Opinions on AKL?
If Disney is offering the 30% off hotel rates next year during march 2014 my three friends and I ages 18,17,17,17 will be staying at AKL. I have a few questions. Does disney do this deal every year? Also what are the things y'all like about AKL? And lastly should we do quick service or the regular dining?:)
I'm not a fan of AKL, due to its location...
There are other deluxe resorts with alot of extras in the area fir you to enjoy without taking a long bus ride...
EPCOT area resorts, BC, YC and BWI have each other to occupy your time...
MK area resorts, CR, Poly, GF and even WL all are within a stones throw of each other for dining, lounging and exploring... Plus FW...
The animals at AKL did nothing to enhance out stay at the resort plus the dining was not to our taste... It's the been there, not going back attitude for us with AKL... It's the other resort deluxe choices has more to offer !
If you do not think that waking up with a giraffe outside your window is awesome then AKL is not for you. But, if you are like me and you love seeing a giraffe outside your window then I would highly recommend it. Yes the transportation is a bit more difficult with only bus service but the buses are great. You only share with Kidani village whereas many of the other deluxes you share with multiple deluxe resorts. Really the longest drive is to MK which is 20 mins or so.
Besides the view I think that AKL has some of the best restaurants on property with Jiko being my favorite. We also loved Sanaa and enjoy boma for the buffet. the quick service at the Mara is great also. We spent nearly a whole day just exploring the resort and enjoying the pools and views. We walked all the hallways and loved looking for "secret" viewing points and animals that we had not seen before. There is a nightly campfire and night vision viewing and the lobby is pretty terrific.
I can't really pick out anything negative in our stay at AKL except that I spent too much time at the parks and not enough time on my balcony enjoying the view. AKL will always be our favorite resort and I had to talk myself into trying the Poly this year and I am still thinking of changing to AKL :)
As for the dining plans, we love them. Everybody has their own opinion but we love the idea of prepaid and preplanned. We do deluxe which is a lot of food but we have also done basic and enjoyed that as well.
Whatever you decide have a great time!!
Oh and :welcome:
For next year, if you're looking at early March, you may get lucky, because of when Easter falls (late April). In general, Disney's discounts fluctuate, and availability tends to be very specific nowadays. By this I mean, even though a discount is listed for certain dates, it doesn't mean that the discount will be available for every resort and room category. For example, even though the advertised spring discount for moderates was 25%...I heard someone say that they only managed to get 5% at Port Orleans French Quarter.
They adjust their discounts based on what they need.
If you want a discount, you have to be ok if there's no availability at your resort of choice. At AK, the standard view rooms sell out quickly.
As for AKL...we really enjoyed our stay there. I just loved the general theme and style of the resort. It's beautiful!
The value of the dining plan is very specific to your needs. It is NOT a good deal for us, and doesn't tend to be for all adult groups (people with kids between 3&9 with a lot of character meals tend to do well). It depends on what you like to eat. If everyone in your group likes to drink soda and get a dessert with every meal, then you may come out ahead. If you're fine drinking water, and only get a dessert sometimes or somewhere else, then paying out of pocket is usually better.
We tend to do 1 table service meal in addition to 2 counter service meals pretty much every day. We drink lots of water and like to get our desserts somewhere else a bit later.
Quick Service vs. Regular depends on how you want to eat. If you're going to do a table service every day, then the regular will probably be better. If you're only going to do 1 or 2 table service, then quick service would be better.
As others have said, discounts in March are pretty rare. Furthermore, I could be wrong, but historically AKL (and WL) get smaller discounts than the other deluxes (think 20-25% if the deluxes are getting a 30% discount) AND typically the discounts only apply to the standard view rooms.
That said, AKL (and WL) is a good way to get the benefits of a deluxe (bigger rooms, interior corridors, more dining options, balconies, etc.) for a lower price, especially if there aren't discounts for when you are going. As others have pointed out, AKL is the most isolated resort from the parks (with the obvious exception of the Animal Kingdom itself), but its not terrible. Once you get on a bus, the furthest park is the MK, which is about 20 minutes away.
If you think you are going to be spending most of your time at the MK, but want a deluxe resort for less money, you might want to look at the WL. It's usually similarly priced to the AKL and has boat transportation to the MK. Furthermore, it was recently renovated and they got rid of the gross polyester comforters that still haunt the rooms of the AKL. Another thing to consider, given that your group is all friends, is both the AKL and WL offer rooms with bunkbeds. For a little bit more you could ensure that only 2 people have to share a bed.
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