Animal Kingdom Lodge

When we decided to go to Disneyworld, we knew we were going to stay on property to utilize the shuttle services and we wouldn’t have to worry about renting a car or parking.  The resort that quickly went to the top of our list was the Animal Kingdom Lodge.  This is considered one of their deluxe properties and the rooms were more expensive then we have ever spent on a hotel.  We wanted the Disney experience and to look out from our room and balcony over one of their four savannas and watch the giraffes, zebras, antelope, etc.  We ended up reserving a savanna view room with a bunk bed.

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Check in was 3pm and they made us wait until exactly 3pm for our room to be available.  With our flights and taking the Magical Express we actually got to the hotel around 1pm.  So we had awhile of wondering around, getting lunch at the quick service restaurant by the pool and walking over to the Kidani Village lodge.  With Disney’s Magic Bands, we got a text message when our room was ready with the room number.  No keys are necessary as the Band serves as the key.

The rooms are all decorated with African décor.  Ours was on the dark side, dark walls, bedding, etc.  There was a refrigerator and coffee maker in the room, which was great.  We ordered groceries ahead of time from Garden Grocer.  You select a time frame for delivery and they deliver the groceries to the concierge.  We were able to get milk, string cheese, chips, salsa, and beer.  There was a minimum purchase of $40 and a delivery fee of $14.  We thought it was definitely worth it.  We didn’t have to taxi or Uber to the grocery store.

Eilam absolutely loved the bunk bed and by the end of the trip he was sleeping on the top bunk.  We had a queen bed.  The rooms were on the small size, but bigger then Atlantis.  Eilam didn’t refer to it as a closet, so that was good.

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We looked out over the Arusha Savannah.  Each savanna has giraffes and then various other animals.  We would return to the room midday for a nap which ended up corresponding to the animals feeding time right outside of our room.  So as Eilam napped, Brian and I would snack and relax on the balcony watching them all.  It was really nice and a very cool experience.

One night we ate at the buffet, Boma, at the Lodge.  All the restaurants are African themed.  The food was absolutely fantastic.  I don’t believe I have ever tasted so many different and exotic flavors.  There were multiple soups, salads, meats, side dishes.  They also had some plain American dishes as well.  So while Eilam filled up on pasta and grapes, we stuffed ourselves with lamb stew, chicken curry soup, beef sirloin and salmon.   We highly recommend the buffet.  It was pricey though.

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The biggest negative about the Lodge would probably be the location.  While next to Animal Kingdom, it is the furthest away from the Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs.  So waiting on the shuttle buses and then riding the buses, could take a long time.  The morning we visited Hollywood Studios, we ended up taking a taxi because the shuttle bus time kept getting pushed back and there were so many people waiting, there was no way everybody was going to get on.  I believe the taxi cost $13.

Overall, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful property.  Watching the animals was an amazing experience.  The food and atmosphere was fantastic.  However, with all that we decided that we wouldn’t stay there again.  The location is just too far away.  Maybe if the Disney shuttles ran more efficiently it would be different but it was very time consuming to go back and forth.  Also, the cost is too high.  I know you pay a premium to be on property and at a Deluxe resort.  The rooms are just not that high of quality to charge what they do.  For the quality of the room, the rate should be half what it was.  We are very glad we stayed there but in the future we would choose a moderate resort closer to more of the parks.

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