Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Overview
In the far southwest corner of the World and adjacent to Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park, Animal Kingdom Lodge opened in 2001. Designed by Peter Dominick of Wilderness Lodge fame, the resort fuses African tribal architecture with the rugged style of grand East African national-park lodges. Five-story thatched-roof guest-room wings fan out from a vast central rotunda housing the lobby. Public areas and about half of the rooms offer panoramic views of a private 43-acre wildlife preserve, punctuated with streams and elevated kopje (rock outcrops) and populated with some 200 free-roaming animals and 130 birds.
Most of the 972 guest rooms measure 344 square feet and boast hand-carved furnishings and richly colored soft goods. Standard amenities include a flat-panel TV, desk with two chairs, ceiling fan, minifridge, and coffeemaker. Behind each headboard sits faux mosquito netting. (Perhaps the tan curtains are supposed to be the folds of a safari tent.) Bathrooms have animal-themed wallpaper, two sinks, and a large mirror. Almost all rooms have full balconies.
A family of four from Lincoln, England, gives Animal Kingdom Lodge a mixed, though mostly positive, review:
We had a fab holiday, but we wouldn't recommend people paying the extra money to have a savanna room. The animals are scarce, and you don't really spend much time in your room. The pool and the kids' club were fantastic and the hotel stunning. We visited Boma: Flavors of Africa, but my children found the food very different and spicy. The food court was fine, although we wished they'd change the menu as after two weeks you're fed up of the same choices.
A Portage, Indiana, family begs to differ with us:
We disagree with your assessment that the Giraffe Trail is the least desirable wing of Animal Kingdom Lodge. We stayed in a pool-view room and loved it. The view was beautiful, even without the animals (which you can view elsewhere). The proximity to the pool, lobby, and restaurants was great, and a bonus was the direct exits from the hallway to the outside, which were very close to where Disney transportation picks up. And we saved about $500 over what we would've spent on a savanna view.
A British mum had safety concerns:
The room was very small and not very child-safe (REALLY high beds), but the hotel itself was fantastic in all other aspects.
Finally, from a Chandler, Arizona, couple:
Specifically wanted to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We weren't disappointed! Fantastic resort. We loved sitting on our balcony in the afternoon and watching the animals. Found the transportation to be easy and convenient from this location as well.
How Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Compares to Other Disney Deluxe Resorts
The unique feature that separates Animal Kingdom Lodge from not only all the other Walt Disney World resorts, but almost any hotel in the world, is the animals. Most of the rooms have a view of the hotel's savanna with various wild animals roaming around. You may wake up one morning and have a giraffe looking in your window. The nightly price for rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge fall in to the middle of all the other WDW deluxe resorts. It's a bit cheaper than Contemporary Resort but slightly more expensive than the Yacht & Beach Club. Animal Kingdom Lodge does offer a fitness center, salon, and a spa.
Where To Check-In, Get Theme Park Tickets, and Make Dining Reservations
A security gate guards the entrance to Animal Kingdom Lodge's grounds. If you arrive by car, you'll need to provide photo ID at the gate; it's not necessary to provide your reservation number or paperwork. A dedicated parking lot across from the lobby serves as temporary parking for those who need it while checking in.
Check-in time at Animal Kingdom Lodge is 3:00 PM, and check-out time is 11:00 AM. Animal Kingdom Lodge participates in Disney's Online Check-In program, which allows you to you provide name, address, and credit card information up to 60 days before your arrival. If you've done this, look for an Online Check-In sign near the Registration Desk. You'll be routed to one of the Online Check-in staff and should be on the way to your room in a few minutes.
