Animal Kingdom Lodge

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by sdteacher, Nov 7, 2008.

  1. sdteacher

    sdteacher Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2008
    I'd like to hear your thoughts on this resort. We upgraded to this resort today and I think it looks awesome - but wanted to hear what others have to say. What is the pool like? Do you get to see a lot of the animals from there? Please share anything you can. Thanks a bunch!
  2. aurorae

    aurorae DIS Veteran

    Oct 4, 2008
    The pool is awesome.

    You can see the animals, there are several good viewing areas around the resort.

    My biggest suggestion to them would be to change the landscaping such that the chain link fence at the back of the savannah is not visible. It ruins the illusion of being in the wild. I wish they could have put some shrubs or something in front of it to hide it.

    The artwork around the resort is great, take the time to just wander around and look at stuff.

    The interior of the resort is pretty dark. I guess that makes it look cool in the African equatorial heat, but it is kind of gloomy in the resort. That struck me right away.

    I like the landscaping around the resort. When you park your rental car (assuming you have one) and walk up to the entrance, you are on paths that are curved and with lush vegetation that is not formally trimmed. It gives it a great illusion of being in a wild area.

    You'll love it.
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  4. jaminmd

    jaminmd DIS Veteran

    Oct 28, 2008
    Good morning,

    We just returned from AKL on Thursday. It was my first trip in 19 years, DH hasn't been there since 1971 & DD 11 had never been to Disney.

    Since it was our first family Disney trip, I wanted to splurge on a deluxe. AKL was beautiful & staff was friendly. Mousekeeping wasn't up to my standards, though. We are very neat people & they had very little to do in my room (I make my own bed) but still had to ask for things after leaving a very generous tip every day. The room was very dusty, too. They really did very basic cleaning, if that.

    We spent so much time at the parks that we only slept & showered at the resort. We didn't do any of the activities at the lodge because we were at the parks all day. Finally on our last day, we really had time to explore & look at the animlas. They weren't that close. I got a better look at them on the safari, actually. DD used the pool one night & really enjoyed the slide.

    Boma is expensive, especially if you're not on the DDP & if you're not big eaters. I'm glad I tried it, but I wouldn't do it again unless I had free dining. Mara was actually very good but they have limited choices. I found the children's portions perfect for me & at only $4.49, a great deal.

    Next time we go, we'll try a moderate or perhaps a value. Since I like to judge for myself, I'm glad I experienced it. I just don't think for my family it is worth staying a a deluxe.
  5. MrsJ Henry

    MrsJ Henry DIS Veteran

    Jan 10, 2004
    This resort is one of our favorites!!!
    We have always loved the whole atmosphere and the service has always been great for us!!!!
    we are debating on staying here again next April but know we need to try other places.LOL
  6. gypsydoodlebug

    gypsydoodlebug <font color=red>Who DOESN'T love Fraggle Rock? I h

    Sep 21, 2003
    It's our favorite resort -- I had DD look at other resorts for our March trip and she said AKL only, please! We originally had a standard room reservation but were upgraded to a "partial" savannah view with bunkbeds, a delightful surprise. Not sure why it was "partial" since we had a PERFECT view of giraffes and ankoli cattle every day (no zebras or wildebeasts, though). I was doing DD's hair right after we got in the room and she yelled "Mommy! Look! A giraffe!" and RAN SMACK DAB INTO THE SLIDING GLASS DOOR. It was hysterical!!

    The lobby is grandious and lovely; we liked to sit and have a drink and let DD watch a cartoon and meet other kids in the lobby. One night we all sat around the fire pit and DH told DD stories. Very relaxing. We also did crayon rubbings using the medallions on the floor and DD participated in the daily "parade" around the lobby.

    The pool is spacious and has a nice slide. We only used it once since we were in the parks most of the time.

    Jiko is one of the best restaurants on property with a fabulous wine list. We took DD to Simba's Cubhouse while we ate an adult dinner at Jiko and she LOVED it -- she ran into the room after DH picked her up and she was clutching a fistful of coloring sheets and they'd made St. Partrick's Day magnets. Boma is very good, although crowded.

    Mara is Ok for a quick bite, but we quickly tired of the selections. Depending on your room, it can be a haul to get there to refill your mug.

    We're staying there again this March and look forward to another great stay!
  7. Cupcake88

    Cupcake88 Mouseketeer

    Sep 1, 2008
    I am curious how AKL works for handicapped folks? Especially the bus stop. My husband has a heart condition which limits his stamina and ability to exert himself walking...going uphill could be an issue. Can someone comment on this????
  8. dairyqueenmom

    dairyqueenmom If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remembe

    Oct 7, 2007
    The bus stop is a short walk down a slight incline from the front doors. If your husband can't walk far I would invest in one of those scooters. You can rent them there and have them delivered to your resort. There is so much walking at Disney I would ruin a big trip, rent a scooter and he will have a great trip.
  9. sdteacher

    sdteacher Mouseketeer

    Sep 27, 2008
    We had a moderate booked for our vacation and upgraded to the AKL due to the book 4 get 7 special. So I am excited as we probably couldn't have afforded this resort otherwise. We do have the DDP so I am going to try to get reservations done this weekend for some of our restaurant choices. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this resort!
  10. Loverly

    Loverly Lots of Chocolates for me to eat

    Dec 10, 2007
    Just back from AKL-a wonderful resort!

    I actually saw the most animals from the lookouts at the pool area-way in the back behind the seconnd hidden whirlpool!
    There are now two baby giraffes and there is a tree there that apparently has food way up high because 4 of them were eating there!

