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  1. #1

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    Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I'm looking to do a trip in either November of this year or February of next year and am looking to stay at either Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness Lodge. I was wondering if anyone had a recommendation? I've never stayed in either hotel and was looking for opinions...

    Thanks!
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  2. #2

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    both have their pros and cons. very unique experience at animal kingdom, second to none for in hotel dining options, and a great pool many different amenities. however it is also really in the middle of nowhere. Wilderness lodge, not as good of a hotel in my opinion, slightly dated but still definitely a place you would not be disappointed in, very good bbq, also much easier travel, especially to MK. all about your personal preference at this point, but two very good options.

  3. #3

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I have parred it down to these two as my boyfriend was interested in a more "rustic" type atmosphere. Thought these two might be fun. I honestly don't care as long as I'm at WDW lol
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  4. #4

    • Minion
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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    haha then wilderness lodge, gets him what he wants gets you to the parks faster

  5. #5

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    The Wilderness Lodge is my favorite hotel on property. It's close to the action (the boat to the Magic Kingdom can be particularly pleasant) but feels a million miles away. Add to that the great pool and recreation, plus the Electrical Water Pageant, it's pure paradise.
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  6. #6

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I've never stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, but I can tell you how much I love the Wilderness Lodge. They have a dynamite courtyard which has very well themed scenery, including a stream thats designed to appear as though it leads directly into the pool, as well as a few other surprises I won't spoil.

    I don't know if this is still ongoing, but they used to give you unlimited use of the soda fountain if you purchased a special lodge mug. We were using those things for at least 3 or 4 trips.

  7. #7

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    Quote Originally Posted by taagsmash View Post
    I don't know if this is still ongoing, but they used to give you unlimited use of the soda fountain if you purchased a special lodge mug. We were using those things for at least 3 or 4 trips.
    The refillable mugs are a standard at all WDW resorts. However, technically you're only supposed to use them for that trip only. It's one of the most debated topics on online forums, so we'll leave it at that. (I for one don't have a problem with it, but the rule is now printed on all the signage and the mugs themselves)
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  8. #8

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I've stayed at neither, but explored both. Both are prime, first rate hotels. Service will be excellent. For me, it boils down to theming. Which environment would I want to stay in more? My personal choice would be Wilderness Lodge. I love the rustic, national park feel. Very relaxing.
    I honestly don't think you can go wrong with either.
    However, you MUST post many pictures.

  9. #9

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I've stayed at the Wilderness Lodge about 15 times and the WL Villas twice now and quite frankly it's the best Value for anyone who wants to be close the the Magic Kingdom. What really sets it apart for me is the fact that it really feels like your out in the middle of nowhere and is very relaxing yet you are a short boat ride away from the MK Park and Resort hotels. At night there are 3 count them 3 jacuzzi spas to unwind after a long day in the parks. (2 behind the main pool, and 1 quieter one by the Villas) We always see an abundance of wildlife from Deer, rabbits, down to the geckos and occasional tree frogs which come out after a rainstorm. I would say WL is my favorite but that honor is forever reserved for the Poly for purely nostalgic reasons. (e.g. my first visit and honeymoon...)

    I've only stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge once, but visited and eaten there many, many times. It's a wonderful hotel as well, but unlike the Wilderness lodge it is a bit far from most of the parks (save AK of course) and now shares bus service with Kindari Village so you may want to rent a vehicle or add some time to your schedule to cover travel times. If you do decide to stay at the AKL pay the extra money for the Savannah view room, staying there and not getting the view in my option is a waste of money. (But do remember to close your drapes before changing, had a client get very embarrassed when a CM called her to say they could see everything... They video tape all the balconies to prevent guests from feeding the animals.) Make sure you spend some time talking to the staff as many of them are cultural representatives from their countries and love to share stories. (Sadly not many people talk to them...And they are very friendly.) The AK lodge also seems to have the most resort activities of all the Deluxe resorts and is the one I recommend to people who do not want to go to the parks as much.

