AKL or WL??

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Mellymc, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. Mellymc

    Mellymc Earning My Ears

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    Hi! We have a reservation at Wilderness Lodge for May. However, we have always stayed at AKL. I’m a creature of habit but my family wants to switch it up and try someplace new. Any opinions on WL compared to AKL? If anyone has stayed at both and can give me their opinion I would greatly appreciate it!
     
  2. Lesley Wake

    Lesley Wake May the force be with you!

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    I stayed at both during the same trip in December. I think both have their pros and cons. WL truly does feel transportive-like you are entering a National Park Lodge not in Orlando. Boat transport can be a nice change to get to and from the MK. The lobby is lovely and even bigger than AKL. Dining options are good too, with Whispering Canyon, Artist Point, Geyser Point, and the QS Roaring Fork.

    I always am supportive of changing it up and experiencing new resorts, so I’d go ahead and do it. And this is coming from someone who absolutely LOVES AKL and is in the process of buying into DVC there!
     
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  4. Mellymc

    Mellymc Earning My Ears

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    I just love AKL so it’s a hard choice for me. However, the boat to MK is a plus for me. We have reservations for Artist Point also so that would be very convenient. Thanks for your advice!
     
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  5. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

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    I'd go back to AKL, for two reasons. For one thing, I'm also a creature of habit, and especiallyn when you're dealing with the high WDW prices, I always hate spending money and taking a chance on whether or not I'll like it. By the way, this is also why we're reluctant to try new restaurants! The other reason is that I've stayed at both, and find AKL FAR superior. To me, the CMs are nicer for one thing. Many of them are here temporarily from their native country ion Africa, and they're very interesting to talk to (and interested).
     
  6. SirDis

    SirDis Earning My Ears

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    As someone who is not only a creature of habit, but also a huge fan of AKL - my family convinced me to switch it up and try WL a few years ago (When Copper Creek was brand new). I'm so glad that I went for it, because the resort is awesome! We loved the theme, the food, the boat to MK, two above-average pools, and that outside bar/grill area seals the deal.

    Do it - I'm betting you won't regret it. It also makes the return to AKL sweeter. By the way, you can always go back to AKL on this trip for a great meal.
     
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  7. Babsy

    Babsy DIS Veteran

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    We have stayed at both and enjoyed both resorts.

    The WL and AKL are very similar resorts. If you like the AKL, I think that it is very likely that you will also love the WL. Although the AKL has the animals, the WL has the boat to the MK, FW and CR, which is convenient and very nice. You can easily get to dining reservations like the Hoop Dee Doo revue or Chef Mickey's via boat. And the boat to MK is so nice!

    We like to experience all the different resorts in WDW, as they all have something to offer. If you like to stay at the same place, then trying the WL after the AKL will allow you to experience a little more without having too extreme a difference. I would definitely go for it!

    Another thought: If you are going for a week or longer, why not do a split stay and do both? You will want at least three nights to fully experience each stay.

    Good luck choosing!
     
  8. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    I am an AKL girl 100%. I do not like Western themes, so Wilderness Lodge is lost on me. I actually just changed to AKL from Poly for my July stay this morning. (God bless my TA who changed that room under the summer rate AND changed my Sept Pop stay to the summer rate even in the midst of Free Dining chaos - I did not know about the FD release when I emailed her as I have an AP, so FD is a moot point for me.)
     
  9. ericar

    ericar Mouseketeer

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    We have done both and the biggest difference for me was transportation seemed much faster at AKL because the buses only picked up at Kidani and Jambo. Other than that, the 2 places are very similar. We prefer AKL but by a very little amount.
     
