View Full Version : Recent AKL experience

06-18-2002, 01:31 PM
Hello everyone:

I feel compelled to post about my recent AKL experience, as this forum was invaluable in my planning.

Five days prior to check in, I faxed in my room request. I requested room 4509 based upon a post I had read previously. I also requested connecting rooms, bunk beds, a fridge, and a non-smoking room.

All of my requests were granted (amazing). We stayed in rooms 4507-09.

Both rooms are on the Zebra trail. Both face the inside of the horseshoe. Both are in front of a watering hole and a giraffe feeder. Both rock!

Disney brings the animals inside during the hot part of the afternoon. Other than that, there was ALWAYS 6-15 animals directly off our balcony. No matter what time, day or night. Giraffe, zebra, wildebeast, antelope, etc., etc. There is a giraffe feeder in the tree in front of the room, which is stocked at 7:30 am every day.

I would recommend the zebra trail (animals, and conv. location to the pool and Mara). Anything from 4503 to the end of the hall would be OK for viewing the animals.

Beware, however, that some of the savannah view rooms have a really crappy view. Particularly the Ostrich trail, and the back side of the other long wing opposite of the Zebra trail. Anything on the inside of the horseshoe is safe, except for some rooms directly next to the rock.

We ate at Boma twice for dinner. Man, what a great place. And the kid's choices are great, too. The food at Mara is likewise awesome (although pricey). However, we were fortunate to make friends with the cast members (for example, a bowl of the African stew is served in a bread bowl for $7.99. We asked for the stew in a regular bowl, and were charged for a "side veggie" dish @ $2.49 - that's some expensive bread!) and saved some money.

Finally, the service was impeccible. At the end of our scheduled reservation, I asked to stay for another day and they let us stay in our rooms for another night at the same rate ($150/night). I know that they bumped someone to allow this (so it was you, I apologize). Also, the last day we were there, the gift shop went out of their way to replace a defective item we had picked up at Epcot.

AKL gets two thumbs up. We would absolutely go again, and recommend it to everyone.

Thanks for everyone's help, too!


06-18-2002, 03:14 PM
I totally concur!! AKL is a fantastic place and we stayed in the same section as you (room 4435) but on the near side of the elevator bank to the pool. I thought this location was very convenient and the view was great. You would have been even closer to the giraffe feeding area in the trees which would have been awesome. I also though that the staff at the gift shop were some of the nicest in WDW. Actually, I found all of the CM's at AKL (from Simba's Cubhouse) to the poolside bartenders to the front desk extremely accomodating and friendly.

06-18-2002, 06:07 PM
Glad you had a great stay at AKL. Helpful, friendly CMs can make all the difference in the world!

We hope to stay there again in October, because we had such a wonderful time there last year!

06-18-2002, 06:23 PM
Sounds like a wonderful place to stay. Thanks for sharing your imput!:D

06-18-2002, 06:31 PM
Did you have a holding pen within your view? We asked and were given Zebra trail based on things I had read, but we must have been on the wrong end or something because we had a view of a holding pen, a chain link fence and very few animals during the day or night. Our room was very far down the hall, far from the elevators and the big window where the room wings connect to the main building. This was classified as a savannah view which I was paying over $200.00 a night for. We asked for a different room but were told nothing else was available. We certainly did not let it ruin our trip, we still loved the resort, restaurants, gift shop, pool, animals, etc., but definitely were disappointed in the view for the money paid. So, for anyone requesting a zebra trail room MAKE sure you tell them you do not want to be way down at the end far from the elevators, etc because the view is not the greatest.

06-18-2002, 07:34 PM
Deep - I'll have to look at the layout. We were also near the pen (Savannah View), but right next to the elevator on the second floor (I want to say 2552?). We did see animals, but they were further away. I didn't complain about the view, because we had received a complimentary upgrade (our poolview room wasn't ready when we checked in and they were doing us a favor to get us in a room right away). I would say though, that if I had been paying for a Savannah View room, I would have asked them to move us to a different room. So I think that whole side - near elevator or far away could be a possible issue.

Coldwater - great post, and I am glad that all your requests were granted. That is awesome!

06-18-2002, 08:51 PM
we ate at Boma's June 9th and I concur with you!

We loved it the food is awesom and I can not wait to stay here our next visit to the world.

It is a PO on my check list of things to do!

Thanks for the room tip!

Mal:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

06-18-2002, 08:54 PM
Coldwater, I would appreciate it if you could tell me the procedure for faxing a request. Also, did you feel that your 4th floor view was better than a second floor view. We will be at AKL a week from tomorrow, so I feel that we really have to make some decisions soon. I'll be looking forward to your reply! I am truly thinking about requesting your same room after the glowing review you gave.

06-18-2002, 08:54 PM
I have to agree!! We loved AKL and I look forward to staying there again soon!! Bomas is also awesome, I loved the food there! :) Glad you had a great stay!! Thanks for the review! :)

06-18-2002, 08:59 PM
does room 4507 have one or two queen sz beds and bunks?



06-18-2002, 10:25 PM
We also stayed in room 4509 on our visit to AKL in April and loved every minute of it. I think next time I would like the same room, only one or two floors lower to be a little closer to the animals. We also ate in Boma two nights, and one breakfast, all excellent. We are not normally buffet fans, but Boma was special. We looked so foward to our meal at Jiko, and were very disappointed. Not nearly as good as we expected. Mara was also quite good for a fast food joint. Before our stay at AKL, we were diehard WL fans, but now we are hooked on AKL and can't wait for our return visit. I enjoyed reading your review and glad you had such a wonderful time.

