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candleonwater
04-19-2004, 09:25 AM
Am I the only one who has stayed at AKL that really didn't like it? I went in, so excited, full of hope... and I can't even say exactly what it was that I didn't like... everyone was so nice, the savannah was beautiful... but we probably won't stay there again. I do know it was no fun waiting for a bus for MK... 45 minutes one morning, over 1/2 hour the next.

Next stop - Wilderness, and then it's back to Beach Club for us!

ksc37
04-19-2004, 09:43 AM
I think the theme doesn't really appeal to everyone. I personally really liked the resort, but we, like you, probably won't stay there again (at least for several years, when the kids are both out of strollers).

For us, the main reason was the location. I agree, the transportation was not that good. I was expecting it to be fine, based on what I had read here, but we also waited 30 minutes+ for a bus when leaving the MK and the AK (even though it's only 5 minutes away!). I was beginning to think I was the only one who'd had problems with the busses! Halfway through our vacation we gave up on the busses and used our car to get to and from the parks.

We're trying the Poly on our next trip (location, location, location).

patsal
04-19-2004, 09:52 AM
I've never found WIlderness transportation better to anywhere except MK. I don't think I ever ahd a fast bus. Beachclub transprt was effecient, and OKW, POFQ and CSR were all very good. Though I love WL, I tend to avoid it unless I want to drive becasue the transportation there has always been really lousy in my opinion.

madalex
04-19-2004, 10:00 AM
I've stayed at AKL twice and never had the transportation problems you describe. I can't recall a unreasonable bus wait (e.g., more than 10 minutes) either of those trips. I'm sorry it did not work out that way for you.

LindaR
04-19-2004, 10:18 AM
Yep. I stayed there May 2003. Have no desire to return. I know that this resort is very popular with lots of people.

I was not impressed by the front desk at all (long story, but she was reprimanded for her rudeness) and a waiter treated my daughter (then 14) like she was 3 (snatched her plate and cut her steak up - she hadn't asked for help). I personally felt that this resort was very overhyped for the level of service received. I stayed in a standard room.

I'm staying this year at POFQ (so cute). For me, (and I have stayed at alot of upscale hotels) if I decide to spend more money on a hotel, then I expect amenities and service to be equal to the level of money spent. Just not impressed with this place.:rolleyes:

PamNC
04-19-2004, 10:26 AM
although I've visited the resort when we ate at Jikos. It's so beautiful and I love the idea of the animals roaming outside. But, it seems so far removed to me. That's the only reason we haven't tried it. We like to be either on the monorail line or in the Epcot Resort area for convenience sake. Like realtors always say, Location, Location, Location.

I would stay there for a quick weekend trip - perhaps concierge so we could do the Sunrise Safari. That would be the only way.

We stayed at WL and felt like you do about AKL - we weren't impressed at all. Although it is lovely, it's just not convenient. Boat transporation was horrible. Small rooms, dark rooms, small pool. And, WL is probably one of the most popular resorts on this board.

PamNC

Tigger&Belle
04-19-2004, 12:41 PM
I liked the resort, but don't think that I'd stay there again. We can visit and see the animals (and eat at Boma) without staying there. The rooms were a bit too dark for my tastes. The lobby, however, is beautiful.

T&B

k&a&c'smom
04-19-2004, 12:45 PM
candleonthewater - Did you just stay at AKL? This is our favorite resort, we absolutely love the atmosphere, and actually enjoy the fact that it is what some describe as "dark," as that makes it seem cooler in the heat!!;)

We have never had any problems with the bus transportation, and, in fact, I have praised it here on the boards. The fact that it only goes to AKL is a bonus, and we've always had a good time.

