22 FACTS about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (2024)

Disney World » Animal Kingdom Lodge » 22 FACTS about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (2024)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a treasure trove of fun facts and details!

welcome mat - animal kingdom lodge facts

Before and during our stays on Disney property, we enjoy learning new information about our resort. That way, we appreciate all the little details even more when we’re there!

The rich history, design, and theme of Animal Kingdom Lodge means you’ll never tire of learning about this resort. Below, you will discover these facts, along with some activities to enjoy around the resort.

22 Facts About Animal Kingdom Lodge:

Fact #1: The theme of Animal Kingdom Lodge is the wild African savanna.

animal kingdom lodge facts - view of the savanna

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge brings elements of Africa’s savanna to Central Florida. Details of this theme are all over the resort, from the traditional African art to outdoor savanna areas with African plants and wild animals.

Fact #2: Animal Kingdom Lodge opened on April 16, 2001.

Kidani Village at animal kingdom lodge facts

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge officially opened as a Disney Deluxe Resort on April 16, 2001. This is only three short years after the opening of Walt Disney World’s newest theme park, the Animal Kingdom!

Fact #3: In 2006, Animal Kingdom Lodge expanded to include DVC Villas.

entrance at animal kingdom lodge facts

The Disney Vacation Club property, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, is located in the Kidani Village portion of the resort that was created for the expansion. They were completed in 2009.

Fact #4: Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of eight Deluxe resorts on Walt Disney World property.

Disney has four resort categories: Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas. Animal Kingdom Lodge has both Deluxe and Deluxe Villa options (Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village). Disney DELUXE Resorts are considered the BEST that Disney World has to offer.

Fact #5: Animal Kingdom Lodge has four savanna areas.

One of Animal Kingdom Lodge’s most iconic aspects is its expansive savanna settings. The resort has four different savanna overlook areas: Arusha Rock Savanna and Uzima Savanna are near Jambo House, and Pembe Savanna and Sunset Savanna are near Kidani Village.

Fact #6: The resort property is home to over 200 animals.

Over 200 animals call Animal Kingdom Lodge’s iconic savannas home. With more than 30 species roaming the property, guests can spot giraffes, gazelles, zebras, and other wildlife native to Africa from the comfort of the resort.

Fact #7: Animal Kingdom Lodge has at least 21 hidden Mickeys.

This is one of the most FUN facts about Animal Kingdom Lodge!

This resort is chock-full of hidden Mickeys, from the main entrance to the lobby to the hallways and more.

Fact #8: Animal Kingdom Lodge offers free bus services to Disney parks and other resorts.

Disney bus transportation is a free and convenient way to travel around Disney property. Animal Kingdom Lodge has two bus stops: one at Jambo House and one at Kidani Village.

Fact #9: There are two themed pools located at the resort.

Animal Kingdom Lodge guests can enjoy two themed pools during their stays at the resort. Uzima Springs Pool at Jambo House and Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village are themed after tropical oases. The pool areas each feature a waterslide and whirlpool spas. Samawati Springs Pool also has a kid’s water playground area nearby.

Fact #10: Both pools have thrilling water slides.

Uzima Springs Pool has a 67 ft (20.4 m) water slide, and Samawati Springs Pool has a 128 ft (39 m) water slide, both of which offer a thrilling entry into these expansive pools.

Fact #11: The resort has a memorable savanna dining experience at Sanaa.

For a unique dining experience at Animal Kingdom Lodge, head to Sanaa at Kidani Village. Sanaa is located beside one of the resort’s savanna overlooks, allowing guests to dine while watching animals like zebras, giraffes, and ostriches roam nearby.

  • It is highly recommended that you make a reservation for this experience.

Fact #12: Animal Kingdom Lodge hosts complimentary campfire activities.

What better place to enjoy a campfire than the African savanna? Animal Kingdom Lodge offers free campfire activities. Roast marshmallows and swap stories at this fun outdoor experience. Afterward, you can enjoy Movies Under the Stars, a nighttime program of outdoor Disney movie screenings.

Fact #13: The resort’s curved horseshoe shape is inspired by traditional African kraal.

Kraal is an enclosure for cattle and other livestock in Southern African settlements and villages. Animal Kingdom Lodge was designed to emulate this style with horseshoe-curved buildings around savanna areas.

Fact #14: Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to one of the largest collections of African art in the United States.

Throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can find hundreds of art pieces curated for the resort. From paintings to traditional masks to sculptures and more, you’ll find a wide variety of African art on the property.

Fact #15: The resort offers weekly painting classes.

‘Wild About Painting’ is Animal Kingdom Lodge’s painting class. This paid activity is held once a week at Jiko – The Cooking Place. During this class, guests can take inspiration from the lodge’s surrounding areas to create their own masterpieces. Not only is this a fun thing to do during your stay, but it also becomes a one-of-a-kind souvenir to remember your Disney trip!

Fact #16: Jiko – The Cooking Place offers a Disney Signature Dining experience.

If you want an elevated dining experience at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jiko—The Cooking Place is a fantastic option. This Disney Signature Dining restaurant at Jambo House offers a dinner menu of vibrant African dishes.

  • It is highly recommended that you make a reservation for this experience.
  • The restaurant’s dress code is upscale attire.
  • View the menu HERE.

Fact #17: Jambo House is the central hub of the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Jambo House is home to the resort’s main lobby. This area acts as a central hub for the property, with Zawadi Marketplace for shopping, Jiko, Boma, and the Mara for dining, plus savanna overlooks and Uzima Springs Pool nearby. There is plenty to do here!

Fact #18: The resort has two fitness centers.

At Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests have access to Zahanati Fitness Center at Jambo House and Survival of the Fittest Health Club at Kidani Village. These facilities have high-tech workout equipment, including cardio machines, weight machines, and free weights, to provide substantial workouts during your stay.

Fact #19: There are guest rooms and villas that offer savanna views.

Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a unique option for guests who are booking their stay – the choice to book guest rooms and villas with savanna views. Thanks in part to the lodge’s kraal-style design, there are plenty of options for guests who want to step out onto their private balcony and be greeted with scenic views of the property’s savanna areas. You’ll find a Wildlife Field Guide in guest rooms and at the front desk – perfect for identifying the savanna’s animals!

Fact #20: There are tons of fun activities for kids at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Animal Kingdom Lodge offers many fun activities for kids. The resort has two arcades: Pumba’s Fun and Games Arcade at Jambo House and Safari So Good at Kidani Village. There is also the Hakuna Matata Playground and the Uwanja Camp water playground—perfect for having fun outside of the parks!

Fact #21: Animal Kingdom Lodge welcomes baby animals into the world.

With hundreds of animals calling the resort’s savannas home, it’s no surprise that Animal Kingdom Lodge has been a site for live animal births! A red river hog and an okapi are just two of the amazing animals born on the property in recent years.

Fact #22: Giraffes and zebras are amongst the resort’s most popular animals.

Out of all the animals that guests can find on Animal Kingdom Lodge property, its giraffes and zebras receive a large share of attention. Their popularity may be due, in part, to their distinguishable, easy-to-spot appearance.

Did you know any of these facts about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge?

If we missed your favorite, please let us know below. In addition, if you have any questions, feel free to ask, and we will answer! 🙂

Breanna Ramos
Breanna Ramos

Breanna is a writer and photographer for Resort Rat. Born and raised in Orlando, she loves exploring Central Florida and, of course, going to Disney World! On her Disney trips, you can find her wandering around Epcot festivals or riding Disney gems like Spaceship Earth and Tomorrowland PeopleMover.

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