Before we start writing and talking a little about the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.
On this post
We have to say that we are highly biased towards this wonderful Disney hotel.
That's for the simple reason that we think this is the best Resort in all of Walt Disney World. The reason?
Well, let's go to the review for you to check it out!
Well, few people know, but in reality the Animal Kingdom Lodge is divided into 2 resorts, namely Jambo House and Kidani Village.
To make it easier to understand, see the photo above.
The Animal Kingdom Jambo House is the most “known” so to speak. At the map is the one that has a “U” shape.
While Kidani Village is what looks like a “3” on the map on the side.
As you can see, both are huge and have a beautiful view of the savannah!
I ate in all the restaurants in the hotel and today I'm going to show you everything!
Just like at the resort. We will divide this post in 2 and we will open the definitions inside each of the Animal Kingdom Lodge hotels.
Jambo House – Animal Kingdom Lodge
One of the big reasons we love Jambo House and Animal Kingdom Lodge as a whole is because it achieves an unrivaled level of cultural and thematic authenticity.
At Animal Kingdom Lodge (as at Animal Kingdom), it's clear that Disney went to great lengths to avoid cultural appropriation with an idealized version of Africa.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is much more than just a themed resort. You are really inspired and educated by everything the hotel offers.
Both Jambo House and Kidani Village aspire to more than simply transport guests to a different place in the world.
The presence of ?Cultural Representatives? at the hotel really impress. In addition, the free daily tours help to gain a greater appreciation for the resort.
Thanks at least in part to this, Animal Kingdom Lodge has developed a reputation as the hotel to stay at when you want a Walt Disney World trip that emphasizes the resort over the parks.
It's a lot like Aulani (Disney's Resort in Hawaii), as a destination unto itself with so much to see and do that you won't feel like you're missing anything by staying at the resort.
While Aulani and Animal Kingdom Lodge are very different thematically, they both share that and the authentic design of Imagineer Joe Rohde and his team in common. Even when I was there this year, luckily I met Joe Rohde and it was really amazing!
Without a doubt, Jambo House is the resort I would choose if I were doing a long ?no parks? weekend. at Walt Disney World.
There is another side to this, however.
Disney fans often see Animal Kingdom Lodge as the "parkless" resort. because of the perception that it is isolated and very far from all the parks (besides Animal Kingdom).
Jambo House is actually closer to all the parks than Wilderness Lodge, for example, plus the Magic Kingdom.
The same would happen between Jambo House and any monorail resort (those where monorail passes).
I think this misconception about how far Animal Kingdom is from the parks is down to two things: the seclusion you feel at the resort and the fact that you have to take a bus to each park.
Being able to hop on a monorail, ride a boat, or even walk through a park can make a world of difference and do away with feeling like you're constantly on a bus.
There's nothing magical about struggling to fold a stroller to catch a bus, or having a standing bus during which you and other sweaty tourists are constantly tripping over each other as the bus pulls off and stops.
And really, the bus is a much less “magical” form of transport and I've had some problems, especially in times when it's very hot.
Although I doubt that the Animal Kingdom Lodge will lose its reputation of being far from all the parks, I think the opening of Pandora: World of Avatar and Animal Kingdom will minimize it.
And for us Brazilian tourists, this can be considered nonsense by many. After all, the most important thing is to be in a beautiful and luxurious Disney resort.
Now, being close to the Magic Kingdom or Epcot is the ?big deal? for many Walt Disney World tourists.
These new offerings should tip the scale for Animal Kingdom just a bit more, especially until the "new attraction smell" of rides on Pandora wears off.
Well, let's stop winding up and let's go with the hotel review
Rooms of Jambo House
While the rooms of the Jambo House differ from Kidani Village, the differences are minimal as you will see later.
I'm sure there's a deep story explaining the significance of these subtle thematic tweaks, but it probably won't be obvious.
Below are some photos of the room.
In terms of decor, these rooms are really a matter of personal preference.
They can be described as monotonous, as the color palette Colors it's not exactly light and inviting, but I love the look.
I think it works perfectly for the resort, and not every hotel needs to have an "uplifting" visual motif.
Also, these feel good without breaking the theme.
Rooms at Jambo House have a distinct character that stays true to the theme without going over the top for extravagance.
There's a lot of texture and patterning here, from the details in the woods to the carpet and wall art.
Rooms at Jambo House work very well.
In a resort where every functional design element also manages to reinforce the theme, this is important.
The rooms at Jambo House really do offer the best of both words, in my opinion.
