Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants: Ultimate Guide to a Safari of Flavors

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Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants cover a remarkable range of dining experiences. Having dined at these restaurants numerous times during our stays, I can attest to their unique appeal and diverse flavors. Each restaurant here isn’t just about food; it’s about embarking on a culinary journey that’s rich in taste and character.

Whether you’re a guest at the resort or making a special trip for a meal, Animal Kingdom Lodge’s dining options are a must-try. From the African-inspired delights of Boma – Flavors of Africa to the elegant offerings of Jiko – The Cooking Place, each venue presents a unique dining experience. The lounges and bars, such as the Victoria Falls Lounge, also offer exceptional dining experiences, combining casual comfort with top-notch culinary offerings.

Walking through the lobby of Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants at Jambo House

As soon as you enter Jambo House you know you are visiting someplace special. The soaring ceilings and beautiful decor are both awe-inspiring and yet comforting at the same time. Animal Kingdom Lodge is my kids’ favorite Disney resort to stay in, so we’ve stayed there so many times it almost feels like coming home!

Sign for Boma at Jambo House

1. Boma – Flavors of Africa

If you like a buffet, Boma is my favorite buffet at Disney World. Yes, you’ll find some traditional buffet options, but what makes Boma special is that you’ll also get the opportunity to try some strictly African dishes – which is a great way to expand your palate (or your kids) without committing to an entire entree.

The restaurant is open for breakfast and dinner, with more of the unique dishes offered in the evening. We’ve enjoyed trying a variety of African soups, meats, and side dishes when we’ve dined at Boma that we haven’t seen anywhere else. You can order specialty drinks as well as beer and wine for an additional charge.

Pam’s insider tip: as someone with a severe food allergy, a Disney buffet such as Boma is one of the few buffets I’m comfortable eating at. Just let your server know of your allergy and one of the chefs will come out and walk you around the buffet pointing out food items you should avoid. Just one of the many things I love about Disney!

Inside of Jiko at Jambo House

2. Jiko – The Cooking Place

If you prefer an upscale dining experience to a buffet, then make a reservation for Jiko. The entrance is just across from the entrance to Boma, but the atmosphere and food presentation are quite different.

Jiko serves a tasty blend of traditional African and Indian cuisine (with a bit of Mediterranean thrown in for good measure). The menu does change seasonally but always includes some sort of steak, a seafood dish, chicken, and at least one plant-based entree.

Jiko is only open for dinner and is 100% an upscale dining experience, so it’s priced accordingly with entrees ranging from $40 to $60. It’s an excellent choice for celebrating something special like a birthday, anniversary, or maybe just a Disney trip sans kids!

I have to admit that I haven’t tried Jiko myself, but my son and husband have dined there and both really enjoyed it. I have tried the bread service as part of one of the dining tours that Disney’s AKL offers and it was delicious, so I would highly recommend adding that and a glass of South African wine to your meal.

View of The Mara kitchen at Jambo House.

3. The Mara

Sometimes you just want something quick yet tasty to eat. The Mara is great for this, or if you happen to be at the AKL resort during the day when the main dining options aren’t open. As the quick-service option at Jambo House, The Mara is open all day and offers a nice variety of surprisingly good entrees as well as grab-and-go items.

From waffles, bowls, and baked goods in the morning to salads, flatbreads, and sandwiches in the afternoon and evening, you are sure to find something everyone in your party can enjoy. Plus, much as we might like to, eating at a full-service restaurant for every meal isn’t reasonable, and this is where The Mara comes in.

I also appreciate that there are some late-night options (The Mara is open until 11:00), so if you get back from the parks and everyone is starving, you’ve got someplace to feed them at your resort. This has happened to us more than once and I like having an option like The Mara in my back pocket.

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Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge Restaurants at

Kidani Village

Although most of the action is happening over at Jambo House, don’t discount a trip to Kidani Village, even if you aren’t staying at AKL resort. Kidani Village is home to one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Sanaa (anywhere – not just at Disney). So if you want a wonderful and delicious experience, get yourself to Kidani Village during your next Walt Disney World vacation.

Bread service at Sanaa, one of my favorite Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants

4. Sanaa

Sanaa, one of the best Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants is open for breakfast and lunch, but when we visit we always go for dinner at Sanaa. I’d say we average dining here at least two or three times a year – not every Disney trip, but many of them. Through the years I’ve tried many of the menu items, and although I love it when there are lots of people in our dining party (so I can try more things), even if it’s just my daughter and myself we have a great meal.

