I just got back from a trip to Walt Disney World to learn and celebrate the release of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Zootopia” at the #ZootopiaEvent (check out the hashtag on social media to see all the awesome things we did, people we interviewed and things we saw if you haven’t yet). I can’t think of a better property to stay at than Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge for this event!
I know several of you have stayed here or already have it on your list based on feedback I got throughout the weekend. It has always been on my Disney list of places to stay and after visiting earlier this week, it’s STILL on my list. I can’t wait to go back! In case you need some convincing, here are 10 great reasons to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (according to me):
- The Animals – this is THE most amazing reason of them all. Being able to sit and watch zebras, giraffes, okapis, impalas and more, roaming a gorgeous savanna-like setting is so incredibly relaxing. I could have sat all day on my balcony (or in the rocking chairs around the resort) and just watched the animals. In every room you’ll find a wildlife spotting guide that lists all the animals on property with a checkbox and great information next to each so you can check off (and learn about) what you see!
- Fun Interactive Activities – there are kid-friendly programs and experiences like African folklore around the fire pit, becoming a Junior Safari Researcher or even a drum circle (this was adorable to watch). There are also great activities for kids of all ages like learning from the lodge’s Savanna Guides, wine tasting (do yourself a favor and try some South African wines – they have the largest collection in the United States and they have some of my absolute favorites) or a self guided tour around the property. You can also do one of our favorite Disney activities – go on a Hidden Mickey safari! Just ask for a guide at the front desk!
- The Food – Boma and Sanaa are 2 of my favorite places to eat in all of Walt Disney World, all in the same resort. You can also choose Jiko (with amazing wines), The Mara, Maji Pool Bar and Uzima Springs Pool Bar
- The Culture – talk to any one of the awesome cast members and find out what their favorite part of the lodge is. There is so much amazing art and culture to take in everyone has a different favorite. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has an extensive collection of authentic African art that are featured throughout the resort as well as in the rooms!
- The People – I found plenty of cast members who loved to tell me their favorite unique parts of the resort. It’s always such a treat to get to know new people and hear why and what they love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Nighttime Safari – An amazing experience offered only to Guests of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, as well as Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House and Kidani Village. Witness the wild as it comes to life in complete darkness during this thrilling, hour-long expedition.
- The Ambiance – from the moment you drive (or ride in on the Magical Express) you truly feel like you’re in Africa. It has such a unique feel and ambiance as many of the Disney resort properties do. This one though, just takes it even further. It may be my favorite so far!
- The Landscape – it’s incredible how much landscaping makes a difference. The environment is designed to simulate the landscape of the African continent.
- The Authentic Merchandise – I loved browsing the Zawadi Marketplace. They carry authentic crafts, clothing and merchandise from Africa. Even inexpensive items like recycled bracelets that would make a perfect gift.
- The great value of staying on property at Disney resorts
- Extra Magic Hours -Each day, select attractions are open longer at one of the theme parks.
- Early Access to FastPass+ Planning
- Complimentary Resort Transportation & Parking
- Complimentary MagicBands
- Disney’s Magical Express® – you don’t have to worry about lugging your checked luggage around!
- Themed pools with slides, outdoor Disney movie screenings and Character Dining experiences (at some resorts)
- The Disney difference – if you’ve been to a Disney property you know what this means. They care so much about guest’s experiences and it shows! It’s also the reason so many of us can’t get enough Disney magic.
- Disney Dining Plans – Choose a Magic Your Way package with a dining plan and you could enjoy a variety of diverse dining options throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
There are more reasons I’m sure, but #1 alone has me all ready to go back! A LOT of studying animals went into the creation of Zootopia which made this such a fun spot to call home for a few days. The highlight of our trip was getting to screen Zootopia early as well as interview some actors AND directors of the film (more on that next week).
Zootopia is in theaters March 4th and learning more about what went in to making the film made me love it even more! I can’t wait to share more with you. Until then – check out my favorite trailer:
Disclosure: I was invited and hosted by Disney to cover the #ZootopiaEvent as part of a media trip. As always, all opinions are entirely my own.