For those that love shopping and the culture of Africa, the Animal Kingdom Lodge provides enough unique items within its walls to make a trip worthwhile. The two large and separate sections of Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village and Jambo House, each have a gift shop of their own to amuse its guests.
Meaning “jewel” in Swahili, Johari Treasures attempts to express the idea that it contains items of value within its walls. This is only true to a small degree. For the most part, Johari plays the role of convenience store for the the guests of Kidani Village.
In spite of the overwhelming stock of Frosted Flakes and cartons of milk, there are a couple things in Johari that attract shoppers with specific taste. The first would be the selection of African wines. Ranging in price from $14.00 – $24.00, there are approximately 18 South African wines from which to choose. Whether the purchase is made to enhance a guest’s stay while at the lodge or to bring home as a memento, this type of keepsake isn’t one that can be picked up just anywhere on Disney property.
In addition, there are a few items in Johari that are exclusive to this small store. This is the sole location where any merchandise branded with the Kidani Village name can be found. Hats, mugs, toothpick holders and t-shirts with animal prints and the familiar Kidani Village font are available and affordable at prices from $7.00 – $28.00.
A small selection of African craft items can be found here as well. And while these items can also be found at the Jambo House location, they are still unique to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Of particular note is a limited collection of stoneware pottery that is carved by hand in Kenya. Depending on the piece, the cost is between $10.00 – $17.00 and serves as a great Disney souvenir that is authentically African.
Zawadi, meaning “gift,” is the gift shop for the Jambo House section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is much more substantial than Johari with a greater selection of inventory. Again much of what is found in the store is common for Disney gift shops, but a few things here are certainly unique to this location.
As with Johari, Zawadi Marketplace sells merchandise that is proudly branded with the resort’s name. The selection is wider, offering items like throws, sweatshirts and hoodies in addition to the standard t-shirts and mugs. But whereas the items in Kidani Village are specific in name to that half of the resort, the inventory here is not. Rather, all of the branded products come under the all-encompassing umbrella of Animal Kingdom Lodge as opposed to the more specifically pin-pointed Jambo House.
For coffee lovers, bags of 100% Arabica coffee are readily available. Being a coffee known to contain less caffeine than other commercially produced coffees, the Arabica coffee bean also originates from Africa. And while it is uncertain whether the beans that make up the coffee in Zawadi are direct from Africa, it is definite that this coffee is produced and ground exclusively for the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Individuals who appreciate art will also discover some great finds. Prints of the lodge itself, drawn by Larry Dotson, can be purchased here. As with all of the artwork done by Mr. Dotson of the various resorts throughout Disney property, the prints vary in size and price. A small, matted and unframed print will cost around $20.00 whereas a large, framed print will run about $115.00.
For those looking for art more specifically focused on African themes as opposed to the resort itself, beautiful renderings of African animals, patterns and objects can also be found in Zawadi. The prints are done by an African artist known as “Bushman” and is sold exclusively at Zawadi Marketplace after it is created in the artist’s studio in Downtown Orlando. Most of the drawings cost between $100 – $600 and come in various types of frames and sizes as well.
Clearly there are some uncommon shopping opportunities to be had at this extremity of Disney’s property. What unique items have you been able to dig up at this sophisticated resort?