Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth it?

Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth it?

by Rachel

Dear Dad,

We are planning a trip to Disney in January, and as always, we are trying to live large on a budget. Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the extra price? We are looking at the Animal Kingdom Lodge because we want to see the animals, of course! However, a Savannah View Rooms will add almost $400 more to our total. If we stay in a Standard View room, will we get to see the animals at all?

Also, we are taking our son, who will be 1 1/2 at the time, and we are also considering staying at the Wilderness Lodge and the Caribbean Beach Resort. I guess my other question is: is an upgrade to one of the lower priced deluxe resorts really worth it? Also, do you have any suggestions about which hotel would be best with a 1 1/2-year-old (even if it's not one of these?)

Thanks a ton!!

See one of these guys

See a Kudu in a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Photo by Express Monorail

Dad's I know this one Answer


Boy do I know the answer to this one. You might find it a bit surprising.

Dad attended a convention in Tampa earlier this year and I worked in one day at Disney World during the trip. I wanted to do a little scouting so I decided to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. (The Man-Child loves animals and I wanted to see if it was worth it to stay at the Lodge. Plus, I knew you would send me a question about it and needed to check it out for myself.)

Let's start with the question - Is the Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the extra price.

Most people disagree with me, but I don't think so. There are several place around the lodge where you can go and see the animals. You can see them from the big windows in the halls. There are viewing areas outside where you can see the Savannas. The big picture window at Jambo House overlooks one of the Savannas and you can see animals from it. There are lots of places around the resort where you can see the animals even if you have a Standard View room.

Is it worth an extra $400.00 to have a balcony where you can sit and watch the animals all day? Only if you plan to spend several hours per day in your hotel room. I had a Savanna View room when I went. I was there for a couple of daylight hours and never saw any animals. I sat on the balcony for 2 hours in the morning and watched as the 2 legged wildlife cleaned up.

You mentioned an infant. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is not for families with infants. Let them grow up a bit and wait until they can appreciate the animals because, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the most remote of all the Disney Resorts. It's a long way from any of the parks even the Animal Kingdom. It can take an hour (that's what it took Dad) to get back to the hotel from the Magic Kingdom.

So which hotels would I recommend? Since you probably can't afford the Polynesian Resort, I'd start at the Pop Century. Yes, the Pop Century. I'd rent two rooms at the Pop Century. It's almost the same price as a Moderate Resort and lots cheaper than any of the Deluxe Resorts, even the cheap ones.

Dad's Pop Century page

With two rooms, you'll have 4 beds and 2 bathrooms. It's a real cheap suite and it's a great hotel for kids. Yes, it's not as convenient as the Wilderness Lodge, but it is as convenient as a Moderate and it's cheaper and bigger.

The Best of WDW - Volume 2


Dad's Bottom Line

Rachel, why not get in touch with one of the great Disney Vacation Planners over at Destinations to Travel and let them help you pick out the perfect Resort for your family. They really know what they are talking about and love helping families with problems just like yours.

Dad's Destinations to Travel page

Comments for Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth it?

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Jun 29, 2019
Yes and No
by: Nole Dad

I would say the Savannah Room is worth it IF you are planning on spending time in your room. The hotter it is, the less the animals will be out roaming during the day. In the early morning, you might get lucky and see a few. In the evening when they're being fed is the best bet at seeing animals.

You're not just going to see animals every time you look out your patio door. And as Dad said, there are so many places to see the animals and you don't have to stay at the resort to see them. So it all depends.

Also, it simply blows my mind people going to Disney with a kid less than 3-4 years old. It's pointless, they won't remember anything and will not be able to appreciate all that makes Disney magical. To each their own I guess but I wouldn't blow my budget on staying at one of the nicer Disney resorts with a 1.5 year old.

Oct 17, 2017
Dang Skippy!
by: Anonymous

Dang skippy you should go to AKL. And darn hootin' you should upgrade to a Savannah view. Just not this trip. I think optimally when your child is 7-12yo when they'll get the biggest thrill from the animals.
With baby in tow, a better choice would be a resort with a great splash area for toddlers such as AoA which has 2 large splashzones, one specifically for babies. Other great options are Caribbean Beach and Port Orlean's FQ.

With a baby your best bet is long midday breaks between lunch and dinner for naps and refreshing pool time. This lets you miss the hottest and crowded time at the parks. Have a great trip!

Feb 23, 2012
I disagree
by: David

I disagree with "Dad" on this one. My wife and I love staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and always get a Savanna View room. If you can afford to stay there, it's worth the extra money.

That said, if you're on a tight budget and want to stay in a standard room, the best choice for seeing the animals is to visit the external stairs at the different sections of the lodge.

You can actually see the animals up close and personal better this way. It takes a bit of walking to get to each stairwell, but the sights you'll see will make it worth it.

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