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Exploring the Wild Side with Jenn: A Nighttime Adventure at Animal Kingdom Lodge's Starlight Safari

During my last stay at Disney World, I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, and boy was it wild! This wasn’t my first time at Animal Kingdom Lodge, I had dinner at Boma last year, but having a weeklong stay was a completely different experience. This resort, like many deluxe resorts, has a calming effect on you as soon as you step through the door. The resort is made up of a lot of woodwork and carvings. Speaking of carvings, right when you walk into the lobby of Jambo House, the main building at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll typically see a cast member sitting next to the gift shop working on various carvings. AKL is themed after Africa (and of course animals!) and is home to the most African artwork outside of the continent of Africa!

We had a Savana View Room, meaning we had a view of the savannas the animals lived on! It was such a cool experience to be able to spot some zebras, wildebeest, and various antelopes from our balcony! There are several trails and savannas your room can be on. For example, our room was on the Zebra Trail (hence why we saw zebras) and was on the Arusha Savanna so we saw different animals than the rooms on the Sunset and Uzima Savannas. In my opinion, Savana View rooms are the way to make your stay a little more magical! It’s a great way to be able to spot some of the wildlife on the property with your family. It’s like taking a mini trip to the Animal Kingdom theme park! And of course, there are plenty of spots to ‘spot’ your favorite animal, even from your dinner table! Over at Sanaa, located at Kidani Village, the other building of the resort, guests have a view of one of the savannas and can sometimes see some animals grazing!

Do you want to get up close and personal with the animals? I was able to on the Starlight Safari! The Starlight Safari goes through the savannas of Animal Kingdom Lodge twice a night, at 8:30 PM and 10:00 PM, and gets you within a few feet of these magnificent creatures. You’re given night vision lenses to help you see better, but it wasn’t that hard to spot some of the animals and our tour guide was super helpful and full of information! Your tour guide will be a cast member who works with the animals at night and can tell you different facts about them, how they’re cared for, and what some of their personalities are like. The cost is $89 per person for guests ages 8 and up.

Out of all the Disney Resorts I’ve stayed at over the years, Animal Kingdom Lodge has been my favorite! I’ll definitely be back one day to have dinner at Boma (aka my FAVORITE buffet on the property) and then to go on the Starlight Safari! Are you now itching to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge?

Email me at to get started on the planning process!

Learn more about Jennifer Smith HERE


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