While attending the Monkey Kingdom Event in Orlando last week for the release of Monkey Kingdom which is in theaters now, 24 bloggers and I had the opportunity to chat with Greg Peccie, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Animal Operations Manager.
Step into the heart of Africa at this magnificent Resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design provides spectacular views of 4 lush savannas that over 200 hoofed animals and birds call home. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and one of the largest collections of African art in the United States as you experience your own African safari adventure with a touch of Disney magic.
- Every Disney resort has an activity calendar with events and activities that are happening at that resport. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has even more going on. Animal Kingdom Lodge is like it’s own vacation because there is so much to do there. It can take several days just to explore all there is to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge such as activities with cultural reps, a recreation team, pools, and just checking out all of the art and architecture.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has cultural reps that serve as Savanna Guides. They come from Africa on a 12 month visa to share their culture and experiences but they are also on the animal education team. They lead activities and specialize in things like hospitality, conservation, safari driving, and more.) They bring the sense of Africa to life in the resort.
- You can Dine with Animal Specialists at the Sanaa restaurant at the resort (keep an eye out for my upcoming review of Sanaa). The specialist will be an animal keeper, a manager, or Greg Peccie, the Operations Manager himself. Mr. Peccie is also an animal curator for the lodge.
- Dine with Animal Specialists is a great way for guests to try new foods and learn about animals. You don’t have to stay on property or be a Walt Disney World guest to come for this experience. It is $49 for adults 10 and up and $29 for children 3-9, while it is recommended for children 8 and up.
- For all the other tours offered at the lodge participants do need to be a WDW hotel guest.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is 46 acres large and has over 250 animals. These animals don’t go to the parks, they live at this resort. They are their own self contained zoo.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge’s daytime animal team has 25 animal keepers, 4 managers, plus Greg Peccie the general manager. A second night team works from 6 pm to 5 am and consists of 10 keepers and 2 managers.
- At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge it is a 24 hour operation to take care of the animals and the animals are given the highest level of care. PETA has even been invited in to check on the animals and make sure everything is being done correctly. From 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. the animals are brought back into the barn to feed them, take care of them, etc. During this time work is done in the savanna for maintenance with the animals in safety.
- Animals are bred to stay at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge or other zoos. They don’t bring animals from the wild to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. They are committed to doing what is right for the animals and giving them the best life.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge helps with conservation around the world through Disney’s Conservation Fund. A portion of the proceeds from the Dine with an Animal Specialist goes towards helping animals through Disney’s Conservation Fund.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers Evening Safaris 7 days a week where guests are driven through savannas and then treated to a 5 course dinner at Jiko. Guests have to be staying at Kidani Village or Jambo House to be a part of the Evening Safari.
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a Night Safari that is 1 hour long and does have a dining component to it. During this safari guest are given military grade night vision goggles to observe the animals at night.
Discover over 30 species of African wildlife, including zebras, giraffes, gazelles, kudu and flamingos. Identify each species with a Wildlife Field Guide (found in your Guest Room, with extras available from the Lobby Concierge), and learn more about African animals and ecosystems during fun programs led by Animal Specialists.
Don’t forget to take your family to see Monkey Kingdom!!!
Disclosure- I was invited on an all expense paid trip to Orlando for the Monkey Kingdom Event. All opinions are 100% my own.