Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort (Disney Deluxe/Deluxe Villas Resort) Reviews and Ratings - Page 3 - PassPorter - A Community of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel Forums
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My family and I ( DH 2 girls 13 and 7) stayed at AKL August 17-22nd 2009. We like trying different resorts and got a great deal so we decided to try a deluxe resort for the first time. I am glad we did not pay full price. While it is beautiful and the animals are amazing it just did not have a Disney feel. We have previously stayed at Carribean Beach, Ft. Wilderness, POP and All Star Movies, so that is what we had to compare AKL to.
Pros: Check-in was wonderful. We had requested a 3rd floor room , savannah view close to the elevators. We were assigned room 3527.
Animals: It was amazing to have the animals outside your door 24/7. We enjoyed viewing them from our balcony, but we can do this at any zoo and felt it did not justify the price ( thank goodness we got a discount).
pool: themed very well and tons of fun for kids and adults. The Spa is beautiful!
Cons: Cost: We are glad we got a discount to stay here. Had we paid full price we would have been very disappointed
Size and getting around: this resort is large and we felt the walk especially from the bus to the room was quite a hike compared to other resorts we had stayed at.
Mousekeeping: only did a nominal job each day. They did clean but it did not compare to the other resorts we have stayed in.
Noise: this was the only time on Disney property that I have heard my neighbors on both sides. I could tell you when they showered, went to the bathroom , opened their balcony door etc...it was ridiculous. I expected more from a deluxe resort.
Overall: we liked the animals and the pool but other than that we really just did not feel at home here as we do at other resorts.
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Noise: this was the only time on Disney property that I have heard my neighbors on both sides. I could tell you when they showered, went to the bathroom , opened their balcony door etc...it was ridiculous. I expected more from a deluxe resort.
This was a problem for our room as well. Except we heard the people above us plus the next door neighbors hoity toity.
Knew as soon as the room above us had people check in. Could hear their sliding glass door everytime they opened/closed it.
They also had small children who loved to run and jump off the furniture (this is what it sounded like to us) and go in and out of the room onto the balcony from about 6:30 am til about 8am every morning.
Last edited by Shelley the Pooh; 08-28-2009 at 12:06 PM..
We stayed in a 2BR Villa at Kidani Village. We spent 9 nights. There was 7 of us. My DH,Myself and our 5 boys ages 2-13. I wouldnt stay here again. I did enjoy the room and the animals. But the animals were never out in the morning which really bummed me out - for months I day dreamed about sitting on our balcony drinking my morning coffee and watching the animals. Well this NEVER happened. The CMs told me they bring them in to check around 8 am for about 2 hours. I was up everyday by 6 and never saw anything that early - I would guess they all hang out by where they go in. I did see the animals in the afternoon which I loved!! But we spent most of our afternoons in the parks. I was disappointed to find out that Kidani doesnt offer the night vision glasses - those are only at Jambo.
Also Kidani not having a Quick Service place to eat was terrible for us there were a few nights that we just wanted to hang in and grab a bite but we couldnt. We walked over to Jambo (which was a journey in itself!!) we asked how to get over to Jambo house and the CM told us to go to the end of the lot and walk - well we thought he meant the end of the lot by the street - we had a looonng walk down a super busy street and I feared for our saftey - lol. Once we got to Jambo house I asked a CM their if there is a easier way and Yes they do have a walkway that leads you there but it isnt marked anywhere that it takes you there. That was only a 5-10 minute walk but do it with a bunch of cranky,hungry,tired kids - lol. Anyway we ate at The Mara - it was way crowded and my burger was terrible!! None of us enjoy it.
The pool was nice but we had a long walk to it and had to walk through the lobby to get to it which was odd. Here I am prancing throught the lobby with my suit on dripping wet..
Housekeeping was fine except for the day they....LEFT OUR DOOR OPENED!!! I was horrified to come back from the parks to find our door jarred open - what happend was they have that little metal door locker flipped open so the door couldnt shut!! Yikes!!!
All in All yes it was a nice resort but I wouldnt stay there again I dont think.
