Which home resort? Animal Kingdom or Wilderness Lodge?

bananapepper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
We are planning on buying a DVC membership early next year and are having trouble deciding which resort to make our "home"! We have 3 kids who will be 8, 5, and 1 when we go on our trip either next Thanksgiving or Christmas.

I love the theme and look of Animal Kingdom and love how unique it is, but worry the distance will be a big pain. Is there only one bus that just takes you to one drop off location? Or are there multiple busses that will take you to other parts of the resort from WK?

Wilderness Lodge is also really beautiful but definitely not as unique as WK. Will I regret not making a resort closer to the park our home resort? These two just seem to appeal to me so much more and I sort of like the idea of having a place to unwind from a day at the park that is a little remote and removed from all the craziness.

So, what do you think? Which should I do?!
 

_auroraborealis_

I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
Joined
Oct 18, 2015
Which side of Wilderness Lodge? If Copper Creek, be aware that a family of 5 must book a 2BR there. At Boulder Ridge, both the studio and 1BR allow 5, but no bed is provided for the 5th in the 1BR.

At AKV, Standard and Savannah 1BRs sleep 5. Studios are limit 4. AKV has a sleeper chair for the 5th guest.

No resort is close to every park.
 

bananapepper

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
I was thinking Copper Creek but am not completely sold one way or another on which of the two Wilderness Lodge resorts I'd pick. Any suggestions between those two? I guess I'm trying to first decide if I should do WL or AK and then go from there!

Edit meant Copper Creek!
 
  • RescueRanger

    Recovering Fastpass Superuser
    Joined
    Apr 3, 2003
    AKV is one of our home resorts. The distance from everything claim is overblown. In fact, AKV doesn’t share buses with other resorts like the MK resorts and Epcot resorts do. So alot of times it is actually faster. There are buses to each park. The bus will stop at Kidani first then Jambo house unless it is Disney Springs, then it is reversed. AKV has animals. What more could you want? Not to mention there are 2 bathrooms in the 1BR.
     

    _auroraborealis_

    I like marshmallows. And adult beverages.
    Joined
    Oct 18, 2015
    I was thinking Copper Creek but am not completely sold one way or another on which of the two Wilderness Lodge resorts I'd pick. Any suggestions between those two? I guess I'm trying to first decide if I should do WL or AK and then go from there!

    Edit meant Copper Creek!
    As mentioned, ar AKV you can book a 1BR in any category but Value. At CCV, you will always need a 2BR. The studio and 1BR are hard limit 4. So you would need to really understand the implications of the number of points needed for your typical travel seasons.

    BRV would allow you 5 in a 1BR but only 4 beds provided. Studio has 5 sleep surfaces, but is tight with 5. Also, BRV is a 2042 resort.
     

    Frederic Civish

    “I’m just here for the Ears.”
    Joined
    Apr 18, 2018
    AKV is one of our home resorts. The distance from everything claim is overblown. In fact, AKV doesn’t share buses with other resorts like the MK resorts and Epcot resorts do. So alot of times it is actually faster. There are buses to each park. The bus will stop at Kidani first then Jambo house unless it is Disney Springs, then it is reversed. AKV has animals. What more could you want? Not to mention there are 2 bathrooms in the 1BR.
    I second the above. AKV is very close to Animal Kingdom Park, and travel times to most other parks are actually less than from most resorts. The one longer trip being Magic Kingdom, but even then, when you compare the time for the bus from AKV to MK, to the time you spend waiting in line for the Monorail from Poly to MK, then boarding the monorail, then stopping at Grand Floridian, before going on to MK, the bus from 'way out yonder' at AKV is not significantly slower.

    I love Wilderness Lodge and would stay there anytime. But the studio rooms at CC are much smaller, AND, CC is one of those resorts that is having trouble with the bookings because everyone who bought points in a 'cabin' also wants to spend those points for studios, so it can be problematic.

    Whereas at AKL, Jambo has a decent number of rooms and Kidani, an amazing resort itself, has enormous numbers of rooms available and almost never has trouble booking standard or savannah rooms, even right at the 7 month window. Plus AKV with its African theme is really cool and when you add the animals on the Savannah, IT IS A UNIQUE HOTEL IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. Plus, I think both Jambo and Kidani have better restaurants than CC/VWL, as long as you are a bit adventrurous and willing to try American/African/Indian fusion food. Delicious.

    To me there is no question. AKL/AKV is where it is at. And that is why I have one contract at Kidani and one at Jambo (doesn't make a bit of difference which one it is at) for a total of about 485 points. I also own at Poly and BLT and of them all, AKL is my favorite.
     

    Ruttangel

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 21, 2013
    I agree that AKL transportation problems are overhyped, I’ve stayed at POFQ, YC and OKW as well and their transportation is worse.

    It also feels like a different holiday being there, so relaxing and friendly. An escape from the frantic pace of the parks.
     

    Pyotr

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2018
    I have three kids and own at CCV. Our only option is to get 2 bedrooms as the 1 bedrooms and studios only fit 4 people. AKV 1 bedrooms sleep 5. Getting 2 bedrooms allows us to bring one set of grandparents on our trips, so it isn’t an issue for us.

    We love AKL. My wife and I had an adult stay last weekend. We took the bus to food and wine with no issues. I agree with a previous poster that the bus situation at AKL is completely overblown.

    Some things you need to factor is that you can buy resale AKV for relatively cheap and it has a reasonable point chart. However, it’s also fairly easy to book at the 7 month mark. Unless you’re going for the club level or value rooms, you don’t necessarily need to own there.

