Bay Lake Towers vs. Animal Kingdom Lodge

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by alice0826, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. alice0826

    alice0826 Earning My Ears

    Feb 20, 2006
    Hi! Our daughter is currently working at Animal Kingdom on the CP so we are planning to visit her in December. We have booked a Deluxe Studio at Bay Lake Towers but DH really wants to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I was hoping someone could give us some pros and cons for each to help us make our decision. Would a split stay be worth it? We're not concerned about the bus service since we'll have a car. We always stay at Pop Century, but since the CM discounts are so generous we figured we'd step it up a bit and go deluxe this trip! :) Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!
  2. Joy

    Joy Mouseketeer

    May 13, 2005
    Those are my two favorite resorts with a slight edge to AKL. I think you will be happy with either of them.

    What I like about BLT
    -walk to MK
    -Monorail to EPCOT (you have to switch trains at the ticket and transportation center - this I dislike)
    -Close to Contemporary services - coffee shop, pool,
    -It is very busy at the Contemporary, but you are out of the main hustle and bustle at BLT
    -The view are nice
    -The theming is a bit plain

    What I like about AKL
    -The animals are amazing
    -when you leave the park you feel like you are in a completely different place
    -Mara is much better than your average quick service place
    -the two pools are nicer - especially the pool bars
    -The rooms are really nice - I like the decor
    -Saana is great - one of my most favorite places to ear
    -Boma is great too

    Good luck with your choice.
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  4. mickeynut1

    mickeynut1 DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2007
    My choice would be AKL. We've never stayed at BLT, but we've enjoyed our stays at AKL :). AKL is a beautiful resort and is nicely decorated during the holidays. We love just walking around the resort taking everything in, as well as watching the animals roam the savannas. AKL is kind of out away from everything so, IMO, it offers a quiet, relaxing atmosphere :cloud9:.
  5. alice0826

    alice0826 Earning My Ears

    Feb 20, 2006
    Well said Joy! Thank you so much for the information. My DH disliked the plain feel of BLT compared to the great theme at AKL. I think we may be switching our reservation to AKL because it seems like we would feel more like we were staying at a Disney resort and not a plain hotel. I was somewhat swayed by the allure of easy access to the monorail and MK though! ;)
  6. tvsdisney

    tvsdisney Mouseketeer

    Jun 19, 2011
    We loved, loved, loved AKL. Headed to BLT in just a couple of days so it has a lot to live up to but we wanted to be close to the MK and DS loves the monorail. AKL has been my favorite so far though!
  7. LJRJR

    LJRJR Mouseketeer

    Dec 22, 2005
    We stayed at BLT last month. We usually stay at the Polynesian. We had the one bedroom. Even though we booked the Bay Lake View, we ended up looking at Bay Lake, and the MK. I understand that people feel that the decor and the building itself might be boring. However, I loved the room and the modern decor. Having two bathroom for the five of us was fantastic. I really enjoyed the quick service meals at the Contempo Cafe. My two DSs loved watching the Monorail pass by while we were eating, and the food was great for a quick meal. Bay Lake Tower was great!
  8. leahanne33

    leahanne33 Earning My Ears

    Nov 1, 2010
    My husband and I have done a split stay between BLT and AKL-Jambo and strongly prefer AKL. The rooms at BLT (studio villas) are tiny. Smaller than POP. We had quality issues at BLT as well that we have never had at any oher Disney resort (faulty mattress and showerhead). The one strong pro to BLT is the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. Everything else - food options, pool, theme, cast members, room size, quality, has been better each time we have stayed at AKL!
  9. dylan0317

    dylan0317 Earning My Ears

    Jan 23, 2012
    We are DVC members and have stayed at a few of the resorts. We are coming and taking some good friends and their kids with us. They have
    never been to disney any of them. They have 2 boys ages 9 & 5. We want
    to show them an amazing time. Please help me select the best resort.
  10. gypsydoodlebug

