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{travel} Disney Hotels - Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House

  Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 11:30 AM   |    Post a Comment     Tagged:,,,, 


Continuing on with our Throwback Thursday Disney hotel overviews! Today we've got another Disney Vacation Club stay. For our anniversary we finally stayed at one of my top bucket list hotels - Animal Kingdom Lodge! We rented DVC points and stayed in a Deluxe Studio Villa with a Savanna View at Jambo House (you can also stay at Kidani Village, a DVC section of the resort that's a short walk from the main building.) 


Animal Kingdom Lodge is best suited to those who are planning on spending most of their time at Animal Kingdom. If you want to be at Magic Kingdom every day it is going to be quite the trek getting to and from the hotel, the bus ride alone is 25 minutes, not including walking to the bus stop and waiting for a bus. We planned this trip as a "staycation" planning to spend most of our time at the hotel as well as visiting Animal Kingdom to do the Wild Africa Trek tour and going to the Halloween party one evening at Magic Kingdom. I planned the trip 11 months in advance (the earliest you can book DVC rooms) and the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride opened up at EPCOT in May, so Christian & I broke our staycation rule and went to EPCOT a bunch so we could ride it and try some Food & Wine treats. So even I ignored my own tip, whoops!


Side note: I don't think I would ever stay here without a Savanna View, it's still expensive for a non-view and I'd rather pay a bit extra to be able to watch the animals from my balcony! By renting DVC points we paid $900 for 3 nights versus $2381 if we bought directly through Disney.

Staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge truly feels like entering a different world. It's a bit away from the rest of Disney and the parks and, if you have a Savanna view, you won't feel like you're in Florida when hanging out on your balcony. But the magic starts when you enter the lobby, it's very grand and beautiful. Definitely a gasp-worthy entrance. It's even better at Christmastime because of the enormous tree. The lobby is full of seating so you can sit and enjoy the ambience. Christian and I spent a couple hours doing just that as we waited for our transportation to the airport at the end of our trip.

If you walk straight through the lobby you can go outside to one of the many animal viewing areas. There are paths with information on the animals you may spot. Other amenities include the pool, gift shop and some seating areas to enjoy the interior and exterior of the hotel. Zawadi Marketplace is the main gift shop where you can find everything from African inspired gifts to theme park goodies. We didn't spend time at the pool, but if you do there are various poolside bars and activities to take part in.

Our room is in the middle-ish of the photo on the 4th floor corner, opposite side of the palm trees

As mentioned previously, we had a view of the Arusha Savanna from our room. All the DVC rooms are on the upper floors and we were also on a corner of sorts. There was a break between our room and the next room that had an outdoor viewing area accessible to anyone staying at the hotel and floor to ceiling windows in the hallway around it. This definitely helped us feel even more secluded and airy with the bigger opening. Inner rooms would have walls on both sides of the patio for privacy but we had two open sides because of the corner.

View of the outdoor viewing area from our balcony

Another big draw of Animal Kingdom Lodge is the fabulous dining options! Anywhere you eat here will be one of the best meals you've had. During our stay we enjoyed dining at Sanaa for lunch over at Kidani Village and then Jiko and Boma for dinner at Jambo House. We had planned on going to Boma for breakfast as well but Christian didn't feel well on our last morning so we skipped it. Just means we have to go back, right?! 

A list of all the dining options

Chicken meal at JIKO


My one suggestion for Sanaa it is to get the Indian Bread Service. It is amazing! Christian and I shared that and an entree and it was plenty of food for our lunch. Jiko is known as one of the restaurants with the best wine selection on Disney property. Christian and I don't drink so I can't give my opinion but every single review I have read says it's the place to go for wine. The Boma buffet is great for those who want to try all different sorts of African cuisine. They have simpler foods for picky eaters as well. Their breakfast buffet is supposed to be one of the best on property. If you want more detail on the restaurants, check out this post featuring everything we ate when we stayed here in September! 

Sanaa Indian Bread Service

Boma Buffet


See a tour of our room below as well as some more photos! 

Cute little Simba tile in the kitchen area

View of the savanna from our balcony

Watching zebras from our balcony!

View of the hotel from the outdoor safari viewing areas

Fancy fire extinguisher boxes


Even the doors are fun!

The details in the room are beautiful

Sofa bed in our room

Sunrise from our room!

Lobby and check-in area

Some of the lobby seating

A bridge above the lobby connecting the two sides of the hotel

Coming back into the lobby from the outdoor viewing area

About Closet Fashionista

Loves to get bargains on clothes and is obsessed with Harry Potter and Disney. By day she is a freelance graphic and web designer. She also has a slight obsession with movies.

You can also find her on the web at her Harry Potter and Matthew Lewis fan sites.


  1. That looks like such a beautiful place to stay and it's so god you got to stay there for such a big discount! Really lovely hotel!

  2. Oh wow how cool is this! This sounds like a super fun trip. And the inside lobby looks like something out of a Harry Potter movie! Love this!

    Allie of


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