In addition to standard room/villa sizes, Jambo House also offers 1-Bedroom, 2-Bedroom and 3-Bedroom Grand Villas.
Additionally, there are multiple classes of rooms within each size, most notably the Savannah View and Kilimanjaro Club.
We have never had a bad view at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Due to the way the resort is laid out, the vast majority of rooms offer a view of the savannah.
Due to the way the accommodation is laid out, perhaps around 10% of the rooms will have a view of the parking lot (or similar).
So you have great chances to catch a great view.
Savannah view costs extra (in points or dollars), but we think it's worth it. Especially for those who will spend a lot of time in the bedroom.
If you are going to use the hotel to spend the whole day in the park, it is not worth it because early in the morning when you leave the room you will not see the animals.
And arriving late at night, the same thing.
The significance of this savannah really cannot be overemphasized.
It really does look like an African savannah, complete with 30 different species of animals.
To have that in a hotel in Florida is pretty mind-boggling.
Fortunately, you don't have to pay extra for a better room view to enjoy it if you don't want to.
The massive savannah is right outside the lobby of Jambo House, and you can walk there (experienced animal experts are available on walking trails) or even watch the rocking chairs located on the lobby porches.
To better illustrate.
I did a review of the hotel on youtube. There you will see everything I did there!
I showed a lot of the hotel, the room, the savannah. Everything entitled to the Animal Kingdom Lodge Jumbo House.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is at the top of Walt Disney World resorts.
This is thanks to the rich theme throughout Jambo House.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a stunning piece of design crafted by Imagineers and a part of authentic pieces on display, including the largest collection of African art in the United States.
There are so many hidden nooks and crannies throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge that you're practically always discovering something new.
On a recent stay, I got lost trying to get back to the room (you laugh, but the hallways are long and sometimes confusing) and after walking in the wrong direction on our floor, I randomly came to a small alcove that had several pieces of art and chairs.
There was no reason for it to exist where it was, and I can't imagine many tourists strolling through here, but there it was. A peaceful place to relax.
I'm pretty sure this isn't the only place tucked away in random hallways at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Then there's dinner. Thanks to its lineup of The Mara, Victoria Falls Lounge, Boma, and Jiko (and Sanaa, if you're willing to walk), Animal Kingdom Lodge has a full lineup of restaurants offering a near-perfect choice on every level.
In addition to the savannah, art collection, stellar corners and restaurants, there are the expected amenities you'd find at any Walt Disney World luxury resort, from a pool with water play area to a gym and all those basics found at all you Disney resorts.
Not to mention the paid tours like the Wanyama Safari.
I know pools are a big deal for many families, and the one at Jambo House is wonderful.
It's big, lush and has a good play area.
Personally, I think it lacks a hook or defining feature that makes it stand out compared to the elite pools at Walt Disney World.
Overall, Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite resorts in the Walt Disney World, and Jambo House is our favorite wing of the lodge, truly making it the creme de la crème.
Now let's go to another amazing part of the Resort
Kidani Village – Animal Kingdom Lodge
Kidani Village at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is a more villa-style resort and one of the newest Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World.
Let's take a look at the pros and cons of staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village.
First is location. Just like we said above.
As much as I love Animal Kingdom Lodge (every time we go to Animal Kingdom Lodge I wonder why we don't stay there more often), its location in relation to most of Walt Disney World (except Animal kingdom) is inconvenient.
This is an unfortunate but necessary reality, as the unique characteristics of the Lodge simply wouldn't be possible if they were at the center of the action.
When viewed in isolation, I absolutely love Animal Kingdom Lodge, but that makes a difficult practical recommendation for guests who value a convenient location.
For first-time visitors to Walt Disney World who want to accomplish a lot or those who will need to take afternoon breaks, Kidani Village may be an impractical option.
For frequent visitors, honeymooners or retirees looking for a slower paced trip or a resort they can enjoy, I can't think of a better choice at Walt Disney World.
The biggest reason for this is the huge savannah outside the lobby, where 30 species of animals roam in guests' sight.
The savannah is amazing, and there are few things more relaxing than sitting in a rocking chair overlooking the wildlife.
It's a nice change of pace from the normal frenzy of visiting the parks, and it's by far the main attraction at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village.
That alone would be enough to rank Animal Kingdom Lodge near the top of Walt Disney World resorts, but it doesn't stop there.
The rich theme throughout the lodge is a piece of stunning design crafted by Imagineers and a portion of authentic pieces on display, including the largest collection of African art in the United States.