There are two items that you MUST order when you visit Sanaa. The bread service appetizer and a Painted Lemur cocktail (which I typically get as my dessert). Beyond that, I don’t think you can go wrong with anything on the menu, but a few others I especially enjoy are the Butter Chicken (part of the Potjie Inspired experience), and the tomato soup with Paneer Cheese.

Try to arrive at Sanaa a bit early so you can see the animals on the Savanna and look around at the impressive art collection in the lobby and restaurant. If you ask the staff they are typically more than happy to tell you a bit about the restaurant, or (and I would definitely do this if you can) you can sign up for the culinary tour that takes you through Sanaa.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Lounges

I’m a huge fan of the Walt Disney World Lounges in general. I think that they have terrific atmospheres, the best drinks, and a nice variety of smaller plates which is perfect for both my appetite and wallet. So, of course, I’m going to suggest giving the Animal Kingdom Lodge Lounges a try.

View of Victoria Falls Lounge in Animal Kingdom Lodge in Jambo House.

5. Victoria Falls Lounge

Perched above Boma – Flavors of Africa, the Victoria Falls Lounge offers a serene spot to unwind and savor a diverse selection of beverages and light bites. Its menu features an impressive array of African wines, international beers, and a variety of appetizing snacks, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing evening. Plus, they have some amazing cocktails!

I love the lounge’s ambiance, with its soothing waterfall backdrop and comfortable seating. It’s cozy and bougie all at the same time and provides a perfect setting for leisurely conversations or a peaceful break from the excitement of the resort.

6. Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar

The Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar is a hidden gem for wine enthusiasts and casual drinkers alike. Located adjacent to Jiko – The Cooking Place, it boasts a carefully curated selection of African wines, complemented by an assortment of craft beers and spirits. The atmosphere here is sophisticated yet inviting, making it an excellent choice for pre-dinner drinks or a relaxing nightcap.

It’s also a great choice if you want to indulge in the food from Jiko but don’t have the time (or desire) for a full dinner as they share the same kitchen. I’ve enjoyed a lovely evening with a glass of wine and the bread service while sitting at the bar – what a terrific way to end a day at Walt Disney World!

Painted Lemur on a table at Sanaa Lounge

7. Sanaa Lounge

I’ve already shared my love of Sanaa, and that extends to the Sanaa Lounge. It’s an excellent choice if you can’t get a table in the restaurant. We’ve done this more than once when the walk-up option was full and I hadn’t gotten my act together early enough to reserve dinner.

At the Sanaa Lounge, you can order the beloved bread service, killer cocktails (yep, this is where we first tried the Painted Lemur), and other appetizers and small bites. The atmosphere is relaxed, but it is pretty small, so keep that in mind if this is your plan for the evening.

Another great option for the lounge is if you happen to need something to eat between lunch and dinner. It’s one of the few places open from 3:00 – 5:00. We’ve done this and it’s been a perfect late lunch/early dinner – you can still get the bread service, cocktails, and a few other appetizers.

Other Animal Kingdom Lodge Dining Options

Don’t worry if you can’t get a dining reservation, or just aren’t in the mood for a lounge or The Mara, there are still several options for dining at AKL.

Uzima Springs Pool Bar at Jambo House

8. Uzima Springs Pool Bar

Located by the bustling Uzima pool at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Uzima Springs Pool Bar is a refreshing oasis for guests seeking a quick bite or a cool drink under the sun. This poolside bar offers a variety of beverages, from fruity cocktails to frosty beers, along with a selection of snacks perfect for a light lunch or a midday treat.

The bar’s casual and vibrant atmosphere, combined with its convenient location, makes it a favorite spot for families and solo travelers alike looking to enjoy the Florida sunshine. When we aren’t in the mood for leaving the pool on a resort day, it’s a fantastic option.

9. Maji Pool Bar

The Maji Pool Bar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a tranquil escape for those lounging by the Kidani Village pool. Specializing in a variety of fun drinks, from creative cocktails to non-alcoholic options, it caters to everyone. You can also enjoy a selection of light snacks or sandwiches, perfect for a quick and satisfying poolside meal.

