Ask Dad – Little things at the Animal Kingdom Villas

ask-dad-avatar-100Beth G. from Vermont asks…

We will be staying at the AK Villas-Kindani Village in Sept. It will be our first time staying at AK and our first trip alone with our 3 yr old granddaughter, but definitely not our first trip. We normally go with older children and are go,go,go 110% all day long, so we generally stay at All Stars or Fort Wilderness. I believe the deluxe resorts have little “programs” throughout the day…story-tellers, etc. And I’ve heard there is a safari at AKL for resort guests only and also night vision goggles for animal viewing… Why can’t I find any info on these activities?  I would just like some general info so i can make some general plans, but not miss something the little princess might enjoy at the resort…

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful place - Photo by WDW Shutterbug

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a beautiful place – Photo by WDW Shutterbug

Dad’s Animal Kingdom Lodge will keep you busy Answer.

The Animal Kingdom Villas are beautiful and the setting alone will be appealing to your 3 year old granddaughter. Aside from the atmosphere, there’s a ton to do at Animal Kingdom Villas. First, you have the Samawati Springs Pool featuring a waterslide and zero-depth entry. The best part of this pool is actually the Uwanja Camp, a water playground that has an area called Observation Station for kids under 4. Your little princess will love the splash time.

Your room will have a Wildlife Field Guide (you can get extras from the Lobby Concierge) where you can try to identify over 200 different animals including birds, giraffes, and gazelles. The Sunset and Pembe Savannas are open 24 hours a day for viewing. She might not be able to read, but there are picture like drawings and she will feel like such a big girl trying to find her own animals.

The activities guides for each resort are updated at the beginning of the month and generally aren’t released publicly, which is why you are probably having trouble locating information. You usually get these at check-in and a lot of times are available in your room. The types of activities that have been offered in the past at Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas that would be appropriate for your 3 year old include Music of the Savanna, African Folktales, Primal Parade, Meet a Savanna Guide, and Night Vision Animal Viewing from sundown until around 9:30pm.

If you are looking for something to do in the evening, be sure to check out the complementary campfire. You will hear wonderful stories while roasting marshmallows. These are held on select nights so they will be perfect for wanting to make general plans. Immediately following the campfire is an outdoor Disney movie screening under the stars.

Just take a look at the schedule of activities when you arrive and you can plan accordingly. Events are spread throughout the day giving you many opportunities to be spontaneous. Entertainment and activities can change so your best bet is to check the Recreation Calendar that you receive when you check in or visit Guest Services at your Resort hotel.

There are several safaris available only to guests staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas. By staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villa, you can enjoy the Wanyama Safari and dinner and the Night Safari. However, both tours are only open to guests 8 and older. (If you decide you would like to do the safari, there’s plenty of fun the 3 year old can have at Simba’s Cubhouse, a Children’s Activity Center- think of it as really fun group babysitting for a parents night out.)

The Sunrise Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom would be appropriate for your granddaughter’s age. Keep in mind that it requires admission to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, which isn’t included in the price of the tour. It was suspended late last year probably due to the construction at Animal Kingdom. No word if it is coming back, but if it does it’s lots of fun.

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Dad’s Bottom Line

Simply being able to watch the animals from the savannah would be enough to entertain a 3 year old for hours, plus it’s a view that is constantly changing. Even so, there are plenty of resort activities to enjoy. Just check the resort activities guide at check in.

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