Animal Kingdom Lodge Dining from Animal Kingdom

I’ve read the amazing reviews for the dining at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I’m wondering if it’s possible to go to animal kingdom lodge for dinner from Animal Kingdom, and then come back to Animal Kingdom in time for Rivers of Light. Just wondering if anyone has tried this or not, and if it’s doable. We are going in January, during a very slow time also, and we do not have a car, we’d be using the Disney bus system, or maybe uber/lyft. Thanks!

AKL is very close to AK. Of course, waiting for a bus, going through sucurity and the ride both ways takes time. The Mara (QS) would be quick, Boma or Sanna at least an hour to eat, Jiko 90-120 minutes.

If you take Uber the ride to AKL would be maybe 10 minutes?


There’s many factors that will influence the answer:

  1. What restaurant? Jiko will likely take longer than Sanaa, which will likely take longer than Boma. (90 minutes+ for Jiko, 60-90 Sanaa, less than 60 for Boma. (I don’t like to rush at dinner - especially when its a good one)
  2. What time are you hoping to eat?
  3. What time is Rivers of light in January?
    I’d give 30-45+ minutes to get from AKL to AK (this includes the time you might wait for the bus) In January you likely won’t have to wait long for security lines…but I haven’t been since Pandora opened…so that might not be the case anymore.
    I personally think it’s going to be really tight for you. Or you’ll be rushing a wonderful meal…
    What about a minnie van? That would save you time for sure!
    Good luck!
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We are thinking of Jiko or Boma. They haven’t posted time for Rivers of Light yet for January. I’d hate to be rushed, so that makes me re-think! I’m not sure if the Minnie Vans are running everywhere yet…i think they are just the BoardWalk hotel.

ROL is scheduled for 6:30 in early December. So I would guess a similar time for January.

You’re right @sarai_kc Minnie Van’s aren’t available yet at AKL. They likely will be by January, but who knows?
I’ve taken Uber from AKL before. It wasn’t the best as we had to wait almost 15 minutes for a ride. If ROL starts at 6:30pm then you won’t have time if you eat at Jiko. Jiko opens at 5:30pm. An hour won’t be enough time. It’s worth taking your time at Jiko. Best restaurant in all of WDW!
Good luck!

I think that ak is scheduled to close at 8 in January. If RoL is 630 or 7 could you do late supper at 730 or 8. Then you wouldn’t have to rush thru your meal. We eat that late a lot anyway so that would be what I would do

I think Minnie Vans are at AKL and WL now. Our driver mentioned they had recently been added when we were there in late August.

Looks like they are available:

It’s very easy to do, but we had long waits for the buses both going there and coming back. I’d uber - no way I’d pay $20 in a Minnie Van for such a short journey. Unless you need the car seats.

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If you can do it I highly recommend Jiko. At that time of the night you will not have the view at Sanaa which adds to the experience. For me, Jiko is the best dining in property (of course not including Victoria’s and Albert’s). Jiko will be more expensive but it is an amazing meal and I think the restaurant is a much better enviinoment than a buffet like Boma.

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Minnie Vans are definitely available (we used them to/from AKL in late August), however as MissOverExcited says, $20 for that length of journey would be expensive

If you can do Uber it would most likely be $7 at most?


Super easy. Literally 5 minute bus ride from AK to AKL. Well worth it, and a perfect break in the day. I would plan for a reservation 3 (4 if you want to explore the resort, too) before start of RoL to allow yourself plenty of time to take in your meal, check out the animals (even if you don’t explore the rest of the resort as they are nearby to the restaurants in both locations), and get back and to the stadium.

Minnie vans are running from AKL but I think you have to be a guest there. Minnie vans are nothing special so unless you need car seats or room for many people, I would just take a regular Lyft. We used both services and I doubt we’ll use a Minnie van again.