Oh I should also say the as a pro - the bus service was Great!! We never waited more then 5 minutes to get a bus no matter what time of day we went.
Last edited by jovigirlnj; 09-20-2009 at 08:27 PM..
AKL is one of my all time favorite resorts!
Whenever I walk into the lobby of this resort, I just get that WOW feeling!
The Disney Imagineers got this one very right as far as the theme is concerned!
I thoroughly enjoy sitting on my balcony and watching the beautiful animals at all different times of the day or night!
The food options at the resort are very good. Boma is one of my favorite places to eat on property. But, I enjoy eating at Mara as well.
The pool is beautiful. It can get crowded on a hot day!
The only thing about this resort is the transportation. You have to take the bus everywhere! And the resort is pretty far from every park except AK. So your ride times are long. You really have to plan for extra time to get anywhere.
My family stayed at the Kilimanjaro Club level in Jambo house November 7-14th, 2009. We had a "savannah-view" studio. At this level - fifth floor - there is really no savannah view, except the tree tops. The amenities were nice each day and we enjoyed the private lounge. Mousekeeping was also very nice and courteous.
Our biggest complaints were the noise between the rooms (which reached ridiculous levels) and the transportation. The buses go to Kidani Village first and were always full when they reached Jambo. Plus, the bus ride to Magic Kingdom was very long (about 25 minutes).
We love the theming at AKV. We love the animals and animal viewing from the overlooks and Arusha Rock. We aren't crazy about food options here, and don't really care for the Mara counter service.
The games and activities for children were also wonderful and provided nice down time away from parks.
I have stayed at the AKL twice now and every single time that my family, DH's family, or some other group goes down to the World, I make sure to visit this place because it feels like home.
You walk into the grand lobby and immediately your breath is taken away by the vastness and beauty of the room. Look through the wonderful lobby area and you will see the enormous window that looks over the savannah. Take a deep breath and smile because by stepping through the doors, you have been transported to Africa.
The restaurants here are wonderful. If I could eat at Boma every trip, I sure would. There is a lot of variety and you can also sample some unique dishes. Plus, the zebra domes are so yum! The Mara offers a nice variety for CS in a very kid friendly environment. The zero entry pools and various hot tubs add to the wonderful amenities (though who needs more amenities than the savannah!?). Of course, there is the savannah. What is more magestic than a tall giraffe bending over the watering hole to take a drink or the ankole cattle basking in the sunlight. Watching these beautiful creatures from the viewing points and the room is just magical. My other favourite part of this resort is the fact that they have native African Cast Members out on the Savannah to answer questions about the glorious animals.
Every time I walk up the the front door of the AKL, my breath catches and my heart rate speeds up a bit in anticipation of the beauty that awaits. As I leave, I make sure to touch the carved wooden to make sure I have a blessed day, as is tradition. :-)
Last edited by SleepingBeauty; 05-20-2010 at 12:01 PM..
Reason: Wanted to add more!
I have stayed twice at AKL and I truly do love it! I love the dark woods, the smoky aroma that hits you when you walk in the front doors, the bright colored fabrics, the animals, the restaurants, and the staff, well most of them.
The only draw backs are the length of time it takes you to get somewhere from this resort, and that as a family of five, it would cost a small fortune to stay here. I enjoyed the club lounge during our stay this year in Feb. They had nice offerings throughout the day and evening and would replenish snacks and drinks as they got low.
Our room for the most part was in good order. We were missing a few of the advertised Club Level room offerings, but no biggie. Our closet was broken upon check in, but maint. come up and fixed it right away.
Our room was quite a hike from the lounge which I disliked. Too far to go and bring back our breakfast to the room.
The atmosphere of this hotel is truly magical. It is nice to come home to this resort each evening. It just makes me feel calm and happy. If they had rooms for 5, I would stay here every visit to WDW.
The buses ran fairly well, though, I did notice a difference in transport times and lines since they added the DVC Villas.
