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Top 8 Pro Tips for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Does anyone not love Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? It’s such a great place, filled with beautiful detail, majestic animals, and wonderful people. Whatever you do there you’ll have a great time. But there are certain tips that the pros take advantage of and we want you to, as well! These tips can be utilized by everyone, not just guests staying at the Lodge. Check them out!

8. Strike Up Conversations with Cast Members

The Cast Members at Animal Kingdom Lodge are mostly from Africa and love to talk about home. These Cast Members are so knowledgeable and willing to chat with guests about the Lodge or animals or Africa or anything, really. They’re super busy and work incredibly hard, but always take time for their guests. Certain cast members are around specifically for this reason. They usually have special uniforms and like to hang out either in the library area or by the savanna. Make sure to say hi!

7. Watch the Kid Parades

Part of Animal Kingdom’s mission was to create a space that was not only fun and immersive, but also cultivated a place of learning to better the earth. Animal Kingdom Lodge follows in those big footsteps and succeeds brilliantly. During the evenings, if you’re lucky, you’ll catch the kid parades in the lobby! Cast Members teach little children the meaning and importance of African instruments and then they lead them around the lobby singing, dancing and having a great time. It’s adorable.

6. Listen to Stories Around the Fire Pit

Along with the kid parades, the Lodge holds nightly stories around the fire pit in the lobby and on the patio. There, a cast member sits with guests in those giant, comfy rocking chairs and tells tales of old – or stories from and about Africa! These times are really fun and unique to Animal Kingdom Lodge. You have to time them right and it might be hard to catch if you aren’t staying at the Lodge, but it’s well worth the experience.

5. Get to Boma Early

Boma is the Lodge’s buffet restaurant and is a prime spot to get a meal. Boma has an extensive buffet of all authentic African cuisine and is very family friendly. That’s a great combination, but it makes for a very busy dinner rush. You can usually only get a table if you have a reservation, but it can be a little packed even when you get in. It’s helpful to get an early reservation and to not be afraid of the buffet! In Disney, we’re conditioned to wait in lines, but at Boma you can just walk right up to whatever you’d like. And believe me, you’ll like a lot.

4. Peruse the South African Wines in Zawadi Marketplace

It’s not out of the ordinary to buy bottles of wine in the resorts, but Animal Kingdom Lodge is special. Like the majority of the merchandise in the rest of Zawadi, the wines are authentic and come right from Africa. I love to check out the fun masks and instruments for sale in the store, but the adults love the wine! These things allow you to take home some of the fun and flavors of Africa!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote with new bookings contact our sponsor Magical Vacation Planner by calling: 1(407)442-0289 Or for a free no obligation quote with new bookings you can fill out the form by Clicking HERE!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote with new bookings contact our sponsor Magical Vacation Planner by calling: 1(407)442-0289 Or for a free no obligation quote with new bookings you can fill out the form by Clicking HERE!

3. Look for the Hidden Mickey

It’s easy to forget that you’re in Florida and not on an African safari while in the Lodge, but Disney made sure to sneak in some reminders. The lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge is grand and detailed and kind of sweeps you away. Your eyes are drawn to the intricate wooden carvings and bright surprise of color from a tribal headpiece somewhere across the room. Most guests have no idea that there is something quite special staring right at them: Mickey. Yes, that’s right! There is a hidden Mickey up above everyone’s heads in the lobby. If you look very closely at one of the hanging shields, you’ll see those adorable little ears!

2. Explore the Decorations and Display Cases

This resort is chalk full of African décor and history! The lobby is home to authentic masks and statues and even a giant hat. Following the theme of fun learning, there are lots of really cool things to read up on and discover. Everything in the Lodge has a story. I think Disney was very intentional in its desire to have its guests seek out those stories. So go exploring!

1. Go to the Savanna at Night

The Savanna in the Lodge isn’t quite as impressive as in the Park, but it’s still pretty cool. In the evenings it’s even cooler, literally and figuratively. If you go check out the back of the Lodge at night, you are likely to see even more animals – maybe even at feeding time! You may ask: “But if it’s night…we won’t be able to see them, right?” No, no! The friendly Cast Members down by the plain have awesome night vision goggles that you can use if you ask! It’s so cool and you really can see everything!

About Molly Elias

Molly grew up a Disney kid. When her grandparents decided to migrate down to Florida, she was blessed with the chance to visit the Parks often. Her favorite park is Hollywood Studios simply for the feeling that it brings. She and her family love to try out different restaurants around the property (and bring recipes home!). They have also become Disney Cruise Line experts over years and like to refer to the Disney Magic as “their ship.” Molly and her family have made amazing, lasting friendships and memories through Disney, gifts they will always be thankful for. When not at Disney or at sea, Molly can be found at school, enjoying every minute of college, or trying to find a niche in the writing field.