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View Full Version : AKL CL room worth it? Is the Sunrise or Sunset Safari better?


fayt19
12-21-2009, 07:50 PM
Hello, guys! My family's taking a trip to Disney World in May, and we were all set to stay at the Coronado Springs Resort. But we got a pin, and now we're looking at staying at my dream resort, the Animal Kingdom Lodge! :lovestruc But now we're trying to decide which room to stay in. This is definitely a "big" trip for us, and we don't know that we'll be going back any time soon. So we're splurging!

First question: savannah room, or club level? We would probably stay concierge for the Sunrise Safari, specificially. Or the discount on the Sunset Safari. Which begs another question: Sunrise or Sunset? I've looked at descriptions of both, and it seems like the Sunrise is more popular. But the Sunset supposedly has less people, so it has a more intimate feel? So, I don't know! I can't decide! :laughing: Does either safari have more animals, or does one get 'closer' to the animals? (And am I correct in thinking the Sunrise Safari is in Animal Kingdom, and the Sunset is actually at the Animal Kingdom Lodge?) I would just love to hear reviews from people who have been on these. We were also wondering if snacking throughout the day on the concierge goodies would help us save some money on food.

Thanks for any help!

OandA
12-21-2009, 08:17 PM
How much snacking and boozing do you do (rhetorical question)? It was just my fiance and I on our last stay at the Poly and we did concierge the first two nights and then cancelled it and moved into a regular room because it wasn't worth it for us. With the price difference and the so-so snacks they give you in addition us being non-drinkers it didn't benefit us at all. It was cheaper for us to go buy heaps of good snacks at the gift shops and leave them in our room or bring them with us.

mmmears
12-21-2009, 10:48 PM
We love CL at AKL. You get a savanna view room when you stay CL, by the way. I like it for the following reasons:

1) the great IPO office will make all your ADRs for you
2) the snacks in the lounge -- saves us time when we get a bit hungry
3) the Sunrise Safari -- did it twice and we're going back again
4) the amazing espresso machine

As for the Sunrise Safari vs. the Wanyama Safari, I can tell you what the differences are (only did one, but I've been asking about the other).

Sunrise Safari is at AK park, so you see all the animals that are there, including the lions, crocodiles, and other carnivores that you wont find at AKL. It's a before-the-park opens tour that takes an hour to cover the Kilimanjaro Safari track. We learned alot about the animals and were able to ask our guide lots of questions. It's followed by a buffet breakfast in AK.

Wanyama Safari is held on the savannas at AKL. You get really close to the animals and there are only 12 people there, so you can ask more questions. It's followed up by a dinner at Jiko that is served family style for you and the other participants.

WS costs about $100 more than the Sunrise Safari, which is the main reason we haven't tried it yet. The reviews I've read have been very positive, though.

Hope this helps. I think any room at AKL is really, really nice. It's a very special place. If you would use the advantages of the Club Level, then I would consider staying CL. If not, save the money and choose a regular savanna room.:goodvibes

MickeyNicki
12-22-2009, 12:35 PM
We stayed AKL CL in Oct 08 because of the pin code...that is the only way you will get me to stay at the AKL again because the Sunrise Safari was the highlight of the entire stay!

Click on my Oct 08 thread for a ton of pics of room, view from room, CL lounge and food offerings and the Sunrise Safari breakfast and trek...

TheRustyScupper
12-22-2009, 02:06 PM
1) Sunrise is better than sunset.
2) Please remember, the safari's are "first come first served".
3) Admittance is not guaranteed.

fayt19
12-22-2009, 06:49 PM
We love CL at AKL. You get a savanna view room when you stay CL, by the way. I like it for the following reasons:

1) the great IPO office will make all your ADRs for you
2) the snacks in the lounge -- saves us time when we get a bit hungry
3) the Sunrise Safari -- did it twice and we're going back again
4) the amazing espresso machine

As for the Sunrise Safari vs. the Wanyama Safari, I can tell you what the differences are (only did one, but I've been asking about the other).

Sunrise Safari is at AK park, so you see all the animals that are there, including the lions, crocodiles, and other carnivores that you wont find at AKL. It's a before-the-park opens tour that takes an hour to cover the Kilimanjaro Safari track. We learned alot about the animals and were able to ask our guide lots of questions. It's followed by a buffet breakfast in AK.

Wanyama Safari is held on the savannas at AKL. You get really close to the animals and there are only 12 people there, so you can ask more questions. It's followed up by a dinner at Jiko that is served family style for you and the other participants.

WS costs about $100 more than the Sunrise Safari, which is the main reason we haven't tried it yet. The reviews I've read have been very positive, though.

Hope this helps. I think any room at AKL is really, really nice. It's a very special place. If you would use the advantages of the Club Level, then I would consider staying CL. If not, save the money and choose a regular savanna room.:goodvibes

Thank you for sharing your experience. It definitely helped! :)

We stayed AKL CL in Oct 08 because of the pin code...that is the only way you will get me to stay at the AKL again because the Sunrise Safari was the highlight of the entire stay!

Click on my Oct 08 thread for a ton of pics of room, view from room, CL lounge and food offerings and the Sunrise Safari breakfast and trek...

Just went through the thread, and loved it! Seeing pictures helped a lot. Thank you!

1) Sunrise is better than sunset.
2) Please remember, the safari's are "first come first served".
3) Admittance is not guaranteed.

Oh? Any details why Sunrise is better? Thanks for sharing your opinion, too.

