The Art of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is a true jewel in the crown of Walt Disney World Resorts. Not only do its unique savannas and animal programs make the resort experience exciting, but is is home to the largest collection of African Art outside of the African Continent.


Ornately Decorated CaftanOrnately Decorated Caftan


The art collection is spread throughout the resort with well over 380 stunning museum quality pieces of art on display between Jambo House and Kidani Village. The carefully curated collection showcases almost every aspect of traditional African culture, and can be seen by visitors throughout the vast public spaces. The ease in which these art and artifacts have been worked into the very heart of the resort make the creative works accessible and friendly for all who view it.


Beaded Shoes and HeadwearBeaded Shoes and Headwear


The treasures of the African craftsmen can not only be found in the resort's public spaces, but decorating every corner of the property. Amongst the guest rooms you'll find more than 4,000 handcrafted pieces of carefully considered furniture decorating private spaces as well.


Mask of Straw and WoodMask of Straw and Wood


According to our friends over at AKLResort.com "Mary Hannah and Charles Davis were art consultants hired by Disney to bring this spectacular collection together for guests to enjoy. She worked on the inspiration that they would be showcasing Africa as 'a vast continent full of gifted and culturally diverse people." Many Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort fans know that the "centerpiece of the resort's collection is the Igbo Ijele (pronounced e-bo e-gelay) mask, featured in the lobby."


Stunning Igbo IjeleStunning Igbo Ijele


The Ijele, is the largest of the tropical African masks created by the Igbo people. The towering multi-colored creation is more than 16 feet tall and is 8 feet in width. Ijele have tiers decorated with "figures made of coloured cloth and representing everyday scenes, they honour the dead to ensure the continuity and well-being of the community." The appearance of such a mask signifies the importance of an event or celebration, and is truly a rare treat. No other Ijele, is known to exist outside of the Igbo's territory.


Royal Nkambe Palace PostsRoyal Nkambe Palace Posts


For those enchanted by the Animal Kingdom Lodge's impressive collection be sure to stop by the Zawadi Marketplace at Jambo House (or Johari Treasures at Kidani Village) to find a unique piece of African Art for your home. Zawadi Marketplace that carries authentic woodcarvings, baskets, hand-painted dishes, batik fabrics and hand-made jewelry created by African artisans.


Masks and Shirt in the Kidani DisplayMasks and Shirt in the Kidani Display


Disney frequently has a PhotoPass Photographer standing in the area surrounding the Ijele, for guests who would like to have their portrait taken with the unique display. Have you taken a stroll around Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge to view the art collection? Leave a comment below and let us know what your favorite part is!

Kelsey wrote on Thu, 12/12/2013 - 15:21:

Kelsey's picture

That first "caftan" or traditional dresses is legit. Right from the village I was posted in while in the Peace Corps. Makes me so so happy.

Kristen K. wrote on Tue, 12/17/2013 - 14:57:

Kristen K.'s picture

That's fantastic Kelsey!

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