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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: 21 - 30 )
5.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.05.0/5.0   02/14/2005-02/19/2005
Reviewer: Carolinagirl (carolinagirl1063@aol.com) Florence, SC     February 28, 2005
My 4 year old daughter just loves this place. I have to admit I agree. From the minute we drove up for valet parking we felt pampered and spoiled. We stayed in a standard savannah room on the second floor (#2268).
Not as good of a balcony as deluxe savannah we had in August 2004, but sufficed just the same. I paid $151 a night for the entire stay. We checked in during Value season with an AP discount. The animals we could see from our room included just about every one there except for zebras and flamingos I think. The service here is top notch, with the staff bending over backwards to accomodate any request. Our first trip to WDW was 08/2004 at AKL. Our family really does not want to stay anywhere else. I had to stop at the Pop Century on the home to reload the car (don't ask) and my daughter started crying that this was not "her hotel" and did not want to stay there. The bus service was better than last time, we did not wait for a bus to go to the parks more than 15 minutes, but usually less. With one exception, we had the same experience getting back from the parks. (25 minute wait at MK one night). My dd loved the 0 entry pool and the water slide! We ate at Boma twice for breakfast..delish! Did not use Mara or Jiko this trip. We left dd at Simba's Cubhouse for about 1 1/2 hours and she had a blast...wasn't ready to leave. Can't ask for better than that. We are spoiled, I probably won't be able to get the family to stay elsewhere, but why would I want to?
 
11 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   January 11-14, 2005
Reviewer: kingagos Sacramento, CA     February 27, 2005
My wife and three children (ages 7, 5, & 2) visited WDW Jan 8-14, 2005. We began at the Contemporary and planned to move to the AKL for the last two nights. But our stay at the Contemporary was so disappointing that we asked to move to the AKL early. And were we glad we did! The AKL was spectacular in all ways. The 5 story lobby, with its imaginative architecture and African art, made us feel that we were anywhere but Florida and put us immediately in vacation mode. Our savanna room ($159), though a bit cozy, offered a great view of the giraffes and zebras roaming outside. This alone offered hours of entertainment for the kids. We ate one night at Mara, which has a nice assortment of "regular" WDW fare (burgers, pizza, etc.) and African influenced main dishes and salads. The culinary highlight of the whole week was our dinner at Boma. This outstanding buffet satisfied the young kids with some mildly adventuresome dishes and the adults with what seemed dozens of flavorful main courses and sides. The pool provided hours of fun with all three kids exhausting themselves on the slide. The entire property was clean and well-maintained. As an example, the hall carpets, which didn't seem dirty at all, were cleaned while we were there. This was in marked contrast to the Contemporary, which seemed to have not cleaned any carpet in years. Transportation from the AKL to the parks by car proved far easier than we thought it would. AK is just across the road, but Disney-MGM and EPCOT are barely 10 minutes away and MK is about 15. Of course, we visited during the slow season of January, so traffic was non-existent and parking was effortless, but we will never again use Disney transportation. Driving is the only way to go. In short, we loved the AKL and would stay here again without hesitation, though unfortunately, with the youngest soon to be too big for a crib, we won't fit in the standard room any longer. But on the next visit we'll even consider two rooms here because of the value we think we received for our vacation dollars.
 
5 out of 5 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   Jan. 30, 2005 to Feb. 1, 2005
Reviewer: monami7 (monami7777@hotmail.com) Salt Lake City     February 23, 2005
We checked in on saturday and had booked a standard room. We were upgraded to a savanah view room for no charge due to my dd birthday. This was very nice of Rebecca our CM who checked us in. However my sister had asked about an upgrade for her family that day and another cm told her that it was $70 more a night. There room overlooked the lobby. Our room had an amazing view of the animals. My DD named the giraffe that were outside in the morning. It was at the end of the kudu trail however and you could not believe the walk. WOW it was sooooo far. Also my sisters room was a bit larger. Overall it was very nice to wake up to the animals but I would not have been happy spending $70 extra a night for the view. This resort is absolutly stunning and their cm are great.
 
