (to watch the parade and fireworks) we had to wait about 40mins for the bus. This was ONLY because everyone was trying to leave the park at the same time. Other then that, we waited a max of 10-20 mins for a bus. It was very easy! Its about a 20min ride to the Magic Kingdom (the furthest park away). I can tell you this, after a long day at the park, i didn't mind the 20min in the A/C of the bus. There were always enough seats on the bus.

Overall the stay was excellent and my family and I are already planing our next trip!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank bchavis054
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
32 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 26, 2010

We were lucky to have a Savannah view room at AKL during our first vacation to Disney World the week of July 17-24. It was so nice to have a quiet peaceful place to unwind for a bit after facing the heat and crowds.

Our package was booked with Westjet Vacations with flight from Winnipeg and connection in Toronto Canada. We booked the regular dining plan and 7 day park tickets (no hopper, no waterpark). We choose not to tag our bags and picked them up before boarding the Magical Express. Check in was very smooth. We were even able to get my Mom who was also visiting Orlando added to our room so she could spend a couple of days with us at the parks. As others have mentioned, this lobby is spectacular. You keep finding interesting things about it each time you walk in.

The room while not spacious (as we knew from TA reviews) was clean and comfortable. The view was AMAZING. The giraffes were out when we arrived and were usually out in the late afternoon. We also saw lots of birds, ostriches, zebras and antelope. I thought the lighting and comfort of beds, etc was fine. The hotel was very quiet at night and we were able to get a good rest after our long days.

Bus transfer to the parks was fairly efficient and we usually did not have to wait terribly long. The distance from Magic Kingdom/Epcot I thought was the biggest draw back to this beautiful hotel. We found the bus trip to be rather long especially if you didn’t get a seat. This was especially difficult with our stroller, bags and four year old daughter in tow.

We ate one breakfast and two lunches at the Mara quick service restaurant and it was good. I regretted a bit not getting a refillable mug when we first got there as it would have been handy for morning coffees and drinks by the pool. The dining plan portions are huge with a massive dessert accompanying each one. We found the two huge meals a day to be even more food than we needed. We also dined at Boma one evening. Boma was a treat with its fabulous African themed buffet.

The pool area was huge and beautiful. It easily rivals the pools we encountered at Beaches resorts. Much busier though. This pool is full of people from morning to night, much like all of Disney. Getting a lounge chair proved to be difficult sometimes with so many people at the pool and likely many not even at the pool but reserving their chair.

Services available that we used on site were the gift shop for milk /beer and souvenirs, the concierge for reservations and questions, the photopass desk and laundry facilities. In the heat we were going through clothes like crazy and needed to do wash about 5 days into our trip.

Other nice features of the hotel are the playground, the viewing area, and the activities throughout the day. This hotel could be a destination in itself and we would have liked to have more time to spend at the property.

I would highly recommend AKL to get away from it all after the long hot days in the park. It would have been a bit disappointing though if we had got a poolside room. You would lose the peacefulness and feeling of getting away from it all. It was a great place to see and stay at once. Should our travels ever take us back to Disney, we’d likely try to get a deluxe resort closer to the park on the monorail. You spend enough time waiting in Disney and we found the travel time took up too much precious time on an already jam packed schedule.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank wutnik
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lakewood, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2010

Stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo House Villas last June. I am planning another trip and was reading some of these recent reviews and I felt compelled to share my experience .This resort is exotic and beautiful the moment you walk in. The staff greeted us quickly. Check in was very fast and friendly even though they were busy. Our room was a little jaunt from the lobby where you walk out and catch the buses and the pool and both restaurants but this gave us more opportunity to catch another view of different animals as your walking through the halls and good exercise. If the boys were getting antsy while my husband and I were gathering last minute things or still getting ready, they would go to several different animal look out spots and try to name the different ones and spot any new animals. They would also go to the lobby where they played great African music and there are several comfortable spots to sit and watch childrens movies or disney cartoons while waiting. There is alot of art and interesting artifacts to see as well. I traveled with my two sons 6 and 16 and husband. Arrived on a Wednesday stayed till the following Tuesday. First night ate at Boma it was very good, large variety of food. We planned this trip to celebrate my 6 year old sons birthday and everything was absolutely amazing for him and well everyone. While the boys swam and rode the slide, my husband and I sat and watched them and sipped on a few cocktails. It was nice they had complimentary life jackets for little ones. The slide does drop off into about 31/2 4 feet of water. Wearing the jacket made my 6yr old feel much better. The pool is not as large as other resorts it is very clean and relaxing with plenty of towels and lounge chairs and the landscaping was lovely. They also have a spa which is situated over by this beautiful bird area. You can watch many different types. Again, the staff was very helpful and friendly. Housekeeping was great, again very pleasant and prompt. We took one day for some down time slept in and did a bit of laundry which was convenient to have in the hotel but we did have to walk a little bit to reach it, not a big deal though. Our room was great, clean, roomy we had a king size bed and a sofa sleeper, the bed was very comfortable and the dark blinds were very nice if you sleep in once in awhile. Sink, mini fridge, coffee maker, table chairs flat screen tv lots of toiletries, the balcony was so cool to sit out there in the morning and evenings and just gaze out at the Serengeti. Ok well almost. I feel bad for the other guests who had some issues at AKL. If they read anything about the resort they were staying at they should of know the AKL is the furthest hotel from all the parks which of course would take a bit longer. Never had to wait more than 10 minutes to get a bus only because we happened to miss the one pulling away. Your on vacation and have spent alot of money to have this experience, shouldnt you slow down a bit and relax. Instead of constantly rushing? The gift shop was great they had many snacks and grocery items you could take to your room and stick in the mini frig(cereal,milk, yogurt) and many great gifts. One minor glich we did not realize, one day we were at one park and felt like we were done there so we headed to Epcot to use another days ticket to enter there and they would not let us. We knew we had one extra park day to use since we had that lounging day and then went to Downtown Disney instead and did not use our park ticket that day. Unless you buy the Park Hopper add on you can only enter one park a day. Oh well we just went back to the first park and had more fun there and did more shopping. We did pay extra for the savannah view with our room and we loved loved it. Every morning to wake up to giraffes and zebras and amazing birds it was just incredibe and beautiful. I just can't say enough. When I told the boys we were taking this trip, this was the first place they wanted to stay. So worth it. While we were at the Magic Kingdom on Thursday the actual day of my 6year olds birthday we purchased a gift ahead of time, in which they came to our room while we were at the parked and had several different decorated boxes with different gifts inside from Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto and Tink. They sprinkled pixie dust in the room, tink was waiting for him Mickey left several gifts including his autograph and so many other gifts-cant mention them all. My son was amazed at how they knew it was his birthday and where he was staying. To walk in and have the entire room sprinkled with different size boxes and gifts was just so so Magical, if you could only see his face. Everyone at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and every park we went to made my son feel incredibly special. They wished him Happy Birthday and stop and talk to him and he was able to steer the Jungle Safari boat at the Magic Kingdom Park and wore the captain hat. Ok Ok enough there were so many magical wonderful things that happened I could go on and on. So to finish up the Tuesday day of check out we left all our luggage with the concierge staff and let them know we would be back for the Magical Express bus later to take us to the airport but we were heading to Epcot one last time and they took care of all our belongings. We still had meals on our Dining Plan that was not used. We did purchase the plan which gives you one table service meal one quick service meal and one snack per person each day. Alot Alot of food it was great What we did is we went to Epcot ordered our lunch and then asked a few people behind us if we could buy them lunch, to use up our plan so as not to waste it. They were shocked. What an incredible trip. My soon to be 18 year old wants to spend his birthday here in September. So see ya soon.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank _lovetotravel4_33514
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
78 reviews
66 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2010

Booked this hotel because my younger son is a animal lover. We are very happy since there are animal roaming around all the time in front of our room. The only thing is its inconvenience to the other theme parks. It sometimes takes more than 20 mins to get the bus you want. And once you squeeze in the bus with a lot of other people, you might have to stand for another 20 mins to get to where you want to go. I would only recomend this hotel to strong animal loving family.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank orangeyellow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Wales
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2010

We stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House, for 7 days. We were dropped off right outside the main entrance. When we entred the reception area, we immediately noticed the african theme that we had heard about. We were greeted warmly by the reception staff, they were very helpful, giving us information about the hotel, our room and what we could go and see around Orlando. There were two types of room on offer, Pool View rooms and Savanna View rooms. We got the Savanna View rooms. From our balcony we could see a whole range of animals such as Zebras, Giraffes and Wildebeests. When you're from a place like Wales, they're not something you see every day in your front garden. It was a really interesting experience. We also had complimentary bus services travelling from the lodge to the 4 main Walt Disney World Parks, the 2 water parks, and the Downtown Disney area. The bus stops were just a short walk away from the lobby.

This was our second stay in Florida, our last was 3 years ago, but we weren't let down. Thank you to everyone who worked at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and all the other Walt Disney World Parks for making our second visit so amazing!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank JJECNorthWales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Corpus Christi, Texas
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2010

I was with my kids (13 & 8 years old) and my parents (in their early 60's).
This resort is stunning! The lobby was amazing, but not too huge or impersonal. There is a small area for kids to cool their heels while adults check in, with a t.v. and a Wii station. Cast members were all over the place, all eager to answer questions and/or offer assistance.
We had a one bedroom villa, savanna view. Giraffes, zebras, ostriches, and other animals were right outside our room! The room was very comfortable with a sleeper sofa and sleeper armchair (about the width of a daybed and very comfy), plus a king bed in the separate bedroom. Two full baths and a full kitchen, plus washer and dryer. It was very spacious but still very cozy.Our room was a short walk from the lobby, and just a couple of doors down from the laundry room, arcade, and community room; yet it was very quiet. Only twice was I able to hear people chatting while walking in the hall. Noise is not a problem here...
Sanaa (restaurant) is just lovely: Indian food with some African influences (try the orange-sesame cake for dessert; amazing!). We all loved our dinners.
I worried about the distance and waiting/transit times to the parks (I read many comments online and in guidebooks from people griping about this issue). But we went in "high season" and never waited longer than 10 minutes for a bus to or from any park (and we left the parks at closing time every night we were there). Also, the buses are shared by Jambo house and Kidani village; I didn't feel that the shared route made the commute to/from the parks any longer.
I will definitely return. Only one issue: no food court. We used a meal plan and realized we had a lot of counter service credits left the night before we departed. I think if we had been nearer to a food court, we would have used them all up. (The nearest food court is at Jambo house, a decent walk.) There was a little golf cart that shuttled guests to and from Jambo house, but only in the daytime. Still, with better meal planning on my part, I will be back to Kidani village. It was a magical experience!

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
Thank starjewelmom
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

Property: 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
#12 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 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):
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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