This is the first in a series of blog posts each of which will spotlight one of the Walt Disney World Resort hotels.

When visiting Walt Disney World there is nothing that can compare to staying onsite in one of Disney’s Resort hotels.  When you stay onsite, you are fully immersed in the magic of Disney.  But with over 20 resort hotels to choose from it can be a bit overwhelming.  Hopefully this series can help you choose!

Our first featured resort is one that I personally cannot wait to stay in….. Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas.

disney's animal kingdom lodge and villas
disney's animal kingdom lodge and villas lobby

Located about a mile from Animal Kingdom park is one of Disney’s deluxe resort hotels, Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas.  In true Disney fashion, AKL is a uniquely themed African-style lodge sitting on its own wildlife reserve.  The lodge, named Jambo House, features a gorgeous lobby with a very high ceiling that is decorated with colorful African artwork and artifacts everywhere.  This theme is carried throughout the entire resort in architecture, interior design, and landscaping.  Guest rooms are decorated with vibrant colors, dark wood and patterned carpets.  Jambo House is 6 stories tall and includes a huge 4-story observation window overlooking acres of savanna.  The lodge houses 955 standard rooms, 15 suites, and 215 Jambo House villas.  Next to the lodge is the Disney Vacation Club Resort Kidani Village.  Kidani has its own savannah, Pembe, and also shares the Sunset Savannah with Jambo House.  Kidani houses 493 villas.

disney's animal kingdom lodge guest room
disney's animal kingdom lodge guest room
disney's animal kingdom lodge villas


There are several different room types to choose from at Jambo House: Standard view, pool view, savannah view, deluxe pool view, deluxe savannah view, and concierge level rooms.  Deluxe rooms are a little bigger than standard rooms.  There are also Presidential and Vice Presidential suites, 1-bedroom suites, and 2-bedroom parlor suites.

Kidani Village is a Disney Vacation Club property featuring 493 villas.


Jambo House is home to one quick service dining location, The Mara, as well as two full service restaurants, Boma and Jiko.

Boma offers vibrant flavors from over 50 African countries—along with favorite American classics.  Greet your day with a cup of full-bodied Kenyan AA coffee, tropical juice and a bountiful breakfast buffet. Selections may include made-to-order omelets, French toast, African pastries, carved ham, fresh fruit and corn beef bobotie—a type of South African quiche.  At dinner, watch chefs prepare grilled seafood, roasted meats, vegetarian specialties, fresh salads and house-baked pastries in the onstage kitchen. Kids can enjoy options like chicken nuggets, while Guests 21 years of age and up delight in unique South African wines—many of which are available by the glass.

Jiko offers a delicious blend of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. Steak, chicken, seafood, vegan and vegetarian dishes are infused with a uniquely bold blend of tantalizing flavors and fragrant spices.  Changing seasonally, the menu may include flavor bursting appetizers like imaginative brick oven-fired flatbreads and mouth-watering entrées such as oak-grilled filet mignon.  The children’s menu features pizza, grilled chicken or steak, and market-fresh fish served with ancient grains and vegetables.

Kidani Village is home to one full service restaurant, Sanaa, which is a signature dining location.  Sanaa offers slow-cooked meats, salads and vegetarian specialties as you discover African cooking with Indian flavors.  Step inside this exquisite, East African-inspired eatery, which evokes a traditional spice market, decorated with handcrafted wares under the graceful branches of an acacia tree.

disney's animal kingdom lodge jiko
disney's animal kingdom lodge jiko


Jambo House features Uzima pool, a zero-entry pool with a 67ft water slide, pool bar, children’s pool, 2 whirlpool spas, children’s playground, arcade, Zahantu Health Club & Spa and massage services.

Kidani Villageoffers Samawati Springs zero-entry pool with a 128ft water slide, 2 whirlpool spas, Maji pool bar, lounge and Uwanja Camp wet children’s playground.


Jambo House offers motorcoach transportation to all Disney theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs and Disney resort hotels (transfer required).

Kadani Village offers motorcoach transportation to Jambo House and back, Disney theme parks, water parks, Disney Springs, and Disney resort hotels.


Both Jambo House and Kidani Village offer merchandise locations, self-service laundry facilities, valet laundry service, and valet parking.  Both also offer animal programs where guests can watch animals via night vision and watch handlers feed the animals.


The children’s activity center, Simba’s Clubhouse, is available for children 3-12 years of age.  Supervised activities including toys, free play arcade games , arts and crafts, games, Disney movies, and Sony Playstations.  Advance reservations highly recommended.

Kids Nite Out Kid’s is another option for childcare for resort guests.  Caregivers can provide one-on-one in-room childcare in the comfort of a Disney Resort guest room. The professional staff of Kid’s Nite Out gives the child individual attention by playing a variety of fun-filled activities with him/her including reading books, coloring, or playing games. They can also provide a fun, well-trained sitter to just hang out with the family if they need a father’s/mother’s helper. Kid’s Nite Out also plans and works children’s parties, camps, and children’s theme conventions.


Something very special for the concierge guests of Animal Kingdom Lodge is the Sunset or Wanyama Safari.  It is approximately 1-1/2 hours long and takes place on the savannas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is a great opportunity to spend time with members from the animal programs team to learn more about the animals of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are photo opportunities of the animals and architecture of Animal Kingdom Lodge.  Your safari will end with a true African dining experience at Jiko where a multi-course meal will await you.

This has just been a brief overview of what Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas has to offer.  For more information or to book a stay at AKL&V contact your Starts With A Wish Travel Agent.

If you have questions, comment below!