African Inspired, Disney Designed

   The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a unique resort. Not only is it essentially a small zoo, but a world class museum of African art work. Indeed, it is the largest collection of African art on the continent. As you have wandered the halls and lobbies of the resort, have you ever wondered about the decor or art work? There are a few tours to help you really appreciate not only the various pieces of art but also the land and people from which they came. The best of these is the African Inspired, Disney Designed tour. 

   For starters, this tour is offered at both the Jambo House and Kidani Village. Generally speaking, it begins at either 4pm or 4:30pm and lasts approximately a half an hour, which makes it a perfect thing to do when you are winding down from a morning at the parks and gearing up for dinner and some more park touring. At Kidani, it met just outside of the Johari Treasures gift shop. The tour is under appreciated mostly because its not really well known. We were the only ones present for our tour. 

Note: Even though Safari Mike wrote this article, we too have taken the tour. Here is Adam and I with our lovely tour guide from Zimbabwe. 

Note: Even though Safari Mike wrote this article, we too have taken the tour. Here is Adam and I with our lovely tour guide from Zimbabwe. 

The final portion of the tour covers Sanaa as another guide gives you a detailed look at the artifacts and decor of the restaurant and bar. You will learn of the marketplace theme of the eatery. Like the lights? Well, they are modeled after weaver bird nests. See all the beaded jugs above the bar? The beads are in the designs of the flags of various African nations. There is also a cultural tour of  Sanaa that offers some samplings of food, yes that's right I said free food. This tour does not offer any such tastings, but it does extend beyond the restaurant for a better appreciation of the entire resort.  

   I don't want to give you all the incredible information that we got during our tour. And to be fair, its better coming from one of the cast members, who are from Africa. Each guide will give you a little bit different flavor, thanks to their unique backgrounds. So do the tour numerous times, at both resorts and you will get a little different experience each time. 

This article was provided by Safari Mike of JamboEveryone.com

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At Kidani, you first walk just outside of the lobby at the wall of lanterns. Light is a sign of welcoming and is the perfect way to welcome guests to this hotel. Stepping inside the lobby, you will notice all the farm implements behind the front desk where people are checking in (and in theory paying for their rooms). The reason these farm tools are there is that in rural Africa, they used to use farming tools as a form of currency, essentially a barter system. 

The tour also goes into the Palace Library, one of my favorite corners of the lodge. One immediately notices there are no books in the library, and that is because, as it is explained, in the past, stories were passed along orally not by the written word, which is why this library has a TV and no books. The small totem-like poles leading into the room are the king's guardians, demanding your loyalty. The art work in this room is also to the theme of royalty like a king's whisk and royal dance stick.