Animal Kingdom Lodge or Wilderness Lodge? HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by sweetpea904, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. sweetpea904

    sweetpea904 FL Resident/Disney Addict

    Jul 18, 2013
    I am taking my daughter to Disney World the first week in June. We try and go once a year if possible. In 2011 we stayed at our first moderate resort (Port Orleans Riverside) and it was amazing. I booked one of the new Royal Guest Rooms and my mini LOVED it. This year we stayed at Caribbean Beach Resort (August) then had a quick weekend trip to Blizzard Beach and stayed at All Star Music in September. While I LOVE the moderates, the values I can only do on a weekend trip because they are SO OVER CROWDED, I want to treat her this summer and stay at a deluxe. I know WL & ALK are the cheapest so I am starting there for this trip before we move on to the Poly, Contemporary, BW or GF maybe in the future. I have 5 months to save for our trip & I know the room will be at least $350 a night min. I want to try and stay for 6 nights as we usually stay for 4. I have read several reviews & forums & they both sound so nice but I am having a hard time choosing between them. Any advice, help, suggestions, tips, recommendations would be a HUGE help. Right now I am leaning towards ALK. Thanks in advance!!!
  2. margaret07013

    margaret07013 Mouseketeer

    Nov 8, 2013
    WL b/c of the access to MK via boat. 10 min and you are there.
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  4. DisneyDiana

    DisneyDiana DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2005
    If she has any interest in animals, then AKL. I do love Wilderness Lodge but my heart is with Animal Kingdom Lodge. I feel like I've been swept away to an exotic locale at AKL.
  5. Mousemommy1

    Mousemommy1 DIS Veteran

    Dec 6, 2010
    Both are beautiful! We haven't stayed at AKL but have visited numerous times. WL is our favorite though!

    There is something so magical about staying in the MK area. And I justify the price of Disney deluxes because of the location. That's the only negative I see with AKL, you're not getting that prime location or alternate transportation option.

    That being said, I am certain we will stay at AKL at some point. Good luck in your decision making! :goodvibes
  6. Belle'sFan

    Belle'sFan Mouseketeer

    Feb 12, 2007
    I have stayed at both WL and AKL. In my opinion the AKL has a better/bigger pool and slide, a bigger counter service restaurant, and more exotic landscaping. Many will say the location is too far out, but we found the buses were very good - don't let this worry you. We didn't find the animals to be as big of a plus - probably because we didn't spend a lot of time looking at them. What we didn't like was not a lot to do outside other than swimming. At the WL we liked being able to rent bikes or boats and also walking to the campground. The WL location was better because of closeness to MK, being able to see the EWP, and proximity to HDDR, which we love. As I say, we love each for different reasons. Both are gorgeous and I would stay at either in a heartbeat.
  7. DisneyDmbNut

    DisneyDmbNut <img src="

    Oct 10, 2003
    We love both and I was a WL die hard for years.. But we have spent several trips lately at AKL ..we spent a week in June and for that time of year, I say AKL. The pool is huge and lots of chairs (which can be hard to get at WL)
  8. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    We have stayed at both more than once and IMO, you can't go wrong with either one. They both have great atmospheres, great pools, great CS options, and great TS options. WL does have an edge over AKL in that it's close to MK and you have the boat as an alternate to the buses, but we found the bus-only transportation at AKL to be fine. AKL is kind of out away from everything, but in our experience, it didn't take more than maybe 5 extra minutes to get around compared to other resorts. I also like that the resort is kind of isolated as it makes for a peaceful and quiet stay. Good luck deciding, although I don't think you can make a bad choice.
  9. jimandami

    jimandami DIS Veteran

    Apr 29, 2007
    We have done both and prefer AKL for better pool and just overall feel. Can I recommend something though? If it's just you and DD, think about renting DVC points for an AKV studio. I priced an entire week in June and even with a savannah view, if you pay $12/point, it comes out to $210/night. Much cheaper! Plus, you have a kitchenette and can do breakfasts in the room.
  10. Sue M

    Sue M DIS Veteran

    May 27, 2009
    We've stayed at both several times, and both are great. But WL has the best location. Boat to MK, and there's also a resort boat that loops around linking you to CR & FW. So makes getting to dining options at the MK resort area very easy.
  11. mommytocalliesue

    mommytocalliesue Mouseketeer

    Oct 16, 2008
    We are kind of in the same boat! We just did a family trip...but am going to take my DD beginning of June. We just stayed at WL and LOVED it!! The Christmas decorations definitely made it special. While the boat was a plus to getting to MK...we did have some longer waits with it. So this trip we are looking at AKL....we shall see where we decide!
  12. HairyChest

