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  1. #1
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    Default Animal Kingdom Lodge Pros and Cons/Favorite things to do

    Contemplating upgrading to AKL for our next trip.

    Pros/Con?

    What was your favorite/non favorite thing about AKL
    1981 - 2001
    1/02 - All Star Movie
    1/04 - POFQ
    1/06 - ASMov
    1/08 - ASMus
    5/09 - Contemporary
    5/11 - PC
    5/12 - AS<P
    5/13 - Coronado Springs
    5/14 - Port Orleans Riverside
    6/5 - Shades of Green
    1/17 - A of A
    5/18 - POR
    9/19 - Caribbean
    11/19 - AKL
    4/20 - POFQ

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  3. #2
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    Well, to start with, over the past 15 year, AKL has become one of our favorite resorts ANYwhere - not just at Disney. So we'll be a bit more slanted on the pro side.

    PRO

    - the look and feel of the place, it just immediately starts us relaxing at the beginning of our stay. Very peaceful.
    - the staff and service are tremendous.
    - best collection of resort restaurants on property, from Mara to Sanaa to Boma and Jiko - all outstanding with great options.
    - Zawadi is one of the most interesting gift shops on property.
    - the animals all around the resort.
    - 2 awesome pools.
    - one of the nicest Concierge levels of all the Disney resorts (if you would have that as part of your trip).

    CON (some you are likely to hear)

    - the resort is too far away from everything. We disagree with this assessment, but what's far away to one person is different for another.
    - the resort is too big (and it is - with a room located away from the main entrances, you could have a pretty good walk to/from your room). But we usually request a room closer to the lobby - sometimes that can be done for us, sometimes not.


    I'm sure you'll get more feedback, both good and bad. But if you are considering the possibility of staying at AKL, I would highly recommend you give it a try and see for yourself. Have a great trip!

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  5. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I have visited AKL to eat at Boma and was so impressed. As for being too far away from things, that doesn't bother me. I think I would prefer this site over the monorail resorts.
    1981 - 2001
    1/02 - All Star Movie
    1/04 - POFQ
    1/06 - ASMov
    1/08 - ASMus
    5/09 - Contemporary
    5/11 - PC
    5/12 - AS<P
    5/13 - Coronado Springs
    5/14 - Port Orleans Riverside
    6/5 - Shades of Green
    1/17 - A of A
    5/18 - POR
    9/19 - Caribbean
    11/19 - AKL
    4/20 - POFQ

  6. #4
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    Oct 2014
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    We did AKL Club level last year as part of a split stay. We were not impressed. I did like the staff but honestly my mother's first comment was how dark the hallways are and did we need a flashlight to find our way down the hallways in the evening. I feel signage is lacking throughout the resort and as previously mentioned, the hallways are very long. In comparison to our room at the Poly, our room at AKL was very small. I did like the separate vanity/bathroom but the lack of plugs and available space was insanely lacking. We did like the pool and childrens activities. The CMs running these went out of their way to ensure each child was having a great time. Was it a good distance away from other areas - yes, but not so far that I would not stay there. I did not think the offerings available at Club Level were not that special. I can tell you that refills were very very slow. I honestly would not pay the additional money for club level but we had gotten a great deal which was why we tried it.

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

  7. #5
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    Feb 2001
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    well first few times were cons, parkin lot view, ants in sink, first place i met my ex and one trip my father passed while i was there..i stayed away a few trips. location is tough except for AK
    pros-rented pts twice and like savannah view and had one night CL which was nice. nice animals, theme (the same person designed WL) Boma and Jiko are good. i did a wine tasting which i enjoyed. the gift shop is nice.
    CR 4
    BC 2
    WL CL 1
    AKL 4
    SOG 3
    POFQ 3
    POR 2
    CSR 4
    CBR 2
    Asp 3
    AS m 2
    POP 7
    12-13 WL CSR ASM
    3-14 POR, AS s Dolphin
    6-14 Us CSR
    1-14 Unv
    6-15 WL, SSR.
    11- 15. AOA, OKw
    7 16..CSR, FW, AKL, POR
    7 17..ASM, CSR, WL AKL club POP
    8 18 As sports, Pop
    DL 9-19
    WDW DVC AKL 5-20