4 out of 6 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 2004
Reviewer: Buckythepooh Da South!     January 18, 2005
My mother and I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for several days in September 2004. While we were there, Hurricane Fran (I think it was hurricane Fran, there were so many that month) blew through the Orlando area. As a result, the parks were closed down for a day and half and guests were confined to the resort during the worst of the storm.

Let me say, first, that the cast members at AK came through like champs during the storm! WDW should be proud to have such fine people in its cast! The ride-out crew went to great lengths to keep everyone from getting cabin fever, organizing activities for all the children, having live bands come and play and having characters come and visit (Thanks, Chip 'N Dale!). In addition, the folks in the kitchens at Boma and Jiko did yeoman work, turning out delicious meals for everyone for the three days we were indoors. At the end, the kitchen had very little to work with in the way of food, but they still did an outstanding and professional job. If you ever have to ride out a hurricane at a WDW resort, try to get a room at Animal Kingdom Lodge. You'll be safe and well cared for.

That said, we loved staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge, we had a savanna room and my mother was thrilled to look out over the savanna the first day and see so many amazing animals. The atmosphere and decor are breathtaking and authentic down to the last detail. We enjoyed buying souvenirs at the Zawadi Marketplace and swimming in the pool was lots of fun. Our room was large and comfortable, had a refrigerator, and a good sized bathroom with two sinks. The beds were also very comfortable.

I'm not sure what we paid because we bought it as part of a package.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is an experience your family will never forget. I would go back in a heartbeat!
 
7 out of 7 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   December 17, 2004
Reviewer: zenarruza (zen2usa@aol.com) Miami, Florida     December 26, 2004
Overall, I am very satisfied with my stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is a very unique hotel, and it is a must for animal lovers, but if nobody in your party is a big fan of animals there are better resorts to stay at in Disney. The service and ambiance were excellent, as well as the variety and quality of the on-site restaurants.

I was able to obtain a Florida-resident rate of $168 per night for a standard Savannah view room. This rate is based on availability and I found out that availability varies quite often. I recommend that if you can not obtain the Florida-resident discount for your selected travel dates keep on calling often and it is likely that something will miraculously open up.

For me it was extremely important to secure a "perfect" view room since that is the sole reason why I was visiting the resort. I could not get a clear clue as to what to request when checking in. What I found out after staying there for two days is the following:
The lodge has 5 floors; the best floor is the 2nd. The 1st floor (ground level) does not exist since it is dangerous with the animals and all. The 3rd and above floors seem to provide a good view but it is somewhat obstructed by the treetops, you will not be able to see far into the Savannah.
My room was overlooking the Arusha (middle) Savannah, in there, the animals rotated and I was able to observe zebras, giraffes, eland and wildebeests.
The rooms that are close to the lobby seem to have a partially obstructed view by the middle overlook (a series of stones and path for all guests to access into the middle of the Arusha Savannah). The best rooms seem to be the farthest from the lobby area, so get ready to walk.

The animals are most active in the morning, as soon as the sun rises. After night fall you might be able to see some of them since the lodge projects very soft lights into the Savannah, but there are not many of them. There are a total of 14 giraffes and are the most requested. The cast members try to make sure they rotate though all the Savannas to keep guests happy.

A great intimate experience is to order an in-room breakfast and share it in the balcony, while observing the animals. Taking binoculars always helps.

If you would like more info or pics about the rooms or the hotel you can email me at zen2usa@aol.com. I'll do my best to help you out.
 
25 out of 25 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 2003
Reviewer: kjmesa Haslet, TX     April 14, 2004
My husband and I took advantage of the Fairytale Package (7 nights for the $ of 4) stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. From the moment we arrived and smelled the campfire the air and the heard the music, we were in love with the AKL.

The lobby of the AKL is beyond words, just beautiful. Check in went smoothly with no wait at all. We were upgraded to a pool view room without even asking. Our room overlooked the pool area and was a very short walk. I understand some of the savannah rooms are quite a hike.

We had a king room, which was very comfortable. Some have mentioned the dimness in the rooms, but we really did not notice.