The bar’s calm and relaxing setting, with its picturesque views of the pool, makes it an ideal spot for a leisurely break in your day. When you visit it be sure to look for special drinks – there is often a new, unique seasonal one!

Zebra Dome on a napkin from Snack shop at Kidani Village

10. Snacks & Drinks from Gift Shops

If you find yourself just wanting a snack or a very light breakfast or lunch, you can pick up some snacks and drinks from one of the gift shops (both Kidani Village and Jambo House have one). They have a decent variety of food items that could qualify as a light meal.

You can also grab drinks, everything from soft drinks to beer and wine as well as sweets, and a few stable shelf items. Something we love to do is grab a box of Zebra Domes from the refrigerator section and a cup of coffee and go sit on one of the balconies overlooking the savanna and enjoy one of my favorite desserts! It’s affordable and delicious.

During the holiday season keep your eyes out for a special drink cart in the lobby of Jambo House that offers fun seasonal drinks like Gingerbread martinis and Cranberry Mimosas. You can also buy hot chocolate for the kids (or you!).

Desserts at AKL Concierge

11. Concierge at Jambo House

Finally, if you book a room at the concierge level you can enjoy visiting the concierge lounge for breakfast, snacks in the afternoon, appetizers in the evening, and a lovely dessert buffet in the evening. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to book rooms on the concierge level several times through the years and it’s a wonderful experience.

Breakfast is typically a few hot items, plenty of pastries and continental breakfast options, juice, and coffee. Afternoon snacks sometimes include things like gummy bears, goldfish, charcuterie, scones, and drinks. The evening appetizers are small portions of some of the fantastic food items found at Boma (butter chicken is a regular and a favorite of mine!) as well as veggies, cheese, crackers, etc. Evening desserts are small dessert items and a fun variety of cordials.

The lounge offerings are plenty of food for light eaters, but if you like a full meal, it would probably be more of an “extra” for you versus meal replacement. You can also get beer, wine, sodas, and even fun drinks like mimosas or Jungle Juice throughout the day, and even Mickey bars or fruit bars.

Jambo House rooms view from pool area.

FAQs: Restaurants at Animal Kingdom Lodge

What restaurant can you see animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge?

Sanaa

Can you eat at Boma without a reservation?

Yes, but it’s recommended to get a reservation.

Can you eat at Animal Kingdom Lodge without staying there?

Absolutely!

Is Boma all you can eat?

Yes, Boma is an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Can kids eat at Jiko?

Yes, Jiko does have a kids menu, but be sure your kids can successfully enjoy a dinner at a nice restaurant.

Does Boma serve Mickey waffles?

Yes, Boma serves Mickey waffles on the breakfast buffet.

Can you see animals at night at Sanaa?

Nope, once the sun goes down you really can’t see the animals.

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Tree at Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Conclusion: Animal Kingdom Lodge Dining

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is a culinary haven, with some of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World. Having dined at these restaurants on numerous occasions, I can vouch for the exceptional diversity and quality of the meals served. It’s not just about the food; it’s about immersing yourself in a cultural and culinary journey that stays with you long after your visit.

Each dining spot at the resort, from the vibrant Boma – Flavors of Africa to the serene Sanaa, brings its unique charm and taste profile. Even lounges like Victoria Falls and Cape Town Wine Bar offer more than just drinks; they provide a complete experience of relaxation and indulgence. If you are looking for a more casual vibe, options like The Mara and the poolside bars ensure that convenience and taste go hand-in-hand.

So, whether you’re staying at the lodge or just visiting for a day, make sure to explore these dining gems. Each of the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants offers a glimpse into the lodge’s commitment to authentic, flavorful experiences. Remember, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, every meal is an adventure, every bite a discovery.

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Escape to the wild flavors of Africa at Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants. From savoring authentic African cuisine to relaxing with a refreshing drink overlooking the savanna, our restaurants provide a magical dining experience for the whole family. Embark on a gastronomic journey that will delight and intrigue your taste buds. #SavorAfrica #DeliciousAdventures
Escape to the wild flavors of Africa at Animal Kingdom Lodge restaurants. From savoring authentic African cuisine to relaxing with a refreshing drink overlooking the savanna, our restaurants provide a magical dining experience for the whole family. Embark on a gastronomic journey that will delight and intrigue your taste buds. #SavorAfrica #DeliciousAdventures