When I was thinking about what I was looking forward on our upcoming trip– staying at Jambo House came to my mind quickly. For our last few visits we have stayed at several other DVC resorts. I love visiting different resorts, but there is something special about coming back to Jambo House. We stayed there on our first family vacation to Walt Disney World back when it was very new. As DVC members, Animal Kingdom Lodge is our “home resort” but most regularly we stay at Kidani Village, so staying at Jambo House is a special treat.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is just so peaceful and beautifully decorated. The large porches and areas to sit in the lobby are a perfect place to sit and enjoy the scenery. You can watch the animals or sit by a roaring fire, there are lots of locations to just rest and relax. Our room usually has a balcony with a couple of chairs and a table. It is a perfect place to sit in the early morning – even if you have a parking lot view – it is fun to people watch.
The other thing I love about both resorts of the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the convenience of having the lobby, gift shop, and food service just an elevator ride away. Some resorts are set up where you can be half of a mile or more, just to get to the lobby. This means driving, walking in the Florida weather, or taking one of the buses (that usually have their first stop at the lobby stop).
The convenience of having just two bus stops (one for Kidani and one for Jambo House) for the whole area is just so much more convenient that the sprawled-out resorts like Old Key West or Saratoga Springs that have four or five bus stops. The extra stops definitely mean you have to plan for more time to get to your destination. If we have dining or event reservations, and we are taking the bus, we try to give ourselves around two hours. You never know when the bus may be slowed down and then you still must get through the “turnstiles” and walk to your location.
If you are going to rely on the bus system at WDW, one of the things we have learned is that the resorts with few bus stops are much more convenient. We love having the option of driving our car to the park or grabbing a bus. Sometimes, one of us wants to go back to the resort while the other one wants to stay at the park. The buses give us the flexibility, that even if we drive our car to the park, one of us can catch a bus if necessary.
Disney works very hard to make the buses available quickly, though sometimes you may feel differently when their logistics goes awry (particularly when you see the time estimate on the app slip farther away!) In the resorts with several bus stops, not only does it seem like it takes longer for a bus to get to your stop, it is far less predictable to know if it will already be full when it gets to you. Resorts like Animal Kingdom Lodge (or another one of our pre-DVC favorites – Port Orleans French Quarter) have just two bus stops.
All this to say…I am looking forward to hearing someone say “Jambo! Welcome Home!”.