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Old 10-06-2012, 11:10 AM   #1
bamabrit04
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Animal Kingdom Lodge vs Grand Floridian

We are trying to decide which resort to stay at for our Disneymoon. We have pretty much narrowed it down to Animal Kingdom Lodge and Grand Floridian. Bay Tower is a close third, but I think we have ruled it out. I have always wanted to stay at the Grand Floridian, but I also think being able to stand outside on your balcony and see animals would also be really neat! I am curious what everyone else thinks. I am doing some more research on my own, but anyone who has stayed there might have some great pros and cons as well! Thanks!
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Old 10-06-2012, 12:21 PM   #2
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Congrats on your upcoming wedding! Both resorts are wonderful and a great place for a Disneymoon. We've stayed at both so just some thoughts on both.

Grand Floridian:
-Better location, easy access to two parks and other resorts in the area
-on the monorail
-more dining options, plus CR and Poly are close by, especially important if you are doing the DDxP since it'll be easier to get to your reservations. And it is awesome to just walk back to your room after dinner and not have to worry about getting back to your resort.
-Two pools, better slide at Beach Pool
-more recreation options, spa, marina, tea room

cons:
-price


AKL:
-more remote location, which can be a good thing during a honeymoon
-Animals off the balcony really is amazing. I loved that about this resort. It was always fun to see what the animals were up to when we went back to our room for midday breaks.
-theming of resort is really unique
-price is lower, so you can splurge on other things

cons:
-location, other resorts and dining options can be a hassle to get to
-only bus transportation
-only 1 pool (not sure if you can use the Kidani pool when staying in Jambo)

You will have a great time whichever resort you choose, they are both great for different reasons.
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Old 10-07-2012, 10:24 AM   #3
bamabrit04
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Thanks so much! I loved the pros and cons!
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:50 PM   #4
chris31997
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You can use both pools at AKL but it might be a walk or a "bus" ride. They have a shuttle that runs between the two of them.

I think it would come down to price, location and theme. AKL would be more exotic and fun while Grand Floridian would be more Victorian. If you and your party will have your own cars, AKL will be fine transportation-wise. Unless you are like me and directionally challenged

You can go to the RESORT Forum and check out both threads about the resorts and "see" them.
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Old 10-07-2012, 09:23 PM   #5
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I cant tell you about our expierence at Grand Floridian (since it has been like 15 years since Ive stayed there), but we are planning a Disney wedding/honeymoon trip and we are staying at both Grand Floridian for 4 nights and Animal Kingdom Lodge for 3 nights. We have stayed at Animal Kingdom when we got engaged at Disney in August 2011. We had a Savannah view room, and it was amazing to see the animals from our room. The resort is also very pretty and we went to Jiko to eat there one night and LOVED the food...

Are you guys able to do a split stay so you could expierence both resorts?

Here are some pictures of the animals from our balcony...



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Old 10-07-2012, 11:08 PM   #6
bamabrit04
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We will be driving there, and we don't think the fact that the AKL is so "far" away is an issue for us. We are prepared to plan accordingly. I have stayed at the All Star resorts MANY times, and while it isn't AS far away as AKL, it still is a pretty good drive. And I have never had a problem with that.

We briefly considered the split stay, but not between GF and AKL. See, originally we were going to do 5 days at WDW and do a 3 day cruise. But we convinced ourselves that would be too tiring. We are getting married in Destin, and we will already be there for a week prior to the honeymoon. So we then opted for just WDW (I cruise at least once a year anyways, not Disney cruises however). The split stay option was going to be with a deluxe resort (Poly, GF, AKL, or Beach Club) and POR. We were against Poly and BC since we are going to be at the beach a whole week before, and we practically go to the beach once a month it seems like.

Our reasoning for not doing split stay with POR and GF/AKL was because we were afraid we'd be too stressed. I have never done a split stay, so I wasn't sure how smoothly it would work on 'transition' day. Since we ruled it out in that scenario, we haven't even discussed it for GF and AKL.

Have you done the split stay before? Is it a pretty smooth transition? We just didn't want the stress of not having a room for half the day or something.

BTW, your pictures are AWESOME of the view! What savannah was your room located? I have read there are three.

Congrats on the wedding! My fiancé's mom wanted us to do a Disney Wedding, but one--his family is too big and would all want to come which would make it TOO expensive, and two--I have always wanted a beach wedding and we are getting married on the same beach/area he proposed.
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Old 10-08-2012, 06:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamabrit04 View Post
We will be driving there, and we don't think the fact that the AKL is so "far" away is an issue for us. We are prepared to plan accordingly. I have stayed at the All Star resorts MANY times, and while it isn't AS far away as AKL, it still is a pretty good drive. And I have never had a problem with that.

We briefly considered the split stay, but not between GF and AKL. See, originally we were going to do 5 days at WDW and do a 3 day cruise. But we convinced ourselves that would be too tiring. We are getting married in Destin, and we will already be there for a week prior to the honeymoon. So we then opted for just WDW (I cruise at least once a year anyways, not Disney cruises however). The split stay option was going to be with a deluxe resort (Poly, GF, AKL, or Beach Club) and POR. We were against Poly and BC since we are going to be at the beach a whole week before, and we practically go to the beach once a month it seems like.

Our reasoning for not doing split stay with POR and GF/AKL was because we were afraid we'd be too stressed. I have never done a split stay, so I wasn't sure how smoothly it would work on 'transition' day. Since we ruled it out in that scenario, we haven't even discussed it for GF and AKL.

