Animal Kingdom Lodge Room Review: A Piece of Paradise

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With over 20 resorts to choose from at Walt Disney World, choosing your home away from home at the most magical place on earth can be a little overwhelming. To make the decision process a little easier, and to guarantee that you’re fully informed, we’re covering what you need to know about the accommodations at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – The Basics

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a Deluxe Resort located next to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.

In addition to offering views of real African animals from both the resort grounds and its resort rooms, Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the best-themed resorts at Walt Disney World.

Peter Dominick, who also designed Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, oversaw the look of Animal Kingdom Lodge which reflects African tribal architecture and that of East African national park lodges.

The resort is unique in that it has two campuses: Jambo House and Kidani Village.

While Kidani is largely geared towards Disney Vacation Club members and consists of DVC Villas, Jambo House is larger and home to both resort rooms and villas.

Both Kidani and Jambo House offer popular dining locations, as well as public viewing areas of the animals that any visitor can experience.

Our Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Room

During a recent stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House, our park reporter Chrissy stayed in Room 4310 with a Savanna View.

Of all the room types at the resort, the Savanna View rooms are the best in that they offer views of the animals outside. However, they’re often more expensive.

The room was priced at $639 with taxes and fees and included two queen beds. It was also located one floor up from the main lobby which is technically the third floor.

Most of Jambo House’s 972 guest rooms measure 344 square feet. We measured Room 4310 at 27 ft 4 in long x 11 ft 7 in wide.

Let’s back up and start at the entryway and the room’s bathroom.

Like most bathrooms at Disney World resorts, bathrooms are divided into two rooms with one dedicated to the vanity and the other to the toilet and tub/shower.

This room containing the vanity measured 4 ft 10 in long x 3 ft 9 in wide.

The vanity has double sinks with a small shelf under the mirror and additional storage space under the counter. The vanity itself measured 4 ft 10 in x 3 ft 9 in wide.

Some of Disney’s H20+ toiletries still come individually including a vanity kit, shower cap, mouthwash, bar soap, and lotion.

Sadly, the same can’t be said for the H20+ shampoo, conditioner, and body wash; but more on that in a minute.

In addition to the makeup/magnifying mirror…

…here’s a look at the provided Conair branded hairdryer.

The bathroom measured 7 ft 11 in from the wall in the vanity space to the edge of the shower by 3 ft 9in wide from the wall to the edge of the vanity itself.

This particular resort room doesn’t have a tub, only a glass shower. Also, the room came with 4 bath towels, 4 washcloths, and 2 hand towels.

Here’s a look at the shower’s two shower heads: one high and one low.

The shower space measured 4 ft 7in long by 3 ft wide.

And, yes, as I mentioned earlier, the H20+ shampoo, conditioner, and body wash are no longer individual bottles but in large pumps mounted onto the shower wall.

Across from the bathroom, which conveniently has a 5 ft long x 2 ft wide full-length mirror on its sliding door, the room offers closet and storage space.

Both sides of the closet offer storage space including shelves and the room’s safe. The portion of the closet pictured above measured 12 in wide.  

An extra pillow, blanket, and sheets were stored here as well along with a steamer. There was no iron or ironing board. The storage safe measured 19 in x 15 in.

There’s also a coffee prep area that measured 24 in long by 20 in wide and is where the room’s mini-fridge was located.

We found the Keurig accompanied by the Circle of Life sunrise to be appropriate.

In addition to the Keurig, the resort also provided 4 water glasses, 2 ceramic coffee cups, 4 invidivually wrapped coffee cups and lids, 8 creamers, 6 regular coffee pods, 2 decaf, 1 green tea, 1 breakfast tea, sugar, and an ice bucket.

Moving into the main part of the resort room…

…Chrissy found another one of those handy little shelves for charging your phone and devices. There’s another one next to the other bed as well. In total, she counted 10 USB ports and 18 outlets in the room.

The two queen beds had Sealy Pillowtops and four pillows on each bed.

 

The Sealy Pillowtops’ date of manufacture was March of 2019.

The pillows were dated April 19, 2019.

Here’s a view of the nightstand between the two beds.

In true Disney fashion, the curtains hide a few extra Disney touches.

Jambo, Hidden Mickey!

On the sliding glass door that leads out to the balcony are a few warnings, including that guests shouldn’t throw food or trash out onto the savanna.

The balcony has two chairs and a small table.

Since the animals are free to wander, you never know what you might see and when!

You may find it hard to leave the room!

Back inside, the room also has a small table and two chairs, an additional mirror, and a spacious dresser under the TV.

The dresser measured 5 ft long and 22 inches wide.

In case you’re looking to bring a Roku, Amazon Fire TV stick, or anything else to hook into the TV…

…here’s a peek at the connection ports.

As usual, Chrissy also took light readings all throughout the room – all LUX. Here’s what we discovered:

  •  85.2 dresser under the TV
  • 190.1 table with 2 chairs
  • 173 pillow near the nightstand
  • 123.6 coffee area
  • 166.7 vanity

Note: There is a light control panel above the nightstand and between the two beds that we haven’t seen before. It’s labeled Uplights, Sconces, Ceiling, and GoodNight.