Now I'm wondering... if we did the Sunrise Safari, I know we get the early admittance into Animal Kingdom since we're taking the safari. And it's before the park opens. But can we then go to rope drop? I know the Sunrise Safari is done on Sundays and Thursdays, and I planned on us being at AK ropedrop on Thursday anyway, so if we could just start hitting the rides after the Safari and breakfast, it'd be very convenient. ;)

Sue M
12-22-2009, 07:00 PM
We loved our stay at AKL, we stayed in a regular savanna view, not CL. Loved it! Sitting on the balcony with my morning coffee watching the animals, just wow! It's a beautiful resort. Lobby is spectacular. Great activities for kids and adults. We enjoyed the savanna night viewing with the night vision scopes, the evening cultural exchange, and the culinary tour of Boma & Jiko.

also talking with the CM animal interpretors that are stationed around Aursha Rock and other savannas.

They have a great cs, The Mara, prob. my fave of all the deluxe resorts.
Interesting gift shop with lots of African art, good bus service, and they have Zebra Domes :goodvibes

mmmears
12-22-2009, 07:01 PM
The 2 times we've done the Sunrise Safari, the park was opening sometime close to the time we started breakfast. So, if you stay for the breakfast, you'll miss rope drop.

If you want a FP, you can send someone to get them then have that person join you at breakfast.

And don't forget that you've already gone on the safari that day!;)

When AK opens earlier, the Sunrise Safari also starts earlier. We were done with our breakfast soon after the park opened, but too late to get to the rides first.

While we are a "rope drop" kind of family, I still think it's worth it to go on the Sunrise Safari.:goodvibes

padisneylover
12-22-2009, 07:07 PM
I would highly recommend the AKL CL any time. The pre planning folks are wonderful and the CM's in the lounge can't be beat!

I stayed there in October this year and had the pleasure of doing both safari's. To choose which one was best would be really hard as both were wonderful and both are very different. The sunrise one follows the regular trail around the AK park and you go very early in the morning when the animals are first let out of the barns. We were very fortunate and saw lots of animals but it all will depend on what is out where when you go around. We learned about the animals in the park and also had a wonderful breakfast after.

The evening tour was fabulous. If you want to get up close and personal with the animals this one does just that. There was six people in my group that took the tour. You are in the back of a truck with seats around the sides allowing you to sit if you choose to. The tour starts over on the Kiandi side of the reserve and you travel along the entire complex. During the tour the truck stops often to allow you to take great close up pictures. The narrator for the trip tells you a lot about the animals and their care while you are touring. After you go into Jiko and have a fabulous diner with your group served family style. There is wine parings if you drink with the meal included and the service was great. The chef will bring some of the initial items out and explains what each is and encourages you to sample each.

Hope this helps you with your decision. If you go to my photobucket account you can see many of the pictures from my tour around the reserve. kathe.myphotoalbum.com

floridascgirl
12-22-2009, 08:04 PM
We just returned from a stay at AKL with my parents. We had a Pool View room and they stayed Club Level (I booked them a great deal with 40% off). They absolutely loved it. They were warmly greeted when they arrived and whisked off immediately to the 6th floor lounge. The menu for the lounge was super...much more than goldfish and cookies as some have reported about CL. They had wonderful soups, cheeses, dips, interesting items from Boma and great breakfast & dessert items, too. Oh yeah, don't forget the drinks! ;) They said that the Club Level CM's were very friendly and helpful. They couldn't have been more pleased with the whole experience...very magical. :wizard:

RachaelA
12-22-2009, 09:09 PM
DH and I loved the Wanyama Safari and we didn't like the Sunrise. The Wanyama is so much more personal and one on one. The animals are definitely
"better" on the Sunrise, but on the Wanyama you can be within inches of the animals. The dinner at Jiko was awesome especially if you have a good group.

We love AKL CL (which is why we are staying there again in May). All non-DVC club level rooms are Savannah view.

You will love it :) Do the Wanyama (Sunset) safari!! :)

fayt19
12-23-2009, 02:39 PM
Thanks so much for all your opinions everyone! I knew I could count on my DISers. :lovestruc

purpliequeen
12-23-2009, 03:02 PM
Yup- as a previous poster mentioned, all non-DVC concierge rooms are savannah view, so nothing to worry about there. I believe they're all located on the fourth floor (now that DVC is on the fifth and DVC concierge is on the sixth). During our last trip (before AKL was renovated to accommodate DVC rooms), we asked for a room near the elevators on the Zebra Trail overlooking the Arusha Savannah, and it was fantastic.

Concierge is a great experience, and AKL does a great job with theirs. We loved the food offerings and the space. Some people say that it's a bummer that the lounge overlooks the lobby, but we personally loved that we could "people watch" looking down at the lobby from the lounge and "animal watch" from our room! :thumbsup2 The CM were courteous and honored our requests. We made our own dining reservations back then (I'm OCD), but I let them do it this time for our upcoming trip, and they got everything right on the dot.

We did the Sunrise and loved it. You will miss rope drop, but in my opinion, it's worth it. Also, if they offered the safari in such a way that you wouldn't have to miss rope drop, it'd be way too early. Oh well- you lose some, and you win some, right? The evening safari is appealing to us, but we don't want to shell out so much $$ for it. We love Jiko, but we like eating there at our own table with the company of ourselves (for the most part lol) and not all of my family drinks alcohol so we find the price to be a bit steep since it includes alcoholic beverages.

Have a wonderful time!

TDC Nala
12-23-2009, 03:37 PM
I like Wanyama a lot better than I do the Sunrise safari, so not everyone thinks Sunrise is the best.