Animal Kingdom Lodge
Jambo House Villas
Fact Sheet


What is Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge ?

Animal Kingdom Lodge comprises two unique areas, Jambo House and Kidani Village. Jambo House (the original Animal Kingdom Lodge) has both Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rooms and regular guest rooms. Kidani Village has only DVC-type room. Each area has its own check-in lobby but share all other facilities. The term "Disney Vacation Club Villas" refers to the Disney Vacation Club accommodations at both Jambo House and Kidani Village.

This FAQ is about the Jambo House DVC Villas.

 

Tell me more about the look and feel of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Lodge is 6 stories tall. You enter the expansive lobby on the 3rd floor of the resort.  There is a huge picture window which looks out upon 30 acres of land. From here, you can walk out onto an elevated viewing area (Arusha Rock) and enjoy the roaming animals.

All three savannas are special areas built specifically for the AKL and are separate from Disney's Animal Kingdom.  There are over 100 Sand Live Oak trees and 35,000 shrubs in the savannas.  Seeds for many of the plants were supplied from Africa.

Throughout the rest of the lobby, there are examples of authentic architecture and design, from thatched ceilings to golden tones reflecting the richness and diversity of an African landscape. Rich wood tones surround a large mud fireplace and natural lighting will celebrate dawn and dusk with features that accentuate spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

In the hallways, there are alcoves with glass windows providing savanna overlooks.

Next to Animal Kingdom Lodge is Kidani Village (opened May 1, 2009) a Disney Vacation Club Resort. Kidani has it's own parking, restaurant, and pool. It shares the Sunset Savannah with Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House and has it's own savannah (opened fall 2009) called Pembe.

What are the savannas like?

The Animal Kingdom Lodge has three separate savannas (approximately 10 acres each) that are open 24 hours a day.  From left to right the savannas are named: Sunset, Arusha, and Uzima.

Each savanna has its own unique look and feel. Not all savannas have all the animals. For instance, ostriches can only be found on the Sunset savanna, zebras are only located on the Arusha savanna, kudu are only found on the Uzima savanna. Giraffes are the only animal found on all three savannas.

Each room has an animal viewing guide. You can also pick one up at the front desk.

At night, the savannas are illuminated by artificial moonlight as if a full moon were ever present.

"Safari Guides" are at the outside viewing areas and can answer your questions about the animals and birds.

Altogether, more than 200 mammals and birds of nearly three dozen species populate the 33-acre area. The savannas surround the lodge on three sides. You can view the birds and animals from resort balconies or from several viewing points -- including a landscaped rock outcropping called the Arusha Rock kopje -- 24 hours a day.

Are the animals and birds on the savannas 24 hours a day? Where do they sleep?

The savannas are the actual home for the animals and birds. All animals inhabiting the savanna return periodically to an on-site animal care facility for feeding and routine care. Many of the species browse, as well, on savanna plantings that are part of their everyday diet and are continually replenished by horticulturists.

The animals sleep on the savannas, although they are generally much further back and therefore you can't see them sleep. Each savanna is closed daily for approximately two hours for cleaning and handling animals, in shifts. There will always be at least two savannas open at all times.  A number of the animals are nocturnal and so you may spot them in the middle of the night.

What animals and birds might I see on the savannas?

The following animals may be found on at least one of the three Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannas:

Ankole Cattle, Bongo, Blesbok, Eland, Grant's Zebra, Greater Kudu, Impala, Reticulated Giraffe, Thomson's Gazelle, Waterbuck, Red River Hogs, and White-Bearded Wildebeest.

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, Blue Crane, East African Crowned Crane, Greater Flamingo, Marabou Stork, Ostrich, Pink-Backed Pelican, and Ruppel's Griffon Vulture.

Where did the animals come from?

The first two inhabitants of Disney's Animal Kingdom, two giraffes, became the first two inhabitants of AKL. The other animals either originated at Animal Kingdom or arrived from other accredited zoological facilities.

