Just got back from ASSp & AKL!

Discussion in 'Canadian Trip Planning & Community Board' started by asc, Apr 29, 2001.

  1. asc

    asc Mouseketeer

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    I just got back from a wonderful week at All Star Sports and Animal Kingdom Lodge. AKL is fabulous! It has been less than a day and I am already in post trip let down -- I had to spend the drive home from Seattle planning the next trip in my mind!

    I like the new boards!
     
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  3. grover

    grover <font color=violet>DIS VETERAN<br><font color=CC99

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    Glad to hear that you had a great trip! How many days did you spend at AKL? By the way I can totally relate to the post trip letdown!! But it helps when you are planning your next trip! :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

    Grover in Winnipeg
     
  4. asc

    asc Mouseketeer

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    I spent 3 days and 2 nights at AKL. It was a big indulgence -- I will most likely be living on the Kraft Dinner for the next while. The hotel is beautifully decorated. I spent a lot of time watching the animals, and they do come up quite close! The staff is very knowledgeable about the animals as well. I regretfully did not eat at the sit down restaurants (just Mara, the fast food court which I liked) -- I guess I was already too apprehensive about staying there that I was nervous about trying the restaurants. The food did look and smell wonderful. (Something to plan for next time?) I did have a drink at Jiko, they have a huge South African wine by the glass list.

    The post trip let down seems to come on faster and faster with each trip! I may have to head to Blockbuster and rent a few Disney videos to get me throught the next few days...;)
     
  5. MickeyCanada

    MickeyCanada Mouseketeer

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    What kind of room did you have? Also, if you don't mind me asking what did you pay? I am thinking adding 2 extra days after our cruise to stay at AKL and have been quoted the amount of $165 for a standard room (for Sept). Do you think it is worth it?
     
  6. cdntowdw

    cdntowdw Mouseketeer

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    asc - I'm assuming Jiko is the lounge at AK, I haven't been paying much attention to the posts about AK until you mentioned they had a nice South African wine list. My DH and I love SA wine. Is it in any way possible we could nip over to the AKL to have a look around (can't afford to stay this trip, it's ASMO for us) and sip a glass of wine. We lived in SA for a time and I'm sure this will bring back many fond memories for us. Here's the problem, rather two problems, we will need to take our boys 6 & 9 along. Are they allowed in to Jiko?
     
  7. asc

    asc Mouseketeer

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    MickeyCanada-I had a standard room booked too and my rate was just less than 20 dollars more than what you were quoted. Most of September is Value season and the rack rate for a standard room is $199. I am not nonchalant about staying at a deluxe. The staff was excellent to us. I really liked my room and the hotel. I thought it was worth it because I wanted to feel luxurious and I did. Was there something specific you wanted to know about?

    cdntowdw-Jiko is a sit down restaurant but there is a small lounge/waiting area with a bar. (There is a lounge call Victoria Falls but their list is quite short although I am sure you could ask the waiter to get the list from Jiko if you would like to sit there instead -- I have done this in other resorts) I do not think it would be a problem to bring your sons along although you could check with the restaurant directly if you are concerned. We just dropped in late in the evening to have a drink. Bottom line, it is a hotel and more specifically, a Disney family hotel. The staff at the restaurant was wonderful to kids that I saw. I actually ate a sandwich that I had picked up in DD while we enjoyed our wines and no one said anything. I love wine but am not that educated on SA wines. They had about 65 wines by the glass, and probably more by the bottle. I was very impressed and the staff was very knowledgeable about them as well. You can definitely take the bus over with no problem, just pick it up at DD or the TTC but if you are going to drive, you may have to make a reservation because security does check each car. Something to consider, I think there is a children's program at AKL, Simba's Cubhouse that can entertain your boys while you are there. By the way, I stayed at All Star Sports for most of this trip and I really enjoyed that too. We shared an Illuminations cruise with a couple who stayed at Movies and they liked it too.

    Sorry for the long replies!
     
