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View Full Version : AKL or WL for romantic husband/wife trip?


disneyvoice
08-09-2012, 12:09 PM
We are planning a last minute husband/wife trip for September after a very stressful year to just relax, hang out together, and have fun. We have never stayed at either AKL or WL but we have been to both before to eat at Boma and Artist Point.

We will have a car so transportation distances/methods to the parks have never been a big deal to us. We know AKL is far away from most of the parks but that doesn't bother us.

We will probably be spending more time at the resort than we usually do since we want to spend time together so having places to just hang out and relax at the resort would be important - like a indoor bar where we can just sit and talk together, an outdoor pool bar where we can sit by the pool and talk. We usually spend some time at the water parks so I don't know if we would use the resort pool but if they are nice and have nice hot tubs that could be appealing.

A savannah view room sounds good for being able to sit on the balconey together in the late afternoon/evening and watch the animals or stroll around the indoor and outdoor viewing area and watch the animals together.

We know that both resorts have great restaurant options but we will probably also eat at the parks and other resorts. We aren't breakfast eaters and eat lunch at the parks so CS restaurants at the resort aren't a factor for us.

We have spent more time looking around AKL than WL since we eat at Boma on every visit. So I probably need more info on WL.

Any and all opinions, positive and negative, are appreciated!

GrandCalifornian
08-09-2012, 12:38 PM
We honeymooned at the WL and loved it. We enjoyed the secluded woodsy location while still being close to MK or the monorail at the Contemporary. Our favorite thing to do was walk through the woods towards FW each morning. It gave us a nice quiet start to the day, and a chance to spend time with just the two of us. Another thing we love about WL is being right on Bay Lake. We rented a pontoon boat one afternoon and went exploring. :drive:

We haven't stayed at AKL, but in your situation it seems you would be well equipped to deal with the transportation downside. If a savannah view is a possibility, hanging out in the room would be really neat.

If we had that exact choice to make, I am not sure which way we'd go, but either would have to be great since they are both awesome resorts. Enjoy!

momof2disprincesses
08-09-2012, 01:23 PM
I've stayed at both and you really cannot go wrong with either!

However, I am partial to AKL because we are DVC owners and that's our home resort. I absolutely love the savanna and find it very romantic.

My DH and I did a stay alone at Kidani last year and did pretty much what you're talking about doing. We hung out at the resort a lot and enjoyed some things unique to AKL. We went to the presentation one night in the library at Kidani (open to those staying at AKL too). It was a representative from an African nation who shared photos and all about their country. It was so cool and one of the highlights of the trip.

Good luck with your decision.

Zim
08-09-2012, 01:31 PM
I've stayed at both and I think I would select WL over AKL for that type of trip. The AKL is much more grandiose whereas the WL is very dark and cozy, IMHO. Not only do you have the main pool, but you also have a secondary smaller pool that is sort of tucked away closer to the suites. The room patios are also a little more private in all the trees.

I also like the ferryboat amenity at WL as a secondary option over the shuttle bus to MK. You also have a little sandy inlet where you can watch the electronic float parade at night.

The only non-romantic thing about WL is Whispering Canyons - you can skip that!

minnie mum
08-09-2012, 03:01 PM
I too love both resorts. But we stayed at AKL (savannah view) for our 30th anniversary, and it was very special. There wasn't a single thing that I could find fault with. LOVED having my morning coffee and late evening nightcaps on the balcony. Great dining choices- Mara, Boma, Sanaa (at Kidani) and Jiko are all at the top end of their respective dining categories IMO. Victoria Falls is one of our favourite lounges. We loved spending time in the lobby and the outside public areas. The only thing that it didn't have (that WL has) was boat transportation to a park. Not really a big deal for us.

But I don't think you could go wrong with either one. Pick the one that tugs the hardest on your heartstrings.

Waltgirl
08-09-2012, 04:05 PM
I think the lounge at the WL is enclosed and less bustling than the one at AKL. the one at AKL is open to Boma isn't it?

vettegirl
08-09-2012, 04:45 PM
My DH and I had a wonderful, romantic trip last November at the AKL. We loved sitting in the rocking chair watching the animals, hanging in the more secluded hot tubs, and of course see the animals from our balcony was amazing!

mickeynut1
08-09-2012, 07:29 PM
We've stayed at both and I agree that you really can't go wrong with either one as they are both great resorts :). With that said, my choice would be the WL as it has a more romantic atmosphere to me. The woodsy surroundings are beautiful and it's relaxing to sit in a rocking chair in front of the huge fireplace in the lobby taking everything in :cloud9:. Good luck deciding, although I'm sure you'll have a great trip no matter which resort you choose :wizard:.

prune1977
08-09-2012, 09:20 PM
We've stayed at both & they both have there charms but for a romantic trip I'd say WL hands down. We were able to watch the electric water parade from our balcony there. But it's also nice to watch the animals from the balcony at akl. But for the charm & romantic plus the boat ride is nice I'd go WL.

