Hello! Today, I’m talking about Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s been a dream to stay at this resort, especially for my animal loving daughter. So we celebrated our first trip State side since October 2019, with a stay. And now I have the pleasure of telling you all about our experience. Starting with a room tour of the one bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge that we stayed in. We loved it so much that I was ready to claim squatters rights!
The Animal Kingdom Lodge Itself
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of Walt Disney World’s deluxe resorts. For those of you not in the know, it means it’s one of it’s top tier hotels. It feels like you’re staying in the heart of Africa as this resort is surrounded by four savannas giving you the chance to see over 200 animals and birds during your stay. It truly is the resort for animal lovers and gives you an experience like no other hotel on Disney property. The resort is divided into two main areas, Jambo House and Kidani Village. During your stay you will have access to the facilities and pools at both. We stayed in Jambo House with a pool view. Jambo House is inspired by the traditional African kraal and from the moment you step into the lobby you’ll be swept away. Like much of Walt Disney World, it’s awe inspiring.
The resort has two large pool areas (one at Jambo House and one at Kidani Village) with hot tubs, slides and even areas for smaller children to safely play. It also boosts award winning dining, a lot of extra activities day and night, including safaris and crafts for the kids. You could stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge and have no need to visit the parks because there is so much to do!
A One Bedroom Villa Room at Animal Kingdom Lodge
We stayed in a one bedroom villa room as there were five of us. If you are a group of five you’ll find there aren’t that many places that offer sleeping accommodation all in the same room for a party of that size. Many of the rooms are for up to four with the option of an adjoining room. But the one bedroom villa room at Animal Kingdom Lodge is perfect. It has one separated bedroom with a large bed, along with a pull out sofa and a pull out arm chair in the lounge area. The whole villa itself is very spacious so you don’t all feel crammed in, and with three adults and two ten year olds, this was very much appreciated.
Kitchen & Dining Area
When you first enter the villa you’re greeted with a large room that houses the kitchen, dining and lounge area. As this is a Vacation Club Resort, the kitchen in the villa is full equipped with everything you need to cook a meal! There is an oven, dishwasher, microwave and a large fridge freezer. There is also a filter coffee machine with take away cups for a grab and go coffee on your way to the parks. We used the fridge to keep drinks and snacks cold, as well as our leftovers from Jiko. Having the ability to reheat things was amazing! There is a high table in the centre of the kitchen area as well as a seated table with a bench and two large chairs. You’ll also find a large storage cupboard that houses an ironing board and iron but we mainly used it for our cases.
Everything was in great condition and has obviously been well looked after. Vacation Club properties work a little different to regular hotel rooms when it comes to cleaning and maintenance but I had absolutely no complaints, the place was spotless. This is the second vacation club property we’ve stayed in (first was Old Key West in 2016) and it’s always been a great experience even with housekeeping working a little differently.
The lounge area was spacious and light! We have stayed in a fair few Disney resorts now and I often find them quite dark feeling, probably due to trying to keep them cool so I was pleasantly surprised. In here you’ll find a very comfortable sofa that pulls out into a sofa bed and an arm chair by the window that also pulls out into a bed. There is a coffee table, a couple of side tables with lamps and one holds the telephone. There is a large unit with a big widescreen TV above it. The unit itself is great for storage and it is beautifully carved, how I wish I could have brought that home!
There is carpeting in the lounge area which is nice, but felt strange having stayed in some newly renovated Walt Disney World rooms with their wood flooring. However it is in great condition and well kept. And the large window has a sliding door that brings you out onto one end of the balcony.
The girls took the sofa bed and I slept on the arm chair pull out. Absolutely no complaints, it was incredibly comfortable! The bedding was already on the beds when we pulled them out, but we found extra blankets and pillows easily enough in a cupboard.
There is a small corridor that leads from the kitchen/lounge area towards the doors to the bedroom and bathroom. Starting with the bedroom, it’s very spacious with a large bed that is flanked by two bedside tables. One has a phone and they both have lamps. There is a chair with a large mirror above by the double doors that lead to the other end of the balcony. There is also a writing desk, a chest of drawers and a small wardrobe that houses a safe. This means plenty of storage for longer stays! There is a large TV above the drawers and as you can see, plenty of plugs and USB sockets for charging.
I wasn’t lucky enough to sleep in the bed, but I hear it was very comfortable and I love the Lion King detailing on the headboard. Another small and tasteful reminder that you are indeed staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Opposite the bedroom is the bathroom, and wow, what space! You’d have no problem getting a family ready in the morning! The toilet is in a separate room but it’s still in the bathroom which is a little inconvenient if you need to go while someone is showering, but it does offer some privacy if people are simply using the sinks. Speaking of sinks, which there are two of with a large mirror above and plenty of storage space below for toiletries. They provide you with a bar of soap and some body lotion, but all other toiletries are now fastened to the wall much like they are across all Walt Disney World resorts.
The shower and bath though! If I could do that little emoji of the hand making the perfection symbol, I would, they were that good! Let’s start with the beautiful tile mural above the bath depicting the beautiful sunrise scene from The Lion King. Just looking at it makes me want to sing The Circle of Life! The bath itself was huge with jets making it the best place to relax after a long day in the park. Or perhaps you’re more of a shower person? Well I have no complaints there either as the water pressure was amazing. If you feel like you would benefit from a second bathroom for your party, the one bedroom villa rooms at Kidani have two bathrooms and it might be worth booking that instead.
Anything Else to Note
As I mentioned above when talking about the bedroom, there are a lot of outlets. As a parent I seem to need a lot of places to charge on a nightly basis, so a room with an abundance of plugs is important! And if you’re staying in a room that sleeps five, you really need enough outlets for everyone, which I do feel this one bedroom villa room at Animal Kingdom Lodge has.
At the end of the corridor behind a door we found a washer and a dryer! In the room! Which I thought was fantastic! We even used the dryer after being in the pool until 10pm to dry out our swimwear and towels. It was great not having to find somewhere to hang things up or make our way to the public laundry room so late at night.
Finally, the balcony. It needs own little paragraph because wow, what a view. We stayed on the fifth floor and we looked down on the pool. I know people want to stay at AKL for the Savanna Room but this one was perfect for us. And if you’re wondering about the noise? The room is completely sound proof! I know this because at 5am I sat on the balcony to watch the sunrise and I could hear the cleaning crew out, but you couldn’t hear a thing from inside the room.
The view from our balcony was fantastic!
The whole villa has some wonderful Lion King touches from the tiles in the kitchen, to the mural above the bath tub, but all of them are subtle.
If you’re looking for a resort and room for a special occasion trip (or even just any trip), I cannot recommend Animal Kingdom Lodge enough. It is truly magical in a different way from other places at Walt Disney World and I’m already looking forward to our next stay.
If you'd like to receive a quote for The Animal Kingdom Lodge as part of your visit, simply get in touch here.