AKL or the Contemporary?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by wishiwasindisneynow, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. wishiwasindisneynow

    wishiwasindisneynow Earning My Ears

    Aug 20, 2011
    Okay, every summer we spend spend 5 days at one of our favorite resorts (Grand Floridian, Poly, or Yacht Club) but we try to spend the first 5 days in a different deluxe resort that we haven't stayed at yet.

    We are deciding between the AKL and the Contemporary for summer of 2013.

    Can anyone help us decide which one to pick???

    We obviously know about the locations of both of them..we want to hear about the resorts themselves.

    The only questions we have about the locations are:

    1. Is it really that nice to have the option of walking to and from the Contemporary and the MK?

    2. Do you feel like you are on the Disney buses forever staying at the AKL?

    Other than those location questions - we want to hear about the resorts on their own.

    All your expert advice will be MUCH appreciated!!

    Thank you!!!
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  3. laceemouse

    laceemouse DIS Veteran

    Apr 20, 2003
    Yep, it is really nice to be able to walk into the MK from the Contemporary. Having the monrail run through the resort is fun too!

    Do you plan to spend most of your time at the MK?

    The savanna view rooms are awesome for a kid who loves animals. I don't ever think any of the bus rides at WDW are terrible but other do disagree for sure.
  4. nvrenoughdisney

    nvrenoughdisney Mouseketeer

    Mar 19, 2008
    We own at AKV and have stayed at Kidani and at BLT. Both are fabulous. To answer your questions:

    1. Yes it really is that nice to walk to MK. Even if the hotel was terrible I think this would make it worth it for me. We do have three kids, ages 9, 7, and 2 so we visited MK frequently during our trip.

    2. No the buses do not feel that long. AKV has one of the best systems in my opinion, largely because it is not shared with any other hotels, only Jambo House and Kidani. There was only one bus ride, I think it was DTD, that felt long to me, and that was partly because we had to stop at one of the water parks.

    I can't speak directly to the contemporary theming as we stayed at bay lake, but I found it to be nice, although a bit sterile. AKV on the other hand is extensively themed. Some people think the decor is a bit dark but we love it. Staying here makes you feel like you are on a far away on a relaxing vacation.

    I wouldn't hesitate to stay at either resort. I think it comes down to personal taste and what you want to do on vacation. AKV has tons of activities at the resort. We only participated in the pool activities at bay lake so I'm not sure how everything else compares. We did like the pools at Jambo and Kidani better than those at the contemporary and the one at bay lake. I would highly recommend getting a savannah view if you choose AKL. I really don't think you can go wrong. We are going back to Kidani in November and I'd go back to BLT in a heartbeat. Don't let the distance scare you off from animal kingdom, it really is a great resort.
  5. Stitch's Greatest Fa

    Stitch's Greatest Fa DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2004
    Having stayed at both I much prefer the theming of the AK, it's great to have the monorail at the Contemporary, but as for the room itself, we felt as though it was any old Hyatt/Sheraton etc. nice but nothing that made it a Disney room!
  6. BYC

    BYC DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2005
    AKL Savanna view! Nothing like sitting on the balcony with coffee in the morning, or wine at night, and watching the animals. I think Contemporary would be my last choice of any resort in all of Disney, values and moderates included. It is just hideous!
  7. dakotix

    dakotix Mouseketeer

    Jul 12, 2012
    I've stayed at contemporary and liked it. If you're into the water scene its fun to rent the little watercraft but its true there really isn't that same kind of themed atmosphere that the Disney resorts are known for. Its like staying at the Hyatt. I think back when it was built it was considered to be very futuristic but today, not so much. If it were up to me I would stay at AKL...I'm a sucker for a big long giraffe.
  8. mom2travel

    mom2travel DIS Veteran

    Nov 14, 2008
    We've stayed at both AKL and CR, and love both.

    We stayed at CR several times when the kids were young and always took the monorail back from MK, not walked. We did walk a few times when they were older. I don't think the walking to CR from MK aspect would make or break my decision.

