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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Exterior

At a Glance

    Pros

  • extraordinary wildlife and cultural experiences
  • excellent on-site restaurants: Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa

    Cons

  • shuttle to parks other than Animal Kingdom can take more than an hour
  • guided savanna tours available only to guests on the concierge level, where the least expensive room is $100 a night higher than the least expensive rooms in other parts of the hotel

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

Giraffes, zebras, and other wildlife roam three 11-acre savannas separated by the encircling arms of this grand hotel, designed to resemble a "kraal" or animal enclosure in Africa. Entering the vast atrium lobby is like entering a cathedral with a roof formed of thatch rather than marble. A massive clay chimney structure dominates the right-hand side of the four-story lobby. Cultural ambassadors give talks about their African homelands, the animals, and the often museum-quality artwork on display; evenings include storytelling sessions around the fire circle on the Arusha Rock terrace.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 2901 Osceola Pkwy., Animal Kingdom Resort Area, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 | Map It
  • Phone: 407/938–3000
  • Location: Disney's Animal Kingdom

    Hotel Details

  • 972 rooms, 499 suites and villas.
  • Rate includes no meals.
  • Credit cards accepted.
Updated: 02-26-2013

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

    Stayed at Animal Kingdom Logde, Jambo House in a one bedroom villa savanna view fron 09/19/09 to 09/26/09. Awoke the first morning after check in and turned on light in kitchen to find a cock roach running across the counter. I killed roach and saved in paper towel. Called housekeeping and was informed Pest Control would be sent to room. After one hour called back and was told I didn't need to bee in room they would spray for the bugs. I informed them I had a two year old child and wanted to know what was going to be sprayed. Someone from pest control arrived about 45 minutes after that. They confirmed it was a roach and would set traps later that day since it was a safety measure and couln't spray.
    I then called the front desk asked for a manager and told him of our problem. He advised they didn't have any other rooms and they would set traps for the roaches and everything would be fine. I refused went down to the front desk and got into an arguement with the manager that I would not stay in any room with cock roaches. Finally he agreed to move us and we had to pack up our belongings, they put in storage and had to wait until later that day for a room to open up. At this point the manager never even apologized. Well we checked into a new room that evening but, how can you feel confortable. Also, the manager mentioned we needed to move out of our old room so they could put someone else in there.
    Once in the new room we had major problems getting our room cleaned by housekeeping and it took 1 hour and ten minutes just to get clean towels because of no service. In the new room four days later I awoke at 1:00am and felt something crawling on my back. Once again to our surprise it was a large black beatle.
    I think they should change the name to Disneys Bug Kingdom Logde and we will never stay there again.

    by DaneLiebich, 10/1/09
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    Terrible overpriced hotel - avoid if you can

    Arrived at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) on April 5 2008 for a one week stay. Got two rooms – one “villa” with a Savannah view (495 per night) and one a partial Savannah view (309 per night). The Savannah room was for our in-laws and two nieces who are major animal lovers.

    The Savannah “villa” room was a major disappointment. It is a tiny (did I say tiny) room with a queen bed and a pull out sofa-bed. What we thought we booked (based on the description by Disney Reservation) and what we got were like night-and-day. To say that we were disappointed would be an understatement.
    After my wife complained about the “villa” room…we were basically told that this is what we booked and tough luck. We can leave the hotel if we wanted to as they were fully booked. I was ready to walk out and check into the Ritz Carlton. The club level at the Ritz is cheaper than AKL. My nieces wanted the animal view so we were stuck. My wife had a mini-breakdown at the reception. She worked so hard to make this a perfect vacation for our nieces and a major part of the Disney experience was a disaster.

    Our other room was ok. It is in the same league as a Hampton Inn without the view. Our room at AKL had an excellent view of the animals. We woke up every morning to see Giraffes, Zebras and other animals just outside. This was a pleasant surprise since we were expecting a parking lot view when we checked in.

    The lodging part of the vacation went from bad to worse. The toilet in the Villa “Savannah” room started to backup from day 1. A previous guest apparently flushed a bar of soap and this caused the toilet to malfunction. The engineers came three times but could not fix it. It would be ok for a couple of flushes and then malfunction. After the fourth time…I had enough and threw a fit at the front desk around 10 PM. It was unacceptable that a 4-star hotel charging $495 per night could not provide a functioning toilet for guests, especially old disabled guests. Four days without a working toilet is not acceptable. They immediately sent engineering to yank the toilet out and replace it with a new one. Unfortunately after engineering did this they forgot to tell housekeeping to clean up the mess. We had to live with a stinky messy toilet till the next day as it 12 PM and we were exhausted after visiting the parks all day.

    The concierge desk at AKL were pretty unhelpful. Some were nice but a majority of them seemed to be unprepared. Make sure you plan carefully if you need wheelchairs at AKL or theme parks. Double check the information given as it is often inconsistent. We were going to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue at the Wilderness Lodge. It was raining and was a cars-trains-boats-bus type journey before it was over. Nobody seemed to know exactly where to park and which mode of transportation would result in the least amount of walking for my mother in-law.
    Don’t bother asking concierges about restaurants outside of Disney or even directions outside Disney. They were pretty clueless.

    Other than our hotel room fiasco…the Disney experience was pretty amazing. Despite the crowds we were able to get on most rides without much of a wait by using the FAST pass and some planning. We did four Disney parks and two Universal parks in six days. The Universal parks are a must do if you like more adventurous rides. Make sure you get the Express pass at Universal it will save you 30-45 minutes in line at each ride.

    Bottomline – don’t stay in Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge if you can avoid it. There are much better hotels at a fraction of the cost around the theme parks if you have a car.

    by marciacasey, 4/12/08
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    Great Experience

    Our family of three stayed here Dec 10-14, 2006 and had a great time. We did have a dispute over our first room. We booked a Savannah view and found our first room (2484) had a lovely view of the hot tub! But a quick call to the front desk and all was forgiven. Our new room (4457) was perfect with views of giraffe, antelope, kudu, gazelle and various birds throughout the day. The restaurants Jiko and Boma were excellent but pricey. Service and atmosphere at both were fantastic but guests should make reservations early and expect to spend a lot. The Mara is very cafeteria-like with burgers, pizza, pre-made salads, chips, etc. Good if you're in a hurry but nothing in the way of taste. The entire hotel staff surpassed my expectations. Even the clean up crew at Mara had smiles and warm greetings for everyone. Housekeeping was always prompt and thorough. Consierge was helpful at planning our days. The Disney bus system was great. I've read complaints about long waits but we never waited longer than 10 minutes for a bus to or from any park. This hotel is out of the way and less geared toward the kids. Sure they are everywhere - this is Disney after all - but we never felt crowded or stressed by crying babies or screaming toddlers. I think Animal Kingdom does a better job at crowd placement. Maybe it's because this place is so spread out and yes, that means a long walk to restaurants, pool, game room, etc. But that's a good thing in my opinion. Just remember the stroller and wheel the kids around! Great place to stay at Disney and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a low-key, top-notch family vacation.

    by tmlh, 1/1/07

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