She also evaluated certain sound levels in the room:

  • 48.2 dBA in front of the A/C
  • 58.6 dBA in the bathroom with the fan on

Chrissy also times how long it took to get from her room to other areas of the resort, especially since the layout of both Jambo House and Kidani Village is designed around the animals and their Savannas. Here’s what she found out:

  • 32 seconds to the closest elevator
  • 2 minutes and 25 seconds to the elevator just off the main lobby
  • 3 minutes and 44 seconds to The Mara
  • 2 minutes and 51 seconds to Zawadi Marketplace
  • 4 minutes and 35 seconds to the bus stop
  • 10 minutes and 43 seconds to walk from the Jambo House lobby to the lobby of Kidani Village
  • 3 minutes and 14 seconds to ride the shuttle from Kidani Village back to Jambo House

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Amenities

Laundry and Dry Cleaning Services

Animal Kingdom Lodge offers 24-hour self-service laundry rooms that have no posted hours. Chrissy noticed that the sign said MagicBand access was required to enter but found it unlocked when she went in. There are 6 washing machines, 14 dryers, and soap and fabric softeners were available for purchase. In addition, the resort also offers dry cleaning and valet laundry services.

Concierge
Drop by the resort’s concierge for assistance, suggestions, and expertise!
Zahanati Massage and Fitness Center
The resort’s fitness center offers a gym as well as a sauna, massage, and facial treatments. However, services apart from the gym may be unavailable during your visit for safety precautions.
Simba’s Clubhouse
No longer a drop-off location for kids, Simba’s Clubhouse is now a recreation area for all ages. Guests can take part in both free and paid activities with the latter consisting of ceramics painting, jewelry or keychain making, mask holders, magnets and buttons, and the like. Board games can be played at the clubhouse or checked out for use in your guest room.
While it’s not listed on Disney’s website, the clubhouse did reopen on August 26 with posted hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can no longer leave your kids at the location unless they’re over the age of 12. While drinks are allowed, food is not, and face masks must be worn the entire time.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Pools & Recreation

Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to two pools: Uzima Springs at Jambo House and Samawati Springs at Kidani Village.
Uzima Springs Pool Area
The largest pool of the two, Uzima Springs is an 11,000 square-foot, zero-entry pool that faces the Uzima Savanna. It also features a 67-foot-long waterslide.
Its posted hours are 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. and no MagicBand is needed to enter. Lifeguards are on duty, but not at the adjacent splash area or by the spas.
Towels, life vests, and lockers are available for free.
Uzima Springs offers two spas: one behind the slide off the main pool with an 18 person capacity and one at the back closer to the savanna with a capacity of 11. The time limit is 15 minutes max, and kids 12 years and under must have an adult present.

Ping Pong and Cornhole are also available nearby. Also, the Uzima Springs Watering Hole pool bar is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; however, it’s no longer serving food.

Samawati Springs

Samawati Springs at Kidani Village is also a zero-entry pool with a 28-foot waterslide and play area for kids. Note: Samawati Springs is scheduled to be closed for refurbishment from January 2022 to April of 2022. Kidani Village guests are encouraged to use the Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House during that time.

Hakuna Matata Playground
Available for kids ages 2 to 12 years.
Zawadi Marketplace 
This spacious gift shop reopened the day Chrissy visited with hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. In addition to your standard Disney World souvenirs, guests will also find items unique to the resort’s theme and mission, along with resort-exclusive merchandise and some from Disney’s Animal Kingdom park.
Resort Activities
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a variety of activities for those looking to entertain themselves at the resort, such as African bracelet making, pool parties, photo scavenger hunts, backpack making, trivia, and even an African stampede activity.
Pumba’s Fun and Games Arcade
Guests can enjoy a variety of games old and new from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Arcades aren’t usually staffed by a Cast Member.
Campfire Activities
Check with the resort front desk about old-fashioned campfires and marshmallow roasts for the whole family.
Savannah Overlook
Take in the animals for a free and amazing experience unique to this resort.
Movies Under the Stars
Outdoor movies are free to watch via a giant screen near the Uzima Springs pool. Check with the resort for the nightly schedule.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Transportation

Parking

Guests looking to drive themselves should know that standard overnight self-parking is available to registered guests. However, it’s no longer free. Instead, a fee will be applied to a guest’s hotel folio upon check-out and includes tax.

  • Parking at Disney Deluxe Resorts is $25 per night
  • Valet parking is $33 per night.
  • Self-parking is complimentary for guests who aren’t staying at the resort but enjoying select dining, shopping, entertainment, and recreation.
Bus Transportation
Unlike other Disney Deluxe Resorts which typically offer more than one type of transportation, buses are the only mode of Disney transportation offered at Animal Kingdom Lodge due to its location. Unless you’re looking to drive yourself or use a ride-share service, Disney buses are the only way to reach any of the four parks, water parks, or Disney Springs.
Free shuttle service is offered for those going back and forth between Jambo House and Kidani Village, or guests can walk between the two campuses.

Dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Boma
Open for both breakfast and dinner, this buffet is a popular dining destination at Walt Disney World and recently reopened with hours from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and then 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Expect a variety of African dishes and a few American standbys, as well as all-you-can-eat Zebra Domes for dessert at dinner!
The Mara
The lodge’s quick-service food court is open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a grab n’ go section that includes those Zebra Domes!
Jiko
This signature restaurant is still closed.
Other Options
Animal Kingdom Lodge also offers a variety of bars and lounges, including the Victoria Falls Lounge next to Boma that opens at 5:00 p.m. Also, over at Kidani Village, guests can dine at Sanaa for either lunch or dinner that’s famous for its bread service and dipping sauces.
What are your thoughts on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and its Jambo House guest room? Let us know in the comments!

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Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

One thought on “Animal Kingdom Lodge Room Review: A Piece of Paradise

  • September 20, 2021 at 9:04 am
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    I was not expecting all of the detailed analysis to include LUX and DB ratings. Well researched!

    Reply

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