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Old 03-06-2013, 09:11 PM   #1
Maisey13
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Animal Kingdom Lodge: 3 questions

Hi! We will be staying at AKL for our first trip late April. Since it is a bit slower time (after spring break crowds have left) our travel agent suggested we book a standard room as many times guests are upgraded to Savannah views for free. No worries either way since we can view animals from observation deck.

1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?)

2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?

3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?)

We are three guests (2 Adults and a 5 year old obsessed with animals!) Child is a light sleeper so preferably away from noisy areas (entry way, bus loading, parking lot?)

Thanks so much for your help!
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:55 AM   #2
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Yeah I think that is good advice - I went in April last year - booked a standard and was upgraded - I don't know where you might want to be but I loved my spot may be 3 rooms down from the elevator on Kudu Trail - I walked into my room and there were zebra out. I didn't see many giraffes though - but lots of other animals - it was a really great treat!

I didn't make any room requests - just got my room when I checked in (evidently there were no standard views left) - don't know if that makes any difference.
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Old 03-07-2013, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maisey13 View Post
Hi! We will be staying at AKL for our first trip late April. Since it is a bit slower time (after spring break crowds have left) our travel agent suggested we book a standard room as many times guests are upgraded to Savannah views for free. No worries either way since we can view animals from observation deck.

1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?) we were upgraded from standard view to a pool view. Loved, loved the Pool view. We were very close to the pool, Mara and the lobby. Zebra trail 4th floor by the stairs to the pool area/Mara. Pool view is usually not much more than a standard view, if you are not upgraded, I would consider asking and paying for a pool view (well worth it!)

2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?There are different animals in the different savanah's. Look at allears.net for maps and animal info

3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?) I like staying close to the lobby, as some of the rooms are quite far from the lobby and pool area. We really like Zebra trail facing the pool. This year we are staying Arusha CL level and asked to be close to the elevator near the lobby.

We are three guests (2 Adults and a 5 year old obsessed with animals!) Child is a light sleeper so preferably away from noisy areas (entry way, bus loading, parking lot?) We bring a fan or a white noise maker as we are also sound sensitive when sleeping. This way we are covered, but I never heard any noise, from the pool area that disturbed us with out the white noise.

Thanks so much for your help!
We love AKL and are super excited to go back. It is so much fun for animal lovers. If you do not get a Savannah view there are plenty of areas for the public to watch the animals. Take time to explore the resort, there are lots of trails and fun CM's to talk to.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maisey13 View Post
1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?)

We had a standard room for our last trip, it still overlooked the savanah but had one of the poles supporting the roof blocking about a quarter of the view. Still a great view, but Disney just couldn't charge for a full savanah view.

2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?

Not much, maybe what time of day the sun hits it, but the animals wander and are active on all savanahs. There will be food placed to "motiviate" the animals to hang out within your view regardless of your room location.

3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?)

The walk to the end of the halls can be long, maybe request a room close to the lobby, but this may effect a potential upgrade to savanah view as the rooms further away might be available for the upgrade (should you get one).

We are three guests (2 Adults and a 5 year old obsessed with animals!) Child is a light sleeper so preferably away from noisy areas (entry way, bus loading, parking lot?)

We never had noise issues when we stay there in the past, Disney did a good job of sound-proofing the room.
My answers in red. Enjoy your stay!
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maisey13 View Post
1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?)

2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?

3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?)

!
1 - there are very little parking lot views. but look at google maps...not very pretty

2 - the savanahs have different animals. one may have zebras where the other may have giraffs (plus others)

3 - if it were me, i would ask for a pool view. The savanah room was ok the 1st day or two. but it soon became a running joke with our family. "hey...did you see the zebra"..."look a zebra"...it was quite boring actually
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:06 AM   #6
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2 - the savanahs have different animals. one may have zebras where the other may have giraffs (plus others)
This is true, but I have to mention that between each of our trips the animals on each savanah changed. I think they rotate the animals periodically.
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Old 03-07-2013, 10:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maisey13 View Post
Hi! We will be staying at AKL for our first trip late April. Since it is a bit slower time (after spring break crowds have left) our travel agent suggested we book a standard room as many times guests are upgraded to Savannah views for free. No worries either way since we can view animals from observation deck.