If you've not registered online, look for signs pointing you to the Registration/Check-In area. You'll need to provide a government-issued photo ID and credit/debit card when you register. While parents are completing the paperwork, kids can unwind in a nearby play area decorated with child-sized furniture, and a television showing classic Disney animated films.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's registration staff can provide MagicBands for your stay, if you don't already have them. Get theme park tickets and dining reservations at the Concierge Desk, to the right of the Registration Desk. If you need to check in and obtain theme park tickets, you can save some time in line if one adult gets in line for tickets just after another adult starts the registration process. The Concierge Desk can also make Disney dining reservations, and you can avoid a wait there by making them online prior to arrival.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's Rooms
Most of the Animal Kingdom Lodge rooms are 344 square feet and have two queen-size beds, a daybed, and a desk and three chairs. Both Jambo House and Kidani Village have studios and one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. Most rooms at Kidani Village are larger, however, and the difference is anywhere from 50 square feet for a studio to more than 200 square feet for a two- bedroom unit. (The three-bedroom Grand Villas at Jambo House, 148 square feet larger than those in Kidani Village, are the exception.) Because of the difference in area, one-bedroom units in Kidani Village can accommodate up to five people and two-bedroom units can hold up to nine through the inclusion of a sleeper chair in the living room. At Jambo House, the one-bedroom "value" rooms sleep four, while the standard, savannah and club-level rooms sleep 5.
Each Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort room is furnished with the following:
- Two queen beds
- Dresser with 2 medium-size drawers
- Table with 2 chairs
- Nightstand digital alarm clock
- Full-length mirror (on bath door)
- WiFi wireless Internet access
- Flat-panel TV
- Mini fridge
- Coffee Maker
- Ironing board and iron
- Hair dryer
- Digital thermostat
- In-room safe
- Tiny bottle of H2O-brand shampoo, and bar soap
The mini-fridge is a dorm-style unit that sits under a counter or desk. It's more like a beverage chiller than a refrigerator in that it'll keep drinks cool, but you're not going to freeze popsicles or make ice cubes in it.
Animal Kingdom Lodge's bathrooms aren't big, but they also aren't as small as the ones you'll find in Disney's moderate or value resort rooms. Luckily you won't feel claustrophobic in your room's bathroom. Water pressure in the shower is average - probably less than what you get at home, but still enough to get your hair clean. Eventually.
A separate dressing area next to the bathroom includes two sinks, and enough counter space to fit most of the toiletries you would need. A 1500- watt, wall-mounted hair dryer is provided, but it's not very powerful; bring your own if you've got lots of hair. The dressing area includes a sliding door that separates it from the sleeping area. Combined with the bathroom, this means that 3 people can get dressed at the same time.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge Level Rooms
The concierge level of a deluxe resort can also be referred to as club level. Each one throughout the property has a name for their concierge level. At the Animal Kingdom Lodge it is called the Old Kilimanjaro Club and it’s located on the sixth floor. Here guests willing to pay a premium are treated to special services including a lounge, complimentary food and drink, and personalized service. There are about 70 Kilimanjaro Club rooms most of which are similar to regular rooms throughout the resort, but there are also suites available. Club level prices can be up to $100 more than standard rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Upon arriving to Animal Kingdom Lodge, concierge guests are taken to an exclusive area to be checked in and taken care of. Once guests are brought to the club level they will be introduced to the cast members on hand at two desks set up to be the resource for any special services they may need. These CMs are there to help folks with whatever they might need including ADRs, park tickets, and transportation options.
Another special service provided to concierge level guests is a nightly turn down. Housekeeping cast members come to your room in the evening to prepare your bed for you to fall into it after a long day in the parks and leave chocolates.
A more exciting benefit to staying in the Kilimanjaro Club is access to free food for most of the day. The breakfast offerings are relatively light so don’t expect to fuel up for a full day here. Later in the day snacks are available along with an assortment of drinks including soda, hot drinks like coffee, and beer. In the late afternoon/early evening the menu changes but appetizers are put out for guests to enjoy before they begin their evening. Wine and liqueurs along with desserts area served throughout the evening as well.
The selection of food and drink is laid out in the lounge only accessible to club level guests. There are several tables and chairs set up for folks to you use throughout the day. The area is busy a breakfast time, but can be a quiet place to relax and maybe even get some work done if guests happen to be business travelers. There are also a few couches in the mix where friends can gather to chat. Kids have their own area here with child sized table and chairs and a TV running cartoons and other Disney favorites.
Handicap-Accessible Room Options
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort have around 50 handicap-accessible rooms. Some feature roll-in showers, while others include assistive hearing devices. A subset of these rooms have been converted to comply with Florida's Accessibility Code, with changes to everything from bed, counter-top, and dresser drawer height, to door widths, wheelchair ramps, and more.
