AKL distance.

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by tahrea, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. tahrea

    tahrea Earning My Ears

    Nov 21, 2012
    I read a blog post that said to avoid AKL for first timers because it's do far from everything. I've been to WDW lots of times but I want it to be special for my sister-in-laws family. Is it really that big of a deal?
  2. Miffy

    Miffy DIS Veteran

    Dec 13, 2002
    It is a big deal if what you're expecting is to walk out of your hotel, get on the monorail, and be at the MK superfast. It's not a big deal if you don't mind a 20-minute bus ride to all of the parks except AK (which is a 5-minute bus ride).

    Sorry, I don't know what the driving times are, but they're probably similar to the bus times.

    None of this has ever bothered me in the least, but you have to decide what's more important--the resort itself (AKL is awesome) or the time it takes to get to the parks. Wherever you stay, one of the parks is going to be far away from your resort, since AK is not near MK, DHS or Epcot.

    Avoid AKL? Never!!!! In fact, it's worth going to AKL just to eat there and see the savannahs.

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  4. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    Not to us. AKL is probably our favourite deluxe. We have never had any issues with the bus transportation, and since the bus is only shared with Kidani Village, we have found the transportation better than the Epcot area resorts which have to share buses between several resorts.

    I didn't keep a stopwatch on every trip we took, but I don't think it took more than 20 min or so to get to MK (the furthest park) once the bus pulled away from the stop. I think it was around 15 min or so to Epcot. and DHS. And only a few min to AK.

    But then again, we're kind of relaxed when it comes to vacations. We're just not in that big a hurry to get anywhere- an extra 5-10 min. travel time isn't going to affect our enjoyment.
  5. Disney4Shaw

    Disney4Shaw Earning My Ears

    Aug 17, 2008
    Slightly longer bus rides have never been a deterrent for us. We love AKL. It is a beautiful resort with great food and atmosphere. Just get to the bus stop a little earlier. Of course it is awesome to stay at a resort on the Monorail. We were spoiled on our first visit staying at the Poly. Excited next trip is on the Monorail again. No matter where you stay it should be great.
  6. heidijanesmith

    heidijanesmith DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2010
    We stayed at AKL for our very first trip and it was wonderful! AKL has such a beautiful theme, landscaping and just a ton of Disney magic. I would absolutely recommend AKL for 1st timers.

    We found the buses to come frequently and not as long as I thought it would take. Kiandi was not open when we were there, so Jambo did not share a bus. I have heard that adding Kiandi has only increased the bus time by 5min or so, so it doesn't sound like a real big issue.

    Our stay at YC had worse bus service than when we stayed at AKL. AKL bus to MK took us 25-35min, YC bus took us 60min (as YC shares with so many EPCOT resorts). We used a taxi quite a few times at the YC, but never had to at AKL.

    We were just prepared to take the bus everywhere and planned for plenty of commute time.
  7. OKW Lover

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

    Apr 29, 2004
    If distance to a park is a major criteria for you then yes, AKL and the All Star resorts would be the furthest away (except to AK of course). If you want a place that will blow your socks off with theming then AKL is at the top of the list.
  8. vdub322

    vdub322 Are we there yet?

    Jan 30, 2012
    We love AKL!! Our favorite way to do it is to make it the second half of a split stay. In 2012 we stayed in the Magic Kingdom area for five nights and then switched to Kidani for three nights. In January we are staying in the Epcot area for seven nights and then switching to Kidani for two nights. I haven't stayed there for an entire trip yet, but I would in a heartbeat. We found the bus system there to be very efficient! Both parts of AKL are beautiful! Enjoy!
  9. AlohaAnnie

    AlohaAnnie DIS Veteran

    Jul 10, 2006
    AKL is a gorgeous resort.

    The distance to parks has never been a big deal for us.

    I think the resort would be more impressive especially if you are getting a savanna view nothing like starting every morning with those cute Giraffe, Zebra, & Wildebeest. Love them.

    We love to watch that cranky wildebeest chase the zebra around.

    The Pools are wonderful & the restaurants are just so delicious. Boma is a favorite breakfast & Mara is very good for lunch during a pool break.
  10. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

    Oct 26, 2000
    it is not far to ak or studios.

    to epcot and mk - a bit further - it can verify greatly from 20 to 45 minutes to the MK - depending upon the traffic and your bus driver. One driver drives 35 mph period. when the road allows you to drive 50mph - this can definitely slow down the trip.

    to epcot it can 15 to 35 minutes - again traffic and which way the bus drivers are forced to go.

    there can be problems in the main entrance and they need to go to a back entrance - which can add to your time.

    you can walk to the MK from BLT faster than a bus can bring you to the MK from AKL/V

    now this is not counting the time you will wait for a bus.
  11. tahrea

    tahrea Earning My Ears

    Nov 21, 2012
    Thank you everyone for the helpful information. Were going in a slow season so hopefully it will be quicker.
  12. kanderson89

    kanderson89 Mouseketeer

    Aug 5, 2009
    We stayed at AKL during a slow time and LOVED it! I thought the bus service would be a pain but it wasn't. Would definitely stay there again.
  13. AJKMOM