    CCV has a longer contract and studios are nearly impossible to book unless you own there.
     

    DisneyStarWisher

    Love My DVC!!!
    Joined
    Jun 13, 2008
    I own at AKV, and I love it. But I also love BRV and may one day buy a contract there as well. Is there a way you can buy half of the points at each resort and with banking stay at AKV one year and at BRV or CCV the next? That would be the best of both worlds.
     

    Wakey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2015
    It is a good idea to stay at a resort before buying- visiting is not enough. I loved AKV when visiting, but the lack of any place to walk or run outside, I was not a fan when I stayed there. People were jogging up and down a car park for goodness sake. Wilderness Lodge had great walking opportunities, but now all closed off- and no one seems to know if they will ever return. Hopefully it is just temporary.
     

    T-i-double-guh-er

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 16, 2019
    We have 3 kids who will be 8, 5, and 1 when we go on our trip either next Thanksgiving or Christmas.
    We just bought at Animal Kingdom. We’re planning a Thanksgiving trip next year, when our kids will be 8, 5, and 10 months. Maybe we’ll see you around the playground!

    Wilderness Lodge is also really beautiful but definitely not as unique as WK.
    So, this is pretty specific for me. I love the idea of a wilderness lodge, generally. However, my kids and I are enrolled Native American tribal members. I work with tribal communities. I love Native culture, but when I go on vacation, I don’t think I want to feel like I’m being “honored,” and I want Disney World to be an escape from my daily life. I certainly don’t want other people to stop enjoying and learning about Native American culture though.

    So, what do you think? Which should I do?!
    While there are certainly logical things to consider, does one appeal to you more emotionally?
     

    bananapepper

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    Thank you all so much! Why do some people have multiple home resorts? I’m only just starting my research so I’m very interested!

    I do love the look and theme of AK and we love African food too :) I also love that the one bedroom has 2 bathrooms which is very nice when you have 5 people. Although I want to make sure I get enough points to stay in a 2 bedroom for a week when the kids are older.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    Thank you all so much! Why do some people have multiple home resorts? I’m only just starting my research so I’m very interested!

    I do love the look and theme of AK and we love African food too :) I also love that the one bedroom has 2 bathrooms which is very nice when you have 5 people. Although I want to make sure I get enough points to stay in a 2 bedroom for a week when the kids are older.
    People usually buy multiple resorts for the home resort booking windows. 7 month availability isn't always great so they buy the places they most want to stay. If someone makes multiple trips in a year they would probably stay at different resorts each trip. If someone makes an annual trip then they might have enough points at each place for part of the trip and will do a split stay. Half of the trip at one and half at the other. Or if they like 2 places they buy 1/2 of the points needed for their normal stay at each resort and use banking or borrowing to alternate between the 2 resorts every other year.
     

    Networth

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 2, 2013
    If you can swing a 2 bedroom at CCV that would be my vote. I prefer the theme of WL over AKL. I also prefer a boat to MK vs a bus.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    I’ll add that I too think the buses only at AKV is over emphasized. It’s quite good because it’s dedicated transportation for that resort. In all our stays AKV has never been one of the places with bus issues that we’ve had other places. I was a little unclear on your first post about 1 bus, 1 location or multiple to other areas. It is exactly like all other resorts with a route that goes to MK, another route that goes to DHS, another route that goes to Epcot, another route that goes to AK (a very short ride) and one more that goes to Disney Springs. So 5 unique routes. The buses on each route are scheduled to come every 20 minutes just like WL and every other resort. There are blips where they hit traffic etc so 20 minutes becomes more of an estimate. There are monitors so you know when the next one will be arriving.

    WL has the exact same set up with the exception that DHS and AK buses will often stop at another resort and the Epcot bus stops at FW too. It does have the addition of the boats to MK.
     

    bananapepper

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 13, 2019
    That is good to know that the bus situation isn't as bad as people online make it to be because I really do love the look of the resort!

    Is it better though to make one of the more "popular" resorts the home resort even if you don't like it as much? Just from a resale/renting perspective?
     

    Donna M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2008
    You wouldn't need to buy as many points for AKV because you won't have to get the 2bd, though if you can they are great, and something you'll probably want when the kids are older. I stayed in CCV and thought the living room space was way too small, especially if you had 5 people with some of them running around.

    The other thing to consider if you were to buy into two resorts, is that you can not pool your points at 11 months. If you need more points for a larger place or additional days, you would need to wait for the 7 month date to use the other resort's points.
     

    Donna M

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 8, 2008
    That is good to know that the bus situation isn't as bad as people online make it to be because I really do love the look of the resort!

    Is it better though to make one of the more "popular" resorts the home resort even if you don't like it as much? Just from a resale/renting perspective?
    Definitely don't buy just for the resale. This is your vacation place, you have to really like it. You'll be kicking yourself if you spend all that money and a few years down the line you're wishing you bought where you wanted to stay. Who knows, you many only get to stay in your home resort.
     

    KAT4DISNEY

    Glad to be a test subject
    Joined
    Mar 17, 2008
    That is good to know that the bus situation isn't as bad as people online make it to be because I really do love the look of the resort!

    Is it better though to make one of the more "popular" resorts the home resort even if you don't like it as much? Just from a resale/renting perspective?
    Buy DVC for your vacation use so make it somewhere you want to stay. And if renting AKV actually gets a premium just the same as VGF, BCV etc.
     

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