Saturday, December 16, 2006

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Disney World in Orlando, Florida is special to my wife and I. We spent a memorable long-weekends here when we both worked in North Carolina during 1995-96. We then followed up with a 'trip-down-memory-lane' visit in 2001. During this visit we had stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved the place! And now we are taking our daughter there on our next vacation for an entire week (Feb 27-Mar 05 2007).

The Animal Kingdom Lodge recreates the feel of a South African wildlife reserve lodge. Rooms follow the Kraal African village design, a semicircle concept, offering a view of close to 100 grazing animals and 130 birds on the property and in the private savannas.

Like Disney's other resorts, this Lodge has a distinctive theme carried throughout its architecture, landscape and interior designs. As you drive up to the resort, all you see is a small gathering of huts. The incredible size of the resort is hidden from the front, so it will be like driving up to a small safari village.

The Lodge is 6 stories tall. You enter the expansive lobby on the 3rd floor of the resort. There is a huge picture window which looks out upon 30 acres of land. From here, you can walk out onto an elevated viewing area (Arusha Rock) and enjoy the roaming animals.

All three savannas are special areas built specifically for the Lodge and are separate from Disney's Animal Kingdom. There are over 100 Sand Live Oak trees and 35,000 shrubs in the savannas. Seeds for many of the plants were supplied from Africa.

Throughout the rest of the lobby, there are examples of authentic architecture and design, from thatched ceilings to golden tones reflecting the richness and diversity of an African landscape. Rich wood tones surround a large mud fireplace and natural lighting will celebrate dawn and dusk with features that accentuate spectacular sunrises and sunsets.

In the hallways, there are alcoves with glass windows providing savanna overlooks. Altogether, more than 200 mammals and birds of nearly three dozen species populate the 33-acre area. The savannas surround the lodge on three sides. You can view the birds and animals from resort balconies or from several viewing points -- including a landscaped rock outcropping called the Arusha Rock -- 24 hours a day.

Related posts: Africa Recreated, Off to Florida, The Magic of Disney, Downtown Disney


Anonymous said...

Your description was so distinct of the lodge and the savannas that I could simply stretch my imagination to understand the awesome experience. I'm sure Nandhini is going to love it, but dont think she will be remembering it for long as shez too young now. Anyway, therez always a next time for her too:-)

Anonymous said...

WOw i would love to go there!