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Old 03-23-2014, 02:12 PM   #1
tdashgirl
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1st time at WDW. AoA or AKL Studio Villa. WWYD?

Hi all you WDW vets

First trip to WDW this late Sept/early Oct for me, DH and DD10. We are DL vets. Staying for 8 nights. Planning on lots of park time because it's our 1st trip but also want some downtime/pool time.

I currently have a reservation at AoA. I like the theme-ing, the pools look cute, like that they have dedicated buses. I do know that's it's value and the associated cons (no hot tubs, not as nice rooms, just quick service cafeteria dining).

Seeing other posts have got me looking into renting points for a DVC Studio Villa. (Booking thru Disney is way too expensive for us). Looking at affordable options for us, there is no availability for studio villas in the boardwalk area or at the contemporary. Still checking on AKL which was one of our last choices because I was thinking if I wanted to spend a bit more, I'd want it to be a resort that was more convenient to the parks, especially Epcot during the F&W.

So if AKL is available -- honestly which would you go with? If both were within your budget, AKL possibly being a bit more (I don't have an exact quote yet).
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Old 03-23-2014, 03:23 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdashgirl View Post
Hi all you WDW vets

First trip to WDW this late Sept/early Oct for me, DH and DD10. We are DL vets. Staying for 8 nights. Planning on lots of park time because it's our 1st trip but also want some downtime/pool time.

I currently have a reservation at AoA. I like the theme-ing, the pools look cute, like that they have dedicated buses. I do know that's it's value and the associated cons (no hot tubs, not as nice rooms, just quick service cafeteria dining).

Seeing other posts have got me looking into renting points for a DVC Studio Villa. (Booking thru Disney is way too expensive for us). Looking at affordable options for us, there is no availability for studio villas in the boardwalk area or at the contemporary. Still checking on AKL which was one of our last choices because I was thinking if I wanted to spend a bit more, I'd want it to be a resort that was more convenient to the parks, especially Epcot during the F&W.

So if AKL is available -- honestly which would you go with? If both were within your budget, AKL possibly being a bit more (I don't have an exact quote yet).
My choice would be a studio at AKL. We've never stayed at any of the values, but we love AKL. Having stayed at AKL twice, we found the buses to be fine. AKL is out away from everything, but it didn't take more than about 5 extra minutes to get around compared to other resorts. Since the buses only service AKL and Kidani, there is no sharing with any other resort(s). Good luck with your decision.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:02 PM   #3
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After staying at both, I enjoyed AKL studio at kidani. We are staying there agin in September
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:09 PM   #4
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AKL for sure...... ---- We love AKL - Pools, Scenery, Friendly CM's, Animals, Family Atmosphere, I could go on and on... It's a Amusement Park in it's self.
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Old 03-23-2014, 04:40 PM   #5
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At AKL, make sure you are pricing at least a standard studio. Value studios will already be booked up. You must book them 11 mos. in advance.
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Old 03-23-2014, 11:04 PM   #6
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Thank you all !!! I am going to see if I can go forward with the AKL studio villa.
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Old 03-24-2014, 01:24 AM   #7
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AKL would be my choice because of the animals. Also the bus transportation is excellent and you are actually fairly close to Epcot time-wise. Everyone touts the Epcot area as being wonderful because you can walk to 2 parks and take the monorail to another. As a DL vet the reality is that just walking in the WDW parks is far more than walking at DL. Walking back to your resort may not be that appealing after a day at the parks. Also that "easy" walk to HS is actually over a mile and getting to the monorail requires you to walk through the equivalent of 2 parks.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:49 AM   #8
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AKL - - it is such a unique resort experience - gorgeously themed and just being able to see the exotic wildlife is worth it IMO.
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Old 03-24-2014, 08:11 AM   #9
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We've done both and AKL would be the winner hands down. We were at AoA 2 weeks ago and I was shocked at how bad the lobby/gift shop/cafeteria looked. It seemed that the resort was hit by an earthquake. I counted several tiles cracked, the floor was totally covered in dirt/mud (wasn't raining outside), the gift shop was messy and the cafeteria tables were not cleaned quickly. This was during the course of 4 days. The upgrade to a Deluxe resort is very noticeable and going to AKL is the cherry on top. I'd definitely go to AKL if you don't mind the price for the upgrade. This is our resort of choice and we must stay there during each trip, even if it means doing a split stay, which is what we did on day 5 through 7.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tdashgirl View Post
Thank you all !!! I am going to see if I can go forward with the AKL studio villa.
Good luck .
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:16 AM   #11
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AKL is so beautiful. Enjoy your trip.
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Old 03-24-2014, 10:29 AM   #12
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Y'all are such enablers Hehe. Right now it looks like a studio Savanna view (which is what's available for my dates) will be about $500 more than a stay at AoA. Over the course of 8 nights, that means it's $62 more a day to stay at AKL. I admit ... the theme-ing, the nicer resort amenities, hot tubs etc... are pushing me into thinking it's worth the extra $.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkarizona View Post
AKL would be my choice because of the animals. Also the bus transportation is excellent and you are actually fairly close to Epcot time-wise. Everyone touts the Epcot area as being wonderful because you can walk to 2 parks and take the monorail to another. As a DL vet the reality is that just walking in the WDW parks is far more than walking at DL. Walking back to your resort may not be that appealing after a day at the parks. Also that "easy" walk to HS is actually over a mile and getting to the monorail requires you to walk through the equivalent of 2 parks.
Thanks for this perspective! I'm getting the impression that WDW is like Las Vegas. Everything looks like it's not a bad walk until you start walking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ExpatDisneyLover View Post
AKL - - it is such a unique resort experience - gorgeously themed and just being able to see the exotic wildlife is worth it IMO.
I do like that it's unique. This is part of the reason I'm not even considering anything off-site -- I don't want to stay in a generic hotel, I want that WDW immersion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by raven69david View Post
We've done both and AKL would be the winner hands down. We were at AoA 2 weeks ago and I was shocked at how bad the lobby/gift shop/cafeteria looked. It seemed that the resort was hit by an earthquake. I counted several tiles cracked, the floor was totally covered in dirt/mud (wasn't raining outside), the gift shop was messy and the cafeteria tables were not cleaned quickly. This was during the course of 4 days. The upgrade to a Deluxe resort is very noticeable and going to AKL is the cherry on top. I'd definitely go to AKL if you don't mind the price for the upgrade. This is our resort of choice and we must stay there during each trip, even if it means doing a split stay, which is what we did on day 5 through 7.
Thank you for this perspective also. Yeah, like I said above, AKL will be more money. But it's a do-able amount of money for our budget. Glad to hear that it's your resort of choice.
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