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

    Sep 21, 2003
    AKL is an experience you can't get just anywhere. I travel frequently for work and IMO, CR has the same feel as many upscale, contemporary hotels in most cities.
  11. pamkat1820

    pamkat1820 DIS Veteran

    May 9, 2011
    There is nothing like waking up in the morning to see animals right out your door! It is my favorite memory from our first family vacation. You can not beat AKL for its theming. I likeBLT but only for its location and that all. Walking around AKL looking for the giraffes & zebras . The food court has a great selection of food. We had breakfast at Boma it was great. The stories by the camp fire with the African music. My favorite trip so far. If you are not using the buses and have a car I would go with AKL. I would stay there again but I want to try out BC my husband keeps saying what about AKL when we discus our planning
  12. tourguidepat

    tourguidepat Earning My Ears

    Dec 30, 2009
    If you are stuck between the two I would choose Bay Lake Towers! It has the monorail to magic kingdom and has boats that go to a park (can't remember if its HS or EPCOT). Overall you will be closer to all the parks in BLT, AKL is very isolated, the only park its close to is AK. Hope you find this helpful!:thumbsup2
  13. cayennews

    cayennews Mouseketeer

    Jul 9, 2009
    I'd like to stay at BLT, but I think you have to plan kind of far out for it and I tend to make plans late. One day it would be great to stay there. The pools look pretty cool.
  14. nightshaderose

    nightshaderose Mouseketeer

    Oct 24, 2005
    AKL is my favorite DVC resort, but I've done split-stays at BLT for the last trip, and this upcoming one as well, and BLT has become my second-favorite resort. How either on would work for you all comes down to preferences.

    BLT has the convenience of walking to MK and monorail or boat access to all of the dining and entertainment options of the MK-area resorts. The decor is very contemporary and slick, and the Mickey touches are subtle. The biggest down side IMO, is that the studios are kind of small.

    AKL studios are more spacious. The decor is warm and well-themed, with loads of dark-stained carved wood, and the like. The biggest draw here is the animals, and there are plenty of viewing points throughout the resort. I am also in love :love: with the lobby at AKL-Jambo House, and before I got DVC would carve a couple of hours out of my vaction to come over to AKL and just relax in that lobby (usually before a good dinner at Boma). The dining options at AKL are not extensive, but they are excellent. I love Boma for both dinner and breakfast, and I think that Sanaa is the best casual TS on property.

    As much as I love having all that fantastic dining (and drinking :drinking1) readily available at BLT, for me personally, the Feel of AKL wins out. YMMV.
  15. Deb & Bill

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

    Mar 20, 2000
    If it is just the two of you, BLT studio will be okay. But if you have anyone else with you, you'll really want something larger. The BLT studio is the smallest of all the DVC studios other than the AKV Value studio at Jambo House. At BLT, most of the space is in the bathroom and the hallway into the villa. The living space is very tight.

    Oh, and there is only one tower at this time at Bay Lake Tower.
  16. jacksmommy

    jacksmommy Mouseketeer

    Jan 19, 2008
    We have stayed at both and we are a house divided. Depending on what your party wants to do and which parks you enjoy the most would change my answer.

    BLT -
    walking to MK and from MK is priceless
    love the hustle and bustle, middle of it all feeling
    close to services and eats
    on the monorail and boat access to WL/FW
    sterile/boring pool
    seeing the castle at every time you go to the elevator
    being able to see the fireworks every night
    easy access to GF and Poly for other dining experiences
    we loved the Modern Decor and were pleasantly surprised
    we had a water/pool view and enjoyed the water pageant each night
    good QS

    truly transported to another place - the theme and decor are outstanding
    long walk from Kidani to QS Mara
    the animals
    wonderful TS with Saana, Boma and Jiko
    great resort activities for all ages
    good bus service - we have stayed 2 and had wonderful service, no problems or long waits
    does feel more remote from the rest of the "world"
    close to AK if that is one of your favorite places to spend time
    2 wonderful pools with fun for kids and adults alike

    We love the staff at AKL much better than CR-BLT for many reasons. I would stay at both again in a heartbeat. You can not go wrong. If it was just my DH and I we would stay at AKL. If it was still us with our young kids BLT all the way - my animal loving son would choose it too, he loved being so close to MK. A hard choice but an awesome one either way!

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