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  • [Question] Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Has anyone stayed here? How was it?

  • #2
    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Originally posted by ShannyPooh70 View Post
    Has anyone stayed here? How was it?
    my fisrt stay at Animal Kingdom lodge will be in August, but I have heard good things from many people.

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    • #3
      Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

      I visited the Lodge back in 2004 when we ate at the restaurant Boma for breakfast. I have never stayed in one of the rooms, but we explored a little bit and checked out the amazing lobby. We also were able to see some of the animals that live very close to the Lodge. It was a fun morning during our 2004 trip.
      BarbaraAnn

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      • #4
        Thanks for your responses

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        • #5
          Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

          When I lived in the area my uncle brought his family down one year and they stayed at the lodge. I visited them in the room during the week they were down there but never spent a night there. The rooms are very nice if you like the African theme. They also had one of the rooms with the animal view which was really cool. We'd be sitting out on the balcony and zebras and giraffes would randomly be roaming around. I've read complaints that because of the proximity to the animals there is a bit of an odor issue, but never had that experience myself. I'd be interested in staying there myself if it wasn't so darn far away from everything else.
          It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

            We've stayed there 3-4 times through DVC. If you plan on using the bus system you will be waiting for quite a while. It seems the resort is the furthest away from everything and the wait was excruciating. If you have your own car, it's not so bad.

            The restaurants, rooms, & lobby were great though.

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            • #7
              Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

              We stayed there in 2004 on our honeymoon. The hotel and room was lovely and quiet - great views of the animals from the balcony. Waking up to giraffes and zebra outside. The only con is the distance from the theme parks themselves. We had no car and had to rely on disney transportation. The buses didn't seem to run as frequently as they did to some of the other resorts, but were clean and not too overcrowded. If we returned we would choose a different resort, but probably visit for a meal in the restaurant.

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              • #8
                Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                I have stayed there once. Very nice hotel on the lower end of the deluxe pricing scale.

                Pros - Animals right on the hotel grounds.
                Cons - Probably the most remote hotel. Even if you don't wait a long time for the bus, you have a long ride to your destination.

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                • #9
                  Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                  A great hotel. We last stayed in 2006, but loved it. We checked in, opened the curtains to the room, and there were giraffes having lunch, just like on the commercial. :-)

                  Do take the time to explore the lobby and the grounds. I don't know if they still do this, but when we were there, at night they had a naturalist out at the edge of the savannah with night vision binoculars, allowing you to see what the animals were doing after dark.

                  If you like fine dining, do check out Jiko. I have eaten there several times, even when not staying at AKL. It is a favorite of some of the CM's that I have a business relationship with. Not cheap, but we have always enjoyed our meals there.

                  I would agree with what others have said though...the busses can be a pain.

                  Brian
                  ---------------------------------------------------------
                  My Avatar: Duck vs. Monorail, Disneyland 3/18/11

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                  • #10
                    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                    I stayed there just this past March. It was a delightful experience. Each morning we ate lunch sitting on our balcony watching the animals (just don't feed them!). We did not experience either of the table service locations.

                    The only "complaint" is that the hotel consists of long wings that wrap around the savannas, meaning you could have a good bit of a walk to and from your room.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                      Stayed in 2008 for 4-5 nights with my family. Was fantastic through and through. I'm somewhat of a foodie and though a lot of restaurants on the property are lacking, Jiko was hands down (along with Bistro de Paris) the best restaurant that I've eaten at on property. Mind you, I haven't hit V&A and some of the other quality hotel dining.

                      Rooms were nicely decorated, get a balcony facing the animals, no odor and one of the coolest parts of the hotel.

                      It's funny, I had the exact opposite experience with the buses. Originally I thought it was too far from the rest of the property (except AK). While this is still true, and it does take 20 or so minutes to get to the MK, it is precisely because AKL is so remote that it has its own dedicated buses, as opposed to most other hotels, which share buses. While it may take a few minutes longer to reach your destination than it would if you were staying more centrally located, you don't have to worry about stopping at any other hotel, or, in some cases, hotels. For me, again, in 2008, this actually saved a fair amount of time in transit between the different parks and the hotel. Also, I don't remember ever waiting that long for a bus, or any longer than at any other hotel. This all comes with the caveat that things could have change in the approx. 4 yrs since I've stayed there, but don't be scared off by the "longer bus route," because, in my experience, it wasn't.

                      If you couldn't tell, my favorite hotel on property (that I've stayed at).

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                      • #12
                        Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                        Originally posted by lazyboy97O View Post
                        I stayed there just this past March. It was a delightful experience. Each morning we ate lunch sitting on our balcony watching the animals (just don't feed them!). We did not experience either of the table service locations.

                        The only "complaint" is that the hotel consists of long wings that wrap around the savannas, meaning you could have a good bit of a walk to and from your room.
                        Howdy Pards,

                        Well, I visited the Animal Kingdom Lodge when I was at Walt Disney World last month. And, I guess I have to agree with lazyboy970 here...those long wings have gotta be the longest, carpeted hallways in all the world (not just Disney World, the whole World).

