Dreaming of a Safari Inspired by the Animal Kingdom Lodge

This weekend I had the opportunity to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disney World.  When I first found out where we were going to be hosted, I was excited at the prospect of staying in one of the nicer Disney properties (which is something we don’t normally do!) but I was also a little wary about how a Disney “safari” would be.  Would it be too cheesy?  Would it scream pretend play world? 

animal kingdom lodge

For the past few years, I have been obsessed with traveling to Africa for safari.  We have friends who live in Zambia and have built and grown the Mission of Love Community Orphanage in Zambia.  Our dream is to visit the orphange for a week, volunteering, reconnecting with an old friend, and learning more about the orphanage.  Then I would like to take the next week to go on a safari.  My husband and I want to wait until our kids are a little older for several reasons.  We would like the volunteer experience at the orphange to have an effect on them.  We want them to learn from the experience.  We also want the kids to remember traveling to yet another continent.  We want to be able to do the trip right so that is going to take us many, many months to pad the savings account so we feel confident spending the money to go. 

Did the Animal Kingdom ruin my dream for a true African safari?  I can answer that with a resounding no!  I was pleasantly surprised at the authentic signs of Africa throughout the architecture of the hotel, the restaurants, and the animal habitats.  It certainly wasn’t subtle.  It was most definitely direct and in your face, but not in an agressive or annoying way.  If nothing else, my stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge has only increased my desire to take my family to Africa to see the real deal someday.

To learn more about my Traveling Mom Retreat at Walt Disney World, see some of the posts that are  popping up on the website: Traveling without Kids When the Other Parent is Deployed; Got Culture? Five Ideas for Family Travel; and Some of the Magic Behind Magic Kingdom at Disney World.

Want to keep dreaming of a safari with me?  Head to The Carey Adventures to see pictures taken on his safari.  But please be aware, clicking over will most definitely cause you to want to book your plane tickets immediately!

Stop by Mara’s at Mother of Trips to join many other travelers that are dreaming on this beautiful Monday.

Disclosure: My visit to Disney World was sponsored in part by Disney.  My reviews are based solely on my experiences and opinion with no outside influence (except maybe the kudu and impala that greeted me underneath my balcony each morning).   


  1. 2

    My neighbor stayed there a few years ago and loved it – sounds like it was fun for you too.

    We definitely are planning a safari trip in our future, partly to pay homage to my father who loved South Africa more than anywhere on earth. I can’t wait to show Teddy all those animals.

  2. 3

    Hey there…do you watch The Bachelor? They were just on safari…would love to stay in a treehouse room, like they did – looked sooo cool!


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