During our stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we spent four nights in a Savannah View room with club level access. Club level is the most deluxe of the experiences Disney World offers. So how did it measure up? This is our review of one of our best Disney experiences ever, our time at Animal Kingdom Lodge's club level, the Kilimanjaro Club.
|Review Summary: Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level was one of our favorite Disney experiences, with excellent food offerings, a good view, and good service to top it off. Club level is one of our reasons to stay at a Disney deluxe resort.|
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Booking and Cost
If you're getting an Animal Kingdom Lodge Savannah View room already (which you should), adding club level might not be that much more expensive. We booked using our Citi Prestige in order to take advantage of the 4th Night Free perk. This was part of saving over $2000 the first day we had the Citi Prestige.
On one recent sample during a room deal period, the Savannah View room was $462 per night and club level is $516 per night. That $54 per night is not too bad for what you get. It's also one of the cheapest club level upgrades available on Disney property. Given that Animal Kingdom Lodge is a bit isolated, club level is a good chance to experience something new, and maybe to try a Disney resort day to save on ticket costs.
Animal Kingdom Lodge
We reviewed our time at Animal Kingdom Lodge in full. The short of it is that it is a fantastic resort, possibly the best on Disney property. The biggest upside being the restaurants and the savannah. The biggest downside being having to take buses everywhere.
The Animal Kingdom Lodge Club - The Kilimanjaro Club
Club level access at Animal Kingdom Lodge gives you access to the Kilimanjaro Club, which is on the 6th floor of Jambo House, overlooking the lobby. There are two club level concierges there most of the time from 7AM to 10PM.
There is a fridge stocked with soda and milk, dispensers with juice, lemonade, tea, and water, a coffee machine, a Nespresso machine, and beer and wine on request. There are also liquors available to pour yourself during the "Evening Indulgences" service.
There is plenty of space, and usually if you can't find a spot immediately, someone will be on their way out shortly. There is a TV that plays a selection of Disney movies (from Jungle 2 Jungle to The Avengers to Dumbo). Service can be a bit slow during busy times, so you'll need to work for attention if you're in a rush at those times. We got carded every time we asked for alcohol (not unusual for us at Walt Disney World), so be prepared if that is an issue for you.
Service at the Kilimanjaro Club
We found the concierges helpful when we needed help, but they were often busier than the front desk as there were only two of them. They did get us a taxi voucher to Animal Kingdom when we needed to get there before buses ran for Backstage Tales.
A treat like this is important, given that Animal Kingdom Lodge is the deluxe resort with the most limited transit options. The staff was generally kind, but definitely played favorites with where their attention went (which was fine on the days when we made an effort).
Food Offerings At The Kilimanjaro Club
There are five food offerings throughout the day: Macheo (sunrise offerings at 6:30AM), Miamko (7AM to 10:30AM), Vitafunio (snacks from 11:30AM to 3PM), Chai (tea from 3PM to 4:30PM), Kisikusiku (twilight offerings from 5PM to 7PM), and Rehema (evening indulgences from 8PM to 10PM).
We were only able to try the breakfast, twilight offerings, and evening indulgences, but they were spectacular. The pictures give you a sense of the selection. The hummus was incredible and I overate before my dinners on multiple nights. You could easily skip a course if not an entire meal by timing your dinners around the club level offerings.
Save on Drinks By Taking Your Beer to Go
If you're going to do some expensive dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge (which we recommend) save on alcohol! We brought club level beers to two of the three dinners we had while at Animal Kingdom Lodge (the dinners were in the hotel restaurants, to be clear). This was a great way to save money (and time, frankly, as adding a round of ordering at these restaurants can easily cost you 15 minutes).
Closing Thoughts About Club level
Upgrading from Savannah View to Club Level usually costs around $50 to $100 per day. For a couple, this is usually worth it. For a family of four willing to take advantage of the offerings, it is definitely worth it. The food offerings may be small bites, but they could easily cut significantly into your dinner costs, and your morning snack will be more than taken care of. We loved Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Kilimanjaro Club and cannot wait to return.