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Review: Victoria Falls Lounge at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

Today, I thought I’d invite you to come along for a visit to the serene and scenic Victoria Falls.

Well, OK, I’m not springing for airfare to Africa, but we’re going to the Victoria Falls Lounge, which is pretty nice in and of itself.

Victoria Falls Sign

This gathering spot, located in Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, is a great place to meet with friends, enjoy a quiet solo drink, or await your table at nearby Jiko or Boma. I love meeting friends here, and I thought you’d enjoy taking a closer look with me.

Atmosphere

One of the coolest things about Victoria Falls is its name and its relationship to the lounge’s location. It’s actually suspended between levels of the hotel, below the main lobby, and yet overlooking Boma. It’s situated very much as a waterfall would be. Cool, eh?

View of Victoria Falls from Above

Open iron railings allow light from all sides to pool in, and the stacked columns display colors of the savanna as well as the sunset. I especially love the indirect lighting that peeks up from within the stacked columns.

Bar Area and Painted Columns

Tables for two overlook Boma, and are especially great for intimate conversation after the popular buffet restaurant closes for the evening.

Intimate Tables Overlooking Boma

Comfortable seating choices come in lots of earth tones and are mixed in style. This is the spot I claimed for a nice catch-up chat with a friend.

Comfortable Couch and Club Chair Seating

We met after I had dined at Boma for dinner and she had enjoyed a light supper. So while we weren’t starving, we were still interested in seeing what Victoria Falls had to offer.

Eats

In addition to the standard Disney bar menu, Victoria Falls has a couple of Signature Cocktails. And while the list isn’t extensive, it has its standouts.

I was really happy to see the Victoria Falls Mist back on the menu here! It started out at Victoria Falls, but then fell off the menu for a bit and was only available at Jiko.

Drink Menu -- Click to Enlarge

As far as noshing is concerned, the food menu is just as slim. Animal Kingdom Lodge has some of the most amazing food at Disney, and Jiko sports an impressive array of delicious flatbreads and appetizers. It would be really nice if they were available here.

Food Menu -- Click to Enlarge

There are some interesting options for beer lovers available by the bottle, including some African imports.

Beers Available by the Bottle

Even though I didn’t indulge in one on this visit, I have been known to enjoy a Victoria Falls Mist (or two). This bright-green cooler is a combination of Van der Hum Tangerine Liqueur, fused with Melon and Banana Liqueurs, Sweet-and-Sour, and Sprite.

Victoria Falls Mist

My friend decided to try the Nyami Nyami. Made with Amarula Cream (the same wonderful liqueur found in the Zebra Domes you enjoy at Boma and Animal Kingdom Lodge’s counter service spot, The Mara) and Banana Liqueur, this was sweet and creamy, like a grown-up milkshake.

A word here about the awesome bartenders. My friend isn’t a huge fan of banana liqueur, and happened to mention that. The bartender cheerfully offered to pull back on the banana and supplement with a little more Amarula. I love when they do that!

Nyami Nyami

As I said earlier, we were both well satisfied by earlier dinners, but we still wanted a bite of something to go with our drinks. (Do you seriously think I would go to any Disney food establishment and NOT order something to nosh on?! You guys know me better than that.) We decided on the Crisp Breads and Dips.

Fans of the breads and hummus at Boma will recognize the assortment immediately. Hummus featuring White Beans, Black Olives, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes are all popular starters on the buffet there.

Breads and Dips

While I’m not a big fan of the bean spread, my friend is, and she thought they were all fantastic, with pronounced flavors of the different ingredients.

Overall

Victoria Falls is a great place to hang out. A beautiful mixture of upscale and rustic (like you’ve just come back to your Lodge from the safari on the savanna), it’s comfortable and conveniently located, and the staff is friendly and accommodating.

If I were to improve anything here, it would be the food offerings. Lounges are some of my favorite spots at Disney World, and much of that is because of the interesting food options. I can seriously make a meal from the incredible food at the Wilderness Lodge’s Territory Lounge. The pork belly at Mizner’s Lounge in the Grand Floridian is crazy good, and the interesting fusion of flavors at the Polynesian’s Tambu Lounge has me planning another visit there soon.

Still, Victoria Falls is a great place to unwind, grab a drink, and people watch. And with amazing food steps away at Boma, Jiko, The Mara, and Sanaa, you won’t go hungry.

Is Victoria Falls a favorite spot for you? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it!

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11 Comments

  1. Kris says:

    We stayed 10 nights at the AKL Jambo House this past March and LOVED to stop and have a drink to unwind and relax. Before or after dinner, or even after a day at the parks. I love to people watch and the two seat tables at the reeling were great for that! I enjoyed the Tusker Beer, my girlfriend really liked the kilimarita and we both enjoyed the great selection of African Red wines.

  2. Novi says:

    Has anyone tried the spiced nuts? They sound delicious, but I wouldn’t want to make a special trip to AK Lodge if they taste like Planters…

  3. Kelsey says:

    The spiced nuts are really great — it’s a complex spice mix. Salty, with a bit of cardamom and chili thrown in I would guess? We ate several bowls of them last November when my husband and I checked in around 11:30pm — and hadn’t eaten anything. It was the only thing offered. We stuck around there for about an hour and a half, until about 1am and ate bowl after bowl of nuts.

  4. AJ says:

    Kris — Thanks so much for sharing your review and opinion!! Sounds like you guys had a blast! I love hearing about people kicking back and relaxing at Disney World like this.

    Novi and Kelsey — Thanks for the question-and-answer about the spiced nuts! I hadn’t tried them either, but they sound great!

  5. Jay says:

    I too have sampled the mixed nuts, and ended up a little red-faced! Meeting some friends at the bar, I was busy yacking and reached over and took a handful from the bowl sitting on the bar near a total stranger. I assumed the were the standard complementary snack found in high-end lounges. After a funny look from both the man and the bartender, I realized my goof (and remembered I was at Disney, where next to nothing edible is comped). I offered to by him a fresh bowl but he declined and was good-natured about it. I was still pretty embarrassed. By the way, they are very good!

  6. AJ says:

    Jay — Ha ha!!! That SO sounds like something I would do!!

  7. Keith says:

    I believe the different colors on the two pillars represent the strata of earth that comprise the mountains around Victoria Falls. Really great vibe at this lounge, but no real signature drinks (no, the minimal adjustments made to classic cocktails do not count)

  8. Paul S. says:

    Now this is a place I would truly like to enjoy for a while and just relax with a drink. It seems a perfect place to people (as well as animal) watch, too. Eager to stay on property again as soon as I can.

  9. John says:

    We own at AKV and I love Jambo House. We love sitting and relaxing at Victoria Falls before heading back to the parks in the evening. Such a great little lounge.

  10. Angelina says:

    This looks like a nice place to relax but the lack of bar food (which some would consider a staple) is a little dissapointing. :(

  11. Greg says:

    Great information on Victoria Falls. Was looking for a lounge before dinner at Sanaa and this sounds like the place. Really like the specialty drink menu you captured.
    I thought I remembered some type of outdoor patio up in the 2nd (or 3rd) floor that was like an overlook but I don’t see it here. Maybe this is it.
    Either way looking for to this place in Feb/2014.

    Thanks!

    Disney Freaks

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