40 yEARS: Animal Kingdom Lodge Kilimanjaro Club

I’m wrapping up our surprise, adults only, 40th birthday Disney trip report today with a quick review of the Kilimanjaro Club at Animal Kingdom Lodge. We absolutely adored our stay here last fall, and it’s worth mentioning again how Animal Kingdom Lodge is a complete immersion for the senses. The architecture wows you, the scents of African cuisine overwhelm you, the sound of bongo drums playing cannot be ignored. It’s just incredible!!

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The Kilimanjaro Club is located on the sixth floor of the magnificent Jambo House. It is accessible only by Magic Band to guests staying on the club level. The concierge contacted me in advance of our 180 day mark for dining to ask what restaurants and times I wanted and arranged all of them for me. Needless to say, I got them all. They are also available to make other arrangements, such as a special Sunrise Safari that I didn’t torture my late riser with :-)

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At check-in we were greeted with jungle juice sangria at the concierge desk on the 6th floor.

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Our room was down on the fourth floor and was comparable to the room we stayed in last time. However, it was much more conveniently located!

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The Savanna view was wonderful and we spent loads of time reading and chatting out on our balcony.

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Honey was treated grandly for his birthday, with chocolate treats and birthday buttons arriving the first evening.

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Up in the lounge you will find various seating arrangements – tables + chairs, sofas, etc., a large TV with news, sports, movies playing, and a smaller area for kids with cartoons and coloring. I did note that there are high chairs available, which I thought was nice. The huge benefit of the Kilimanjaro Club are the food offerings:

  • Continental breakfast – includes yogurt, pastries, fruit, oatmeal, cereal, coffee, juices and coke beverages
  • Snacks – throughout the day you will find kettle chips, spiced nuts, trail mix, yogurt covered pretzels, cookies and the likes. Water, tea, jungle juice and soft drinks are self serve You can request wine and beer after 11AM.
  • Evening appetizers – from 5-7 they provide a wonderful selection of hot and cold appetizers. You perhaps could make a light meal out of them but that is not the intent. Beer and wine are self serve, as are non alcoholic beverages.
  • Evening desserts – from 8-10 you will find cordials and little dessert offerings.

Sadly I wasn’t super diligent about grabbing pics up here… AFTERNOON

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EVENING

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As you would expect, the service up here is top notch. I had them change fast passes (and get some that I never would have been able to) while we were on the way to the park. They also were able to cancel our Sanaa ressie at the last minute when we decided we just wanted to eat in the lounge with no charge. I personally witnessed TWO cast members do amazing things for two different children… the first found out a child was going to the Pirates & Pals and came back with an eye patch, bandana, sword and tattoo. The second found out a child loved Buzz Lightyear but didn’t have one. She arranged for one to be magically delivered to his room that night.

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Here are my thoughts:

  • The Kilimanjaro Club was a wonderful addition to our stay. I would love to do it again, should the right opportunity present itself.
  • You pay by the room for the club access, so the more people in your room the more benefit you will get.
  • To really get your money’s worth, you would probably need to be a drinker and have lots of spare time to spend at the resort/club. If you are in the parks 12 hours a day, you will not have time to enjoy it.
  • If you do the club, I would pay close attention to the times of the day that food is available and plan my day accordingly. ie. Make your dinner reservations for 8-9ish so you could enjoy appetizers and cocktails in the club before hand.
  • I would not do this if I were on a Disney dining plan. Lord knows, the last thing you need on that is MORE food. LOL.
  • I had no qualms about getting a drink / coke / beer and taking it back to my room or on the road to the parks. Nobody batted an eye so I guess this was acceptable.
  • We ate breakfast here every morning, so that was nice. Our usual Disney breakfast consists of some sort of a bar brought from home. That being said, I don’t crave a hot meal and yogurt and fruit is my normal breakfast at home.
  • It was nice to use this as an extension of the room. So, when Honey was sleeping in, I threw on some clothes, put my hair in a pony tail and brought my book up here to eat, have coffee and read. This would be especially nice when there are four of us crammed in a room.

You can read my review of our Animal Kingdom Lodge stay from last fall in a regular room HERE. It has lots more details on the resort offerings, dining and recreation as well. Do let me know if you have any questions!

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