Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge: A Wild Escape


Do you fashion yourself an animal enthusiast? Have you always dreamed of traversing the African savannah and having close-up encounters with some of the most majestic creatures on earth? Then maybe a stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the perfect getaway resort to feed your adventurous side.

Welcome to the fifth stop on what we’re calling our “Resort-Hopper Tour”. If you missed our latest stop, check out our in-depth review of Disney’s Boardwalk Inn. It’s the perfect getaway for families that long for moonlit walks along old-fashioned boardwalks!

At each stop in our six-part series, we’re doing a deep dive into some of Disney World’s most iconic resort destinations. Along our journey, we’ll share important aspects about each resort, including theme, room types, amenities, restaurants, transportation, and more.

Our sincere hope is to help you make a magical decision that’s just right for your family for your next Disney getaway, and we won’t stop until you’re satisfied to be our guest.

So, without further ado, let’s travel to our next magical stop on our Resort-Hopper Tour — Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

An Overview of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

With views of four lush savannahs, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to over 200 hoofed animals and birds. You can stay on a campus that holds the largest collection of African art in the United States while swimming the day away amidst the backdrop of an African oasis.

Home to over thirty species of African wildlife, you’re sure to fulfill your need to experience the safaris of Africa. 

What Type of Rooms Does Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Have?

Like every Disney deluxe resort, you can count on a variety of excellent room choices. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is no different.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers four excellent room options:

  • Rooms & Suites that sleep up to 4 adults
  • Rooms & Suites with Club-Level Service that sleep up to 8 adults
  • Deluxe Studios sleeps up to 4 adults
  • One, two, and three-bedroom Villas that can sleep up to 12 adults

Deluxe Studios feature a kitchenette, a queen bed, a pull-down bed, and a sleeper sofa.

Villas feature fully equipped kitchens, spacious living and dining room spaces, separate bedrooms, and a washer and dryer.

No matter which room you choose, your family will love the feeling of being up close and personal with views of the African wilderness. 

What Amenities Does Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Offer?

One of the pleasures of staying on the Disney campus is that no matter which resort you stay at you’ll always experience tons of amenities. It comes standard with your Disney experience.

Each guest at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort enjoys complimentary WI-FI access, air-conditioned rooms, and the following amenities:

Pools, Waterslides, and Whirlpools, Oh, My!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to an expansive 11,000-square-foot pool with a waterslide and gently sloping, zero-point entry. Your family will feel like you’ve escaped to the local African watering hole.

Cool off at Uzima Springs Pool amidst the canopy of trees, Floridian palms, and a wildlife preserve. Inspired by African architecture, you’ll feel like you’ve escaped to an African paradise alongside beautiful views of majestic animals. There are also two whirlpools for tranquil soaking sessions.  

The Samawati Springs Pool is located within a short walking distance from the Villas and offers a 128-foot water slide. It’s the perfect place to cool off and explore your wild side.

Each pool area offers a nearby lounge for poolside refreshments.

Nearby Uwanja Camp offers three distinct splash zones for kids of all ages. At Observation Station toddlers 4 and under can enjoy adventurous climbs through cargo crates. There is also an area to unscramble safari images and a bubbling geyser and shallow pool.

The Departure zone is the perfect splash area for children 5 to 7 years of age. A leaky water tower and squirting African features offer fun and excitement.

Kids 8 and up can enjoy Base Camp and will love the splash zone and water cannons for non-stop water action.

Take a Walk on the Wild Side With Fun Activities!

While majestic views of African wildlife and state-of-the-art swimming pools are nice, it’s not all that Disney’s Animal Kingdom has to offer.

Here are some fun activities to enjoy at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge:

  • Swimming
  • Playground
  • Jogging trails
  • Gaming station
  • Painting Keepsake
  • 24-hour health club

Whether your family is splashing it up in the pool, getting their game on in the arcade, or painting masterpieces side-by-side, you’ll love the recreational activities at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Create Memories With Family-Friendly Activities

Like other stops on our Resort-Hopper Tour, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers many family-friendly activities.

Here is a short list of great family-friendly activities you can enjoy:

  • Movies Under the Stars
  • Jambo House Campfire Activities
  • Zahanati Massage, Spa & Fitness Center

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, every moment is special. So whether you’re enjoying movies under the stars or roasting s’mores by the campfire, you’ll love every magical moment.

What Transportation Options Does Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Have Available?

For transportation to all parks, guests can enjoy complimentary bus service. Rather dash out in style? You can purchase Minnie Van Service through Lyft.

