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View Full Version : AKL has won my heart. Just back review! *Updated with pics page 3.


IWISHFORDISNEY
08-03-2006, 08:51 AM
We just returned from a short visit (3 days) at AKL while attending to some business in Florida. Can I just say that I love this hotel. The first time I stayed here I wasnt overly impressed due to the fact that we were just checking in a day prior to our ressies at BWV 1 BDR. This time I have a totally different opinion. AKL ....HAS WON MY HEART. From the moment of check in things were magical. The CM at the front desk Michael was very attentive to me and the baby. He showered us with cute little gifts and upgraded our room to a deluxe pool view. :thumbsup2 This guy was the best. The room was in perfect condition and had an awesome view of the pool. We ate at Boma. The greeters and waitstaff were awesome to my family. They played with the baby (18 months) while they took us through the buffet explaining all the items. The food was nothing short of outstanding and no one said a peep when my son at 10 blueberry tarts and deemed them to be the best thing he has ever had in his life. The animal viewing area was just to the left of my door and we could have our coffee and watch the zebra and giraffe every morning. DS esp. liked this part. The CM's at Arusha rock were great and went over every animal and told us little facts. Very cool. THE BUSES WERE GREAT!!!! :thumbsup2 Very quick and efficient. We are used to sharing buses when we stay at BC or BWV and this was wonderful not to share a bus with 4 resorts. 10 minute wait tops and quick to and from since they were only picking up guests at that resort. The food court was great and moved quickly. The pool was a zero entry pool and just amazing. Our son could run in and out and we sat right there with him. The frozen drinks were fabulous at the pool bar. The Zawadi market place has a large assortment of goods and souvineers. We didnt eat at Jiko but a few people said it was very good. The lobby was impressive and had comfy furniture. The firepit had some kind of story telling at night with these big rocking chairs to sit in. The playground was a big hit with the little one and mom and dad took turns enjoying the hot tub while he was playing. There is a cool area just across from the far hot tub where the kids can feed the flamingo. Also if you participate in activities you get these beads (to make a necklace with I think). We had great fun and I would highly suggest the AKL to anyone with children. We could have stayed here all week and never even visited a park. This place has it all. We loved it so much we switched our ressie to here in November. :cool1:

Leota
08-03-2006, 08:55 AM
I loved our 2 stays at AKL. I wouldn't mind adding a night or two there in Nov.
Glad you loved it as much as we did!

Simba's Mom
08-03-2006, 09:06 AM
Thanks for the report-I can't wait to try out AKL. Tell me more about the frozen drinks you had-what were they called? What was in them? Always like to try new drinks at WDW.

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-03-2006, 09:12 AM
Honestly I am pretty plain we had pina coladas and strawberry daq's nothing to exciting for me, DH did have some banana/coconut thingy that was really good though.

purpliequeen
08-03-2006, 09:22 AM
Thank you so much! I was looking for something recent like this. I'm glad you had a good time. We're going to be there so soon! How crowded was it? How was the weather while you were there?

Raina

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-03-2006, 09:27 AM
The resort wasnt overly crowded. We got lounge chairs right next to the pool. Had the hot tub to myself most times. Weather was sunny and hot 88-90 each day. Occasional afternoon sprinkle. Typical FL weather. The place was a nice treat compared to the crowds at the BC and BW. :thumbsup2

Allensfan
08-03-2006, 09:33 AM
I loved your post!!! :lovestruc

I am going in Sept and I 'want' it to be wonderful and when I read things like this I get all excited!!! Sounds like you got great service from the get-go...did you do anything different than normal or are they always this wonderful??

Margaret

klmall
08-03-2006, 09:47 AM
Glad your second visit was so nice! Sometimes things work out just right!

pilferk
08-03-2006, 09:56 AM
We did a 14 day trip back in Sept/Oct of '01 and we stayed at AKL in a deluxe savannah view room with king bed. It ranks as our favorite Disney resort, of all the resorts we've stayed at so far.

Those that have stayed at AKL will know what I mean when I say this but...the SMELL that greets you when you walk in the door is just amazing. And from that moment on the resort never failed to impress us. The food (Jiko's, Bomas, AND Mara's) was amazing. The pool was great. The hot tubs were great. The room was perfect. We couldn't believe we could have our morning coffee and breakfast at a table out on our balcony watching the giraffe and ankola cattle eat THEIR breakfast. It was almost surreal. We spent 2 days of our 14 days just exploring the resort, seeing all the savannahs, checking out all the art "exhibits" in the main lobby and the hallways, talking to the Cultural CM's and generally having a grand time.

