Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge — Deluxe Resort — Walt Disney World
Jambo from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort, where the wilds of an African savanna meet the comforts of a Deluxe Resort!
Animal Kingdom Lodge Highlights
- View live safari animals such as giraffes, zebras, and antelopes from many rooms and Resort overlooks.
- The Resort has amazing food! AKL is widely described as one of the best foodie Resorts.
- The incredible six-story lobby is full of African artwork and crafts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Deluxe Resort hotel proximal to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It opened April 16, 2001. The main lodge and its adjacent rooms are called Jambo House. (A smaller Disney Vacation Club section of the Resort is called Kidani Village.) Designed by Peter Dominick (designer of Wilderness Lodge fame), AKL recreates the feel of a South African wildlife reserve lodge. Rooms follow the Kraal African village design, a semicircle concept, offering a view of close to 100 grazing animals and 130 birds on the property and in the private savannas.
Like other Disney Resorts, AKL has a distinctive theme carried throughout its architecture, landscape, and interior design. As you drive up to the Resort, the large building appears to be a gathering of huts. The incredible size of the Resort is hidden from the front, so it simulates driving up to a small safari village.
Tell me more about the look and feel of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is six stories tall. You enter the impressive lobby on the third floor of the Resort (though you won’t be climbing three flights of stairs — the Resort entrance is elevated).
There is a huge picture window at the far end of the lobby that looks out over 30 acres of land. From here, you can walk out onto an elevated viewing area called Arusha Rock and enjoy the roaming animals.
All three savannas are specially-built areas that are just for AKL and are separate from Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are over 100 Sand Live Oak trees and 35,000 shrubs on the savannas. Seeds for many of the plants were supplied from Africa.
Throughout the lobby, there are examples of authentic architecture and design, from thatched ceilings to golden tones reflecting the richness and diversity of an African landscape. Rich wood tones surround a large mud fireplace, and natural lighting will celebrate dawn and dusk with features that accentuate spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to the largest collection of African art in the world outside the continent of Africa. You’ll see pieces throughout the lobby, restaurants, and hallways.
In the hallways, there are alcoves with glass windows providing savanna overlooks.
Next to Animal Kingdom Lodge is Kidani Village (opened May 1, 2009), a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Kidani has its own parking, restaurant, and pool. It shares the Sunset Savanna with Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and has its own savanna (opened fall 2009) called Pembe.
What types of accommodations are available?
The accommodations offered at AKL were updated in 2019 and feature more muted colors and patterns than the original design. Though the previous jewel-toned soft goods were vibrant, the new design is understated and elegant. Heavy, carved wood furniture gives an air of natural grandeur.
The following are the room types and quantity of rooms in each category:
- Standard View (facing the parking lot) 135 rooms
- Pool View 136 rooms
- Savanna View 724 rooms
- Deluxe Pool View 33 rooms
- Deluxe savanna View 191 rooms
- Concierge 55 rooms
The Deluxe rooms (381 square feet) are bigger than the Standard rooms (344 square feet).
There are 79 king bed rooms, and there are 65 accessible rooms with king bed, roll-in shower, accessible seat for toilet, TDD kit, and ADA guide maps. There are also Presidential and Vice Presidential suites, as well as five one-bedroom suites and 12 two-bedroom parlor suites.
Some rooms also include sleeper sofas. Some rooms feature an additional dresser. Each room that is not ground level, no matter what the category or view, has a balcony that is long and narrow.
The suites are located at the end of the animal trails. From the outside of the Lodge, they are the ones located within the rounded parts of the building, with the curved balconies, topped with thatch. They are located on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th floors. Even the ones below 5th floor still have concierge access. All concierge rooms have savanna or pool views.
In addition, Animal Kingdom Lodge also has some Disney Vacation Club villas. See that fact sheet for details.
Floors 1-2-3-4 have Standard rooms with one of three views: Standard, Pool, or Savanna. The rooms can be configured with two queen beds or one king bed. Some rooms are handicapped accessible with a king bed and a daybed. Some Standard Pool View rooms offer a bunk bed and a queen bed.
Floors 5-6 have Deluxe rooms. Concierge rooms are the same as the Deluxe rooms. These have one of two views: Pool or Savanna. The rooms can be configured as either two queen beds; two queens and one queen size sleeper sofa; or one king bed. The 6th floor is exclusively Concierge.
How much does it cost to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge ?
Walt Disney World Resort rates vary by season (there are nine seasons now) and also by day of the week. The holiday season is the most expensive time of the year. It runs from mid-December to early January as well as during Easter Week. Prices below include a 12.5% tax, and the higher end of the range is holiday pricing.