Will I be able to touch or feed the animals? What responsibilities do I have regarding the animals and birds?

NO, you may not touch or feed the animals. If you attempt to do so, you risk expulsion from the resort.

Safety of both the guests and the animals is very important. As an in-room notice states: "To assist the animal care staff in maintaining the health and safety of the animals, please do not feed them or drop items into the habitats. Also, please do not attempt to approach or cross the barriers designed for guest and animal safety. If any guest attempts to harm the animals or their habitats, they will be immediately asked to leave the resort. During your stay you may notice cameras in and around the savannas. These cameras are for the protection and safety of our animals. For privacy, please close your drapes."

How does Check-in/Check-out work?

Online Check-in is available 10 days prior to your stay. Look for the special Online Check-in line at the resort's front desk.

Check-In for the Villas is 4:00 pm and Check-out is 11:00 am. You will be allowed to check in earlier if your room is ready when you arrive, but based on my experience with other Disney Vacation Club resorts, don't count on it! If your room is not ready, you can leave your bags with Bell Services and go off exploring. You also are given a phone number to call and check if your room is ready (before going all the way back to the resort to find out it's not).

Express Check-out is available to all guests paying with a credit card, arrange for this service at check-in. A detailed hotel bill is delivered to your door by 7am. If the bill is correct you simply leave. Your room key serves as a Disney souvenir. Late Check-out of noon can be requested without additional cost (very limited availability). If you need Late Check-out, request it at Check-In and as soon as possible the morning of check out (the number of eligible rooms are limited).

Resort Airline Check-In Service at your Disney resort is only available if you are flying domestically (includes Puerto Rico) on specific airlines It is a complimentary (free) service and allows you to check your luggage.

I hear that there are no more room key cards at Disney resort hotels. How do I get into my room?

Walt Disney World has converted their room keys and admission tickets from plastic cards to MagicBands, flexible plastic wristbands, resembling a watch or bracelet, that use Radio Frequency (RF) technology. Your MagicBand is linked to your My Disney Experience (MDE) account (http://allears.net/tp/my-magic-plus.htm) and acts as your Disney resort room key. Simply touch the Mickey symbol on your MagicBand to the RFID reader near your room door to gain entry. Read about using MagicBands for park admission, FastPass+ and more here: http://allears.net/tp/magic-bands.htm

How does the Housekeeping work in Disney Vacation Club resorts?

Housekeeping is different than when you pay nightly for a hotel room.

Trash & Towel Service - For stays of seven or less nights, Trash & Towel Service is provided on day four. With Trash & Towel service, Housekeeping will: Empty trash and replace liners in trash bins, provide fresh bathroom linens, replace shampoo, facial soap and bath soap, replenish facial tissues, paper towels and toilet paper, replenish coffee, sugar, cream and sweeteners, replenish dishwashing liquid, dishwashing detergent, sponges and laundry detergent as needed in one-, two- and three-bedroom Vacation Homes.

Full Cleaning Service - For stays of eight or more nights, Full-Cleaning Service is provided on day four and Trash & Towel Service is provided on day eight. After that, the cycle begins again on day 12. With Full-Cleaning service, Housekeeping will provide everything included with the Trash & Towel Service, plus: Change the bed linens, vacuum and dust, clean the bathroom(s), clean the kitchen/kitchenette and wash the dishes.

You may also choose to pay for daily housekeeping or have additional towels etc. Check with the front desk for information and pricing.

What kind of concierge service is available?

AKL's concierge guest rooms are located on part of floor 5 and all of 6. The actual lounge and staff are located on the 6th floor. The concierge rooms are identical to the deluxe rooms in terms of size and amenities (with a few extra). You can not book a specific concierge view... they are either a pool view or Sunset or Arusha savanna view. For some odd reason, the lounge was not built with a savanna view and instead opens to the lobby on the 6th floor.