Whatever way you get to the parks, we hope you have a magical time!

What Types of Restaurants Does Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Have Available?

Disney always has a knack for creating dining choices that work for every family, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is no different. Whether your family likes to eat on the go or enjoys a sit-down meal, you’re sure to find a restaurant that meets your needs.

Let’s take an in-depth look at some of the dining choices at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge:

Casual, Family-Friendly Dining Choices

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has several options for casual family-friendly dining experiences.

For casual dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s hard to top Sanaa. Your kids will love the classic favorites served at other resort destinations; meanwhile, parents can delight in truly authentic African and Indian-styled fare that is sure to please your palette.

Some truly authentic breakfast choices include:

  • Methi Paratha Sandwich with scrambled eggs, potatoes masala, gouda, chermoula, and papaya achar
  • Shahi Tukra French Toast with saffron-scented Saltan raisins, whipped chai cream, and almonds

Lunch and dinner offer even more authentic African and Indian cuisine.

Enjoy lunch and dinner entrees, like:

  • Tandoori Chicken
  • Zanzibari Vegetable Curry (with shrimp or chicken)
  • Potjie Inspired – a journey of African/Indian cuisine in one entree

For plant-based options, there are delectable options, like:

  • Zanzibari Vegetable Curry
  • Salad Sampler
  • Samosas and Naan Bread Assortments

For dessert, you love the culturally inspired favorites like African triple chocolate mousse, kheer, and serradura.

Other great options for casual dining include:

  • Boma – for all-you-care-to-eat service for standard breakfast fare and African-inspired dinner choices
  • The Mara – for casual cafeteria dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

Quick Hits for Grazing and Fast Food

If you’re in a hurry, you have two choices for excellent quick-hit, fast-food options.

Whether you’re looking for a quick breakfast before you hit the parks, or something to munch on for a quick lunch or dinner, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has you covered.

  • Mai Pool Bar – for American and African quick bites and snacks
  • Uzima Springs Pool Bar – for non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages

Picture-Perfect Dining Experiences

If you’re looking for something that will bring the family together and create lasting memories — it’s hard to beat Jiko.

Your family will love this sit-down meal with sophistication and style. Enjoy guiltless allergy-friendly appetizers, entrees, and desserts.

For families with no allergy restrictions, you can order from the main menu that offers the same choices.

Here are a few favorites:

  • Appetizers – Duck Confit with Honey-Raisin Flatbread, Sweet Potato-Groundnut Soup, and more
  • Entrees – Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon, Botswanan Seswaa Short rib, Merguez-Spiced Lamb Shank, and more
  • Desserts – African Drum “Beets”, Melktert, Kilimanjaro, and more

Kid’s meals and plant-based options are also available. For adults, there is a wide assortment of cocktails, beer, and non-alcoholic drink choices.


If you’ve always dreamed of escaping to an African safari, you’ll love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. With gorgeous views, fantastic pools, and fine dining, it marries all the exotic features of a trip to Africa with the comforts of home.

If you’re sold on all that Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has to offer —  we hope you have a magical time. If not, stay on the lookout for our next stop on the “Resort-Hopper Tour”.

Our next article will be an in-depth review of Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort. 

The Top 10 Things to Do at Disney World for the Whole Family


Whether you’re spending the day at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, or Animal Kingdom, nothing beats a Walt Disney World vacation experience!

With 100+ attractions and experiences to choose there is a veritable cornucopia of options to consider when selecting a Top 10 List at Disney. Therefore, we’ve structured this list to meet the needs of different families.

You’ll see parts of our list that share toddler-friendly Disney experiences and the best Disney experiences for tweens, teens, and children of all ages.

So whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned Disney World pro at building wonderful vacation experiences, you will find something on the list that meets your needs.

Our Top 10 List of Disney Experiences for the Whole Family in 2022

The most magical thing about Disney is its ability to incorporate family fun for all ages. With that goal in mind, we have created a top 10 list of things to do for the whole family

Whether you’re waiting for your chance at the big rides; or have your pick of any ride — we’ve got you covered. Here is our list of the top 10 rides at Disney World for young and old.

10. Frozen Ever After (Toddlers and kids of any age)

Did you know that Epcot is home to the second-most rides with no height restrictions on the Disney World campus? It’s true! That makes it the perfect place to get some toddler ride action in.

One of our very favorite rides for children of all ages at Epcot is Frozen Ever After ride.

