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Old 02-05-2013, 08:00 PM   #556
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Originally Posted by archdandy View Post
I'm really torn here. When I first started looking at renting DVC points for AKL there wasn't any availability for standard view so I had to go with savannah view. But now standard view has opened up for our dates and I'm wondering if I should keep going with the savannah view or just choose standard and hope we get a good savannah view. I know that a good portion of the resort rooms have savannah views anyways and if we picked standard it would save us a couple hundred dollars. What would you guys do?
I would stick with savannah view, it's so wonderful!
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #557
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Originally Posted by John's Mom View Post
What's so funny about TP?
I bring my own Charmin on trips. I happily accept if that means I'm crazy. One should be as comfortable on vacation as at home.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:16 PM   #558
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto

I bring my own Charmin on trips. I happily accept if that means I'm crazy. One should be as comfortable on vacation as at home.
I work for the government. After using their TP at work, everything at Disney feels like a cloud!!!

This thread has taken a very strange path...

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:21 PM   #559
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Hi all!

I hope this is the right place for my questions so please let me know if I should post this on the general thread if its not the right place!

We (me, dh, dd (will be 9) & ds (will be 11)) are going on our first Disney cruise for Christmas this year and have decided to extend our stay after for WDW. We've only been to WDW once, in 2010, and we camped at FW so I have no knowledge whatsoever of the resorts. After doing an exhausting online search, I have fallen in love with AKL (which I'm assuming is the correct abbreviation for Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is different than the Animal Kingdom Villa right?) It's a bit more than I wanted to pay but welcome to WDW! Any way, I would love a Savannah view with the bunk beds (which I think is way cool that they have this option!), is it worth the extra money to, pay for this resort and the upgraded view when we are only going to be here for 3 nights? What is the safari like, is it a must do? I was thinking we could do this on arrival day since we will be coming straight from the ship. (Not sure we'd be up for the parks our first day off the ship so I'm hoping for a relaxing day at the resort.) Is it hard to get reservations for the safari?

Do I book directly on the disney site or through a travel agent? Do they offer discounts or am I too late for that (end of Dec. 2013).

Sorry for the novel! I'm a bit overwhelmed if you hadn't noticed already, lol! Thanks so much in advance for any help!! I really appreciate it!
I agree with everything that's already been said.

I'm not sure of the age limit on the safari, I'm thinking its 12. I'm hoping someone else chimes in here.

Last year I did a cruise first and then three nights at AKL. It was like a vacation after a vacation, totally wonderful. To offset cost you might consider renting points. I don't think they've started discounts for December but I might be wrong on that.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:23 PM   #560
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I was very excited to see how yummy it looks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkocto
I don't think they've started discounts for December but I might be wrong on that.
Last December they offered free dining, so you could get lucky!

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Old 02-05-2013, 08:24 PM   #561
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I work for the government. After using their TP at work, everything at Disney feels like a cloud!!!

This thread has taken a very strange path...

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I'm sure!

I feel very passionately about my TP

For the hundreds of dollars a night they charge at AKL I wish they would provide some nicer paper goods.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:43 PM   #562
TruBlu
I was very excited to see how yummy it looks!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinkocto

I'm sure!

I feel very passionately about my TP

For the hundreds of dollars a night they charge at AKL I wish they would provide some nicer paper goods.
At least their shampoo & lotion smells heavenly!!!!

Anybody know if I can buy the lotion anywhere?

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:02 PM   #563
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Whether or not it is worth the extra money is something only you can decide. I have stayed as little as two nights and enjoyed the resort and stayed as many as five at one time. I would not plan anything the day I arrive anywhere, but that's just me.

It all depends on which safari you want to do as well. The Sunset Safari runs a couple hundred dollars per person per night because a gourmet meal at an African restaurant is included. I'm not sure how used to fine dining your DDs are, but they might not appreciate a $200pp meal even if it comes with a safari.

The other safaris are the Sunrise (only available to CL level guests) and the nighttime safari which begins at 10PM. Not sure that something that finishes close to midnight is appropriate for kids. Besides at Christmas time the weather will be very cold. We were freezing when we did it last week and that was in February during a somewhat warm spot.

If you have questions, you'll need to give a couple days for folks to get back to you, as not everyone is on the boards every day. Some of us are even at WDW right now!
It just dawned on me that 10 pm seems awfully late for a safari to begin! I just looked it up and it actually starts at 4pm. Maybe it gets over with at 10pm which is just fine for my kids on a vacation!
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:07 PM   #564
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
I agree with everything that's already been said.

I'm not sure of the age limit on the safari, I'm thinking its 12. I'm hoping someone else chimes in here.

Last year I did a cruise first and then three nights at AKL. It was like a vacation after a vacation, totally wonderful. To offset cost you might consider renting points. I don't think they've started discounts for December but I might be wrong on that.
So happy to hear you were there after a cruise! The majority on the cruise board says to do WDW before the cruise but it just doesn't work with our schedules to do it before. I was really doubting WDW after and was thinking of doing something else but now I'm really excited for AKL!

The safari is called the Wanyama Safari and Dinner and luckily its ages 8 and up so we are good!

Thanks again so much!
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:09 PM   #565
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Last December they offered free dining, so you could get lucky!

