AKL or Boardwalk

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by ponyboy, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

    Jul 23, 2010
    I'm in the beginning stages of planning our 3rd trip. Each one has been longer and longer and this time we're going to stay for 11 days.

    In the past we've stayed at WL and POR. This time we're looking at a grand villa at either AKL or Boardwalk.

    I would rather stay at Boardwalk but the others prefer the villa at AK with the pool table and the views of the savannah. I'm just concerned that it's the farthest away from everything, while Boardwalk is near the center.

    Is it really that big of a deal and does it take too long to go to the other parks? AK is probably our least favorite and we spend the least amount of time there, so it's not super convenient to stay there. We usually hit the roller coaster a few times, the safari and pretty much leave after that.

    Am I too concerned that it's far away from everything else?
  2. scottmel

    scottmel <font color=darkorchid>Does my logic in my origina

    Jul 28, 2002
    I don't know the ages of the people in your party. I have stayed at both resorts and honestly AK is just not our type of place. I found it small, darkly lit, just not my theming...at all. I love BWV. Super close to DHS and Epcot, nice atmosphere. Pool is not that great at BWV but honestly it isn't anything great at AKV either. I just much prefer the location at Epcot. AKV is remote from other parks - if you have a car that won't be that big of a deal but relying on buses to get to 3 other parks well it can be a hassle. I don't mind the remoteness of AKV but I just don't care for the atmopshere and that is the big sell point there. The idea of seeing the animals is a nice novelty for a day or two but after that it was no great shakes. How about a split stay? We always do a split stay and I do love them. 11 nights at the same resort is a lot of nights!
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  4. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    We love AKL... but I'm not sure I would stay there for 11 days.

    For my family with that long of a trip we do a split-stay between 2 different resorts in 2 different areas (AKL/EP/MK, etc). Can you stay at both?

    If not, then it's a tougher decision.

    I've stayed at BC and YC, not BW... but I can tell you that it is a great location if you like to go to Epcot and DHS. And there are great dining choices nearby when you include the WS at Epcot.

    I've stayed at AKL several times as well. With the theming, the animals, the great pool area, and all we really do enjoy the resort. Yes, you will have to take a bus everyday.
  5. ponyboy

    ponyboy baseball, baseball, baseball

    Jul 23, 2010
    Is a split stay much of a hassle? I'm planning on renting points this time to save a little. Would that make things more confusing? We also do the dining plan so would that have to be setup twice, once at each resort?

    The people going are myself, my wife, Daughter 17, son 15, son 13, daughter 12 and son 10, my two sisters and my best friend.

    The kids are pretty excited about the pool table and the animals. So most likely we'll end up staying there and if we do a split stay and we move into a villa that they don't like as much as the one we left then I'm in big trouble :)
  6. Missyrose

    Missyrose DIS Veteran

    Jan 18, 2009
    Renting points for a grand villa at two different resorts means finding two owners who:

    A) Own at those two resorts so you can book at 11 months out


    B) Has enough points for rent to cover a grand villa (and those villas take a TON of points).

    When is your trip?
  7. blackacex2

    blackacex2 Mouseketeer

    Jan 31, 2011
    Boardwalk Inn is a way way way better place. Go visit AKL and have meal and see the savannah. Then return to the best resort in WDW!
  8. AmyLand98

    AmyLand98 Mouseketeer

    Oct 8, 2009
    Okay so I personally would say AKL all the way!! We stayed in 2012 for 9 nights at AKL in June 2012. It was myself, DH, DS (age 11) and niece (age 16). All of us loved it. We also stayed for 8 nights at BWV earlier this month and I didn't like it at all. Now I didn't stay in a Grand Villa for either, we stayed in 1 bedrooms. The BWV's were smaller and had 1 bathroom (versus the 2 at AKL).

    Now we had a vehicle at both and parking at Boardwalk was NOT convenient. The only time I liked Boardwalk was when we went to EPCOT or DHS and we walked or took the boat. We were on the one end of the Boardwalk on the 5th floor so we had the option to walk up the steps to the 5th floor (after walking all day long) or walk past the portion of our room and go to the ONE AND ONLY elevator and then make the trek down to our room. The parking at AKL is way better and much closer to your room.

    We had a savannah view room at AKL and it was AWESOME!!! We had a Boardwalk View room at BWV and we had people puking at midnight!

    Again we liked AKL much more but if we didn't have a car I don't know if we would have the same opinion.
  9. cvjw

    cvjw DIS Veteran

    Dec 22, 2005
    Staying for 11 nights in low season (Sept) in a grandvilla at either AKV or BWV will run between 700 and 800 points - more if your trip is in another DVC season. Finding one owner who owns at either of those resorts that has that many points to rent out could be challenging. It might be easier to do a split stay, and fine 2 owners who are willing to rent out 400 or so points each. Make sure to do this at the 11 month window - grand villas usually book early - especially at certain times of year.