We haven't stayed there since....but we return every trip for, at least, a meal at Boma's. And once the kids are a bit older (that monorail loop is just too compelling with little wee ones) I'm sure we'll go back. My wife and I talk about it every time we start to plan a trip or I have to go for a conference. Heck, if they'd open a DVC wing at AKL....we'd buy into it in about 3 seconds.

SuAnne
08-03-2006, 10:11 AM
Glad you had a great stay! Can you tell me what your room number was. Sounds like a great location. We have a poolview room booked for our trip in 3 weeks. Thanks :goodvibes

StephSalyer
08-03-2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks for all of the great information. I have always wanted to stay here. Last night my husband surprised me with a week-end getaway to AKL for my birthday. I am so excited and cant wait to go!! :cheer2:

heather360
08-03-2006, 10:20 AM
Thanks for the report. I'm really glad that you had such a nice time. I would love to stay at AKL on the next vacation. It just seems so magical to me.

Can you tell me what trail your were on (Zebra or Giraffe)? Also, if you thought that would be the best location to request? Thanks

Phalene
08-03-2006, 10:28 AM
It sounds like a magical stay! I'm looking forward to our upcoming trip there even more now!

pilferk
08-03-2006, 10:38 AM
Glad you had a great stay! Can you tell me what your room number was. Sounds like a great location. We have a poolview room booked for our trip in 3 weeks. Thanks :goodvibes

I'll have to check. It was on the 5th floor, along Zebra Trail (about 1/2 way down it, if I remember right), with an Arusha Savannah view. I want to say it was something like 5511 or 5514...I know it was near the elevators out in that area. I know we have a pic of the door at home, so I'll ask my wife to dig it out to double check the room number.

raven69david
08-03-2006, 10:40 AM
Weather was sunny and hot 88-90 each day.
:rotfl: :rotfl2: :lmao:

In Texas, those are winter temps. If that's the temperature when we're there in 3 weeks...it'll be a nice bonus. :wizard:

dnoyes
08-03-2006, 11:11 AM
I love the place too and I agree with you about the buses. I almost didn't stay there last year because of all the posts on these boards about Animal Kingdom being so far away from everything. Well, it is far away from everything IT'S IN AFRICA (that's what it feels like anyway) and not making 5 stops every time you get on a bus (CBR) more than makes up for any added distance you may have to travel.

Allensfan. We will be there Sept 15th for ten nights, when are you getting in?

DisneyDad in PA
08-03-2006, 11:23 AM
I love the place too and I agree with you about the buses. I almost didn't stay there last year because of all the posts on these boards about Animal Kingdom being so far away from everything. Well, it is far away from everything IT'S IN AFRICA (that's what it feels like anyway) and not making 5 stops every time you get on a bus (CBR) more than makes up for any added distance you may have to travel.

Allensfan. We will be there Sept 15th for ten nights, when are you getting in?

Good to hear about the busses. That has been a concern of mine. We'll be at AKL from Sept. 16 to the 23rd for our first stay at a Disney resort and we are looking forward to it. I haven't been to Disney for almost 25 years.

richard_andmel
08-03-2006, 11:27 AM
Of all of the different resorts I have stayed at I think the AKL transportation is the best. I can never figure out why it gets such negative comments. The AKL is our favorite resort.

newholidayx2
08-03-2006, 03:35 PM
DS14 & I check into the AKL for 3nights 8/17-20 (in btwn VWL 8/12-17 and BCV 8/20-26). We're planning on hanging out at the resort and not going into the parks.
Thanks for your review

te2077
08-03-2006, 04:23 PM
we love akl too. this will be our second time staying there. at first i wasnt sure if we should switch to the poly. however i love the relaxing feeling when we come back from the parks. I loved reading your report. definately cant wait to be there now.

Cass
08-03-2006, 04:31 PM
:goodvibes AKL :goodvibes

Love that place :love:

JRawkSteady
08-03-2006, 05:07 PM
AKL is now my favorite resort so far after my last trip. Everything about it is so beautiful...not to mention the wonderful bus service.

