Thursday, September 2, 2010

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is perhaps the best hotel on the Walt Disney World property. Spectacular scenery and interior design instantly whisk hotel guests into a world of African charm. In fact, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is known to be favored by celebrity clientele for their own family visits to Disney World.
The earthy decorative tones and authentic African artifacts make the Animal Kingdom Lodge feel incredibly warm and inviting. Staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge gives visitors the convenience of staying at a Disney World site, without being surrounded by Disney characters.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge has a charm that appeals to both adults and children. The animals striding across the savannahs in the morning and evening enthrall all age groups and the peacefulness is a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the Disney theme parks. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is little part of Africa that Disney got exactly right. It is relaxing and inviting, and transports you to world that seems thousands of miles away from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, and yet guests are only a few short minutes away by bus to all the major Disney theme parks. The Animal Kingdom Lodge could stand alone as a super hotel outside of Disney, and it would still be worth the visit.
One of the great things about staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge or any Disney hotel, is the way they cater to children. When you consider going to visit Disney World in Florida, one of the main considerations will be cost. But when you take all of the amenities into consideration, the extra money you spend on a Disney hotel is totally worth it.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge provides so many extra activities for children that it truly makes their stay something special. At dusk, children can borrow night-vision goggles and look at the animals directly from the hotel grounds onto the savannahs, to get a close view and appreciation of the wildlife. There are always friendly guides on hand to explain more about the animals’ behavior. This is nice little touch to the after-dinner experience. It’s like going on a night-time safari! During the day, there are other activities for the children. If it’s wet outside, then out come the arts and craft supplies, and the beautiful Animal Kingdom Lodge lobby is turned into a giant play area for the children. The Animal Kingdom Lodge staff is there, encouraging them to take part in new crafting projects. While you’re there, make sure to check out the notice board by the Boma restaurant for list of daily activities and their scheduled times.
The 360 pool at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is themed, like a little oasis in South Africa. Surrounded by palm trees, the Uzima pool has Zero entry on one side, and is suitable for most disabled guests.
At most times of the day you will find three lifeguards on duty to assist any swimmer in the 9,000-square-foot, themed feature pool. There are views of the savannah from the pool, and nestled away in the shrubbery on the side of the main pool are two warm bubbling spas. There is also a small children’s play area and a children’s pool, located close to the restrooms for convenience.
At the Animal Kingdom Lodge poolside, you will find a bar, complete with African-style thatched roof. The bar serves delicious smoothies both alcoholic and non- alcoholic, as well as other tasty sundries. Towels are provided at the Animal Kingdom Lodge pool-side, so there is no need to take towels from your room or pack extra large beach towels when vacationing here. Adjacent to the pool, again neatly tucked away out of view, is a massage and fitness centre.
When the little ones have had enough of the pool, take them to try Simba’s Club House. They provide excellent childcare, with all the facilities that you would expect. They will even provide meals, so that parents can have a romantic evening alone. If you have older children, check out the small amusement arcade which boasts video games and other electronic entertainment.
The poolside experience at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a relaxing and very different from any other Disney hotel. It’s a great experience for both adults and children, and is a welcome rest from the theme parks.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Rooms
The interior decor at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is well thought out, and typifies all that you associate with staying in an African lodge on safari. The beds have carved wooden headboards, giving an authentic feel, and the comforters have a colorful, almost patchwork quilt-like design that presents a symbolic African theme. Each of the rooms features handcrafted furniture and art, made from rich woods and vibrant colors. Accommodations at the Animal Kingdom Lodge range in size from Standard Rooms to One- and Two-Bedroom Suites. Rooms are also available with bunk beds and roll away beds.

The bathrooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are well designed with both a shower and a shallow bath, and just outside the bathroom area, there are two separate wash basins for your convenience.

Take advantage of the balcony view, if your room has one, as the Animal Kingdom Lodge has 24-hour viewing opportunities to see animals in their habitat. A great time to catch them is in the early evening or early morning. In fact, one of the best memories that you can take away with you from the Animal Kingdom Lodge is to sit having breakfast out on your balcony, overlooking one of the beautiful Savannahs, and enjoying seeing the giraffes feed.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Dining

Dinning at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is a wonderful experience, a real culinary adventure. There is something for everyone, and as you would expect from a Disney hotel, and children are thoroughly spoiled.
Eat breakfast at The Mara, where you can pick up a selection of bagels, pastries, cereals, and fruits, or take a trip to Boma, the restaurant. This self-service buffet-style restaurant provides a feast that will more than keep you going until lunch time. The Safari Breakfast consists of eggs, bacon, and hash browns. And if that isn’t enough, try the wonderful pancakes with delightful maple syrup that is to die for!

If you’re not at the theme parks, the Animal Kingdom Lodge serves food all day long. Try a delicious club sandwich made from thick bread rolls or juicy chicken breast. Or, call in at the Mara for a wonderful section of fast food, from burgers and pizza, to healthy wraps and fresh fruit salad. And if that is not enough, go to Boma for a meal that will more than likely take the rest of the afternoon to consume!

In night, take a trip to Jiko, the cooking place, which features cuisines from around the world, and a South African wine list which would put most exclusive restaurants to shame. Don’t worry about the children; there are always favorites like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

The Jiko Disney Dining Experience was designed by Jeffrey Beers, and inspired by the Disney movie The Lion King. Twin wood burning ovens are the centerpiece of the open kitchen.

Once you have completed your meal, take coffee in the seductive Victoria Falls Bar, overlooking Boma. You can have dessert here, if you wish, sample more African wine, or relax with a gourmet coffee.
With the adjacent hotel lobby lounge catering to children, with large and tastefully integrated TVs playing Disney Cartoons, you know that your children will be entertained.

If you haven’t stayed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, you should consider it for your next vacation. The amenities are top-notch, the atmosphere is bar-none, and the memories made will be forever treasured.

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