|06-20-2013, 08:27 PM||#1|
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: KC MO area
AKL CL Experience
My DH and DS (4) made our first trip to WDW last week and we stayed club level at AKL. As a first timer I wanted to provide some feedback and info for others.
First, we loved AKL. It has really beautiful theming and tons of visual interest -- and the animals. If you love animals it's really a fun experience.
We arrived early the day of our first night. The hotel computer systems were down. We requested, with the club concierge, to be over on the zebra trail close to the pool and mentioned that I have a bad foot and difficulty walking. We headed off to the pool and awaited notification that the system was up and running.
Late in the afternoon the system was still down. However, they assigned us a room and let us know that they would not be able to load our tickets onto our key cards until the system was back up. Our room was on the 2nd floor (I understood club level to be on the 4th) and about as far away from the zebra trail and pool as one could be and still be on the Arusha savanna. It also had bunk beds -- HUGE hit with my son. We understood that they couldn't guarantee the locale we wanted and rolled with it. We figure we had a better view of the animals on the second floor instead of the 4th. We really enjoyed watching the animals from our balcony. We continued to have issues with our cards while we were there. Frustrating to get to the room and not be able to get in and have to hoof it all the way back. But not a big deal and all CMs were pleasant and helpful.
We thoroughly enjoyed our Sunrise Safari. Fabulous. Our guides were very knowledgeable and equally personable. A couple of them had breakfast with us. It is obvious they love what they do for a living and it shows. The breakfast was a nice buffet with an omelette bar. I'm sorry I don't have pictures. We are still traveling and I have no access to the photos. In addition to the omelette bar, our buffet had biscuits and gravy (my fave), banana French toast, plantains, grits. Sausage and peppers, bacon, potatoes, scrambled eggs, and an assortment of juices.
The kilimanjaro club had pastries, fruit, and cereal in the morning. Appetizers included a cheese plate, olives, hummus, and a couple of hot apps. I enjoyed the olives and hummus. Dessert varied. I was able to get my much needed iced tea in the morning -- I just had to ask.
Now, Disney loyalists don't flame me for this but there were some so called negatives. Although the room was fine in many respects, we found it to be small. We found ourselves lounging in the evening in the Kilimanjaro Club while my son watched Disney Junior because we did not feel comfortable doing the same in our room. If you're the type that likes to spread out and relax in your room in the evening I'm not sure Disney hotels are for you -- unless you can swing a suite or DVC perhaps. I looked at the square footage of the Disney resort rooms and I'm not sure any of the regular rooms would have been spacious enough for us to feel comfortable for a long stay -- including the Poly and GF rooms. That's just us. My husband, who is laid back, could not get out of there fast enough once the animals wore off.
We did go over to the Poly one evening for Wishes and the EWP. My son LOVED playing there on the beach. We liked the feel.
I think what we learned from our first trip is this: we would someday go back to AKL for a short stay. We enjoyed so much of it including the fabulous pool. We might do a stay at the Poly on a future trip for the above mentioned reasons. Having said this going offsite with a large comparably inexpensive condo will be our home for the majority, if not all, of our first long visit to WDW. We'd rather make a short drive in to the parks and have room to relax in our place in the evenings. That's just what would work for us. I understand others vacation differently.
I would consider staying on site when my sons a little older and more able to go commando in the parks if I brought him without my husband.
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