I enjoyed the Mara and Jiko, and some of the offerings at Boma. I prefer Boma for breakfast though. Evening was too crowded. As my DD5 and I were traveling alone I couldn't stand in the Meat pod line for 20 minutes with her wanting to eat, so I didn't get to try those offerings. I also visited Sanaa and found it to be nice, especially my appetizer and dessert.
Stayed at Kidani Village 8/15/10-8/23/10.
Wasn't real impressed with Kidani though we really like Jambo House.
The concierge staff were not helpful. The room was so far away from the lobby we rarely were able to fill the mugs. Had to drive to the busstop.
Bus Service was bad, drivers just left as you were walking to their bus, and there was always a long wait for another one.
The pool is way to small for a resort this large. You basically found an open spot and just stayed there as you couldn't move around and the kids area was closed.
The gift shop is small and you can't get anything but sodas for the drinks: no brewed iced tea. The staff were not friendly or helpful.
Its a beautiful resort with a lot of things to look at, though not as many animals as Jambo House.
We stayed for one night in a Savanna View room. There were two queen beds, TV, bathroom, table and chairs, and a closet. The balcony had two chairs and a small table. We were located a 3-4 minute walk from the lobby in a secluded corner with only one other room, so it was nice and quiet - although if we have to walk for 3-4 minutes we like to see a little more , but the animal viewing stations along the way helped keep us occupied!!
We arrived to our room late in the day (early evening), and were able to catch a few grazing animals (giraffes in particular). The next morning we didn't see too many animals, but we were busy packing. We had expected to see more animals, that said it's unfair for us to review this aspect considering we were there for only one night, not even 24 hours!
We dined at Boma and were VERY impressed with both the food and the service!! The staff were very helpful and very magical, it was Disney service at it's best!! The food was delicious and we tried a little bit of everything. It was nice to also have the option of traditional American fare, and the traditional African food!! We would eat here again even if we weren't staying here!
We visited the pool here and were quite impressed, it was a nice sized pool, but didn't feel it was the most incredible. That said we didn't have the time to really enjoy it (just like the animals) so we aren't good judges of this amenity.
One thing we really enjoyed were some of the activities they had in the evening. There were lectures and drummers. There was also a nice area located outside the lobby with a fire pit and comfy lounge chairs.
We would stay here again, after trying out other Deluxe Resorts. We would book the Savanna View room again, even though we didnt have too much time to enjoy it. If you know you'll be in your room during animal peak times, its a great thing. If not, you may want to save the money and view the animals from the various places around the resort. Overall, an excellent stay!
I think I might be the odd person out in this but I really did not enjoy AKL. While we went in knowing that we were not really by any parks I thought it would not bother me but it did!
We stayed Club level and I was not impressed. The food was very plain, not like GF club level at all. The CM there were not helpful at all, each time I came to them with a question not only did they not know the answer but they were not interested in helping me find them!!
The most annoying thing was the AC in my room. We were in Jambo house on the 5th floor. For whatever reason our room was ALWAYS hot. We stayed in September and while it is not as hot as July it still was sticky outside. Even the hallway would be cooler then our room. I finally got fed up after the second day of waking up sweating in our room (despite turning the AC on and putting it to a cooler temp) and went to complain. A worker came in and told me it was because it was on a sensor and that it would not turn on if no one was there. I then argued that it was turning itself off at night and that we were clearly there. He had no answer and I only let us sweat one more day before I changed hotels!
While looking at the animals was wonderful that was the only nice thing about this hotel. I would definately not spend the money to stay there again.
We loved it, but it was very far out. Even to walk from our room to the lobby or other main areas it was an annoying hike.
I do think that it is slightly overpriced, but it is nice.
When we got there, we were given a king bed which was fine, but were told that the King rooms only had showers, no tubs. This was an issue because we have a 3 year old DD and we were there for 2 weeks! 2 weeks with no bath was not an option, so they graciously moved us to a room with 2 queens and a bath tub. We lucked out because it was the last one they had. Was a little annoyed that the descriptions did not indicate this ahead of time.
