This is a first for me and for my family. We are going to Walt Disney World but we are not going to any of the Disney Parks. What?? Really? What are we going to do?
We are planning on enjoying two nights at Walt Disney World Resort before heading to Port Canaveral for our Disney Cruise Line cruise to the Eastern Caribbean. We are staying Club Level at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) – Jambo, using our Disney Vacation Club (DVC) points. AKL is one of Disney’s most amazingly themed resorts. We have stayed there before, but have never stayed Club Level.
DIStracted Tip: AKL is the only resort that has Club Level DVC villas available. There are not many of them, so book early!
There is so much to see and do, just at the resort, that we decided that during our short stay, we would make the most of the resort. We are planning on doing the Wanyama Safari again, an exclusive tour for those staying at AKL. This tour includes a personalized dinner for the participants (max of 12) at the wonderful Jiko – the Cooking Place. We are also planning to have dinner at Boma – Flavors of Africa for the first time.
So what are we going to do when we are not “on safari” or eating? We will be enjoying all of the amenities that the resort offers. I think a relaxing afternoon at Uzima Pool is on our list. We have not tried this pool yet. Our previous stays at AKL were at Kidani Village and we used the pool there (Samawati Springs Pool). So I am looking forward to checking out this 11,000-square-foot tropical oasis facing Uzima Savanna.
Since we are staying club level, we will have the time to truly enjoy those amenities. We will have access to the club-level lounge from 7:00am to 10:00pm each day. Continental breakfast in the lounge, snacks throughout the day, afternoon tea, drinks, desserts – if we were heading to one of the Parks, we would miss out on getting the most out of our club level stay. There is also a separate Concierge for assistance with dining or other itinerary planning. A Concierge Itinerary Planner helped me to book our Wanyama Safari.
The resort has four savannas, completely separate from Animal Kingdom Park. Even if you have a room or villa that does not have a savanna view, there are plenty of opportunities to see them. Pick up a Wildlife Field Guide at the Lobby Concierge (or look in your room or villa) and have fun identifying the animals. There are over 30 species of wildlife on the savannas! At night, head to Arusha Rock which overlooks one of the savannas. There are night vision binoculars to use. There are over 30 different species of African animals, including zebras, giraffes (my personal favorite), gazelles, and many more.
There are also storytellers and arts and crafts projects. AKL offers a campfire at night as well as complimentary outdoor viewing of Disney movies (weather permitting). There is the Hakuna Matata Playground for those 2 -12 years old as well as Pumbaa’s Fun and Games Arcade.
I am also looking forward to wandering the resort to see all of the authentic African decor. The resort has one of the largest collections of African art in the United States.
My only question is – will two nights be enough to take in everything there is to see and do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge? Have you gone to Walt Disney World Resort and not ventured to a Disney Park?