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Disney World may be a theme park, but that doesn’t mean it lacks in dining options. And its resorts have some of the best restaurants on property. This is especially true at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, a deluxe resort that offers unique dishes inspired by Africa and Asia. So if you’re planning a stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, here is everything you need to know about Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants.
(And even if you aren’t staying here, you might want to consider making a trip to AKL just for a meal!)
One thing to know before we get started: There are two sections to Animal Kingdom Lodge. Jambo House is the main resort area, while Kidani Village is the Disney Vacation Club area of the resort. They are two distinct buildings, but there is a shuttle that runs from the front entrance of each resort to take you back and forth.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Table Service Restaurants
Animal Kingdom Lodge has three different Table Service restaurants. And if you are staying at AKL, I definitely recommend trying to eat at as many of them as possible because they are all delicious!
These are popular restaurants, so we definitely recommend making reservations ahead of time. Remember, you can book your Walt Disney World Dining at 60 days before your resort stay! (See more about planning your Disney trip here.)
Boma – Flavors of Africa
Boma – Flavors of Africa is located in Jambo House and it has a breakfast and a dinner buffet. The food here is excellent and the décor is full of vibrant colors inspired by Africa.
We dined here at breakfast, and I was so impressed with all the options. To start off, we got fruity juice blend that was included in the breakfast.
Then the buffet included unique items like Turkey Bobotie and Pap, but also lots of breakfast items you’ll recognize like Mickey waffles, omelets, cinnamon rolls, and pancakes. There are also yogurt parfaits and an avocado, papaya, and grapefruit salad, and so much more.
Dinner at Boma will have more unique African offerings. You’ll find things like Tabbouleh, North African Cauliflower Salad, Lamb Bobotie, Moroccan Harira, and Butternut Squash Soup. But you’ll also find family-friendly favorites like chicken bites, beef striploin, and macaroni & cheese.
Boma is also the place to get the popular Zebra Domes everyone loves at Animal Kingdom Lodge! These are white chocolate covered chocolate mousse domes, and you can usually find them on the dessert buffet at Boma.
Jiko – The Cooking Place
Jiko is definitely the fine dining location in Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House. It’s a restaurant that features African, Indian, and Mediterranean dishes that they prepare in their open kitchen. Jiko is only open for dinner, but they have a delicious menu you won’t want to miss. And this is the perfect place to dine if you are celebrating a special occasion on your trip.
Included in your meal is a bread service of amazing Egyptian breads, and you can order appetizers like Duck Confit and Honey-Raisin Flatbread or Braaied Wild Boar Tenderloin.
Entrée options include favorites like Oak-Grilled Filet Mignon and Sustainable Fish. And they also have a great kids menu that includes fish, steak, chicken, or (of course) cheese pizza.
And the desserts here are a work of art. Honestly, I’m not even sure what all my dessert included (except I know it had chocolate mousse) and it was absolutely heavenly.
Pro-Tip: There is a Jiko dress code! This is a fine dining restaurant, so the Disney website states that “Guests are expected to dress accordingly.” So, wear nice clothes, don’t show up in your sweaty theme park t-shirt, and definitely don’t wear a swimsuit!
Sanaa is a table service restaurant located in the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. To get there from Jambo House, you can take a free shuttle from the front entrance. (Just ask at the front desk if you aren’t sure where the pick up is!)
Sanaa serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Note that for breakfast it is a quick-service restaurant, and for lunch and dinner it is table service.
The menu at Sanaa for lunch and dinner is definitely a favorite among Animal Kingdom Lodge guests. They are especially famous for their Indian style Bread Service! It comes with five different Naan options (like Garlic Naan and Spiced Naan) along with nine different accompaniments (like Red Pepper Hummus, Cucumber Raita, and Tamarind Chutney). If you go to Sanaa, the bread service is definitely the one thing you should ABSOLUTELY order!
The rest of the menu includes Indian and African inspired dishes like Curries, Butter Chicken, and Pork Vindaloo. I had the Samaki Wa Kupaka, which was a sustainable fish dish and it was delicious.
And of course, for your more picky eaters and kids they have a burger and kids options like pizza.
Another important thing about Sanaa is that it is the only restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge that looks out directly over the savanna. So this is where to dine if you want to see animals while you eat!
Animal Kingdom Lodge Counter Service Restaurants
While Sanaa does operate as a Quick Service restaurant for breakfast, there is really only one true Quick Service restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge: The Mara.
The Mara is located in Jambo House near the Uzima Springs pool. They serve a Quick Service breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Mara is open from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., so this is where to go for your early morning breakfast or late night snacks before or after your theme park day.
For breakfast they offer grab and go pastries along with entrees like the Savanna Platter (your standard eggs, potatoes, bacon, and sausage), a Bacon and Gruyere Quiche, and French Toast Bread Pudding.
For lunch and dinner, The Mara has standard offerings like burgers and chicken strips. But they also have unique dishes like an Oak-Grilled Chicken Bowl, a Tamarind Barbecue Pork Sandwich, and a Chermoula-Spiced Shrimp Bowl.
