Animal Kingdom Lodge Transportation Guide 

Transportation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is pretty simple to figure out. It’s simple because, unfortunately, the resort only offers one mode of transportation, Disney buses.

However, we’ll give it a little slack since the resort’s savannas are home to numerous species of African animals. There’s truly no other place that provides such a unique vacation experience as the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

With that being said, there are still a few things you’ll want to know transportation-wise when planning a stay here. So, in this article, we’ll look at how transportation works at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village.

We’ll discuss the bus schedule, approximate ride times, and how to get between the two resorts. Additionally, I’ll include a few tips for traveling from the resort to another resort using Disney transportation.

There might be a time when you need to leave the Lodge and visit another resort for a dining reservation. Or you might even enjoy a day spent resort-hopping.

Related: Resort Hopping at Disney World

Buses at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is made up of two resorts. The first is Jambo House, which falls under the category of a deluxe resort.

Kidani Village is the secondary resort on the property. Kidani is a dedicated Disney World Villa Resort.

Both resorts have their own bus stop. When you walk out of either resort’s lobby, you’ll turn to the left and take the walkway down to the bus stop.

Buses from Animal Kingdom Lodge and Kidani Village travel to the following locations.

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Disney Springs
  • Blizzard Beach
  • Typhoon Lagoon

Buses typically begin running 45 minutes before a theme park opens and up to one hour after a park closes. However, there is no need to rush out of a park at closing. Disney is good about making sure guests get back to their resorts.

Additionally, at the resorts, there are several screens that indicate the wait times for the next bus.

*From time to time, Disney requires guests visiting a water park to take a transfer bus. If this is the case, you’ll take a bus to the indicated transfer point. From there, you’ll take a bus to the water park.

For instance, you might take a bus from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom Park and then transfer to Blizzard Beach. For Typhoon Lagoon, you would take a bus to Disney Springs and transfer from there.

If this process is in place instead of a direct bus, signs will indicate so at the resort bus stop.

Approximate travel times from Animal Kingdom Lodge to the parks:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge to Magic Kingdom (approximately 20 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge to Epcot (approximately 15 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge to Hollywood Studios (approximately 11 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge to Animal Kingdom (less than 5 minutes)
  • Animal Kingdom Lodge to Disney Springs (approximately 18 minutes)

*These estimates do not include wait times.

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge many times. My only complaint about staying here is that the bus service has always been slow.

If you’ve ever read our resort review, you know I’ve mentioned overhearing others’ complaints at the front desk about the bus transportation at the resort. Hopefully, you won’t have the same luck. But we’ve experienced long waits here on multiple stays.

Related: Animal Kingdom Lodge Review

On the flip side, with the Animal Kingdom being so close, you can usually get between the resort and the park fairly quickly. Unfortunately, there is no walking path between the Animal Kingdom Lodge and Animal Kingdom Park.

Does the Animal Kingdom Lodge share buses?

Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Jambo House and Kidani Village do share buses. Typically, the buses will pick up in the mornings at Kidani Village and then head to Jambo House.

Theme park buses will drop guests off at Jambo House first upon return. Then they will drop guests off at Kidani Village.

However, the buses to and from Disney Springs usually run vice-versa. This means the Disney Springs bus will stop at Kidani first on return and then drop off at Jambo House.

I mention this because when the driver arrives at Animal Kingdom Lodge, he will indicate which bus stop he’s dropping off at first. So if you’re not paying attention, you could accidentally get off at the wrong stop.

Related: Disney Springs Transportation Guide

Shuttle Service Between Jambo House and Kidani Village

A shuttle runs between Jambo House and Kidani Village. You’ll want to let someone at the entrance of either resort know you’re taking it. A cast member will direct you where to stand and alert you when it arrives.

However, there’s a walking path between the resorts. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk from one resort’s lobby to the other.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Transportation Tips

During your vacation, you might need to travel from one resort to another resort. There are several ways you can do this using the free transportation offered by Disney.

Usually, if Animal Kingdom Park is open, you can take a bus from the resort to the park. Then, from the park, get in line at the resort bus stop for where you are headed.

This tip works better from midday to the evening when more buses pick up guests to carry back to the resorts. If you’re traveling to another resort for breakfast, you might have a hard time finding a bus heading back to the resort.

