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kappman
08-13-2012, 08:53 PM
We have stayed at CBR and we are planning a trip to DW in 2013/2014 depending on schedules. We have narrowed our choices down to 3 resorts for this trip. Depending on pricing we are considering the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

With this in mind I have a few questions. I know the savannah rooms are really cool in that you can see the animals but not sure how much time we will be in room to enjoy this so we are looking at a standard room.

Are there public viewing areas at AKL? What kind of view do standard rooms have? How is the bus service all we have to compare this to is CBR. Daughters will be 9 and 3 on the trip. Thanks for any and all information.

720L
08-13-2012, 09:11 PM
Yes there are public viewing areas. Standard rooms have a parking lot view. Bus service is GREAT only 2 stops.

mickeynut1
08-13-2012, 09:56 PM
As the pp said, there are public viewing areas, so even if you don't get a savannah view room, there are plenty of great places to watch the animals :). We've stayed in a pool view and savannah view and while the savannah view is very cool to be able to watch animals from your balcony, we liked our pool view just as much (and pool view is only about $10 more a night than standard if you wanted a little better view). I think standard view rooms overlook rooftops and/or the parking lot, but I'm not certain as we've never stayed in one. I agree that transportation at AKL is good. Since the buses only service AKL and Kidani, there is no sharing with any resort so it's not bad getting around ;).

loveshak22
08-28-2012, 01:21 PM
I'm glad I found this thread! I've been wondering the same questions about the AKL.

My first thought is that it seems so far away from everything that I was wondering if the time it took to get to parks was a disadvantage to staying here? Also, do you really see a lot of animals from the Savannah or will we be disappointed?

On our last trip we stayed at POFQ and it was nice but the trip before we stayed at WL and loved it! This trip I want to do the Contemporary but my DH wants AKL and for the price I'm now leaning towards AKL as well...I just think my DH thinks we'll look out our room and see herds of giraffes just inches away from us and I'm worried we may not see any animals when we are there.

I did read that they offer night vision goggles from like 8:00 - 11:00 but you can't take them to your room. That seems neat. Are there any other "secrets" to AKL?

720L
08-28-2012, 05:49 PM
I'm glad I found this thread! I've been wondering the same questions about the AKL.

My first thought is that it seems so far away from everything that I was wondering if the time it took to get to parks was a disadvantage to staying here? Also, do you really see a lot of animals from the Savannah or will we be disappointed?

On our last trip we stayed at POFQ and it was nice but the trip before we stayed at WL and loved it! This trip I want to do the Contemporary but my DH wants AKL and for the price I'm now leaning towards AKL as well...I just think my DH thinks we'll look out our room and see herds of giraffes just inches away from us and I'm worried we may not see any animals when we are there.

I did read that they offer night vision goggles from like 8:00 - 11:00 but you can't take them to your room. That seems neat. Are there any other "secrets" to AKL?

I don't think it's that far away from everything. We rarely got on a full bus or had to wait for another bus on the way to parks, but at other resorts that happens more frequently I think. Also you rarely have to stand. That alone makes up for the little bit longer distance for me.

You will see animals if you have a Savannah view. Not sure how close they will be or how frequently you will see them. I don't think a Savannah view is necessary to experience AKL.

I love CR also, but AKL just has that "feel" to it.....and if you liked WL I hear AKL decor is similar.

If you are deciding on bus service/time it takes to get to parks, I think AKL is much better than CR except for the fact that you can walk to MK from CR. The monorail/buses are crowded and take too long compared to AKL, even though CR is closer.

danceintherain
08-28-2012, 06:08 PM
We have stayed at CBR and we are planning a trip to DW in 2013/2014 depending on schedules. We have narrowed our choices down to 3 resorts for this trip. Depending on pricing we are considering the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

With this in mind I have a few questions. I know the savannah rooms are really cool in that you can see the animals but not sure how much time we will be in room to enjoy this so we are looking at a standard room.

Are there public viewing areas at AKL? What kind of view do standard rooms have? How is the bus service all we have to compare this to is CBR. Daughters will be 9 and 3 on the trip. Thanks for any and all information.

We stayed in a Pool View room for our honeymoon and thought the view was perfectly fine. There are plenty of public viewing areas, some in their own alcoves with chairs!

There are very few standard rooms at AKL, so they all pretty much overlook the parking lot or loading dock. I definitely think it's worth the extra $10/night for a pool view room. Also, the location of the pool view rooms is the best. They're all close to the lobby, elevators, pool, and dining areas.

