A Weekend on the Savanna
March 30, 2017
You know that song at the beginning of the Lion King? Well, that’s the song that plays through my mind every time I walk into Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. To say this is a beautiful resort would be a vast understatement!
My family had the pleasure to stay at this unique resort for a short visit in August. We decided to splurge on a Savanna View Club Level Room, and we were so glad we did!
When you stay club level, there are many perks you can enjoy in addition to the amenities the resort already has to offer. The first perk we were able to take advantage of upon arrival was the check-in process. As soon as we walked in, we were whisked away to the Kilimanjaro Club for a separate check-in process, where we were immediately offered a cool beverage while they explained the various tidbits of information to us, and gave us our special folder full of fun information. Once we had the process down, we went to check out our room.
Our room was well appointed with a queen size bed and set of bunk beds in the sleeping area, small table and chairs to eat at, beverage cooler and Keurig, double vanity in the bathroom area, and a lovely balcony over-looking the Savanna! We had a hard time deciding what to look at first. The amount of detail added to these rooms was overwhelming, from the faux mosquito netting over the bed, to the wallpaper with a map of Africa. Even the lamps looked like they were made of tree branches! Even though the room was amazing, it was the Savanna that took our breath away. Every time we stepped out onto our balcony, we were able to see a new animal resting or grazing. In our room there was guide that listed all the animals that were available to see. Throughout our weekend my son had an absolute blast marking off each animal he saw. Even three months later, he still can’t wait to go back to try to find the elusive wildlife he didn’t find on this trip!
We briefly unpacked, then my kiddo and I left my hubby in the room to take a nap, while we went to check out the pool. The Uzima Springs pool is huge (11,000 sq. ft.)! The pool itself is reminiscent of the huge watering holes where the animals come together in the African Savanna, with the pool free formed in shape and surrounded by animal viewing locations. If the Uzima Springs pool seems a little intimidating, there is also the Samawati Springs pool, located in the nearby Kidani Village (a short walk from Jambo House).
After our swim, my son and I gathered up my husband and we went up to the Kilimanjaro Club for a snack before dinner. The Kilimanjaro Club is located on the sixth floor of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and offers beautiful views of the resort. Throughout the day, there are various food and beverage offerings. I highly suggest taking the time to sample the warm hors d’houevres that are offered in the evening. These items are prepared by the chefs from Boma and Jiko, and are delicious! While enjoying your snack, you can watch a Disney movie from the comforts of a comfortable couch or the various tables and chairs in the lounge. After enjoying our snacks we decided to freshen up for dinner and see if we could spot any animals from our room.
Animal Kingdom Lodge has many dining options, including three quick service options (Mara, Uzima Springs Pool Bar and Maji Pool Bar), two table service options (Boma and Sanaa) and one signature dining option (Jiko the Cooking Place). For dinner we had reservations at one of my favorite restaurants, Boma, which is a buffet filled with many delicious foods with an African flair. For picky eaters, there are still plenty of things on the buffet to eat, such as macaroni and cheese and pasta. For the more adventurous eaters, some of my favorites on the menu include the coconut curry soup, the spice crusted strip loin and the couscous. After sufficiently stuffing ourselves, we found we were too tired to take part in a fun activity we were hoping to try. After sunset, guests are welcomed to borrow night vision goggles from the resort to watch the animals on the savanna after dark. The activity is fabulous, but we were just too tired that evening, and wanted to get a good night’s sleep before heading to Magic Kingdom the following day. Upon arriving back in our room, we were pleasantly surprised to find that our room had been turned down in the short time we were away, complete with an entire box of chocolates on our bed. On my son’s bunk, they had also placed a small bag of chocolates. He was thrilled!
The following morning we took advantage of the bus transportation and spent the day at Magic Kingdom. The new computer screens at the bus stop were great, and let us know how long our wait was for each bus. Although this resort is further away from most of the theme parks, than the other deluxe properties, we never felt like the transportation was a hassle, and never waited more than 5 minutes for the bus.
On our final day, we had a late afternoon flight and were happy to spend most of the day enjoying the resort. We were able to take advantage of more of the resort’s activities, enjoy breakfast at Boma (breakfast is just as wonderful as their dinner), take another swim in the wonderful pool, and hear from some of the animal guides about the wonderful animals.
Although our trip was brief, we had an amazing time at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and place this magnificent resort among our favorites of the Walt Disney World resorts. The resort offers many unique experiences that can’t be found at any other resorts in the United States, while still keeping up to Disney’s standards of magic and excellence.
If you’d like to see additional pictures and videos from my visit to Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, please check out my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/thensley.wft. If you’d like more information about taking a vacation to any Disney Destination, please contact Tiffini@wishesfamilytravel.com