Rates can vary from day to day and season to season. Be sure to check DisneyWorld.com for the most recent, up-to-date pricing.
- Standard View Room: $417 – $705
- Standard View Room — King: $434 – $722
- Pool View Room: $452 – $750
- Pool View Room — Bunk Bed: $480 – $853
- Savanna View Room: $602 – $950
- Savanna View Room – King: $619 – $966
- Savanna View Room – Bunk Bed: $628 – $980
- Savanna View Room – Club Level: $695 – $1051
Is there a fee to park at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
There is a fee for overnight self-parking at Walt Disney World Resort hotels. Click here for current pricing and other parking-related information.
What type of amenities are offered?
The rooms have a small safe in the closet to store valuables. It’s big enough for your plane tickets, cash/travelers checks, and maybe some jewelry — but not much more. For storing larger valuables, inquire at the front desk. In addition, you’ll also find a hairdryer, small coffee maker with packets of coffee and tea, iron and ironing board, and a small refrigerator. Valet parking, voice mail, and room service are also available.
Walt Disney World Resort has complimentary Wi-Fi service in all of its resorts. See our Internet Access page for details.
I hear that there are no more room keys at Disney resort hotels. How do I get into my room?
Walt Disney World has converted their room keys and admission tickets from plastic cards to MagicBands, flexible plastic wristbands, resembling a watch or bracelet, that use Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Your MagicBand is linked to your My Disney Experience (MDE) account and acts as your Disney resort room key. Simply touch the Mickey symbol on your MagicBand to the RFID reader near your room door to gain entry. Read about using MagicBands for park admission, FastPass+ and more here.
You can also use your My Disney Experience app on your smartphone to open your Resort room door.
Are there smoking and nonsmoking rooms?
All Disney resorts and guest rooms are now smoke-free. There are designated outdoor smoking areas. Check the resort map or with a Cast Member for locations.
How does check-in work?
Online Check-in is available through the My Disney Experience app. Look for the special Online Check-in line at the Resort’s front desk when you arrive, or wait for a text with your room location information.
Check-in is at 3PM. Upon arrival head to the front desk to check-in (if you haven’t checked in online). Rooms are not guaranteed to be available until 3PM, but you can request early check-in when you do Online Check-in, and you may have your wish granted if there’s availability.
Early check-in allows you to leave luggage with bell services, get your MagicBands (if you don’t already have them), and head off to the Parks or Disney Springs or to relax around the Resort. You will be get a notification on My Disney Experience when your room is ready. You will then be given your room number, and your MagicBand (or MDE app) will open your door!
Check-out time is 11AM. Express Check-out is available to all guests paying with a credit card. You used to have to arrange for this service at check-in, but it’s standard procedure now. A detailed hotel bill is delivered to your door by 7AM. If the bill is correct you simply leave. Your MagicBand serves as a Disney souvenir, so take it home with you. Late Check-out of noon can be requested without additional cost (note that there’s very limited availability). If you need Late Check-out, request it at Check-In and as soon as possible the morning of check out (the number of eligible rooms are limited).
Resort Airline Check-In Service at your Disney resort is only available if you are flying domestically (includes Puerto Rico) on specific airlines It is a complimentary (free) service and allows you to check your luggage.
What kind of concierge service is available?
AKL’s concierge (or club level) guest rooms are located on part of floor 5 and all of 6. The actual lounge and staff are located on the 6th floor. The concierge rooms are identical to the Deluxe rooms in terms of size and amenities (with a few extra). You can not book a specific concierge view. They are either a Pool View or Sunset or Arusha Savanna View. For some odd reason, the lounge was not built with a Savanna View and instead opens to the lobby on the 6th floor.
The lounge is wonderful and large, and the food is quite good. You also have a selection of South African wines to try as well. The Cast Members can assist you in dining, entertainment, or just about any Disney plans you might want to make.
What are the savannas like?
Animal Kingdom Lodge has three separate savannas (approximately ten acres each) that are open 24 hours a day. From left to right the savannas are named: Sunset, Arusha, and Uzima.
Each savanna has its own unique look and feel. Not all savannas have all the animals. For instance, ostriches can only be found on the Sunset savanna, zebras are only located on the Arusha savanna, and kudu are only found on the Uzima savanna. Giraffes are the only animal found on all three savannas.
Each room at the Resort has an animal viewing guide. You can also pick one up at the front desk.
