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Old 12-04-2012, 11:48 AM   #1
tahrea
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AKL distance.

I read a blog post that said to avoid AKL for first timers because it's do far from everything. I've been to WDW lots of times but I want it to be special for my sister-in-laws family. Is it really that big of a deal?
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:54 AM   #2
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It is a big deal if what you're expecting is to walk out of your hotel, get on the monorail, and be at the MK superfast. It's not a big deal if you don't mind a 20-minute bus ride to all of the parks except AK (which is a 5-minute bus ride).

Sorry, I don't know what the driving times are, but they're probably similar to the bus times.

None of this has ever bothered me in the least, but you have to decide what's more important--the resort itself (AKL is awesome) or the time it takes to get to the parks. Wherever you stay, one of the parks is going to be far away from your resort, since AK is not near MK, DHS or Epcot.

Avoid AKL? Never!!!! In fact, it's worth going to AKL just to eat there and see the savannahs.

HTH.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
I read a blog post that said to avoid AKL for first timers because it's do far from everything. I've been to WDW lots of times but I want it to be special for my sister-in-laws family. Is it really that big of a deal?
Not to us. AKL is probably our favourite deluxe. We have never had any issues with the bus transportation, and since the bus is only shared with Kidani Village, we have found the transportation better than the Epcot area resorts which have to share buses between several resorts.

I didn't keep a stopwatch on every trip we took, but I don't think it took more than 20 min or so to get to MK (the furthest park) once the bus pulled away from the stop. I think it was around 15 min or so to Epcot. and DHS. And only a few min to AK.

But then again, we're kind of relaxed when it comes to vacations. We're just not in that big a hurry to get anywhere- an extra 5-10 min. travel time isn't going to affect our enjoyment.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:44 PM   #4
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Slightly longer bus rides have never been a deterrent for us. We love AKL. It is a beautiful resort with great food and atmosphere. Just get to the bus stop a little earlier. Of course it is awesome to stay at a resort on the Monorail. We were spoiled on our first visit staying at the Poly. Excited next trip is on the Monorail again. No matter where you stay it should be great.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
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We stayed at AKL for our very first trip and it was wonderful! AKL has such a beautiful theme, landscaping and just a ton of Disney magic. I would absolutely recommend AKL for 1st timers.

We found the buses to come frequently and not as long as I thought it would take. Kiandi was not open when we were there, so Jambo did not share a bus. I have heard that adding Kiandi has only increased the bus time by 5min or so, so it doesn't sound like a real big issue.

Our stay at YC had worse bus service than when we stayed at AKL. AKL bus to MK took us 25-35min, YC bus took us 60min (as YC shares with so many EPCOT resorts). We used a taxi quite a few times at the YC, but never had to at AKL.

We were just prepared to take the bus everywhere and planned for plenty of commute time.
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Old 12-04-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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If distance to a park is a major criteria for you then yes, AKL and the All Star resorts would be the furthest away (except to AK of course). If you want a place that will blow your socks off with theming then AKL is at the top of the list.
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Old 12-04-2012, 01:44 PM   #7
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We love AKL!! Our favorite way to do it is to make it the second half of a split stay. In 2012 we stayed in the Magic Kingdom area for five nights and then switched to Kidani for three nights. In January we are staying in the Epcot area for seven nights and then switching to Kidani for two nights. I haven't stayed there for an entire trip yet, but I would in a heartbeat. We found the bus system there to be very efficient! Both parts of AKL are beautiful! Enjoy!
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:25 PM   #8
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AKL is a gorgeous resort.

The distance to parks has never been a big deal for us.

I think the resort would be more impressive especially if you are getting a savanna view nothing like starting every morning with those cute Giraffe, Zebra, & Wildebeest. Love them.

We love to watch that cranky wildebeest chase the zebra around.

The Pools are wonderful & the restaurants are just so delicious. Boma is a favorite breakfast & Mara is very good for lunch during a pool break.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #9
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it is not far to ak or studios.

to epcot and mk - a bit further - it can verify greatly from 20 to 45 minutes to the MK - depending upon the traffic and your bus driver. One driver drives 35 mph period. when the road allows you to drive 50mph - this can definitely slow down the trip.

to epcot it can 15 to 35 minutes - again traffic and which way the bus drivers are forced to go.

there can be problems in the main entrance and they need to go to a back entrance - which can add to your time.

you can walk to the MK from BLT faster than a bus can bring you to the MK from AKL/V


now this is not counting the time you will wait for a bus.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:58 PM   #10
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Thank you everyone for the helpful information. Were going in a slow season so hopefully it will be quicker.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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We stayed at AKL during a slow time and LOVED it! I thought the bus service would be a pain but it wasn't. Would definitely stay there again.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:48 PM   #12
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Poor AKL gets a bum rap, IMO, about this. If you look at an actual map, not a Disney map where the Magic Kingdom seems to be in the middle of things and is definitely not to scale, you can see that the distances are not that bad. No one ever complains that the Contemporary is SOOO far from the Animal Kingdom.

AKL is a beautiful resort, well themed with pools, activities and restaurants. It might be an extra 5 minutes on a bus to Epcot or DHS, but it is a great choice for a resort.
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:56 PM   #13
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We have stayed at both Jambo and Kidani and I have never noticed that the bus service is noticeably longer. But even if it were slightly, it would totally be worth it. It is a beautiful and unique resort. We spent the first half of a split stay at Kidani and the second half at Poly and all of us were a little down when we moved to Poly; we should have gone there first.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:10 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJKMOM View Post
Poor AKL gets a bum rap, IMO, about this. If you look at an actual map, not a Disney map where the Magic Kingdom seems to be in the middle of things and is definitely not to scale, you can see that the distances are not that bad. No one ever complains that the Contemporary is SOOO far from the Animal Kingdom.

AKL is a beautiful resort, well themed with pools, activities and restaurants. It might be an extra 5 minutes on a bus to Epcot or DHS, but it is a great choice for a resort.
I agree! Sometimes people talk like AKL is in Tampa.
We have stayed at AKL twice.
The first time we used the bus system and had no problems or complaints. We actually spent more time waiting for and on buses when we stayed at CSR (which is technically closer to the Parks).
This past May we had a car when we stayed there and it took no time at all to get around to the Parks.
I would HIGHLY recommend AKL for first timers or anyone else. It is such an amazing resort - truly like a *vacation* within a vacation.
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Old 12-04-2012, 07:19 PM   #15
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I wouldn't hesitate to stay at AKL again. The Disney transportation was great for us. We loved the resort too. I think it's a great experience whether it's your 1st or 5th trip.
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