Have you done the split stay before? Is it a pretty smooth transition? We just didn't want the stress of not having a room for half the day or something.

BTW, your pictures are AWESOME of the view! What savannah was your room located? I have read there are three.

Congrats on the wedding! My fiancé's mom wanted us to do a Disney Wedding, but one--his family is too big and would all want to come which would make it TOO expensive, and two--I have always wanted a beach wedding and we are getting married on the same beach/area he proposed.
We have done a split stay before... the transistion is pretty good. They will actually hold your luggage and transfer it to your new resort and have them hold it if you want to go enjoy a park. Our stuff has always been safe (but you could put luggage locks on if you want). It really isnt that stressful, and last time when we did it our room was ready early at the next place, so we were technically without a room for like 2 hours. Some people dont like split stays, but we dont mind them and actually like them that way you get to expierence 2 different resorts. I dont know if I'd do a split stay for a day at one and a day at another but anything longer than that I would.

Our room was a Arusha Savannah view, on zebra trail. We were on the 3rd floor. It was perfect.... I have a thing for giaraffs (sp?) and they were right there! LOVED IT!

Thanks for the congrats on the wedding. Im starting to get really stressed out! Its 61 days away today!

Congrats to you for your wedding day! The thing that made Disney affordable to us was that we are only having 30 guests, so I hear you on the fact that if its big it gets more expensive. Awww you are getting married the same place that he proposed too?!?! Thats cool!

We got engaged at Disney
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Michelle & Jeff's 12/8/12 Disney Wishes Wedding WP/GF/DP Morocco - Planning Journal and Trip Report!!
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2850449
Our Wedding / Honeymoon Trip - 8 Day Deluxe Dining Plan Review With Pictures!!! Didn't finish...
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3037533
Michelle - Jeff (DH) - Chanel (Maltese Puppy)
Disney Trips: AP - for as long as I can remember - AKL 8/2011, GF 12/2012 & AKL 12/2012, CBR 9/2013 & GF 12/2013, CBR 8/2014 & GF 12/2014
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Old 10-08-2012, 02:54 PM   #8
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A split stay is fine on one front, moving between the hotels is really easy, but on the other re-packing mid way through can take up time.

We did both AKL and GF on our honeymoon although GF for only only night, if I could afford it i'd stay at the GF, so many pros and to me the only con being the price.
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Old 10-08-2012, 04:04 PM   #9
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GF is way too stuffy for me and DH. We eat at some of the restaurants and sometimes relax in the lobby for a few mins, but it's not our style. We feel out of place even then.

AKL is our absolute favorite resort! LOL....It's upscale and classy, but relaxed at the same time. You can't beat the theming, the restaurants or seeing zebra and giraffe from your balcony!

You could do a split stay if you're really torn....but my vote is for AKL!
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:29 AM   #10
AdelineandSidney
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Akl

AKL...stayed there 3 times... and on our weddingmoon. I suggest club level. I'm returning to a pool view only since APH offered a big discount but normally I wouldn't settle for less than club on AKL.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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I was amazed at how easy a split stay was - we did saratoga springs to ASMu and it was a seamless transition!
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Old 10-10-2012, 11:34 PM   #12
bamabrit04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdelineandSidney View Post
AKL...stayed there 3 times... and on our weddingmoon. I suggest club level. I'm returning to a pool view only since APH offered a big discount but normally I wouldn't settle for less than club on AKL.
Is club level really worth the price difference? I would have to do some real convincing for my fiancé to buy it!
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:07 PM   #13
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Congrats Bamabrit! First of all no matter where you choose to stay, you're going to look back on this honeymoon as the best vacation ever! We did a split stay between WL villas (1 week) and GF (3 days). I had always wanted to stay at the GF so my fiancé surprised me with the extra 3 nights there. Looking back now (5 years later), the most memorable part of the trip was the time we spent at WL. Don't get me wrong---GF is beautiful & I had always thought of it as my dream hotel, but in the end it seemed a little stuffy/fancy for us, with not as much to do. I almost felt like I needed to "look appropriate" for walking around the resort. (of course there is no actual dress code---I just felt like the hotel was too fancy for my t-shirt & shorts!).

The actual resort-switching was not a big deal. We had a rental car so that made it easy. I don't even remember what we did on that "transition day" but that means it couldn't have been too stressful! I liked switching resorts---it made the trip feel like 2 different trips & gave me something to look forward to as week 1 was drawing to a close.

If you do just decide on one resort, I would go for the one with your favorite theming. Either way though you will have a great time--those are 2 good choices!
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:08 PM   #14
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We always change hotels while at WDW, and usually we book 3 hotels. Changing rooms is easy. I have even been know to throw stuff in a plastic bag and give it too the bellman with no problems.

As for Club level, it depends, I love it at the Contemporary and Yacht CLub, was disappointed at BW, but have never stayed club level at AKL. The rooms are on levels 4 and maybe 5 so they are a little higher up and away from the animals. I like the 3rd floor Arusha Savannah View, but that is just me.
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Old 11-09-2012, 05:46 PM   #15
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AKL is amazing. I've stayed there 3 times and each time I fall in love with it again and again. Besides the animals and beautiful location and decorations, it feels secluded. It almost feels like you're not even at Disney which is nice. It's relaxing and quiet, but a bus ride to a park where you can go crazy. I love the music that's played there and teh restaurants are good, too.

My dream is to stay at GF, just for the experience. But, for now, AKL gives me the best of both worlds...a luxerious vacation and my love for all things Disney.

Congratulations and good luck on your decision!!!!
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