  8. MickeyCanada

    MickeyCanada Mouseketeer

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    Can you please tell me where your room was situated at the AKL. Was it near the main lobby. Did you feel it was worth the dollars even though you stayed in a standard and not a savanah view?
     
  9. asc

    asc Mouseketeer

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    My room was in the Ostrich Trail on the 5th floor. It took maybe 2-3 minutes at the very most to walk to elevators to get to the lobby although on the hotel map it may look longer. Add a couple more minutes if you are trying to get to the pool or Mara, the fast food court, for a quick coffee. It was by no means a bad room. There was a window in the hallway overlooking the savannah and we sometimes saw the animals as we walked by. I noticed quite a few of the standard rooms were occupied by guests as I would pass by walking. Personally, I rarely ever spend time on a balcony. In fact, to this day, I am still not 100 percent sure I even had a balcony when I stayed at the Yacht Club awhile back. I go out on a balcony to check the weather. So that may cloud my opinion somewhat. There are many viewing areas for the animals including two large open balconies in the back. If you have seen the map of AKL (I can find you the link if you need it), these are the two large semicircles above the words "Kudu Trail" and "Zebra Trail". There are rocking chairs there where you can sit and relax. I spent a lot of time there. You may walk all along the Savanna Overlook and go over to the Sunset Overlook at the side near the lobby for viewing as well. There is also a small area at the back of the pool area. Also note that the not all the animals are around from about 10am to 4-5pm depending on the heat. They sleep and get their check-ups in the back in this forested area where they hide all the buildings. As well, these animals are free to roam the savannah, it is not like they are standing in front of your room everytime you look out the window. This is also when most people are in the parks and not hanging around the hotel. I did not feel that I was missing out because I had a standard view. I spent one day at Universal so I was not even at the hotel nor was I near enough to just pop back anyway. The room was lovely and I had an excellent maid who made our trip extra special. You are not treated any differently because of a different view that I noticed (I could understand that with concierge but that is a different story). The hotel staff, especially the people from all over Africa, are very friendly. So yes! I think it was worth it because I wanted a stay at a nice hotel with a unique theme. I think you have to look at what you want. I did a lot of research and debating (up until a week before) as you are now. I did enjoy myself and may consider staying again given a good rate but there are other deluxe properties I would very much like to stay at as well for various reasons. Were you considering this hotel versus another?
     
  10. MickeyCanada

    MickeyCanada Mouseketeer

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    ASC - Thanks for the great description. I wasn't considering any other hotels, as we are going to be spending 6 days at DXL, 4 days cruise, and the 2 days at AKL. I just thought it would be nice to go back to WDW and just explore AKL, and stay at a Deluxe resort. :smooth:
     
  11. cottontail

    cottontail DIS Veteran

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    MicheyCanada: We are doing the same thing as you but at the beginnig of our trip after the 24 hour long drive to wdw. We will stay in akl for 2 nights, I got a rate of $179 before tax for a savannah room a couple of months back. Then we are onto to dolphin for the rest of our stay, which I am also looking forward to. Bye,

    Deb.
    P.S. Not looking forward to changing the hotel rates into Canadian dollars, ouch..
     
  12. MickeyCanada

    MickeyCanada Mouseketeer

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    Cottontail - When are you staying at AKL? Sounds like you got a great deal! I'm paying $169 for a standard view mid September.
     
  13. cottontail

    cottontail DIS Veteran

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    Hello MickeyCanada:

    We are staying for a day or two in the third week of august. I got this rate about three months ago when I happened to call about different resort prices for a friend, and a special at the animal kingdom lodge appeared,
    I had not even thought about going there, I took it anyways the savannah view 179 before tax equals 198 including tax, I could have gotten a standard room for 159 before tax. We do not go down too often so I splurged for the savannah view. I am just concerned with the heat, I hope we will see some animals in motion.
    Boy that exchange rate puts a damper in the activities and restaurants that we will try.

    Bye,

    Deb.
     

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