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View Full Version : How inconvenient is AKL?


JJsmama
09-18-2012, 08:09 PM
I found a good deal for AKL but I am scared to book it. The stories I hear about the bad bus service scare me! I really don't want to have busses arrive at AKL already full from Kidani every time. Plus, does the isolation get old if staying for a week?

The decor, etc do appeal to me.

We are used to staying monorail loop, but I can't get those for this deal. I can get BWI or BC for $500 more. (But the lack of counter service for quick breakfast has my boys and I worried.)

If bus service is really bad at AKL, I am considering just saving the money and booking CSR + DxDP instead, which is reputed to have the best bus service onsite.

I think this would be a go go go trip since it will be winter. We've never been when the crowds weren't super heavy and the days weren't really hot. So, we've always done a long afternoon break. This trip we hope to do parks all day. So the pool won't factor in either.

Advice?

Princess on the Run
09-18-2012, 08:13 PM
We stayed at Kidani in February and never had problems with the buses. I don't think we ever encountered a full one. It might be different in July but in February it was totally fine and not at all inconvenient.

Dacky619
09-18-2012, 08:18 PM
We've been at Jambo house for a total of three weeks over the last 3 years (all in June/July) and haven't had any issues with the busses being too full. We are not the type to catch a bus right at opening or closing though. The only issues we have experienced there are the ones that we experience everywhere (leaving a park after fireworks etc...).

We did a 2 week honeymoon at CSR in 2008 and thought the bus service was awesome there, but I've also heard plenty of people complain about it. I think any resort you stay at, you're going to hear both good things and horror stories about the transportation. I wouldn't let it affect your decision too much.

Karabee
09-18-2012, 08:27 PM
AKL is wonderful in my opinion. I think there could be plenty of people who would say that the buses at CSR are horrible and stick up for AKL. I never go by the buses for a stay. In fact, my bus service at AKL was amazing.
I also don't agree with the idea of isolation at AKL. Once again, why is it that AKL is "isolated" but any of the other resorts with bus only service are not. Sure, it's on the outskirts, but when you think about it, so are the resorts on the monorail, they just have MK and the monorail so people don't think about them the same way.
AKL is beautiful with a great pool (although you might not use it), restaurants and service. If you were debating between a resort on the monorail or boardwalk and you were talking about go, go go that would be one thing, but between a bus only resort and a bus only resort, I will always pick AKL. :goodvibes

mickeynut1
09-18-2012, 08:27 PM
We've stayed at AKL twice and both times the buses were great, but everyone will have a different take on how good/bad the bus service is as everyone's experiences are different. Some resorts are better than others, but all of the resorts have their share of not so good service at one time or another and you will find excellent reviews as well as complaints about every resort regarding transportation. With that said, we've never stayed at CSR, but out of all of the resorts we have stayed at, CBR has by far had the best bus service that we have experienced. AKL is out away from everything and it does take a little longer to get around (by maybe 5 extra minutes), but we thought the buses were great and we never had a problem with them being crowded after stopping at Kidani first.

Sue M
09-18-2012, 08:36 PM
We just returned from a 12 night AKL stay a few weeks ago. Yes, the busses do stop at Kidani first, but we usually found seats. Bus service was pretty good. I haven't had a problem with busses really at any wdw resort. There can be occas. glitches with busses at any resort, incl CSR. We enjoyed our stay very much.
This was the 2nd time we've stayed here.
Boma, their CS was amazing. We had several dinners here. Their daily specials were on par with a TS. I had the Salmon entree several times (always different) and it was amazing.

If you're interested in BC, they do have a small CS which is quite adequate for breakfast. Breakfast croissants, Yogurt parfaits, and the usual assortment of bakery items, muffins, bagels, etc. Milk & cereal.

gigi729
09-18-2012, 08:43 PM
We love AKL and had a wonderful stay!!! We are returning for part of our stay next month. It is an AMAZING hotel with great QS and TS dining options, and the busses are NOT that bad! This hotel seriously is a destination in itself and everyone should definitely experience it at least once and if your like us once won't be enough!!! :rotfl: Can;t wait to be back at AKL!!!!

vettegirl
09-18-2012, 08:52 PM
I have stayed there twice and have found the location and bus service to be quite good. I find nothing is too far away at WDW when staying on property.

it's kelly
09-19-2012, 07:40 AM
We're currently staying at AKL and I was a bit worried at first. We have only had an issue leaving MK on EMH hours and had to wait for extra bus. Overall, I wouldn't let it keep me from staying here and I will surely be back.

rznhal
09-19-2012, 07:52 AM
I find nothing is too far away at WDW when staying on property.

Great point!!!

We stayed at Jambo House in February....no bus problems.

It's an awesome place! We're going back for a week in January!!!!! Can't wait!!!

