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Old 10-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #61
mevelandry
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OMG, we were there (staying at AKL) in the beginning of last december. The lobby is breathtaking with its giant christmas tree!!!
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:14 PM   #62
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OMG, we were there (staying at AKL) in the beginning of last december. The lobby is breathtaking with its giant christmas tree!!!

I've never been disappointed by any Disney resort during Christmas. I can't wait to see the AKL decorated. Actually, I can't wait to just see the AKL, we have never been there.
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Old 10-13-2013, 05:27 PM   #63
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I've never been disappointed by any Disney resort during Christmas. I can't wait to see the AKL decorated. Actually, I can't wait to just see the AKL, we have never been there.
It's really really quite lovely and has a very distinctive smell to me. My last day staying at AKL I was injured and I just sat off to the side of the savanna on a balcony with a rocking chair and plugged my phone in. I sat there rocking and watching the animals for hours. There are usually guides talking about the animals during the day and at night they had a bonfire. They also have a very nice gift shop, if you're in to that sort of thing.

Also, If you take Sherberth road right at the entrance, you come out by some gift shops, food areas, a Chick-fil-a, and a Target (about two miles down on the left once you get to Irlo Bronson Hwy).
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Old 10-13-2013, 06:53 PM   #64
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Thanks for the info. Do you remember what other restaurants are in the area?

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It's really really quite lovely and has a very distinctive smell to me. My last day staying at AKL I was injured and I just sat off to the side of the savanna on a balcony with a rocking chair and plugged my phone in. I sat there rocking and watching the animals for hours. There are usually guides talking about the animals during the day and at night they had a bonfire. They also have a very nice gift shop, if you're in to that sort of thing.

Also, If you take Sherberth road right at the entrance, you come out by some gift shops, food areas, a Chick-fil-a, and a Target (about two miles down on the left once you get to Irlo Bronson Hwy).
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Old 10-14-2013, 08:38 AM   #65
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A year ago I had a conference at the Buena Vista Palace which went Monday-Wednesday. My 13 year old niece flew down after school on Friday thinking I was meeting her at the airport and we were going to CBR. Since she was an unaccompanied minor I had a gate pass and was required to meet her at the jetway. Since she gets motion sickness she was a bit drowsy from her dramamine, so she didn't notice which magical express bus we got on.

The look on her face when we got off the bus at the Grand Floridian was worth all the cost of the upgrade and more.

It is so hard to surprise someone, but a Disney surprise, just makes it evern more enjoyable.

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Old 10-14-2013, 09:01 AM   #66
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Thanks for the info. Do you remember what other restaurants are in the area?
Yes, there is an Olive Garden, Miller's Ale House, and Longhorn Steakhouse by the Target as well as Sweet Tomatoes and Panera.

Closer to AKL are an Outback, Giordanos, and Carraba's.

There are also a Golden Corral and a Dunkin Donuts not far from where you turn onto Irlo. Looking at a map, there are also a Red Lobster and a Buffalo Wild Wings right there too.

Not to mention, there's a Walgreen's very close to the Chick-fil-a - I bought some nail polish remover to get rid of a rubbed area on the car from the parking lot at Epcot.

I went to that strip quite a bit when I stayed at AKL; it's only a couple minutes from the lodge to the strip, and then just a couple minutes back to AKL or AK.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:22 AM   #67
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*Update*

Got back home yesterday and we had a great trip.

The first night we stayed at All Star Sports, which seemed in really bad shape. The grass needed to be cut, no refrig, tv stand had some veneer peeled off, the food court was closed, the bus service to DTD was really slow, and the room just felt dirty. That will be my last stay at a value.

Got up the next morning to head over to CBR (wink). I seemed to have gotten lost though and had to find a place to turn around, thankfully Animal Kingdom Lodge was right there and I said we could turn around there. I pulled up to the guard shack and said we were checking in, my DW grinned ear to ear, the kids were in the back seat texting so they didn't know what had happened. When we got to the turn for Jambo House, the kids figured it out, they were super excited. I had booked a standard view with queen beds. We got to our room and had a partial savanna view with bunk beds. I couldn't count how many times I heard "I can't believe we are really staying here".

I asked everyone if they would have rather me told them ahead of time that we were staying at AKL or if they liked being surprised. They all said they loved being surprised.

The lobby was beautiful and the cm's were extra nice, It was nice being welcomed Home whenever we got back to the resort.

The bus service was great. We only had to wait for a bus 2 times. 1 time when we were leaving MK at closing, the bus was leaving when we were about 50 yards away so we missed it. The other time was when we were going to AK one morning. The first bus was almost full from Kidani Village so only a few people could get on. A cm was at the bus stop and called for another bus which showed up a few minutes later.

The only thing I didn't like was that they had their annual power outage drill the last night we were there and I woke up in the middle of the night soaked in sweat with no a/c. I was so glad when the power came back on and I had a/c again.

We have been to WDW 11 times now and this was by far our best visit. If we go back to WDW, we will stay in a deluxe resort (probably AKL). The price difference between the deluxe and mods is very worth it in my opinion.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:03 AM   #68
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Thanks for the update. It is always nice to hear how a surprise works out.

We visited the AKL last week and it looked like a great place to stay. The pool area looked especially nice.
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:31 AM   #69
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Glad to hear your surprise worked out so well!!! Sounds a lot like how ours went, and I agree about deluxes- totally spoil you! Hope to see a trip report soon! Congrats again on the super surprise!
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Old 12-07-2013, 10:46 AM   #70
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Thanks for the update!!!!! I'm glad to hear the surprise worked out and that you had such a great time!!!
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