Meandering through the resort clearly demonstrates that the attention to detail put into Animal Kingdom was also put into the Store.
No other Walt Disney World resort makes this kind of effort to inspire and educate guests about its parent product.
I really appreciate how much more there is to Animal Kingdom Lodge than what presents an idealized version of Africa; both the Lodge and Kidani Village want more than simply transporting guests to a different time and place.
The presence of ?Cultural Representatives? at the Lodge really raise the bar on the experience. And the free daily tour is a great way to gain a greater appreciation of Kidani Village.
For me, those are Kidani Village's two biggest strengths, and while I don't think it's as rich as the main Lodge, it's still impressive.
Likewise, I'd say dining at the Main Lodge is superior, though Sanaa at Kidani Village may be the most underrated restaurant in all of Walt Disney World.
In addition to the savannah, art collection, and stellar corners, there are the expected amenities you'd find at any Disney Vacation Club (or other) resort, from a pool with water play area, to guest laundry, fitness center, and more.
Rooms at Kidani Village
Now let's take a look at the room. In this review we are going to take a look at the studio but there are also 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and 3 bedroom Grand Villas in Kidani Village.
The room is themed exactly as you'd expect based on the rest of Kidani Village, and I have to say, we're big fans of the style.
The rooms have a unique character that stays true to the theme without going over the top with fashion.
There's a lot of texture and patterning here, from the details in the woods to the carpet and wall art. Everything works great.
It looks like Disney is working to tone down the style of many of its rooms, and in doing so goes very far in the other direction, sometimes making them a little on the bland side.
Fortunately, that's not the case at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The rooms have a good balance between character and class.
By Disney standards, I thought the bed was very comfortable, but still below the level of comfort you'd expect from this caliber of hotel.
The sofa bed was also quite comfortable (for what it is).
Thematically, the bathroom looked good too, and the split approach with the shower and sink in one area and toilet behind another door was a setup that works well I think.
Having the shower also behind a separate door would have been ideal, but that wasn't a bad thing.
Directly opposite the bathroom was a small kitchen, as is the case with all Studio Villas.
This includes a mini-fridge, sink, toaster, coffee maker, and microwave.
It's a small plus if you want to make a little breakfast or a snack, but it's obviously not suited for cooking Thanksgiving dinner or that sort of thing.
That is, unless you've used up your copy of the Microwave Cookbook and memorized its teachings. (That's my kind of cookbook!)
In general, Kidani Village at Animal Kingdom it is one of my favorite resorts in Walt Disney World.
Thematically, it's second to none, and Imagineers deftly balance culture and theme with quality and luxury, without compromising either.
The only compromise here is location, and that's going to be a big issue for some people.
Location is probably the main reason Animal Kingdom Lodge doesn't get more raves from Disney fans, because otherwise it should be an easy choice for Walt Disney World's top resort.
Between the 2 Animal Kingdom Lodge options, I have to say that I'll go with Jambo House, but overall, either choice you will have an amazing experience for your vacation.
As I said earlier, it is my #TOP 1 of Disney luxury resorts, worth every penny spent.
Book the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Something we always recommend is book your hotel as soon as possible. So you already guarantee good prices and can plan the rest of your trip with peace of mind.
And of course, for your reservation we always recommend that you make it in reliable places like hotels.com or expedite and avoid falling into robbery!
For hotel, we recommend that you make your reservation through hotels.com, which is one of the best websites for hotel reservations and with the best prices. See the list of prices and available hotels here.
Make your reservation directly at the Animal Kingdom Lodge on this link.
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About the Author Carlos Braga:
Unparalleled experience in Orlando and Disney! As a former Universal Orlando team member and a passionate devotee of the magic of Disney, I have become a true Orlando travel expert. Before becoming a renowned travel consultant dedicated to Orlando, I had already made hundreds of visits to the parks, cultivating my knowledge and passion mainly over the last 7 years as a consultant and specialist in Disney travel.
My journey into this enchanted world began in 1995, when I took my first trip to Orlando. Since then, my love for Disney and the city has only grown. In 2023, we celebrate the sixth anniversary of 'Partiu Disney Parks', consolidating our role as one of the main sources of information about Disney and Orlando Parks.
During these six years of existence, we have continued to offer quality and updated content, being the reliable source for all those looking for essential information to plan their trip to Disney and Orlando. With my vast experience and passion for this magical destination, I am here to guide you every step of the way towards the most incredible Orlando and Disney experience!