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View Full Version : Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge


lissiesmum
01-14-2008, 07:58 PM
I need your help finalizing my thoughts. I will be traveling alone with my DD4, and I have narrowed down my resort to the Wilderness Lodge for the following reasons:
1. close proximity to MK
2. close proximity to Fort Wilderness (for the campfire singalong and movies under the stars)
3. boat ride to the Contemporary where we could then take the monorail to other monorail resorts
4. the Electrical Water Pageant sounds interesting

The resort theme itself looks interesting, and I love the lodge look, but the pool area does not thrill me and we will be spending a lot of time in the pool. I yearn to stay at the AKL...I love the African theme, the look, the pool area, the animals, the food and wine, etc. Everything appeals to me except night time. There is no beach, no quick connection to a theme park or another resort, and if you want to get back to the MK after coming back to the resort for nap/swim time, I assume it takes a while to wait for the bus again and get back there. I really want to stay at the AKL, but the WL just seems more convenient for a single mom with a four year old. Could anybody sway me back to the AKL, and give me your reasons? I'd love to be swayed, but read so much about how if you have a young child, you should stay close to the MK (neither one of us have been to WDW)! Thanks a bunch, and I look forward to reading your posts! :banana:

skipperkim
01-14-2008, 08:08 PM
The difference in time between the 2 hotels, WL and AKL, to MK is 5 min according to the transportation wizard on ourlaughingplace.com . But it sounds like it might be worth the 5 min from all the reasons you give to stay there.

DizneyNutz
01-14-2008, 08:34 PM
"Stay where you want to be" to have your most magical experience. We love the WL and prefer it over the AKL for us. It sounds to me however that you have your heart set on AKL and would rather stay there. If wanting to visit the monorail resorts, just get on the monorail at the MK and ride it around and visit the resorts. I can't help you with the no beach area at AKL. I would offer that you should stay where you really want to be and I honestly don't believe the difference in transportation should be a deal breaker one way or the other unless you are going at an extremely high attendance period. You are talking about a few minutes one way or the other, so enjoy your stay to the fullest.:thumbsup2

MsStinkerBelle
01-14-2008, 09:09 PM
As a single mom who just got back from the AKL (we stayed this past Christmas) with my DD8, I can just offer you my experience. :-)

We absolutely LOVED the AKL! The theming was wonderful and I have to say, there are lots of activities for the kids to do. Besides viewing the animals on the savannah, there are little activities kids can do to earn beads to make an African necklace, listen to storytelling at night, plus there's the Bush Camp which entertains the kids for 3 hours while you relax at the resort. It is truly magical and the bus transportation is very prompt.

My only issue (and this is just personal) is how long it took to get to the MK. We visit that resort the most and we were staying at the AKL because my daughter chose it. I just don't have a lot of patience and after staying at the Polynesian, all means of getting to the MK seems to c-r-a-w-l. LOL! Aside from that, transportation to the other parks is very quick. And after awhile the bus drivers start to recognize who you are. They're very helpful.

I guess that's my long-winded answer to say if AKL is what you want, then stay there. Nothing beats staying where you want. And besides, if Mom ain't happy--nobody is happy!

Happy planning! Feel free to PM me.

Manda
01-14-2008, 09:59 PM
I've stayed at both and am returning for a trip alone with my four year old DS and am staying at WL. Mostly for the easy trip to MK. My son loved AKL and seeing the animals out the window of his room, but I like the easy access to MK and the choice of boat or bus.

Lady PoohBear
01-14-2008, 11:20 PM
Hello all
I am looking for simular suggestions. I am celebrating my 40th this year. I cant choose on Poly or Afric Vill? Anyone have pointers??

:surfweb: Ann

septbaby
01-15-2008, 12:07 AM
We booked WL but have switched to AKL for several reasons:

1. Roaring Forks is reallly small and the menu is pretty bland, more choice at Mara (CS restaurants)
2. We will definitely eat at Boma and definitely not eat at Whispering Canyon
3. Pool so much bigger at AKL (some report issues with size at WL)
4. Zero entry pool, my mom slipped at CBR and she doesn't know that I feel better with her at AKL
5. Children's activities, especially educational
- Kid's activities
- Nightly lobby drum parade
- Story time around the fire
6. Beauty of the resort
7. Secluded so it will feel like a vacation, something different than CBR (we did like that too)
8. Direct dedicated buses

Kimberle
01-15-2008, 06:55 AM
I have stayed at both. Last Aug, my 8 yo & I stayed at AKL, club level. We wanted to do the Sunrise Safari. (It was wonderful.) They are both wonderful resorts with very different theming.

