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Waking Up to Wildlife: Your Guide to Animal Kingdom Lodge | Carla Parker-Kite

Waking Up to Wildlife: Your Guide to Animal Kingdom Lodge | Carla Parker-Kite

There is something truly special about staying at any Disney property, but Animal Kingdom Lodge is perhaps one of the most magical resorts at Walt Disney World. Over the years, I’ve stayed at my fair share of Disney resorts, but Animal Kingdom Lodge was one that I had never visited until recently. 

The Property

Upon entering the property, you’re greeted by friendly staff and a stunning lobby. There are hand-carved wooden railings surrounding the property that portray several animals native to a savanna, alongside African inspired artwork throughout the resort. Overall, the lobby is stunning and blows you away the moment you enter. The attention to detail truly immerses you in the world of Disney’s Animal Kingdom before you even have a chance to see your room or take in the park.

The Rooms

Speaking of rooms - if you want to make the most of your time at Animal Kingdom Lodge, I highly recommend splurging on a Savanna View room. There is something incredibly special about waking up in the morning to see a giraffe right outside your window! If you decide to go with another room type, that is okay, too. Every room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge will immerse you into a safari experience with carefully curated design choices that inspire a sense of adventure. There is also a public viewing area for the savanna, so you can still experience it even if you do not opt for the Savanna View room.

The Staff 

If you leave the resort and come back, you’re immediately transported back to your magical oasis. No matter how many times you leave and return, a cast member is waiting at the front and saying “Welcome home” the moment you walk in. The cast members truly make the experience at this resort, and everywhere you turn there is someone with a smiling face, ready to help – even if you’re simply asking where the nearest restaurant is. 

The Food

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from within Animal Kingdom Lodge, and they are all outstanding! There is truly something for every palate. Boma is an African-inspired buffet with something for even the pickiest of eaters. For the adults, Jiko offers an amazingly elevated experience and wine tastings that give you a taste of South Africa. The Mara is a quick service location near the pool, but do not underestimate it – they have the best burgers on Disney property!

The Pools

When you’re done grabbing a bite, the pool is the perfect next stop. The pools are always incredibly clean, and they are surrounded by a lush, tropical environment. Once you enter the pool, you’re surrounded by a lively atmosphere. However, there are several secluded alcoves for those who like to gravitate away from the hustle and bustle. While plenty of people use the pool to escape the Florida heat, there is also an option for those that crave it – a huge hot tub is the icing on the cake.

Overall Experience

My stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge greatly exceeded my expectations. This resort typically prices out to be one of the most affordable deluxe properties at Walt Disney World, but despite this affordable price tag, it is also one of the most luxurious resorts that you can stay at within the park. There is something exceptional about the Disney immersion that elevates your experience as a whole. 

When staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you don’t deal with the stereotypes of being overheated and cranky at the end of your theme park day. Instead, you eliminate the hectic feelings of stress by returning to a blissful retreat to relax in at the end of the day.

Bonus Tip: Stay earlier in the week to make the most of your time at Walt Disney World! Animal Kingdom Lodge is a deluxe resort with deluxe benefits. Patrons of the property get bonus hours in the park on Monday and Wednesday night. On Mondays, guests can secure an additional 2 hours at Epcot, and on Wednesdays, guests get an additional 2 hours at Magic Kingdom.

Ready to plan your stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge? Set up a time to chat with me or request a proposal today.