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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge after Dark – Night Vision

posted on August 10th, 2010 by Thomas Smith, Editorial Content Director, Disney Parks

Giraffes through binoculars view
Just because the sun sets doesn’t mean things slow down around Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Our savannas come alive with wildlife and watching it with night vision goggles continues to be a surprise hit at the resort. Night Zoological Manager Rob Carlson says he had no idea that the night vision experience would be so popular when it was introduced years ago. Here’s a peek why some guests return year after year to experience it:

Even in a green glow, our giraffes are amazing to watch. If you look closely, the savannas that horseshoe the resort are home to a variety of animals, including the bongo, greater kudu, zebra, wildebeest, impala, African spoonbills and Eastern white pelicans. And the once-endangered national bird of South Africa, the blue crane, has also found a home around Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Binoculars View
Now, it’s your turn. Have you scouted with night vision goggles? Share what you saw in the comments.

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Filed: Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort



Edward from CO on August 10th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Is this a nightly event?


Thomas Smith on August 11th, 2010 at 1:28 pm

Currently, yes it is. It’s traditionally offered between 8:30/9:00pm – 11:00pm each evening. You should check the monthly Guest Activity calendar for specific times and locations at the resort front desk.


Joshua on August 10th, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Very cool!


nancy on August 10th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

can you use the glasses every night if you have a ticket to animal kingdom ?? Is there a seperate charge?? Do you have to be staying at that resort??


Thomas Smith on August 11th, 2010 at 1:29 pm

Hi Nancy, guests do not need a ticket. The activity is free to guests visiting or staying at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are limited goggles, so on some nights there may be a short wait time involved.


Keith on August 10th, 2010 at 4:46 pm

I saw giraffes the one time I’ve used them


Sarah on August 10th, 2010 at 4:59 pm

Hopefully to be our next Disney vacation.


Javier on August 10th, 2010 at 5:12 pm

I believe it is a nightly event and it’s free. We had the chance of looking through the Night Vision Goggles and it was great. We saw 3 or 4 giraffes and a few birds. My son was really happy. We’re looking forward to do this again on our next stay at the Jambo House.


Paul on August 10th, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Thank you so much for this, Thomas! I’ll be staying at the AKL for the first time this November, in a Savannah-view room. Can you tell me if the night-vision goggles are available to borrow to use from our room, or are the only available at the main viewing area behind the lobby? And is there any cost or fee associated with them?


Thomas Smith on August 12th, 2010 at 11:09 am

Sure, Paul. Glad to hear you’ll be joining us. The night vision goggles are currently not available in rooms. Be sure and check the Guest Activity calendar when you check in for times and other details.


Abagail on August 10th, 2010 at 5:20 pm

I want to know how you get such a dream job as a photographer at Walt Disney World. I love photography and Disney and it would seem like a perfect match but how do you get from here to there? The photos that are taken by the photographers at Disney are AMAZING.


Crystal on August 10th, 2010 at 5:51 pm

this is so awesome i cant wait we r planning a summer trip to disney next summer with our 3 little ones so excited…


Andrew on August 10th, 2010 at 6:03 pm

NEATO! I love how technology can be utilized to enhance learning experiences!


Taryn from TX on August 10th, 2010 at 7:55 pm

Just one of the many reasons why we love to call Animal Kingdom Lodge ‘home’ when we visit! Can’t wait to stay again in April!


Joe from CA on August 10th, 2010 at 8:26 pm

When I stayed there last winter, I turned on my nightvision on my camcorder just to see what I could get. Little did I know that Disney already flooded the area in infrared light. I was easily able to take pictures and video of the zebra outside our balcony. Never saw them during the day. I got great video!


Anjanette on August 10th, 2010 at 8:28 pm

We just did this the first week of August 2010…It was amazing!
And FREE! Ask , at check, for the Activity list. This is just a few of the fun and free items Disney lets guest enjoy while staying at their resorts!


Lisa on August 10th, 2010 at 10:47 pm

haha, Paul, my family will also be staying at the AKL in November and I have the same questions you do…


Lisa on August 10th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

it will also be our first time!


Krista from WI on August 11th, 2010 at 10:32 am

My favorite experience using the night vision googles at AKL was when two of the zebra started to run across Arusha savannah. It was absolutely incredible to watch!


Kevin on August 11th, 2010 at 1:53 pm

I just did this a few days ago with my son and it was fun. We watched giraffes and some other animals late at night. It was free and located just past the hot tub near the pool. You couldn’t take the googles with you.


Jeremy from CA on August 13th, 2010 at 1:17 pm

Animal Kingdom Lodge was already on my to-do list, but now it’s an absolute MUST-SEE the next time I can get out to there…. *le sigh*