Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is unquestionably a destination in itself. Perfectly situated just minutes from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, guests will find an African sanctuary, complete with a savannah, authentic musicians, and thatch-roofed details. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a “bucket list” resort for many guests, and I am excited to share all the details with you today.
Where is Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge located?
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is located in the Animal Kingdom area. It is set on a real-life, 33-acre wildlife preserve. Adjacent to Animal Kingdom Lodge is Kidani Village. Portions of the Kilimanjaro Safari back up to the lodge property, and it is a very short bus ride to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park.
What is the difference between Jambo House and Kidani Village?
First, they are all on the same property, use the same transportation, amenities, and pools. The difference comes in the “location” and the room type.
Jambo House is the main lodge building. Inside Jambo House, you will find “standard” rooms with 2-queen beds in them. These are your standard rooms, that sleep 4 guests, or up to 5 when one of them is under the age of 3.
Jambo House also houses 1 or 2-Bedroom villa setups for larger families. Similar to the Copper Creek Villas in Disney’s Wilderness Lodge’s main building, Jambo House houses these villa properties for guests inside the main lodge.
Kidani Village is adjacent to Jambo House. Kidani Village is all DVC villa properties. You do not need to be a DVC owner to stay there. It does not house any standard rooms – it’s studios up to larger villas.
Who would enjoy Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or Kidani Village?
Guests who want a quiet retreat, with good dining options, would enjoy this resort. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a great location for a “resort focused” Disney trip. There are a lot of great activities, dining options, and the pools are great. If your family is looking to have more resort than theme park time, Animal Kingdom Lodge is your best option.
Families who need a larger room set up will enjoy Kidani Village or Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas-Jambo House.
The Kidani Village area is so quiet. Guests can take an internal shuttle to and from Kidani Village. It has its own lobby area, and it houses its own feature pool. The Kidani Village also prices nicely, for the amount of room and amenities guests have when staying in one of these studio or villas. It is definitely a location to consider!
Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House is a great option for those who want the larger, authentic African safari experience. The theming is stunning, the lobby is amazing, and it’s simply beautiful. The multi-story thatched roof lobby is beautiful, and intricately detailed. It’s inspired by the elements of traditional African lodges. The carved wood furniture and giant windows around the lobby give it an authentic feel. You can see animals from nearly every window!
Dining options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani Village
Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to some of the more sophisticated restaurants on Disney property. Most menus feature a pan Asian and African flair to them, making it a great destination to just pop over and get something to eat.
The Mara, located at Jambo House, is the Quick Service option for guests. It serves the famous Zebra Domes, as well as some typical Quick Service menu items. The Mara currently serves breakfast and dinner to resort guests. This is also where guests can purchase their resort refillable mugs.
For guests who want a more solid meal, you can find that at Boma. Located right inside the main lobby, Boma is one of the best, yet a hidden gem, restaurants on Walt Disney World property. Here you will find breakfast, lunch, and dinner served every day, and it does require an Advanced Dining Reservation.
The Simba waffles at breakfast are so cute! And, you will find an authentic menu full of both American favorites and traditional African foods. Items such as Bobotie and Chakalaka have been known to find their way on the menu.
Perhaps one of the most famous restaurants at Disney World is Sanaa. Sanaa offers its renowned Naan bread service to guests. Sanaa is home to unique Indian foods and faces the savannah with large, floor-to-ceiling windows.
Every dish here has an authentic spin, making it appealing to foodies. Breakfast you will find such things as Shahi Tukra French Toast, Methi Paratha Sandwiches, and African Home Fries. Lunch offers Tandoori Chicken, Quinoa Vegetable Tabbouleh Salad, and Serradura for dessert. While these menus do have other offerings, the focus is very authentic and themed to the Animal Kingdom Lodge setting.
Another option is JIKO – the signature location at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Serving the Tour of Africa, Curried Cauliflower, Wild Boar Tenderloin, and some of the most delicious wines from around the world, JIKO is truly an experience. It is not just a meal. Jiko is a one-of-a-kind experience, and perfect for a special occasion.
Guests of Kidani Village will visit Jambo House for most of their dining options.
Amenities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a unique experience in itself. Guests are greeted with drumming on the soundtrack, a wood carver in the lobby, and totem poles situated in the main area. It’s simply stunning. Disney wants to connect you with the culture of Africa through your entire stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Each day, guests can interact with animal specialists in the lobby areas. Sometimes, they will offer cookie decorating or and kid-friendly culinary programs, to allow you to learn about life on the savanna. You may even find a face painter!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village are home to several pools. The main pool, Uzima Springs Pool, is located at Jambo House.
Did you know this is the largest pool on Disney property? This pool has a water slide, as well as a bubbling whirlpool spa. Little ones can enjoy the Uzima Kiddie Pool as well as the Hakuna Matata Playground. If this pool seems crowded, consider walking over to the Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village.
Kidani Village is home to the Samawati Springs Pool. While this pool is a tad smaller, it does house a large waterslide and tons of fun for your family! Uwanja Camp at Kidani Village is perfect for the kids in your family. This is a water playground for both younger and older children!
Overall, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is an amazing resort, that is budget-friendly in comparison to some of its Deluxe Resort counterparts. The remote location does offer guests the only option of Disney motorcoaches to the other theme parks, and no easy access to other resorts. However, guests will find themselves completely immersed in another world throughout their stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.