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Old 12-31-2013, 09:39 AM   #16
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I would do WL in a heartbeat, but I don't have kids, and I can imagine the draw to AKL for the animals.

What about the Swolphin? Depending on discounts, you might be able to get either of them for less than a moderate.

CSR 1997, Dolphin 1997, Swan 1998, FW 2000, BC 2001, YC 2002, POR 2012, GF 2012, OKW 2012, WL 2013, CBR 2013, GF 2014, YC 2014, FW 2015, GF 2015
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Old 12-31-2013, 10:18 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by HairyChest View Post
Stay at wilderness lodge
Visit akl for a meal

Imo hotel in front of a lake with a boatride to mk beats a hotel with a savanna

Agree 100%
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:24 PM   #18
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Another vote for WL

To me, it's just magical. The beauty of the resort is breathtaking. The boat to MK is great. The Bay Lake setting is fantastic.

It's a very special resort!!!
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Old 01-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #19
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I've only had lunch at WL, but I stayed 9 days at AKL and while it's beautiful, I won't be staying there again. It's just to expensive and not worth the price by a long shot.

I had a concierge room on the savannah. Never had any animals in my area, the room was smaller than I expected, and it was dark. There was one available outlet for me to use.. and it was already in use for 3 plugs. (One was not plugged in, obviously.) I had the choice of the TV, fridge, or lamp. I asked for an extension cord and they didn't have any. (I bring my own octopus cord now).

Everyone talked about the fantastic breakfast buffet at Boma (I think). It was okay. Not worth the hype. The only thing I liked was it had two hot tubs and one was less used.

However, if you do stay there, you may be able to take advantage of The Sunrise Safari which is an AWESOME backstage breakfast trip. Only residents of AKL can do it.
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #20
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I love AKL & WL and you won't go wrong staying at either. That said, you don't say when you're going or how old your daughter is.

Both AKL & WL oftentimes have General Public discounts that, depending upon when you're traveling, may bring the price below $300. My second week of December 2013 trip to WL, my Woods View room was less than $300 -- it was cheaper than a suite at AoA during the same week! AKL seems to have more availability when discounts are released. Also with the Poly construction, many people seem to be switching to WL so discounts may be less likely to happen at WL.

If your daughter is elementary age or under and MK is the favorite park, I'd pick WL. The boat ride to MK is a huge plus for WL. If EP, AK or HS is her favorite park, I think the fact that the buses only stop at Kidani and Jambo House before going to the parks is a plus for AKL. Our WL buses in early December were all shared for every park except MK. Epcot is geographically close to WL but it was a very long bus ride to go to Ft. Wilderness and then to Epcot. For AK and HS, the bus went from WL to GF and then to HS or AK.

If she's a teenager or older, I'd show her photos and see which theme is more appealing to her. Does she want the exotic feel of visiting Africa or the cozy, rustic feel of being in the woods?

Both are great places to stay!
Daytrips: 1959-1963 Disneyland & 1971-2010 Walt Disney World
2012: Jan-AKL * June-Reunion Resorts * Oct-Dolphin * Nov-AKL/AoA * Dec-GF
2013: June-Dolphin * July-AoA * Oct-Pop * Dec-WL
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:19 AM   #21
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I have stayed at both and like both for different reasons, but we seem to gravitate back to WL. We love the water and the boat to the MK. Also have bikes and boats to rent which is great fun. The water parade each night is retro and great. I will say I like the food better at AKL and we love the animals.

Kinda can't go wrong - just depends on your priorities.

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WL - 2014
WL - 2013
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:33 AM   #22
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Both are nice. I like the rooms better at akl however. I also find the boat ride to mk way overrated. I prefer the 5 minute bus ride over the slow boat any day. The akl is more impressive IMO both have good food choices. Akl is also more remote which appeals to many people. Akl has a way nicer pool too. Both are nice, which ever one you pick visit the other one for future reference. Have a great trip!

me dh ds

2006 wilderness lodge 2007 beach club
2008 dolphin
2010 downtown disney hilton/ poly cl :
2011 akl . 2013 bwi and dream cruise

there are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it...oscar wilde
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:02 AM   #23
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Wilderness Lodge for us. Having stayed at both, we do enjoy AKL, however, the WL does it all for us. Grand Lobby, great rooms, boats to MK, boats to FW for the Hoop De Do etc., and, for us at least, the most "Disney" feeling of all the resorts on property. My wife and I have even chosen it for our two week trip this August on which we will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary.

Love, love, love the Lodge!

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Old 01-02-2014, 11:12 AM   #24
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I've only visited WL for meals so I can't comment on staying there. We have stayed at AKL many times and have never had problems with transportation. I just wanted to add - you might want to consider renting DVC points from someone (look at the DVC boards here on DIS) and it can be cheaper for you.
Sherri Me DH DS 17 DS13 We just moved from MD to FL and I still love going to WDW!
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:10 PM   #25
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We've stayed at both and loved them both! AKL was definitely a cooler theme and watching the animals from the balcony was incredible. And the pool was bigger and probably more fun!

That being said, we prefer staying at WL for the location. It is soooo much closer to the parks. And I like the counter service better at WL.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:35 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by sweetpea904 View Post
I am taking my daughter to Disney World the first week in June. We try and go once a year if possible. In 2011 we stayed at our first moderate resort (Port Orleans Riverside) and it was amazing. I booked one of the new Royal Guest Rooms and my mini LOVED it. This year we stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort (August) then had a quick weekend trip to Blizzard Beach and stayed at All Star Music in September. While I LOVE the moderates, the values I can only do on a weekend trip because they are SO OVER CROWDED, I want to treat her this summer and stay at a deluxe. I know WL & ALK are the cheapest so I am starting there for this trip before we move on to the Poly, Contemporary, BW or GF maybe in the future. I have 5 months to save for our trip & I know the room will be at least $350 a night min. I want to try and stay for 6 nights as we usually stay for 4. I have read several reviews & forums & they both sound so nice but I am having a hard time choosing between them. Any advice, help, suggestions, tips, recommendations would be a HUGE help. Right now I am leaning towards ALK. Thanks in advance!!!
You should look for room discounts. I'm sure they aren't out for June yet but when they are you can always add a discount to your reservation.

I would choose AKL over WL. Wilderness Lodge is beautiful and the food is decent and comforting but that's where the good part ended for my family .

The room had plumbing issues. I could smell sewage and the toilet was leaking . We were moved to another room and whenever we flushed the toilet the sink would gurgle. I spoke to management and they basically called us liars and refused to do anything about it. They were very nasty about it.

We emailed and called Disney during our stay, dealt with corporate, moved over to Beach Club and had no other issues.

I've stayed at AKV and they've always treated us well. Both pools on the villa and hotel side are amazing (and you'll need a nice pool in June!). The water area at Kidani is perfect for all ages. It's an amazing resort and feels like you're in another part of the world. After the chaos of the parks it's nice to get back to the calm of Jambo House/Kidani.
Me- 29 DH- DS-

Upcoming: Last minute trip July 2014-GF RPC
2011- Poly GV (1x) GF TPV (1x) GF RPC (1x)
2012- SSR (1x) AKV SV (2x)
2013- AKV (1x) WL (1x, never again) BC (1x)
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