This last stay, however, we experienced the transportation issues that some have mentioned. We had a wonderful stay, don't get me wrong, but we tend to leave the parks when they get too crowded and head back to the resort. And, since I have a pinned ankle, we go back and forth from parks to resort several times a day. DD and I were at AKL from April 8-10, day before Easter, and the parks and resorts were PACKED!! To my mind, Disney would have ADDED buses to the routes, due to the extra people, right?! This did not seem to be the case, if anything, there seemed to be less buses than in the slower months. DD and I always waited, it never failed, we would stand at the bus stop for 20-30 minutes each way. As it was only for 2 days (we also stayed at the Poly) it wasn't as big a deal, but for people that spent the whole week there, it probably left a bad impression. :(

Hopefully, the posters who liked AKL, but don't want to stay again due to transportation, will give it another try. This is still our favorite resort, even with the glitches last week in transportation!!:teeth:

Hollymom1229
04-19-2004, 01:31 PM
This is DH and my favorite resort. We've never had a problem with bus service and we love the dark feel. I think part of what makes WDW wonderful is that we all can find a favorite resort due to the variety. We personally have no desire to stay at any of the Epcot resorts.

jordanyosh
04-19-2004, 01:37 PM
At least you know now....we try different resorts as well...we have never stayed at one we haven't liked, but there are a few we enjoy more.

As far as bus transportation, we always factor in a 30-45 minute wait for busses. So if it is less, we're happy.

DisneyMin
04-19-2004, 02:23 PM
We stayed at AKL last Christmas and we weren't too thrilled,either. Nothing bad happened or anything,,we just weren't all jazzed about it. The buffet at Boma was great,tho. Maybe it was because it was cold and they had the plants covered,,the pool was pretty,but too cold to swim in,,we're thinking maybe we'd like it more in the summer? We've loved WL,POP,POR,,i just think its funny--before we went to WL for the first time,i was nervous(room was a little expensive),,and we had friends who had just stayed. She HATED it! Said the rooms were dark and dirty,and this and that and they'd never stay there again. I thought 'oh,no!!" well,,we stayed there and absolutely LOVED it. Everything about it. While she found the themeing "dark",,we loved the "woodsyness" of it. Thats why they have different themes,i guess. but i felt like you did,,like i was the only weirdo in the world who didn't absolutely love AKL. :tongue:

Tess
04-19-2004, 05:33 PM
Didn't like it. . .couldn't stand the smell--a cloying odor of woodsmoke and curry/cardamon or something. The smoke itself wasn't bothersome, but that curry/cardamon odor and cooking smells from the restaurant just did me in.

I didn't like the layout and the need to go to the "basement" first floor for the restaurants, etc. Once I saw the animals, wandered around and saw the exhibits, enjoyed the beauty of the lobby--I was ready to go. One day and night was enough. I guess I felt enclosed which is a necessity given it is an animal preserve. I just like more open spaces and an ability to get outside from about anywhere.

We, unlike almost everyone else, were not impressed with BOMA either--not our cup of tea I guess--too much sweet in the food for my tastes.

So, count us with the minority--didn't care for it. Frankly, we've spent some time wandering around WL and didn't really care for it either. Although, to be fair, we haven't stayed there. We have enjoyed our stays at all the other resorts, GF, BWI, BC/YC, CBR, POR, and, of course, our favorite--Polynesian. ;)

WDW LifeLong Fan
04-19-2004, 07:23 PM
..........................of life!

We have stayed at most WDW properties and have never really disliked any of them. However, we like some more than others.

This is one of my 2 DD's favorite resorts. We rotate our choices between the four of us and this has been on the cycle 2 times before. While we wouldn't want to stay there everytime, we like it there on occassion. (Theme, Pool, Animals, Views, Transportation)

We have never had issues with the transportation. In fact, we have found it to be among the fastest. Perhaps due to many dedicated bus routes. ::yes::

The beauty of WDW and this forum is the ability to share viewpoints and opinions without recourse.

I hope you enjoy your next selection better. I look forward to your next review.

:bounce: :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc :Pinkbounc

Tiffany
04-19-2004, 07:41 PM
Originally posted by candleonwater
Am I the only one who has stayed at AKL that really didn't like it? I went in, so excited, full of hope... and I can't even say exactly what it was that I didn't like... everyone was so nice, the savannah was beautiful... but we probably won't stay there again. I do know it was no fun waiting for a bus for MK... 45 minutes one morning, over 1/2 hour the next.

Next stop - Wilderness, and then it's back to Beach Club for us!

If the only negative you found about the AKL was the transportation I would say give it another try. We have stayed at the AKL a total of four times since it opened in April of 2001 and have never had a transporation issue. If anything I read more complaints about buses for the WL and the deluxe resorts that border EC then I have about AKL.

Snowysmom
04-19-2004, 07:45 PM
We really do like AKL but I do agree with the transportation problems. We had alot of long waits last summer. While waiting to go to MGM, a MGM bus came and just went back out through the gate. We drove and got there before the bus. We also waited 30 minutes for a bus to MK but ended up taking the one to Epcot and taking the monorail to MK. Everyone else at the MK stop did that too. It was funny to see a parade of people get off the Epcot bus and go right to the monorail for MK. Since our next trip in 3 years will probably be a budget trip, we will only be visiting AKL and staying at POFQ. It is a beautiful resort and I love the animals.

goin2disneyagain
04-19-2004, 08:24 PM
This is our absolute favorite resort. We never used their transportation because we always rent a car and this year we are driving our own car to WDW. I really didn't think the resort was that dark. Yes it is a little but it's not that bad, and like someone else said it makes things cooler. If we all like the same resort there wouldn't be a need for so many different resorts. It just leaves more rooms available for the rest of us that love AKL when others don't like it. :teeth: We'll be back to the lodge next month. Can't wait. :hyper:


:Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce:

johnnyr
04-19-2004, 08:35 PM
I felt the same way when we stayed at WL an CSR. I've never been to AKL, so I can't comment. What I learned from my experiences is don't believe everything you read. Everyone has different tastes. What appeals to one, doesn't appeal to another. We have been to WDW so many times that we have our favorites and they most likley will always be, but it's fun to see and do different things each trip. Heck, it's a good excuse to go again :) Go and have a great time!

hulabird
04-19-2004, 11:01 PM
We were there 2 years ago and were disappointed as well, in fact, we split a stay between there and CBR and prefered CBR hands down. I found the rooms at AKL to be dark and boring. The bus transportation sucked big time, plus the CM's were so clueless, when we first got there and asked about the bus service it took 4 CM's before we got that answer, NO ONE KNEW! I found that to be unbelieveable. The restaurants are ok (Boma is pretty nice) but other than that it was not my cup of tea.

DISNEYFAMILYOFFOUR
04-21-2004, 01:36 PM
We will be staying there for the first time for four nights after our cruise.

Honestly, it is not my choice (I wanted the Poly). My sister-in-law really, really want to stay at AKL so I gave in since she lets me make practically every decisison.

I am nervous about the transportation issue and room location.

I do not have high hopes, but I am sure the kids will love it for the animals.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

jcemom
04-21-2004, 02:14 PM
We were there for 10 days in February and never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus with one exception, on one afternoon DH waitied for about 20 minutes to get back to AKL from AK. Overall we thought the transportation was great.

We didn't find the rooms to be too dark at all. They aren't glaringly bright, but suit the overall atmosphere, which we found to be very relaxing. I was able to read and the boys built the Lego sets they picked up at Downtown Disney with no problems.

Of course, waking up to the giraffes just feet from our balcony every morning may have biased my perception somewhat! lol

Funny how everyone can have differing opinions on the same resort, huh?

currycook
04-21-2004, 02:21 PM
Always seems to be a love/hate relationship for some with the AKL. We have stayed there several times and have never had the long bus waits that some have said. We like the place very much, but obviously not everyone gets that same warm fuzzy feeling. That is the great thing about the choice the Disney provides.

tink2
04-21-2004, 02:36 PM
We did not hate the resort when we were there in Nov, we were just really disappointed! First off, the CMs were very clueless about everything!!! We had lots of trouble at check-in, liked to have never received bed rails- finally did the second night after 3-4 calls each night asking for them (they'll be up in 30 minutes:rolleyes: ), no one would help my brother's family with their luggage upon arrival- he asked 2 different bell hops, CM at check in gave us lots of wrong information about the savannahs and animals, etc. etc. etc.! The room was OK- but small for what I expected from a deluxe! The darkness did not bother me- seemed peaceful actually. We did not like the food in the food court- Mara, it all tasted 'weird'. I can't explain it, but we just stuck to pre-packaged stuff from there- nothing that had to be 'cooked'. The bus service was terrific the whole time we were there- and it was a busy time, Thanksgiving week. We never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus! It was a neat experience and I loved our savannah view- I just didn't feel it was worth rack rate- we got an upgrade due to POFQ closing. We spend too much time in the parks to pay regular price. I'm glad we didn't, I would have been mad as well as disappointed!

LakeAriel
04-21-2004, 03:32 PM
I just got back April 10 and won't go again. This though the lobby is beautiful, the savannah view breathtaking and the Boma buffet delicious. One, the drawer space was to small. Two regular size drawers? Not enough vanity space. The walk from the sunset savannah to the elevator gave me blisters. People were parking at the animal kingdom and taking the bus to the lodge to use the pool! So, no seats facing the pool for paying guests! I reported this on my return. This is also a problem with bus transportation. Everyone uses them tying them up for the resort guests. Hate to be stingy but something should be done about this too.:earsgirl: ::MinnieMo

Ever_After
04-21-2004, 04:59 PM
I loved it. I stayed there in May 2002~ had the breakest buffet~ loved that juice. I had no probelms with front desk and no we didn't use the bus transportation~ used our rental.

wannabee princess
04-21-2004, 06:17 PM
It does sound like people either have had wonderful experiences, or have been very disappointed. We loved our stay in December so much, we are returning this year.

Because we stayed concierge, I didn't have indepth interaction with the front desk (asking for the hidden mickey clues was about the total of it), but the staff in concierge and the bellman who took us to our room (Joe) were wonderful!!

As for the bus wait, I will say that we waited typically 10-15 minutes for the specific bus we wanted (always seemed every other location came in that 10-15 minutes! ;) ). As for the return to AKL I was pleased with that - we never had an overload of guests. I think we all four always got to sit - even after Illuminations or Wishes.

The plus side of my AKL experience far-outweighed the minus side. I think part of the problem is we all build up our Disney vacation to be the perfect trip, and even small problems or inconveniences make us feel that we are not getting that perfection. If I'm staying onsite, I am not unhappy!

Stitch 03
04-21-2004, 08:16 PM
I just recently spent a couple of nights at AKL and loved it. Being able to sit out on the balcony and watch the animals is an amazing experience.

That being said, there are two issues that would keep me form staying at AKL for more then 2 - 3 nights.

1) Transportation - though I had no specific problems, it does not compare with staying at either the Epcot or Monorail Resorts.

2) Dining - I loved both Boma and Jiko. But, I prefer having the greater variety that comes with the Epcot and Monorail Resorts.

I believe these issues arise due to the tenedency to compare AKL with the other deluxe resorts.

AKL is definitely a great experience and I would highly recommend that someone stay there for a couple of nights. For extended stays though, I would recommend splitting the stay with another resort.

#1hockeymom
04-21-2004, 08:47 PM
I just finished my third visit to AKL and loved every minute of it. My first visit was reg. savannah view, my second was a mix of reg savannah view and concierge, and my last was all concierge/deluxe savannah view. We never had any transportation problems barring how to get from putt putt golf to MGM, and everyone was in the same boat as the bus only went to EPCOT that late from Winter/Summerland. a 6.50 cent plus tip cab fare took care of that very quickly!

I do agree some rooms at AKL could use more drawer space. I'll just remember to request a room with the second dresser in it next time. My reg savannah view room during my January trip had that, while my deluxe savannah view didn't. I believe the extra dressers are scattered through many of the different room combinations.

Not everyone loves the same resorts, just as we all have different favorite foods. That is what makes us all unique! Enjoy planning your next trip!

Debbie

TikiGirl
04-21-2004, 10:18 PM
Love it so much in fact, my hubby & I were debating whether we would be happy staying anywhere else if money were no object.

We are going back there for our third stay in a row.
We love the smells, the atmosphere, the animals and the restaurants.
We've been lucky enough during our three stays to not run into any transportation issues.

We've always found the Cast extremely accomidating.

As for the location, while it does seem a bit far out, I think that might be what I like best about it. I find that with all the rush and hubbub we experience at the park, the pure serenity that we experience when we get back to the AKL after a loooonnnng day, is JUST the ticket!

For the record, we've stayed at OKW, ASMu, PO - Riverside. Probably the only other resort I would try would be the Poly. Other than that, it's AKL all the way for us.

I guess that's why it's so perfect that there are so many resorts to choose from. Something for everyone and every taste! :D

Only 6 more days till our next AKL stay!!!:bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc :bounce: :Pinkbounc

airhead
04-22-2004, 11:19 AM
It really does give me a better look at this resort. We'll be there in
a little over 2 months for a week and then moving over to the Dolphin for a week. I think it will be fun at both places and I think we'll find good and bad at both. Its a good thing that there are people that won't go back to AKL,more room for those who love it!!!

airhead(AKL......can't wait!!!!)
:thewave:

graygables
04-25-2004, 12:30 AM
We stayed 1 night in Dec, after 3 nights at the GF. DH said, "Why didn't we stay here in the 1st place?!?" DDs *loved* it, so when we returned in January, we stayed there again, for 5 nights. This time, it was my Mom who was impressed, so much that she skipped the parks a few days, just to wander and relax at the resort.

DH (mr. tough-guy, construction worker) and I (penny-pincher) both feel that this resort has *added value* in the entertainment off your balcony is wonderful! We had a terrible time pulling ourselves and our DDs away to go do things (y'know...eat?) No one wanted to take their eyes off the giraffes right out the window. Now, we enjoy visiting the zoo frequently, too, so that may have something to do with it! At the other resorts we visited, there just wasn't anything to *look* at.

In Dec and Jan we never waited more than 15 min for a bus and our longest ride was from the MK to the AKL, which took 35 minutes, including the bus wait. One morning, I went to DTD alone, walked onto an empty bus and had (according to the driver), my own "stretch limo" for the ride over. I have looked and looked at other resorts and cannot bring myself to stay anywhere else, mostly b/c of the ease of transportation that we experienced! The monorail broke down twice on our Dec trip, which makes for a very inconvenient trip to the MK!

Again, it's all about taste...I can almost smell the aroma wafting through the doors now...can't wait to be back in Nov!!!

jaysue
04-25-2004, 05:55 PM
I have stayed at AKL and really liked it a lot - had a Savannah deluxe view room almost at the end of the arc (a long walk but I like walking). Stayed 3 days/2 nights - used Disney Bus transport - longest wait just under 20 minutes and found the buses fast and efficient once moving.

Loved the lobby, smells, found the restaurant level a little getting used to (going to the basement) but ok once I figured out crossing the bridge and down to the basement etc.

I see AKL and WL as eliciting the most extreme feedback on these boards - negative and positive - I suspect due to the slightly odd locations and the over the top themeing for some people

The other thing I/we do when travelling is when we go to the bus stop for the parks, we often just get on the first bus that comes along and then go with the flow

Last threads I read on transport board indicated Disney was shy about 190 bus drivers and was recruiting big time

thanks
jaysue