    We personally love to stay at AKV. It isn't one of our home resorts, but one of our favorite resorts. Yes, the bus rides are longer, but the novelty of sitting on our balcony and watching the animals never wears off for our family. My boys have actually named most of the animals on the savannah, we stay there so much!
  10. tazhughes

    tazhughes Earning My Ears

    Mar 1, 2005
    We prefer BWV to AKV because of the walk in walk out convenience with Epcot and HS. We found the transportation to AKV to be longer and less frequent.
  11. MissionMouse

    MissionMouse DIS Veteran

    Sep 10, 2004
    We have stayed at AKL, BWI, BC, Dolphin and YC. We would recommend an Epcot resort over AKL.

    While we had a great stay at AKL Club-Savannah view AKL provided an isolated feel. Personally, it provided a vacation in a vacation feel, since when we returned to AKL, we felt we were somewhere other than Disney. Viewing animals is limited to the normal feeding times at designated feeding stations. After that it limited viewing if anything at all. Don't get me wrong it is fun and unique, but if you live in a major city with a zoo this excitement starts to erode on day two. It is also disappointing they built the AKL resort a distance from the AK park entrance. Bus is your only transportation option besides a rental car.

    BWI is an ideal location. We stayed in the monorail/MK resorts when the kids were young. Now their pre-teen we all prefer the Epcot area, especially with park hopper tickets. We are not commandos. We also don't stay at one park all day. We leave parks when the lines grow or we become tired of rude guest at a park. We park hop. We take pool breaks and at an Epcot resort we tended to spend more time at the pool. BWI has a nice pool with a hot tub and a beverage service in the core pool area. The slide is also very nice too. The ice cream, pizza and bakery on the Boardwalk appealed to the kids. We also used the park hopper tickets more, since you have a large number of restaurants at your door step. The Boardwalk is a great place in the evening to just take it easy and it is very easy to get back to your room after a long day. BC and YC would by another 10+ minutes to your room...seems minor but it is a memory that stands out. The little one person shows were entertaining and were interesting to the kids, especially if they like to volunteer. During inclement weather they perform in the BWI lobby.
  12. roydavid7771

    roydavid7771 DIS Veteran

    May 5, 2010
    I agree with the split stay. We've done it in the past and have never had a problem. Enjoy the best of both worlds!
  13. DSLRuser

    DSLRuser Age is a state of mind

    Feb 28, 2009

    Being able to walk to 2 parks and 5 resorts wins out for us every time.
  14. Heather1979

    Heather1979 Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2011
    If you want to all stay in the same room you might have trouble finding someone with that many points to rent at those places. If you go the renting route, I would try to split things up between studio or 1br units (a 1 br at AKL slept up to 5 people) and go from there. I think a split stay sounds fun, but too much work for me since my kids are too little to help pack and unpack ;)
  15. herb102211

    herb102211 DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2011
    I would definitely go with the Boardwalk. It's one of our favorite resorts mainly because of its location. You can either walk to take the boat to Epcot and Hollywood Studios in less than 10 minutes. It saves so much time that you aren't hanging around waiting for a bus, and you can go back and forth to the room or pool, throughout the course of the day, since you are so close. I've had friends who have stayed at AKV/AKL and found the bus transportation to be very slow, even during the off-season (probably because its the furthest resort from any of the parks, except for AK).
  16. pixarmom

    pixarmom DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2009
    Funny you should ask! Before our trip last month, we had already stayed at both BWI and AKL. We prefer BWI, but enjoy both. So we booked a split stay for our most recent trip: Poly/BWI/AKL Jambo villa.

    After our first night at BWI, we knew we would not be able to transfer to the villa at AKL. So we cancelled AKL Jambo and we were able to keep our room at BWI for the rest of the trip. We switched our ADRs to Epcot and Epcot area restaurants for the rest of the trip too. We were THRILLED with our decision. And we do like AKL. But we love the theme, atmosphere and dining options at and around BWI so much more. And we love Epcot. There is nothing like walking out the international gateway at the end of the night straight to your room. The lake, the marina (we rented sea racers - so fun!), the ability to pop into Epcot for a meal, snack or ride. Just can't beat it!

    For reference, our boys are ages 6, 12 and 13 and they were initially excited about AKL, too, but were entirely in favor of staying at BWI for the rest of the trip once we arrived and settled in there. And we've only stayed CL at BWI, so that's a big factor too.

    Good luck with your decision!
  17. mouseclick1

    mouseclick1 DIS Veteran

    Jul 30, 2000
    We did a BWV/AKV split last summer and it was a perfect trip! We spend the first 3 nights at BWV in 3 rooms (we tried for the GV but they were all booked), and the last 4 nights in a GV at AKV Jambo House. We did Epcot/HS during the first half when it was within walking distance, and the rest once we arrived at AKV. Our split day was a piece of cake. We checked out around 11:00 and headed to the quiet pool at BWV. We swam, played ping pong, etc. for a few hours, then had lunch on teh Boardwalk. Finally, we headed over to AKV and our room was ready (it was right around 4:00 by then). If you can get the Jambo GV, you will see that the split would be well worth it. That room is to die for! Happy planning!:)
  18. Deb & Bill

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

    Mar 20, 2000
    There are 22 GVs at Jambo House (6) and Kidani Village (16). BWV only has 7 GVs. They all go quickly at eleven months out. The JH GV is the only one with the pool table (so that means six of them).

    If you don't own at both of these, you'll need a member who does own there booking them at exactly 11 months out.

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