Monday, October 24, 2016

Resort Review: Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Welcome to this month's Blogorail Orange Loop. Today we are sharing our reviews of the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World.

Unique. Relaxing. Stunning. Engaging. Peaceful.

If you are looking for a resort that has all of the above, I propose Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offers an unforgettable experience and transports you away from the Disney hustle and bustle, away from Florida and even away from the United States.

A Deluxe Level resort, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge has two separate but wonderful parts: Jambo House and Kidani Village. Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club property comprised of Deluxe Resort Villas of various sizes. While Jambo House does have several villas and DVC options, Kidani is dedicated for that purpose.

A Deluxe Resort with All the Bells and Whistles 

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Deluxe Disney resort located west of Disney's Animal Kingdom Park. Immediately upon arrival you'll notice the gorgeous lobby with stunning views of the 46 acre savanna. The lobby is cozy, with a wood burning fireplace and lounges to relax in.

The resort features 972 hotel rooms and 449 deluxe villas. Both Jambo House and Kidani Village have stunning lobby areas with dark wood and bright orange accents. The resort is breathtaking and cozy, and the rooms are updated and comfy. 

This resort often has a lower price tag when compared to is Deluxe counterparts. Why? I believe the answer is location. While the Magic Kingdom Resorts are a monorail ride away from the Magic Kingdom and the Epcot area resorts are a stroll away from Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge does require a bus ride - and sometimes a long bus ride - to get to the more popular theme parks.

While this may seem like a downside, I believe it is also one of the charming parts of the resort. You never feel like guests are rushing around, and the Cast Members are truly proving an immersive experience. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is an attraction in itself.

Jambo House Pool (Photo Courtesy of
Jiko- The Cooking Place (Photo Courtesy of

Dining at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

If you like unique, delicious and fun dining, you'll love the African flavors at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants. My favorite restaurant on Walt Disney World Resort property is located at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I don't award that title lightly. :) 

At Boma - Flavors of Africa, you can help yourself to an all-you-can-eat buffet, but don't expect your typical American standards. Test your palate with vibrant flavors from over 50 African countries, blended in grilled seafood, roasted meats and fresh salads. If you're looking for a great breakfast buffet beyond eggs and Mickey waffles, Boma's buffet offers delicious Kenyan coffee, African pastries, and a South African quiche to die for, called corn beef bobotie. 

Jiko - The Cooking Place is my favorite resort on property. A signature dining experience, Jiko features a blend of African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines. The menu changes seasonally, but don't miss out on the delicious flatbreads for appetizer and its always-delicious filet mignon. Finally, step back from the hustle and bustle of the parks on a Wednesday and join Jiko for an amazing wine tour of Africa. (I'm OBSESSED with African wine after my visit to Jiko!)

Sanaa, located at Kidani Village, also blends Indian and African cuisines. Perhaps my favorite part of a meal at Sanaa is the naan (Indian bread) service, that is accompanied by nine delicious and unique spreads. When dining at Sanaa, consider visiting in the afternoon. The views are stunning, but can get lost in the evening in the darkness.

The Animals...The Star of the Show

You can look at photo after photo of the resort and think it looks nice, but I truly believe you can't understand what it's really like until you go there and see how close the animals actually are. On the second day of my last trip to the resort, we took an afternoon nap and when I woke up, I opened up my window to see the most beautiful giraffe just feet away.

It's an emotional and beautiful experience that you cannot explain until you see it for yourself.

Perhaps my favorite experience is nighttime on the savanna, where each of the resort lobby areas have night vision goggles and a warm fireplace. We didn't want to leave it was so beautiful. Both Jambo House and Kidani Village had different animals, so be sure to visit both areas for a unique perspective.

On your next Disney trip, get away from it all at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. I'm confident you won't be disappointed!

For more Walt Disney World deluxe resort reviews, check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!

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