WL, close to MK, wonderful pool area, plus a quiet pool. Wonderful beach, can rent boats & bikes. Very close to CR & FW. Many resturants are easily accessable from here. A bit of a hike to TL and AK.

AKL, quiet, wonderful views of the animals. Beautiful lodge with lots of African artwork. Close to AK & BB. Far from MK. Transportation only by bus. You don't share them, but you generally make a couple stops. Big con, the resturants. Two sitdown ones are popular, so you need ADRs well in advance. Plus, they food choice is similar (African). If that spicing doesn't sit well with you, not a lot to choose from. Plus, they are both closed at lunch. I know other really like the food court. I found it the same boring one they have in other deluxe resorts. Small food choices, salads & cold sandwiches are prepackaged, not fresh. Kids menu only had 2 items (roasted chicken and hamburger.) We were even going to spend $$$ on room service one night, but it was the same boring food.

PS, the pool area is lovely. But I found the pool small for a resort this size. The resort was maybe half full due to the construction during our stay. I can't imagine how crowded the pool would be if it were full.

PrinceAndPrincessQ
01-15-2008, 07:14 AM
We stayed at AKL in Oct 2006. It was super!! The lines for the buses were not bad at all. The room was perfect for us and we had not asked for an animal view, but got one anyway! (well a peek lol) The food was not as good as I had hoped...but nevertheless ok. The staff there was helpful and everything went seamlessly.

But for the record my husband's dream is to stay at WL and we will do this one day..........this year it will be the Contemporary, simply for the monorail and with the 40% code, affordable for us!! :woohoo:

I think the choice of either will be a great one. My rule is......Follow ur instincts!!!!!

:lovestruc btw, love this site, new here and everyone seems so kind!!!!! :lovestruc

grannyminnie
01-15-2008, 07:45 AM
I have stayed at both, and with a 7 yr old DGD, I prefer the WL...so did she! I loved the close proximity to MK (which is where we spent the time mostly) and the overall theme of the hotel was more my favorite. I just got back from another stay at WL last week. I took my daughter and two kids and we rode over to the AKL so I could show it to her for comparison. (also wanted to see if I would have "pangs of regret" when I walked in!) We looked around, enjoyed the animals, but I was still happy to be at the WL.
That said, "different strokes for different folks".

kujoman
01-15-2008, 08:02 AM
We (DW, DS6, DD4, Me) went through a similar decision process last Feb, but due to availability we stayed at AKL. Honestly, while I was excited to go to WDW, I was depressed about staying at AKL after having stayed at the Poly the year before. How could one go from the ease of monorail transport to the remoteness of the AKL, so I thought. WE HAD A BLAST AT AKL.

1. I thought the transport was better than most resorts. You don't share busses with any resort and by having "your own" busses, the wait time always seemed better. I bet we never waited over 10 minutes, and that was a long time, and the rides (because of no stops) were very quick. Longest was MK and that was 15 minutes.

2. The Animals. If you can afford a Savannah Room, you will not forget it. There is nothing like waking up on a sunny Florida morning, opening your blinds and having a Zebra out your window. While it is neat to go look at the animals from public areas, I found sitting out on our balcony with a glass of wine at the end of the day and watching the animals to be one of my favorite parts of the trip.

3. The food. Boma is the best food I had at WDW, and I had a lot of good food at WDW.

We are still going to try WL and I'm sure it will be nice, but I thought I would let you know how much we liked AKL.

boomhauer
01-15-2008, 08:04 AM
I had the same questions. I stayed at WL for the 1st time this past December and fell in love with it. However, my 7 year old really wanted to stay at AKL. My wife was indifferent. WL was perfect for us since we have twin infants and being able to push the stroller onto the boat to MK where we spend most of our time, makes perfect sense.

We opted for a split stay. 6 nights at AKL, 7 nights at WL.