06-19-2002, 06:55 AM
DeeP, did your room face inside the horsehoe, toward Arusha Rock? I'm trying to figure out if the rooms on both sides of zebra trail are considered Savannah view (except for the ones that face the pool). It looks like the odd numbers face into the horseshoe, and people have said these are good rooms (in general).

This is confusing!

06-19-2002, 11:00 AM
Gillian - I don't know if this will help, but we were on the Kudu Trail, facing the big pen, I think our room was 2552?

06-19-2002, 11:16 AM
Hey coldwater,

Thanks for the great post. I'm researching my next trip for May of 2003 and have decided on AKL. Your room description was saved to my computer so I can request the same room numbers. As I too will be needing 2 rooms.

Did you say the rooms were connecting?

Also, were you able to get discounts for your trip, and when did you originally book your ressies.

Thanks for your help!!!

06-19-2002, 01:31 PM
1. 4507 and 4509 are connecting rooms

2. 4507 has a bunk bed and a queen; 4509 two queens

3. None of the "inside the horseshoe" rooms have a holding pen. That's why these rooms are a safe bet.

4. Beware because some of the rooms with a "savanna" view have a pretty crappy view for the money. In a request, I would ask either for a room inside the horseshoe or one w/o a pen.

5. I booked through a friend's mother who works at WDW - saved $1600. Amazing.....

6. There are some savanna views on the outside of the Zebra trail. Most of Zebra trail is pool view, but the trail branches off. I did not walk down the hall past our room so I did not see the "outside" savanna.

7. The floor of the room makes a huge difference. It is really just your personal preference. From the 4th floor, you can see alot, but I can see how a 2d floor room would be just as cool.

8. My fax request:

June 5, 2002

VIA FAX: (407) 938-4799

Animal Kingdom Lodge
2901 Osceola Parkway
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830

Resv. #: Attn: Room Assignor

Greetings from Pennsylvania!

Our family’s first Disney vacation is almost here, and I wanted to see if it would be possible for you to accommodate our room requests for our stay, June 9 - June 14.

We have reserved two standard rooms with a savanna view. As my father will be traveling with our family of four, non-smoking, connecting rooms will do wonders for my sanity. We would also like a refrigerator in one of the rooms.

Our children, ages 6 and 2, love animals and can not wait to experience them in your African setting. Friends who have recently stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge have recommended rooms in the following areas: 4572-4584, and 4509-4519. Finally, the kids have requested that I ask for a room with bunk beds.

I am sure that you get bombarded with room requests on a daily basis. I just wanted to thank you in advance for your time, and I hope that you have a wonderful day.

Very truly yours,


06-19-2002, 01:34 PM
BTW, you guys are the "friends" I was refering to.;)

06-19-2002, 01:59 PM
LOL, CWC! This morning I started writing my own fax, mentioning these same friends :D

Looking at the map, the only problem I can see with the room numbers you requested is that you could have ended up on the other side of the hall, facing the other savannah (which I think is Uzima). Requesting to face Arusha savannah or inside the horseshoe seems like a good idea.

Thanks again!

06-19-2002, 02:13 PM
Arusha is definitely a good thing to request. Also, if there are specific animals that you want to see, it's a good thing to mention them as well. In our case, my DS definitely wanted giraffes and zebras and presto - Arusha savannah Zebra Trail. I think the other savannah concentrates more on birds and such while there were many different kinds of cattle and deer along with the zebra on our trail.

06-19-2002, 02:19 PM
In hindsight, I would have requested rooms on the inside of the horseshoe only. That is why I posted this thread - so someone else can make an informed decision based upon my experience.

06-19-2002, 06:49 PM
Coldwater -Thank you sooooo much for answering all of my questions -especially the fax request info. We will be arriving at AKL a week from today and we are so excited! Also, could you tell me how long you waited to call the hotel to find out if your request was granted, or did AKL fax you with a reply?

06-20-2002, 03:10 AM

Were your rooms considered Deluxe? Was there a day bed in the room that had the bunks and queen?

06-20-2002, 09:44 AM
It's good to hear that you enjoyed your stay at AKL. I also liked it there when we decided to split a stay between BC and AKL a year ago. We stayed there second and it was hard to leave my favorite BC, but the resort is beautiful. The decoration is amazing, the layout is well done, and having the animals there is a wonderful experiance. We went and visited there this past May when we were there. There was a nice CM that helped us find some hidden mickey's out by the pool area, and we went into the gift shop. There are a lot of unique things there. AKL ranks up there in my top 3 resorts.:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :sunny:

06-20-2002, 02:11 PM
Our rooms were standard, not deluxe. They were fine for us (me, wife, 6 yo and 2 yo in one room; father in the other).

I did not find out about the room assignments until I arrived.

halfway there
06-20-2002, 07:35 PM
ColdWaterConch, I must commend you on your most excellent letter! I can see why you had all of your requests granted. Definitely a model for others for follow. Thank you so much for sharing your experience. I'm sure it will prove very useful to many. It sure helped me and I'm not even staying at AKL any time soon! Thanks again.