OhThePain
09-19-2012, 08:24 AM
We stayed at AKL this past October and had no issues with the buses. We never waited long and there were always pleanty of seats available on the buses even with them stopping off at Kidani before heading to Jambo.

If you are used to monorail loop resorts, besides Magic Kingdom the travel time from AKL to the parks/DTD is quicker from AKL (as per http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/aspx/twiz.aspx ). As others have said, you are never too far from anywhere in WDW when you stay on property.

monica9
09-19-2012, 08:34 AM
We were worried about it being so far off the map as well. We have always wanted to stay at AKL since the theme appeals to us most out of all of the resorts. We then received a pin for either AKL or WL and decided on WL only because of the convenience to all of the parks. I hope we made a good choice with WL. We will be there end of Nov/early Dec. We were still debating on whether or not we should switch to AKL but with our 4 year old and the fact that we will be at MK 50% of the time and eating at CR and Poly a lot, we decided it wasn't for us.
I do have to say that when we went for breakfast at Boma last year, the bus service was great. It was pretty much empty. It was on a Friday and it was around 10:00am when we took the bus there and left around 2:00. Both buses were empty but I guess you can't base it off of one day.
I think we will be waiting until our daughter is a bit older and can appreciate the resort more before getting our dream savannah akl room.

good luck in your decision!

B's Marie
09-19-2012, 08:36 AM
We stayed at AKL this past October and had no issues with the buses. We never waited long and there were always pleanty of seats available on the buses even with them stopping off at Kidani before heading to Jambo.

If you are used to monorail loop resorts, besides Magic Kingdom the travel time from AKL to the parks/DTD is quicker from AKL (as per http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/aspx/twiz.aspx ). As others have said, you are never too far from anywhere in WDW when you stay on property.

Thanks for that link... Very helpful!!

KSL
09-19-2012, 09:00 AM
Just as one voice who HAS had issues with the bus service at AKL....
We stayed at Jambo House in mid-August 2011 for 5 nights. Generally speaking the bus service was fine, but we did have one morning where we were trying to get to Animal Kingdom for early hours and had to wait over an hour. At least 5 Magic Kindgom buses and 3 DHS buses went by (DH started counting) - they were nearly empty because it was so early. A huge crowd developed over the course of the hour, backing waaaay up the sidewalk nearly to the main entrance and across the whole bus waiting area. Honestly it was such a crowd that I started to worry about the small ones getting lost among the sea of people. :worried: There was a CM there early on but I didn't see him anymore after the 2nd or 3rd MK bus went by (possibly because people started pestering him about why they wouldn't switch it to an AK bus and let us on? possibly just couldn't see him anymore in the crowd?). People started getting really angry about the wait and seeing the empty buses go by, destined for other parks. Everyone was trying to get to AK for the early hour, and instead we spent that time in line waiting to get there; the crowd was turning into an ugly mob. :scared: When an AK bus did eventually show, it had been to Kidani first and there was room for only about a dozen people to get on, standing. :crowded: The pushing and shoving when the bus pulled up was a little scary. We were among the dozen that did get on (yes, my DH made sure we got on; we'd been there since before the crowd had really started - there was nothing resembling a line at that point, just a mass of people - so he was adament about getting us on...:blush:), so I don't know how long after that it took for everyone else to get a bus. I would have much preferred to sleep an extra hour and not be part of that!
Anyway, I relate this story so that you know it can happen, but I bet the same situation could have been anywhere - not necessarily unique to AKL. We all LOVED :lovestruc our stay there, even with that one morning. We booked standard but got a partial savannah view and my girls were glued to the windows. I will admit the bus rides were a tad longer, but we knew to expect that and it didn't bother us at all. If you got a good deal and have never stayed there, I would say to go for it! ::yes:: Especially at that time of year the crowds should be lower and hopefully you won't have any transportation issues at all. Good luck with your decision! You will have a great trip, whatever you decide!

Minnesota!
09-19-2012, 09:09 AM
Our vacation last month was 1/2 AKL and 1/2 CSR.

AKL's bus service was FANTASTIC! CSR's blew.

Never felt "removed" from WDW at AKL (CSR was another story...).

Go. Enjoy yourselves. We got a fantastic rate at AKL, as well...couldn't pass it up.