Also, The Mara is another place to get Zebra Domes! You can find them in the grab and go dessert fridge. They also have the popular Nyala Brownie here, which is a brownie with peanut butter and vanilla buttercream.
One note about The Mara: I found the service a little confusing. Unlike other some other Quick Service restaurants (like, for example, the food court at POP Century), we ordered at the register and then were given a number to take to our table even though it *looks* like there are counters where you pick up food. However, if you want something like pastries or a dessert out of the fridge, you can go up and get that and then take it to the register.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Bars and Lounges
Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar
The Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar is located just inside the restaurant Jiko – The Cooking Place. It’s a small place, but perfect for grabbing a drink if you are waiting for your table at Jiko.
Their menu features a wide variety of South African wines, but they also have specialty cocktails, beers, and after-dinner drinks. You should also be able to order from the Jiko menu here.
Victoria Falls Lounge
Victoria Falls Lounge is the main bar at Jambo House. It’s located just above Boma (like, it overlooks the restaurant) and there is plenty of seating either at the bar or in more comfortable lounge chairs.
At Victoria Falls you can get specialty cocktails, beers, Scotch, and South African wines. From 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. they also serve a limited menu that includes olives and nuts, bread with goat cheese dip, and a burger.
Uzima Springs Pool Bar
The Uzima Springs Pool Bar is located at the Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House.
Here you can get beer, tropical drinks, sangria, specialty non-alcoholic drinks, and more.
The Sanaa Lounge is located at Sanaa in the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Their menu features specialty cocktails and mocktails as well as beers.
And if you want the Sanaa Indian Style Bread Service but can’t get a reservation at Sanaa (or don’t want a full meal) you CAN get the bread service at the lounge!
Maji Pool Bar
The Maji Pool Bar is located at the Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village.
Here you can get pool-side drinks like margaritas, beers, and sangria as well as non-alcoholic smoothies.
They also have a small food menu that includes Spiced Pork Nachos, Short Rib Grilled Cheese, Multigrain Tabbouleh, and more.
Special Dining Experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
Animal Kingdom Lodge used to have several dining experiences. Unfortunately, these still have not returned since the pandemic. We’ll see if they return in the future though or if AKL decides to offer new specialty experiences!
Past Animal Kingdom Lodge dining experiences included Dine with an Animal Specialist at Sanaa, the Wanyama Safari and Dinner, and a Jiko Wine Tasting.
Transportation to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
If you are staying at another resort and want to dine at Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can take a free Disney Bus from any of the theme parks or Disney Springs to get to Animal Kingdom Lodge.
If you are in your own car and want to drive, you will generally need to show that you have a dining reservation at Animal Kingdom Lodge to be allowed to park there.
One thing to note: Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of the most removed Disney World resorts. It’s going to take a bit of time to get from pretty much any of the theme parks (except Animal Kingdom) to AKL. So if you have a dining reservation and are coming from somewhere else, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get there!
Tips for Dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge
Here are a few tips for dining at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Make reservations. All of the Table Service restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge take reservations and they are highly recommended.
- Sanaa Lounge has the Indian Style Bread Service. This is one of the most popular dishes at Animal Kingdom Lodge, so if you can’t get a reservation for Sanaa, try the lounge.
- The Mara has Zebra Domes. If you can’t get a Boma reservation, this popular treat can be found in the dessert case at The Mara.
- Give yourself plenty of time for transportation. If you are coming from a theme park or other resort, give yourself lots of time to get to Animal Kingdom Lodge. The same applies if you are traveling between Jambo House and Kidani Village. Make sure you take travel time into account.
Animal Kingdom Lodge Dining FAQs
Can you eat at Animal Kingdom Lodge without staying there?
Yes! You can dine at Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants even if you aren’t staying there! Just make a dining reservation and take a Disney bus to AKL from a Walt Disney World theme park or Disney Springs.
Can you use the Disney Dining Plan at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
The Disney Dining Plan is returning in 2024 and you will be able to use it Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Just make sure you know what credits can be used at what restaurants. A few things to note:
- Jiko and Cape Town Lounge will require 2 dining credits.
- The Uzima Springs Pool Bar will not accept dining plans.
Is there character dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
No. There is currently no character dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Where are Zebra Domes at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
Zebra Domes are chocolate mousse domes covered in white chocolate. You can get them when you dine at Boma or you can get them in the dessert case at The Mara.
Where do you get bread service at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
The Indian-Style Bread Service at Sanaa is one of the most popular dishes at Animal Kingdom Lodge! You can get it at either Sanaa or Sanaa Lounge.
There are also other good bread services on property, too though! We loved our complementary Egyptian bread service at Jiko!
At what restaurants can you see animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge?
The only restaurant that offers Savanna views is Sanaa. And note that not all the tables are going to look directly over the Savanna. Remember though that there are lots of public Savanna viewing areas throughout the resort!
More Disney Planning Resources
Planning a Disney Trip? Here are some more helpful posts!
- 9 Steps to Planning a Disney Vacation
- Complete Guide to Genie+ and Lightning Lanes
- Disney 101: Disney World Tips for Beginners
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