AKL Pros & Cons

sethschroeder

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 24, 2013
I thought the episode was pretty good and agreed with what they said. Luckily we didn't experience the long hallways as we got rooms fairly close to the lobby at Kidani.

One thing though I see often is people loving Mara. Personally don't get it and don't agree. If you stay at Kidani is a long hike and beyond that it personally reminded me of a cafeteria. With so much good QS in the AK park I would think they could do better.

Overall it's a great resort but I say plan to Uber/Lyft the whole trip to avoid the poor in my view bus service.
 

SorcererHeidi

Sorcerer please cast forever love spell for me
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
AKL is one of my favorite properties, and when I went every year, I made it a point to get on property at least once a trip to soak in the ambiance, check out the animals, and have a meal (usually Boma, love both breakfast and dinner here).

I stayed twice - once with a savannah view room at Jambo, shortly after the resort first opened, and loved it. Then DVC at Jambo House. Had a wonderful., savannah view room, but had several inconsiderate neighbors, who came out on the balconies at all hours, screaming and yelling (think they were family, or traveling together, as a lot of the yelling, and things being thrown was between balconies) and really ruining the ambiance, especially because this was a corner room, so sounds echoed in that corner. Really cut down on my enjoyment of that particular trip, at least as far as wanting to be in the room, and definitely not on my balcony, which I had sprung for. :( I will sheepishly admit that one of the highlights of that stay,for me, was going on the "bridge over the lobby" to get to my room. :)

I'vre never stayed, nor dined, at Kidani, but did get over there twice, to look around, and I did enjoy how the animals were even closer to you, and there seemed to be more, easily accessible lookout points.

I will say that since I took buses in my daily life, the bus rides here (or anywhere on property, for that matter) never bothered me, although I always heard others complaining, then, and now. I always looked at the bus rides as part of the experience, just like i did going back/forth for work, or to the mall, or whatever. I'd use this time as "sightseeing", or thinking time, or maybe reading, or listening to the radio, or whatever. And I would always figure a minimum of 1.5 hours to get anywhere. Just became ingrained in my planning - again - just like my every day life.
 
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Rochester Disney Fan

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 28, 2009
Loved your show. We usually stay at Kidani but just tried Jambo for the first time since we didn't plan on going to the parks except for the extra events. Jambo was great for the quick trip to quick service but I missed the extra bathroom over at Kidani. I guess if we go without the kids I'll stay at Jambo and do Kidani when we take them. First of coarse I'll have to try out the Riviera if I can get over the point cost.
 
  • Wild4Walt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2008
    We stayed in a DVC at Jambo in 2018 and it quickly became my favorite resort. They did mention how far is it from everything but that was the appeal for us on this trip. We used only buses to get around and only had 1 time when it took longer than 15 minutes to get anywhere ( we were on a bus to Disney Springs and I don't know if it was the bus or the driver that had an issue but we didn't go over 30 miles an hour ).

    The Mara, well, it's quick service but I did like that they had options different than just burgers and chicken fingers. Boma on the other hand, we really enjoyed. We had both breakfast and dinner while we were there and both meals were really good.
     

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    The Mara is pretty eh for QS. Breakfast is the WDW QS resort standard, which is fine. Wasn't a huge fan of lunch/dinner, though.

    The buses are just fine. They aren't very crowded and you don't share other than with Kidani/Jambo so you are on your way quickly.
     

    rdaky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2014
    I agree about Mara. I don't understand the hype. The menu was so small and while they did have options other than burgers, after 2 meals there we were DONE. I disagree about the buses. I thought they were fine and no worse than taking the bus at any other resort. We did use Lyft a couple a couple of times but it was because we were too lazy to wait in line to ride the busy back from MK at closing and to get directly to another resort for a meal. I can only imagine the cost to add a Lyft every single time.
     

