Reviews of Animal Kingdom Lodge JAMBO House (Disney Vacation Club)
Opened in existing Animal Kingdom Lodge July 2007.
For full details, Fact Sheet, Photos and Videos visit: http://allears.net/acc/akv.htm
Reviewed by jking6 Review Date: 01/07/2013
Rating: (8) Recommended
We just stayed there during the holidays. Friendly, nice pool area, beds ok, I have had more comfortable. I just thought it was too far away from all the parks except AK. If I was doing resort only, then I would go back. The savana was awesome we loved the animals.
Pros:pool, friendly CM's and Savana (loved the Zebras and Giraffes
Cons:far from MK, Epcot
Reviewed by Wykdg Review Date: 01/16/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
We stayed here Jan. 1-5. Our first time staying here. It is a beautiful, unique resort. The animals were abundant. Be sure to watch the savannah through the night vision goggles. We stayed in a DVC studio and it was spacious and comfortable. We could see across the savannah to the Christmas tree in the lobby of Kidani Village from our balcony.
The staff was fantastic, especially the concierge staff. Check-in was fast and easy. We had done online check-in.
We enjoyed a dinner at Mara our first night. We also had a breakfast there and enjoyed the selections. This is the only location to refill mugs. Since our room was nowhere close to Mara, we did not fill our mugs very often. The location of Mara is not on the way in or out of Jambo House, so filling mugs is not very accessible.
We had breakfast at Boma and it was fantastic! This was on our last morning there and we shall return in the future.
The gift shop in Jambo House is one of the best resort shops. There are many items unique to AKL.
The only con about AKL is the time it takes to travel anywhere else (except AK). In our short 3 days at WDW, we felt we spent too many hours waiting for/traveling on busses. We usually stay at the Beach Club Villas and have become spoiled at being just minutes away from 2 parks and mini-golf.
A family could enjoy a vacation here without even needing to go anywhere else!
Pros:Gorgeous setting, decor, great staff
Cons:Took a long time to get anywhere on busses
Reviewed by Fishfamily Review Date: 01/23/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
My family really enjoyed this hotel. The check-in went fine and we got a room with a view of one of the savannahs. I think we were upgraded, we paid for the cheapest available. We had a studio with a fridge and balcony. We appreciated both. We could put the kids down and sit on the balcony until it was adult bedtime. And we stocked the fridge with soft drinks, milk, bread, etc that saved us some decent money over the course of a week. It is neat to see the various animals and using the night vision goggles was really special. I will say the animals you see are antelope, cattle and giraffe. One family was arguing that you can see lions from one side of the lodge. That's just not true and pretty ridiculous if you think about it. The pool is spectacular, we went three times with little kids, having life jackets for the younger ones is great. My kids are 4 and 2 and were intimidated by the slide. I suspect a boy older than 8 will find the slide pretty mundane. Having been to Africa myself I LOVED the theming. You feel like you're there with all the art and wood and so on. I liked everything about the hotel but the location, it's a long ride to Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are very close. The wait for the buses could be up to 40 minutes and yes, they stop at Kidani first so there's a chance you might not all get to sit together. That said, this is a really nice resort.
Pros:Theming of lodge, animals, pool, Boma breakfast
Cons:Long bus rides to MK and Epcot
Reviewed by Disney6Pack Review Date: 02/28/2013
Rating: (8) Recommended
Stayed four nights in a standard view studio 2/9 â€“ 2/13 on rented vacation club points. My group was me, DD15, DD13, and DD10. This was a surprise vacation for my DD13â€™s 14th birthday since they were off from school for Mardi Gras break. Drove overnight and arrived early at 8am. Had done online check-in 10 days prior with no special requests (other than noting the birthday) because I wasnâ€™t familiar with the layout of this resort. When I checked in, they said no rooms were ready that early. I asked to see a layout of the resort and an explanation of where the studios were located. I wanted easy access to bus, food, and pool. They said they could give me a room facing the pool on the main lobby on the 5th floor and they would text me the room number when it was ready. Never received text message with room assignment, and Iâ€™ve always received the text during other stays on Disney property. CM did give me a Birthday button for my daughter. Since we drove, we left all our stuff in the van, changed clothes in the locker room by the pool, then headed to Universal Studios for the day. I know, how could I do thatâ€¦ well Universal was having a Mardi Gras parade and concert that evening and we wanted to enjoy that during this trip. Arrived back at the resort at around 10:30pm and had to go to front desk for room assignment and keys. Had the bell-hop bring our luggage up to room. He was very friendly; asking if we had any questions about the layout or amenities of the resort, and provided some useful information about pool and activities. He asked us where we were from (Louisiana â€“ escaping the crazy Mardi Gras people) and said that over half of the resort was full with La people with the same idea. Didnâ€™t realize that we were going to be there during the cheerleading competitions, so there were a lot of cheerleaders around the resort (the resort was â€œat capacityâ€ according to the CM who checked us in). Didnâ€™t have any issues with them at the hotel, but we encountered a lot of rude behavior by them at the parks.
