Where Should You Eat at Animal Kingdom Villas
When you stay at any Disney Vacation Club resort at Walt Disney World, you’re certain to eat well. Still, some properties would earn a spot on the average “Best of…” list.
Today, we’ll talk about one such location. Here’s where you should eat at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas.
Quick Service and Lounges
Longtime DVC members recognize and laud the twin hotels at Animal Kingdom Villas for their dining options. We can tell this immediately when we evaluate the top Quick Service restaurant here.
On TripAdvisor, The Mara holds nearly the exact same score as Kona Café and ranks ahead of Jaleo by Jose Andres. Sure, we can nitpick the accuracy of these grades, but the point remains.
Animal Kingdom Villas guests adore The Mara and often rank it among the best Quick Service options in the DVC program. Breakfast here is especially popular, and I think most of us know that this place sells Zebra Domes, one of Disney’s best overall desserts.
When you want to hang out at a lounge, you’ll find three excellent options. For instance, you can drink as you lounge by the pool at Uzima Springs Pool Bar. You’ll find plenty of beach/boat drinks and a deep roster of beers, including some authentic African brands.
Similarly, African wines comprise the most intriguing part of the menu at Victoria Falls Lounge. Since it’s close to Boma, you can also order some menu items and shareables here. I’m not bold enough to try the Spiced Goat Cheese Dip, but the Cape Town Slap Chips do, in fact, slap.
Finally, DVC’s seasoned veterans know the great thing about Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar. You can sample many of the tasty wines at Jiko – The Cooking Place without paying the hefty price of a meal at a Signature Restaurant!
Fine Dining at the Twin Resorts
I’ve already mentioned two of the three exemplary fine dining options at Animal Kingdom Villas. My favorite of the three is Boma – Flavors of Africa, an All-You-Care-to-Enjoy dining experience.
You may think you know what a buffet meal tastes like. Then, you load up a couple of plates here, and your entire universe expands. Boma is a foodie’s dream. As I type this, Boma ranks in the top 100 restaurants in Orlando, according to TripAdvisor users. If anything, that score undersells it, in my opinion.
However, two (!) other Animal Kingdom Villas restaurants score higher in the same metric. Sanaa currently claims 76th place – these scores will fluctuate – due to its cuisine and its paradisiacal setting.
While you eat at Sanaa, Disney states that you can “watch gazelles, zebras, giraffes, kudu, ostriches, cranes, and more…” So, this place is like a Savannah View room as a fine dining experience. And the food is sublime!
Still, a third restaurant bests its siblings at Animal Kingdom Villas. As I type this, Jiko – The Cooking Place ranks in the top 40 overall restaurants in Orlando! To put that in perspective, let’s assume that you have 100 restaurants in your town. Jiko would be one of the top two!
Guests adore the hearty African flavors that comprise the menu here, but the real stars are the various wine pairings. When you simply want to eat the tastiest food and richest wine, Jiko is quite possibly the best place in Orlando…and I include Victoria & Albert’s in that!
If you want to make sure that you grab those hard-to-get dining reservations, be sure to check out Unlocked Magic‘s Disney dining reservation finder! You’ll get unlimited text and email alerts so that you can book your dining reservations as soon as there is availability.
Other Dining Options in the Area
You may be surprised to learn that Disney lists four (!) other resorts as a part of the Animal Kingdom area. The other properties are:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Sports Resort
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
You probably know enough about Disney to realize that the various All-Star dining options are basically food courts. None of the dining options here is worth making an effort to eat, save for one secret choice.
World Premiere Food Court offers a secret menu, and I’d recommend that you try it at least once. A cast member will hand you a steel case that seems straight out of a Mission: Impossible movie. Then, you’ll read the menu via a View-Master! It’s a fun thing to do.
Obviously, Coronado Springs represents your best bet for fine dining. This hotel hosts a sports bar, Rix, and a restaurant directly in the water, Three Bridges Bar & Grill.
At the top of the new expansion tower, you’ll also find a tremendous fine dining option. Toledo – Tapas, Steak & Seafood is an underrated sibling to California Grill. Both are rooftop restaurants with fireworks views and exceptional cuisine.
Obviously, you can also dine inside Animal Kingdom. This approach allows you to choose among terrific Quick Service spots like Satu’li Canteen and Flame Tree BBQ. When you seek something nicer, Yak & Yeti Restaurant is a hidden gem of Disney dining.
Realistically, when you’re hungry, you should never leave Animal Kingdom Villas, though. The dining options here represent the gold standard in the DVC program.