1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?)

2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?

3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?)

We are three guests (2 Adults and a 5 year old obsessed with animals!) Child is a light sleeper so preferably away from noisy areas (entry way, bus loading, parking lot?)

Thanks so much for your help!
Hooray for you! We love the AKL. We just returned from AKL and had booked a pool view room and after asking for a savannah room, they upgraded us to one on the 3rd floor overlooking the Uzima. The last time we were upgraded from a standard to an Arusha view and the times before that we booked a savannah view and got the Ostrich and Arusha.

The standard views can be of anything except for the pool or savannahs. This includes parking lots and landscaping.

All of the savannahs have animals and most are plentiful. They rotate the animals to different ones so it is hard to say for sure which has the best at any given time. The giraffes are able to roam everywhere and the ostriches stay in Sunset.

The Uzima Savannah has a nice view and a myriad of animals and feels somewhat more secluded than the Arusha Savannah but has some soft traffic noise from the highway beyond the treeline. Also, a discreet fence is visible which breaks up the illusion a bit. These rooms are along the Zebra Trail and are close to the pool, restaurants, the arcade, childcare, and the laundry. They are also the closest to the buses along with Sunset Savannah rooms.

The Arusha is a favorite because it offers the widest view and the most potential to spot giraffes and zebras but it is on the inner circle so you will be looking across at the building in front of you. If you choose this view, ask for a room along the Zebra Trail overlooking the Arusha savannah for the reasons stated above. The Kudu Trail rooms are far away from everything.

The Sunset Savannah offers ostriches, which are fun. The location here is along the Ostrich Trail. This area is close to the buses but relatively far from the pool and everything else, though not too bad since it is the shortest wing. You may hear car noises here since the rooms along the Ostrich Trail opposite the savannah view face the parking lot.

For any of them, ask for 3rd or 4th floors. They are high enough to offer a sweeping view of the savannahs but not too high so as to miss the details. The 3rd floor is the lobby level so if you do not want to have to deal with elevators for trips to and from the buses, for example, this is a good choice. Also, ask for unobstructed views and stay away from interior corner rooms. (They offer the least privacy on the balconies.)

Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:22 AM   #8
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First of all, you should always book whichever room category you would be happy with. While upgrades do happen, they usually happen for capacity reasons at the resort. Keep in mind that if even one night of your vacation isn't available in the higher room category, they will not upgrade you. We booked a Pool View room for our honeymoon, and I checked availability a few nights before our trip. Most of the trip AKL had TONS of availability, but since we went over marathon weekend, those couple nights were completely booked. I would have loved an upgrade, but I booked the category I could live with, and was very happy with it.
I second the recommendation to go with Pool View, because then you'll guarantee a nice view, and convenience to all the resort facilities. Look at an AKL map, most of the standard view rooms are on the entrance side of the resort facing the parking lot, bus stop, loading dock, or porte cochere.

As per requests, if they upgrade you they will put you wherever they have a place for you. I doubt they'd take any requests seriously for a category you didn't pay for.
More generally, we were put in a 4th floor Zebra trail pool view room when we stayed there, and the location was fantastic. We were only one floor up from the lobby, so we took the stairs most of the time, and about halfway between the elevators and the lobby. We could take the elevator down to the pool and counter service level really easily. We didn't have any noise trouble, even though we were very close to the pool.
Again, I recommend that you look at a map of the resort, because that will help you determine locations you want to stay away from.
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:01 PM   #9
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Thank you everyone for your helpful responses!
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Old 03-07-2013, 01:21 PM   #10
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Aha, info I need is here on this thread

We are going late April too !! I have booked pool view, this is our first time so I will be completely content with what I booked.