Since this was a short trip, we didn't spend much time at the resort. Room was somewhat clean. Bedroom and bathroom appeared to be clean enough, but I did see some dust in bedroom. I dropped something in the sink area. When I retrieved it from the floor, I noticed that the floor under the sinks was extremely dirty (which was extremely gross to me). The lighting here is extremely dim. We would open the curtains if we were there during the daytime if we needed to be able to see anything. There was barely enough space and storage for four people for a four night stay, but if we would have had more clothes then we wouldnâ€™t have had enough room. I tried the sofa sleeper and found it a bit uncomfortable myself, but DD15 and DD13 slept on it and said it was fine. I thought the bed was too soft (Iâ€™m used to a more firm mattress) so I woke every morning with a slight backache. The only tv we watched as maybe a few hours of the Disney channel, so I didn't really notice anything about the channel selection. TV reception seemed fine to me. Room stayed very cold and I had to turn up the temp in the mornings so that everyone would get out of bed. Had a laptop, smart phone, and ipod touch. Could not get the phone or ipod to connect to the wi-fi. Could not get the laptop to stay connected for more that 15 minutes at the time before it would drop (I did not have this many problems with connections at Saratoga Springs or The Art of Animation on our last visits there). We have verizon family plan with four phones and no trouble with reception in the room. Kids were able to text and talk with no issues. Even called the kids down by the pool without issue. Refrigerator and coffee pot work well, but did not use microwave, toaster, or hair dryer. The safe in these rooms are still the old ones with a key to lock and unlock â€“ no problem with that. Our room was a lock-off that connected to the next room. Heard nothing from outside or from the adjoining room and did not hear any toilets or showers. I loved the location of our room (5406). Room door overlooked the lobby and balcony overlooked the pool. It was a short walk to the elevators and out the front door to the bus stop. Since we were staying on rented points, we did not have mousekeeping until day 3 of trip. Not an issue for us, but we did bring extra towels from the pool area because 4 females with a lot of hair need more that one towel each to make it through 3 days of showering. On the day that the room was serviced, they only took away all the dirty towels and replenished all supplies. Couldnâ€™t tell if they vacuumed the floor, but they definitely didnâ€™t make the beds or straighten anything in the room.
On the morning of my DD13's birthday, there was a voice message with all the Disney characters singing Happy Birthday to her. We all enjoyed that.
Ended up not going to any of the food areas so I have no comments on those areas. I liked the gift shop. There was a good selection of the standard Disney items that you see everywhere at Disney, but there was also a good selection of hotel themed and African inspired items. CMs in gift shop were very friendly. Pool and hot tub was very nice. We went there every evening and one time during the day. Only issue was this: the last night I let the kids go to the pool while I packed. My DD10 decided to wear her sneakers rather than her flip-flops (I have no idea why) and set them down in the hot tub area. They went back and forth between the pool and hot tub several times. When they were ready to come in for the night, they could not find her sneakers. I went down to look for them myself and went to the front desk to report them missing. Checked at the pool and front desk again the next morning before checking out, but they never showed up. I filled out a missing item report, but havenâ€™t received anything yet. We lost an item years ago at Disney and it was eventually mailed to us, but nothing yet from this one and itâ€™s been 2 weeks since we checked out. Really, who would take someoneâ€™s shoes from the pool area??? Luckily, they werenâ€™t expensive or very nice sneakers.
Bus system was horrible this trip. Bus system seemed to run very slowly and there were long waits for buses every day. Because the resort was at capacity and the buses stopped at Kidani Village first, the buses were always full and we had to stand on every trip to a park. Only took bus once each to Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios. On the day going to MK, the bus was full and we had to wait another 40 minutes for another bus which was also standing room only. There was a CM at the bus stop talking to the bus system people about it, but it did not help. We drove to Animal Kingdom because it was our last day there. Checked out of hotel, went to AK for Â½ a day, then drove home. Had no issues with buses returning to resort from any of the parks. We did not leave any of the parks at â€œclosingâ€ time though. The parking lot was huge and full and quite a distance from the main lobby. It was a long walk to the car whenever we did use it.
I love staying at Disney resorts and I would recommend this one to anyone, but Disney did not provide that extra magic this trip. I liked that everything was inside one building and not a long walk away (I did have a conveniently located room though). If it had rained and we had wanted to go to one of the dining rooms, then we would not have had to get out in the weather and get wet. I probably won't stay here again for a while because it's my goal to try all of the Disney resorts.
Cons:buses, location on Disney property
Reviewed by MinnieMouseMama Review Date: 06/17/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
After trying out all the value and most of the moderate resorts, we decided on AKL because my parents finally joined us!! We had an amazing stay in a pool view room. I was worried about the noise, but it was never too loud, even at night. We had no problems with buses being crowded or running late. While some reviewers feel this resort is "too far" away, I have to disagree. Ten more minutes on the bus is not a big deal to stay in such a unique place. If you are worried, please take a look at a WDW map and make the best choice for your family. The rooms are dim, but no so dim that things felt dank. I know that new bedding is in the works, but the old bed spreads really do have to go! We were in a DCV room so there was a fridge, microwave and extra sink which was nice. I will say that the toilet/ shower room is very small. Bathing little children is a challenge. Mousekeeping did a nice job and we had no complaints with the cleanliness of the room. I wasn't sure that a deluxe resort would be worth it, but after our visit to AKL I am sure this was the resort for us.