                        But those Animal vistas ya get from the hotel...well, if you love animals, you'll certainly love that. And apparently a great many folks do love animals cause this hotel is HUGE!

                        So...it all boils down to what you want from your vacation. If your primary objective is to be in the theme parks...why on earth would you spend two, three, or four hundred dollars a night to stay at a Deluxe Disney Hotel? If your objective is to have a relaxing vacation and savor the feelin' of bein' in the heart of Africa somewhere...with all the luxuries of Disney...then my gosh stay here and enjoy.

                        I do agree with folks though...you'll enjoy yourself soooo much more if you have a rental car and the freedom to come and go on your schedule not a bus driver's. A rental car will also allow you to go off property and buy some groceries at a reasonable cost...why spend $2.50 for a coke when you can pick up a whole case for $5 over at Walmart?

                        If you do plan on spending most of your time in the theme parks I'd go for the least expensive hotel I could find...and simply visit these expensive Disney Hotels, maybe enjoy a restaurant or two, and then think about how much you are savin' each night by NOT staying here.

                        If you have won the lottery however, I'd try every Disney resort I possibly could...I have a particular fondness for the Polynesian myself...but, hey, they are puttin' a lotta magic into some of the others scattered around too...carriage rides in the evenin' over at Port Orleans...paintings that magically come to life...20 foot tall Dalmations... Yep. If you've won the lottery...why there are all sorts of wonderful places to stay at Walt Disney World...how about in the Tower of the Contemporary watchin' the fireworks over the castle from your room? Or how about over at the Grand Floridian...sippin' tea with Mary Poppins... or how about the Beach Club with Epcot as your backyard?

                        I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge...sure wish I could afford to stay there someday... Course, I love the Wilderness Lodge too... Why stayin' at one of these places truly would be a "dream come true". I'm gonna go buy a lottery ticket...it could happen...

                        Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

                        Wild Ol' Dan
                        "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn
                        I can see the campfires smokin at the breaking of the dawn,
                        I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
                        I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Thank you everyone...the distance was a.problem for me.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                            Pros:The food. the hotel, the quiet, the peaceful nature of this hotel after a day in the parks, the view, the cast members.

                            Cons:a bit pricey

                            I had a top experiance with no problems there and really loved it! I advise you stay. Sure its a bit far from some of the parks but 30 min isn't bad.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                              The time it takes to get to your destination isn't the biggest problem with the buses. Its waiting for a bus to arrive. AKL needs to add at least one more bus for each park to its fleet.

                              As far as longest hallways go, we stayed in the last room on the top floor at the Boardwalk. Just to get to the lobby seemed like a 15 minute trek!

                              Here's a picture of the Boardwalk. Our room is on the far right of the pic. The lobby isn't even in the picture!!!!

                              Click image for larger version

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                              • #16
                                Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                                We just stayed there this weekend. The hotel is great but the distance from everything but Animal Kingdom is noticeable. If you are going to be using Disney transportation keep this in mind while planning things. The buffet, although lacking characters when we ate there before, was one of the better ones and had some unique offering.

                                The layout of the hotel is VERY expansive though and the hallways are incredibly long and tedious to walk down. This is necessary since they do use the hotel as a part of the enclosure space for the animals but be prepared to talk a major walk for getting to the bus and front desk area.

                                My kids (5/4/3) love AK Lodge almost as much as our home away from home (Bay Lake) and I would highly recommend it.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                                  I stayed there in 2003. I stayed in one of the corner units at the end of the original horseshoe-shaped building (with the thatched roofs on Google Maps). The rooms, though well themed, were fairly standard - two queen beds, a restroom, etc.. The best part was the larger-than-standard-room balcony that was a part of the corner end units. It was really nice to sit on them early in the morning and watch the animals. It was relatively private so we didn't bother to close the draperies and I actually woke up one day with the head of a giraffe within feet of the balcony - it was definitely a site to wake up to. Overall it is a beautiful facility and the pool is huge and very inviting. I am not sure how they do it now, but it was soooooo hot and humid when I stayed there that the pool was kept open until midnight. I have not stayed in any other Disney facility since being that I have access timeshares in the area so I have nothing "Disney" to compare it to but it was definitely a good experience. I would recommend renting a car and not relying on the Disney transpiration becuase it is rather far away from the other parks/ restaurants on property. Even though there is the additional cost of the car, not having to wait in the humidity for a crowded shuttle is worth it. And make sure to not get a room overlooking the parking lot. Request one in advance overlooking the "Savannah". Oh, and if you can afford it, go to the restaurant Jiko in the hotel. It is a 4-star (or is it 5) restaurant with an excellent wine list (if you drink) and amazing food. I have been back to WDW a couple times since staying at the AKL and I always make it a point to go to this restaurant. I hope you have fun when you go.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                                    IIRC, Disney Resorts pools are all open until midnight.

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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

                                      AKL is my favorite Disney hotel. We choose to stay in a vacation home these days for the space, cost and amenities, but it is cool to use the night vision goggles to see the animals and my favorite Disney restaurant is Boma.

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