    Finally I have to recommend making dinner reservations at either Jinko or Sana for a wonderful dinner experience even if you do not stay there, both restaurants are absolutely fabulous and you will get a good opportunity to see the animals while you wait. (or even while you dine in the case of Sana.) Either way you cannot go wrong.

    Bottom line - You really cannot go wrong with either resort, what you have to ask yourself is are you feeling rustic/western or do you feel like going on Safari. There's no wrong choice here, although you will probably spend slightly more t the AKL with the Savannah room and possibly a rental car vs the WL but in the grand scheme of things it's really not that much more compared to the price of the whole vacation.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    My family stayed at AKL with a savannah view and swears by it while my best friend has stayed at WL 10+ times and swears by it so it's all a matter of personal preference

    AKL is gorgeous, new, and has amazing restaurants. Sitting and watching the animals is really fun and the night vision tour is quite unique. The lobby is beautiful and, even if you decide not to stay there, it is worth a trip. However, if you don't have a savannah view or you don't spend time in the hotel, I don't think it's better than any other deluxe hotel. As others have said, it's pretty remotely located and inconvenient if you A) don't like to take the bus or B) don't have a rental car. If you have a rental car or don't mind the bus system, AKL is my choice.

    WL is breathtaking on the outside but a little dated, in my opinion, on the inside. The geyser and lobby are must sees and the hotel has some nice spaces to stop, sit, and take everything in. I like Whispering Canyon but it can make the lobby a little noisy. WL might be a better choice if you prefer to be more centrally located or don't spend a ton of time in the hotel/eating at the hotel.

    Shortlist:
    AKL has better food and a newer experience but it isn't worth it without a savannah view.
    WL has a better location but is slightly dated. However, you can get by with a standard room.

  11. #11

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    My family and I have stayed at both resorts 3 times each. Will you have a car? At the time of year you are going there will be fewer resort buses meaning longer waiting periods. We experienced MUCH longer waits at AKL when we did not have a vehicle of our own. It's the furthest out resort and it takes longer for the buses to make thier route. WL has two methods of transportation to and from MK. It works out nice if you just want to take the boat for a different experience. WL is more centrally located so it's not hard to get to wherever you need to go quicker.

    The pools are both nice but we liked WL theme better.

    AKL's restaurants are nice. Boma's has a nice selection but the dessert bar didn't impress. We took our own straws to AKL because the cardboard ones feel weird and the carbonation in the drinks acts differently than with plastic straws. Whispering Canyon Cafe is a fun family restaurant that has unlimited milkshakes. Unfortunatley, the last time we were there it was broken. Don't be afraid to ask the servers for ketsup. I'm more a a meat and potatoes guy and the offerings at Boma's seemed more vegetable oriented.

    The view of the animals at AKL is nice and better than that of WL unless you have a view of the water.

    My choice would be WL.
    Last edited by craig; 03-15-2011 at 07:42 AM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    Wilderness Lodge!!
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  13. #13

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    I've stayed at both of these resorts a few times and it's really tough. Everyone has already given great pro/cons for both. The savannah view rooms at AK are incredible, and something that should be done at least once! They also have incredible room service!

    Wilderness Lodge is my favourite though, its so peaceful out on the beach at night, you can see the stars. The whole place just has an incredible feeling, plus we could see the MK fireworks from our room and it was just a regular standard room! For 'rustic' definitely WL!
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  14. #14

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    So have you made your decision? We wanna know!


    Quote Originally Posted by FantasticDuck View Post
    I have parred it down to these two as my boyfriend was interested in a more "rustic" type atmosphere. Thought these two might be fun. I honestly don't care as long as I'm at WDW lol

  15. #15

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge or Fort Wilderness?

    Wilderness Lodge.

    Animal Kingdom Lodge is too far from everything. And the court yard with all the animals was a big let down when I saw it. If you want to see it and not stay at the hotel, you can dine there. The restaurants are pretty good.

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