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Animal art adds fun to a Disney date night or family dinner

by Matt Roseboom

Having dinner at one of the Walt Disney World resorts is always a great idea for a date night, or just a meal out with the kids. Not only do many resorts have restaurants, but you can stroll around the property and even do a bit of shopping. But Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge has even more to offer with animal spotting and free* art activities.

a cast member shows off ostrich eggs in the lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom lodge.
Sign for animal ostrich egg making

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge consists of two sections: Jambo House, the main hotel, and Kidani Village, where most of the larger Disney Vacation Club suites are located. While staying at the resort and waking up with animals next to your balcony (with a savannah view room) is awesome, you don’t have to stay there to dine at the resort’s three great table service restaurants. Sanaa is located in Kidani Village (be sure to order the bread), and Jiko (dinner only) and Boma (famous for its breakfast buffet) are located in Jamba House.

For a fun date night, or just a fun family meal, we suggest you try one of the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s restaurants and check out the animals on the savannah and chat with a animal expert cast member about them either before or after your meal.

But there’s also another fun activity both kids and adults can do in the recreational rooms at both Kidani and Jamba House.

Year-round activities include games and crafts such as bead art, ceramics, and mouse-ear making. But, just for the holidays, you can make ostrich egg ornaments. Throughout December, guests of all ages can make a mosaic holiday ornament that uses real eggs laid by ostriches at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. 

With no male ostriches at the park or resort, these eggs remain unfertilized and go unused by the female ostriches who lay them on a cycle similar to chickens. Once emptied and cleaned, the eggs are crushed and colorfully dyed, ready for you to glue onto an animal-shaped ornament of your choosing, then tied off with a recycled telephone wire. Disney invited us to try our hand at it. Here’s a look:

An animal elephant mosaic christmas ornament made from ostrich egg shell

You can participate by visiting the recreation clubhouses at Jambo House from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and Kidani Village from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. until Dec. 31, no reservation needed. This is just one of many experiences at Walt Disney World that teaches you more about animals and how to help protect wildlife globally.

The activity is free, but they request a donation of $5 to Disney’s Worldwide Conservation Fund.

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