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Animal Kingdom Lodge Animal Kingdom Lodge
 
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2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista
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Average Reviewer Rating: 4.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
Number of Reviews: 40 ( Displaying Reviews: 11 - 20 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   October 1-7, 2006
Reviewer: steamboatpookster     January 27, 2007
What can I say about AKL? My wife and I got a great passholder deal and we were very excited about staying at AKL. We've always stayed at the value resorts and this was our first time at an expensive place. Overall, I really loved it. When we checked in, we were bumped up to a Savannah room because we were celebrating my wife's birthday and our wedding anniversary. The room was only $130 a night!

1. Our video jacks didn't work on the front of the tv--so I couldn't play movies from my iPod on it. I went to the concierge and explained this. When we returned from the parks that afternoon, the tv was replaced. Wow!

2. The hotel itself is absolutely gorgeous and there are plenty of things for children to do there. You can actually spend a week at this resort and never go to the parks and still feel like you had a relaxing time. It was very quiet too--no screaming kids like at the value resorts.

3. The busses were never over-crowded like they are at the value resorts. Much of the time we were the only people on the bus. That rocked!

4. The commisary was small, but no one really used it. The food was good and the prices weren't bad either. The commisary was called "Mara." We ate there three or four times.

5. We ate at the expensive buffet called Boma. Not bad, but not great either. Not sure it was worth 34 per person for dinner. Wasn't as exotic as I thought it would be either.

Overall, I really loved AKL and would absolutely love to stay there again. But I don't think it is worth $300 per night. We are returning to WDW this June and if a passholder discount is available, we will stay there--otherwise, it's back to Pop Century! HA!
 
10 out of 11 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   2/8/06 - 2/12/06
Reviewer: Lynn57 Boston, MA     December 08, 2006
My best friend and I stayed at Animal Kingdom lodge last February. When we arrived we were instantly upgraded to a room overlooking the pool and could see flamingos and animals from our balcony. The room was nice, well decorated and not far from the elevator.

While we were in Disney, we both were sick. We planned to spend very little time in our room, but found ourselves spending most evening at the hotel because we didn't have the energy to go back to the parks. Luckily, staying at AKL kept us entertained at night. Each night we used the night goggles to view animals and took advantage of the hot tubs.

The bus system was very easy to manage and there was never a long wait for the next bus. Because AKL is the only hotel in the area, our busses went straight to the park, making no other stops.

The restaurant selection at AKL was amazing. We got breakfast every morning downstairs at The Mara and ate it while waiting for the bus. Boma was maybe my favorite restaurant in Disney. There is also a bar which was a nice stop at night.

The gift shop has a great selection of typical Disney gifts, but also African gifts to bring home. The cast members were are very knowledgable and easy to approach.

It will be difficult to stay at any other hotel after such a great time at AKL!
 
17 out of 17 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   September 28-October 5, 2006
Reviewer: lisaboo Sacramento, CA     October 18, 2006
I can't say enough about this amazing resort. We absolutely LOVED our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Although we could not afford a savanna view room we felt that our pool view room was wonderful. We had a king bed, non-smoking room that was beautifuly furnished, spacious and immaculately clean. We loved the carved table and comfy chairs and the full couch we had in the room and the bed was very comfortable. Mousekeeping left us some wonderful surprises along the way as well. The resort itself is nothing short of spectacular and we loved the dramatic lobby, soothing African music, the pool, firepits and the savanna overlooks. We ate fairly regularly at The Mara, which had good food (although could be crowded weekend late mornings) and a nice seating area. The highlight, however, was Boma. We ate there one night and loved it so much that we made another reservation to try it for breakfast. All of the staff in all parts of the resort were very friendly and extremely helpful. This was my first trip to WDW and although there are so many other resorts I would like to explore I think I would have a hard time NOT staying at AKL. It was truly a magical experience.
 
10 out of 10 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/28/05-10/31/05
Reviewer: Disney05 Charlotte, North Carolina     February 20, 2006
Wow! That's the impression you get when you ride up to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We took Disney Magical Express from the airport and couldn't wait to get there. AKL was the last stop after Saratoga Springs and Pop Century, which made the ride a little longer than I was ready for, but DME is still worth it.

Check-in went rather smoothly. We arrived mid-afternoon and our room was ready. Felt like we got a little bounced around trying to check into our room and have our park tickets transferred to our room keys. Horror struck me when I realized that the tickets we purchased for Disney's Not So Scary Halloween Party were actually for Saturday and not Friday. The front desk's only response was to go to Magic Kingdom and see if they would let us in. Not what I wanted to hear and wasn't wholly satisfied with the effort, particularly in light of the fact that we got to MK and got in with great ease.

Came back from MNSSHP very late to the sound of Zebras chewing on the grass outside of our Savannah View room. Needless to say, we slept every night with the sliding door open so we could hear the animals. Breakfast on the patio was also a great treat. Breakfast was plentiful and we ended up taking muffins to the park with us.