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-03-2006, 05:13 PM
I forgot to add into my report that the main draw for this resort is how kid friendly it is. All the activies and pools are in the same area and not spread out so when you get back with tired feet everything is right there. The food court, pool, playground, and animals are all in the one main area. Big plus with a kiddo. I am glad everyone likes this place as much as we do!!!

jgreby
08-03-2006, 05:19 PM
We just got back from a 10 day trip to AKL. First time there and was not disappointed. Our room was on the Zebra trail by the elevators on the 3rd floor. GREAT location. Animals out back everyday,(and night-came face to face with a giraffe at 200 AM,scared me to death :blush: )not too far from the lobby, right by the elevators that take you to the pool,arcade, and Mara. Our room # was 3524. I totally agree with the smell that embraces you when you walk in the lobby. Family of 4, loved the dining plan-only negative too much food, got creative at the end. In Mara the let me get boxes of cereal for our desserts and used that for breakfast the next AM. Bought the refillable mugs so for our drinks at dinner we got 2 milks for breakfast and 2 powerades to take to the parks the next day. We were here for a baseball tournament and will definitely stay here next year when son # 2 comes to play. :cheer2: Hope this helps. Any questions i will be happy to answer while I can still remember.

Allensfan
08-04-2006, 09:17 AM
We will be there from Sept 9th through the 16th. Well, leaving on the 16th.

I hope the trip goes well....still nervous about having my husband there in the middle of chemo treatments but we will go and hope for the best. Besides, my ds is turning 7 years old, nothing is going to spoil th magic of that! :thumbsup2

shyjade
08-04-2006, 10:39 AM
IWISHFORDISNEY: You said you were upgraded to a deluxe pool view room...what type of room did you originally book?

dizneydiva2005
08-04-2006, 10:52 AM
I hope I enjoy it as much as you did. We're going to stay there for the first time next month! I can't wait. :banana: We normally stay at Ft. Wilderness cabins... but this trip is adult only 19 yr anniversary.... I want it to be so magical!! :wizard:

PSL
08-04-2006, 10:59 AM
[QUOTE=DisneyDad in PA]Good to hear about the busses. That has been a concern of mine. We'll be at AKL from Sept. 16 to the 23rd for our first stay at a Disney resort and we are looking forward to it. I haven't been to Disney for almost 25 years.[/QUOTE



We will also be at AKL Sept 16-23. AKL is by far my favorite resort! Even thought we are DVC members with BCV our home resort, I would still say this is our favorite place to stay. This trip is a spur of the moment trip for our anniversary and I had banked this years remaining points previously...Oh darn, then I guess we MUST stay at the AKL this trip, LOL! :love:

louey
08-04-2006, 01:40 PM
Thanks for your report, we are going during Christmas time and after reading some of the other reviews I wonder if I picked the right resort to stay at. I hope we have the same wonderful experience as your family did. Thanks again

bigcrit
08-04-2006, 03:46 PM
Thanks for the report. We are very excited about our November trip. Does anyone know how far the furthest possible room is from the main Lobby and food courts? Can anyone post some pics of this resort? I have seen them on other sites but I usually like the more candid Photo's...... :sunny:

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-04-2006, 06:35 PM
shyjade- I booked a standard view room 205 per night and got upgraded to a waterview (pool) with king bed.

I will try to post some pics over the weekend if I can.

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-04-2006, 09:58 PM
Here are some of the pics we took of the room and our view was to be standard and we were upgraded to a pool/water view. Thank you again Michael. :thumbsup2

Table and chairs
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3151.jpg

King Bed room with pull out sofa bed
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3053.jpg

Our view
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3051.jpg

Lobby and entrance
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3042.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3057.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3037.jpg

ufgator
08-04-2006, 10:26 PM
Thanks for your review. I also like AKL.

scoutsmom99
08-04-2006, 10:47 PM
Thanks for the review and pictures you are getting me all excited for my stay!!! Only 28 more days :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay: :yay:

Nik's Mom
08-04-2006, 10:59 PM
AKL is our favorite resort! I love it there! Glad you had a great stay. :thumbsup2

raven69david
08-05-2006, 12:05 AM
All these comments & pictures make me want to fast forward to our departure date. I'll be there in <see below> days! :thumbsup2

louey
08-05-2006, 06:44 AM
Not that I want it to be winter but reading and seeing the pictures I have to say I can't wait until we GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! :hourglass

Liz
08-05-2006, 11:11 AM
Your pics are great! I'm glad you enjoyed AKL so much! We haven't stayed there yet but I really hope to some day!

martinrmn
08-05-2006, 03:46 PM
We are planning on going the for the last 3 nights of our Dec hols. My son will be 6 when we go so we are hoping he will enjoy it. Can you tell me what the transport to the parks was like?

