What’s so special about the Animal Kingdom Lodge?
The Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my very favorite resorts. Those of you who know me may attribute this to my love for giraffes, but it goes very far beyond that. When I step into the Animal Kingdom Lodge for the first time during my vacation I feel a sense of escape into a whole new reality for a week. There is a beautiful mixture of serenity and adventure when you walk into the lobby knowing just beyond the next wall there is an entire Savannah full of animals to observe and experience up closer than you would have in any other setting.
For the Kids
The theming at the Animal Kingdom lodge is done just so there is a mixture of fantasy and reality presented. There is the of fantasy of being on an African safari where you can wake up in the morning, step out on a balcony, and watch giraffes grazing from trees and zebras chasing each other across a savannah. It’s not something they ever imagined was possible. However, there’s a sense of concrete reality here. The animals are REAL and are animals they can connect back to experiences they’ve had in zoos or on television. Despite being at the same hotel, every day is a novel experience. Each time you look out at the outpost or on your balcony there’s a different scene with different animals.
There are also many different engaging activities for kids to enjoy while staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. If your kids are able to stay up past dusk, they can borrow night vision goggles at the outpost and look at the animals roaming around in the darkness (for free). It’s a completely different experience than
observing animals during the day. Kids can learn from employees who act as cultural ambassadors of their home countries in Africa about the animals and everyday life on a completely different continent. There are drum circles, campfires, and craft sessions all available without stepping foot outside your hotel.
For adults, the Animal Kingdom Lodge also provides a tranquil setting for your vacation. Personally, I can feel myself letting go of the tension and stress built up in my shoulders as I step into the lodge and take in the beautiful surroundings and ambiance. The rooms are cozy and rustic in the best possible way and if you are lucky enough to have a savannah view balcony, there’s nothing more romantic than sharing a glass of wine on your balcony while you watch the sunset over the savannah.
Onto the food. It’s delicious. Boma is a buffet style restaurant that has something to offer for everyone from the adventurous to the pickiest eaters. It’s a mixture of African flavor, carved meats, and a kids section with American staples. Don’t foget the zebra domes for dessert, you’ll find them here! Jiko is a signature dining experience with steaks (among other choices) that simply melts in your mouth. I don’t know much about the kids offerings here, but if you are lucky enough to have an adults only trip or night it’s a great choice! Sanaa is more for an adventurous eater but has the right amount of spice and flavor to excite your palate but allow you to feel comfortable in trying new things. It also has a view of the Savannah, which makes it a perfect choice for a sunset meal. What I like best about the food at Animal Kingdom Lodge is that even as a New Yorker it offers options I can’t easily find at home. Another form of escape from the day to day.