My girlfriend, 22, and I, 31, both liked the pool. There were a lot of kids, but they were having so much fun, I just couldn't resist joining in a game of Marco Polo. I was also probably the biggest kid on the slide. The pool's theming overcomes the lack of an overwhelming pool. Mara was great for snacks and a quick lunch, although a little far from the room. (A general bit of advice: managing expectations at WDW are KEY! If you know your room is a long ways for the pool before you get there, you can't be disappointed when it actually is. Likewise, if you know buses only run every 20 minutes, don't be upset when you have to wait 20 minutes for a bus. Even a high-tension, control freak attorney was able to have a very relaxing mini-vacation by keeping these things in mind.)

We ate at Boma and thought it was great. Would probably have preferred Jiko as the buffet provided a lot of variety but nothing of superior quality. We were both very hungry and ate a very large meal with a glass or two of wine. Service was good, even if drinks were all that was provided by Cast Members.

Room was comfortable, beds were nice. Tipping, in my opinion, is a must. My girlfriend was very surprised by the cool towel mouse we got after the first night.

A must: AKL provides night-vision glasses at one end of the savannah, beyond the pool. Very cool to see the animals at night.

Overall, I would definitely like to try Wilderness Lodge, but it's going to be hard not to go back to AKL. We really loved it.



 
36 out of 36 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   January 26-29/2006
Reviewer: Brenda Ontario, Canada     February 07, 2006
This was our first trip staying at WDW. We were doing the three day resort and four day cruise. We chose the Animal Kingdom Lodge because we thought our kids (son-11 & daughter-8) would like this best. Although I think my in-laws who came with us enjoyed it just as much. The lobby was fabulous! I've never seen anything like it and it really makes me want to go to Africa. We had a savannah room and Im so glad we chose this because the first thing we saw when we opened the drapes were the giraff eating from the trees outside our room. We were all very excited! We were glad for the restaurants right at the resort because by the time we returned from the parks we were too tired to go back out for dinner. The kids didn't get much out of the African food but they were always able to find something. I loved the fresh fruits best! The rooms were comfortable and well kept. The staff was always friendly and I was thankful to do the laundry before going aboard the ship. The walking was a little far to get a cup of tea but I think it kept me from gaining weight when on the ship! Overall we thought it was great and highly recommend this resort and go for the savannah view!! The kids loved the pool, slide and the hot tub too. I personally like the water a little warmer!
 
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   December 16-23, 2005
Reviewer: HaleyAnn Chicago, Illinois     February 06, 2006
I love this resort. I have stayed here for my past five trips and am never disappointed. Immediatly entering the lobby you are greated by sounds and smells of Africa.
The music playing and the smokey scents from the restaurants are inviting. The lobby is tremendous with an open view up five stories. The lobby is decorated in African artifacts and features a fire circle. The back wall is all windows...magnificent. The lobby was decorated with a sky high Christmas tree. The decorations on the tree kept to the African theme. We arrived early (about 11 a.m.) but our room was ready for us (a great suprise). We had a water view to save money (vs. a savannah room), but we were not disappointed. There are plenty of oportunities in the common areas to see the animals. If you have never had a room with a savannah view though, I'd take the splurge and pay the extra money for the view. We were quite happy with our room though. The rooms are a decent size and we were lucky enough to have attentive housekeeping who left many towel shaped suprises for our two girls. We used Mara, the fast, self-serve restaurant for quick breakfasts and were satisfied with their selection and quality. Boma, the buffet restaurant, is extraordinary. We made two visits this trip...one for dinner and one for breakfast. The selection and quality are great...African and American flavors are both satisified. The pool is very nice with a fun slide for the kids and zero entry desireable for young kids. The two hot tub spas are a great retreat with one spa just outside the savannah...African paradise.
The staff members are all friendly and many are visitors/short term employees from Africa. They are generous with their answers to questions about their home and add a lot to the entire experience. This is a not to be missed resort. I will go back again and again.
 
21 out of 22 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   10/04 and 5/03
Reviewer: randall8060 Indiana     May 03, 2005
Each time we stay we are amazed at the beauty of this resort. The lobby is incredible! The outside fire pit is so enjoyable with it's rocking chairs around and the night vision goggles they let you peek through at night on the outlook point over the savannah are so cool...look up at the stars too, you can see So much more at night. The pool is so relaxing and the poolside bar is the best! The spa is amazing! and the rates are really great compared to the other deluxe resorts....kind of a hidden secret! We have stayed three times in all and each time, have never had any problems whatsoever. The view each time was amazing, only now my daughter thinks that every hotel comes with it's own long horned cattle and giraffes! HA! Yes, it is a trek to the pool if you are on the left side of the hotel, but worth the walk! Definitely a great place to stay if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle.
 