    For many years we only stayed on the monorail. A couple years ago we started branching out a bit and have since added WL, BWI, AKL & YC to our list. We absolutely loved AKL! I was a little nervous about only busses but in the end we didn't mind the transportation via bus-only at all. We had no issues with the busses. I think there was one day that when we arrived at the bus stop to go to MK, there was a huge crowd that had been waiting. But within a few minutes of our arrival, two MK busses showed up to clear the crowd.

    I am a little sentimental about CR, since that is the first (and only) WDW resort I stayed at as a child, and it's also the first WDW resort we stayed at after our DS was born. To me, there is an energy about CR that is like a pulse of WDW. Maybe it's the monorail running through the tower, or the shops & restaurants on the concourse, or the little Disney touches throughout. And we always have stayed in a wing, not the main tower.
    We like the easy access to MK, the monorail ride to switch over to Epcot, the size of the resort, the pool & its slide, the boat rental options. It's just a fun place to be, all in such close proximity to the MK.

    At AKL we stayed in a savannah view room. My DD and niece loved seeing the animals from our balcony. The resort was relaxed and pretty. The pool was nice, and though the slide wasn't huge, it was fun (I'm thinking comparable to CR slide). Boma is great for dinner. And a nice surprise for me was that I didn't feel like I was super far away from anywhere (though the bus ride to MK was longer than other resorts where we've stayed - but not any further than AK is from monorail resorts)

    Good luck and have fun deciding! Both are fantastic!!
  9. pooh4brains

    pooh4brains Mouseketeer

    Dec 18, 2009
    If you are used to the MK/EPCOT resort area, I would give AKL a try. It feels more self-contained and cozy to me than some of the other deluxes. AKL has 3 great restaurants, and the QS is pretty high quality. The pool area is fantastic - plenty of shade, and the pool is large enough that you don't feel too close to the other guests if you are playing and splashing. There are a lot of activities for kids - my son and I spent about 2 hours one day just doing the kids activities. And of course you have the animals!
  10. Zeppelin

    Zeppelin DIS Veteran

    Feb 11, 2009
    we are a CR family primarily because of the convenience factor...whether trying to get there for the rope drop or avoiding the sometimes long lines for the resort monorail you cannot beat the convenience factor of the CR imo...
  11. AJKMOM

    AJKMOM DIS Veteran

    Jun 21, 2000
    IMO, AKL gets a bum rap for the "long" bus rides. The only place where the bus rides are long is from there to the MK, and if you look at an actual map (not the disney map where it is not to scale) you can see the bus ride is not real short from almost any other resort to the MK. Especially the Epcot resorts that share busses between them.

    If you plan to spend most of your time at the MK, the Contemporary is the way to go. If you plan other parks and a resort only day, go AKL. It's beautiful and you (hopefully) won't be disappointed.
  12. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2006
    We have stayed at BLT & AKV. We love both.

    BLT - we love walkway to MK & Contempo cafe food selections. We also like the monorail & ease of GF & Poly along with ride to Epcot.

    AKV - love our savana view, The Mara, pool. AKL Theme is so much more than BLT. We love breakfast at Boma. So good. Can't speak on buses. Every time we have been at AKV we have had a car.

    I think you will make a great choice no matter which one you choose. Next trip, make sure you have the one you do not choose on your list!

    Happy Vacation!

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
  13. wishiwasindisneynow

    wishiwasindisneynow Earning My Ears

    Aug 20, 2011
    You all are the best!

    Thank you SO much for all your thoughts! It is SO hard picking a new resort when you are so in love with the others.

    We tried the WL for the first time last year and absolutely LOVED it!!!!! We can't wait to go back again!

    I think we will try the AKL for this coming trip...my son is in love with animals of all kinds - so he will be in heaven.

    Hearing that the bus rides are not too long - that made up our minds!

    Thanks again for taking the time to help us out with your advice and sharing your experiences with me!!!

    YEAH! :love:
  14. BYC

    BYC DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2005

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