Climb aboard this slow-moving boat ride and experience the wonder and magic of Arendale. Your toddler will love singing along to their favorite songs from the movie as the characters bring to life the beauty of the Frozen world.

Entrance to Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom

9. Kilimanjaro Safaris (Toddlers and kids of any age)

Does your toddler love animals? If so, you can’t beat the excitement and adventure that comes with the Kilimanjaro Safari ride.

Hop over to Animal Kingdom for this 18-minute thrill ride that takes you through the African plains. You’ll dip and dodge poachers. All the while, your experienced guide will point out safari animals living up close. Experience giraffes, hippos, elephants, and so much more on this amazing wildlife adventure.

8. Toy Story Mania (Toddlers and kids of any age)

Step into the world of Pixar at Hollywood Studios Toy Story Mania ride. Your toddler will love the interactive 3-D experience where they can shoot at targets in Andy’s room to earn points.

The slow-moving tram will guide you through five interactive games:

  • Hamm & Eggs
  • Rex & Trixie’s Dino Parts
  • Green Army Shoot Camp
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers
  • Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery

Each game provides interactive shooting fun for your pint-sized hero.

7. Peter Pan’s Flight (Toddlers and kids of any age)

Raise your hand if you ever dreamed of flying through the air and fighting pirates in Never Land

You don’t have to be a little kid to enjoy the age-old experience of hopping aboard the pirate galleon and dueling with Captain Hook’s cronies. Steal away into the night as Peter Pan takes you on high-top adventures over London. Swoop down into Pirate’s Cove as you descend into danger. You’ll get back in just enough time for your parents to never suspect a thing.

6. Soarin’ Around the World (Kids, Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

Still want the high-flying action without all the childlike drama? No problem! You can explore the wonders of the world as you take flight high above the world to destinations across the globe. Fly high above the Egyptian pyramids. Glide atop the Great Wall of China and fly past the Taj Mahal.

You’ll experience flight like never before in this 180-degree thrill ride.

5. Space Mountain (Kids, Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

Have you ever dreamed of flying out into space where it’s just you and the ever-expanding galaxy? Now you can experience it in true Disney fashion.

On this high-flying coaster, you’ll dart past satellites, weave through shooting stars, and spiral through galactic wormholes as you experience the weight of gravity and all its cylindrical force. Throw in a dark atmosphere, and you’ll feel like you’ve just glided into space at warped speed. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!

4. Rock “n” Roller Coaster (Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

Because nothing is more rock “n” roll than Hollywood, experience the rock “n” roll lifestyle at 60 miles per hour on this 48-inch required exhilarating coaster at Hollywood Studios.

You’ll listen to legendary Aerosmith hits as you zoom past famous Hollywood landmarks. You’ll drive at top speed as you hold on through two corkscrews and one loop to make it to the show on time.

Winnie The Pooh and Piglet 50th Statue in Magic Kingdom

3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

This 360-degree roller coaster experience is like no other. Not only is it one of the largest indoor roller coasters in the world, but it also interweaves stunning visuals with death-defying galactic battles.

You’ll start off exploring Galaxarium, where you’ll experience the worlds of Xandar and planet Earth. As soon as your tour is about to end, you’ll be thrust into a galactic battle of epic proportions only to be brought back safely by the Guardians of the Galaxy themselves.

With the help of Rocket, Groot, Gamora, and Star-Lord, you experience space in an entirely new and bold way.

2. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run (Kids, Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

Experience the moment of hyperspace as you man the pilot, gunner, or engineer positions aboard the Millennium Falcon on the Smuggler’s Run ride. Can you outrun The Empire’s fierce fleet of TIE Fighters before it’s too late?

Along your journey, you’ll gather important canisters needed for the rebel army. It’s up to you and your crew to bring back the goods and keep up the pressure against The Empire. Do you have what it takes?

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Kids, Tweens, Teens, and Adults)

Hop aboard the most high-tech ride Disney has to offer with the Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance ride! With a height requirement of 40 inches, kids young and old can enjoy their chance to play a role in the mission of The Rebellion.

As a member of The Rebellion, you must be ready for many twists of fate and adventure that awaits you and your fellow passengers. When a First Order Star Destroyer boards your transport, you stand alone against a large army of stormtroopers and Kylo Ren himself.

Will you have the courage to face The Empire and keep the hope of The Rebellion alive? Can Rey and BB-8 save the day? Only time will tell.

Book Your Dream Disney Vacation Today!

We hope you’ve enjoyed our list of the top 10 things to do at Disney World for the whole family. With many popular options for rides and attractions for kids of any age, Disney World is truly a magical vacation getaway spot.