Some accessible rooms have the standard setup of 2 queen beds; all rooms with roll-in showers have 1 king bed, and a small number of roll-in shower rooms have both 1 king bed and 1 double bed. Use our hotel room finder to see which rooms have which feature
Standard Views, Savanna Views and Pool Views
Disney knows that some hotel rooms are better than others. Most people want something pretty to look at from their hotel room window. To capitalize on this, Disney categorizes all of Animal Kingdom Lodge's hotel rooms based on what you see from inside the room.
Here's the system Disney uses:
- Savanna View:Savanna View rooms make up the majority of
rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The main draw with these rooms are the animals
that roam the Savanna during the day. The view
from your window for the most part includes landscaping and trees. Sure
the scenery isn't too exciting. But don't worry, most of the time you'll see
plenty of animals from the Savanna view rooms. .
- Pool View: At the Animal Kingdom Lodge, any rooms facing
the center of the resort (where the pool is located) is considered a Courtyard
First floor rooms here tend to have views of the backs
of lounge chairs sitting around the pool,
so upper-floor rooms generally have better views.
- Standard View: Standard rooms generally have unremarkable views of landscaping or parking lots. These are the cheapest rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge, but there are some gems to be found in this category, though, using our Animal Kingdom Lodge Room Finder.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Pools
Animal Kingdom Lodge has two pools. The largest, Uzima Springs Pool, sits near the outside of the lobby at the front of the resort. At 11,000 square feet the pool is the largest in all of Walt Disney World. There is also a hot tub, kiddie pool and water player area.
The other smaller pool is located at the Kidani Village wing of the resort. This pool is a bit far from Jambo House, in fact you'll want to take a bus to get to it. For that reason you may want to stick to Uzima Springs.
Animal Kingdom Lodge's pools range in depth from around 3 feet 6 inches/1.1m to 4 feet 9 inches/1.4m. Pool are open every day, including during winter. The pools are heated to 82°F/28°C throughout the year. We've swum in temperatures as cold as 40°F/4°C; the water was fine, but getting out was a shock. Animal Kingdom Lodge also has a hot tub located near Uzima Springs Pool.
Uzima Springs has one water slide that all ages are free to use. Guests can find showers, storage lockers, restrooms, and laundry facilities. Pool hours are at least 10AM to 10 PM, extending to as much as 8 AM to 12 AM during busy times. Uzima Springs Pool will have lifeguards during the pools' operating hours.
Infants and children in diapers are welcome in all of Animal Kingdom Lodge's pools, as long as they're wearing swim diapers. Water wings are allowed at all Disney pools, and every pool has free life vests in a variety of sizes:
- Infant/child: Weight less than 30 lbs.
- Child: Weight 30-50 lbs.
- Youth: Weight 50-90 lbs.
- Adult XS: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 31-34 in.
- Adult S: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 34-37 in.
- Adult M: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 37-40 in.
- Adult L: Weight more than 90 lbs. Chest size 40-43 in.
- Adult XL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 43-46 in.
- Adult XXL: Weight more than 90 lbs., Chest size 46-48 in.
- Additionally, there may be a small supply of even larger vests. Inquire at your resort.
You may need to bring your towels from your room to use at the pool - Disney sometimes stocks extra towels poolside, and sometimes they don't. Our advice is to send someone down to the pool to check the towel situation before you go. If you end up using your room towels at the pool, just call Housekeeping when you get back and request more.
Pool toys are permitted in Animal Kingdom Lodge's pools, including "pool noodles," and basic toys that would be appropriate for water use such as rubber duckies and bucket & shovel sets. Some of us will occasionally bring something like a whiffle ball for playing catch in the pool. As long as you’re not disturbing other guests, you’ll be fine. Also note that kids with pool toys become very popular with other kids in the pool who want to play too. If you’re traveling with an only child and want him to have some age cohort interaction during your vacation, a nice strategy is to bring some extra toys. Chances are he’ll make a buddy.
Wheelchair Accessibility at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Pool
Animal Kingdom Lodge's Silver Creek Springs Pool has a chair-lift device that can lower guests in wheelchairs into the shallow end of the pool. Check with any lifeguard for assistance on using the lift.
Playgrounds at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort
A small playground set is located near Uzima Springs. The set has a small plastic slide and a couple of sections with a few steps for toddlers to go up and down. Safety seems to be Disney's concern here - there are no swings, and the entire area is covered in a springy, poured rubber surface.