The lounge is wonderful, large and the food quite good. You also have a selection of South African wines to try as well. The Cast Members can assist you in dining, entertainment or just about any Disney plans you might want to make.

AllEars.Net staff rates AKL's concierge lounge as one of the best at WDW.

What is the Sunrise Safari?

Sunrise Safari Breakfast Adventure is available on Sundays and Thursdays. You meet in the concierge lounge, then departure from the lodge to Animal Kingdom is at 7:30 a.m. The tour, along the Kilimanjaro Safari ride path in Animal Kingdom, lasts about 45 minutes and includes multiple stops so that you can stand up and take pictures. Each of the animals along the way is described in great detail, since there is plenty of time.

After the Safari, you go to Pizzafari for a breakfast buffet, which includes both standard American and African items. Each person also gets a FastPass to Kilimanjaro Safari to experience it "the regular way". The entire experience is approximately 2 hours.

For pricing and other details, visit the Sunrise Safari page.

Sunrise Safari Breakfast Adventure Photo Gallery

What is the Sunset Safari?

The Sunset or Wanyama Safari is exclusively offered to Animal Kingdom Lodge Concierge Guests. It is approximately 1 1/2 hours long and takes place on the savannas of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is meant to be a re-creation of a true African afternoon game drive and is an opportunity to spend time with members from the animal programs team learning about the natural history and management of the animal collection at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Photo opportunities of the animals and architecture of Animal Kingdom Lodge that can only be experienced from our savannas. Your safari will conclude with a true African dining experience at Jiko, just like the lodges in Africa where a multi-course meal will await you.

For pricing and other details, visit the Wanyama Safari page.

Is it better to be out on the wings vs near the lobby area for views of the savanna? Does the configuration take into consideration sunrise and sunset angles for picture taking? Are views better as you go up in floors?

There is a Sunset savanna and also a Sunset savanna viewing room/balcony that is open to everyone. It was designed specifically for viewing at sunset. The balconies are all decent size so that a tripod will fit out there for photo taking.

On the lower floors you are closer to the animals, on the upper floors you have more of an expansive view...different people will prefer one over the other and it will differ.

The savannas are designed for viewing from a variety of locations. At any given time, one view may be better or worse than another. The Animal Staff are out several times during the day to leave food and treats for the animals. They scatter them all over so that the animals will visit lots of different areas in the savanna.

There are a very few rooms on each floor near the end of the hallway that offer a semi-obstructed view of the savanna You must look through/past timber building supports and palm trees. Initially these rooms were coded savanna view; I don't know if this has changed.

JAMBO HOUSE VILLAS

There are 4 types of DVC rooms in the Jambo House: Value, Standard, Savannah and Concierge.

Value rooms are smaller accomodations than one would normally expect at a Disney Vacation Club resort. As an example, the value studio is 316 sq.ft. while the standard studio is 365 sq.ft. The value rooms are being converted from the former "standard rooms" of the AKL (think floors 1-4). There are also some value 2-bedroom villas. About half of the value rooms will have a savanna view.

The "standard" studios are part of the "deluxe" category for the lodge, hence the larger size (think floors 5-6). Standard villa views may be of the pool, garden or parking lot.

Approximately 80% of all rooms will have a Savanna View.

Concierge rooms have access to full Kilimanjaro Club concierge services and amenities. Not all concierge villas have a savanna view. This is the first time a Disney Vacation Club property has offered concierge service.

A total of 216 "keys" make up the combination of studio, one and two bedroom as well as grand villas in the Jambo House. That equates to approximately 109 villas in the exisiting buidling.

Studio Accomodations:
Sleeps 4, queen size bed and full size sofa bed. Flat panel TV and DVD. Wet bar, small refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, private balcony.

One Bedroom Villas
Value One-bedrooms (629 sqft) sleep 4 persons, all other categies sleep 5. There is no sleeper chair in the Value category. The Master Bedroom has a king size bed, master bathroom with whirlpool tub. There is a queen size sofa bed in living room. Flat panel TV and DVD player in living room, flat panel TV in master bedroom. Full kitchen facilities. Laundry area with stackable washer and dryer. Private balcony. Non-value one bedroom villa is 710 sqft.