At night, the savannas are illuminated by artificial moonlight as if a full moon were ever present.
“Safari Guides” are Cast Members in the outside viewing areas who can answer your questions about the animals and birds.
Altogether, more than 200 mammals and three dozen birds populate the 33-acre area. The savannas surround the Lodge on three sides. You can view the birds and animals from Resort balconies or from several viewing points — including a landscaped rock outcropping called the Arusha Rock kopje — 24 hours a day.
Are the animals and birds on the savannas 24 hours a day? Where do they sleep?
The savannas are the actual home for the animals and birds. All animals inhabiting the savanna return periodically to an on-site animal care facility for feeding and routine care. Many of the species browse, as well, on savanna plantings that are part of their everyday diet and are continually replenished by horticulturists.
The animals sleep on the savannas, although they are generally much further back. You probably won’t be able to see them sleep. Each savanna is closed daily for approximately two hours for cleaning and handling animals, in shifts. There will always be at least two savannas open at all times. A number of the animals are nocturnal, so you may spot them in the middle of the night.
What animals and birds might I see on the savannas?
The following animals may be found on at least one of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannas:
- Anikole Cattle
- Grant’s Zebra
- Greater Kudu
- Reticulated Giraffe
- Thomson’s Gazelle
- Red River Hogs
- White-Bearded Wildebeest.
- Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
- Blue Crane
- East African Crowned Crane
- Greater Flamingo
- Marabou Stork
- Pink-Backed Pelican
- Ruppel’s Griffon Vulture.
Where did the animals come from?
The first two inhabitants of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, two giraffes, became the first two inhabitants of AKL. The other animals either originated at Animal Kingdom or arrived from other accredited zoological facilities.
Will I be able to touch or feed the animals? What responsibilities do I have regarding the animals and birds?
No, you may not touch or feed the animals. If you attempt to do so, you risk expulsion from the Resort.
The safety of both the guests and the animals is very important. As an in-room notice states:
To assist the animal care staff in maintaining the health and safety of the animals, please do not feed them or drop items into the habitats. Also, please do not attempt to approach or cross the barriers designed for guest and animal safety. If any guest attempts to harm the animals or their habitats, they will be immediately asked to leave the resort. During your stay you may notice cameras in and around the savannas. These cameras are for the protection and safety of our animals. For privacy, please close your drapes.
Sunset (Wanyama) Safari
The Sunset or Wanyama Safari takes place on the savannas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is meant to be a re-creation of a true African afternoon game drive and is an opportunity to spend time with members from the animal programs team learning about the natural history and management of the animal collection at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Your safari will conclude with a true African dining experience at Jiko.
For pricing and other details, visit the Wanyama Safari page.
The Starlight Safari is a safari only experience, where you’ll climb into a safari truck with guide and explore the Animal Kingdom Lodge savanna. The experience is approximately one hour, and a portion of the proceeds is donated to Disney’s Global Conservation efforts. The cost is $74.17 per person and can be booked by calling 407-WDW-PLAY.
How do I get to the Disney theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs?
All Disney transportation to and from AKL is via bus. As you exit the main lobby, the bus station is down to the left. There are several stops to take you to the theme parks, water parks and Disney Springs. The buses that service AKL do not service other Resorts.
You may walk or take bus over to Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club area next to Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Is morning coffee available?
All rooms should be equipped with a small coffee maker and complimentary coffee packets. In addition, Mara, the Quick Service restaurant located on Jambo House’s lower level, serves coffee. Be sure to get a Rapid Fill mug if you drink lots of coffee and soda. Hours at Mara are usually 6:00AM to 11:30PM.
Describe the restaurants that are at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is widely considered one of the best “foodie Resorts.” Reservations for the Resort’s Table Service dining are highly recommended.
The restaurants offer a blend of African, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, and French cuisine with a dash of English served with a hint of classical flair. The menus reflect a blend of sweet and savory international tastes.
Jiko – The Cooking Place
Jiko is a Signature restaurant serving dinner that features a taste of Africa in an atmosphere shaped by traditions and customs. The design represents an abstract view of Africa, with twin wood-burning ovens as the restaurant’s icon. Jiko consistently ranks among the best Walt Disney World restaurants in both food and service.
Boma — Flavors of Africa is a very popular buffet restaurant open for breakfast and dinner. Boma captures the essence of vibrant life in the African marketplace. This buffet has great variety and is known for its carved meats, various soups, and one iconic dessert: Zebra Domes.
