Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Lodge Guide

May 24, 2024 by Laura Pitcher

Like any other self-respecting 90s kid, my favorite movie as a child was The Lion King. I was OBSESSED. I had the bed sheets for my cozy twin bed and did a professional photoshoot with Simba and Nala stuffed animals at JC Penney. So it’s no wonder that a Walt Disney World Resort, with an actual savanna, would be my kryptonite.

If you’re looking for one of the most immersive and unique accommodations that Walt Disney World provides, look no further than Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Drawing inspiration from traditional African villages, the architecture combines a thatched roof with detailed wood carvings and an actual savanna with over 200 animals. Even if you aren't staying at the resort, one of my favorite Disney days is eating lunch or dinner here before the sun sets, and then going to check out all of the animals. This resort doesn’t just have great theming - it also has some of the best amenities and dining at Disney. Today, we’re sharing our guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, so you can get the most out of your stay. And as always, Be Our Guest Vacations can help make your dream trip a reality!  

Room Types at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

All of the rooms carry the African safari theming throughout them, in a way that feels tasteful and elegant. Within Jambo House, the main lodge at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, there are standard rooms with either one king or two queen beds (and sleep up to four guests) as well as one and two bedroom suites. These rooms come with resort, pool or savanna view rooms, and many offer Club Level access as well! My favorite room at Walt Disney World is at The Animal Kingdom Lodge, and it’s a Savanna View room. There’s nothing like making a cup of Joffrey’s coffee in the morning and going out onto your balcony that overlooks incredible unique animals. If you opt to book a savanna view room for your stay - we highly recommend packing binoculars to take a closer look at the animals just outside your balcony!

If your party needs more room to spread out during your stay, consider booking one of the 1, 2, or 3-bedroom villas that are offered. Be Our Guest Vacations can help you book these unique accommodations which are wonderful for larger families, parties traveling with infants or toddlers, or multi family trips! The 1, 2 and 3 bedroom villas at Jambo House and Kidani Village offer full kitchens, multiple bathrooms and an in unit washer and dryer (so helpful with kids in tow or during hot summer travel months!).

Dining at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge


Sanaa has my favorite food item at all of Walt Disney World - their legendary bread service, filled with delicious carbs and dips that I have reoccurring dreams about when at home. With views overlooking the savanna, the menu might be a little adventurous for some, but if you love exotic flavors and spices, you should make it a point to make a reservation. I love that this restaurant also has a lounge where you can normally grab a table without a wait, and a to-go option if you want to eat by the pool or in your room. 


Many people consider Boma to be the best buffet at Walt Disney World (it’s me - I’m the many people). With both breakfast and dinner seatings, Boma combines the best of African flavors, with things that the most adventurous eaters will love, and also options for more tame palettes. I love the soups that they offer, especially the butternut squash. One of their most famous options is a dessert, called a Zebra Dome. Make sure to get one (or twelve). They’re addicting!


For a romantic dinner, head to Jiko. The restaurant is a work of art, made to mimic the sunset on the African Savannah. Cranes fly from the ceiling, creating a stunning dining room that feels more like an experience than just a dinner. You’ll enjoy an extensive South African wine menu and food that marries the best of African, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. The filet with mac and cheese is my favorite - it might sound straightforward, but the flavors are anything but!

The Mara

If you’re looking for something fast and casual, then The Mara is for you. Whether you need a Mickey waffle fix before heading to the park, or a late-night dinner, The Mara marries familiar options with more adventurous dishes, so you can find something for everyone. Pro-tip: you can buy a box of the famous Zebra Domes here, so if you aren’t able to grab a Boma reservation, you still can have one of the best desserts at Disney!

Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar and Victoria Falls Lounge 

You can grab a South African glass of wine or beer at either of these lounges. They don’t take reservations, so it’s first come, first serve! Both also have a full bar available and offer a beautiful atmosphere.

Resort Activities


As the mother to a toddler, there’s nothing I love more than a zero-entry pool. The Animal Kingdom Lodge has two - Uzima Springs Pool and Samawati Springs Pool. Both have an incredibly relaxing environment and the Samawati Springs Pool even has a waterslide!

Hakuna Matata Playground

There’s a playground near the flamingo area at the savanna, which is another perk that makes this resort perfect for families with small kids! This area is shaded and perfect for burning off that toddler energy any time of day.

Wild About Painting

If you’re looking for a unique activity or a fun date night idea, check out the Wild About Painting class. Classes are $35 a person and take place at Jiko on Wednesdays. You’ll be able to take your painting home with you as well!

Simba's Activity Center

Located on the ground floor of Jambo House near Uzima Springs Pool, this activity center is free and open to all resort guests. Inside the activity center cast members offer games, crafts (some free some with a small fee), movies and more! This is a fantastic option at your resort for a 'rest day' or an activity for littles between park time. And also conveniently located next to a laundry room, making this a great place to hang out while you’re keeping up with family laundry!

Resort Activities

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge offers an incredible amount of on site resort activities - more so than many of the other Disney Resorts! Offerings vary by month, but can include things like the "String of Memories", in which guests can collect beads throughout the resort by completing activities hosted by an African Cultural Representative! Medallion rubbing, Art Tour, Campfire with marshmallow roasting and Usiku Pool Glow Party are a few other common activities you'll find offered at this resort for guests!

If you’re ready for a WILD vacation with incredible theming, reach out to Be Our Guest Vacations today - we’re ready to help book your perfect vacation at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge!