11-14-2004, 03:04 PM
We're checking into Saratoga Springs for 4 days then moving to AKL Concierge.
I'd love to hear about checking in/staying to either or hotel.
I've never stayed at AKL let alone there CL and I've never even seen SSR in person. So this trip we'll be total newbies!! After all 80+ trips to WDW! I get to feel like a newbie!
(We're gonna do Disney Quest too. Never done that either.)
11-15-2004, 12:09 PM
Come on! Someone has got to have something for me!
11-15-2004, 01:45 PM
We've done the AKL concierge twice and this year we stayed at our home resort SSR for the first time. Both are beautiful.
Next year we're staying at SSR July 3,4 and 5 then switching to AKL concierge for the next five days...
Saratoga is beautiful. We stayed this year in a Grand VIlla and it was right by the quiet pool and had a gorgeous view of Downtown Disney. The 4th of July fireworks were right over our balcony and they were fantastic! Check in was easy and the cast members were very nice and helpful. We walked to Pleasure Island and the bus service was right outside the door. We stayed in the Congress Park building and I'm not sure if there are other bus stops sprinkled througout the resort?
On the 4th, we went to Walmart and got steaks and burgers and barbequed by the quiet pool. The barbeque area was so close to our Villa, we could carry on a conversation with my mom from the balcony! The grounds are lovely and at night, by the pool, with the music playing (smooth jazz!) was the most relaxing time I've ever had.
As far as the AKL.. we absolutely love it! When we went the first time in 2001, my parents and nephews didn't even know we were staying there, as a matter of fact, they didn't even know there was such a thing as the Animal Kingdom Lodge, it was our first stay on property and my sister and I told my Dad we had to go pick up some coupons, well hearing coupons, it didn't take much to get him going! We pulled up to the gate and I told the guard we were checking in and he said my name and mouths dropped open in the van! After all that, my dad still hadn't caught on and when we pulled up to the door he jumped out to use the bathroom while I "picked up the coupons"! The bellman asked him on the way into the lobby if we were checking in and he said, "no we're just picking up some coupons"....good grief!
If you stay concierge, the bellman takes you directly to your room, you don't have to check in at the desk. Your room keys are coded to get you to the sixth floor.
Everyone was so enamored of the Concierge Lounge and Andrea, who I had been in contact with over the months, came to our rooms and brought lovely gifts for my parents. They still talk about that today. I think the Concierge sends out a questionnaire 90 days before you check in, you can do your requests, priority seating, show tickets etc., or you can email them too.
The concierge floor is very relaxing and it has a beautiful view of the lobby below. We have pictures of my parents fast asleep on the couch two years in a row! The food is great, it comes from Bomas and Jikos and the various juices are delicious. I've heard the coffee machine is great also, (I don't drink coffee but it's some kind of newfangled machine that my mom raves over).
The pool is a good size and you can see some animals from the pool area. Bomas is our favorite restaurant and we have dinner there the first night and breakfast our last morning. If you can, do the Sunrise Safari, you get to enter the Animal Kingdom before it opens for a private safari and you get a beautiful breakfast at Tusker House. Then you get fast passes for the safari when the park opens.
The Mara is a nice little restaurant by the pool, not too expensive and it's a nice place to sit to get out of the heat and do some people watching. The background music is very soothing and the African cast members are friendly and they'll answer any questions you may have. Zawadi Marketplace has a lot of artwork and clothing and a small refrigerated area.
Being able to see animals from your balcony is great, but they don't always appear when it's convenient for you! Most of the time they're out but if they aren't, don't get discouraged, there's plenty of places you can see the animals.
The bus service is great, it serves only the AKL and the wait time was no more than 10 or 15 minutes at the most and the buses were rarely filled. When you leave, the bellman gives you bottles of water for your journey after leaving the AKL.
I hope you have a great time at SSR and AKL, they're both beautiful in their own way. Don't forget that you can get your luggage transferred from one resort to the other, just be sure that if you do, you have a what you need for the short term with you just in case your room isn't ready at your second resort.
Hope this helps!
11-17-2004, 10:35 AM
Wow, thanks TiggersGirl.
Being the only one to respond and all your detail oriented info!
I am looking forward to get check in to both places. It's not too often we stay at totally new resorts (new to us, anyway).
Sounds like we're really gonna like our stay.
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