Now since we are talking free upgrades, is there a time of the day for check in that has more probability for upgrade than another ? This forum has experts on everything, I hope we have some data for this too
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #11
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Do look at a map, I like the one that DVC news site has for Jambo house. Radiating from the beautiful lobby are 4 long hallways - each is called a trail. The 2 hallways pointing to the front of the resort are Giraffe trail and Ostrich trail.
Giraffe trail rooms have either a pool or street/parking lot view. They are most convenient to the bus stop and Giraffe trail has a 'secret' door onto the walkway in front of the resort which leads to the bus stop halfway between the bus stop and the entry into the lodge.
Ostrich trail rooms have either a Sunset savanna view or a street/parking lot view.
The 2 longer hallways pointing away from the entry are Kudu trail and Zebra trail.
Kudu trail has either Sunset savanna views or Arusha savanna views. The rooms at the very end of this hallway are furthest from the lobby, the pool, the counter service, the bar, etc.
Zebra trail has Arusha savanna, pool or Uzima savanna views. As mentioned it is very convenient to the pool, Mara, Samba's playhouse, Boma, Jiko, Victoria Springs, lobby, etc..

I've made some notes in blue, below, do find a map and study it to get the lay of the land. Lovely resort, IMO.
Quote:
Originally Posted by redkmom View Post
Hooray for you! We love the AKL. We just returned from AKL and had booked a pool view room and after asking for a savannah room, they upgraded us to one on the 3rd floor overlooking the Uzima. The last time we were upgraded from a standard to an Arusha view and the times before that we booked a savannah view and got the Ostrich and Arusha.
See map, Ostrich trail rooms front either Sunset savanna or the road between Jambo and Kidani
All of the savannahs have animals and most are plentiful. They rotate the animals to different ones so it is hard to say for sure which has the best at any given time. The giraffes are able to roam everywhere and the ostriches stay in Sunset.
The savannas have locked gates between them, thus the giraffes on any particular savanna cannot roam @ will to another savanna.
The Uzima Savannah has a nice view and a myriad of animals and feels somewhat more secluded than the Arusha Savannah but has some soft traffic noise from the highway beyond the treeline. Also, a discreet fence is visible which breaks up the illusion a bit. These rooms are along the Zebra Trail and are close to the pool, restaurants, the arcade, childcare, and the laundry. They are also the closest to the buses along with Sunset Savannah rooms.Giraffe trail rooms are closest to the bus stop via the door, Ostrich trail rooms are closer than rooms at the far end of either Kudu or Zebra trail which are probably the furthest to walk to the lobby then down to the bus stop. Zebra trail is definately closer than Kudu trail to the pool, Mara, etc..

The Arusha is a favorite because it offers the widest view and the most potential to spot giraffes and zebras but it is on the inner circle so you will be looking across at the building in front of you. If you choose this view, ask for a room along the Zebra Trail overlooking the Arusha savannah for the reasons stated above. The Kudu Trail rooms are far away from everything.

The Sunset Savannah offers ostriches, which are fun. The location here is along the Ostrich Trail. and Kudu trail these rooms face the DVC Kidani units which are across Sunset Savanna


Enjoy your trip!!
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Old 03-07-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
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when we stayed, we booked a standard view and got a really bad room. it was right above the lobby, overlooked a rooftop with the smoking area and front entrance right below... but no worries, we couldn't see it anyway, because the balcony had a wall around it. it also had bunk beds, which would have been a total nightmare for us.

we asked to be moved and had to pay to upgrade to pool view (which we were fine with). it was an awesome location. the view was great and it was so close to the pool and the mara. it was on the 4th floor, zebra trail, towards the end of the hallway, right near the stairs to take you outside...the ones right near the one hot tub. we were thrilled with this location.

based on my experience, i would not book a standard room there again, i would book pool view instead (if i did not book savanna view). however... you could always try to be moved once you check in, if you get a room you are not happy with. it would just be based on availability at that time.
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Old 03-08-2013, 10:33 AM   #13
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The thing about free upgrade. Would you be happy with the room you purchased if you couldn't get a free upgrade? Make sure you take that into consideration if that's the case.
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Old 03-08-2013, 12:27 PM   #14
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On hold right now....how much is an upgrade from standard to pool?
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