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Animal Kingdom Lodge: 3 questions

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Maisey13, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. Maisey13

    Maisey13 Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2013
    Hi! We will be staying at AKL for our first trip late April. Since it is a bit slower time (after spring break crowds have left) our travel agent suggested we book a standard room as many times guests are upgraded to Savannah views for free. No worries either way since we can view animals from observation deck.

    1) If we are not upgraded, what is the view of a standard room (parking lot?)

    2) If we are upgraded, what is the difference between the various savannahs?

    3) Any recommendations for requests? I have no idea what to ask for as I don't know what my options are at this resort. (Floor or wing preference?)

    We are three guests (2 Adults and a 5 year old obsessed with animals!) Child is a light sleeper so preferably away from noisy areas (entry way, bus loading, parking lot?)

    Thanks so much for your help!
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  3. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

    Jan 1, 2009
    Yeah I think that is good advice:) - I went in April last year - booked a standard and was upgraded - I don't know where you might want to be but I loved my spot may be 3 rooms down from the elevator on Kudu Trail - I walked into my room and there were zebra out. I didn't see many giraffes though - but lots of other animals - it was a really great treat!:goodvibes

    I didn't make any room requests - just got my room when I checked in (evidently there were no standard views left) - don't know if that makes any difference.
  4. heidijanesmith

    heidijanesmith DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2010
    We love AKL and are super excited to go back. It is so much fun for animal lovers. If you do not get a Savannah view there are plenty of areas for the public to watch the animals. Take time to explore the resort, there are lots of trails and fun CM's to talk to.
  5. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2009
    My answers in red. Enjoy your stay!
  6. DSLRuser

    DSLRuser Age is a state of mind

    Feb 28, 2009
    1 - there are very little parking lot views. but look at google maps...not very pretty

    2 - the savanahs have different animals. one may have zebras where the other may have giraffs (plus others)

    3 - if it were me, i would ask for a pool view. The savanah room was ok the 1st day or two. but it soon became a running joke with our family. "hey...did you see the zebra"..."look a zebra"...it was quite boring actually
  7. Vaughn4380

    Vaughn4380 Mouseketeer

    Aug 13, 2009
    This is true, but I have to mention that between each of our trips the animals on each savanah changed. I think they rotate the animals periodically.
  8. redkmom

    redkmom Earning My Ears

    Feb 24, 2013
    Hooray for you! We love the AKL. We just returned from AKL and had booked a pool view room and after asking for a savannah room, they upgraded us to one on the 3rd floor overlooking the Uzima. The last time we were upgraded from a standard to an Arusha view and the times before that we booked a savannah view and got the Ostrich and Arusha.

    The standard views can be of anything except for the pool or savannahs. This includes parking lots and landscaping.

    All of the savannahs have animals and most are plentiful. They rotate the animals to different ones so it is hard to say for sure which has the best at any given time. The giraffes are able to roam everywhere and the ostriches stay in Sunset.

    The Uzima Savannah has a nice view and a myriad of animals and feels somewhat more secluded than the Arusha Savannah but has some soft traffic noise from the highway beyond the treeline. Also, a discreet fence is visible which breaks up the illusion a bit. These rooms are along the Zebra Trail and are close to the pool, restaurants, the arcade, childcare, and the laundry. They are also the closest to the buses along with Sunset Savannah rooms.

    The Arusha is a favorite because it offers the widest view and the most potential to spot giraffes and zebras but it is on the inner circle so you will be looking across at the building in front of you. If you choose this view, ask for a room along the Zebra Trail overlooking the Arusha savannah for the reasons stated above. The Kudu Trail rooms are far away from everything.

    The Sunset Savannah offers ostriches, which are fun. The location here is along the Ostrich Trail. This area is close to the buses but relatively far from the pool and everything else, though not too bad since it is the shortest wing. You may hear car noises here since the rooms along the Ostrich Trail opposite the savannah view face the parking lot.

    For any of them, ask for 3rd or 4th floors. They are high enough to offer a sweeping view of the savannahs but not too high so as to miss the details. The 3rd floor is the lobby level so if you do not want to have to deal with elevators for trips to and from the buses, for example, this is a good choice. Also, ask for unobstructed views and stay away from interior corner rooms. (They offer the least privacy on the balconies.)

