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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Earns Four-Diamond Status

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Earlier this month, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge celebrated its 10th anniversary. This week, the resort has something new to celebrate – achieving prestigious AAA Four-Diamond status for the first time in its history.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Earns Four-Diamond Status

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is the seventh Walt Disney World resort to achieve this honor, which recognizes hotels around the globe that offer world-class amenities, service and attention to detail. Only 4 percent of AAA-rated hotels receive this prestigious status.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Earns Four-Diamond Status

One of Disney’s deluxe resorts, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge includes three African-inspired restaurants, a thatch-roofed lobby with a massive mud fireplace and flowing stream inside. The resort also features an elevated “kopje,” or rock outcropping, which allows guests to observe animals – including zebra and giraffe – from just yards away.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge Earns Four-Diamond Status

According to General Manager Kim Marinaccio, the resort’s biggest asset is its team of cast members, who continually strive for “jamala” (the Swahili word for “courtesy and refinement”). In her opinion, it’s their drive for superior service that makes Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge an unforgettable place.

“What helps our resort is that our cast members and leaders embrace the African culture, which is very warm and sharing,” Kim explained. “Our cast members have a passion for African culture and conservation, and they’re excited to share this knowledge with guests.”


  • This is terrific news for AKL and WDW Resorts. We have yet to stay at this resort, but clealry it is a must for a future booking. What are the other six WDW Resorts that have received a AAA Four-Diamond rating?

  • That’s fantastic! The Animal Kingdom Jambo House was our “home away from home” in January and we loved it! The food is great, the cast members are wonderful and the atmosphere unbeatable! I could have stayed at the resort and watched the animals all day, however, my kids had other ideas of riding rides in the parks (imagine that). There is so much to do at this resort for both kids and adults! You have to check it out on your next WDW visit, even if you don’t stay at AKL, it is worth your time to stop by… you won’t be disappointed!!! Congratulations AKL on the ‘four star rating’, you surely deserve it!

  • As the years go by, i find each time more magical! The best thing we ever invested in is being dvc members. There is no other vacation that can top Disneys! That being said see you in October, cant wait! We love when cast members greet us “Welcome Home” its such a great feeling!!!!!

  • I can EASILY see why AKL (savanna atmosphere) received 4 diamond status – their service and restaurants, Jiko, Boma, and Sanaa, are similar to the status of the Grand Floridian (seaside Victorian atmosphere) resort and restaurants. The staff to take it up a notch and deserve the 4 diamond status – congratulations all who make our visits that much more special at AKL!!!

    We especially love AKL because we are DVC (Disney Vacation Club) members.

  • Well done Animal Kingdom Lodge !!!! We will be on Vacation from the UK in October, it will be our 5th time at Walt Disney World and our 4th time at AKL. We love Animal Kingdom Lodge and every time we arrive we feel like we are home. Everyone is so friendly and the Resort itself is breathtaking, we especially love the pool. My youngest son has Autism, he loves the Disney Parks so much but at the end of the day really needs a little time away from us and he loves nothing better than an evening at the Simba Club. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. ºoº

  • Our favorite place to stay! Cast members are wonderful! We like to eat at Jiko’s and Sanaa. Planning on being there in October! Can hardly wait.

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