19 out of 20 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   March 1-3, 2005
Reviewer: DWFan Tacoma, WA     April 23, 2005
Our family of 4 (M&D, 2 sons) arrived at AKL around 10 am on March 1st. To our delight, our room was ready! We checked in and immediately went to see our room with a view. We stayed on the 2nd floor and had a savannah view of the Arusha savannah ($289/night). The room was themed very nicely. We had two queen sized beds, a double sink and we appreciated the hair dryer and iron w/board that were staples of the room. The balcony was wonderful and from it we could see zebras, wildebeasts, different large birds & giraffes. We loved it! The second morning we even saw two wildebeasts sparring with each other. The lobby and rest of the lodge were also phenomenal with the suspension bridge, the African art, the themed decor, and the great animal viewing spots. AKL also has tons of activites for kids to do, which we happened upon one that the boys enjoyed and decided on the next trip we would need to plan time to do more.
Both nights we used one of the jacuzzis, which we had all to ourselves! My husband and boys did swim in the pool one evening, but it was a tad too chilly for me. It was nice to have swimming vests for the kids and pool towels available. I didn't use the pool, but I did use the spa service. The day we arrived I had an appointment for a 20 minute massage. It was fabulous and a great way to recover from a red-eye flight to FL.
As far as food, we ate at the Mara & Boma twice each. At the Mara (convenience-style) we had a quick breakfast of eggs/sausage/potatoes the first day we arrived, which was good. Also, one evening we shared a couple orders of fish & chips for dinner, which were surprisingly good. Our favorite, however, was eating at Boma (buffet) - once for breakfast and once for dinner. The very first day we arrived we had a 5:30 PS for the dinner buffet. It was busy, but not packed. The food was fantastic! The African inspired buffet choices such as steak marinated in spices & different rices were wonderful. The dessert buffet was incredible - a family favorite being the infamous Zebra Domes. Our second morning we tried their b-fast. Again, superb! Our boys especially enjoyed the array of fruit & muffins while my husband & I each had a made-to-order omelet. My husband ordered the "Jungle Juice" which was very good. We'll definitely be eating here again the next time we visit.
Other things to note - the gift shop is nice, the staff were all very pleasant and helpful, and we used the WDW Bus Service with extreme ease - waiting no more than 5 minutes each morning. We thought AKL was outstanding and will definitely being choosing to stay here again the next time we visit WDW (think we'll try the concierge service too)!!
 
18 out of 19 people found this review helpful
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4.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.04.0/5.0   March 23-26, 2002
Reviewer: rbaadmin Elwood, IL     March 24, 2005
From the moment you drive onto the property you are mezmorized by the size and quality of the facilities. As soon as you drive up, the service is excellent. People come out to your car and answer any questions that you have, take your luggage out of the vehicle and on to carts, and give helpful information to make your stay pleasant. My wife and I stayed in a savannah room with a balcony overlooking the animals for $200 a night. It was great! We decided to order room service breakfast one time as a special treat and eat out on the balcony and watch the animals early in the morning. It was so peaceful and enjoyable, we decided to do it a second time. The pool was great and not very crowded. The five-story lounge was beautiful and actually had some quiet areas you could get away and just relax and enjoy the sights. The only downer was the transportation to the parks. The buses seemed few and far between and the frequent stops to and from the parks made the trip a minimum of 30-40 minutes of traveling. Other than that, there isn't much to complain about. The rooms were big and the beds comfortable. We would love to return, but this time with our kids. They would find it a lot of fun. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is a place with so much that you could stay there and not even need to go to the parks. We would definately stay here again.
 
18 out of 18 people found this review helpful
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5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   November 4 - 9, 2004
Reviewer: liroi Katy, TX     March 10, 2005
This was our second time staying here, first with children. It's a totally different experience. The pool is wonderful--and there's a playground behind it suitable for toddlers. The Mara (grab and go eatery) was again the place of choice, good food, reasonable selection, not overly priced for Disney. We booked our hotel through the Ocala Disney place--never, I repeat never, go there unless you are dealing with a veteran CM. We got hosed on our package as she neglected to tell us very important information that could have saved us a bundle. We were given a one-above-standard room, at the end of a hall, top floor with a fridge. Perfect for three adults, a toddler and an infant. Our balcony was huge, overlooked the hottub and we had wonderful views of the savannahs. The nightglasses are a wonderful treat if you can get them--try to do so. The activities they have for kids look really good and the Simba Club looks like a great drop off nighttime activity for kids. We checked it out for future trips and were pleasantly surprised. The transportation is from the center of the building and down the ramp. Read...it's a long walk back to your room after a long day in the parks! But well worth it. This is a special place to stay. Oh, and if you have small children, the my pal Mickey is worth the investment.
 
3 out of 3 people found this review helpful
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