While we wouldn’t hold it against you if the only animal to pop into your head when thinking of Florida were gators — and maybe a giant mouse or two — you’d be missing out on some incredible wildlife experiences. And while Disney's Animal Kingdom already offers some incredible animal experiences, the Animal Kingdom Lodge takes your experience to a whole new level with wild animals wandering right outside your window. Honey, grab the camera there's a giraffe outside!
The African-themed lodge is the closest hotel to the park grounds, but you don’t have to leave the hotel to enjoy the wildlife. The lobby, hallways, and even many of the rooms offer stunning views of the local savanna.
Being a Disney Deluxe Resort, your stay won’t be cheap, but it’s a 24/7 animal-themed experience you won't easily find elsewhere. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the curved horseshoe design of the hotel offers an incredible perspective of the landscape. For the best views, it’s definitely worth the upgrade to a Savanna View room.
There are over 30 animal species that call the Lodge home, and you've got a great chance to spot zebras, giraffes, gazelles, kudu, and even flamingos from your room. You can identify each species with a Wildlife Field Guide found in your room.
Along with the chance to wake up with a giraffe outside your window, Animal Kingdom Lodge offers an 11,000-square-foot zero-entry pool with a mini waterslide and two hot tubs. There are also several delicious onsite restaurants to enjoy that will help you to immerse yourself in your Floridian African adventure.
There are four onsite restaurants to check out during your stay: Jiko – The Cooking Place, Boma Flavors of Africa, The Mara, and Sanaa.
There’s also the Victoria Falls Lounge, which opens at 4 p.m. as a full-service bar with specialty teas and coffees.
Jiko is a fine dining experience with delicious surf and turf, while Boma offers buffets with something for everyone.
The Mara is a quick-service food court with lots of packaged snacks to take poolside with you, and Sanaa has delicious African and Indian fare to spice up your stay.
For another unique experience, you can also upgrade to the Kilimanjaro Club for the opportunity to take a Sunrise Safari tour.
The tour is about an hour long on the safari bus, and you’ll have plenty of time to watch each animal and grab amazing photos!
If you're interested in knowing more about Disney's animal ethics, you can find their conservation report here.
For more unique Florida experiences, check out this list of places in Florida that will make you feel like you're in Europe, and this massive strawberry fest coming soon.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
Address: 2901 Osceola Parkway Blvd., Orlando, FL
Why You Need To Go: If you're looking for a more intimate animal encounter, Animal Kingdom Lodge has that and more!
We strongly advise that before you go visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security and animal rights. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment and the animals.