Disney's Club Level (CL) Information & Questions

Zife

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 8, 2010
My wife and I are headed back to AKL Kilimanjaro Club in Nov after just over six years away (from both AKL and Club Level). I've read a bit about some changes to Club Level in general, but I haven't read a whole lot about AKL specifically.

The one thing I'm concerned about is the change from IPO to Signature Services (I think that's what I read it's called now). One of my favourite things about CL has always been the ease and punctuality of IPO making my ADRs for me. I never had to contact them, they always contacted me. Now I'm reading about people not hearing from SS until well after their 180 day point. Should I make a point of contacting them in April, before my 180 day mark on May 12? Or do they frown upon that?

Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown? Any new tips/tricks, etc I should know about?

Thanks all!
 
Last edited:

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gwynne

Happily planning our next adventure
Joined
Jan 1, 2012
My wife and I are headed back to AKL Kilimanjaro Club in Nov after just over six years away (from both AKL and Club Level). I've read a bit about some changes to Club Level in general, but I haven't read a whole lot about AKL specifically.

The one thing I'm concerned about is the change from IPO to Signature Services (I think that's what I read it's called now). One of my favourite things about CL has always been the ease and punctuality of IPO making my ADRs for me. I never had to contact them, they always contacted me. Now I'm reading about people not hearing from SS until well after their 180 day point. Should I make a point of contacting them in April, before my 180 day mark on May 12? Or do they frown upon that?

Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown? Any new tips/tricks, etc I should know about?

Thanks all!
I would contact them in April. I don't think there is an upside to waiting until the last minute.
 
  • Mousemommy1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    My wife and I are headed back to AKL Kilimanjaro Club in Nov after just over six years away (from both AKL and Club Level). I've read a bit about some changes to Club Level in general, but I haven't read a whole lot about AKL specifically.

    The one thing I'm concerned about is the change from IPO to Signature Services (I think that's what I read it's called now). One of my favourite things about CL has always been the ease and punctuality of IPO making my ADRs for me. I never had to contact them, they always contacted me. Now I'm reading about people not hearing from SS until well after their 180 day point. Should I make a point of contacting them in April, before my 180 day mark on May 12? Or do they frown upon that?

    Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown? Any new tips/tricks, etc I should know about?

    Thanks all!
    One other thing to consider, from my talking to them, is that they will make your reservations at 9 am (when they open). I remember when IPO would do it, I would wake up at 6 am in the morning and they'd be done. It doesn't sound like that would be the case with SS. You may want to just wake up and do them yourself.
     

    GADisneyDad14

    Disney Resorts Board
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 3, 2014
    Cross-posting from the GF thread as well, so some of y'all may see this twice. @mickeynut1, I know you have strong feelings on SL, curious to hear your perspective!

    Good morning! :wave2: I have a question/request for those with experience with Sugar Loaf in regards to room requests. I'm curious to hear any pros/cons/perspectives on location relative to the lounge, noise level from lounge, floor level, or anything else I should keep in mind.

    My gut is telling me courtyard view, first floor, close to the lounge would be a good fit for us? We tend to value easy coming/goings to the pool and being close to the lounge. DS2 still sometimes naps every other day and we'd be putting her to bed some nights in the 8-9pm range. She'll sleep through anything but still curious as to any noise level from rooms towards the center.

    Thanks in advance! :thanks:
     

    RachelTori

    Missing my tags :'(
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2003
    So far I've found my dealings with SS to be underwhelming. They got some information in my email wrong (I double checked to make sure I hadn't made the errors!) and the 3 times I have tried to reach them by phone, I was on hold so long I hung up each time.

    For now I will continue to make my own reservations! ;)
     

    mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    At YC now !
    Hope you're having a great time! Love the pics, thanks for sharing :flower3:.

    Yes refurbished room and I took pics but too large to upload from phone - room is very nice we got upgraded to water view I believe it's an upgrade
    Congrats on the upgrade :).

    We'll be CL at YC in 64 days! I can't wait to see the new rooms. They look so nice!
    Hope you have a great trip :wizard:.

    So the husband and I decided to stay an extra couple days to enjoy more F&G, but AKL is all booked up for the weekend, sadly. The good news, however, is we're currently over in Tonga at the Poly. If anyone has questions about Tonga, let me know!
    Hope you're enjoying the Poly :goodvibes.

    Sorry no time to type a reply, food was great, couple of my photos wouldn't load again.....more after I'm home
    Looking forward to it :).

    59 days and I will be back at GF...cannot wait!
    Have a nice trip and enjoy the GF :wizard:.

    19 days!!! And I am glad @Ewoks posted the Honeymoon Room review. Although room service is an excellent perk, DH and I enjoy heading to F&G so much that an Epcot resort definitely would be preferred over the Tonga suite.

