Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level: Is It Worth The Splurge

I certainly never thought that I would have the opportunity to stay club level at Disney World. But when the opportunity presented itself, it’s something that we couldn’t pass up.

Club level rooms are a luxury service for select rooms at Deluxe and Moderate Disney World resorts. These concierge rooms can cost anywhere from $200 to $800+ per night in more than a standard room. But, is Club Level really worth the cost?

Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level Perks

Club level is a higher service tier at select Disney World Deluxe and Moderate resorts. There are two main perks available through Club Level: concierge and the club lounge. Sadly, ’concierge’ service doesn’t mean much at Disney. The cast members are able to answer questions throughout booking and leading all the way up through your vacation.

Grand staircase inside the Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge, showcasing the stunning architecture and design of the lobby area with natural elements and traditional African decor.

But, they do not provide any additional service or advantage such as securing lightening lanes or exclusive dining reservations. THAT would be worth paying for. You can ask your concierge to book dining, but they do not have access to any more reservations than you would find online.

The Lounge, on the other hand, is a big perk for a lot of folks. It’s an isolated area of the hotel available only to guests staying in a Club Level room, and throughout the day there is a rotating selection of complimentary food and beverages. It quick turns your Disney World vacation into nearly an all inclusive trip.

At Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Clube Level rooms are all in Jambo House which is where you can find iconic dining locations like Boma and Jako.

Other Disney Hotels with Club Level

These concierge rooms are available at a number of Disney World hotels though.

  • Coronado Springs (Moderate) – Chronos Club
  • The Contemporary – Atrium Club
  • Wilderness Lodge – Old Faithful Club
  • Grand Floridian – Royal Palm Club
  • Polynesian Village – King Kamehameha Club
  • Yacht Club – Regatta Club
  • Beach Club – Stone Harbor Club
  • BoardWalk – Innkeeper’s Club

Booking Kilimanjaro Club

Our journey to the Kilimanjaro Club was a bit unexpected. As we were planning a big trip to celebrate both my birthday and our wedding anniversary, I tried to make a last minute reservation at Animal Kingdom Lodge for the final days of our trip through a DVC Rental. But I wasn’t quick enough and missed out on the deal – by the way DVC rentals are a FANTASTIC way to find big savings during your newt vacation.

Two giraffes eating from a feeder on the Arusha Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge, with their long necks and distinctive spots clearly visible.

But I’d seen the goods and spent too many hours picturing the luxurious stay I thought I was getting, so I went to book directly through Disney. Except, the only room type left was Club Level. It was less than 30 days before our check-in date, so I was not surprised.

The cost was a few hundred dollars more per night over a standard savanna view room (but quite a bit more than the All Star Sports room booked for the first part of his trip). And since it is a special occasion, we opted to splurge on ourselves a bit.

The booking process on the Disney World website is simple and straightforward. Simply search for the dates you are looking to stay and select the “Club Level” option. During check-out you’ll be asked about special requests and any dietary restrictions. We received a phone call the morning after booking to see if we had any questions and ask again about special requests and restrictions.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Club Level Check-In

On the day prior to our arrival, we received a call from the concierge. During this call we were asked, again, about special requests and dietary restrictions. They also asked when we expected to arrive and how we would be transporting ourselves and our luggage.

Close-up of a unique ostrich-themed lamp in the Jambo House lobby at Animal Kingdom Lodge, highlighting the detailed craftsmanship and cultural aesthetics.

We spent the first 9 days of this trip at the All Star Sports resort, so it was easy enough to drop our luggage with the service cast members at check-out for complimentary transport to Animal Kingdom Lodge.

With check-out at 11:00am and check-in at 4:00pm, we spent the afternoon exploring Disney Springs. A non-ticketed dining and entertainment district within Disney World.

Upon arriving in the AKL lobby for check-in we were approached for assistance by a cast member who, upon confirming our Club Level reservation, escorted us directly to the Kilimanjaro Club. The host again confirmed our reservation, checking our Id’s for verification, before handing over a few trinkets and welcoming us to the club.

Club Level Rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge

The club level rooms at Animal Kingdom Lodge are located on floors 4, 5, and 6 in Jambo House. Making for a short and easy trip to the Kilimanjaro Club on the 6th floor. Savanna view studios and both savanna and non-savanna view suites are available as Club Level. Rooms can be booked either directly through Disney World or through a DVC Rental company, dependent upon availability.

Wide view of various animals grazing on the Arusha Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge, including zebras and wildebeests, with lush vegetation and pathways in the background.

Our room was on the 4th floor near the main lobby, but on the opposite side of the elevators. While this wasn’t a major inconvenience for us, we were booked in an accessible room for some reason which made the location feel like an odd choice. There is not much, if any, difference between club and non-club level rooms beyond the location.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is easily one of, if not, the most beautiful resorts at Disney World. The rooms are luxurious with large floor plans, pillowy mattresses, and infamous balcony patios. There is plenty of theming but it’s subtle, it doesn’t slap you in the face with murals from The Lion King (looking at you Value Resorts).