    HairyChest Mouseketeer

    Aug 21, 2012
    Stay at wilderness lodge
    Visit akl for a meal

    Imo hotel in front of a lake with a boatride to mk beats a hotel with a savanna
  13. GoofyWithGlasses

    GoofyWithGlasses Mouseketeer

    Jul 18, 2012
    We've only stayed at AKL out of the two, and while it truly does feel like coming home to me when I walk through the doors, maybe WL is better. We have had awful experiences with the bus services, and the animal factor of it the last time that we went (post Kidani) was just not the same, as spectacular and wonderful as the hotel is :)
    Also, with WL, you get the added extra of being in VERY close proximity to MK, which is handy even if you say, want to go to Epcot, and the busses are playing up...

    Bear in mind though, that, although we visited AK on our last trip, it's been three years since we stayed there... For all I know, they may have fixed the bus system by now! :P
  14. Rose23

    Rose23 Epcot Fan

    Oct 1, 2007
  15. Canadian Girl

    Canadian Girl Mouseketeer

    Dec 4, 2012
    For my family,nothing compares with a resort that has animals. We have stayed at other resorts and they are all great, but my daughters, ages 9 and 12 love AKL best.
  16. CaptainKat

    CaptainKat Mouseketeer

    Feb 20, 2012
    We love love love WL, and it's possibly my favorite resort at WDW. I love the boat to the MK! I also really like that there's boat transportation to the campground and the Contemporary, it makes exploring some other resorts or dining there very easy. Last year my mom and I spent our arrival afternoon going to the Contemporary and exploring all of the monorail resorts from there. We had a great time, and that's something that might be fun for you and your DD if you're thinking of trying GF, Poly or CR on a future trip.
  17. KonaKaiTom

    KonaKaiTom DIS Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I would do WL in a heartbeat, but I don't have kids, and I can imagine the draw to AKL for the animals.

    What about the Swolphin? Depending on discounts, you might be able to get either of them for less than a moderate.

  18. starousse

    starousse DIS Veteran

    Jun 8, 2011

    Agree 100%
  19. DreamerWDW

    DreamerWDW A dream is a wish your heart makes...

    Jun 2, 2013
    Another vote for WL :thumbsup2

    To me, it's just magical. The beauty of the resort is breathtaking. The boat to MK is great. The Bay Lake setting is fantastic.

    It's a very special resort!!!:cloud9:
  20. Chuckers

    Chuckers Missing my day trips to Disneyland :(

    Dec 26, 2010
    I've only had lunch at WL, but I stayed 9 days at AKL and while it's beautiful, I won't be staying there again. It's just to expensive and not worth the price by a long shot.

    I had a concierge room on the savannah. Never had any animals in my area, the room was smaller than I expected, and it was dark. There was one available outlet for me to use.. and it was already in use for 3 plugs. (One was not plugged in, obviously.) I had the choice of the TV, fridge, or lamp. I asked for an extension cord and they didn't have any. (I bring my own octopus cord now).

    Everyone talked about the fantastic breakfast buffet at Boma (I think). It was okay. Not worth the hype. The only thing I liked was it had two hot tubs and one was less used.

    However, if you do stay there, you may be able to take advantage of The Sunrise Safari which is an AWESOME backstage breakfast trip. Only residents of AKL can do it.
  21. bek

    bek Mouseketeer

    Jun 12, 2012
    I love AKL & WL and you won't go wrong staying at either. That said, you don't say when you're going or how old your daughter is.

    Both AKL & WL oftentimes have General Public discounts that, depending upon when you're traveling, may bring the price below $300. My second week of December 2013 trip to WL, my Woods View room was less than $300 -- it was cheaper than a suite at AoA during the same week! AKL seems to have more availability when discounts are released. Also with the Poly construction, many people seem to be switching to WL so discounts may be less likely to happen at WL.

    If your daughter is elementary age or under and MK is the favorite park, I'd pick WL. The boat ride to MK is a huge plus for WL. If EP, AK or HS is her favorite park, I think the fact that the buses only stop at Kidani and Jambo House before going to the parks is a plus for AKL. Our WL buses in early December were all shared for every park except MK. Epcot is geographically close to WL but it was a very long bus ride to go to Ft. Wilderness and then to Epcot. For AK and HS, the bus went from WL to GF and then to HS or AK.

    If she's a teenager or older, I'd show her photos and see which theme is more appealing to her. Does she want the exotic feel of visiting Africa or the cozy, rustic feel of being in the woods?

    Both are great places to stay!

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