AKL or WL and why?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by flinkerfrosch, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Have a 4 and 6 year old. Coming to WDW in Oct for 10 days. Which resort would be better and why?
    Thanks!
     
  2. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Reosrt.

    to hide this advert.
  3. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2004
    Messages:
    23,205
    That's a very difficult choice.

    AKL has the entertainment value of being able to look at animals right from your room (if you get a savannah view) or the public spaces. However, its a longer bus ride to the MK where you may be spending more of you time with children that age.

    WL has a convenient boat to the MK. Its also a visually impressive lobby (as is AKL) that the children may like.
     
  4. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,264
    You might want to check this thread out. There are a lot of comparisons between the two resorts discussed in it.

    akl or wl

    We were at WL last month with our grandchildren, age 5 and 3, and it was a great resort for them. The boat to MK was very convenient. And they loved the pool slide.

    I haven't been to AKL, but I heard that it has a very good kids playground.
     
  5. SoccerDogWithEars

    SoccerDogWithEars DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,383
    This is a hard choice for me, because the Lodges are my family's two favorite resorts.

    That being said, with two small children, I would have to lean towards to WL. AKL is gorgeous, and of course being able to see the animals from your balcony is awesome. However, I feel (as a 22 yo) that it has a bit more of an adult feel to it. WL just seems to have more to do. In addition to the pool, there's a Hidden Mickey scavenger hunt you can do yourself, and plenty of walking trails. You can rent bikes and ride over to Fort Wilderness. And, as mentioned by PP, it's no problem to get to MK. The bus rides back to AKL can tend to be long, which with small children might be an issue.
     
  6. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt,vwl,bwv

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2000
    Messages:
    37,200
    WL - boat ride or bus to the MK. the boat ride is longer but more fun. the bus ride is around 5 minutes.

    so would ride the boat going and coming back the bus. (unless the boat is there if you have to wait on the boat - go with the bus going back)

    really enjoyed WL - it did share with FW for Epcot - and that added something to it - that I think your kids will enjoy. FW is very different and looking out the windows at it was fun.

    Now not sure what buses share.
     
  7. chinhk

    chinhk Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    217
    We have stayed at AK two years and it was great! A lovely resort with many good dining options - Boma, Sanaa and Jiko.

    You will need to catch the bus to all the parks but we had no problems with the bus service during our stay (that was in Feb). AK is highly recommended!
     
  8. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    8,275
    For 10 days I would split between them -- best of both worlds that way.


    They are both beautiful -- WL has better transportation to the MK (but not to any other park), AKL has the animals and lots of activities for the kids, plus a better pool area (especially if you add the Kidani splash area).

    I don't think you can go wrong with either one. If you think your kids would love being able to look at the animals each day, then AKL may be a better choice. If your plans are heavy on MK days, then the location of the WL would make things easier for you.
     
  9. sleepydog25

    sleepydog25 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2004
    Messages:
    3,943
    I'm slightly biased, but I'd give the edge to WL due to the transportation. AKL is close to little save AK itself while WL is located close to MK and is a nominal bus ride from the other parks. WL also isn't as sprawling of a resort as AKL making it slightly easier to navigate. I'd give the nod to AKL for the pool areas but my vote for dining goes to WL if only barely. While Sanaa is much better than WCC for adults, the kids likely would enjoy the latter better. The CS areas at the two resorts aren't vastly different, and while I enjoy Jiko a great deal, my praise for Artist Point is a notch higher. Finally, overall ambience goes to WL since it has the geyser, the beach (perfect from which to watch EWP), and a nice walking trail over to FW. I think you'll love either one, however, so have fun making up your mind. :thumbsup2
     
  10. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Thank-you to everyone! You all have some great points!

    I do love the pool WAY better at AKL then WL, and at WL I do love the boat transportation to MK..so much to think about:)
     
  11. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Funny enough, I was thinking of doing this. 5 nights at AKL and 4 nights at WL. I just find it so confusing.
    I plan on getting the DP, so it makes it much more difficult to split it to make it 2 reservations. I would either only be able to have the dining the plan the first 5 days at AKL or I would have to buy park tickets for each reservation which would cost me more $$$ so I could have the dining plan at AKL and then at WL.
    I don't understand why Disney makes it so difficult. I would LOVE to split it, but I don't know if the hassle is worth it:(
    I am really hoping for the Free Dining Plan come Oct, and if this is the case, might make more sense for me to stay at one resort so I can take advantage of the DP the entire 9 nights.
     
  12. meredith1

    meredith1 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2011
    Messages:
    895
    I've never stayed at either but, I wouldn't stay at AKL (especially with relatively young kids) only because it is so far away from everything. It's way out there and it takes awhile to get back to your accommodations if you need to get back quick....even if you take a taxi.

    WL is close enough to MK and Epcot where you will more than likely spend most of your time with children the ages of yours. WL is my SIL's favorite resort and she has stayed at most of them.
     