Two-bedroom Villas
5 of these rooms are in the value category (945 sqft). Sleeps up to nine. Master bedroom suite with king size bed. Flat panel TV and DVD player in living room, flat panel TV in master bedroom. Full kitchen facilities. Laundry area with stackable washer and dryer. Private balcony. Non-value two bedrooms are 1.075 sq ft.

Grand Villas - one story - all have Savanna view. Sleeps up to 12 persons.

Resort room rack rates for Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House can be found here.

 

How do I get to...?

All Disney transportation to and from AKL is via bus. As you exit the main lobby, the bus station is down to the left. There are several stops to take you to the Theme Parks, Water Parks and Downtown Disney. The buses that service AKL do not service other resorts.

You may walk or take bus over to Kidani Village, the Disney Vacation Club area next to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Describe the restaurants that are at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The restaurants offer a blend of African, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese and French cuisine with a dash of English served with a hint of classical flair. The menu reflects the perfect blend of sweet and savory international tastes.

Jiko - The Cooking Place -- a casual restaurant, serving dinner, that features a taste of Africa in an atmosphere shaped by local traditions and customs. Focusing on simpler, lighter cuisine, it retains the spirit and refinement of a great restaurant while concentrating on the basics of cooking, with an emphasis on the freshest of products. The design represents an abstract view of Africa, with twin wood-burning ovens as the restaurant's icon.

Boma - Flavors of Africa, a very popular family restaurant open for breakfast and dinner, captures the essence of vibrant life in the African marketplace. This buffet provides guests the ability to savor the African experience, which has multicultural influences. The restaurant showcases an exhibit kitchen, wood-burning grill and rotisserie. The dining areas are under thatched roofs. Reservations for dinner are highly recommended!

Mara, the quick-service restaurant, open morning to night, offers great food and poolside dining.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurant Menus HERE

Victoria Falls
, a mezzanine lounge, serves specialty coffees and teas and a variety of beverages at night. This lounge overlooks Boma - Flavors of Africa.

Uzima Springs is the Poolside bar.

Sanaa is located in Kidani Village and offers full service lunch and dinner

I'm interested in hearing about the food options for vegetarians.

There are LOTS of vegetarian options available at Jiko, Boma, Sanaa and Mara! There were several items on the Jiko menu that would/could easily be adapted to vegetarian. The chefs are very tuned into special diets. At Boma -- ask the chefs at each of the pods and they will take care of you!

Vegans just showing up at Jiko or Boma will have a harder time, but if you CALL 24 hours ahead you will be well taken care of at either restaurant. If you are staying Concierge, ask the staff to assist you with your dietary concerns.

What is Zawadi Marketplace?

Zawadi Marketplace is the retail shop celebrating the romantic and adventuresome spirit of Africa through the stories and cultures represented in its merchandise. Disney sent a team of researchers to Africa to locate one-of-a-kind treasures to showcase amid the natural finishes, patterns and textiles featured throughout the marketplace. At nearly 6,000 square feet, Zawadi Marketplace will be among the largest retail shops at Walt Disney World Resort.

Featured marketplace items include: Zulu baskets, hand-loomed fabrics and textiles, hand-carved masks, beaded gourds, hand-carved chess sets and an assortment of authentic accents. The marketplace has items in store for the Disney collector as well, including distinctive headgear, T-shirts, picture frames and more featuring the Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge logo.

What about Laundry facilities?

The laundry room is located on the first floor near Simba's Cubhouse. Washers and Dryers are $2.00 each. Soap is available for $1.00. There is a sitting room with TV for those choosing to wait for their clothes to finish.

Any special programs?