    AJKMOM DIS Veteran

    Jun 21, 2000
    Poor AKL gets a bum rap, IMO, about this. If you look at an actual map, not a Disney map where the Magic Kingdom seems to be in the middle of things and is definitely not to scale, you can see that the distances are not that bad. No one ever complains that the Contemporary is SOOO far from the Animal Kingdom. :rotfl:

    AKL is a beautiful resort, well themed with pools, activities and restaurants. It might be an extra 5 minutes on a bus to Epcot or DHS, but it is a great choice for a resort.
  14. Hooked On The Mouse

    Hooked On The Mouse DIS Veteran

    May 2, 2010
    We have stayed at both Jambo and Kidani and I have never noticed that the bus service is noticeably longer. But even if it were slightly, it would totally be worth it. It is a beautiful and unique resort. We spent the first half of a split stay at Kidani and the second half at Poly and all of us were a little down when we moved to Poly; we should have gone there first.
  15. chocovrdmicears

    chocovrdmicears DIS Veteran

    Mar 1, 2007
    I agree! Sometimes people talk like AKL is in Tampa. :confused3
    We have stayed at AKL twice.
    The first time we used the bus system and had no problems or complaints. We actually spent more time waiting for and on buses when we stayed at CSR (which is technically closer to the Parks).
    This past May we had a car when we stayed there and it took no time at all to get around to the Parks.
    I would HIGHLY recommend AKL for first timers or anyone else. It is such an amazing resort - truly like a *vacation* within a vacation. :cloud9:
  16. magicwishes

    magicwishes Mouseketeer

    Feb 27, 2011
    I wouldn't hesitate to stay at AKL again. The Disney transportation was great for us. We loved the resort too. I think it's a great experience whether it's your 1st or 5th trip.
  17. nkereina

    nkereina Last chance to lose your keys.

    Feb 11, 2009
    IMO, one of the biggest benefits that makes deluxe hotels worth the money is their proximity to the parks and the multiple transportation options, so you can minimize the need to take buses. Obviously with AKL, you lose this benefit. If you don't care much about that, then I would not let it stop you from staying there.
  18. DisneyFansInNYC

    DisneyFansInNYC DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    We have never stayed at AKL for that reason. We have eaten there and it has a wonderful atmosphere. We have teenagers that love to park hop between EPCOT and HS so the EPCOT resorts are much easier. It depends on who is in your party. Also if you have small kids - the folding of the stroller is a pain. We did that once with a double stroller and it was hard. Enjoy your trip no matter where you end up staying.
  19. spiceycat

    spiceycat dvc-blt

    Oct 26, 2000
    believe me I have - CR/blt has to share its bus with Polyn and GF - do you know how long it takes to do just this - try 12 to 20 minutes and that is before the bus can even leave to go to AK... so believe me when I stay at BLT don't go to AK.
  20. OhThePain

    OhThePain DIS Veteran

    Jan 20, 2010
    We also loved our stay at AKL and had absolutely no issues with the transportation. Just for S&G, using ourlaughingplace's transportation wizard, I compaired the travel times from AKL, Poly, WL and BWI to DHS, AK, DTD, EC and MK. The results are as follows:


    To DHS-19 mins, To AK-18 mins, To DTD-26 mins, To EC-20 mins, to MK-21 mins.


    To DHS- 20 mins, To AK-26 mins, To DTD-27 mins, To EC-45 mins (that is taking monorail to TTC then from TTC to EC), and MK-13 mins.


    To DHS- 23 mins, To AK-29 mins, to DTD-37 mins, To EC-22 mins, To MK- 13 mins by boat, 8 by bus.


    To DHS- 25 min walk, To AK-23 mins, to DTD- 19 mins, to EC-8 min walk, To MK-14 mins.

    Take it for what it is. Of course, this does not factor in time spent waiting for transportation to get to the resort and traffic. To me it just shows that the EC resorts will lead to the least travel time and AKL is not really "in the middle of no where" the way the haters would lead you to believe.
  21. stitchlovestink

    stitchlovestink DIS Veteran

    Dec 19, 2006
    Well maybe because AK is the least liked park. Some don't even go to it. Our last couple of trips we haven't even bothered to go to AK. In Jan, I'll probably only head over to try to catch FoTLK if it hasn't closed yet. But IT IS far.
    Personally, they'd have to give me the room for free to get me to stay at AKL. I don't think it is ALL that. But that's JMHO. and I def do not care for Boma, it's just too weird.
    My friends who have stayed at AKL loved it but they will not stay there without a car because they said the bus service sucks that bad. several of them said they wasted too much of their day waiting for buses or on a bus...
    But that's the beauty of Disney! They have a theme for everyone!! So don't worry, you won't be fighting me for a room at AKL!! LOL

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