Restaurants and Dining
Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House offers fine dining in a casual setting at Jiko: The Cooking Place. Twin wood-burning ovens are the focal point of the restaurant, which serves meals inspired by the myriad cuisines of Africa. Boma: Flavors of Africa, the family restaurant, serves a buffet with food prepared in an exhibition kitchen featuring a wood-burning grill and rotisserie. Tables are under thatched roofs. The Mara, a quick-service restaurant with extended hours, and Victoria Falls, a delightful mezzanine lounge overlooking Boma: Flavors of Africa, round out the hotel's food-and- beverage service. Other amenities include an elaborate swimming area and a village marketplace. Children ages 6-14 can explore African culture through games and crafts. Cost is $70 per child; reservations must be made using a credit card.
Boma - Flavors of Africa
The menu rarely changes, as Boma-Flavors of Africa is a favorite of locals and visitors who return time and again for the salads, roasted meats, and interesting sauces. While Disney calls this a buffet, it's very different from what you'd typically expect (there are no steam tables, for starters). If you like a major bang for your buck, try Boma.
A big dining room with side-by-side food stations that encourage diners to roam about and graze, just like the animals that wander about outside the lodge. The house specialties are watermelon rind salad; Moroccan seafood salad; roasted meats, Durban spiced roasted chicken, and vegetable skewers.
Jiko - The Cooking Place
Jiko has been winning awards and accolades (including AAA's Four Diamond Award) for its interesting fare and stellar wine list - one of the largest collections of South African wines in any North American restaurant, with more than 1,800 bottles. Dishes are beautifully spiced and full of flavor. Start with some flatbread and wrap up with the Tanzanian chocolate crÃ¨meux - a mousselike concoction with chocolate crunch, chocolate-cherry mascarpone, and cocoa nibs.
Jiko has a special ambience, from the young African exchange students who greet guests as they enter to a menu of unusual tastes. Jiko's spacious dining room is inspired by the opening scenes of The Lion King. A pair of large wood-burning ovens dominates the center of the room.
House specialties are the wood-fired flatbreads; trio of dips with house- made naan (Indian flatbread); oak-grilled filet mignon with red-wine sauce and sweet-corn risotto; maize-crusted corvine.
Sanaa (sah-NAH) is not as upscale as Jiko, the resort's African restaurant, but the kitchen offers diners a chance to sample and share a variety of Indian-African creations. Diverse Old and New World wines match the cuisine.
One floor down from the new Kidani Village lobby, Sanaa's dining room is inspired by Africa's outdoor markets, with baskets, beads, and art on the walls. It's a cozy space, with 9-foot-tall windows that look out on the resort's savanna - giraffes, water buffalo, and other animals wander within yards of you as you dine.
The Mara is small counter service restaurant with a limited menu. Prices range from $6 to $15 for an entree so you won't break the bank. The standout items here are the chicken or falafel pitas.
The Mara participate in Disney's Rapid Fill refillable mug program, where you purchase a souvenir plastic mug once, and get free refills for the remainder of your stay. The cost varies depending on how long you're staying at the resort:
- $8.99 for 1 day
- $11.99 for 2 days
- $14.99 for 3 days
- $17.99 for length of stay (4 or more days)
The break-even point for the refillable mug program seems to be around 3 visits on the 1-day plan; 4 visits on the 2-day plan; 5 on the 3- day plan; and 6 visits for stays of 4 or more days. Keep in mind that if you buy a regular $3 fountain soda at any meal, you get unlimited refills during that meal. So for the refillable mug program to make sense, you'll need to drink soda with at least 3 separate meals on the 1-day plan, or 5 separate meals on the 2-day plan. In those cases, it would be hard to get too far from a bathroom, let alone all the way to the parks.
Restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge participate in the Disney Dining Plan; meals cost 1 credit at The Mara, Boma, and Sanaa, and 2 credits at Jiko. Tables in Wonderland cardholders are eligible for a 20% discount at most resort restaurants.
