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Old 07-22-2014, 08:21 AM   #1
ha1264
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Animal Kingdom..Not so much.

We always thought about staying here but with 3 small kids we were fine at the values. We finally decided to book this year. Jambo house Arusha view concierge level. It's nice, good view of the animals after dark and the concierge level is awesome...but we quickly found this isn't the place for us. The buses are terribly slow..it doesn't have a Disney feel. It actually feels like a Museum. Some of the guest appear not to like or want to be bothered by small children. We run the parks at a frantic pace and not at the resort much other than to sleep. We wanted to clear the what if's but we are headed back to the hustle and bustle of the values. There we don't feel like we have to keep the kids on a leash. If your family is like ours save the money and book the values.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:40 AM   #2
anjalee6
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Sorry you feel this way. We have never had anything but good experiences at AKL and we have stayed here since our smallest was 18 months old. We find it very kid friendly and enjoyable. It is definitely away from the Disney scene, but after being in the parks all day, we like feeling like we are in a totally different world. We love the theming and the quiet, calm feel. We tried at least 10 different Disney hotels, and we found our true love at AKL. That is the great thing about Disney theming though, there is a place for everyone to enjoy.
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Old 07-22-2014, 08:52 AM   #3
ArwenMarie
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I haven't stayed there yet, but I love the quiet, dark feel it has. It seems very calming after a day at the parks. I probably wouldn't stay there without a car, but we like to have our car at any resort.
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:05 AM   #4
Shaden
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Loved our stay at AKV ..

Actually found it supremely themed and "Disney", more so than many other resorts in fact.

Its not overtly Disney movie themed, that's not the point, at WDW the depth and quality of theming is what makes things feel like "Disney" ... and the depth and quality of the theming at AKL ... I don't think can be matched by any other resort at WDW. But for the record, if you look around, the carpet, the furniture, the building, the Screening around the outside stairs by the savannah, etc, there are little Mickeys and Disney theming all over ...

Busses - we had a couple bad days, of course we were there for 15, and it seemed to just be dumb luck. Otherwise the busses were pretty darn good.

Concierge level - would never pay for it, that's just crazy. I know some people swear by it , but I think the best description I got of it, from someone at CL at AKV this trip was that its "No better than any business hotel" ...

Overall, you make a good point, if you are hitting the parks from rope drop to fireworks, and then heading back to the resort to sleep and then repeat, there probably isn't much of a reason to stay anywhere other than a value. Why pay for something you aren't really going to use ? But we very much enjoyed AKL and will definitely be back. But then, different strokes for different folks right ?
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Old 07-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ha1264 View Post
We always thought about staying here but with 3 small kids we were fine at the values. We finally decided to book this year. Jambo house Arusha view concierge level. It's nice, good view of the animals after dark and the concierge level is awesome...but we quickly found this isn't the place for us. The buses are terribly slow..it doesn't have a Disney feel. It actually feels like a Museum. Some of the guest appear not to like or want to be bothered by small children. We run the parks at a frantic pace and not at the resort much other than to sleep. We wanted to clear the what if's but we are headed back to the hustle and bustle of the values. There we don't feel like we have to keep the kids on a leash. If your family is like ours save the money and book the values.
Good advice. I personally want a more peaceful resort to offset the hectic pace and fervor at the parks. By no means does that mean kids are a bother (we bring a kid with us ourselves) but Pop wasn't a relaxing stay for me. I felt like it was constant noise and a barrage on the senses. Give me a quiet resort like WL or AKL anytime, any day.

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Old 07-22-2014, 09:10 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ha1264 View Post
We always thought about staying here but with 3 small kids we were fine at the values. We finally decided to book this year. Jambo house Arusha view concierge level. It's nice, good view of the animals after dark and the concierge level is awesome...but we quickly found this isn't the place for us. The buses are terribly slow..it doesn't have a Disney feel. It actually feels like a Museum. Some of the guest appear not to like or want to be bothered by small children. We run the parks at a frantic pace and not at the resort much other than to sleep. We wanted to clear the what if's but we are headed back to the hustle and bustle of the values. There we don't feel like we have to keep the kids on a leash. If your family is like ours save the money and book the values.
I'm sorry you weren't happy at AKL. We've had 2 great stays there and just love everything about it, but it's not for everyone. Not every resort fits everyone's needs/wants for a vacation, and now that you've tried it, you know it's not a resort for you and your family. Thanks for sharing your experience .
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:16 AM   #7
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Oh man- that stinks. I'm sorry you didn't like it at AKL. At least now you know.