    Pooh2

    Dis Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 2, 2011
    We stayed a few weeks ago at AKL and were rather disappointed over our first stay there. Housekeeping did not come by on our first full day so we called down for towels at 10pm. They were brought up in about half an hour.
    No housekeeping again on the second full day by the time we headed out at 5pm for dinner. We stopped at the desk and and they sent someone up while we were out. Not sure what the issue was. (No, we did not book a dvc room..).
    I am guessing other guests in our hallway had the same issue because there were two rooms that put their pile of wet towels outside the door for the evening.
    We had a rental car so the buses were not an issue for us.
    We did enjoy lunch from the Mara out by the pool several days and enjoyed Boma as usual.
     
  • nfouey

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 12, 2013
    Is AKL added a skyliner to AK, it would be a game changer! Just some easy transport to just one park is all it would take for me to put this resort over the edge. Wonder if a skyliner would be possible. Could you imagine if it went over the savanna’s of the hotel! A girl can dream...
     

    OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    Is AKL added a skyliner to AK, it would be a game changer! Just some easy transport to just one park is all it would take for me to put this resort over the edge. Wonder if a skyliner would be possible. Could you imagine if it went over the savanna’s of the hotel! A girl can dream...
    It is certainly do-able. In fact, it could also include the All Star resorts if you look at a map. On the other side, it could also go to CSR.
     

    Linkura

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 13, 2017
    We stayed a few weeks ago at AKL and were rather disappointed over our first stay there. Housekeeping did not come by on our first full day so we called down for towels at 10pm. They were brought up in about half an hour.
    No housekeeping again on the second full day by the time we headed out at 5pm for dinner. We stopped at the desk and and they sent someone up while we were out. Not sure what the issue was. (No, we did not book a dvc room..).
    I am guessing other guests in our hallway had the same issue because there were two rooms that put their pile of wet towels outside the door for the evening.
    We had a rental car so the buses were not an issue for us.
    We did enjoy lunch from the Mara out by the pool several days and enjoyed Boma as usual.
    Hilariously, on our trip, housekeeping kept leaving messages on our phone asking if our room was okay and if we wanted it serviced because we kept Do Not Disturb signs on the door (husband is weird about that and doesn't want housekeeping daily). This was in 2016 and before the new protocols though.
     
  • Kidani2018

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 31, 2019
    Our one issue is the fact that there is no coffee stand type thing where you can crab a coffee, espresso, donut, muffin, etc. Other than that it’s a fantastic resort and we love staying there.
     

    motherof5

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 4, 2014
    Love AKL it's my home resort! So many activities and things to do at the resort especially on rain days and the staff was wonderful. The quick service was better than most places in my opinion. We had a car so didn't do the buses. Nice to have 2 resorts Kidani & Jambo, double the pools and activities when staying there!
     

    SA mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 15, 2012
    We were able to snag a room in Jambo House last year for $220 a night through Priceline. We asked for the obstructed view and you would hardly know there was an obstruction. We had fabulous views of the savanna. Our only complaint was waiting for the buses each morning. They all stopped at Kidani first, filled up and went on to parks. We waited a minimum of 45 minutes for a bus every day no matter which park. I hope they’ve fixed that issue.
     

    kylenne

    Wakandan-American
    Joined
    Oct 16, 2016
    I will say that since I took buses in my daily life, the bus rides here (or anywhere on property, for that matter) never bothered me, although I always heard others complaining, then, and now. I always looked at the bus rides as part of the experience, just like i did going back/forth for work, or to the mall, or whatever. I'd use this time as "sightseeing", or thinking time, or maybe reading, or listening to the radio, or whatever. And I would always figure a minimum of 1.5 hours to get anywhere. Just became ingrained in my planning - again - just like my every day life.
    It’s funny, because this is exactly why I don’t like the buses and why I could never stay at AKL. I take the bus to the subway as my daily commute at home. I don’t want my normal daily routine on vacation. And I really don’t want to replicate my daily experience of standing for 20 minutes on a packed bus when I’m dead tired on the way home. I go to Disney to escape that!

