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7 Reasons You Will Love Staying Near Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom Resort Area is different from the other theme park resort areas. You can either save money or stay in luxury. You can choose from Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House, Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort, Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, and Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort. To make things easier here when Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is mentioned Kidani Village and Jambo House are also assumed to be included. Disney’s All-Star Resorts will be grouped together, unless stated otherwise. Here are seven of the many reasons why you’ll want to stay near Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Not everything here applies to every resort.

7. Learning Experiences

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge you and your kids will have opportunities to learn new things. Cultural Representatives are on hand each evening to teach about African cultures. You can view one of the largest collections of African art in the United States. You can learn about African animals. The best part is that you and your children will be having so much fun that no one will feel like they are learning. It will feel more like play.

6. Value

If you want to spend as little as possible on your Walt Disney World lodging but still want all the benefits of staying on property, book a room at one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts. Except for the Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort, they are the least expensive Walt Disney World accommodations. Just because they cost less doesn’t mean that you will be missing out. You’ll still be able to enjoy all the benefits of staying on property, including Extra Magic Hours, Disney’s Magical Express, and the Disney Dining Plan. The rooms might be a bit on the small side compared to the other Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area rooms, but you’re not at Disney to stay in a room. If you plan to spend as much time as possible in the theme parks, one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts might help you to keep your vacation budget under control.

5. Animals

How many hotels have you stayed at that have their own African savanna? At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge you can view over 30 species of animals. Make sure you have your camera ready, you’ll end up with plenty of priceless photos. Specialists will be on hand to answer your questions. If you are there at night you might have an opportunity to see the animals using night vision goggles. Many of the animals are more active at night. A Savanna View Room will cost more but it will be worth it, especially if you plan to relax some while at Walt Disney World.

4. Restaurants

You’ll find plenty of dining options in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort Area. If you’re staying at one of Disney’s All-Star Resorts you will find a food court and a pool bar. You can also order pizza for your room. At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge you will find some of the most unique and delicious restaurants that you have ever tried. If you’re looking for a quick meal you might want to stop by The Mara. If you’d like something more relaxing there’s Boma – Flavors of Africa or Sanaa. If you want signature dining make a reservation for Jiko – The Cooking Place. You don’t have to be familiar with African food in order to have the meal of a lifetime. Your server will explain all the options to you, and there are also some more familiar choices. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is home to the largest collection of African wine in the world outside of Africa, and you’ll have plenty of opportunities to try some if you’re of age. You can sign up for a wine tasting, or enjoy a glass in a lounge. The restaurants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will change the way that you think about theme park hotel food.

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3. Wanyama Safari

There is a special opportunity available only to guests who stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. For some families, this is reason enough to stay there. Wanyama Safari is an adventure that you will never forget. You’ll head out to the savanna with a guide and have a closer look at the animals. Your guide will fill your head with information, and you’ll be able to ask all of your questions. Wanyama Safari also includes an incredible feast at Jiko – The Cooking Place. Reservations are available up to 180 days in advance, and spaces go fast. Call 407-939-4755 for more information.

2. Atmosphere

Disney’s All-Star Resorts cost less than the other on property resorts, but that does not mean that they are plain and boring. Disney went larger than life to create unique and fun places to stay. Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort features nods to 101 Dalmatians, Fantasia, Herbie: The Love Bug, The Mighty Ducks, and Toy Story. At Disney’s All-Star Music Resort it’s Broadway, calypso, country, jazz, and rock and roll that are featured. Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort pays tribute to baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and surfing. There are great pools, playgrounds, arcades, jogging trails, and more. The atmosphere is so whimsical at Disney’s All-Star Resorts that you won’t feel like you’re staying at one of the cheaper options.

1. Atmosphere

You might think that it is a mistake to have atmosphere on here twice, but it isn’t. The atmosphere at Disney’s All-Star Resorts and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are as different as night and day. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is, in a word, breathtaking. The lobbies alone will make you want to stop and stare for hours. Even the smallest guest rooms are spacious and comfortable. If you decide to spring for a Savanna View Room you won’t be disappointed. The pools will make you decide to skip the theme parks for a day. You can work off that African wine in a fitness center, spend time around the campfire, or play a game of tennis. If you decide that a romantic meal for two at Jiko – The Cooking Place is what you need, sign the kids up for Simba’s Clubhouse. You can do all that and more if you stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.