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  10. Bro0kemarie

    Bro0kemarie Earning My Ears

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    We have stayed at both and prefer Wildnerness Lodge. We found the transportation to be better and enjoyed the boat ride to Magic Kingdom, it was both peaceful and efficient. Another advantage of Wilderness Lodge is the boat transportation to Fort Wilderness and the Contemporary/Monorail Resorts. This will add to your dining and entertainment options. It also makes it very easy to enjoy Happily Ever After Fireworks on days when you might not be visiting Magic Kingdom. The pools at WL are beautiful. I especially enjoy the creek that runs into the feature pool. It is so relaxing and really transports you. Knowing that you appreciate the warm lodge aspects of Animal Kingdom tells me that you will also appreciate and enjoy those features at WL like the beautiful fireplace! It’s always fun to experience something new on a vacation, I say give it try, you will not be disappointed!
     
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  11. StaciaRae

    StaciaRae Mouseketeer

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    AKL and WL are the only two Disney resorts we have ever stayed at. AKL was our first and we were blown away! We stayed at WL after a cruise last year and were just not impressed (may have just been jilted because of how immaculate the ship was), there was mold in the bathroom, the back staircase has chipping paint, and the quick service area was frustrating because it was continuously packed! I did love the walking trail to FW and the boat to MK. We are going back again this year and chose AKL again this year.
     
  12. Mellymc

    Mellymc Earning My Ears

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    Thank you all for sharing your thoughts! I think we will give it a try!
     
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  13. CynBeth

    CynBeth DIS Veteran

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    We love WL!
     
  14. Babsy

    Babsy DIS Veteran

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    I think that you will love the WL!

    Enjoy!
     
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  15. my2lovedisney

    my2lovedisney Mouseketeer

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    I have stayed at both and think they're both beautiful in their own ways, but AKL has my heart forever!
     
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  16. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

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    You won't be disappointed! :)
     
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  17. moonshadow

    moonshadow Mouseketeer

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    We have stayed at few deluxe resorts during the years but I would have to say that WL is our favorite. There is just a great feeling when you walk into that resort. The grounds are beautiful and so relaxing. We love how the creek/stream runs into the pool. The new outside bar/restaurant is also a welcomed feature and it's close proximity to MK and monorail hotels can't be beat.
     
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  18. starousse

    starousse DIS Veteran

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    We have stayed at both, and definitely prefer WL. It's more compact, liked our room better and we enjoy the quick boat transport to MK and the wait time for buses were minimal. With that said, we did enjoy AKL and would return, however we'd choose WL if given the choice.
     
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  19. Cajun23

    Cajun23 Mouseketeer

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    We just went through this debate for this next trip. We were originally booked at WL and switch to AKL.

    For us, the deciding factors were largely related to our family and time and place we are in life.

    WL, was a plus because of proximity to parks, different modes of transportation, and dinning options.( We also included MK resorts in this because it was either a short boat ride to CR. or ride the boat to CR and then monorail ride to the other resorts. Con for us was out of the 2 themes this would have been the second choice.

    AKL was a plus because of strictly theme. We have a set of 5 year old twins and they absolutely love and are fascinated with animals.

    When it was all said and done we decide on AKL because it was slightly cheaper and we thought the excitement of the animals will be greater for the kids at this age vs as they get older.

    But from everyone i have spoke to it really depends a lot on your family and expectations.
     
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  20. Deb & Bill

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

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    The architect was the same for both resorts. So it might seem a bit familiar when you get there.
     
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  21. nikmasteed

    nikmasteed Earning My Ears

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    Glad to hear it sounds like you've decided to switch it up, I dont think you can go wrong.

    We stayed at both WL and AKL this past August on the same trip. We enjoyed both but honestly WL kinda won our hearts over. It really felt homey and welcoming, slight nod on this pool vs AKL in my opinion, the recent updates on the grounds are all beautiful. By far the number 1 advantage for WL was the ferry boats as mentioned by others-- EXTREMELY convenient to MK and we took it to Hoop Dee Doo very easily as well. Never got tired of walking through that lobby. No issues with QS Roaring Fork for us at all, we also enjoyed meals at Geyser Point and Whispering Canyon.

    We had a great time at AKL as well it just didn't imprint on us as WL did. You already know you love AKL so I just hope all the support here helps reassure you that you'll love WL also. Have fun.
     
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