Our August 2017 Disney World vacation started with our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort in the Jambo House. When you enter into the lobby of the lodge, you instantly view the breathtaking cathedral window and you are instantly immersed in the atmosphere, and blown away by the integrated thematic African decorative details and conveniently located award winning restaurants.
PRO’S of vacationing at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
*1. EVERYTHING IS INSIDE IN THE AIR CONDITIONING! Jambo House is a giant u-shaped resort with everything being accessible INDOORS! When you are visiting sunny Florida in the heat of summer, you really appreciate not having to walk outside to travel to the gift shop or food services and even your room! This August vacation my children didn’t get the reoccurring heat rash like they usually do, and we feel the extra A/C was comfortably the cause. Typically at a moderate or a value resort, as well as some deluxe resorts, you have to travel outside to walk from room to lobby or lobby to room; but at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, you enter into the lobby and there is no need to go back outside unless to view animals or hit the pool! (Located on the first floor is a ((2 floors underneath the lobby)) breezeway which provides a 30 second shady walk to the food court.)
In addition to everything being inside, the resort is a very shaded resort; even while waiting for the busing, no matter what time of the day you are NEVER in the sun! Traveling with a 9 and 7 year old, they absolutely enjoyed the breaks out of the heat. Jambo house offers an attractive dimly-lit ambiance with the smells of delicious food that radiates the hotel.
*2. Enjoy the luxury of a deluxe hotel that is priced comparable to some moderate resorts depending on the room you choose. As a deluxe resort, Animal Kindgom Lodge gives you more for your buck, as it offers all deluxe accommodations, at not much more than a moderate resort. (Unless of course you choose a Savannah view! ♥♦♥)
~Jambo House offers 3 restaurants as well as Victoria Falls the Lounge all not far from the lobby. As you enter the lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge you walk onto the 3rd floor; head to the right you will find the elevators where you can go down to floor 1 to find the eateries such as Boma, Jiko and the food court called the Mara. Boma is a family-friendly fantastic buffet offering American food with an African flare – here we found something for everyone, including our picky eaters!
Not to mention all staff at Animal Kingdom Lodge as well as most of Disney World are so very accommodating.
We decided to cancel our reservation with Jiko since I saw a sign that said proper attire was required and no tank-tops… I really didn’t pack myself anything BUT tank tops. I am sort of disappointed we didn’t at least ask and try it anyway!
Just a 5 minute shuttle ride will bring you to Sanaa in the Kidani Village situated next to Jambo House. Sanaa was amazingly decorated – a fine dining paradise, BUT Sanaa isn’t that well prepared for picky eaters and picky husbands. LOL.
To eat at Sanaa, you really need to be tolerable of trying different types of food and accepting of Asian type -spices. Sanaa is delicious and the décor is stunning – the service was amazing – but it just wasn’t a great fit for my family.
For some signature Disney World drinks, Victoria Falls
is the signature lounge located inside of Jambo house with a waterfall cascading to the floor beneath seen from Boma’s waiting area.
*3. Beautiful animal observation points seen from several points inside and outside the hotel.
*4. Pool slide
*5. You are just minutes away from Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Disney’s Winter Summerland Mini Golf Blizzard Beach Water Park!
*6. Not far from Hollywood Studios!
*7. Constant games and activities going on for the kids!
CONS for Vacationing at Animal Kingdom Lodge
*The only deluxe resort that does not offer alternate modes of transportation to parks besides busing. There is no monorail or boat to any of the parks.
*Animal Kingdom Lodge is around a 20 minute ride from Magic Kingdom.
*Unless you choose and pay extra for a Savannah View room there is NO GUARANTEE you will have a view of animals. Some people are lucky and do get a view of animals without paying for it! We unfortunately were not lucky and had a view of the parking lot! LOL But we were extremely close to the lobby and elevators which was great!
*Jambo House pool leaves something to be desired; it’s just a pool with a waterslide. To get to the children’s splash area you need to travel to Kidani Village. There was a pool bar and it was loaded with bees.
*You sort of feel like you’re inside a cave!
*Rooms aren’t that much bigger than what you get at a value or moderate for the amount of extra money; however, they are beautifully decorated and contain 2 sinks in the vanity and a ceiling fan over the beds. You do receive slightly more storage space and the queen size beds were super comfortable.
We always have a wonderful time in Walt Disney World, and we had a great time at Animal Kingdom Lodge! We are so glad we were blessed to stay there and see what it was like. We probably wouldn’t stay there again in the near future just because our family are Magic Kingdom lovers and we are looking to try a deluxe that is much closer!
When is your next Walt Disney World Vacation?