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Old 03-14-2013, 01:26 AM   #91
Tinkerpeas hubby
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Originally Posted by Cap'nJack'sMum
Our family is weird. We love POP *and* Jambo House! We love them so much, that we have to do split-stays so we can stay at both places! We love the energy of POP, the huge icons, and the pools. But we also love the dark, tranquil, lush feel of AKL.

We do POP at the beginning of our trip, when we're all full of energy and feel like going 100mph. Then we switch to AKL after we've commando-ed the parks and feel like taking it easy for a few days.

I think the worst part of your story is that your little one got sick during your trip. That would be horrible anywhere you were staying. I'm glad it worked out and you got a sprinkling of pixie dust. I know it's hard when you get something that you're weren't expecting. We pretty much know that YC/BC and GF would never be for us. Disney has great, and very different, hotels to suit all sorts of tastes. Now you'll just have to try another one!
You know what our family is exactly the same lol!!!

I hate it when I hear about how awful people think pop is pop was our 1st stay on site ( my wife had been going every yr since a child but had never stayed on property always I-drive, and I had never been in my life)
We took our 3 boys then aged 1,1,3 plus my mum in-law and we LOVED pop so much, my wife a Disney freak lol cried when she walked into the lobby! It was so amazing compared to the normal motel style places she had stayed at!

Our boys who we took back again when they was 3,3,5 for our wedding really enjoy pop that when we stayed at AKL for 21nights 2 years later they actually missed Pop! They really enjoyed staying at Akl "Jambo" and the pool/slide animals our view etc but they missed the fun and brightness of Pop!
We are not into split stays but we did have to go back and do 2 nights after we stayed at SSR last yr, we did SSR for 16 nights then booked AOA for 3 nights so the boys could go visit pop lol, they wanted to experience AOA because they knew they could walk to pop from it and get the best if both, we also all really enjoyed SSR but will always have to make sure we at least visit pop no matter where we stay( I thought it was only us)
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Old 03-14-2013, 01:52 AM   #92
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It's nice to read that everyone has different opinions on this topic. It would be a very boring world if we all felt the same way.
While I'm yet to stay at any WDW resort, I've obsessively studied pics of them all and I personally think that the AKL and WL are by far the most visually appealing. For me, earth tones evoke a sense of comfort and calm - a nice contrast to a full on day in theme parks.
While I think the value resorts look like a lot of fun, I worry that being surrounded by so many bright colours day and night would feel a bit like an assault on my senses.
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Old 03-14-2013, 02:16 AM   #93
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Originally Posted by DonoMoose View Post
Hello everyone, I am writing this to help families struggling on deciding which resort to stay at. My story.. In the past, we've done Value resorts only. All Star Movies (1x) & Pop Century (3x).. When we first did these resorts our kids were really young & the big bright colors, tremendous food court & pools are just so appealing to the hearts of little ones. Our children are now 11, 8 and a brand new one almost turning 2!... This time around we wanted to take advantage of the 30% off room rate. This allowed for us to choose a Delux Resort. Being the kids love animals we chose Animal Kingdom Lodge.. I have to be completely honest with this place! Everyone told me I would be taken back by the Lobby alone... Well, in my opinion it was far too dark, it just always seemed dark in there no matter what time of day it was! The rooms: brown, brown & more brown, earth tones, well, you get the idea.. Yes I understand this place is African themed but would a splash of color kill anyone? I felt this place so Vanilla for my own taste let alone through the eyes of a child. I guess when I think Disney, I picture, loud, fun, bright, bright, bright, just exciting! & for me this was just NOT!! On the POSITIVE note, they upgraded us to Kidanni 1 bedroom suite because our baby got sick. Now, I've experienced both Jambo & Kidanni & although I very much appreciated being able to have all the amenities of home, I still missed the fun atmosphere all around that the value resorts provide.. Akl's quick service called the Mara, oh man where do I begin.. Everything had this weird after taste that sat in the pit of your stomach for days (at least it's what it seemed like)... Also if your staying at Kidanni you have to take a shuttle just to get some food, so inconvenient when A your tired or B you want to have breakfast in your room.
This for me was an over priced, over rated. brown building with animals outside. Save your money, check the animals out at AK Park, or hey, make dinner reservations at Boma, Jiko or Sanna & check the animals out than. But to stay a week at the prices they tag? Insanity...

I'll stick to Pop Century, or perhaps try the new Art of Animation. Where the Disney story books/ Movies just come to life in every nook & cranny.. That fun kid feeling lacked every time we were at Akl resort. Luckily at the parks we had a blast but it would have been better to enjoy it at Pop. I almost felt like I was doing 2 Vacations at once. While at Akl I felt like I was visiting the Mountains in Nh, than when I'd step into the parks I was right back at Disney!! Never again! it's just so important for us to feel that fun, bright ambiance that all the Valu's provide. So ask yourself, does that even matter to your family? Knowing the answer to that questions can guide you better, into figuring out where to stay...

I know there are MANY AKL Lovers out there! This thread is not to offend anyone by any means. It is to help anyone that felt like I did, having a hard time deciding on sticking to the stuff they know? Or trying something new because of all of the amazing reviews on it.
Good Luck to anyone on the brink of making a decision, go with your gut. Know what you like, what you expect to get out of the resort & your trip all around!!
I so, so, SO agree with you! I visited AKL a couple years ago and my first reaction was "it's so d*** dark in here I need to hold onto the wall to feel where I'm going"! Of course, my eyes adjusted but still...dark, dark, dark EVERYWHERE! I decided then and there the only way I'd EVER stay at AKL would be if it were "free" and then I'd have to think about it!

Fast forward to spring break, 2012. DD decided "at the last minute" to take her family, inviting her sister and me...Mimi along. She's a DVC member and AK-Kidani was the ONLY thing still available. SO...I did end up staying at an AKL property..."free"...and I left with the exact same opinion! I will say Kidani was not AS dark as AKL but...I'm just NOT a fan. Give me BLT~or the Poly~or Wilderness Lodge~or Boardwalk...ANY day!
1978 1st trip-off site; 1981 Howard Johnson/LBV; 1983 Poly; 1985 Poly; 1987 Poly; 1990 Caribbean Beach/Poly; 1993 with HS Band-Holiday Inn Sun Spree/Poly; 1994 HS Band trip to Austria/Germany; 1995 Embassy Suites LBV/Poly; 1996 DD 1st solo trip w/best friend; 1998 HS Band-Quality Inn; 2000-Off site-Vacation Home; 2005 Wilderness Lodge; 2008 Poly; 2009 Wilderness Lodge; 2010 Boardwalk Villas/Bay Lake Towers; 2012 Animal Kingdom Kidani Villas; 2013 Art of Animation; 2014 Caribbean Beach
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Old 03-14-2013, 04:09 AM   #94
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Please do not discount all the deluxes! We love beach club and wilderness lodge and feel that we could never go back after staying there!
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