AKL Tips??? 1st time staying here!! :)

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by DonoMoose, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. DonoMoose

    DonoMoose Mouseketeer

    Jan 28, 2013
    Hi guys, this will be our first time staying & even visiting AKL altogether. We usually stay at the Valu resorts but decided to stay here since our kids ADORE animals! We are so VERY excited and want to ask if anyone has any tips for us? I don't want to come home & say ohhh noo I wish I knew about (blank!)... hehe all tips welcome! :banana:
  2. Pumbaa80

    Pumbaa80 Mouseketeer

    Aug 29, 2010
    We love AKL! The night vision to look at the animals is offered each night; drum/music activity for kids at Jambo; outdoor movies; face painting at Mara.... There are just so many cool things to do and see right at the resort. Just really look over your activity schedule. Also, if you do photopass, often in the evenings a photographer is in the lobby. Enjoy!
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  4. disneybliss2

    disneybliss2 DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2008
    We too have animal obsessed children, and just stayed at AKL for our last trip. We LOVED it!

    If you ask at the front desk, they'll give you a kid's activity schedule for the time of your stay. Different activities occur throughout the day for them to participate in. Some of the activities allow the kids to earn a special bead that they string on twine to create a "memory chain" to remind them of their trip. Our girls loved all of the activities (make an animal feeder, animal trekking, animal bingo, African drumming, station to learn how flamingos eat, etc). There are different activities at Kidani Village that you're also allowed to participate in. We had plenty to do at the main lodge, so never went over to Kidani. I'm one to hit the parks and not spend a lot of time at the resort, but this being our first time to stay deluxe and since AKL had so many activities for the kids, we did allocate some time to let our girls enjoy them. So glad we did!!! Makes you fully enjoy the amenities of the resort and adds to your experience and memories.

    There are other activities that don't get you a bead, but still great to do (example: storytelling and cookie decorating--they get a giraffe shaped cookie at Boma and get to decorate it with icing and all kinds of goodies, roasting marshmallows over a fire pit by the animal viewing deck off the main lobby).

    They have pool parties every afternoon where they played games and then movies were shown late evenings.

    There is a drum/music shaker little parade where they get to choose an instrument and sing an African song in the main lobby each evening (around 8:00 when we were there this summer) that is a fun way to close the evening. The kids get a special certificate afterwards.

    Be sure to visit with the cast members. Many are from South Africa and can share so much with you. It really adds to the cultural experience. We loved getting to know them. They added so much to our stay.

    Night vision goggles can be used to view the animals at the animal viewing area just off from the pool.

    There are several animal viewing areas. Each one will give you a different feel/animal group to look at. Enjoy them all.

    If possible, I would book a meal at Boma. Wonderful restaurant and it's nice to experience it since it's right there.

    There are two activity guides; make sure you get both. One informs you of the bead activities and is small (size of an index card). The other activity guide informs you of other activities (cookie decorating, etc.).

    There's also an animal checklist (in your room or given to you with your packet of info) that tells all the animals at the resort to help you and your kids spot the animals and check off the ones you've seen if you like.

    Enjoy your stay! We love AKL!!!! :goodvibes
  5. CopperWife

    CopperWife Mouseketeer

    Jul 10, 2012
    We love AKL! :goodvibes My DH and I went for our Disneymoon and it was amazing. We went because we both love animals (like your kids) and like a PP said, we aren't one to spend time a lot of time at the resort. However, AKL was the resort to change that!

    We spent a lot of time just watching the animals (duh! :rotfl:). I mean, just watching and observing - not a quick 3 minute peek and then on to the next thing. We went in July 2002, so things may have changed, but by the pool there is an area with flamingos and another area with ducks. I kid you not when I say we spent an hour talking with a CM from South Africa named Ettiene. He was so nice and spent close to an hour talking to us about those birds. Never for a minute did he seem like he was getting tired of talking to us (lol) and he seemed genuinely happy to talk to us about the birds.