LeahA
09-19-2012, 09:12 AM
We have stayed at AKL 3 times. I LOVE the fact that it's a little off the beaten path. It fits the ambiance of the resort. We never had a horrible experience with the bus service. Sure there were days that we walked up and the bus just left and we had to wait, but who cares, we are on vacation! Every resort that has just bus service will have their off days. AKL is my favorite resort, but if you want to be right in the middle of it, with super short transpotation to the parks this is probably not the right resort for you!

lustergirl
09-19-2012, 09:24 AM
We will be staying at AKL in September 2012, I can't wait.:cool1::cool1:

lady_hlh
09-19-2012, 11:38 AM
AKL has better bus service than any of the mods that we stayed at because there aren't as many people and only 2 bus stops. The bus service was also better than YC or BCV but at least you can walk to 2 parks from that location. I also took the bus from CR to AK after lunch one day and I must say that bus service wasn't very good.

kddisney502
09-19-2012, 11:51 AM
Just as one voice who HAS had issues with the bus service at AKL....
We stayed at Jambo House in mid-August 2011 for 5 nights. Generally speaking the bus service was fine, but we did have one morning where we were trying to get to Animal Kingdom for early hours and had to wait over an hour. At least 5 Magic Kindgom buses and 3 DHS buses went by (DH started counting) - they were nearly empty because it was so early. A huge crowd developed over the course of the hour, backing waaaay up the sidewalk nearly to the main entrance and across the whole bus waiting area. Honestly it was such a crowd that I started to worry about the small ones getting lost among the sea of people. :worried: There was a CM there early on but I didn't see him anymore after the 2nd or 3rd MK bus went by (possibly because people started pestering him about why they wouldn't switch it to an AK bus and let us on? possibly just couldn't see him anymore in the crowd?). People started getting really angry about the wait and seeing the empty buses go by, destined for other parks. Everyone was trying to get to AK for the early hour, and instead we spent that time in line waiting to get there; the crowd was turning into an ugly mob. :scared: When an AK bus did eventually show, it had been to Kidani first and there was room for only about a dozen people to get on, standing. :crowded: The pushing and shoving when the bus pulled up was a little scary. We were among the dozen that did get on (yes, my DH made sure we got on; we'd been there since before the crowd had really started - there was nothing resembling a line at that point, just a mass of people - so he was adament about getting us on...:blush:), so I don't know how long after that it took for everyone else to get a bus. I would have much preferred to sleep an extra hour and not be part of that!
!

While I'm sorry this happened to you, this could happen at any resort. I've had it happen at other deluxe resorts when the first bus of the morning is running late and a crowd gathers. I've even had this happen at the parks where people are supposed to stay in the lines.

Just like any of the buses, if you're trying to travel during a busy time of the day (first thing in the morning or right after fireworks/closing), you may have to wait or stand if you get on the bus.

I personally didn't have any big problems with the buses at AKL, expect one night after fireworks. And as other people said, you're really not that much father, since you're still on property. My only complaint is that all of the transportation is bus. It's nice at some of the other resorts that have different forms of transportation.

jdcthree
09-22-2012, 11:59 AM
We just returned from a 7 night stay at AKL and bus service was excellent, but I can see how it could be a problem at more crowded times of the year. My only complaint is that rude people will cut in front of you to get on the bus even when there is an obvious line. I wish they had dividers/ropes to form lines like they do at the parks. Of course this has nothing to do with AKL specifically. ;)

it's kelly
09-22-2012, 12:17 PM
We just returned from a 7 night stay at AKL and bus service was excellent, but I can see how it could be a problem at more crowded times of the year. My only complaint is that rude people will cut in front of you to get on the bus even when there is an obvious line. I wish they had dividers/ropes to form lines like they do at the parks. Of course this has nothing to do with AKL specifically. ;)

I mentioned the same thing to my husband. When we stayed at Pop, and at the parks the have the line forms up which I think is much better. We also just spent 7 nights at AKL and there were a few times we didn't get on a bus because it got too full. And people would push or come from the back and cut in.

MommaLuman
09-22-2012, 01:31 PM
I found a good deal for AKL but I am scared to book it. The stories I hear about the bad bus service scare me! I really don't want to have busses arrive at AKL already full from Kidani every time. Plus, does the isolation get old if staying for a week?

The decor, etc do appeal to me.

We are used to staying monorail loop, but I can't get those for this deal. I can get BWI or BC for $500 more. (But the lack of counter service for quick breakfast has my boys and I worried.)

If bus service is really bad at AKL, I am considering just saving the money and booking CSR + DxDP instead, which is reputed to have the best bus service onsite.

I think this would be a go go go trip since it will be winter. We've never been when the crowds weren't super heavy and the days weren't really hot. So, we've always done a long afternoon break. This trip we hope to do parks all day. So the pool won't factor in either.

Advice?
We stayed at jambo house during spring break this year. All the buses were busy because it was so crowded but we loved the experience of animal kingdom lodge. I think it takes longer to get everywhere( except animal kingdom) just because its a bit out of the way. However it's a beautiful resort. My kids loved the it there as did I. We are staying at beach club in nov. because its closer to everything but I am glad we stayed there at least once.

canadakath
09-22-2012, 02:37 PM
We stayed at AKL in Nov '09 with a then 6 yo and 3.5 yo because our friends really wanted to stay there. Our issue was that at that time our boys really wanted to be at MK and we spent 5 of our 8 park days there. It was a LONG haul back to AKL, especially when you stop at Kidani first (we were at Jambo house). After the fireworks one night, we didn't even bother getting in the AKL bus line until an hour after we had left the park. We carried the kids back to the room that night! Our next stay after that was at CR, and it was such a wonderful thing to be able to walk to MK. Now they are older and we will wander farther afield again - POR next.