If you’re looking for more Disney magic, please be sure to check out the rest of our blog. We’ll be sharing tips and tricks to create the best Disney experiences ever. For resorts, we have personal reviews on off property Disney Hotels, Pop Century, and Disney’s Beach Club Resort.

We hope you have a magical time!

Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers


A lot of how well the trip goes depends on preparation, which I go in to in more detail in the Magic Kingdom with Preschoolers article. In regard to Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers. you have to have a different mindset than any of the other parks. At first glance you may think there isn’t much do based on the number of rides, but let’s dig in to getting the most out of your Animal Kingdom visit.

Don’t Rush Through the Park

Animal Kingdom isn’t a half day park. You’ve probably heard differently from people that only focus on attractions, but that isn’t what Animal Kingdom is about. If you take the time to explore the park and take advantage of all the attractions, shows, unique restaurants, and animal encounters you’ll have a very fun and fulfilling day. So one recommendation would be to skip park hopping for the day.

A lot of the touring plans you’ll see from locals, experts, or frequent visitors for Animal Kingdom are targeted for Adults and Teens. So be sure to cater the trip to your preschooler and everyone will have a great time. It will probably include more time at Rafiki’s Planet Watch than trying to snag Lightning Lanes for Avatar Flight of Passage.

Animal Kingdom Attractions Height Requirements

Just an FYI, Dinosaur only has a 40 inch height requirement but I would recommend watching a YouTube Ride Through. Its a dark and sometime scary ride so just take that in to account before getting on with a 4 or 5 year old that may be tall enough.

DINOSAUR – Animal Kingdom

Restaurants for Picky Eaters

Do you have a preschooler that only eats chicken strips, fries, pizza, or mac& cheese? Me too! So these are 2 restaurants that I’ve found in Animal Kingdom that will cater to everyone.

Rainforest Café at Animal Kingdom

Rainforest Cafe is located at the entrance of the park and I highly recommend making a dining reservation ahead of time. They will have some walk up available day of but those go quickly and may not be close to the time you want to dine.

If you’ve never been to a Rainforest Cafe, they can be a lot of fun. It’s a jungle theme with animal animatronics that come to life at regular intervals.

Menu Highlights

  • Cheese Sticks
  • Chicken Quesadillas
  • Paradise House Salad
  • Fish Tacos
  • Rainforest Burger
  • Mini Hot Dogs
  • Python Pasta – Butter Noodles Available


This is one of our go to restaurants at Animal Kingdom. I think we ate here twice in one day on our last trip. It has a great menu for the whole family and a very well themed, and air conditioned dining room.

Menu Highlights

  • Walt’s Chili on Foot-long Cheese Dog
  • 1/3 lb Angus Bacon Cheeseburger
  • Chicken Breast Nuggets (8 pieces)
  • Impossible™ Spicy Southwestern Burger
  • French Fries
  • Macaroni & Cheese
  • Cheeseburger
Disney Food Blog – Every Animal Kingdom Restaurant Review

Don’t Forget about the Animals and Shows

I know it may be obvious at a theme park name Animal Kingdom, not to skip the animal part. But it can be easy to do if you view this just like Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, or Hollywood Studios.

There are a few walk throughs in the lands that you will get to see a lot of animals. There is Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail in Africa, and  Discovery Island Trails around the Tree of Life. These are great places to slow down, take in the landscape, and see the beautiful animals located in the park. Also a great spot in Animal Kingdom for your preschoolers to take a nap in the stroller while you take in the scenery.

Don’t forget the shows and be sure to check the app for the showtimes throughout the day. A few not to miss are Celebration of the Festival of the Lion King, Feathered Friends In Flight!, and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!

Animal Kingdom with Preschoolers – Overall Tips

If your preschooler loves animals, this could easily be their favorite park. So fight the urge to make this a half day park and really take in all it has to offer. Yes, the other parks may have more rides and more characters that they would recognize from Disney+. But they don’t have the immersion that this park does. Once you really take the time to get to know the park, you’ll understand why a lot of people consider this the best themed park.

Be sure to check out the other preschooler park guides for Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

Affiliate Disclosure

Sometimes I use affiliate links. That just means that I may earn a commission when you use one of the products or services that I write reviews for. My goal is to write blog posts about my experience and share that with you. If you end up purchasing based on a review on the site, I might get back a few dollars to plan the next Disney World Trip. I’m trying to find a good balance where I take more trips and provide more reviews!