We were so glad that we paid the extra to be in the club level. It was not much more for a standard club level than a regular standard room. Same room layouts, just the added amenities of the concierge level. We're not big breakfast people, but do need a little something to tide us over so the concierge lounge was perfect to get a little breakfast for free and then snacks throughout the day. It's totally worth it not to have to pay an arm and a leg for a muffin in the quick service area.
All and all, great hotel. Would we go again, yes, but we are planning to try some of the other hotels first.
Animal Kingdom lodge is one of those places where you are just transported. It is tucked away from many of the other resort areas but for us that is a big plus. It is one of the most peaceful and relaxing experiences on property. There is nothing like sipping a glass of wine in the evening, or a cup of coffee in the morning and looking out at your balcony.
Yes, it is pretty far from MK, but it is not too far from EPCOT, HS, or AK so the location really is not as bad as others make it out to be. We have stayed at all the other deluxes on property, and although there is no boat or monorail, the bus service is far superior to say the monorail resorts, where two or three share a bus, or the EPCOT resorts where there could be up to five stops! The resort could be a long walk from the room to the lobby, but it is inside, in the ac, out of the rain. This is a plus as opposed to the GF or Poly where you have to walk outside.
I also feel that this is one of the more adult hotels on property, and is saved from some the crowd madness of a few of the other resorts.We have stayed there close to ten times, and never had any noise issues. Although this is a sophisticated hotel, there are so many activities for kids like bead making activities and story time around the fire.
We stayed here from 2/5 to 2/12, 2011. All I can say is WOW. At first I was kind of afraid I'd feel a "disconnect" with it being so far away from everything, but that wasn't at all the case. I never felt "out of the action". The longest bus ride was to the MK, and I never felt like it was too long.
When we walked into the lobby, I just felt at home. It's gorgeous. We had a magical (free) upgrade from a standard view room to a Savannah view... and it will never be an option to do anything but that again when we stay here again (and we will). Holy cow. There is NOTHING like stepping onto the balcony and seeing a giraffe or some zebras. Wow, just wow.
All of the CM's were friendly - I did not have one unpleasant, or even "mediocre" encounter. I had some interesting conversations with a few, and everyone was so accommodating. We couldn't walk five feet without someone handing my daughter a handful of stickers, lol!
My only "complaint" is that the quick service place, Mara, is very small with a limited menu. It is meant to serve both Jambo House and Kidani Village, and I don't find it to be particularly well-thought-out in that area. I get that they likely want you to eat at Boma, Jiko or Sanaa, however, I think that for a deluxe, the counter service place should be a bit larger, with more options.
We didn't eat at Jiko this time around, but Boma was, as always, wonderful. And Sanaa... I cannot say enough about this place. It will be on our "must do" list for every single future vacation, regardless of where we stay. I can't say enough about it. Wow. Just wow.
Our room (on the Kudu Trail) was very clean, and mousekeeping was friendly and thorough. The rooms are a nice size and the furnishings are lovely. I might wish for a little more drawer space, since there were only two drawers... but it worked out fine for us.
All in all I give this place a 10, even given the counter service place being just mediocre. It's amazing there. I think it is my favorite so far of all of the places I've stayed at Disney...
We just love AKL. The only inconvenience I agree was the bussing. It seemed to take a long time to get anywhere and that we waited for bussing a lot more. It is a truly beautiful resort!!! I loved laying on my bed and looking out the windows at the giraffes eating
We stayed in a 1 bedroom savanna view villa at Kidani Village June 5-11, 2011. DH has always complained about AKL, but he loved it. We fixed coffee every morning and sat on the balcony to watch the animals eat.
The living room was very cramped once the sofa and chair were made into beds and DD ended up hurting her foot on a bar stool on the way to the restroom.
Kidani has two restrooms in the 1 bedroom villa, which worked out well with 2 teenage DD's.
The bus service was excellent while we were there. We didn't have to wait long for a bus at the resort or at the parks. The bus picked up our resort before Jambo House on the way to the parks so we always got to sit down with our toddler granddaughter.
The only complaint I have is the hike to the bus stop. At the end of a tiring day at the parks the last thing I wanted to do was walk another quarter mile to my room.