    Now to the "Warned you" part.
    We were "upgraded" from a parking lot view to savanah BUT could see & hear construction of the DVC

    If you get a room on the LEFT side of hotel-facing west -
    (Imagine hotel like a big U with rooms in the inside of the U)
    you WILL see and hear (at 6am) construction! We had a view of the 20 Port_o_potties@!

    If you are inside the U(the top rated rooms) or have a east (pool) view you'll be ok)

    The food court Mara has lots of selections and larger than Wilderness lodge's Food court (which is comparable cheaper Deluxe)
  11. raven69david

    raven69david I am a Superuser. Got a problem with that?!

    Sep 19, 2005
    This is our home resort. Since we started staying onsite in 2004, we've done AKL each time. It's such a beautiful resort that we will continue staying there for years to come. We love it so much that we're looking into DVC at Kidani Village which we will check out for ourselves in 4 weeks.

    The zero-entry pool is fantastic and the kiddie pool is perfect for little ones. There are hot tubs on the perimeter of the pool which are a nice little perk too.

    The restaurants are top notch and while they may not be cheap, you really do pay for what you get. It's an awesome dining experience which you simply must try. I did and wasn't a big fan of it, but at least I got to try it and may do so again.

    The animals are awesome at this resort and there are alot of places throughout the resort to view them. When they are up close it's awesome, but there are barriers put up so that they can't get too close to the resort. In any case, they do get really up close and me and DD2 at the time were on our balcony admiring them for hours throughout our 2006 trip. That made for some awesome memories which I will never ever forget; spending that quality time with her as a baby.:goodvibes

    The bus stop is not shared by any other resort so these are direct buses to other destinations, namely TTC.

    My biggest gripe about AKL is not from the resort, but from others who say "It's too far from everything else.":mad: I hate that because it really isn't. It's next to Animal Kingdom and the car ride to MK is about 10 minutes without any traffic delays (which there usually aren't).

    AKL is the best resort IMO as it offers a unique theme that can't be found on ANY Disney property. That's why you see that resort featured on all of their commercials because it is truly a unique experience. The sights, sounds, smells of the resort are unbelievable; really hard to describe. The scent of the spices they burn indoors will grab your soul and make you keep on coming back as it has to us. You will love it and I hope you have a great trip. Please post a trip report when you return. :flower3:
  12. johnsonet

    johnsonet DIS Veteran

    Jul 3, 2003
    I absolutely L-O-V-E AKL and stay there often :cloud9:

    Here are some pics to give you a feel for it ;)



    BBQ chicken flatbread at Jiko :cloud9:

  13. nbp

    nbp Earning My Ears

    Oct 1, 2008
    We will be there in 2 weeks and have a pool view. I was thinking of trying to upgrade to savanna view or even concierge, but after reading about the construction, may just be happy with the pool view. Does anyone think concierge level is worth it?
  14. jeanylaser

    jeanylaser Epcot's biggest fan

    Sep 19, 2003
    I heard that Animal Kingdom Lodge is only 144.00 it's true! My mom and I are going to stay in the Animal Kingdom Lodge for January! Please tell me this rates is true!
  15. Carlyzmom

    Carlyzmom Axiom Crew

    Mar 22, 2008
    It's not true.
  16. Loverly

    Loverly Lots of Chocolates for me to eat

    Dec 10, 2007

    Maybe 5 years ago?;)

    Now its in the $275-300 plus range-but look for codes and specials!
  17. mmmears

    mmmears DIS Veteran

    Nov 30, 2005
    AKL is so beautiful. We visited once for dinner and we all knew where we would be staying next time!!! I had not wanted to stay there because of the location, but I think it's worth it after I saw it.

    The photos on the WDW website dont even begin to show just how amazing this place is. The architecture, ambiance, atmosphere -- are all so unique.

    You should be so happy to be staying there -- it's really a unique & amazing place. We cant wait until our turn in April!!!:)
  18. BuzzBelleMom

    BuzzBelleMom DIS Veteran

    Jul 13, 2006
    We also are staying there due to the 4/3 offer! We were originally booked for POR, but for a few dollars more, we can get the hotel we could only dream about before (Contemporary is our pie-in-the-sky fantasy!)

    I made the mistake of checking opinions on a different site and became worried.:scared:

    I also checked the times. 20 minutes to MK seems very reasonable to me. I asked about walking to AK, but there aren't any trails.

    Thanks for asking the original ? and all of the feedback!
  19. ken skellington

    ken skellington The Pumpkin King

    Feb 25, 2005
    We also just booked a trip for 1/21-1/28 because of the 3 nights free offer!! This will be our first deluxe resort and we are VERY excited!! AKL looks amazing and we can't wait to spend our third WDW trip there!!!

    Thanks for all of the helpful info. everyone!
  20. cjb71870

    cjb71870 DIS Veteran

    Jun 17, 2005
  21. MickeyNicki

    MickeyNicki It is pretty darn sad when a valet picks you out a

    Sep 22, 2005
    We stayed there for 5 nights last month and the CL lounge was awesome, having Jiko and Boma breakfast right there was so convenient. Our Savannah room would have been perfect if the painting was not going on. The pool bar close to the hot tub was perfect for us....the hot tubs are pretty secluded so you do not hear the pool noise. The Sunrise Safari made the entire stay worth it. Staff of all types are super friendly and very accommodating....they went out of their way to make you happy. Awesome gift shop.

    What we did not like was how far away we were from everything....took too long to get to and from places. The lobby is a madhouse from 8am to noon and then from 4pm on....just crammed with people and the noise is crazy.

    I am glad that we finally stayed there but probably will not go stay there again

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