Pizza delivery is available to your room from Disney's own delivery service. Besides pizza, chicken wings, desserts, beer, wine, and sodas are also available. However, delivery can take up to 90 minutes, and the food quality is often below average. You're probably better off either walking to the food court or calling Domino's. Pizza delivery hours are 4 PM to midnight daily. A medium (16") cheese pizza costs around $14 and a pepperoni around $16. Minimum order is $15, and Disney will tack on an 18% tip, $3 delivery charge, and 7% sales tax. Thus, a $30 pizza order will cost you $40.50 delivered.
Animal Kingdom Lodge has one lounge and two pool bars to consume adult beverages at. Victoria Falls Lounge is Animal Kingdom Lodge's main lounge. Territory Lounge has indoor seating and a full drink menu with several beer selections, wines, and a selection of spirits. The lounge is usually open 4 PM to 12 AM daily.
Uzima Springs Pool Bar is located adjacent to the Uzima Springs Pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House. Uzima Springs Pool Bar has a small selection of specialty drinks, African beer and wine.
Maji Pool Bar is located near the pool at
Kidani Village. It also offers a selection of specialty drinks, African beer
and wine, as well as limited grab-and-go dining options.
Transportation to and from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort
Driving Your Own Car Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort is just off of I-4 in Lake Buena Vista. Take I-4 Exit 3 - W Osceola Pkwy. Follow Osceola Pkwy for about 5.5 miles and Animal Kingdom Lodge will be on your right.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's GPS address and location are:
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort
2901 Osceola Parkway
Bay Lake, FL 32830
Latitude: 28.353637 North, Longitude: 81.602756 West
From Orlando International Airport If you're arriving at Orlando International Airport, Disney's free Magical Express bus service will take you and your luggage directly from the airport to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort, then back to the airport when it's time for your flight home.
From Sanford International Airport It's about a 40-minute drive from Sanford to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort. If you're not renting a car, be aware that Sanford's airport offers fewer transportation options than Orlando's, and Sanford's options are generally much more expensive. A taxi from Sanford International Airport to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort will cost between $120 and $150, depending on traffic. Mears Transportation offers 3-passenger towncar service to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort for around $140 each way, plus tip; 5-passenger SUV service or 10-passenger van is around $190 each way. That means round-trip transportation will run you somewhere between $240 and $380, plus tip, between Sanford and Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort. At those prices, it may be less expensive to rent a car and park it at the hotel.
Getting to the theme parks, water parks and Downtown Disney Disney provides free bus service from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort to Magic Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon, and Downtown Disney/Disney Springs. Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's bus stops sit along the front wall of the lobby, between the lobby and check-in parking lot. Each theme park has its own bus stop somewhere along the wall. Animal Kingdom's bus service is shared with Blizzard Beach, while Downtown Disney/Disney Springs and Typhoon Lagoon also share a stop and service.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's Bus Schedule
Ask a Disney Castmember about Animal Kingdom Lodge's bus schedule, and they'll tell you that buses run about every 20 minutes. In reality, Animal Kingdom Lodge's bus schedule varies considerably depending on the time of day and where you're headed.
For example, if you're headed to the Magic Kingdom between 8 AM and 11 AM, you'll wait around 11 minutes, on average, for a bus to arrive. The bus schedules for Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios are about the same early in the day, with a bus arriving every 15-20 minutes, on average. Bus schedules to the water parks and Downtown Disney are a little less frequent, and you could wait anywhere from 12 to 37 minutes for a ride.
Buses run a little slower from around 11 AM to around 4 PM, when most people are already in a park. Disney's evening buses are scheduled around the theme parks' closing times, where most of the fleet is deployed to get guests back to their hotels. Your waits to return to your hotel from a theme park should average out to around 30 minutes under most circumstances.
If you've got your own car, it's faster to drive yourself to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks, and Downtown Disney. Disney's bus service is faster to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. We evaluate Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's bus service annually, and the latest transportation times can be found below.
Getting to another hotel from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort If you've got dining plans at another Disney hotel, the cheapest option is to take a Disney bus from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort to Downtown Disney (or an open theme park), then take another bus from there to your destination hotel. Do the reverse to get back to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort. While that's free, it can take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours each way. If your destination is one of the Magic Kingdom monorail resorts, and the Magic Kingdom is still open, you could take a bus to the Magic Kingdom, then either walk (to the Contemporary and Bay Lake Tower), hop on the monorail (to the Polynesian and Grand Floridian), or take a boat (to Fort Wilderness, Wilderness Lodge, the Polynesian, and the Grand Floridian). We suggest you still allow at least an hour for that.