I agree about the pool size at WL. It is rather small. Then again, it's not a HUGE resort. I didn't feel it was over crowded. AKL's pool looks alot bigger. I also agree about Roaring Forks. It's very small and the selection is limited. Other than that, I thought everything about WL was perfect.

lissiesmum
01-15-2008, 08:12 PM
ok, after reading these posts, I am still thoroughly confused :confused3 The more I hear about the Wilderness Lodge, the more I'm thinking I might want to stay there. But as one poster said, what if I visit the AKL and feel pangs of regret? I guess as long as I get to visit the AKL if I don't stay there, I can still enjoy all it has to offer, and then cross my fingers that there might be another WDW trip someday. I guess that's why I want to make the right decision because I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford another trip like this??? I think I"m going to start on each FAQ site of each resort and read from beginning to end and hope that by the end, I will be able to pick one or the other :) Does anyone know of any good websites or posts that have good pictures of the WL?

DizneyNutz
01-15-2008, 08:39 PM
ok, after reading these posts, I am still thoroughly confused :confused3 The more I hear about the Wilderness Lodge, the more I'm thinking I might want to stay there. But as one poster said, what if I visit the AKL and feel pangs of regret? I guess as long as I get to visit the AKL if I don't stay there, I can still enjoy all it has to offer, and then cross my fingers that there might be another WDW trip someday. I guess that's why I want to make the right decision because I don't know if I'll ever be able to afford another trip like this??? I think I"m going to start on each FAQ site of each resort and read from beginning to end and hope that by the end, I will be able to pick one or the other :) Does anyone know of any good websites or posts that have good pictures of the WL?

This is your Vacation. That is why I suggested that you stay where you MOST want to stay. For instance the WL and the AKL were designed by the same person (I believe) so they both have a lot of wood log lodge type theming. The difference is the WL is more Northwest lodge with indian artifacts and the AKL is more Africa themed. To us we can see the animals in the AK and don't need to see them at our resort, but that is our feelings. Some like to see the animals outside their balcony. What is your desire? I do have pictures of some of both resorts (if interested) notice I didn't say good, because I don't claim to be a photographer. If interested, just PM us with your e-mail address and I will send you our pictures (some from last trip and others from previous). Bottom line is stay where you want to experience whatever feeling you want and you will not go wrong either way.:thumbsup2

grannyminnie
01-15-2008, 08:47 PM
I agree with DisneyNutz...follow your instinct! You might feel a pull that is stronger toward one of the lodges.
We also felt like we could see the animals at AK so that need was satisfied, but if your desire is to wake up to a zebra outside your balcony, then there's your decision made!
I do also feel the similarity between the two, and yes, they were designed by the same person, I read.

Nanb
01-16-2008, 02:00 PM
We had our first trip to DW in December of this year and was very surprised at my reactions to the resorts. I had loved the pictures of the WL and really wasn't that impressed with AKL.

Now we went through WL to get to the Hoop and I was startled to not be impressed. It was nice, but no WOW for me.

Walked into the AKL and absolutely fell in love. We changed our land/cruise to 2009 so we could stay at the AKL. I was shocked at what a intense reaction I had.

I agree with everyone to go with your gut. Its not like you can go wrong, both are beautiful but I am so excited to stay at the AKL. Also in our favor it will be my DS and I and MK is the park we will visit least since we live near Disneyland so transportation doesn't factor in as much.

Nice thing about DW, its hard to go wrong. We stayed at POFQ this trip in Dec. and loved it also, not the WOW of AKL but definitely sweet and cozy.

Have a great trip no matter what:goodvibes

Nanb

3for Me
01-16-2008, 02:31 PM
Have never slept at AKL, but have visited several times. Have stayed at the WL twice now. We were there in the middle of summer - prime swimming time and while the pool was busy, it was not packed. We loved it! I chose WL for a similar reason. My DH was not coming with us on this trip, so we could finally stay in a room for 4, be close to the MK and not have to spring for the GF this time.

AKL's biggest drawback to me is it's proximity. My children are not small, but I still feel it would be a "haul". Now, never having actually stayed there, that might be a misconception on my part. My kids said the last time we went to watch the animals that they'd love to stay for one or two nights, but not all week.

Can you do a split stay? That would really be the best of both worlds.

Good luck choosing!