Monday, April 28, 2014

Step Into the Heart of Africa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

You can find more pictures of this resort by clicking here.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is without a doubt one of the most uniquely themed resorts on Disney property.  Upon arrival at the resort, you are immediately transported to the heart of Africa.  If I hadn’t flown to Orlando International Airport, I may have actually thought I had landed in Africa! 

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lobby
The lobby has the similar awe-inspiring effect of Disney’s Wilderness Lodge.  With thatched ceilings, large wood beams and real African artifacts, you again have to remind yourself that you are not really in Africa but at Walt Disney World.  The lobby boasts a floor to ceiling window that overlooks one of the three savannas.  Just like Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is all about conservation and is dedicated to the care of animals.

View from a Arusha View Room
The Animal Kingdom Lodge has three separate savannas; Sunset, Arusha and Uzima.  The savannas are home to over 30 species of African wildlife including zebras, giraffes, gazelles and kudu.  Guests can find a Wildlife Field Guide in their guest room or ask for copies from the concierge in the lobby.  Cast members, known as Animal Specialists, are positioned around the public viewing areas of the savannas to answer questions about the animals and their ecosystems.  The savannas are open 24 hours a day so there are plenty of chances to spot the animals from the many viewing locations located throughout the resort.  The resort also has animal viewing with night vision available!

This deluxe resort has 1,293 guest rooms and is located in the Animal Kingdom Resort area.  Standard rooms offer two queen size beds or one king size bed and one day bed. There is also the option of a room with one queen bed and one bunk bed.  Rooms offer a standard, pool, savanna or Arusha view room.  The resort is situated on 33 acres of savanna land.  One downside to the location of the resort is that the only means of Disney transportation is by bus. 

Boma - Flavors of Africa Restaurant
The Animal Kingdom Lodge has three restaurants that run the spectrum from quick service to signature dining.  The Mara is a quick service restaurant located near the Uzima Pool with a savanna-like atmosphere.  This quick service option is where you can get your resort refillable mug or a tasty Mickey Rice Crispy treat.  Boma is an all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant that serves African inspired cuisine along with American favorites for breakfast and dinner.  For a signature dining experience, Jiko – The Cooking Place is a must try experience.  My husband is a firm believer that Jiko has the best Filet Mignon on Disney property.  The menu changes seasonally and has a blend of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine.  As with most restaurants, reservations are recommended and can be made 180 days in advance for Boma and Jiko.

I’ve never been to Africa but I feel like I was there after experiencing the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  I really enjoyed the atmosphere at the resort and having a savanna view room adds an extra touch of magic.  If you are looking for a unique resort experience, I highly recommend the Animal Kingdom Lodge!

Ashley

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