The fastest option, however, is almost always a taxi from Animal Kingdom Lodge to wherever you're going; it's generally not more than a $20, 15-minute cab ride to get to most Disney hotels from Animal Kingdom Lodge, and often less. Taxis are available outside the lobby; if a taxi is not already sitting out front, the bell services desk also serves as a taxi stand, and they'll call one for you.
To Universal Orlando If you're staying at Walt Disney World and don't have a car, Mears Transportation will shuttle you from your hotel to Universal and back for $18 per person. Pickup and return times are at your convenience. A one-way taxi ride is around $36, and may be the cheapest option if you have three to five people.
Shopping, Recreation and Things to Do
Zahanati Fitness Center is Animal Kingdom Lodge's fitness center and spa. It is open 24 hours a day but attendants are only available from 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Massage, facial, and body treatment services are available.
Animal Kingdom Lodge's gift shop is Zawadi Marketplace. It is located on the right side after you enter Animal Kingdom Lodge's lobby. As you'd expect from a Disney gift shop, Zawadi has a decent collection of souvenirs ranging from small trinkets such as keychains and pens, to embroidered jackets and Disney princess dresses. Prices for these items are about what you'd pay in the theme parks or Downtown Disney.
Zawadi Marketplace also sells basic pharmacy items such as sunscreen, aspirin, allergy and cold medicine, baby diapers and formula, shampoo, and the like. And Zawadi Marketplace has Disney-branded cookies, chocolate, coffee tins, and similar items, if that's what you're looking for. Prices for these items are considerably higher - about double - than what you'd probably pay at home.
Located near The Mara restaraunt is the Pumbaa's Fun and Games Arcade, which has a decent collection of relatively recent video and arcade games. Most games cost $0.50 to $2.00 per play, which can add up quickly. It's helpful to set a budget with your kids before they go in.
Walkers, joggers and runners can find a jogging trail. The trail is a 0.16 around Uzima Pool. There is also a 0.5 mile path that connects Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort Babysitting and In-Room Child Care
Animal Kingdom Lodge's on-site child-care center is the Simba's Clubhouse. Kids ages 3-12 may take part. Services vary, but children generally can be left between 4:30 PM and midnight. Milk and cookies and blankets and pillows are provided at all centers, and dinner is provided at most. Play is supervised but not organized, and toys, videos, and games are plentiful. Guests at any Disney resort or campground may use the services.
The most elaborate of the child-care centers (variously called "clubs" or "camps") is Lilo's Playhouse at the Polynesian Resort. The rate for ages 3-12 is $15 per hour, per child (2-hour minimum).
All the clubs accept reservations (some six months in advance!) with a credit card guarantee. Call the club directly, or reserve through Disney at 407-WDW-DINE. (If you call before 4 PM, call the club directly using the number shown below.) Most clubs require a 24-hour cancellation notice and levy a hefty penalty of 2 hours' time or $22.50 per call for no- shows. A limited number of walk-ins are usually accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Hotel||Name of Program||Ages||Phone|
|Animal Kingdom Lodge||Simba's Clubhouse||3-12||407-938-4785|
|Dolphin and Swan||Camp Dolphin||4-12||407-934-4241|
|Polynesian Resort||Lilo's Playhouse||3-12||407-824-1639|
|Yacht and Beach Club Resorts||Sandcastle Club||3-12||407-934-3750|
|Wilderness Lodge and Villas||Cub's Den||3-12||407-824-1083|
Two companies provide in-room sitting in Walt Disney World and surrounding areas. They're Kid's Nite Out and Fairy Godmothers (no kidding). Both provide sitters older than age 18 who are insured, bonded, screened, reference-checked, police-checked, and trained in CPR. In addition to caring for your kids in your room, the sitters will, if you direct (and pay), take your children to the theme parks or other venues. Neither service will transport your children in private vehicles or give baths. Both offer bilingual sitters.
