After spending ten days in South Africa, I came home day dreaming about the day I would return...well, that return happened sooner than I thought, but there's a twist - it was Walt Disney World's version of Africa! While in Orlando as as complimentary guest of the Monkey Kingdom Event, I spent three two days at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom and even got to visit Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas for lunch one day! What does that have to do with Africa? Everything! Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas recreate the environment I came to love while in Africa...but it's only a short drive away from my home of Miami!
I feel like I can speak with a bit of authority on this topic, as I have experienced the Savannas of Africa firsthand. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty awesome, and such a great opportunity for animal lovers to get up close and personal with species from Africa without the astronomical transatlantic flight cost!
The Animal Kingdom Lodge at Walt Disney World was Inspired by the traditional African kraal, with a horseshoe-curved design that allows for awesome views of the four savannas surrounding the lodge.
There are four savannas on the property, with over 200 hoofed animals and birds. Some rooms offer a view of the savannas, but you can also see them from the lobby area, go out onto the patio or book a safari ride!
There are over 30 species of African wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, gazelles, kudu and flamingos in these four savannas. Each guest room has a Wilderness Field Guide, and you can use this guide to look out for each species. There are also Animal Specialists at the lodge to help you learn more about these African animals and their native ecosystems during fun programs!
The Wanyama Safari and Dinner offers an up-close experience in the savannas, followed by a gourmet meal!
Things to do at Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas
There are other fun things to do at the Animal Kingdom Lodge!
Uzima Pool & Samawati Springs Pool
How about spending the day at Uzima Pool, their 11,000-square-foot pool that even has a water slide and 2 whirlpool spas. There's also Samawati Springs Pool, which also has a water slide, 2 whirlpool spas! Or take the kids to Uwanja Camp, an animal observation site-themed water playground with squirting Venus flytraps, a rope bridge, water cannons and more.
Simba’s Clubhouse for Kids
Kids aged 3-12 can go to Simba’s Clubhouse, a supervised activity center where they can play games, have dinner and snacks, make crafts, and of course, Disney movies!
Jambo House Campfire Activities
Enjoy a sunset celebration around the campfire with the family - you can even roast marshmallows!
Fun Facts about Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas
Did you know that Animal Kingdom Lodge is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums? It is! They have a full-time veterinary team on staff, as well as a veterinary hospital!
Animal Kingdom Lodge offers daytime and nighttime safaris through their savannas!
All of Animal Kingdom Lodge's dining options are African-inspired. They offer choices ranging from in-room dining, casual dining, pool-side dining, themed-restaurants (like Sanaa, which I'll be sharing more about next week), and fine dining.
The Hakuna Matata Playground is open 24 hours a day and overlooks the flamingo area and savannas.
You can find out more about Animal Kingdom Lodge & Villas here!
And don't forget to go see Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom in theaters now!