Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Jambo House and Kidani Village are truly one-of-a-kind, with a perfect combination of Disney magic and stunning African architecture. This unique property is simply enchanting! Here are what we consider to be our 8 favorite features of this awesome Disney Vacation Club resort.
The main attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is that it has become a new home to more than 100 grazing animals contained in a natural habitat in four on-site savannas. The horseshoe design of this outstanding Disney Vacation Club resort provides visitors with awe-inspiring views of over 30 species of wildlife and tropical birds, co-existing in protected savannas.
Many Walt Disney World guests see these animals in the park during their Kilimanjaro Safaris ride, but the ride misses so much of the habitat and wonder of the parks majestic creatures. For a more complete experience, you must visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Cast members can direct guests to the finest viewing locations. Disney’s goal is to maintain the natural habitat of the wildlife as much as possible, thus less artificial nighttime lighting will be focused directly on the savannas. During the day it’s easier to watch wildlife grazing, but at night it becomes more of a challenge. Guests are provided with free night-vision goggles to assist in evening wildlife viewing. For added special access, sign up for a one-hour evening excursion through the savanna courtesy of a safari vehicle and tour guide. The Starlight Safari tour is not free, but well worth the $74.17 per adult experience!
#2 Unique Décor!
This truly unusual themed Disney property features safari-inspired architectural elements and classic African décor throughout the resort. The Disney Imagineers were successful in making this a very celebrated and highly rated DVC property. The main lodge building is truly impressive, welcoming guests to a grand lobby with vaulted ceilings, a massive roaring fireplace, thatched roof, comfy guest seating, and awesome savanna views. You’ll feel as though you’ve been transported to an exclusive African safari lodge, ready to be treated like royalty!
#3 Disney Vacation Club Villas!
Guests return time and time again to experience the great styling, stunning architecture and fine African décor found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. The comfortable and spacious Disney Vacation Club units are found at Jambo House and Kidani Village. There are a few minor differences between the villas found at each location, but all the villas are delightful. At both Jambo House and Kidani Village, well-appointed DVC Studio, 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units offer distinctive décor, spacious floor plans, lavish bathrooms, and fully equipped kitchens. All 3-bedroom Grand Villas have simply outstanding Savannah views and sleep up to 12 guests comfortably. Guests of Jambo House and Kidani Village may use all the amenities at found at both resort locations. There are a serene walking path and a shuttle that provides convenient access between Jambo House and Kidani Village.
Jambo House is located within the main resort lodge building which contains DVC villas as well as standard hotel rooms. Jambo House is geared for guests seeking convenience who do not mind a high-energy environment. Jambo House is close to most of the resort’s restaurants and the Zawadi Marketplace. Jambo’s DVC units are located within Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, primarily on the 5th floor. Most other rooms are considered “hotel” rooms for rent.
Kidani Village is exclusively an all—DVC villa property located just a short walk or shuttle ride from the main lodge. Kidani Village has its own designated lobby and in general, provides a more relaxed atmosphere. Kidani Village units tend to be a tiny bit larger than the Jambo House units. Premier concierge villas in Kidani Village have access to exclusive Kilimanjaro Club amenities.
Some villas do not have private balconies; therefore, Disney has large, well-placed viewing areas around the resort to animal watch.
#4 Swimming Pools!
There are two pools available for guests of Animal Kingdom Villas. The most popular one by far, and therefore the most crowded, is the zero-entry Uzima pool, designed to resemble an African watering hole. This pool is a fun place for the entire family. The Uzima Springs Pool Bar services up frozen cocktails, African beer, and light meals and snacks. During the evening, each week, you can watch one of your favorite Disney Movies under the stars at the Uzima pool too for no charge!
For guests seeking a more serene experience, the Samawati Springs pool in Kidani Village provides a relaxing place for guests to escape the heat of the day without the crowd. Grab a casual meal or refreshing cocktail at Maji Pool Bar. Private dining is also available here.
There are children’s splash areas, wading pool and waterslides at both pool locations.
While at the resort, feed your lion-sized appetite at your choice of distinctive dining experiences. Three of the restaurants are award-winning and feature authentic Indian- and African-style cuisine with plenty of traditional American menu selections blended in to satisfy even the most discriminating diner.