Singinglizzie
08-09-2012, 10:28 PM
I think the lounge at the WL is enclosed and less bustling than the one at AKL. the one at AKL is open to Boma isn't it?

Well, the lounge can be quite intimate depending on where you sit and I would def consider it a romatic spot. I'm a huge AKL lover, so it would be my top choice. They sell African wine in the gift shop, which seemed reasonably priced - you could bring a bottle back to the room and sit out and watch the animals.

jimmytammy
08-10-2012, 07:10 AM
I would say for a more peaceful setting, WL offers it. AKL with the addition of villas has become pretty big. It offers more eating choices, but as you say you will be eating at other places. My vote is for WL!

NHKristy76
08-10-2012, 07:20 AM
I've never stayed at AKL (although it's definitely on my list of to-dos!) but we honeymooned at the WL and it will always be our favorite.

Just like the PPs though, I don't think you could go wrong with either. I'd love to hear what you choose!

disneyvoice
08-10-2012, 10:11 AM
OP here. Thanks to everyone for their feedback so far - it is greatly appreciated.

Being much less familiar with WL, can you let know which room type/location would be best for a romantic stay. We won't be able to afford any of the suites so I guess it really comes down to the location - which I know can't be guarenteed. If you had a specific room that you really liked for location and view (which I know isn't necissarily a good idea to request since chances are it will already be occupied when you arrive) could you let me know? At least I can find it on the detailed maps and get a good idea of some possible romantic areas.

Thank you!

Herbie
08-10-2012, 03:24 PM
We just had our anniversary at the AKL..it was wonderful..be sure and get a savannah view room.. lay in bed and watch the animals....awesome. I didnt find anything special about our WL stay...would pick the YC or poly over the WL...but the AKL was great. very quiet also.

Herbie
08-10-2012, 03:31 PM
I would also add that the hot tubs (if you use them) are more secluded at the Akl. kinda seperated from the pool and surrounded by vegitation.

GrandCalifornian
08-10-2012, 05:00 PM
We found the WL lobby to be quite spectacular, and loved how the stream passes through it, out into the courtyard, down a waterfall, and eventually leads to the pool. But everyone has their own ideas of what is special or romantic.

For room locations, a great reference is the map on the first page of the WL thread in this post (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=45704478&postcount=2). There are relatively limited locations for standard views. Most of the rooms are either Woods or Courtyard views. Which would suit your romantic preferences is totally up to you. We had a Courtyard view in the North wing near the West end of the pool, and had a great view of the pool area and the lake, but a Woods view on the other side of the same wing would be able to see MK in the distance. Some people prefer a quieter courtyard view, and on the South wing there are Courtyard View rooms that look towards the Villas, so this might be a good option. Each view type is a bookable category though, and has different pricing associated with it. Our call this time was to book a Standard view and take whatever we get. If we get an upgrade, great, if not we can't go too wrong, and it is a relatively small resort.

minniebride
08-10-2012, 05:55 PM
I've stayed at both. WL for part of my honeymoon and AKL for a romantic trip with my DH.

While both resorts are wonderful, I would suggest AKL for a romantic trip where you are planning to spend time at the resort. AKL is so relaxing and beautiful. Spend the extra money on the savannah view-it is so worth it! The room decor is gorgeous. The bar is nice. All of the restaurants are fantastic. If you stay club level, you can also sign up for a close up safari tour around the AKL savannahs, which is really fun.

anjalee6
08-10-2012, 06:59 PM
We have stayed at both, but prefer AKL for the romantic feel. Love watching the animals from the Savanna rooms. We love Victoria Falls to just relax and have a drink. We also love the hot tubs. It has a very romantic feel and after time in the parks, we really like the fact that it is farther away from the hustle and bustle of Disney.

amberpi
08-10-2012, 07:01 PM
If transportation isn't a factor, I'd do AKL over WL any day. I kinda hate the decor there and at the Grand Californian although I've stayed at both. Next time we go to DL though we'll not stay at the GC, just not our taste at all. We're minimal/mid century modern people though, so take that recommendation with a grain of salt.

johnsonet
08-10-2012, 07:23 PM
Have stayed at both and you can't go wrong but IMO AKL has the edge.
Jiko is my favorite restaurant on property and it would be a great spot for a romantic dinner;
the hot tubs are great; the animals are stunning; the Sunset Lounge (off the lobby) and Arusha Rock are both usually quiet and empty, as are the terraces of the lobby.
Plus, Victoria Falls is a festive lounge.
I LOVE AKL :love:
Have fun!

brinkley07
08-10-2012, 07:36 PM
I've stayed at both, but we now prefer AKL. The Savannah view rooms are great, and we love sitting on our balcony at night watching the animals. For our anniversary I had a cake specially made and del to the room, and had a bottle of wine to enjoy on our balcony. I feel that AKL has been less crowded as well, so great for a stroll.

NJtoATL
08-10-2012, 09:20 PM
AKL - we stayed there for our anniversary in May. My husband refuses to stay anywhere else on Disney property now. I may be able to get him to stay at Poly but I doubt it.

2012DisneyWorldBride
08-10-2012, 10:03 PM
We stayed at AKL when we got engaged and I thought it was very relaxing and romantic. I loved sitting on our balcony watching the animals, we loved the pool area, the lobby is beautiful, we ate at Jiko and thought it was very yummy, and we went out on the rock area to see the animals and almost everytime we went out there we were almost the only ones (it was last August). We are actually going back there in December for our wedding/honeymoon trip and are doing a split stay with the GF first then AKL.

Mousemommy1
08-10-2012, 10:12 PM
We have not stayed at AKL, but we stayed at WL last month (with our kids). DH and I agreed that we would LOVE to come back for a mommy/daddy trip, and would LOVE to snag one of their honeymoon suites! :love:

The WL is a beautiful, relaxing resort that I think would be very romantic for a couples only trip. :goodvibes

Alabama Minnie
08-11-2012, 09:03 AM
We have stayed at both and WL gets our vote any day over AKL. The animal theme just didn't do much for us but WL is on the beautiful lake and has a relaxed "woodsy-feel" + the boat to MK and it is getting a refurb. now.

We had a woods-view room and really thought it looked more private than the courtyard-view (they all seemed to look over the pool).

CampbellScot
08-11-2012, 12:03 PM
Wilderness Lodge!!!! Location, transportation options, and nice quiet little spots hither and yon. ;)

I've stayed at both and I love the cozy atmosphere at Wilderness Lodge!!

Gary M
08-11-2012, 05:05 PM
We have stayed at both the AKL(twice) and WL(several stays) and enjoyed the WL much more. I would suggest a woods view room overlooking the otter pond. These rooms face the MK, if you get the right room you can see some of the MK fireworks, the monorail and CR. I would suggest asking for a 4th or 5th floor room. We always ask for room 5032 and have gotten it more than once. The balcony is peaceful and you feel very isolated. Ask CRO to note the area you want when you make reservations.

On the 4th and 5th floor, over the resort entrance there are sitting areas with couches and chairs. Each place has a gas fireplace, these are neat places to sit and they overlook the lobby.

The boats to FW, CR and MK are nice. I have just ridden the boats for the enjoyment and not gotten off, but came back to the WL. You can sit in the open air.

emilyann415
08-11-2012, 09:29 PM
I am always surprised no one mentions the smell at AKL. I am from the Midwest so am used to the smell of animals in the heat but I would think it would bother a lot of people. I guess I don't give you city folk enough credit:rotfl2: I think it would hamper a romantic morning sitting on my balcony.

That said, can't wait to go back. I love them both...WL would definately win it for me with either woods or courtyard views. Just don't pick standard or you old end up with a view of garbage trucks! Oh, and request a higher floor. Less chance of hearing Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Have a fun trip!

mskayjay
08-11-2012, 11:24 PM
We have stayed at both several times and love them both dearly!!!! I personally think AKL is a more romantic resort in terms of peace and quiet, mellow pace, etc. To me it is a much quieter resort. We did our 28th anny there with a split stay at WL, using DVC points from a friend. I love the pool and the jacuzzis there as well and sitting by the firepit in the evening. I would request a room that is a higher floor and out on an end of a wing if at all possible. If at all possible if you stay there try to splurge on the Wynyama Safari. Hands down the best "extra" thing we have ever done at Disney. Yes it is a bit pricey (ab out $400 for two) but it includes an unbelievable safari that you can only do as a AKL guest and a multi course dinner at Jiko with all wine pairings and desert inlcuded. Just fantastic! Took almost 4 hours total!

WL holds a very special place in my heart as we have celebrated 25, 26, 27th and 28th (split stay with AKL)anniversaries there. It is much noisier and far less private than AKL. The lounge is enclosed and private but almost feels too dark to us. What we actually do there is bring stuff from off site (liquor and mixers) and fix our own cocktails to take to the pool or beach area. We request a room on the lowest level of the lodge facing the quiet pool in front of the DVC villas. You can go back and forth to your room across the lawn to fix a beverage or grab a snack if you want to.

There are so many other pros and cons for both resorts but ultimately, you can't go wrong with either especially if you will have your own car. I hope you have a fantastic time! We just LOVE Disney as adults and can't wait to go back again and renew our vows next year! :)

mskayjay
08-11-2012, 11:27 PM
I am always surprised no one mentions the smell at AKL. I am from the Midwest so am used to the smell of animals in the heat but I would think it would bother a lot of people. I guess I don't give you city folk enough credit:rotfl2: I think it would hamper a romantic morning sitting on my balcony.

