Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is arguably one of the best themed resorts on Disney property. It is a Deluxe resort that brings the African savanna to Disney guests at their home away from home. Wild animals can be seen from a number of locations on the resort, many of those being from the rooms themselves. This resort is unlike any other resort, and here are 10 secrets and little known bits of information you may not know about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
There are two main pools at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Uzima Pool, which faces the Uzima Savanna, and the Samawati Springs Pool, which is located near the Kidani Village area of the lodge. The Uzima Pool features a waterslide that is 67 feet long, but the slide over at Samawati Springs is 128 feet long! This slide isn’t just your regular pool slide, you have to trek up stairs that look like they’re embedded in rocks hidden in a forest, and the slide even has a couple of loops!
9. Natural Light
In comparison to other resorts, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, might appear to be a little on the dark side at times, depending on the time of day, but there’s good reason for that. The Imagineers wanted to limit the amount of artificial exterior light at night so it doesn’t disrupt the animals and their normal sleep cycles.
8. Zawadi Marketplace
Each resort at Disney has a store where guests can purchase some toiletries, items guests may have forgotten to pack, snacks, and of course Disney merchandise. The Zawadi Marketplace is the resort shop at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and it’s truly unlike any other resort shop. There may not be as many princess items here, but you will find original art inspired by the lodge, instruments, and even some resort specific items such as t-shirts and pins.
7. Four Savannas
Animal Kingdom Lodge isn’t home to just one savanna, but four, and there are ample opportunities to view the animals roaming all four savannas. There is the Arusha Rock Savanna, which provides an overlook, as well as a Hidden Mickey in the giraffes carved into the rock. If you are an early riser, you may be able to watch the flamingos being fed on the savanna behind the Uzima Pool. Ask the concierge or a cast member for the best viewing spots for each savanna.
6. Sense of Africa
The Sense of Africa is a very special tour at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It does cost extra, but it is a three and a half hour backstage tour that includes a delicious breakfast at Boma. You also get to ride on a private safari vehicle that will take you backstage, and give you the opportunity to get close to some animals.
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5. Zebra Domes
Zebra Domes are a little snack that attack a lot of people to this resort, even if they aren’t staying here. This delicious dessert is an espresso and white chocolate ganache cake that are a must have if you find yourself at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. You can find Zebra Domes not only at Boma, but also at the quick service restaurant the Mara. This makes it easy to pick up a couple after a long day at the park and enjoy them back in your room.
4. Open Air Balconies
Most of the rooms at the lodge have a balcony, but not all, and not every room has a savanna view, though most rooms do have a great view regardless. If you find yourself without a balcony or a savanna view, or you just want to see what your resort has to offer, check out the open-air balconies that are on each floor and available to all guests. Not only do the balconies have an expansive and gorgeous view of the savanna, but they also have rocking chairs to relax in.
3. Restaurant Tour
There is a free culinary tour available at Animal Kingdom Lodge. The tours take place daily at 4pm, and the check in spot is the podium at Boma. This short, free tour takes guests to Boma and Jiko to point out Hidden Mickeys, provide guests with information on décor, design and cultural tidbits of information, as well as a sample or two.
2. Hidden Mickeys
Hidden Mickeys abound at Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are quite a few Hidden Mickeys on the pathways in and around the resort. As you walk to you room, you may find one hidden in the carpet design, or in the floor design in the restaurants. When you enter the main lobby, look up to the beautiful chandeliers, but take an extra close look at the second one from the right, there is a Hidden Mickey to be found there! They really truly are all around this resort, so be on the look out and see how many you can find.
1. Starlight Safari
Much of the wildlife at Animal Kingdom Lodge is more active at night, making it difficult for guests to see them during the day. But Disney has thought of everything and offers the Starlight Safari (for an extra cost) at the resort. You will be given night vision goggles to wear while you ride through the savanna in a safari vehicle. This one hour nighttime tour is amazingly unique experience that is only available at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.