We ate one breakfast and one dinner at Boma's. The breakfast was more to our liking than dinner, but we enjoyed both meals. We did not eat at Maya, but purchased our drink mugs the first day. We enjoyed sitting in the bar and people watching. It was such a relaxing environment.

As for transportation, it was smooth. We did have to wait, but we enjoyed the music and beautiful plants around us.

The pool was very nice. We had a great time just relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. We ventured down the slide a few times and giggled like children.

We also enjoyed viewing the animals, especially with the night vision goggles. This is a must! The campfire was a joy at night. We would sit in the rocking chairs and drink our sodas before turning in for the night.

Overall, no complaints. Beautiful resort. We plan to return in the near future!
 
36 out of 38 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 20 - 28, 2003
Reviewer: tappenfeat New Jersey     March 04, 2004
This is one of Disney's best hotels yet! We have stayed at several on site Disney hotels and Animal Kingdom Lodge is at the top of our list.

We had a long day of traveling and arrived very tired around 6 pm at the hotel. Our check-in was quick and all of our requests were granted, ie; refrigerator, a queen bed with a bunk bed, and an upgrade to a Savannah view with no extra fees.

We were delighted that we were bumped up to a Savannah view!!! The walk to the room can be confusing at first, a bit winding around the halls, but once we arrived at our room, nothing else mattered!

The view of the Savannah was outstanding and our girls wanted to spend more time on the balcony than in the room itself so they could watch the animals.

It seemed the animals moved around in rotation so everytime you peeked out the window, there was a different type of animal to watch.

The lobby in the hotel is amazing! It's breathtaking and just sitting in the big comfy chairs or sofas wants you to sit back and relax and maybe take a nap!

Outside you can walk around and view the animals and in the evening if you catch one of the keepers, they will share their nightime vision goggles to watch the animals in the dark.

There is an oversized outdoor fire ring with big rocking chairs to sit around and relax after a long day of walking.

We felt the paths outside were adequate enough with lighting and a bit romantic. The pool was refreshing and the water slide was fun for the kids.

We highly recommend The Marra. A cafeteria style without the cafeteria taste! The African Stew and African Salad were outstanding! And a menu to fit any finicky eater. Each time we sat outside by the pool and enjoyed our meals.

We also recommend purchasing a Disney Cup which costs about $12. It's insulated to keep your coffee hot or your sodas cool. That's a price we were happy with since it's free refills at The Mara for the length of your stay! It was well worth the money, plus you take it home as a souvenier.

The buses were on time, sometimes a bit crowded which made it very difficult to fold a stroller and find a place to fit it out of the way of other passengers.

For the money, this hotel is absolutely worth it! One of our best vacations ever and we feel for the most part the hotel has a reflextion of how your vacation and memories are made.

 
25 out of 25 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   Feb 19-24, 2004
Reviewer: Sheilaras Detroit, MI     February 26, 2004
We had a Savana View room. I tried to get a free upgrade when I checked in, but no dice. I had read someone's review about not liking the room over where the trucks came and went and asked for a good view room. I was told that the animals like to hang out in the back, around the corner from the main viewing areas. Although the room was THE LAST room on the trail (320 steps from the beginning of the hallway - my Dad counted) she promised that the animals would be there a lot. MAN was she right. We had a view of 2 savanas, where they joined. The animals were always back there, over 7 at a time, too. Giraffes, zebras, impalas, long horns, ostrich, other birds, wildebeasts, etc. It was amazing!!! And at all times of day, too. The room was nicely appointed and we were very comfortable. We didn't hear anyone else around us.

We booked under the CTN rate and it was $1200 for 5 nights, so $250/night.

The buses were a long walk for us, and we waited a LONG time the first two days. I think we waited 40 minutes for a bus the first night. A lot of people were pissed bc they were trying to get to MK for the fireworks and missed them. The last two days we lucked out and didn't wait long at all. My advice would be to err on the longer wait time. Sometimes the bus would stop at an extra location before you got to your destination.

The hotel itself was beautiful, I thought it looked very similar to the Wilderness Lodge, the same formula I guess. I really liked the hotel decor overall. It seemed very authentic and not cheesy at all.