The restaurant showcases an open kitchen, and a wood-burning grill and rotisserie fills the Resort lobby (located two floors up) with intoxicating aromas. The dining stations at Boma are under thatched roofs.
The Resort’s Quick Service restaurant, Mara is open morning to night and offers great food and poolside dining.
Browse Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurant menus here!
Victoria Falls is a mezzanine lounge overlooking Boma that serves specialty coffees and teas and a variety of beverages at night.
Uzima Springs is Jambo House’s poolside bar.
Sanaa is a beloved Table Service restaurant located in Kidani Village. It offers full service lunch and dinner. This is an excellent restaurant — and is very underrated — therefore it’s usually easy to snag a reservation. Sanaa’s large windows offer a view of the Savanna.
I’m interested in hearing about the food options for vegetarians and plant-based diners.
There are lots of vegetarian and plant-based options available at Jiko, Boma, Sanaa, and Mara! There were several items on the Jiko menu that would/could easily be adapted to vegetarian or are plant-based already. The chefs are very tuned into special diets. At Boma, ask the chefs at each of the stations, and they will take care of you!
Is there a gift shop at the Animal Kingdom Lodge?
Yes! It’s called the Zawindi Marketplace. It has a combination of Disney souvenirs and artist creations.
Featured marketplace items include: Zulu baskets, hand-loomed fabrics and textiles, hand-carved masks, beaded gourds, hand-carved chess sets, and an assortment of authentic accents.
What about Laundry facilities?
Are there any special programs at AKL?
Yes, there are a number of special programs offered throughout the day at AKL. Be sure to ask for a list when you check into the hotel. A sampling of the recent programs offered at the Resort (all programs subject to change without notice):
- flamingo feedings at the Flamingo Pond
- animal tracking at Arusha Rock
- music of the Savanna in the Sunset Lounge
- wildlife games in the Sunset Lounge
- African games and crafts on the Uzima Pool Deck
- cultural safari in the Sunset Lounge
- animal viewing with Night Vision
- cookie decorating at Boma
Outside, at the Arusha Rock, there is nightly African storytelling next to Ogun’s Firepit. (Storytelling is held indoors in the event of inclement weather.) If you have the opportunity, take the time to speak with the storytellers.
What types of recreation are available?
AKL has a themed pool, a kids’ wading pool, two outdoor spas (“hot tubs”) and a fitness center. There is also a kid’s playground.
The Uzima Springs pool is the second-largest on Disney property at over 11,000 square feet. It is also a “Zero-Depth Entry” pool, meaning there is an entrance without steps. I saw lots and lots of kids (young ones, too) enjoying the 67-foot long slide and kiddy wade pool area. There is no quiet pool at AKL.
The Uzima pool is open 24 hours, but the lifeguards go off duty at 10PM, and the slide also closes. The two spas close at midnight.
Guests at Jambo House can also venture over to Kidani Village to enjoy the Samawati Springs Pool, which has a fun splash area for the kiddos.
Is there a fitness center?
Zahanati Fitness Center is open from 6AM to 9PM at no additional charge to Animal Kingdom Lodge guests 14 and over. Those 14-17 must be accompanied by parent or guardian.
The Fitness Center has a full line of Cybex equipment, including a Smith machine. The cardiovascular area has Life Fitness Treadmills, Stairmasters and Bicycles (regular and recumbent).
Zahanati Fitness Center is also a massage center. Spa services include massages and facials. It is recommended to book these in advance by calling 407-WDW-SPAS.
What kid’s services are there at this Resort?
There are lots of children of all ages having a wonderful time and full of smiles. Many kids were all over the Lodge with their animal checklists in hand. The storytelling in the evenings is geared to both children and adults. There is always the pool, and as time goes on, more more kids’ activities will be added.
There is an area in the lobby and also in Mara with a TV that plays Disney movies. Pumbaa’s Arcade appeals to many kids.
There is no child care activity center at this resort. For child care alternatives, visit our Child Care FAQ.
Balloons at Animal Kingdom Lodge
AKL does not allow balloons inside the Resort. Any balloons brought to the Resort (from the theme parks, for example) will have to be checked with bell services for the duration of the guest’s stay. They will be returned upon departure. This information might be helpful to families with younger children, so there are no disappointments when returning to the Resort.
To learn more about what Animal Kingdom Lodge has to offer, check out this AllEars TV Video!
The Animal Kingdom Lodge Address is:
2901 Osceola Parkway
Bay Lake, FL 32830
The main number is 407-938-3000 and the fax number is 407-938-4799. The Zahanati Fitness Center phone number 407-938-4715.