Yes, there are a number of special programs offered throughout the day at AKL. Be sure to ask for a list when you check-in to the hotel. A sampling of the recent programs offered at the resort (all programs subject to change without notice):

--flamingo feedings at the Flamingo Pond
--animal tracking at Arusha Rock
--Music of the Savanna in the Sunset Lounge
--wildlife games in the Sunset Lounge
--African games and crafts on the Uzima Pool Deck
--cultural safari in the Sunset Lounge
--animal viewing with Night Vision
--Adventure Camp for children 6-14 that includes ostrich egg painting, private lodge tour and lunch overlooking the savanna.
--Cookie decorating at Boma

Outside, at the Arusha Rock, there is nightly African storytelling next to Ogun's Firepit. (Storytelling is held indoors in the event of inclement weather.) If you have the opportunity, take the time to speak with the storytellers.

What types of recreation are available?

AKL has a themed pool, a kids' wading pool, two outdoor spas ("hot tubs") and a fitness center.  There is also a kid's playground.  

The Uzima Springs pool is the largest on Disney property, over 11,000 square feet. It is also a "Zero-Depth Entry" pool, meaning there is an entrance without steps. I saw lots and lots of kids (young ones, too) enjoying the 67-foot long slide and kiddy wade pool area. There is no quiet pool at AKL.

The Uzima pool is open 24 hours, but the lifeguards go off duty at 10:00 PM and the slide also closes. The two spas close at midnight.

Jambo House are also entitled to use the amenities at Kidani Village.

Kidani Village offers an array of recreational activities and facilities, including Samawati Springs, the resort’s feature pool and two spas, and Uwanja Camp, a uniquely themed wet activity playground. In addition, the resort is planned to offer basketball and tennis courts, shuffleboard, arcade, outdoor pavilion, community hall, and fitness center.

Barbecue Pavilion - Fire up the grills, and picnic alfresco or in the covered area located near the sports courts of Kidani Village.

Basketball and Shuffleboard Courts - Shoot some hoops at the half-court, or slide on over for a gripping game of shuffleboard. Use of equipment is complimentary and available at Community Hall.

Community Hall - Looking for rainy day activities? Drop by for planned activities, arts and crafts, board games, table tennis, foosball, Sony PlayStation®2, or downtime TV viewing. Located on the 2nd Floor of the Kidani Village just off the lobby.

Johari Treasures - Find fascinating gifts, Disney Vacation Club logo merchandise, toys or various sundries and groceries you may need. Located in the lobby, this shop has what you are looking for — including complimentary DVD rentals for Disney Vacation Club Members.

Survival of the Fittest Fitness Center - Work out with weights or on treadmills, bicycles or elliptical cross trainers. Located near Samawati Springs Pool, this fitness center is open to all Walt Disney World® Guests over 14 years of age; an adult must accompany Guests under age 18 at all times. 24 hour access for Animal Kingdom Lodge guests.

Safari So Good Arcade - Test your arcade skills while you play classic and new games in this high-tech entertainment room located near the lobby.

Samawati Springs Pool - This zero-entry pool that features a 128-ft. long water slide. Take relaxation to a whole new level in one of the two whirlpool spas near the main pool, or refresh at Maji Pool Bar. Pool towels are provided at the pool.

Tennis Court - Grab a partner and serve up some fun on the courts near the Barbeque Pavilion. Use of equipment is complimentary and available at Community Hall.

Uwanja Camp - Climb elevated-rope bridges, dash through geyser jets, or relax in the waterfall lagoon or beneath the shade of the camp cabanas in this village playground themed as an animal observation site known as Uwanja Camp — Uwanja means "play area." Explore three distinct zones in this children's interactive water-play area — the base camp, the departure zone and the observation station; each area has its own character and activities for age-specific groups.

*Please note that features and amenities are subject to change, and some activities require a fee, need reservations and have certain age requirements.

Zahanati Fitness Center is open from 6:00am to 9:00pm at no additional charge to Animal Kingdom Lodge guests 14 and over. Those 14-17 must be accompanied by parent or guardian. Guests of other resorts may use the fitness center for $12 per day, based on availability. The purchase of a spa treatment includes use of the adjacent fitness center for the day of treatment.