I didn't notice a huge difference between the bus service at CBR and that of AKL. CBR does have more stops, but I don't think it adds much to the travel time. We didn't travel during peak times, when we stayed at CBR, much (we had a 3 month old with us) and the buses were similarly crowded at both places.
AKL is literally right around the corner from the Animal Kingdom park, but obviously very far away from the Magic Kingdom. I didn't think the extra travel time was a big deal.

loveshak22
08-28-2012, 06:32 PM
I don't think it's that far away from everything. We rarely got on a full bus or had to wait for another bus on the way to parks, but at other resorts that happens more frequently I think. Also you rarely have to stand. That alone makes up for the little bit longer distance for me.

You will see animals if you have a Savannah view. Not sure how close they will be or how frequently you will see them. I don't think a Savannah view is necessary to experience AKL.

I love CR also, but AKL just has that "feel" to it.....and if you liked WL I hear AKL decor is similar.

If you are deciding on bus service/time it takes to get to parks, I think AKL is much better than CR except for the fact that you can walk to MK from CR. The monorail/buses are crowded and take too long compared to AKL, even though CR is closer.

Thanks! I didn't think about avoiding crowds as a benefit but that's true that a 15 minute ride sitting down is more comfortable than a 5 minute ride in a crowded bus or monorail.

With your comment about how frequently we'll see the animals - it makes me even more nervous that a savannah room would be disappointing because my DH would really want to see the animals and would be really disappointed not to, even if everything else about the hotel was perfect.

Are the savannah rooms far from the main lobby and the QS food option?

720L
08-28-2012, 08:04 PM
Thanks! I didn't think about avoiding crowds as a benefit but that's true that a 15 minute ride sitting down is more comfortable than a 5 minute ride in a crowded bus or monorail.

With your comment about how frequently we'll see the animals - it makes me even more nervous that a savannah room would be disappointing because my DH would really want to see the animals and would be really disappointed not to, even if everything else about the hotel was perfect.

Are the savannah rooms far from the main lobby and the QS food option?

A Savannah room won't be disappointing! I saw the most animals in the morning(7ish) and at night (feeding time maybe?)......we aren't there usually in the afternoon so can't help you there. I can tell you that having coffee on your own balcony watching animals graze....priceless. I have heard that there are some rooms that are Savannah view that are in the corner and you don't see as much of the Savannah as other Savannah views? We have never had that problem.

We always ask for a room near the bus stop door so we don't have to walk as far in the morning. It isn't a long walk to the lobby or food but it isn't short either. 5 minutes?? Can't remember, but it never bothered me even when the kids were little. I LOVE the QS restaurant at AKL. One of my favorites.

AKL is my favorite resort. The pool is awesome, I love the decor, one of the best gift shops, great counter service, and I think the best bus service besides POP. I also loved CR, but it doesn't have that "relaxing" vibe like AKL does. I also would only stay in the tower at CR with MK view if you decide to go there.

Dani C
08-28-2012, 08:13 PM
Savannah view rooms are fabulous, ummm except during hurricanes, and AKL is a wonderful place to stay if you like animals.

sdkuhn77
08-30-2012, 07:08 PM
We loved AKL! You don't have to stay savannah view to see the animals. We did because our girls love animals and the entire time there they only asked once to watch tv, the rest of the time was on the balcony whenever we were in the room and that was worth the extra $$ in my eyes. Anyways, they have great outdoor viewing areas and in the evening they have fires going with rocking chairs where you can watch the animals. Also there are two covered balconies with rocking chairs where you can view animals.

The bus ride to the parks were great. MK is the longest bus ride (about 20 min) and one morning we were there (this past June) there were a ton of people trying to get on one bus and it wasn't going to happen, so the CM working the bus stop called for another empty bus to come. That bus arrived 5 minutes later and everyone was happy!

Have a great trip!

loveshak22
08-30-2012, 07:23 PM
We loved AKL! You don't have to stay savannah view to see the animals. We did because our girls love animals and the entire time there they only asked once to watch tv, the rest of the time was on the balcony whenever we were in the room and that was worth the extra $$ in my eyes.

So when you all were on the balcony did you see lots of animals? Were they close?

Thanks for the info!

k_null81
08-30-2012, 07:55 PM
We stayed in one of the 2 story villas at Kindani last year with a savannah view...we were pretty high up so the animals were never super close...and honestly don't recall seeing a lot of animals at one time either...so I personally would not pay the extra for that specific view. What I did like about the resort was the little kids pool area...the boys were just shy of turning 2 and they LOVED it. I also really liked Boma. I personally would go for the pool view as the hike from are villa to the lobby/pool was pretty long...