Wilderness Lodge vs. AKL, which would you choose?

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by Laz, Jun 9, 2004.

  1. Laz

    Laz DIS Veteran

    Aug 18, 1999
    We are trying to decide which one of these hotels to stay at. Please tell me why you would choose one over the other. We have never stayed at either of them.
  2. GeoffM24

    GeoffM24 Mouseketeer

    May 23, 2002
    When my wife and I went in July of 2002 we chose the WL over the AKL based on location alone. I have heard great things about both but you really feel "at Disney" when you stay in site of the MK.

    It is very easy to get to the parks by boat, bus, or monrail system (boat to contemperary) from WL which is a very nice feature.

    When we stayed at CSR it was too far away for me and taking buses everywhere just doesn't have the magic of the monorail and boats.

    The next time we go we will try to stay at the poly since it is right in the center of the action too, we wouldn't hesitate to go back to the WL though.
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  4. tinkgrl

    tinkgrl Love Johnny Depp & Captain Jack Sparrow! Love bein

    Jul 5, 2003

    Hard choice. They are both completely different. Could you possibly split your stay between the two? That way you can try both. Mom & I like both very much. Good luck with your decison!

  5. Destination Disney

    Destination Disney Welcome Foolish Mortals!

    Mar 13, 2004
    I have stayed at the AKL before and it is awsome! Great pool, love the animals, great atmosphere, and my son was 1 at the time and we had a blast. The one thing to think about is location, location, location. The WL is so much closer to the MK, you can actually take a boat from the resort to the MK, or a bus. The AKL is the furthest from the MK so you would be taking a bus to the MK if you decided to use Disney transportation. You would be able to see the fireworks from the WL and there is the lagoon right there to possibly rent boats, etc. The AKL is a whole differnet resort due to the fact that you look out of your window to see a giraffe walk by! My little one was more interested in the animals and pool then the other activities. I guess it comes down to personal prefrences and what fits your family. They are both excellent. But like I said the AKL is the furthest from everything with the exception of Disney's Animal Kingdom!:earsgirl:
    Have fun!
  6. Kimberle

    Kimberle WL Vet

    Jul 11, 2003
    We picked WL. It's a wonderful resort and close to MK. We also REALLY liked the fact that we could *easily* access other resorts for their resturants. There is a boat that runs CR/WL/FW. We loved eating at the CR resturants and Trails End at FW. There is also a bus from WL to the TTC which is right next door to the Poly.

    AKL looks lovely and my dd would love to stay there. But we just hesitate because of the remoteness and the fact that we cannot easily access other resorts via Disney transportation. (That's just us, I know this doesn't bother others.)
  7. palmtreegirl

    palmtreegirl Loving life in Florida

    Jan 28, 2003
    They are both beautiful and incredible in their own ways. The rooms are the same size and both down in dark woods so I'll contrast the resort ammenties for you.

    WL- Pros-

    -Boat to MK, FW & CR and monorail from Transportation and ticket center to Epcot if t you want.
    - Electric water parade at night.
    - Bike & water craft rentals
    - Able to bike or boat over to Fort Wilderness campground. There's a petting zoo over there and pony rides.

    WL Cons-

    -Besides the boats, bus transportation is a hit or miss, but if you have a car then this might not matter to you.
    - Pool is on the small side and there have been reports of a lot of pool hoppers from the campground.
    - store and food court are on the small side but very nice.

    AKL- Pros-

    -Animals, animals, animals.
    - The Mara food court is great.
    - Huge pool.
    -Bus transportation is the best I've ever experienced here. they don't share buses with any other resort and I never waited more then 10 minutes for a bus.
    - Great store.


    -All bus transportation.
    - no bike or boat rentals.
    - No night time entertainment like the water parade but they do have night vision binoculars for animal viewing.

    I hope that helped.
  8. Chrissyb8885

    Chrissyb8885 Mouseketeer

    Mar 16, 2004
    I am also trying to decide between these two resorts for december! I hear that WL is really nice at Christmas but one thing that is good about AKL is that yes, it is kinda of far away but you have to think that there are NO other stops so actually it would probably be a shorter bus ride than most other resorts! Just a thought:wave:
  9. kathylovesdisneyworl

    kathylovesdisneyworl Can we go to WDW again!