    And I had that amazing BWI cottage booked...then changed to WL CL to save some dinero.......but availability opened and we will now be returning to YC CL in 19 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    You'll be there before you know it, pas! :yay:

    Have a great time at the YC! :goodvibes

    Leaving in 1 week for CR CL. Its been a few years since we have stayed CL at CR. Anything new we should know about? We have been CL at GF and BWI recently. Thanks!!!!
    I can't help with anything new about CR CL, but wanted to say I hope you have a fun trip :).

    We will be RPC May 6 to 8, and OFC May 19 to 21, if you want to add us.
    What a great split, two amazing CLs! Have a great time :wizard:.

    My wife and I are headed back to AKL Kilimanjaro Club in Nov after just over six years away (from both AKL and Club Level). I've read a bit about some changes to Club Level in general, but I haven't read a whole lot about AKL specifically.

    The one thing I'm concerned about is the change from IPO to Signature Services (I think that's what I read it's called now). One of my favourite things about CL has always been the ease and punctuality of IPO making my ADRs for me. I never had to contact them, they always contacted me. Now I'm reading about people not hearing from SS until well after their 180 day point. Should I make a point of contacting them in April, before my 180 day mark on May 12? Or do they frown upon that?

    Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown? Any new tips/tricks, etc I should know about?

    Thanks all!
    I agree with gwynne that I'd contact them in April ;).
     
  • Mousemommy1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    So far I've found my dealings with SS to be underwhelming. They got some information in my email wrong (I double checked to make sure I hadn't made the errors!) and the 3 times I have tried to reach them by phone, I was on hold so long I hung up each time.

    For now I will continue to make my own reservations! ;)
    I prefer to do my own anyway! I have control issues, LOL.
     

    mickeynut1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 16, 2007
    Cross-posting from the GF thread as well, so some of y'all may see this twice. @mickeynut1, I know you have strong feelings on SL, curious to hear your perspective!

    Good morning! :wave2: I have a question/request for those with experience with Sugar Loaf in regards to room requests. I'm curious to hear any pros/cons/perspectives on location relative to the lounge, noise level from lounge, floor level, or anything else I should keep in mind.

    My gut is telling me courtyard view, first floor, close to the lounge would be a good fit for us? We tend to value easy coming/goings to the pool and being close to the lounge. DS2 still sometimes naps every other day and we'd be putting her to bed some nights in the 8-9pm range. She'll sleep through anything but still curious as to any noise level from rooms towards the center.

    Thanks in advance! :thanks:
    I think your requests are perfect if you want to be convenient to the lounge & pool. The courtyard pool is just steps from the SL building, so it's perfect for grabbing drinks/snacks while sitting pool side. As far as noise, we weren't super close to the lounge, but even walking through, I didn't find it to be too noisy. I found the lounge more hectic in the morning vs afternoon/evening, with not a lot of chaos later in the day (just my take). The main thing I didn't like about SL is the lounge itself. The food offerings were good and it is perfect if you will be spending a lot of time at the courtyard pool, but the lounge isn't very relaxing to me. I like to spend quite a bit of down time relaxing in the lounge taking in the surroundings/views and I just don't feel SL offers that. However, if convenience and nice room views are what you're looking for, I think SL is a good option ;).

    So far I've found my dealings with SS to be underwhelming. They got some information in my email wrong (I double checked to make sure I hadn't made the errors!) and the 3 times I have tried to reach them by phone, I was on hold so long I hung up each time.

    For now I will continue to make my own reservations! ;)
    I'm sorry you haven't had the best experience with DSS. Hopefully they just have some kinks to work out and things will improve as time goes on :).
     

    Ewoks

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2015
    Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown?
    We got back from AKL a little while ago and I can confirm they now give the standard Ghirardelli Disney parks chocolates at turndown. No proverb anymore either. But the turndown service was excellent! The only place we've gotten different chocolates than the Ghirardelli ones recently was at YC where they gave little blue-wrapped milk chocolate Dove.

    I think you'll be extremely impressed with the changes to the CL experience, especially at AKL. It's now officially our second favorite CL on property, right in between CR and YC. You're in for a treat!
     
  • Mousemommy1

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 6, 2010
    I just sent an email to Signature Services to see if they will monitor for the Rivers of Light packages to open up past June for me.

    We want a date in August, and I have been checking like crazy, but it would be awesome if they could do it.

    We'll see what they say...
     

    gottalovepluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2014
    My wife and I are headed back to AKL Kilimanjaro Club in Nov after just over six years away (from both AKL and Club Level). I've read a bit about some changes to Club Level in general, but I haven't read a whole lot about AKL specifically.

    The one thing I'm concerned about is the change from IPO to Signature Services (I think that's what I read it's called now). One of my favourite things about CL has always been the ease and punctuality of IPO making my ADRs for me. I never had to contact them, they always contacted me. Now I'm reading about people not hearing from SS until well after their 180 day point. Should I make a point of contacting them in April, before my 180 day mark on May 12? Or do they frown upon that?

