Animal Kingdom Lodge vs. Wilderness Lodge--which would you choose?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by mlain, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. mlain

    mlain Earning My Ears

    Jun 4, 2013
    Our family is planning its first Disney trip. We will have 4 adults and 7 children, aged 4-9. For those families who have stayed at each resort, which did you prefer and why? Animal Kingdom Lodge vs. Wilderness Lodge
  2. Partygal

    Partygal Earning My Ears

    Jun 4, 2013
    since it has real animals
  3. Avatar

    DIS Sponsor The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin is located in the heart of the Walt Disney World Resort.


    to hide this advert.
  4. dizneekrazee

    dizneekrazee Fullfilling my bucket list, one vacation at a time

    Apr 28, 2008
    I haven't stayed at either, but, I would choose AKL. Why? Because, from my understanding, WL is very similar to the GCH at DLR, and I have stayed there, whereas, AKL is more unique.
  5. ksu93

    ksu93 Earning My Ears

    Nov 13, 2012
    There are good reasons to stay at both. AKL can be awesome if you get a well placed savannah side room. The Giraffes and zebras are right outside your room. It also has a really nice pool and wet deck area for the kids. But- sometimes you get a room on the "back" side of the savannah where almost no animals ever go, or you get a room 2 miles from the bus stop. (The kidani village has the longest hallways I've ever experienced in a hotel in my life) and when you stay at AKL you have to take a bus ride everywhere you go-there are no other options to get somewhere.
    Wilderness lodge doesn't have a cool savannah with animals but it has good atmosphere, a really fun kid friendly restaurant called Whispering Canyon, and the option of taking a boat to Magic Kingdom instead of a bus-where you can easily catch the monorail to Epcot. They both have their good points. Good Luck:)
  6. mlain

    mlain Earning My Ears

    Jun 4, 2013
    I know our children will enjoy our trip no matter what....but since it's their first trip, I want to make it as special and as memorable as possible. Thank you for any advice you may have!
  7. jfk4

    jfk4 Earning My Ears

    Mar 8, 2011
    I'd opt for the Wilderness lodge. I've stayed at both resorts, and while the animals at the Animal Kingdom Lodge are fun to watch, I think the Wilderness Lodge's proximity to the Magic Kingdom would be beneficial for a group with children. I like the theme and locale of the Wilderness Lodge better, but this ultimately comes down to personal preference.

    The Animal Kingdom Lodge is fun to visit, though, so if you have time you might want to consider having dinner there and checking it out.

    I don't think you'll regret either choice.
  8. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    We've stayed at both and both are awesome resorts. The WL has a slight edge for us over AKL since we love the MK area, but other than that, we love both resorts equally. Some think AKL is too far from everything, but we found it to be nice and quiet and thought the buses were great as we didn't find it to take more than about 5 extra minutes to get to the parks compared to other resorts. We wouldn't hesitate to stay at either one again. With all of that said, both are great places to stay and you really can't go wrong with either one.
  9. ciera321

    ciera321 DIS Veteran

    Jan 9, 2004
    I have to agree with WL since it's so close to MK. We've stayed at both several times and I really have a hard time deciding, but with that many kiddos, I'd go with WL! :)
  10. Tink0812

    Tink0812 Mouseketeer

    May 3, 2011
    I have stayed at both. WL is my all-time favorite Disney resort; however, with children that young they would probably enjoy AKL more especially if you can get a Savannah view. Even without the view it would be nice to be that close to the animals.
  11. mckelvey72

    mckelvey72 Mouseketeer

    Mar 20, 2013
    My vote is WL because of the boat ride. You can take the boat to MK, Contemporary for Chef Mickeys and Fort Wilderness for HDDR, campfire sing along etc.

    Also WL has the water parade every night on the beach which AKL does not have. WL is wonderful place to stay with kids!!
  12. Kae

    Kae DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2002
    Tough choice. I feel with AKL you need to spend time at the resort so much to do we spent 2 half day just at AKL. We had a savannah room & loved it.