I wonder if you would've felt better about it if you'd booked a less expensive room category, like pool view. There's not much value in the club level rooms. They are expensive. Plus, 5 people in a room there would definitely not be fun!
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:34 AM   #8
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Sorry you didn't like it. We loved our AKL CL stay. It was amazing. Love the resort atmosphere, there are lots of African Art work and artifacts around which we found interesting, not museum like But if your the park commando type and don't have much time to enjoy resort ammenities then for sure a value would be the best fit for you.
It's wonderful that wdw has resorts to fit everyone's needs and tastes.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ha1264 View Post
We always thought about staying here but with 3 small kids we were fine at the values. We finally decided to book this year. Jambo house Arusha view concierge level. It's nice, good view of the animals after dark and the concierge level is awesome...but we quickly found this isn't the place for us. The buses are terribly slow..it doesn't have a Disney feel. It actually feels like a Museum. Some of the guest appear not to like or want to be bothered by small children. We run the parks at a frantic pace and not at the resort much other than to sleep. We wanted to clear the what if's but we are headed back to the hustle and bustle of the values. There we don't feel like we have to keep the kids on a leash. If your family is like ours save the money and book the values.
We loved our stay at AKL. It was our first ever trip, infact, it was our once in a lifetime trip to disney so we spent the money and stayed there. We loved it, so big and quiet, the lobby was breathtaking. We have now been back to disney several times but since We take 3-4 big trips per year to other destinations as well so now we stay at moderates.

My biggest pet peeve at any hotel is people who allow their kids to run around and act like little turds. I don't care if you're paying $79 a night or $379, everyone deserves to enjoy the hotel. Running, screaming kids is nothing more than poor parenting.
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Old 07-22-2014, 03:39 PM   #10
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All good points. That's what is good about Disney something for everyone. We work hard and play hard just our style. That's why we all love it here. Coming back in November but at AOA. We liked the club level area just didn't get a chance to use it enough. As the poster above said "little turds" is the reason we don't like it here. My babies are excited each time we come. They don't run and scream, but you do know they are . excited. I hope you don't run into any "little turds" on your next visit.

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Old 07-22-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArwenMarie View Post
I haven't stayed there yet, but I love the quiet, dark feel it has. It seems very calming after a day at the parks. I probably wouldn't stay there without a car, but we like to have our car at any resort.
ITA! "Dark" appeals to me quite a lot after being out in the blazing hot sun all day. We too always have a rental car, makes a big difference.

I also think that people who are annoyed by children have not chosen their vacation wisely. It is their problem, not the problem of the kids/parents.
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #12
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At first I didn't like the darkness of it. It grew on me. We loved our stay. The buss service stinks. Not happy about that, but, not enought to say no we won't do it again. In fact, we are now DVC members!
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Old 07-22-2014, 04:52 PM   #13
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We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Villas and I am interested in information on buying some basic food from the resort store. Basically we would only want a case of water, milk, juice and some breakfast cereal. Does anyone have information on what is available and the prices? I am trying to decide if I order some basics to be delivered or if I just pay the higher prices and buy what we need at the resort store.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:09 PM   #14
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I think, there is a general expectation among some that CL, with the additional cost, means fewer kids...and so they of course will look down their noses like Mr. Dawes Sr. (the bank director from Mary Poppins) as soon as they see children in the CL area...not sure how they get that idea, but they do. oh well, if they didn't want to be around kids WDW is the worst possible vacation destination for them, so it is their fault

With young kids, I think AOA sounds like a much more fun time for them in general...but if you still wanted to consider Deluxe, WL or Contemporary I think would be great choices (after WL finishes the pool refurb of course)...or maybe a Royal Room at POR (DD LOVED their pool) or if they like pirates CBR has Pirate rooms.

I do want to stay at AKL one day...of course, I want to stay in each resort...well, moderates and above.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:20 PM   #15
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I agree with the OP in this instance...AK was not for us. Some of the same issues were what we do not like. Just small things around the resort that just simply did not appeal to us. That's what is so great about having so many resorts to choose from.
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