Staying concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas 14

A recent question in the Owning Your Magic forum on the PassPorter message boards asked about whether it was worth staying concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas.

So what are the benefits of staying concierge?

The first benefit you get is before you even arrive at Walt Disney World. A concierge planner will get in touch with you to offer their services, if there’s anything they can do to help you beforehand. For me, I was fine with arranging my own dining plans, but you may want to ask them to do this on your behalf.

An elephant keeper keeps an eye on his charges on the Sunrise Safari

One thing I did ask them to do was to book us on to the Sunrise Safari, which is only available to concierge guests at Animal Kingdom Lodge, including cash guests. It takes place twice a week on Sunday, and Thursday, and I made sure that our stay included one of those dates. It’s $65/adults, and $32.50/children, and while it’s not cheap, it’s the most amazing experience. It’s an early start, as you’re out on safari before Animal Kingdom opens to the public, but you get your own private, in-depth tour around the safari, before a lovely breakfast rounds your morning off. Definitely something well worth doing, if you get the chance.

Then there’s the food, and drink on offer in the concierge lounge all day long. At breakfast, you get a variety of juices, pastries, muffins, bagels, and cereal. Then this gives way to snacks throughout the day, which includes crackers, fresh fruit, chips, and nuts. Early evening brings a selection of cheeses, while later on you can sample some of the desserts from Boma, which were wonderful. Add to that, there’s wine, and beer on offer throughout the evening, with drinks available all day.

One of the concierge DVC studios on the sixth flor of Jambo House

Of course, you will have to pay extra for this, but to be honest, the number of additional Disney Vacation Club points required isn’t that much. If you want to stay in a studio during Adventure Season, you’re looking at 23 more points, 125 as opposed to 102. If you need a one-bedroom villa during the more expensive Dream season, it’s another 50 points, 292 versus 242. Move up to a two-bedroom villa in the even more expensive Magic season, and we’re talking another 71 points to take you from 372 points to 443 points.

It sounds too good to be true…

If you’re thinking that, then yes, you may be right. Of course, the biggest downside is that you have no guarantee in what view you get. The wonderful DVC news website  (if you haven’t checked it out, you really should!) sets out how many rooms are available. For concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, you’re looking at a total of just 10 rooms, just five studios, and five one-bedroom villas. But even then, the numbers can get even lower, as people can also book a two-bedroom villa, made up of a studio, and a one-bedroom villa. If you can get a concierge room, you’re doing pretty well!

That’s not the only downside. If you don’t own points at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, you may struggle you get in here at the seven month mark. As you’ve already seen, there aren’t many villas available, so they may all have already gone to those who own points at this resort.

The concierge lounge at Animal Kingdom Lodge

Although the food, and drink are very nice perks, from our stay in concierge, it’s not going to be enough to satisfy you for a meal, unless you’re very light eaters. As we only tend to snack at breakfast time, we found that we could get by on the breakfast offerings we grazed on. One day, we had a late lunch booked, so we were able to eat something to keep us going until we had that. But would it substitute an entire meal? In all honesty, probably not. Sure, it’s a nice perk to have, but in harsh terms, it’s not going to save you any money on food costs during your Disney stay….

All in all, should we go for concierge if we’re able to?

Like just about every other experience at Walt Disney World, my answer has to be yes. Well, you’ve got to try everything at least once to see if you like it or not, right? I’d stay concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas again in a heartbeat, if only to do the Sunrise Safari again. To me, that was worth it on its own. Of course, all the other perks you get are nice little extras as well. For the few additional points it takes, it’s worth it in my eyes…

How about you? Have you stayed concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge? If so, what did you make of it?

Facebook Comments

What Do You Think?

14 thoughts on “Staying concierge at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas

  • Deb

    Thanks for a great article Cheryl. We are going to try getting in at the 7 month window for February next year, wish us luck!