The pool was really cool with a zero depth entry area, a slide, 2 hot tubs and a baby pool. The water was heated to about 83 degrees. The towels were really skimpy, though. I loved the atmosphere of the pool, it was like a swimming hole, very cool.

Restaurant Reviews:
Jiko: We ate here for dinner 2/20/04, it was delish!! It was expensive ($24-35/entree). The South African wine list was great and the food, excellent. Our service was a little slow and my toddler was having a meltdown. The appetizer assortment is the way to go! Two of us had the monkfish, their specialty and it was amazing. My Dad had the lamb and he said it was excellent as well. I would definitely reccomend Jiko. If you have a toddler, I would skip the apps. :)

Boma: 2/23/04 This is a $24 buffet and it was also excellent. We ate dinner there the last night. The wine selection was not as great, but the soups, appetizers, sides, main courses and desserts made up for it. I think we got our money's worth, we had a feast!!! It was excellent food w/some plain staples for the kids. Otherwise, it's great African fare, with great new tastes to explore, but some staples incase you're not too adventurous. They had great dipping sauces for their flat bread and prime rib, yum! The curry shrimp dumpling soup was also excellent, as was the peanut rice and winter salad. I'm getting hungry thinking about it all. I would have eaten there more than once, but it was our last meal. The atmosphere was nice and I even commented on it.

The Mara: (Cafe) I think it was an ok cafe, had a little something for everyone. I would reccommend the souvenier mugs as soon as you get there to get your money's worth. The portions were pretty big and could be shared. Not enough high chairs, though. We ate a breakfast and a dinner there, the pizzas were good and crispy. They have take and go lunch boxes for the kids, it would save time in the parks, but not necc. money.

 
14 out of 14 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   Dec 8 through 12, 2003
Reviewer: barrylee6 Laureldale PA     January 08, 2004
This was our third visit in less than three years and I wouldn't want to stay anywhere else in "the world". The staff is friendly and helpful. The atmosphere at the lodge makes you feel as though you really have been transported to calm, luxurious African surroundings. The food is delicious, the rooms comfortable, the African artifacts educational and waking up to the sight of gorgeous giraffes and playful zebras right outside your balcony is awe inspiring. As they say in that commercial: Airline Tickets: $440.00 Meals for a Week: $525.00 Experiencing The Animal Kingdom Lodge: PRICELESS
 
9 out of 10 people found this review helpful
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3.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.03.0/5.0   Dec 2, 2003
Reviewer: chepard Titusville, Florida     December 07, 2003
My wife and I booked a nite at Animal Kingdom Lodge after receiving a discount rate due to a previous stay. We had been intending to return as our first visit was very enjoyable. Two months prior to the visit we also booked reservations at the 'Jiko' restaurant as we had been quite pleased with the meal and service during our previous stay. We invited our daughter and son-in-law to join us and share the experience. Our daughter is the Sales and Marketing director at an upscale non-Disney hotel in Orlando. We felt that 'Jiko' would rate favorably. Upon registering, we confirmed our reservations at 'Jiko' for priority seating. A little over an hour later, (and less than 30 minutes before we were to be seated) we were informed that 'Jiko' was closed due to technical difficulties. Our daughter explained that some Orlando hotels were closing restaurants due to a downturn in business. We could not understand why they had waited until the last minute to tell us. Because the Lodge is not located near any alternate restaurants we elected to eat at the other internal restaurant, 'Boma' which is a buffet style eating facility. We sampled all of the offerings and the food was tasty and well prepared($30+tip/person). It was quite a disappointment that we could not enjoy the sit down meal that we had anticipated.
The environment itself is quite impressive. Our rooms had a Savannah view and the animals are visible at all times. The hotel's African decor is well done and attractive. The rooms are small but adequate. Valet parking ($6+tip) is convenient. The staff is courteous and efficient. Due to our experience with our restaurant reservations we are reluctant to book a stay at a Disney resort again. Reservations do not appear to be taken too seriously by Disney.
 
5 out of 41 people found this review helpful
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