Planning February 2011 Vacation at AKL...Help!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by SteveCM, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. SteveCM

    SteveCM Earning My Ears

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    Oct 19, 2010
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    Hi! I'm in the early stages of planning a one week vacation in February 2011 for my anniversary:love:. I was just looking for some advice, and was hoping you guys and gals might be able to help :)
    This would be my boyfriend's first time visiting Disney, and a special occasion...and I am in charge of all the plans, so I don't want to screw it up! I wanted to go all out for this trip, and was thinking of booking a deluxe resort. So I guess my questions are:
    1) Is a deluxe resort worth it? I was thinking of the Animal Kingdom Jambo Villas. We are not DVC members, but I hear you can still book the rooms at a higher rate?
    2) Is there much of a difference between the 1 Bedroom suite and the Studio suite? I hate walking all over each other, so space is important. Further, if we got the 1 Bedroom instead of the Studio, we'd be forced into a standard view instead of Savanna--is that a big difference in enjoying the room?
    3) Are the disney dining plans worth it? Does it make dining at restaurants more complicated/do we save money? The dining plans are quite confusing to me!
    4) Should we rent a car? We were probably doing all dining at Disney resorts and parks. Other than that, we may visit Universal for Harry Potter world. I am guessing parking is a charge, so it would be more money....but is this generally worth it over busses?
    5) Any other final tips or must do things??

    Thanks so much! I'm really excited:)
     
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  3. Sienna

    Sienna Mouseketeer

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    We stayed at AKL on our trip in January and LOVED it. Well worth it, in my opinion. It's a beautiful resort, and very unique. I don't know about the 1-bedrooms, but we stayed in a regular room with a savannah view and it was great. The room wasn't huge, but we certainly had enough space.

    We did the quick service dining plan, and that worked out well for us. I think you'll find a lot of debate by asking if the dining plan is worth it. You need to figure out what's important to you and go from there. Are character meals important to you? Or eating at a lot of table service restaurants? Are you okay with making dining reservations wayyyy in advance, and planning your days around that? Or do you just want peace of mind by knowing that your food is paid for in advance? In our particular case, when I compared the cost of the plan to the cost of each meal (they'll give you a receipt), we saved money by going with the plan. However, if we weren't on the plan, we probably wouldn't have gotten a lot of the extras that are included with the meals, like beverages and desserts, and maybe a lot of the snacks, so we probably would have saved a few bucks by just paying out of pocket. But the snacks and desserts were a fun way to treat ourselves and splurge a little during vacation.

    We didn't have any problems with the bus transportation. It was very easy to get where we were going. Sometimes we waited 2 minutes for a bus, sometimes it was 15, but it wasn't a big deal. In all, it's very efficient. The longest ride was about 25 minutes to MK. You might see if there's some sort of transportation available to Universal Studios so you don't have to rent a car.

    Final tips - have a great time!!! :cheer2:
     
  4. Harlemgirl720

    Harlemgirl720 DIS Veteran

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    1) Yes it is worth it. If it fits your budget, go for it.:thumbsup2
    2) Studio is a good size for two but you will not get the full kitchen and the master bathroom with the jacuzzi tub and separate shower. Studio has standard bathroom and small fridge with a microwave.
    3) Dining plans are worth it to me. I have never done the deluxe plan. I usually do the regular plan --snack, 1 table service and 1 counter service a day.
    4) If you plan to visit other parks like Universal, I would rent a car. If you want to do just Disney parks, I would use their transportation
    5) If you stay at AKL, make sure you walk around and look at all the artifacts and artwork. Also, take a walk to AKV. Its a smaller lodge but it has Sanaa restaurant and bar. Very nice.
     
  5. nannette

    nannette Dislikes Trolls! :)

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    Hi, AKL is my home resort (DVC). I have stayed in both studio and one bedroom. The one bedroom has a washer and dryer, full kitchen with stove, dishwasher, full size fridge, cookware, plates the works... if your into cooking on your vacation and doing laundry. I do laundry but I don't cook on vacation! The studio is your basic hotel room with a micro, small fridge, and sink. The studio is pretty spacious. I usually do the deluxe dinning plan. I feel like anything I can pay for before my trip the better. The deluxe plan is 3 pts per day and you use them however you like, so if you don't want bfast then you have 3 pts for lunch and dinner so if you wanted to go to a nicer place for dinner like Jiko (very very nice) you would have the 2 pts to do that. Some places are 2 pts and some are 1 pt. It's all about the planning. I wouldn't suggest going without reservations if you expect to eat in at the table service places. As far as the buses they are fine. If you decide you want to visit universal just rent a car at Disney. The car care center is there and also at the Swan and Dolphin there is a car rental place. Very easy to get to from EPCOT or Disney Studios. Take the boat to the hotel. So you could just rent it for the day. Parking at the AKL is free unless you use the valet. Hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to PM me and if I can help answer them I will :)

    Have fun planning!

    ~Nannette
     
  6. SteveCM

    SteveCM Earning My Ears

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    Oct 19, 2010
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    Thanks so much for the replies! It seems like Animal Kingdom is the way to go. The one bedroom seems a lot better based on replies here, yet I wonder if it's necessary on an anniversary trip--isn't the idea togetherness? :) I'm thinking I will do the Standard room to save some money, and we can go view the animals down the hallway. It seems the resort has a special price for Feb 3-9, which is great...but I don't think it works with the free dining! Transportation to Universal also seems to be an issue--we may need to rent a car for a day.

    Decisions! I may be back with more questions :)

    Thanks
    Steve
     
  7. JeanfromBNA

    JeanfromBNA "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!"

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    Hey, Steve,

    Glad you got some questions answered. We'll be in WDW later in February, and have been in February before, and I can tell you that February is a great time to go! Low crowds, lower prices, and while weather can be changeable, it can also be quite pleasant! We are thinking of AKL, too!

    I would go to the Disney Restaurants Board, and at the very top is information about dining plans. Review that, and if you have any questions about the dining plans, post on the restaurant board. In my opinion, the dining plans work if you know what to expect and how to get the most out of them.

    The experts on the Transportation Board have ready answers to the "How Do I Get to Universal Studios" and "are the busses reliable" questions. You might try the search function first on those questions because they're common. My DH and I enjoy the convenience of the WDW transportation system over what we think are the hassles and costs of a rental car. However, we are accustomed to using public transportation.

    Picking up the Unoffical Guide to Walt Disney World might make things a little clearer, and add to the anticipation of your trip. It did for me.

    Have a great time at the World! :yay:
     

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