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Old 10-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #1
Autumnslight
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Questions for 1 night stay before AKL Stay?

I booked a room at Animal Kingdom Lodge for our 7 night stay in early December. The first night of our trip wasn't available at AKL though, so we booked our last 6 nights there, and I have a room booked for the first night at Art of Animation (Little Mermaid room).

It'll be me, my husband, 3 year old daughter, and 7 year old son on this trip. We land at MCO at 9pm. The plan is to go to the resort, eat in the food court if we're hungry, and go to the pool if we're not too tired.

In the morning, we'll sleep in a bit, have breakfast at the food court, and hit the pool for a bit. We'll head over to AKL sometime after noon, to check in there. Then we're headed to Epcot for an early evening ADR, Candlelight Processional, and Illuminations.

A couple of questions:

1. How would we get to AKL from AoA? Are we possibly better off going straight to Epcot from AoA, and then not getting to AKL to check in until after Illuminations?

2. The Disney website says the pools at AoA are open until 11pm. Are they truly closed and unusable after 11pm, or no?

3. Is it a problem for us to still hang out and use the pool for an hour or two after the official check out time of 11am?

4. We plan to use the Magical Express to get to AoA. Since we arrive at 9pm, I understand our luggage might not get to us until midnight or even later. How does that work? Will someone actually come into our room while we're asleep to leave the bags? Or can we ask them to bring them to our room at, say, 8am?

5. How does the luggage thing work for moving from AoA to AKL? Do we just tell the front desk that we're moving to AKL and need our bags transferred?

Thanks!
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Old 10-16-2013, 11:29 AM   #2
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We just did an AoA/AKL split stay. The pool is great there. Definitely based on your plan stay at AoA. They will transfer your luggage for you just tell bell services and they will come pick it all up. We swam on our last day and had breakfast and then just hopped on the AK park bus around noon and then hopped on the AKL bus from there (this was a break day from the parks for us). Our luggage arrived in the afternoon at about 2pm and the AKL was able to check us in early.

Have a great stay!
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:03 PM   #3
JennyDrake
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I THINK the pool gates are locked at closing.

Not a problem to hang out at the pool, but you will need to do your checking out by 11.

Notify bell services and they will get your luggage and transfer to AKL.

You are arriving so late that _I_ would schlepp my own luggage.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:09 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyDrake View Post
I THINK the pool gates are locked at closing.

Not a problem to hang out at the pool, but you will need to do your checking out by 11.

Notify bell services and they will get your luggage and transfer to AKL.

You are arriving so late that _I_ would schlepp my own luggage.
We don't actually need to do anything to check out other than make sure we (and our stuff) are physically out of the room, right?

We don't want to deal with our own luggage upon arrival precisely *because* we're arriving so late. We will have what we need for the night/next morning in our carry-on bags. When we land, we want to just get off the plane, get on the bus, and arrive at the resort. No baggage claim, no carting bags through the airport while wrangling over-excited and tired children, etc. We can have that fun when we arrive home at the end of our trip.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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GET YOUR OWN LUGGAGE. Sorry, but late at night is when problems happen. On this trip DME lost my sister and BIL's luggage. They didn't have anything until late in the afternoon the next day and they missed a park day because of it. They also didn't seem to do anything to help them or make up for their mistake either (which was weird and seemed very un-disney, but they were so upset we had to just let it go). They were staying at POR, but really that makes no difference.

Plus the magical express bag service cuts off at a certain time so check when it is, I think it might be at 9.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:59 PM   #6
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GET YOUR OWN LUGGAGE. Sorry, but late at night is when problems happen. On this trip DME lost my sister and BIL's luggage. They didn't have anything until late in the afternoon the next day and they missed a park day because of it. They also didn't seem to do anything to help them or make up for their mistake either (which was weird and seemed very un-disney, but they were so upset we had to just let it go). They were staying at POR, but really that makes no difference.

Plus the magical express bag service cuts off at a certain time so check when it is, I think it might be at 9.
The cut off is 10pm, so we're before that. We're definitely NOT claiming our bags ourselves. We just plain don't want to deal with it, for a bunch of reasons. We'll have a carry-on with what we need for that night and the next morning, so if there's a delay, we'll be fine. Honestly, if they could just take our bags straight to AKL and bypass AoA entirely, that would be awesome. But I doubt they'll do that.

Assuming they do get our bags to us within a few hours, I'm wondering how that works if it's very late at night. It would be quite startling to be awoken in the middle of the night in a strange place by someone walking into our hotel room!
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Old 10-16-2013, 02:26 PM   #7
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Tell Bell Servive

If I were you I would tell Bell Services at AofA not to bring bags to your room and for them to transfer them the next day to AKL. Also I would book one of the ALL STARS Resorts and save a few bucks, then the next day you would have a very short cab ride to AKL if you don't want to transfer from Animal Kingdom Park to AKL
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #8
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If I were you I would tell Bell Services at AofA not to bring bags to your room and for them to transfer them the next day to AKL. Also I would book one of the ALL STARS Resorts and save a few bucks, then the next day you would have a very short cab ride to AKL if you don't want to transfer from Animal Kingdom Park to AKL
I agree with this idea for the luggage- but if you are planning on swimming in the morning AoA is great! We won't let MDE get our luggage ever again after the incident with my sister, it was really bad and they landed at 8pm. We didn't think we could get our luggage on our own and carry it all with DS in the stroller, but we managed and I am so glad we did- this was not the first time we have had trouble with MDE and luggage so we didn't want to chance it. Good luck, and have a great time- both resorts were wonderful!
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