6 Reasons Families Love to Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge #ZootopiaEvent

I just arrived home from a whirlwind trip to Disney to attend the press junket of the new Disney movie, Zootopia. It was AMAZING! I can’t wait to share all the details and my tips in the next week on our Disney activities. I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in keeping with the “animal” spirit of the film and had the chance to screen the new movie and interview the cast and directors.  Check out my list of 6 Reasons Families Love to Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge below. Disney’s ZOOTOPIA hits theaters next week on March 4th.

6 Reasons Families Love to Stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Check out just a few of reasons families adore staying at the fabulous Animal Kingdom Lodge.

1. Staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge feels like it’s OWN vacation separate from just the Disney experience

Upon arriving in the lobby of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, guests feel as if they’ve been transported to Africa. Wood carvings, gorgeous tribal decor, and a vast open space with floor to ceiling windows look out onto the Savannah rich with safari animals like zebras, giraffes, ankole cattle and more. The Animal Kingdom Lodge feels like no other resort at Disney – it feels like you’ve left the country!

2. Wildlife Galore Everywhere

As soon as you arrive at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Safari wildlife will be easy to view. From stunning patios near the lobby to vistas with rocking chairs in the hotel hallways and overlooks by the pool area, you’ll be able to view wildlife galore everywhere. The care takers at the Animal Kingdom Lodge definitely encourage the animals to explore and get closer to our viewing areas by placing food and drink in opportune spots which also insures the guests will definitely get lots of chances to see Giraffes – and many other animals – nibbling and drinking!


I love that they give guests this Wildlife Spotting Guide too! This was so helpful so I could identify some of the animals I was less familiar with like Wildebeests, Ankole Cattle, and Gazelles.

 

3. Safari Animals outside your Hotel Room window

I highly recommend requesting a Savannah view room so you can enjoy all the vast wildlife roaming, grazing, and resting outside your window. Even better, and probably easier on your wallet is the partial Savannah view room.

My Partial Savannah View Room Details in Room 2352:

Depending on where you are located, this is a great way to save money and see TONS of animals. My partial savannah view room was INCREDIBLE! Here’s the scoop:  I had a partial Savannah view room located at the back of the hotel – Room 2352 — and I would rent this room again in a heartbeat. It was off the beaten path and didn’t have the picturesque Savannah view but instead was located at the end of the savannah near where the animals are housed in the evenings and at night. So this meant I literally had a ZOO outside my window throughout the day. We’re talking waking up to 4 Giraffes, 8 zebras, 5 Wildebeests, a few ostriches and gazelles EVERY MORNING! Crazy! And in the evening all the animals wandered back to this zone to prep to turn in for the night for for snacks and feeding from the animal care takers. Children would go wild for this room and so did I.

4. Disney Resort Stays Equal Extra Magic Hours, Magical Express, & the Disney difference

Staying any any Disney resort offers a gigantic value boost to your vacation, so staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge is a win-win when it comes to including all those Disney resort extras. When you stay at a Disney Resort, guests receive special perks. Here’s a few perks I love:

1. Extra Magic Hours

One perk I love is that Disney resort guests are able to spend BONUS extra time in the Disney Parks before or after closing time. Check the schedule for your vacation dates to see which parks are open early or late on which days so you can adjust your itinerary accordingly to give you extra time in the parks without as many crowds or long lines!  Nice!

2. Magical Express 

Did you know Disney resort guests receive FREE transportation to and from the airport to their hotels? My children LOVE riding the Disney Magical Express busses to and from the airport to our hotel. The buses are comfy, offer hilarious Disney cartoons to entertain the family, and are FREE! Buses run all the time from the airport to Disney  and Disney will even transport your baggage for you! Before you leave for your trip Disney mails  special bag tags and when it’s time to depart Disney even prints our your boarding passes and baggage tags again to make your airport travel simplistic!

3. Disney Difference

Disney is all about the details. And when you stay at a Disney property, you and the kiddos get to enjoy all types of genius free entertainment and thoughtfulness from the hotel staff. Roaring bonfires in the evening – where yes you can roast marshmallows to letting kids make a craft poolside to coordinating pool games or letting kids try out tribal drums, there’s always an extra touch of magic at any Disney resort hotel. We love this touch and it’s why we always choose to stay on property at Disney.

5. Bunk Beds

Need I say more? Kids love bunk beds and the Animal Kingdom Lodge offers rooms with bunk beds. The furniture is styled with the Safari theme and the bunk beds are glorious. I was texting photos of these to my kids and they were VERY jealous of my stay and are begging me to take them back to Disney to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

6. Gorgeous Pool & Playground for the Kids to Let Out Energy

The Animal Kingdom offers a stunning pool area that is surrounded by viewing areas to peek out on a Flamingo pond, grazing Giraffes, relaxing Ankole, and more. So you can take a break from your dip in the pool or soak in the hot tub to snap photos of African wildlife.

I love that the Animal Kingdom Lodge gives families and children lots of room to ROAM – which means a big pool area and an easily accessible playground. The playground is literally located adjacent to the pool area and all those great animal viewing areas.

 We stayed here when my kiddos were 4 and 6 and you can be certain we took advantage of burning the excess energy on this fun playground that was literally just a fence away from the Savannah and all kinds of wildlife for my kids to enjoy in between rides down the slide!


 

Zootopia Trailer

Catch Disney’s ZOOTOPIA in theaters next week on Friday, March 4th. If you haven’t seen the trailer yet, I’ve shared it below.

Thanks to Disney for paying my travel expenses to attend the Zootopia press event in Orlando, Florida. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own. 

About Colleen Padilla

Colleen Padilla, the founder and editor of ClassyMommy.com lives in the Philly suburbs and is a full time mom for her 2 children, Mackenzie (7) and Kyle (5). Colleen and the Classy Mommy website have been featured on Fox News, Good Morning America, The New York Times, Parenting Magazine, The New York Post, local Philadelphia ABC, CBS, and NBC programs. Colleen has appeared in a TV special about Alpha Moms on South Korea’s NBC affiliate SBS. She also co-authored The Digital Mom Handbook (HarperCollins).

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