I have stayed at most of the Disney resorts on property and they all have something I like depending what kind of trip it is. But if it is a family trip where I want to relax and feel at home it has to be the Animal Kingdom Lodge – specifically Jambo House. In fact our family enjoys it so much we bought Disney Vacation Club points there.
I can’t hear ‘Welcome Home’ enough when I drive through those gates!
I love that as soon as you are on property you begin to feel like you are in Africa. It really does remove you from Disney and puts you in the mood to relax. Then you step into the lobby of Jambo house and your mouth drops.
Jambo House Lobby
It is a large open space filled with African art and a HUGE window looking out onto the savannah! The window includes vine like iron work that makes the outdoors come in.
Lobby Window Overlooking the Savanna
Stops and listen – the acoustics in the lobby are meant to be slightly loud and give you the hum of being in an African village market. You can even hear conversations from the restaurants downstairs.
Turn around and look at the artwork between the exit doors. Remember to touch it before leaving as it is supposed to be good luck.
In the back of the lobby on the left is a library and Savanna overlook. Typically a Cast Member from Africa is there to tell you about some of the art and the animals.
African Ambassadors Leading a Discussion in the Library
On the right side you will see a fireplace in the back corner perfect for snuggling. And if you walk out to the Savannah there is a fire pit where Cast Members from different African countries tell stories from their homeland in the evenings.
As you move away from the lobby and down the hallways the hum of the market fades and you begin to feel like you have walked right into the savannah. Windows along the hallways provide great viewing spots for catching a glimpse of a giraffe or zebra.
Bridge that Crosses the Lobby
There are two types of lodging at Jambo – standard resort rooms and deluxe villas. Either option is wonderful and allows you to pick your experience.
Standard Rooms include either 2 Queen Beds or 1 Queen Bed and 1 Bunk Bed or 1 King Bed and 1 Day. There is a club level option with access to a dedicated concierge staff and concierge lounge.
Standard Room with Bunk Beds
There are three types of deluxe villas. Two bedroom, one bedroom and studios.
The one and two bedroom villas have a full kitchen. The master bedroom includes a king bed and a huge bathroom with a garden tub. The main living area included the kitchen, washer and dryer, kitchen table and a pull out couch that turns into a double bed. The second bedroom can include 2 queens or 1 queen and a pull out double.
One Bedroom Deluxe Villa
The studio includes a kitchenette, a queen bed and a pull our couch that turns into a double bed.
Deluxe Studio Queen Bed
Of course the highlight of the resort are the 30+ species of animals roaming the savannahs. Among the animals you may see are Ankole Cattle, Zebra, Okapi, and East African Crowned Crane! The wonderful thing is that you can experience all the wild life from the privacy of your own balconies. I could spend hours sitting there watching them (and I do). Morning coffee with a giraffe – perfect!
Savanna View Room
If that isn’t enough you could get closer to the animals by taking the Wanyama Safari in the evening. A Disney Cast Member takes a safari vehicle out onto the savannahs and gives you an up close and personal introduction to some of its residents.
Giraffe and Eland from Our Balcony
In addition to all of that the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House has 3 great restaurants.
- Mara – A quick service dining option that is a must do on each trip. They have the most wonderful butternut squash soup!!
- Boma The Flavors of Africa – Designed to resemble an African marketplace, this exotic buffet restaurant serves dishes inspired by the varied flavors and seasonal dishes of over 50 African countries, from the coast of the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. Some of the dishes may scare some picky eaters but do give them a try. I love the salads the best. They are very different and quite delicious. And for dessert – Zebra Domes are a must have!!
- Jiko The Cooking Place – The Cooking Place fuses the bold flavors of traditional African, Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. Twin wood-burning ovens roar and the soothing, warm colors of an African sunset bring energy to this remarkable restaurant. The menu features modern cuisine with an African flair. This restaurant is a signature restaurant that is great for a lingering dinner just to enjoy each other’s company. And remember to add a wine flight is you would like to taste some excellent African wines. This place is a favorite of my husband and I.
Jiko Restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Now you can see I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo House but there are some downside to staying here:
- Location – This resort is pretty far away from anything other than Animal Kingdom. So if you are depending on Disney Transportation during your trip be prepared for some long bus rides. But no ride should be longer than 15 minutes.
- Length of Hallways – To makes sure as many people as possible can view the animals Disney created some mighty long hallways. That can be daunting for anyone with a disability or after a long day at the parks. So request a room close to the lobby if this is a concern.
I barely broke the surface on all there is to do at the Animal Kingdom Lodge – Jambo house. If you have been there I would love to know what your favorite part of the resort it.
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