    Anyone have more specific info on changes/updates to AKL since 2011? I saw something about changes to the chocolates. I loved the AKL chocolates, but if they're different, that's okay. Anyone know if they still leave the little "African proverb" cards during turndown? Any new tips/tricks, etc I should know about?

    Thanks all!
    I already contacted them for our trip and my 180 mark is May 10. I emailed them first with my confirmation number and was asked to call to put a credit card on file. Did that with similar experiences as above (got some not quite accurate info from a CM and did have to wait on hold for a few mins) but I got my mission accomplished and my CC is on file with them now. I have decided to only email them to avoid confusion. I asked if I could send my requests this far out from my 180 window and they said yes. Will it work? Idk but I'll be unable to book at the time my booking window opens so I'm going for it.
     

    Surgie2

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 19, 2016
    We want a date in August, and I have been checking like crazy, but it would be awesome if they could do it.
    Would love to know if they can get that for you so keep us posted. Does Touring Plans reservation finder work for dinner packages or just restaurant reservations? We had great success in January getting last minute dinner reservations, though it was a slower week and only two of us.
     

    gottalovepluto

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 14, 2014
    Sent in my ADR requests to DSS yesterday! We'll see how it goes. I have a grand total of 2, BOG and Citricos. LOL, CL+FW=minimal ADRs. Will probably add 2 more but I'm gonna let the family decide when I surprise them with the trip in a couple months. Like every other person who goes to WDW my fingers are crossed for BOG! (I lucked into a BOG ADR a couple years ago because a month, or less?, out from our trip Disney suddenly opened BOG ADRs during MVMCP. That trip was with a friend but I'd really love for my whole family to get the chance to experience it!)
    ETA: speak of the- uh, mouse! I just got an email from DSS saying they've put my requests into their calendar and noted our family allergies. Also- let them know if you have allergies as apparently they can place allergy notes in ressies, although they do say to still let your server know.
     

    karasmom

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 28, 2013
    Cross-posting from the GF thread as well, so some of y'all may see this twice. @mickeynut1, I know you have strong feelings on SL, curious to hear your perspective!

    Good morning! :wave2: I have a question/request for those with experience with Sugar Loaf in regards to room requests. I'm curious to hear any pros/cons/perspectives on location relative to the lounge, noise level from lounge, floor level, or anything else I should keep in mind.

    My gut is telling me courtyard view, first floor, close to the lounge would be a good fit for us? We tend to value easy coming/goings to the pool and being close to the lounge. DS2 still sometimes naps every other day and we'd be putting her to bed some nights in the 8-9pm range. She'll sleep through anything but still curious as to any noise level from rooms towards the center.

    Thanks in advance! :thanks:

    Your gut should tell you to just go to the CR - where you belong :tongue:
     

    Ewoks

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2015
    Some AKL lounge pics. Here's the view into the lobby from the 6th floor lounge area:
    AK1.jpg

    Side view of the main seating area
    AK2.jpg

    Drink station with Jungle Juice, lemonade, iced tea, cokes, water
    AK3.jpg

    Coffee and espresso area
    AK4.jpg

    Part of the afternoon snacks
    AK5.jpg

    The full food serving area
    AK7.jpg

    Elevator area on the 6th floor
    AK8.jpg

    More of the main seating area with the lobby overlook and the concierge desk
    AK9.jpg
     

    Somnia

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Dec 15, 2006
    Some AKL lounge pics. Here's the view into the lobby from the 6th floor lounge area:
    View attachment 223815

    Side view of the main seating area
    View attachment 223816

    Drink station with Jungle Juice, lemonade, iced tea, cokes, water
    View attachment 223817

    Coffee and espresso area
    View attachment 223818

    Part of the afternoon snacks
    View attachment 223819

    The full food serving area
    View attachment 223821

    Elevator area on the 6th floor
    View attachment 223822

    More of the main seating area with the lobby overlook and the concierge desk
    View attachment 223823
    Thank you so much for the images! December is so far away, we're currently staying Dec 6th-15th, but I'm really tempted to add a day and stay 1 more night possibly lol
     

    Ewoks

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 26, 2015
    Now for some Tonga lounge/concierge desk photos.

    Check-in desk, right as you walk in the door of the longhouse

    PV1.jpg


    Stairs up to the little lounge area on the second floor

    PV2.jpg


    Service area in the lounge on the second floor. For perspective, the stairs are right next to the fridge.

    PV3.jpg


    Afternoon snacks.

    PV4.jpg


    Tea and espresso, along with cold drinks. They didn't have brewed coffee up here, just the espresso machine. Brewed coffee is over in Hawaii. Beer and POG juice are in the fridge with the cokes/waters.

    PV5.jpg
     
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