    WL is great also. We enjoy the boat to MK & also took the boat CR and used the Transport from CR to get to other places. My kids loved the boat & we had the room that was the farthest from the bus stop ;)

  13. pepe of ohio

    pepe of ohio DIS Veteran

    Jul 5, 2001
    We've stayed at both: AKL once, WL, over 10+ stays....

    WL without a doubt, location, location, location

    So much around the WL, the lakes, boats to MK, CR and FW....quick access to monorail, 3 other resorts very close for dining, shopping and lounging.....

    AKL, all you have is the resort , all else is a bus ride !
  14. goofynut41

    goofynut41 Disney Veteran

    Aug 2, 2012
    I have stayed at both... Their both great in their own way... but my fav is WL... just love the atmosphere better.. just my opinion...::yes::
  15. elaw

    elaw DIS Veteran

    Jul 9, 2011
    I agree :thumbsup2

    My favorite as well.
  16. Phaze1984

    Phaze1984 Earning My Ears

    Jun 3, 2013
    I have not stayed at Wilderness Lodge, but have stayed at AKL multiple times. My wife and I love it there and when we took her family, Mother, father-in-law, 2 of her adult sisters, 2 teen nieces, and 1 pre-teen they all also had an amazing time and my father-in-law enjoyed staying in the room watching the animals more then going to most of the parks. On the slight downside the rooms do tend to be much darker then you would normally expect from hotel rooms. Everything is dark wood, and is made to seem jungley. I find I sleep better there then most rooms but it can be an issue. Also depending where your room is you can, and I have had on a few occasions, a very long walk everyday to and from the parks.
  17. WisconsinDad

    WisconsinDad Mouseketeer

    May 17, 2013
    My vote would be WL.

    I've never stayed at AKL but I've considered it in the past. The problem is I would would want a room with a Savanna view and those cost as much as many of the other deluxes that are more convenient or have more amenities. For example, for the cost of a Savanna view room, you could stay at one of the Epcot resorts (YC/BC/BWI) or in the CR-GW. I would pick any of those over AKL-Savanna view.

    Just my $.02.
  18. jaykorf001

    jaykorf001 DIS Veteran

    Mar 30, 2013
    I'll caveat this by saying we haven't stayed at either, we are going to AKL next week and are very excited. But for me this decision comes down to a couple things. Do your kids and family love animals? Mine does. I didn't even consider another resort because of this. Can you swing the savanna view room and will you be around the resort enough to enjoy it and all the AKL amenities? The savanna view rooms are going to be more than WL. I have heard the pool view at AKL is nice as well but I suspect its equally nice at WL.

    Finally, I've been on these boards a lot. Some people don't like AKL because it only has buses. More people insist its little to no extra time to get to the parks because it does not share buses. Obviously the monorail resorts and Epcot resorts are the exception to this but WL does not fall into those categories.

    I suspect you can't go wrong.
  19. DisneyDmbNut

    DisneyDmbNut <img src="

    Oct 10, 2003
    We love both. That being said, my DD (15) wanted to stay at AKL this time because it was going to be hot and she thinks of AKL as more of a warm weather resort and WL as a cold weather. We stayed at WL in February and with the cool air, it does feel like being in the PNW.

    BUT! if you plan on going to MK alot, I would pick WL for the boat convenience
  20. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    Both are nicely themed. WL is close to the MK (if you go there a lot, that can be a big plus). We choose AKL because the theming is richer, the animals are real and amazing to watch, and the pool area is large and very nice. But I don't think you can go wrong with either one. :goodvibes
  21. Deb & Bill

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

    Mar 20, 2000
    Both AKL and WL have limits of four to the standard hotel room. You would need two deluxe rooms that sleeps six at a minimum with eleven guests. Or get three rooms and hope that one connects to another. Otherwise one adult will be sleeping in each of the two rooms.

Share This Page