The washroom is spaciously designed with a walk-in shower and large vanity. Most rooms do have a bath, which I would have preferred, I believe the walk-in set-up is specific to the accessible rooms.

Amenities included an in-room mini fridge and coffee maker with supplies. The mini fridge we put to good use, but opted to visit the Kilimanjaro Club for coffee each morning.

Zebra grazing on the Arusha Savanna at Animal Kingdom Lodge, showcasing its striking black and white stripes against the green grass.

The view, of course, is iconic.

The savanna was most active during the late afternoon during our stay. I had dreamt of drinking my morning coffee on the patio while watching giraffe and zebra enjoy a breakfast of their own, but we hardly saw any animals in the area before lunch. There are feed stations placed strategically in the savanna to encourage the animals to hang out near the rooms and patios, but at the end of the day these are wild animals and they just didn’t particularly care about my brunch plans.

The Kilimanjaro Club

Located on the 4th floor, the Kilimanjaro Club is the primary perk of Club Level at Animal Kingdom Lodge. It’s a discrete and exclusive area above the main lobby available only to Club Level guests. The club and club-level rooms are the only areas on the floor, and cannot be access by elevator without a club-level room key. Swanky. The host verified who we were on the first day, but otherwise they simply said “hello” each time we arrived.

Antelope resting in the shade at Animal Kingdom Lodge, blending into the natural surroundings of the Arusha Savanna.

The lounge is filled with booths, tables, and chairs welcoming guests to enjoy the area throughout the day. A small corner of the room is set up with shorter chairs and a tv that was playing Bluey each time we visited.

Along the backwall is a buffet area featuring a variety of snacks and small plates which rotate throughout the day.

Beverages, including water, juice, specialty coffee, and more are available.

A nearby cooler is stocked with a wide selection of canned and bottled soft drinks and juices.

Services at the Kilimanjaro Club

There are (4) main services throughout the day, but we found there’s something available pretty much all day.

Miamko – Adventurous Awakenings (breakfast) 7:00am – 10:30am

In the early morning hours there is large selection of breakfast meats, pastries, and fresh fruit as well as yogurt and granola. We also saw Turkey Bobotie, a met and vegetable casserole, from Boma. Coffee, water, and juices are available self serve but you can also ask for a Mimosa or Bloody Mary

Vitafunio – Safari Snacks 11:30am – 4:00 pm

There isn’t much in the way of lunch entrees, but we were more than happy with the selections of snacks. Guests are welcome to DIY a trail, or safari, mix with ingredients such as goldfish, dried fruit, crackers, mixed nuts and chocolate chips. Lighter fare including vegetables, pita, and crackers are available alongside multiple hummus and ranch dips. And of course, no mid-day snack could be complete without an Uncrustable.

Kisikusiku — Twilight Offerings (Dinner) 5:00PM To 7:00PM

During the evening the Kilimanjaro Club is saturated with small bites from Jiko and Boma such as meat skewers, ribs, soup, and chicken wings. Uncrustables are still available as are the veggies and hummus. A selection of beverages including African beer and Wine are additionally provided.

Rehema — Evening Indulgences (Desserts & Cordials) 8:00PM To 10:00PM

In the late hours of the night you can find delectable deserts such as pineapple cheesecake, chocolate covered strawberries and even the infamous zebra domes. Cordials, such as Frangelico, Bailey’s, Drambuie, and Grand Marnier are also available.

Is Kilimanjaro Club Level Worth the Cost?

It’s difficult to justify the additional cost of Club Level for most of the Disney World resorts. It’s often several hundred dollars per night on top an already steep price tag. For what it’s worth, Club Level at Animal Kingdom Lodge is the most affordable averaging $100-150 extra per night over a Savanna view rom.

Close-up view of a giraffe at Animal Kingdom Lodge, capturing its unique markings and inquisitive expression.

We absolutely loved staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the luxury of the Kilimanjaro Club was a big part of that. Make no mistake though, it’s definitely a luxury. The ease of popping over for a coffee and snack cannot be overstated. Near 24 hour access to food and beverages, alcohol included, at no additional cost is a game changer. The perk is even better for larger groups staying in a single room as the cost per person goes done and everyone can eat, or drink, their weight through the purchase price.

That being said, no – Club Level isn’t worth the price if you are spending time in the parks. The numbers just don’t make sense if you aren’t going to be there all day to take full advantage. I do recommend the option for guests looking at a split stay though. During this trip we stayed at All Star Sports for the majority of the time, when we planned to go into the parks and would end up buying food there. But the last 2 nights of our trip we moved to Animal Kingdom Lodge where we spent all day sneaking snacks from the Kilimanjaro Lounge and enjoying them from our room while watching the animals roam. Now that is more than worth the cost in my book.

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