Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando Florida

I just returned from a fun-tastic family vacation to Disney World. It was so nice to get away with the family for a few days and escape the cold here in NY.

It was pretty last minute, I wanted to go before my older daughter had to go back to school. It was our first time staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’re planning a trip to Disney with your family, I think you’ll love it. For starters, this was the view outside of my balcony…

Arusha Savannah view

The African theme throughout the lodge really made you feel like you were on a different continent, from the grass and bamboo hut ceilings, African wildlife roaming all around the grounds and the beat of live African drums in the lobby – I loved everything about it.

The weather was around 70°F, so I didn’t take advantage of the 11,000 square foot pool, but it was heated, so my older daughter Karina had to test it out.

The restaurants offered great flavors of Africa weather you wanted an upscale meal or something more relaxed. We really loved Boma, which offered a buffet of African dishes as well as American kid-friendly dishes.

In the past, when I went to Disney World, I didn’t stay in a Disney hotel, but now that I have, I wouldn’t do it any other way. There are huge advantages to staying in a Disney Hotel that you couldn’t get if you stay elsewhere.

For starters, the Extra Magic Hours, which
allow guests to enter one theme park each day for an hour or two for
which the general public is not permitted.

Disney also gives hotel guests free transportation to and from the airport with Disney’s Magical Express. They even get get your bags if you wish so you don’t have to wait for them in the airport, and everything arrives in your hotel room later so you can go straight to the park from the airport. A taxi charges about $67 each way without tip, so that’s a pretty good savings.

Transportation to the parks – no need to rent a car, Disney offers free transportation to all the parks, whether by monorail, bus or boat.

It’s all about the kids! The hotel has so many activities for children – outdoor movies, face painting, arts and crafts, campfires, a Hakuna Matata playground (that Madison loved), an arcade, safari rides, and more! We didn’t even get to do everything the hotel offered, I guess I’ll just have to go back next time or try one of the other Disney hotels.

Have you stayed in a Disney hotel? With so many to choose from, what’s your favorite?