IWISHFORDISNEY
08-05-2006, 05:23 PM
The bus service was excellent. :thumbsup2 We are used to sharing a bus with the YC/BC/BW/Dolfin/Swan. So at most I had a 15 min trip total to the parks. The best bus service yet IMO.

eeyorefan80
08-05-2006, 07:27 PM
Ahhhh, you put tears in my eyes looking at your pictures. I loved every minute of my stay here. I can't wait to go back!

ppony
08-07-2006, 01:36 AM
Lobby and entrance
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3042.jpg
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y154/newmomliz/DSCN3057.jpg

:lovestruc
I'm in LUUURRRVE!!!!
WOW!! Thanks for the report and pix!!!! Excited for my first stay there in Dec.!

shyjade
08-07-2006, 08:36 AM
shyjade- I booked a standard view room 205 per night and got upgraded to a waterview (pool) with king bed.

Wow, that gives me a glimmer of hope! I can only afford a Standard room next month so I'm really hoping some pixie dust flies my way and we get an upgrade. I'm not counting on it but I'm REALLY hoping for it!! :wizard:

PSL
08-07-2006, 09:37 AM
Wow, that gives me a glimmer of hope! I can only afford a Standard room next month so I'm really hoping some pixie dust flies my way and we get an upgrade. I'm not counting on it but I'm REALLY hoping for it!! :wizard:

My next trip coming up will be the 9th stay for me at AKL..I have always booked a standard room but yet have never stayed in a standard room! So, your chances are really good that you will get an upgrade. I always tell myself going in that I would be happy where ever they put me, heck....I would be happy to stay in the broom closet if that is the only room available!! :p

bigcrit
08-07-2006, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the pics. Candid shots of a resort are always so much better. Thanks again. My children and I are counting the days..... :hyper: :hyper: :hyper:

shyjade
08-07-2006, 10:32 AM
My next trip coming up will be the 9th stay for me at AKL..I have always booked a standard room but yet have never stayed in a standard room! So, your chances are really good that you will get an upgrade. I always tell myself going in that I would be happy where ever they put me, heck....I would be happy to stay in the broom closet if that is the only room available!! :p

That's great to know!! I'd really love a savannah room because my DD8 is insanely crazy for zebras, and living in WI we don't see too many around here! :rotfl: Have you ever been upgraded to a savannah room?

I see we'll be there around the same time...Sept. 27-30 for us, when are you going?

TerriP
08-07-2006, 10:36 AM
AKL is *by far* my favorite resort. The smell (YES, the SMELL), the sound of the music playing, that gorgeous window at the far end of the lobby looking out at Arusha Rock. Just walking in the door makes me decompress and feel "at home".

I remember late in the evenings on our last trip, it was sooo stinkin' hot, that huge window in the lobby would get all steamed up. One evening we were meeting a friend in the lobby to have dinner at Boma and a storm came while we were waiting for her. Sitting on a sofa, watching the lightening thru the steam on the window, listening to the music....with my hubby. :love: One of my all-time favorite WDW moments. :goodvibes

Enjoy AKL!!

dixiedizfan
08-07-2006, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the great pictures. We're booked to stay there for the first time January 1 thru 7 ... can't wait!

tinkerbellang
08-07-2006, 11:58 AM
24 more days to AKL!! My first stay there as well. Thanks for the great review - I'm so excited to be able to stay there. Booked POR - but upgraded to AKL!!

:cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

matt&jakesmom
08-07-2006, 12:14 PM
After seeing those pictures I cannot wait for our trip. We'll be there on the 28th and some days it can't come soon enough. However, I know it will be here before I know it. We have a standard room and hoping for pixie dust to get an upgrade. :)

NJBILL
08-07-2006, 12:55 PM
24 more days to AKL!! My first stay there as well. Thanks for the great review - I'm so excited to be able to stay there. Booked POR - but upgraded to AKL!!

:cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

We leave for AKL in 22 days!!! Can't wait

Bugsmom73
08-07-2006, 03:20 PM
Those look beautiful. I can't wait to go.

DanPadavona
08-07-2006, 03:33 PM
Yes AKL is not only one of the best resorts, it is also one of the best deals. The prices are usually considerably lower than the other deluxe resorts because it is off the monorail and considered kinda isolated.

The savannah views cannot be beat! :thumbsup2

SplashMom
08-07-2006, 03:55 PM
Thanks so much for the fabulous review and pictures. We are leaving in 3 days and will be staying at Pop for 7 days and then AKL for 7 days. It will be our first stay at AKL and I can't wait!! Your pictures have really excited me!

bigcrit
08-12-2006, 12:42 AM
3 Months and we are on our way..... :cool1: :cool1: :cool1:

TwingleMum
08-12-2006, 07:55 AM
Thanks for sharing AKL is one of our favs.