    In another area, they have hornbills (kind of like Zazu from The Lion King). Hornbills are so intelligent so it was neat to watch him as he looked for some trouble to get into. It was just a lot of fun to watch. I'm sure your kids will love it. :lovestruc
  6. DonoMoose

    DonoMoose Mouseketeer

    Jan 28, 2013
    Hi!! I found the thread thanks to you!! So sorry, I had no idea it went through and couldn't figure out how to locate all my threads, thanks you thank you!! Now I'm all like :artist: on here LOL!! So, glad I was able to see your post & these others here as well. SO informative! Thank you so very much!!! :cool1:
  7. nhmommy

    nhmommy Mouseketeer

    Aug 23, 2011

    I agree with all of these :) also if you go to the Animal kingdom park bring your animal guide with you so you don't spend a ton of time in the park looking at animals you can see at the Lodge.
  8. SolitaryPhoenix

    SolitaryPhoenix Mouseketeer

    Jun 20, 2005
    We're huge AKL fans; we're DVC members and it's our home resort. :goodvibes The only thing I would add is to be on the lookout for the unannounced little things too; there are museum quality art pieces everywhere and you could easily spend a chunk of time just checking those out! When you're leaving the main doors at Jambo, there's a piece of art you SHOULD touch; look for the placard! At Kidani (and I would go to both places if you can, no matter which one you're staying at, since they both have different things to offer) my daughter and nephew got their hands painted by an artist sitting outside. Frankly, I have to start getting ready for work, or I'd post the pics here; if you're really interested, post or IM me, and I'll try to get the pics up tonight!

    You are gonna love AKL! :yay:
  9. danceintherain

    danceintherain DIS Veteran

    Oct 2, 2007
    You can change your thread subscription underneath the text box to "subscribe" you to your own threads, so you can find it in your "Quick Links" down in your "Subscribed Threads" (this may be automatic if you haven't disabled it)
    Also, you can click on your own screen name anywhere, and it will allow you to "find more posts by <insert screen name here>"

    As for AKL, you'll love it. I agree that you should pay attention to the activities schedule and plan some time for those things. I didn't do quite enough of that on my honeymoon, and I wish I would have spent the time while DH was napping, exploring the resort more.
  10. dmccarty

    dmccarty DIS Veteran

    Jan 30, 2008
    SOMEHOW try to spend some time at AKL which is easier to say than to do. Our last trip we had a tropical depression move in towards the end of our stay which forced us to spend some time at AKV which is what we had been trying to do for years. The pull of the parks is strong in us. :rotfl:

    If your kids are young enough, Simba's Club House is awesome. Drop the kids off for the evening so the adults can have a dinner. Our kids love Simba's but they have now aged out. :sad1: We don't like buffets so Boma is not for us. We went once and that was enough. Jiko's is better. Saana up at AKV is pretty good too but it can be spicy. We have always enjoyed Mara for QS. Once day at lunch, there was a CM at Mara doing face painting for free. We only saw that one time though but I thought it was nice.

    Spend time walking around the resort looking at the details.

    Giraffes seem to congregate near the Flamingo pool which is near the AKL pool during the evening. You can get really close to the Giraffes if they move over to that area.

    I like the pool at AKV better than AKL especially for younger kids. There is almost always something going on for the kids to to at the pools. During the day there are crafts you can do near the AKL pool.

    I assume they are still doing the story telling by the fire. Check the schedule. Again, depending on the age of the kids, after the story telling, the kids go to the AKL store, grab musical instruments and parade around the lobby making a horrible racket. :cool1::thumbsup2:rotfl2:

    Do talk to the African CM's. They have interesting stories to tell and I swear sometimes they are bored out of their minds. Our last trip at AKV, I was walking around the pool admiring the fences when I ran into a CM behind the bar. There were very few people at the pool because of the rain and even the bar was closed. The CM was back by herself with nobody to talk too so we had a nice little chat about her home, working for Disney, living at Disney, etc. I was bummed when she was called on the radio to go relieve another CM. :)


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