AKL was BEAUTIFUL and I wish we had spent more resort time. OP - your kids seem to be wide spread in ages so it might not matter to you too much if you are doing a better mix of the parks.

For those who have younger kids and might be focused more on MK, I would caution them about the long ride. Yes I know you can get that from any resort to whatever park is farthest from it, but it does become an issue for AKL to MK IMO.

GaSleepingBeautyFan
09-22-2012, 03:06 PM
I really enjoyed my short stay at AKL. The buses were fine for me. Sometimes I had a short wait, sometimes a longer one but they never arrived at Jambo House full.

My trip was a short 4 day stay.
I decided that it was too short of a trip to fully enjoy AKL and I won't stay there again unless I can do a 5 day or longer trip.

Redbudlover
09-22-2012, 03:12 PM
I have stayed at both WL and AKL with my young DGD6, the first time when she was three. She and I both love AKL - she for the giraffes and bunkbeds - me for the whole ambiance, restaurants, everything - it s my favorite resort. But if you need to go back to the resort mid day for breaks and in my experience the break with a little one is needed not just because of heat but also from the stimulation of being in the parks. Well then I would choose WL. It is a long trip - repeat long trip from MK to AKL. In fact this October she and I are going to stay at BC though I had originally chosen WL for the MK access, but she really wants to go on the big slide at BC and spend a lot of time at HS, so BC it is this trip.

ExpatDisneyLover
09-22-2012, 03:32 PM
When I stayed at AKL I thought the bus service was very good - and don't remember any huge problems - Disney tries hard to have their transportation up and running well IMO. So if you are comparing CSR with AKL - as far as bus service goes the only difference in my mind is that CSR has four internal stops whereas AKL has Kidani and Jambo. They are in the same general area as well.

I love AKL - it is my favorite resort at the moment :goodvibes- so I am biased. It is secluded (well five minutes from AK) - but to me that is what I enjoy about it - an exotic locale all to itself. If you don't think you would enjoy that - go for WL - it is in the MK area with lots around it at a similar pricepoint. But seriously how many resorts have a giraffe out the window?? The beautiful and unique imagineering is what gives AKL its' charm!

NJOYURLIFE
09-22-2012, 03:44 PM
I honestly think that all of the resorts have had problems with buses at one point or another.

As for Kidani and Jambo sharing a bus, what about Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan/Dolphin, Boardwalk,et. Or even the monorail resorts...our past stay at Wilderness Lodge, we never knew where our bus was going to go, usually it went to Fort Wilderness, but sometimes the loop was Contemporary then WL, once it went all the way over to the Grand Floridian.

We have personally not had any problems with the buses, but we usually don't head to a park first thing. There might have been one or two, but overall I can't recall any major problems.

I do recall the one year, my husband and I had our one and only after kids solo trip, we noticed that there were not as many buses running as usual and that on each bus, they really packed us in like sardines. As the one bus driver said, if you weren't practically hugging your neighbor, you still had room to move back. This was a January trip so we just assumed that they cut buses back because it is a slow period. And, yes, it was at AKV-Jambo, before Kidani was finished. We have stayed at AKL since and had no problems.

I wouldn't hesitate to try it.

Have fun no matter where you stay!

JJsmama
09-23-2012, 03:03 AM
I honestly think that all of the resorts have had problems with buses at one point or another.

our past stay at Wilderness Lodge, we never knew where our bus was going to go, usually it went to Fort Wilderness, but sometimes the loop was Contemporary then WL, once it went all the way over to the Grand Floridian.



During our stay at WL, we experienced the worst bus service we have ever had. Busses were as you describes, sharing among several resorts -- and once we could not find a bus back to WL at all. We had to go to TTC instead. I can't remember why. We were there for a week and the whole time transportation was very frustrating. It has been a while, but we have never wanted to stay there since.

sndral
09-23-2012, 10:55 PM
Boma, their CS was amazing. We had several dinners here. Their daily specials were on par with a TS. I had the Salmon entree several times (always different) and it was amazing.



Um, isn't Boma the 1 TS buffet and Mara the CS?
I've stayed @ AKL 2x, once before and once after Kidani was built. Buses weren't any better or worse than elsewhere, IME. I did notice that the AK buses to AKL near AK closing time had lots of people going to AKL for dinner in addition to AKL resort guests. I did find the taxi ride from CR to AKL one evening to be pricey due to the distance.