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Did they offer that through Disney or through DVC? Should I wait to book then?
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:13 PM   #566
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1) I work in a hospital. I also have a 'pampered heiny' so hate that TP. AKL is softer but not squishy soft n fluffy. I pack flush able wipes. Soft and fresh .

2) Sunrise Safari is available to guests staying CL. Open to the whole family. That's important to note--I didn't realize that q until check in and missed out. Wanyama Safari (sp?) is an evening Safari that concluded with a meal at Jiko's. The age is 8+. The new Night Vision Safari is new. It starts at 945pm and is for guests 10+. My DD (12) wrote a review a few pages back.

3) I think if you can spend the money without being worried then spend it. We love AKL. My usual complaint is that we don't spend enough time at the resort. Try to take a day to just enjoy.

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Old 02-05-2013, 09:17 PM   #567
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Originally Posted by Pinkocto View Post
I'm sure!

I feel very passionately about my TP

For the hundreds of dollars a night they charge at AKL I wish they would provide some nicer paper goods.
Between the TP discussions and the Commando touring, things are taking a strange turn.

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Originally Posted by bluesky1997 View Post
Did they offer that through Disney or through DVC? Should I wait to book then?
Free dining is only ever offered for cash stays booked directly through Disney. DVC stays are never eligible. (Though the money people say they save by renting can make up for the free dining depending on how many people you have.)
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:19 PM   #568
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Originally Posted by bluesky1997 View Post
It just dawned on me that 10 pm seems awfully late for a safari to begin! I just looked it up and it actually starts at 4pm. Maybe it gets over with at 10pm which is just fine for my kids on a vacation!
There are three different safaris

Sunrise Safari - starts as early as 6:00AM as late as 7:00AM, open to CL guests only and takes place in AK, this is priced at around $40 and includes a buffet breakfast

Wanyama (Sunset) Safari - Starts at 4PM, takes place on AK grounds, runs about 2 hours and includes dinner at Jiko served family style with other safari guests. Runs about $200pp, a little less for CL guests.

Nighttime Safari - This is not well promoted and not known even amongst booking agents. It was recently offered. Starts at 10PM, takes place on AK grounds runs about 60-75 minutes. Does not include any food or snacks, but perhaps blankets and night vision goggles. Costs about $80pp.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:23 PM   #569
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Free dining is only ever offered for cash stays booked directly through Disney. DVC stays are never eligible. (Though the money people say they save by renting can make up for the free dining depending on how many people you have.)[/QUOTE]

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Originally Posted by franandaj View Post
There are three different safaris

Sunrise Safari - starts as early as 6:00AM as late as 7:00AM, open to CL guests only and takes place in AK, this is priced at around $40 and includes a buffet breakfast

Wanyama (Sunset) Safari - Starts at 4PM, takes place on AK grounds, runs about 2 hours and includes dinner at Jiko served family style with other safari guests. Runs about $200pp, a little less for CL guests.

Nighttime Safari - This is not well promoted and not known even amongst booking agents. It was recently offered. Starts at 10PM, takes place on AK grounds runs about 60-75 minutes. Does not include any food or snacks, but perhaps blankets and night vision goggles. Costs about $80pp.
Thank you both for clarifying so much for me! Now I'm just down to reserving the room and making sure I have room in my luggage for TP!
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:27 PM   #570
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Originally Posted by bluesky1997 View Post
It's a bit more than I wanted to pay but welcome to WDW! Any way, I would love a Savannah view with the bunk beds (which I think is way cool that they have this option!), is it worth the extra money to, pay for this resort and the upgraded view when we are only going to be here for 3 nights? What is the safari like, is it a must do? I was thinking we could do this on arrival day since we will be coming straight from the ship. (Not sure we'd be up for the parks our first day off the ship so I'm hoping for a relaxing day at the resort.) Is it hard to get reservations for the safari?

Do I book directly on the disney site or through a travel agent? Do they offer discounts or am I too late for that (end of Dec. 2013).
You might find just 3 nights @ AKL more palatable than a week some other time. Yes it is expensive but for a few nights, you may be able to afford the splurge.

I wouldn't risk the safari day of arrival. If anything happens with the arrival or transportation & you miss it you could be out a lot of money.

As for using a TA that is a personal preference thing. Many folks like to be completely hands on with planning & controling their trips.
Personally, for us, a TA is a must use! Google around & there are several that do just WDW (we use Magic for Less). A good one will be fee-free for you (they get paid by WDW if you book the trip).
I like having someone do the "heavy lifting" on the math and comparing packages & discounts (since all discounts are not created equally!). Plus it helps to have someone to bounce ideas off of, get feedback from & have in your corner if something gets screwed up. Would you rather spend the day on the phone fixing it? Or let them do that while you park tour? Not that it happens often, but when it does they are a big help!

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Originally Posted by ddixon1 View Post
Holy crap. Thanks for the description.
Makes me tired just thinking about it!

I get the idea that people want to maximize their value by getting the most in per minute.

Personally, I get too cranky if I get tired or hungry or uncomfortable. Best advice I heard was if you aren't enjoying it what is the real value? Memories of a cranky trip? Go take a nap. Ever since then we've done less at a slower pace but been much happier.
All depends on your personality & stamina.
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