That said, can't wait to go back. I love them both...WL would definately win it for me with either woods or courtyard views. Just don't pick standard or you old end up with a view of garbage trucks! Oh, and request a higher floor. Less chance of hearing Whispering Canyon Cafe.

Have a fun trip!

We just spent 4 nights at AKL last year and there was no smell at all from the animals. :confused3

Sammie
08-11-2012, 11:46 PM
Both are great but WL to me would be my choice.

The lobby is almost a museum there is so much to see. The music, the large fireplace with rockers, cozy corners to sit and over look the lobby from upper floors, the courtyard with the waterfalls and pool. Bay lake with beach and view of the Electrical Water Parade.

While watching the animals was great, they were not always out and the Savannah without them is not much to look at and you always see the other buildings. Plus due to the animals, there are no walking areas. I love walking around outside and I love being somewhere with water as it is so relaxing and tranquil.

At WL, you see the lake and beach from the courtyard.

Here is a video of WL; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3kRw2iv5SM

Land Shark
08-12-2012, 08:49 PM
Wow, tough choice for this type of trip and really can't go wrong with either. I love both but if I had a choice over savannah view at AKL and lake vew at WL, would have to go with WL. That's just me though as anytime i can sit, relax, enjoy a drink and the company of my beautiful wife overlooking a water view, will be my choice every time, especially as the sun goes down and the reflections off the water intensify. Hmmmm, makes me think i need to start planning a 25th anni trip fall 2013. :lovestruc

fla4fun
08-13-2012, 06:37 AM
I think it totally depends on which theme appeals to you the most, since they were designed by the same architect and share many of the same features (just themed differently).

I personally prefer WL. I love the woodsy theme and the fact that I can be 20 minutes from home and feel like I'm halfway across the country. A big part of the appeal for me is the lake. I really miss being near a water feature when I stay at AKL. The animals are nice, but after a half hour, I'm kind of done with that. In answer to a pp comment, I did not notice any smells from the animals and I'm rather picky when it comes to that.

But as far as room size and resort amenities, they are very similar so you just need to figure out which one appeals to you more.

mariamouse
08-13-2012, 11:01 AM
I think it totally depends on which theme appeals to you the most, since they were designed by the same architect and share many of the same features (just themed differently).

I personally prefer WL. I love the woodsy theme and the fact that I can be 20 minutes from home and feel like I'm halfway across the country. A big part of the appeal for me is the lake. I really miss being near a water feature when I stay at AKL. The animals are nice, but after a half hour, I'm kind of done with that. In answer to a pp comment, I did not notice any smells from the animals and I'm rather picky when it comes to that.

But as far as room size and resort amenities, they are very similar so you just need to figure out which one appeals to you more.

I completely agree with what I bolded above.

Both resorts are equally romantic depending on what appeals to you-- WL has that cozy, woods-y feel with the indoor fireplaces and hidden lounges off the lobby-- plus access to the lake, which provides boats to the MK, CR, and FW. AKL, on the other hand, has a somewhat more exotic lobby with a larger pool area and savanna viewing areas. Just depends on what speaks more to you-- just a few pictures of each should do the trick!

I would also advise looking into the menus of the restaurants at both resorts if you intend to stay put for meals since this could be a big factor in your decision. Personally, I much prefer the restaurants at the AKL to those at the WL, which can make it hard for me to pick the WL (despite its more convenient location).

Good luck and let us know what you decide! You truly cannot go wrong with either resort. :goodvibes

sdkuhn77
08-13-2012, 07:09 PM
We stayed AKL and we loved it! Just be sure to know with AKL if you are going for a romantic trip, close your curtains because there are security cameras on the animals and rooms! Wink Wink!

auntie
08-13-2012, 08:48 PM
AKL was nice to visit, but not where I would choose to stay. If I want an Animal theme, I will visit Animal Kingdom. Just not would I want for my entire vacation stay. Additionally, if the animals aren't in view, I thought the Savanah view was sort of ugly. Wasn't overly impresses by the pool area either.

I like the proximity of the WL to the MK. Makes just wanting to take a stroll along Main Street a mere water launch ride away.The boat ride itself is lovely. Additionally, we enjoy the Electric Water Pagent that appears nightly on Bay Lake. Personally we enjoy the view of the Wilderness Lodge Villas. A room that overlooks the walking/biking path to Fort Wilderness and the Villas.

It's really just a matter of preference. If you're big into animals..then go with the AKL. If not..then I think WL is a more romantic choice. JMO.

pas130
08-13-2012, 08:59 PM
My DH and I just returned from 3 nights at WL........we stayed at AKL and LOVED it...but

Most romantic...

Wilderness Lodge