The Fitness Center spa treatment hours are 8:00am to 7:00pm, by appointment. Treatments include: Massage Therapy, Skin Care and Body Treatments.

As of January 16, 2013, all Disney World spas, salons and fitness centers will be owned and operated by Disney.

The Fitness Center has a full line of Cybex equipment, including a Smith machine. The cardiovascular area has Life Fitness Treadmills, Stairmasters and Bicycles (regular and recumbent).

 

I am intrigued by your comment that the pool has 'zero-depth entry level'. I would love to go swimming, but have yet to find a pool where I can transfer in and out of my wheelchair. Is the entry truly 'zero depth' or is there a step? Will Disney have a suitable wheelchair on hand? Will Cast Members be permitted to push these wheelchairs?

Uzima pool really does has a zero depth entrance -- and that entrance has no steps. There are other entry/exit areas around the pool that do have steps.

The Zero-Depth entrance is concrete and goes right into the pool (like a ramp). The area is around 8-10 feet wide.

A special water wheelchair is available upon request (not guaranteed). You will be able transfer in and out of the wheelchair with the assistance of family/friends. Cast Members can help push the wheelchair, but may not transfer or lift people. (Same restriction as at the theme parks.)

Would you categorize this resort as more for older children and adults?

There are lots of children of all ages having a wonderful time and full of smiles. Many kids were all over the lodge with their animal check lists in hand. The storytelling in the evenings is geared to both children and adults. There is always the pool, and as time goes on, more more kids activities will be added.

There is an area in the lobby and also in Mara with a TV and VCR that plays Disney movies. Pumbaa's Arcade appeals to many kids.

The children's activity center is called Simba's Cubhouse. The tentative schedule for the Cubhouse is: 4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Check-in and free play; 6-8 p.m. Dinner; 8:30 p.m. Snack Time; 9 p.m. Creative Play; 10 p.m. Vote on a Disney Movie; 10:15 Movie time and quiet time. The Cubhouse is available for children 4-12 years old and closes at midnight. Reservations can be made as far as 120 days in advance through 407-WDW-DINE; for pricing and more information visit our Childcare FAQ.

If the rooms are so close to the animals, don't their "smells" wander over?

I didn't smell anything out of the ordinary. There are times you can smell the wood roaster from Boma (especially on the Sunset savanna) but no animal smells. Just like on the Kilimanjaro Safari, I don't believe it has ever smelled bad to me. The animal keepers seem to be in the savannas throughout the day and do a good job of cleaning up the areas (including the watering holes).


What else do I want to know?

Bring binoculars

Bring a tripod for your camera

Lighting in the rooms is low, women may want to consider a lighted make-up mirror.

There are cameras everywhere on the outside of the lodge. Be sure to close your room drapes for privacy.

There is no pathway to Animal Kingdom and there are no trams to Animal Kingdom either.

AKL does not allow balloons inside the resort. Any balloons brought to the resort (from the theme parks, for example) will have to be checked with bell services for the duration of the guest's stay. They will be returned upon departure. This information might be helpful to families with younger children, so there are no disappointments when returning to the resort.

Other notes about the Jambo House Villas:

The rooms in the Jambo building were completed by January 29, 2008.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas opened in 3 stages. To provide quicker access to Disney Vacation Club (DVC) villa accomodations, a number of existing rooms in the Animal Kingdom Lodge were closed and were extensively renovated. The existing Lodge is called Jambo House.

In addition, a brand Disney Vacation Club area was built called Kidani Village. This FAQ is about Jambo House Villas!

 

The Animal Kingdom Lodge Address is:  2901 Osceola Parkway, Bay Lake, FL 32830 The main number is 407-938-3000 and the fax number is 407-938-4799. The Zahanati Fitness Center phone number 407-938-4715.