  • papamouse1

    Great article Cheryl. I was wondering when you last stayed concierge at AKL? Are they only offering cheeses for the evening snack? When we stayed last November, they had a nice variety of different appetizers from Boma which were very nice. I think I would agree that trying to make the food enough to feed you through the day would not necessarily be enough all the time, however I can say that after several days onboard a cruise eating like crazy, or several days on DDP, we found that the offerings actually were enough for us (we were in the mood to eat light) 🙂

    • Cheryl Pendry Post author

      We were there in April 2011. They may well have had appetizers out from Boma, but not during the times we were there – we were heading out for meals, night-time shows etc. so we may have missed them…

      • papamouse1

        that would make sense. As I remember, the appetizers were out around 5 and people were there as soon as it started rolling out. I don’t remember exactly, but it seemed it kind of ended a little over an hour, so not out that long…. you may have just missed it. I asked my wife and she remembered there being meat skewers, and chicken wings, humus and breads… just light items.

  • Helen

    Thank you for your report. We stayed at the concierge level 1 night prior to going on a Disney cruise last year and enjoyed the offerings. I have some points that I banked this year so as a treat to myself next spring I booked 5 nights in a studio at the concierge level. I am really interested in booking the Sunrise Safari, my family did not want to get up early to go, I’ll be going solo this time, so I am going to book it as soon as my booking window opens.

  • Maureen

    I stayed club level for 4 nights last September (2011) on points. We spent a lot of time at the resort and really enjoyed our stay. We did find that we had enough food for breakfast and in the evening the hot nibbles were really nice. Also liked the beer and wine in the evening. Loved the mouse keeping everyday- this alone is worth the extra points. Also loved the turn down service with the chocolates left on our pilliows every night with an African book mark with a daily message. In addition we recieved letters. We had one on our 1st day welcoming us, with a chocolate giraffe lolipop and a note wishing us well on leaving. This was such a nice time all the way around and I would use the extra points in a heart beat!

  • Jeff

    Cheryl, really like the web site! I am planning a trip for my wife and I 12/06 – 12/14/2013. I would like to stay concierge at AKL because it is my wife’s first trip (really want to make it special). I understand that we can reserve a room 499 days out? We want to do the morning Safari as well but I do want to pamper her and of course sell her on Disney and it’s Magic… I have visited Disney Land and World many times. I want her on board! We married three years ago and are in our early fifties. She is enthused with Africa so I know that this will be right down her alley. Will this be possible to get a concierge room reserved this far out? Any other suggestions about impressing her, dinner, dinner shows entertainment etc. will be greatly appreciated! My last trip was March 2011…
    Thanks! jeff

    • Cheryl Pendry Post author

      Glad you enjoyed the blog. I’m not going to be able to help you with when you can reserve a room if you’re not a Disney Vacation Club member, as that’s all we’ve done for the last 10 years now! 499 days out rings a bell with me for room only, but I’m certainly not the best person to ask – you might want to post that question on the PassPorter message boards, as I know that someone will definitely be able to help you.

      As for other ways to impress your wife, there are some amazing restaurants – I’d go with some signature ones, like the Flying Fish Cafe or the California Grill. If you can get a concierge room at Animal Kingdom Lodge, definitely do the Sunrise Safari – your wife will love that. And perhaps some meals at the resort as well at maybe Boma, Jiko or Sanaa?

  • Penny J Pettigrew

    Do the concierge planners have access to dining reservations that we may not be able to get through “normal” channels, i.e. Cinderella’s Royal Table or Le Celiier at lass than 180 days out?


    • Cheryl Pendry Post author

      They can certainly try – there aren’t any guarantees though and they don’t have access if the reservations aren’t available. We asked, more on the off chance, for the Crystal Palace for lunch the day before, and they couldn’t get anything, which is the answer I expected. When it came to making the original dining reservations, I couldn’t bring myself to trust it to concierge and did it myself….

  • Max S

    AKL was our *first* DVC home, and every time we stay there I look longingly up at that floor whenever we’re passing through the atrium ;). The thing is, I’d rather stay in a studio and be able to go more days than to go less days and stay concierge. But maybe one day we will be left with almost the exact amount of points … 😉