    I will say that most of the complaints I see people have about Disney buses are just inherent quirks of public transit, and a lot of guests come from car culture places without robust public transit.
     

    dbark923

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2019
    It’s funny, because this is exactly why I don’t like the buses and why I could never stay at AKL. I take the bus to the subway as my daily commute at home. I don’t want my normal daily routine on vacation. And I really don’t want to replicate my daily experience of standing for 20 minutes on a packed bus when I’m dead tired on the way home. I go to Disney to escape that!

    I will say that most of the complaints I see people have about Disney buses are just inherent quirks of public transit, and a lot of guests come from car culture places without robust public transit.
    I definitely come from a town where public transit isn't a normal form (unless you don't own a car) of transportation. Although, have have ridden on my fair share of buses and subways. That being said, Disney buses never felt like public transportation to me. It doesn't have the same vibe.
     

    Spencer Wright

    Constantly craving a zebra dome...
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2017
    ...... but I say plan to Uber/Lyft the whole trip to avoid the poor in my view bus service.
    In my opinion, AKL has only one negative. And that is the HORRIBLE bus service. I take a lot of public transit in Philadelphia so am used to the unreliability and waiting for buses and trolleys. But for all of that money I think the resort could do much better. Overall I have found myself using Lyft more and spending less on merchandise to make up for it.
     

    sethschroeder

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 24, 2013
    In my opinion, AKL has only one negative. And that is the HORRIBLE bus service. I take a lot of public transit in Philadelphia so am used to the unreliability and waiting for buses and trolleys. But for all of that money I think the resort could do much better. Overall I have found myself using Lyft more and spending less on merchandise to make up for it.
    I think when staying at AKL you really need to account for taking Lyft/Uber for all park days outside of AK.

    I am really surprised with the size of the resorts they don't have more busses.

    I will say that most of the complaints I see people have about Disney buses are just inherent quirks of public transit, and a lot of guests come from car culture places without robust public transit.
    1,000,000% disagree

    As someone who travels for work a ton and has commutes when at home of 2-2.5 hrs on a train 2-3 times a week I would like to say I am fairly well traveled and have experience with various major cities and rural areas.

    When I am at home and travel in to the city for work (a top 5 metro area in the US) everything runs fairly on a schedule. When a train or bus is expected to be there it primarily is there within 10-15 mins barring a serious issue in the city or a mechanical issue. Heck they even have realtime tracking of bus location and arrivals on a website people can visit.

    The difference is with Disney I give them no excuses for "mechanical issues" as they make enough money that they should have a stable of busses and boats that they should be able to call in to duty on the spot. It is also not something that should be happening weekly, daily, or multi-daily.

    I also give Disney no excuses for "traffic" as well because they are again dealing with this daily and know the issues that arise. If you are continually having delays where you can not meet the "every 20 mins" then that is on you as a company to press more busses in to service to make sure you are meeting that requirement. This isn't a government subsidized or private entity trying to run a profit on the bus/train lines with limited resources.

    It is saying something when traveling over 100k miles per year that AKV has the worst transportation I have experienced. I didn't want to bring this up previously because I know different people will have different experiences.

    I take a lot of public transit in Philadelphia so am used to the unreliability and waiting for buses and trolleys.
    Wanted to address this after I addressed the other message and ask a simple question. When you are waiting on a bus in Philly though its 20-30 mins its not 1hr without a bus coming along and incorrect information continually being given to you about "a bus will be here in 2-5 mins". That is where the issues with Disney stems for me for AKV.

    It was a while ago but I think it was 2 different times where I waited over 1hr in September on a 9 day stay for a bus between AKV and a park.
     

    Spencer Wright

    Constantly craving a zebra dome...
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2017
    Wanted to address this after I addressed the other message and ask a simple question. When you are waiting on a bus in Philly though its 20-30 mins its not 1hr without a bus coming along and incorrect information continually being given to you about "a bus will be here in 2-5 mins". That is where the issues with Disney stems for me for AKV.

    It was a while ago but I think it was 2 different times where I waited over 1hr in September on a 9 day stay for a bus between AKV and a park.
    And really transit in Philly runs pretty well. No promises are made unlike at Disney :P

    It's a wonderful resort, it just has this one issue!
     

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