  8. #6
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    May 2000
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    Love AKL--we've stayed there three times, every time in a room overlooking the Arusha Savanna. There are lots of public places to view the animals if you don't want to pay for a savanna view room, but waking up in the morning and having a cup of coffee on the balcony with giraffes feeding just a short distance away was an incredible way to start the day. Also Boma is one of my very favorite restaurants in all of Disney World, with Jiko wonderful for a fine dining experience. They have some great evening programs for kids of all ages too. Honestly, there's very little that I can think of as negative, except it can be a bit long of a bus trip to/from the parks (except AK, of course). As far as being a bit far walk to some of the rooms, this is true. But people are going to be walking longer distances all day at the parks, so it hardly compares to that. And you can stop at each lounge/viewing area along the way to watch the animals as a bonus!
    Beth
    INTERCOT Staff--
    Theme Parks and Accommodations



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  9. #7
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    Jun 2006
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    Silver Spring,MD
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    The place is large, and it usually takes me at least two days to figure out the correct way to get everywhere. The gift shop is very interesting since it has a lot more themed items than the other resort gift shops. I think if you don't have a savanna view room than its not worth staying there. What I dislike the most is the uphill walk from the bus stop. At the end of the evening I'm tired and that slight uphill walk doesn't help. I also don't like the small eating area in the counter restaurant. I really think that when designing the AKL they all thought most guests would take their food to the room to sit on the balconies.
    First visit 1976
    Offsite 1982/1985/2000
    Disneyland July 1996
    AKL 2002/Sept 2011
    Paradise Pier-DL July 2005
    Contemporary Sept 2006/Nov 2014
    Port Orleans-Riverside Sept 2008/July 2014/Nov 2018
    Port Orleans-FQ-Nov 2012
    Paradise Pier-DLH DL 2013/2015/2017 and D-23 Expo

  10. #8
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    It's my favorite resort. Love all the theming of the resort. They have free activities going on all day. There's cookie decorating at Bima at 1:30 in the afternoon. At 4:15 there is a culinary tour of Jiko and Boma. Best part is you get samples including the zebra domes. I like that it's a bit farther. It's more relaxing and serene. Love just sitting outside watching the animals.
    Marci
    9/2/12 DLH Half Marathon
    10/12 VGC
    WDW Trips
    7/05 12/06All Star Movies
    12/10 ASMO/CBR
    4/11 POFQ
    8/11 OKW/AKL Kidani 1st DVC stay
    SSR/AKL 8/13 AKL Jambo 12/13
    AKL Kidani 4/14 Vero Beach 5/14 & 6/14 Boardwalk 6/14

  11. #9
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    Mar 2004
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    AKL is my favorite deluxe resort. A lot of people have pointed out most of the pros and cons. One thing I want to add is that there is a public balcony with rocking chairs. It is sooooo relaxing to just sit in the chairs rocking and animal watching.
    It is nice to have a Savannah view, but it isn't a necessity. There are a lot of places to see the animals from, not just in your room.
    We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together

    Not
    We believed in our idea - a place to line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders

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  13. #10
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    I got a studio for my April 2018 trip... Savannah view... Only complaint was the walk from the bus stops to my room... I felt like I was walking another 5 miles before I finally got to the room... Otherwise, I really love the resort... I don't think it is too far from anything, and if so, that's fine... It is nice and quiet... To show how close it is to things, Everest was the view from my balcony... So, yea... Not far at all...
    Son of Jor-El.. Kneel before Zod...

    TRICIA JONES: I heard that you were going to propose to Brandi Svenning at some theme park. When are men going to learn that women want ROMANCE, not Mr. Toad's Wild Ride...

    BRODIE: Hey, now, be fair. EVERYONE wants Mr. Toad's Wild Ride.

  14. #11
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    Great breakfast at Boma! One of the drawbacks is having to go outside to get to Mara, the quick service spot.
    Steve (aka brownie)
    INTERCOT Staff: Accommodations & Mousellaneous
    ASMv 4/00, 10/01, 11/03
    ASMu 8/12
    AKL 6/18
    BC 9/94
    CSR 8/14
    POP 11-12/10, 3/12, 10/12, 7/17
    POFQ 10/01
    POR 9/04, 1/16, 11/19
    WL 12/03
    Disneyland 6/07, 1/15
    Disney Dream 8/14

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by brownie View Post
    Great breakfast at Boma! One of the drawbacks is having to go outside to get to Mara, the quick service spot.
    I loved the chakalaka at Mara.
    We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together

    Not
    We believed in our idea - a place to line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders

  16. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    I loved the chakalaka at Mara.
    What is chakalaka?
    1981 - 2001
    1/02 - All Star Movie
    1/04 - POFQ
    1/06 - ASMov
    1/08 - ASMus
    5/09 - Contemporary
    5/11 - PC
    5/12 - AS<P
    5/13 - Coronado Springs
    5/14 - Port Orleans Riverside
    6/5 - Shades of Green
    1/17 - A of A
    5/18 - POR
    9/19 - Caribbean
    11/19 - AKL
    4/20 - POFQ

  17. #14
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    We just stayed in a DVC Studio which was located in Jambo House overlooking the Arusha Savanna. We only stayed one night to see if we would enjoy it, big monorail resort people. We loved it, we'll definitely do a split stay next time, my husband and I sat on our balcony for about two hours and watched the animals. My only issue was the food choices, I have some food limitations and found the food choices were not for me, I got a bacon hamburger and while I saw the bacon had a spice rub there was no indication how spicy it would be. I wish they had a pepper or some symbol so you could tell if it would be spicy or not. It won't stop us from going I will just work around my food issues, they're mine so it's on me to work around them. I highly recommend the resort!

  18. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenwayGirl View Post
    What is chakalaka?
    Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy, that is traditionally served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries.
    We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together

    Not
    We believed in our idea - a place to line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders

  19. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    Chakalaka is a South African vegetable relish, usually spicy, that is traditionally served with bread, pap, samp, stews, or curries.
    this sounds delicious. I will definitely be trying this. Any particular restaurant.
    We plan to eat at Sanaa.
    1981 - 2001
    1/02 - All Star Movie
    1/04 - POFQ
    1/06 - ASMov
    1/08 - ASMus
    5/09 - Contemporary
    5/11 - PC
    5/12 - AS<P
    5/13 - Coronado Springs
    5/14 - Port Orleans Riverside
    6/5 - Shades of Green
    1/17 - A of A
    5/18 - POR
    9/19 - Caribbean
    11/19 - AKL
    4/20 - POFQ

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by FenwayGirl View Post
    this sounds delicious. I will definitely be trying this. Any particular restaurant.
    We plan to eat at Sanaa.
    It is at Mara - the counter service restaurant at AKL. It is served at breakfast.
    We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together

    Not
    We believed in our idea - a place to line the pockets of CEOs and shareholders

  21. #18
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    Thanks for the info. I will definitely be trying it.
    1981 - 2001
    1/02 - All Star Movie
    1/04 - POFQ
    1/06 - ASMov
    1/08 - ASMus
    5/09 - Contemporary
    5/11 - PC
    5/12 - AS<P
    5/13 - Coronado Springs
    5/14 - Port Orleans Riverside
    6/5 - Shades of Green
    1/17 - A of A
    5/18 - POR
    9/19 - Caribbean
    11/19 - AKL
    4/20 - POFQ

  22. Likes Cinderelley liked this post
  23. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cinderelley View Post
    It is at Mara - the counter service restaurant at AKL. It is served at breakfast.
    We love Mara - so many awesome options. Our favorite counter service on property!

  24. Likes Cinderelley liked this post
  25. #20
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    Mar 2012
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    We stayed at AKL in May 2017.

    The lobby is impressive, but dark.
    The darkness continued down the hallways and at times it felt like a funeral parlor.
    We had a Savannah room with bunk beds near the end of the hallway and it was a long walk. Especially when returning from the parks with kids. Their little legs were tired.

    We LOVED the Savannah view. Our kids would watch the animals in the morning while they ate breakfast and we returned midday for naptime and they would eat a snack and watch the animals before nap. It was so peaceful.

    We loved the rocking chairs on the common area balcony.

    The ride to AK was short and less than 5 minutes. The ride to the other parks and Disney Springs was around 20 minutes.

    The restaurants were not very appealing to us. The exotic foods and spices are just not our thing.

    Each night they had a drumming activity in the lobby for the kids around 8:30 and around 9 was campfire stories just off the main lobby. There are various stations the kids can visit to complete activiities during the day. The cast members at these stations are very interactive and have interesting stories.

    The castmembers at the front desk were not very helpful. The maps didn't help me find a laundry facility and the castmembers directed me to one on the opposite hallway from where our room was. That was a trek with dirty laundry then clean laundry. I stumbled upon one relatively close to our room our last night there. I was not happy to see that.

    It was our first time staying there and overall it was a great experience based on the Savannah view alone. However, DH and I decided that we'll likely try a different place next time.

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