If that’s the case, you’ll want to take a bus from the Animal Kingdom Lodge to the closest theme park to your destination. For instance, if you were going to Steakhouse 71 for breakfast, you would take a bus from the Lodge to Magic Kingdom.

When you arrive at Magic Kingdom, you can take the monorail or walk to the Contemporary Resort. You’ll want to make sure to allow for plenty of travel time.

Another example might be if you were headed to Ale and Compass for breakfast. While this is an Epcot Resort, you would have to travel through Epcot to get to the resort, which requires a ticket.

So, in this instance, you would want to take a bus to Hollywood Studios. Then, you can walk or take one of Disney’s Friendship Boats to the Yacht Club.

Related: Disney’s Friendship Boat Service

Final Thoughts on Transportation at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Hopefully, this article provided you with a few details and tips for getting to and from the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The resort is our choice for the best deluxe resort at Disney World.

If you haven’t had a chance to stay here, it’s definitely worth it. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is gorgeous and serene.

When tackling transportation at Disney’s Resorts, things can get confusing. If you want to learn more, our tips for each resort are listed in a complete article:

For all of our articles related to this resort, you might enjoy browsing our guide:

Or you might enjoy a few of these dining guides:

Or you can browse all of our Disney World Resort Reviews.

In the comments:

Did you find these tips for transportation at Animal Kingdom Lodge helpful? If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them based on our experiences.


  1. This information is super helpful Amber! My family will be staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge and we’re all very excited. What travel method/route would you recommend when we visit Epcot? We will have a rental car, but I can’t tell whether the bus would be the better option. We plan to rope drop at park open and come in through the International Gateway back entrance in order to beat the crazy crowds.

    1. Hi, in order to enter Epcot through the International Gateway, you would need to already be in the area. The only parking lot for Epcot is at the front entrance. The IG is for guests coming from the Epcot Resorts and Skyliner Resorts. In this scenario, I would personally book an early morning breakfast reservation at one of the Epcot Resorts, for example, Ale and Compass. I would then park at the resort, enjoy breakfast, and continue on to the International Gateway.


      If you take a bus from Animal Kingdom Lodge, you’ll want to leave as soon as the bus starts operating, which is typically one hour before the early morning entry time. So if Epcot opens at 9:00 a.m., the park would open at 8:30 a.m. for resort guests (during this time) so the bus should start running at 7:30 a.m. (If you wanted to take advantage of early morning entry, this is probably the best scenario. Or you could always drive and park at Epcot.)

      I usually prefer to drive, so I don’t have to wait for buses. But if I’m not in the mood to drive, I would take the bus.

      1. Amber,
        If staying at Kidani, would it be possible to make it to Epcot International Gateway early entry by taking a bus to Animal Kingdom and switch to a bus going back to reload passengers at one of the resorts/hotels near the entrance to the International Gateway.

        We would like to start our day entering at the International Gateway because of the smaller crowd size and proximity to certain attractions.

        1. Hi, I personally wouldn’t try that route so early in the morning. From my experience, the buses dropping off that early don’t always return to the same hotel. For instance, one morning, we did the same thing to get to an early dining reservation at the Contemporary. We had to take a bus to another resort on the monorail because the Contemporary driver wasn’t picking up.

          If you wanted to do this, you could take a bus from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Hollywood Studios. Then boat, walk, or take the Skyliner. However, the timing might not work to your advantage first thing in the morning.

          Additionally, all the above-stated transportation options will take some time, with various stops along the way. It’s about a 20-minute walk from Hollywood Studios to Epcot. We have a separate article that details how long it took us: Walking from Hollywood Studios to Epcot

          Edited: If it were me and I needed to get to the International Gateway at rope drop, I would take a taxi from Animal Kingdom Lodge to the Boardwalk and walk to the IG. It shouldn’t be more than $15.00 since they are within close proximity.

  2. Hi Amber! Thank you for all the info!! We are staying at the AKL next week and I’ve been absolutely stressing about the whole transportation thing until I read your article. I see you mentioned in a reply that the buses start running an hour before the early entry. (I had no idea!) So the day we go to HS the early entry is at 8 am so the buses should start around 7 that means. Since we’re somewhat local, we are driving and had thought about taking our car to the park instead of waiting for the bus like you also prefer. However, my question is would the park let us in so early if we drove? Or if by taking the bus, that allows us to bypass all the car drivers? Our goal is to be like the first ones there lol.

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