Cons:needs new bedding
Reviewed by dgagnon519 Review Date: 07/03/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
We stayed here from 06/16-06/24. We stayed in a value studio. We requested one of the savannah ones, but ended up with a pool view. There was a beautiful tree by our window, but it was loaded with bees. Our checkin was quick and smooth, probably the best we have ever had. Our room was ready at noon. The service was very good.
Pros:Beautiful, different, Pricing on points
Cons:Can be a long walk, bus
Reviewed by AddictedtoDisney Review Date: 08/17/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
Our family of 8 stayed at Jambo House 8/3/13-8/10/13. In a 2 bedroom villa with the view of the Savannah. Amazing room space for all, very comfortable. Great views of the animals. Great service, convenience of restaurants and store with-in the resort. We had a full size kitchen equipped with cookware. We actually had a friend bring us our groceries from the super Wal-Mart. Saved some money then shopping at the resorts marketplace. Enjoyed the pool area with the family. Movie nights were great by the pool. Kids really enjoyed themselves. The only negative was being so far from some theme parks and having to get into already very packed buses. Not everyone is willing to give up their seats for a mom holding their 5 month old baby.
Pros:Atmosphere, Room view, Service
Cons:Far away from some parks, buses too packed
Reviewed by NJDzneMom Review Date: 11/11/2013
Rating: (9) Recommended
We stayed Nov 2nd - 8th in Jambo House on the 4th Floor. While rooms are very nicely decorated and well suited for the African safari theme, they are very small in comparison to non-Disney deluxe hotels. I wish Disney would rethink this. Housekeeping was good and we had a few towel animals during our stay (not daily). The staff in the Club Level and throughout the hotel were very friendly and helpful. The pool was very nice - though a little cold for my liking this time of year. Transportation was good. The longest trip was to MK (about 25 minutes).
Pros:Wonderful Theming; Views of Savana Animals
Reviewed by Siage77 Review Date: 11/14/2013
Rating: (10) Recommended
The most beautiful resort we have stayed in. Animals are literally right outside your window. They even give you an animal guidesheet to identify the animals you can see. Beautiful pool area and great restaurant!!
Reviewed by Nicklissa Review Date: 12/28/2013
Rating: (8) Recommended
Our family of four (husband and my in-laws) stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House on DVC points in a 2-bedroom lock-off with a savannah view December 22-27, 2013. The lobby never fails to amaze us, as we have seen it on numerous visits to the on-site restaurants. Our home resort is AKL Kidani and this was our first time staying at Jambo House. The theming is magnificent, the savannah quite beautiful, and the feeling of the Disney magic is definitely there. Check in was easy and cast members were very nice.
We stayed on the 5th floor (I believe all DVC units are on the 5th floor). We had a 2-bedroom lock off and both rooms had a musty/old smell. The larger 1-bedroom was hot all of the time - the a/c was not working well and the occupancy sensor was deformed, as if someone broke it. The fridge was also beat up - large, and I mean LARGE dents in the fridge were not exactly Disney-level. The small "island" in the kitchen had damaged legs, was uneven, and wobbled. The dining room table legs were also damaged and was wobbly. Some of the chairs were damaged and were also uneven.
The worst part was the studio lock-off. My husband and I shared this space. The couch had a VERY LARGE and VERY WET stain on one cushion - we were afraid to use the couch at all and put the bedspread on it and avoided both the entire week.
The 1-bedroom kitchen/dining/and living room were very small - VERY SMALL - especially compared to our stays at Beach Club, Wilderness Lodge Villas, Boardwalk, Kidani, Saratoga Springs, Hilton Head, etc. etc. We were always bumping into each other. The main bedroom was fine, the bathroom a good size. The studio lock-off adjoining the main 1-bedroom was also small. The bathroom was ridiculously small - barely enough room to turn around in to shut the door. We found it claustrophobic. TV's in both rooms were nice - a fair size and they pulled out from the hutch and were able to be turned. Ceiling fans appeared old, and were very, very noisy.
We enjoyed the savannah view, which made up for a lot. However, with the very obvious dents/damage and size - and the large amount of points required for a Christmas Week stay (not to mention the price if one were to pay cash), it was disappointing. It needs updating, cleaning, and repairs.
The Mara quick service restaurant was nice - my husband and I are vegetarians and we were able to find items to eat without asking for special accommodation - a huge plus.
The resort itself, outside of the rooms, is beautiful and well maintained. Yes, we would go back - but only on points at the Kilimanjaro Club level. Otherwise, if staying in a regular 2-bedroom, we'll go to Kidani every time until updates are made.