  13. disneybliss2

    disneybliss2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,449
    You can't really go wrong with either, but we personally love AKL, especially my kids. It's like a mini African vacation within a WDW vacation. They have a lot of fun activities for the kids if you take time to enjoy your resort. We never took down time to enjoy our resort until this last trip at AKL. It was wonderful! They have African drumming, an animal trekking activity, how flamingos eat activity, cookie decorating, animal bingo, etc. At each activity the kids can earn a special bead to string on a cord that creates a memory string from their stay. It really makes for a great memory. The pool is awesome too. We had a great experience with transportation as well, which was a big concern of mine. I noticed it was slightly longer to MK, but not much, and it took about the same amount of time to get to Epcot and HS as other resorts we've stayed at. It was only 5 min. from AK.

    Good luck with your decision!
     
  14. mara61

    mara61 Mouseketeer

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2000
    Messages:
    150
    I'm voting for AKL. I am biased towards AKL, but have stayed at WL (we didn't have the best room and I think that jaded my husbands experience). My reasons for AKL, yes it is a tad further from the Magic Kingdom than Wilderness lodge but not by that much. We've timed it in the evening (bit of a geek, lol) and in the evening it's 20 minutes to AKL and 15 to WL via the boat. 5 minutes is not bad, some people make it sound like it's a huge time difference. So please don't let the time to park/hotel be the only deciding factor. So many people have made the assumption either because they went on a crowded day or they got a late start that both resorts have a vast difference in time frames to each park that it's not true. Check into averages on travel times on line for yourself before you go off of what someone from a board online tells you (even me :)). They might have no idea what they are talking about but just repeating rumors...

    There are awesome things about both hotels, if you enjoy the up north woods feeling go with WL, if you enjoy a more earthy with views of animals, go with AKL. It is darker, but not that darlk like some will say. My husband and I love it for the fact that it's NOT Disneyfied. We LOVE Disney but after a day of overstimulation, we want to just chill. Our sons have been going to the AKL since they were 18 months old and hands down it is my oldest's favorite resort. He likes POFQ, as do my husband and I, but home is AKL. My youngest alas, seems to forget everything.

    Both have fun things for kids and adults to do. This year we are FINALLY going to do the kitchen tour and cookie decorating at the AKL.

    I am not sure if WL has a zero entry pool but AKL does which when our children were younger (they are now 10 and 8) it was really nice to have.

    All in all don't base your decision on the travel times, it's really not that much further from the MK to AKL vs WL.

    Enjoy your stay where ever you should end up! You will have an awesome time :goodvibes
     
  15. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Sounds like you had an amazing experience!

    Did the pool have a daily pool party like most of the other resorts?

    Transportation was really my only concern, but sounds like it really isnt too bad. I do like the boat option with WL, but I love the pools way more at AKL, and I think my kids would rather have the pools then a boat ride a few times.

    Also, did it feel so far away from Disney? I also like at WL you can see the fireworks and the Water parade...
     
  16. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    8,275
    Yeah, that's a good point. We don't use the DDP, so it's never been a problem when we split.

    Like I said, they are both nice resorts. We didn't find the buses all that bad at AKL -- and we loved the "remote" Africa feeling of the place. Others prefer to be able to see the parks from their resorts... For my family, the pools and the animals make up for that. Good luck with your decision!;)
     
  17. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Wow! Thanks for the run down:)

    I think its great you timed it, and because you did, it helps others like me:)

    I am really leaning towards AKL, and for the whole 10 days. Makes things so much easier, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the 2 pools and kids play area.
    I also love that AKL has the zero entry pool which WL does not. My 4 yr old would be able to enjoy himself more at the AKL pool. AKL also has 2 waterslides, one being 128ft long, so my 6 yr old will have a blast, and they have a smaller one for my 4 yr old.
    The animals and African look/feel make it that much more exciting!!!
     
  18. Wood Nymph

    Wood Nymph DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Messages:
    6,264
    We've only stayed at WL, so I can't compare buses. But the WL shares the bus to Epcot, HS and AK with one other resort, usually FW, which made it a longer trip to the parks than the return trip, in which it was the first stop.

    Sent from my iPad using DISBoards
     
  19. karenfb

    karenfb Earning My Ears

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2013
    Messages:
    20
    I have stayed in both and you can't go wrong with either. I loved the atmosphere so much more at AKL but the convenience of WL. I would be just fine with tossing a coin. I can tell you that your kids will love the animals at AK but they will love the entertainment at WL. Don't stress about deciding. You'll love both!
     
  20. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Thank-you!!

    When you said "entertainment" what do you mean by that in regards to comparing both resorts? What does WL do entertainment wise that AKL does not?
    Does AKL have a daily pool party for the kids? I know WL does (I think)
     
  21. flinkerfrosch

    flinkerfrosch DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2013
    Messages:
    847
    Thank-you for your input:)
     

Share This Page