    Dec 18, 2002
    We have stayed at both. AKL is our favorite but we also enjoyed WL. If I was planning on spending alot of my time at MK or was going to use the monorail resturants I would probably pick WL. Otherwise it would be AKL. We just love the animals and the transportation is really not bad. It is about 15 min to MK by bus and I think that is the longest ride. The boat ride from WL to MK is probably longer than that. You really can't go wrong with either.
  10. flyball

    flyball Mouseketeer

    May 10, 2004
    We've also stayed at both. My DDs are 11 and 13 and prefer to stay at the AKL because they like the "feel" of the resort. Of course they probably don't really remember everything about the WL, as they were 7 and 8 when we last visited. It's true that the transportation to the MK is much faster from the WL than from the AKL, but when we were there, the rest of the WL transportation was slow. We decided that if we ever stayed there again we'd rent a car. AKL's pool is much larger, but you can't stroll the grounds, rent bikes, or participate in lake activities (obviously!) at AKL. You really have to think about what activities you'll most likely enjoy on your vacation. If you've never been to DW, I'd probably choose WL for its close proximity to the "magic." But if you've visited many times and would like to try something more exotic and a little bit different, than I'd choose AKL.
  11. ksc37

    ksc37 DIS Veteran

    Aug 22, 2003
    We've stayed at both, and both are beautiful. There are good dining options at both, but the pool is a little nicer at the AKL (they have a zero entry pool). We didn't get Savannah view at the AKL, so the animals were only a minor part of our stay there. At the WL, we rented bikes and rode over to Fort Wilderness and the stables to see the horses.

    If I had to pick one, I'd go for the WL, mainly because of its proximity to the MK. Getting to and from the MK from the AKL was very painful. We found we had long bus waits at the MK when going back to the hotel. The WL has a boat, which is fun for kids, even if it does take a little while.

    Either way, you can't go too wrong.
  12. kmc

    kmc not all who wander are lost....

    Aug 3, 2001
    i have stayed at both and love both but prefer AKL-i have stayed at the all stars, CR, all of the moderates and by far had the best experience with transportation at AKL thats why its funny to me when people say how out of the way it is or that they would pick WL based on it closeness to MK(that would be great it that was the only park your going to--but there are 3 other parks and DTD that you get to a lot quicker from AKL than WL) whatever you choose im sure you will be happy they are both extremely impressive resorts.
  13. stinkerbelle

    stinkerbelle In a #10 sort of way?<br><font color=green>Sometim

    Oct 27, 2002
    we split our honeymoon between WL and AKL...being our first stays ever at either resorts...the AKL blew us away.

    we liked how AKL was more tucked away

    and...heck...where else can you open your bedroom curtains and see giraffes outside your window?

    no contest in my book
  14. susy

    susy Guest

    I've stayed at both and love both. AKL is a bit more luxurious , IMO. to me, the transportation at AKL is better. The boat to Mk is nice, but you do stop at FW. The buses to and from AKl were great and it didn't see any "further" than any other place I've stayed (see my signature). They are both great resorts and you'll be happy either way, believe me!
  15. classicpooh

    classicpooh <font color=FF66FF>Wishes everyone a Disney day!

    Jun 23, 2000
    We went through the same thing for our August stay... AKL won because of the pool being bigger and I liked the idea of the animals. If we were not taking the kids (who the pool is really important to them and they are really excited about the animals) I would have picked the WL. Did I make the right decision? Time will tell!
  16. cooldisneymom

    cooldisneymom <font color=red>Went to WDW in January and we coul

    Mar 4, 2004
    Never stayed at AKL but I can say that we LOVE WL. I agree with the other posts, it's the convenience factor that makes it even more attractive.
    Plus you just expect to see the Ranger and Humphrey running around "Picking papers up put 'em in the bag, bump, bump!!!":earboy2:
  17. wannabee princess

    wannabee princess DIS Veteran

    Jan 31, 2003
    We love the AKL! The "remoteness" is part of the charm! You really get to feel like you are on a vacation! The dedicated bus ride is wonderful! The CMs are simply wonderful! The fact that the Mara, Boma and Jiko are all available but they are not so close to the lobby, leads to a more intimate feeling when in the lobby area. The rooms are relaxing. The pool area is beautiful and you are just steps away from not only the pool bar, and Mara, but animals!

    I agree that sitting on a balcony or visiting the various viewing areas at any time day or night and just watching the animals is indescribable!
  18. BambiTamby

    BambiTamby DIS Veteran

    Jul 1, 2000
    Both of Disney's lodges are Fabulous, but the AKL is more luxurious, as another poster said.

    Split your visit between the two...I would end with the AKL.::yes::
  19. litlpixie

    litlpixie Proudly stalking the CRO since 2001!!

    Aug 28, 2003
    Stayed at both. Not crazy about WL, AKL was fabulous and we're going back there next year!!:) The pool is huge, tons of places to sit in the pool area. The smells coming from Jiko and Boma are out of this world, the savannah is gorgeous, and if you can swing concierge, it's totally worth it. Never waited more than 5-7 mins for a bus (and we were there Easter week) and no sharing rides with the hotels. It's an awesome resort!!!!

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