There are two main questions that people ask about Animal Kingdom Lodge bus service:
1. Because the resort is far away from most parks, does it take a long time to get everywhere?
2. Now with Kidani Village in the mix, is bus service even more backed up than usual?
Let’s take those one at a time:
Because the resort is far away from most parks, does it take a long time to get everywhere?
The short answer is: yes and no. Animal Kingdom Lodge is situated at the extreme end of Disney World’s 40+ square miles of property, so while it’s quite close to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, it is a far piece from other theme parks — especially the Magic Kingdom. That said, you’re not going to be on a bus for hours to travel between Disney destinations. On our FAQ page, we have the following distances calculated for Animal Kingdom Lodge bus service. Because buses in Walt Disney World aren’t traveling 60 mph on average and need to stop for lights, calculate about 3 minutes per mile on average:
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios- about 5 miles
- Blizzard Beach – about 2.5 miles
- Disney’s BoardWalk – about 5 miles
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom – about 1 mile
- Epcot – about 6 miles
- Typhoon Lagoon – about 6 miles
- Downtown Disney Area – 2.2 miles
- Magic Kingdom – about 8 miles
Now with Kidani Village in the mix, is bus service even more backed up than usual?
Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Disney Vacation Club Villas-specific area, Kidani Village, opened in May 2009. Kidani Village does not have dedicated buses serving its guests, so one set of buses serve both Animal Kingdom Lodge’s main building — Jambo House — and Kidani Village. Buses also serve as a way to travel internally between the two buildings: to get from Kidani to Jambo House, jump on any theme park bus; Jambo will be the next stop. To get from Jambo House to Kidani, jump on a Downtown Disney bus; Kidani will be the next stop.
Disney has had a year to get the bus situation at Animal Kingdom Lodge under control, and they should have enough buses running to serve all guests at this time. However, just like with airliners, you never want to run expensive transportation at less than capacity levels, so the buses will likely usually be crowded during high-traffic times. To avoid crowded buses, consider traveling after the parks open in the morning or several hours prior to park closing in the evening.
Also, because buses pick guests up at Kidani Village before guests at Jambo House, consider walking over to Kidani Village to ensure that you get a seat on any given theme park bus.