Never got an upgrade anywhere let alone AKL. I think they have a notation on the reservation "this chump pays full price" and hence I get what I paid for and not upgraded to a suite, That would be an upgrade. LOL
Check the rate codes, you really should reserve what you'd be happy with, it seems like you'll be disappointed with a standard room.
The best approach to a very low key request for a "nice" room or one with a "good" view. You might get an upgrade or a standard with a good view. I suspect guests who demand free upgrades turn off some CM.
We got a free upgrade at the AKL a few weeks ago. In fact we had booked the summer saver rate $153 w/tax for 1 night. When we got there we decided we would like to stay an additional night but wanted to check the rate first. We checked in aroung 11:00 am and I had requested was a king bed, we have 3 kids under 3 and used the porta crib for 2 and wanted the older child to sleep with us. The CM checking us in was very friendly she got all of my info and I then asked if they had any king beds. She said she would be right back, and stepped away into the back for about 5 mins. When she returned she said she had a room with a king bed but it was not ready yet and she upgraded us to pool view!! Then I asked what an extra night would cost and she said we will give it to you for the same rate. The room and view was fantastic. Everyone was exceptionaly nice.
Our room wasn't ready until about 2:00 and we just hung out by the pool. After getting into our room we got a knock on the door and a CM had delivered a beautiful autographed picture of Mickey, Minnie Pluto, Goofy and Donald. It had all 3 of my boys names on it(and spelled correctly!!) This was a wonderful stay and we definately plan on returning.
I am not quite I would be able to ask for a free upgrade or not, I think I would feel a little funny. I think they upgraded us becasue of the kids. The 2 CMs behind the desk could not get enough of them, they just kept talking to them and gave them books and crayons. It was a wonderful experience.
It can happen. It appears to simply depend on how busy they are when you will be staying there. I have read of many people getting an upgrade at AKL.
We stayed there last Nov-Dec and had a standard room reserved at the AP price of $134 (+tax). When we arrived I chatted up the lady behind the counter about having just been at HRH and how we normally stay at the Poly, how we were looking forward to the animals, etc. When she started handing me my paper work she casually mentioned that she had upgraded us to a Savannah view room!
The room was at a fair distance from the lobby - but since it was a complimentary upgrade I was pleased as punch to be there.
So - if you are visiting when it isn't busy just keep your fingers crossed!
We were at AKL at the end of June and received an upgrade from standard view to savannah view at check in. The only thing that I requested prior to check in was for bunk beds. When we checked in they had no bunk beds left but she said that they would put us in a savannah room. The resort was at 90% capacity that week. It really was very busy. I do think that there are many more savannah and pool view rooms vs. the standard ones.
There are several more savannah rooms than standard view - I think there are only the two front sections for standard view. Within that there are three different styles of standard rooms so the odds of being bumped up at this particular hotel are higher than others, but that doesn't mean it will happen. The price and room structure at AKL is insance - 3 views (standard, pool, savannah), 2 room types (regular and deluxe) and 4 diff styles (king, double queen, bunk beds, and wheelchair accessible).
Requesting rooms here is kind of a potluck! With that said I am in no way suggesting that you hope for an upgrade or expect one - I firmly believe in all cases that if you want something that is what you should reserve from the get go. But there fewer standard view rooms here than most.
Just keep in mind that if you book a standard view, chances are that is what you will recieve.....and some of them by the bus stop have a concrete wall rather than a balcony. If you really want standard/water view, they are pretty deeply discounted for that time of year.