|Kid's Nite Out||Fairy Godmothers|
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
All WDW and Orlando-area hotels
Men and women
Mothers and grandmothers, female college students
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $18
2 children, $21
3 children, $24
4 children, $26
Base Hourly Rates
1 child, $16
2 children, $16
3 children, $16
4 children, $18
Transportation fee, $10; starting before 6:30 AM
or after 9 PM, +$2 per hour; additional fee for holidays
Transportation fee, $14; starting after 10 PM,
+$2 per hour
24 hours before service when reservation is made
3 hours before service
Form of Payment
AE, D, MC, V; gratuity in cash
Form of Payment
Cash or traveler's check for actual payment; gratuity in cash
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children in private vehicles,
take children swimming, give baths
Things Sitter Won't Do
Transport children, give baths; swimming
is at sitter's discretion
Miscellaneous Animal Kingdom Lodge
Washers and dryers are in laundry facilities located near Simba's Cubhouse. Cost is $3 per wash, and another $3 per dry cycle. The machines take credit cards. A small selection of soap, fabric softener, and dryer sheets are also sold, for around $1 each. A typical wash cycle takes 20 to 30 minutes, and a typical dry cycle takes 40 to 50.
Laundry room cards can be purchased for $7 (using cash or credit) at the hotel's front desk. These cards get you one wash and one dry cycle, plus text messages letting you know when your laundry has been completed. Walt Disney World laundry rooms now make use of a technology called "LaundryView" which displays washer and dryer availability on their website.
If you lose something during your stay, contact Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort's Lost and Found department by calling (407) 938-3000.
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House||86% (+9%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||76% (+0%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||57% (+0%)|
|Hotel||Definitely (+/- since last year)|
|Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House||94% (+0%)|
|Average for WDW hotels||92% (+2%)|
|Average for off-site hotels||79% (-7%)|
Good (and Not-So-Good) Rooms at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House
Best and Worst Room Views at Disney's Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort
TouringPlans offers pictures of the view from any Disney resort room on property. Click here for the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort map and to choose a room to see the view.
A glance at the resort map tells you where the best rooms and villas are. Kudu Trail and Zebra Trail, two wings branching from the rear of Jambo House, form a semicircle around the central wildlife savanna. Along each wing are seven fivestory buildings, with accommodations on floors two through five. Five buildings on each wing form the semicircle, while the remaining two buildings jut away from the center. The best rooms—on floors three and four, facing into the circle—are high enough to survey the entire savanna yet low enough to let you appreciate the ground-level detail of this amazing wildlife exhibit; plus, these rooms offer the easiest access to the lobby and restaurants. Second-floor rooms really can’t take in the panorama, and fifth-floor rooms are a little too high for intimate views of the animals. Most of the fourth-floor rooms in Jambo House are reserved for concierge guests, and the fifth and sixth floors house the DVC units.
Most rooms in the outward-jutting buildings, as well as rooms facing away from the interior, also survey a savanna, but one not as compelling as that of the inner circle. On the Zebra Trail, the first two buildings plus the first jutting building provide savanna views on one side and look onto the swimming complex on the other.
Less attractive still are two smaller wings, Ostrich Trail and Giraffe Trail, branching from either side of the lodge near the main entrance. Some rooms on the left side of Ostrich Trail (see map on page 196) overlook a small savanna. Rooms on the opposite side of the same buildings overlook the front entrance. Least desirable is Giraffe Trail, extending from the right side of the lobby: Its rooms overlook either the pool (water view) or the resort entrance (standard view).
|Exotic theme||Remote location|
|Uniquely appointed guest rooms|
|Most rooms have private balconies|
|Views of savanna and animals from guest rooms|
|Themed swimming area|
|Excellent on-site dining, including a buffet|
|On-site nature programs and storytelling|
|Health and fitness center|
|Child-care center on-site|
|Proximity to non-Disney restaurants on US 192|
Animal Kingdom Lodge 2016 Rack Rates
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House Dining
- Boma - Flavors of Africa (Table Service)
- Jambo House Private Dining (Table Service)
- Jiko - The Cooking Place (Table Service)
- The Mara (Counter Service)
- Uzima Springs Pool Bar (Bar or Lounge)
- Victoria Falls Lounge (Bar or Lounge)
- Zawadi Marketplace - Market
|Park||Commuting Times||Resort Transportation|
|Magic Kingdom||36 min|
|Hollywood Studios||26 min|
|Animal Kingdom||10 min|
|Quietness of Room||B|
|Shuttle to Parks||Yes|