“Sanaa” is a themed family dining venue located closest to Kidani Village. Menu selections include Indian-inspired dishes prepared in an African cooking style. Watch gazelles and ostriches wander by as you enjoy naan bread, sweet mango chutney, and seafood curry. Sign up for the intimate Animal Specialist lunch (limited to 12 guests each day) to enjoy a private, 4-course meal while learning about the birds, animals and Disney’s conservation efforts. In the evening, try specialty appetizers and cocktails while gazing at the grand savanna at Sanaa Lounge.
Several other charming restaurants are found at the main lodge. “Boma-Flavors of Africa” is a unique buffet dining experience that serves American classics and African favorites like South African Curried Lobster, Spicy Nigerian Peanut Soup and Tunisian Cous Salad.
“Jiko – The Cooking Place” is a signature dining experience featuring an extensive dinner menu and selections like Grilled Wild Boar Tenderloin, Seared Barbarie Duck Breast and Cape Malva Pudding. Sign up to sample fine South African wines selected for the Jiko Wine Tasting event, held every Wednesday.
“The Mara” offers all day and late-night casual and healthy favorites including flatbreads and burgers.
“Victoria Falls Lounge” overlooks Boma-Flavors of Africa. Enjoy a South African beer or wine before or after dinner in this intimate setting overlooking the glow of the outdoor fire pit.
#6 Thrills and Adventure!
Be sure to sign up in advance for the Wanyama Safari & Dinner Excursion, an informative and educational tour that features discussions about African wildlife and architecture. This interesting and memorable excursion fills up fast and is available for a maximum of 12 guests. It concludes with a delicious meal at “Jiko-the Cooking Place” restaurant. Since this excursion includes a meal it justifies the $209 per person price tag.
The Sunrise Safari Breakfast Adventure is another tour providing a 45-minute ride along the Kilimanjaro Safari Path in the Animal Kingdom Theme Park, followed by a flavorful breakfast.
#7 On-Site Activities, Amenities and Recreational Activities!
There are plenty of daily recreational activities available for guests staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. From culinary or cultural immersion activities, wildlife discoveries, animal adventures, and arts and crafts, a stay at Animal Kingdom Villas will certainly not be boring! See the calendar of events below with many kids’ activities are free (excluding culinary exploration).
Kids will have a blast at the Hakuna Matata Playground. They can also go to Simba’s Clubhouse or spend time in the games arcade. Need some adult time at the gym? The Zahanti Massage and Fitness Center has state-of-the-art fitness equipment, sauna, and steam room. Additional soothing spa services are available by reservation. A free event during the evening is a campfire and roasting marshmallows at Kidani Village; please check the resort’s schedule for exact times.
#8 Guest Perks!
There are quite a few perks available to registered guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. For example, registered guests are able to wander around and visit other Disney resorts to walk through or relax in the unique lobby areas, enjoy dining reservations at the resort restaurants, enjoy a refreshing cocktail in one of the resort lounges, get some retail therapy at resort boutiques or unwind on one of the beachfront resort sandy beaches. Go by bus, monorail, Minnie Van, motorboat or your own vehicle and enjoy visiting the other magical Disney World resort properties.
Another perk of staying on-site is FASTPASS, a great option for Disney guests looking to speed their way through the long lines for popular rides. If you are a Disney resort guest, FASTPASS reservations are available 60 days in advance. Use the designated FASTPASS entrance at the ride of your choice and save lots of time. This is a huge perk for those Flight of Passage fans inside Pandora world where current wait times are three hours.
Staying on-site entitles guests to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours whereas the park will open 1 hour earlier exclusively for their guests. Hours and park locations vary but typically resort guests get to beat the crowds and enjoy a long day and evening at the theme parks in a relatively less crowded atmosphere.
The Magical Express is another great perk available to registered resort guests. This comfortable motor coach offers round trip transport of guests and their luggage between Orlando International Airport and their Disney World resort for FREE.
A stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas will be filled with magic, wonder, and pure Disney enchantment, regardless of whether you stay at Jambo House or Kidani Village.
For more information on how to own at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or other fine Disney Vacation Club resorts for as low as $100 per month, we recommend the DVC experts at Vacation Club Loans