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Old 03-01-2013, 11:41 AM   #1
harrowgirl
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Wilderness Lodge vs Animal Kingdom Lodge

Travelling with 2 children (say ages 20 months and almost 4)

Pros/Cons of WL vs. AKL?
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:49 AM   #2
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Both are lovely resorts but with the ages of your children I think the WL will be better for you since it is only a ferry ride to and from the Magic Kingdom, and the monorail resorts which offer some very good dining choices. AKL isn't close to anything but Animal Kingdom and you still have to take a bus.
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Old 03-01-2013, 11:56 AM   #3
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We went to AKL last year with our kids- they were 15 months and 2.5 years old, they loved seeing the animals in the savannah, the pool, the lobby had some really cool sights and sounds, and a kick butt play ground area.

For us, part of why AKL worked and not WL was that after the kids go to sleep I wanted to be able to sit out on the balcony, and with a 1br villa I was able to access the balcony from the bedroom. WL balcony access is in the living room, which is where the kids' pack and plays were set up.

WL seems like a fun place though!
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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I haven't stayed at either one but have visited both. Even if you stay at WL, you can go over to AKL to show the kids the animals. The front desk has print out of the animals and your kids can have fun finding the animals at the different areas. They also have night time vision goggles if you're there at night. If you're interested in the nightly outdoor movies, AKL offers two movies instead of just one at WL.

WL has a hidden mickey printout that is fun for the older child as well as the outdoor geyser that goes off. WL also offers a short walk over to the campground. This is nice for the kids to get to stretch their legs. You can also take the boat over to the campground. You can take the kids on the pony ride for a reasonable cost.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:13 PM   #5
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We've stayed at both and love both. But we don't have kids, so take the feedback for what it's worth.

Plusses of AKL - Some friends who do have kids around the same age as yours stayed at AKL, and they said their boys loved it. They're animal people, of course, and they really liked the pool area. We prefer the food options at AKL but the only transportation are the busses.

Plusses of WL - close to MK, boat ride to MK is sweet, electric water parade is fun. Able to rent watercraft, surrey bikes. Nice pool area - not as big as AKL, tho. Feels northwoodsey.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:20 PM   #6
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Both are great. Normally I'd give the edge to AKL because of the novelty of watching animals right outside your room. With two little ones though I'd guess your focus is the MK in which case WL is more convenient.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #7
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AKL is magical. We love staying there and sitting out on our balcony and watching the animals roam about. WL looks very nice (haven't stayed there).

WL is more convenient to the MK, but not to the other parks. If you plan to spend most of your time at the MK, I'd pick WL. But if you are splitting evenly between the 4 parks, I'd pick AKL. (because where else can you feel like you are on safari without leaving the US?)
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:40 PM   #8
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I love both resorts. They are very similar in style.

I honestly would vote for AKL for the young ones, as I feel like the animals (and the amazing pool) are a bigger draw. Sure, it's only a boat ride from MK, but it's not nearly as convenient to any of the monorail resorts.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:45 PM   #9
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We love AKL the best, but I would 100% choose WL b/c of the quick access to MK. There is also a little "beach" area at the lake and you can take the boat over to Ft Wilderness and walk around and also go to the camp fire and do a chip and dale sing a long which is free everynight. you can also roast marshmellows--they sell kits. There is a pond area where you can fish, if you want--rent or bring a little rod for your 4 yr old--very fun.
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Old 03-01-2013, 03:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rafikifan
Both are lovely resorts but with the ages of your children I think the WL will be better for you since it is only a ferry ride to and from the Magic Kingdom, and the monorail resorts which offer some very good dining choices. AKL isn't close to anything but Animal Kingdom and you still have to take a bus.
We've done both and as stated above, AKL is close to nothing..... You either survive with what's at the Lodge or bus to far places..

WL, close to the MK, FW and CR.... You have access to 3 other deluxe resorts and their dining options and FW has some of the best buffet on property...

We were greatly disappointed in AKL, not anything to our liking from location to food to bare Savannah's ..

WL has served us greatly for over 10+ stays, location being number 1.... With ambiance and compactness running second and third!
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pepe of ohio View Post
We've done both and as stated above, AKL is close to nothing..... You either survive with what's at the Lodge or bus to far places..

WL, close to the MK, FW and CR.... You have access to 3 other deluxe resorts and their dining options and FW has some of the best buffet on property...

We were greatly disappointed in AKL, not anything to our liking from location to food to bare Savannah's ..

WL has served us greatly for over 10+ stays, location being number 1.... With ambiance and compactness running second and third!
Ditto what this guy said. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a dirt pit with a few animals scattered through-out. I could NOT believe how blah the whole place was. Except for the restaurants the whole place is just so "meh"
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Old 03-01-2013, 04:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harrowgirl
Travelling with 2 children (say ages 20 months and almost 4)

Pros/Cons of WL vs. AKL?
We have stayed at both.

AKL is beautiful, our room was the cleanest of any Disney room we've ever had, and watching animals from the balcony of our room was awesome. That being said, it's just too far removed from everything for our liking. If you plan to spend a lot of time at the resort, you will love it. If you plan to take mid-day breaks, the travel to and from AKL with such young children will probably drive you nuts.

If you want to be closer to the Magic Kingdom, go with the Wilderness Lodge. It's a lovely resort, the pool is very nice, and proximity to MK is great.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:37 PM   #13
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We've stayed at both and love both for different reasons. I do agree with others that WL is more convenient to MK if that's where you will be spending alot of time, but I don't agree with the transportation being bad (although that's my opinion as we thought the buses were fine during our stays). AKL is out away from everything, but in our experience, the buses were fine and we didn't find it to take more than about 5 extra minutes to get to any of the parks from there vs other resorts. I think the kids would like either resort. Both have a great pool, great TS restaurants, and great CS options. The rooms are the same size and both have the option of bunk beds. Good luck deciding, although I don't think you can go wrong with either one as they are both great places to stay.
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Old 03-01-2013, 06:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackacex2 View Post
Animal Kingdom Lodge is a dirt pit with a few animals scattered through-out. I could NOT believe how blah the whole place was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcthree View Post

AKL is beautiful, our room was the cleanest of any Disney room we've ever had, and watching animals from the balcony of our room was awesome.
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I firmly believe you have to go with your gut. Clearly one person's paradise is another's trash pit.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:48 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackacex2

Ditto what this guy said. Animal Kingdom Lodge is a dirt pit with a few animals scattered through-out. I could NOT believe how blah the whole place was. Except for the restaurants the whole place is just so "meh"
Have you even stayed there? The resort is gorgeous, with so many different areas to hang out or explore. I get saying a resort wasn't for you, but calling it a dirt pit comes across as nuts.

OP, with the age of your kids, I'd agree that WL would work best for you. You can so easily take the boat to and from MK and also CR. Maybe save AKL for when your kids are a little older, because you will love it! It really is a spectacular place to stay, you feel transported there(at least we did).
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