    Enjoy your trip!!
  9. danceintherain

    danceintherain DIS Veteran

    Oct 2, 2007
    First of all, you should always book whichever room category you would be happy with. While upgrades do happen, they usually happen for capacity reasons at the resort. Keep in mind that if even one night of your vacation isn't available in the higher room category, they will not upgrade you. We booked a Pool View room for our honeymoon, and I checked availability a few nights before our trip. Most of the trip AKL had TONS of availability, but since we went over marathon weekend, those couple nights were completely booked. I would have loved an upgrade, but I booked the category I could live with, and was very happy with it.
    I second the recommendation to go with Pool View, because then you'll guarantee a nice view, and convenience to all the resort facilities. Look at an AKL map, most of the standard view rooms are on the entrance side of the resort facing the parking lot, bus stop, loading dock, or porte cochere.

    As per requests, if they upgrade you they will put you wherever they have a place for you. I doubt they'd take any requests seriously for a category you didn't pay for.
    More generally, we were put in a 4th floor Zebra trail pool view room when we stayed there, and the location was fantastic. We were only one floor up from the lobby, so we took the stairs most of the time, and about halfway between the elevators and the lobby. We could take the elevator down to the pool and counter service level really easily. We didn't have any noise trouble, even though we were very close to the pool.
    Again, I recommend that you look at a map of the resort, because that will help you determine locations you want to stay away from.
  10. Maisey13

    Maisey13 Mouseketeer

    Mar 6, 2013
    Thank you everyone for your helpful responses!
  11. WDWNext

    WDWNext Mouseketeer

    Jan 15, 2013
    Aha, info I need is here on this thread :goodvibes

    We are going late April too !! I have booked pool view, this is our first time so I will be completely content with what I booked.

    Now since we are talking free upgrades, is there a time of the day for check in that has more probability for upgrade than another ? This forum has experts on everything, I hope we have some data for this too :grouphug:
  12. sndral

    sndral DIS Veteran

    Feb 3, 2008
    Do look at a map, I like the one that DVC news site has for Jambo house. Radiating from the beautiful lobby are 4 long hallways - each is called a trail. The 2 hallways pointing to the front of the resort are Giraffe trail and Ostrich trail.
    Giraffe trail rooms have either a pool or street/parking lot view. They are most convenient to the bus stop and Giraffe trail has a 'secret' door onto the walkway in front of the resort which leads to the bus stop halfway between the bus stop and the entry into the lodge.
    Ostrich trail rooms have either a Sunset savanna view or a street/parking lot view.
    The 2 longer hallways pointing away from the entry are Kudu trail and Zebra trail.
    Kudu trail has either Sunset savanna views or Arusha savanna views. The rooms at the very end of this hallway are furthest from the lobby, the pool, the counter service, the bar, etc.
    Zebra trail has Arusha savanna, pool or Uzima savanna views. As mentioned it is very convenient to the pool, Mara, Samba's playhouse, Boma, Jiko, Victoria Springs, lobby, etc..

    I've made some notes in blue, below, do find a map and study it to get the lay of the land. Lovely resort, IMO.
  13. bethclayton

    bethclayton DIS Veteran

    Sep 16, 2007
    when we stayed, we booked a standard view and got a really bad room. it was right above the lobby, overlooked a rooftop with the smoking area and front entrance right below... but no worries, we couldn't see it anyway, because the balcony had a wall around it. :headache: it also had bunk beds, which would have been a total nightmare for us.

    we asked to be moved and had to pay to upgrade to pool view (which we were fine with). it was an awesome location. the view was great and it was so close to the pool and the mara. it was on the 4th floor, zebra trail, towards the end of the hallway, right near the stairs to take you outside...the ones right near the one hot tub. we were thrilled with this location.

    based on my experience, i would not book a standard room there again, i would book pool view instead (if i did not book savanna view). however... you could always try to be moved once you check in, if you get a room you are not happy with. it would just be based on availability at that time.
  14. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

    Mar 20, 2000
    The thing about free upgrade. Would you be happy with the room you purchased if you couldn't get a free upgrade? Make sure you take that into consideration if that's the case.
  15. Block Island

    Block Island Earning My Ears

    Feb 14, 2013
    On hold right now....how much is an upgrade from standard to pool?

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