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  1. #16

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    The GF is.... Ehhh. I'm only using photos as reference, but I don't know why someone would want to stay there instead of the new Contemporary tower rooms, which look just as nice and have a magical element in the A-frame (although if you've stayed there a bazillion times, I can understand if it's less magical to you than before. But if you must be in the MK circle of deluxe hotels, I would try for that.

    Otherwise, AKL.



    I think I'm too jaded about luxury hotels, because the GF seemed to me like it only would have been impressive back when it was built. If you want a ritzy high-end hotel, come over here and I can point out about eight or so.

  2. #17

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    Quote Originally Posted by WRDup
    The floridian is stuffy and snobby. Sure its high-class but to me it seemed stuck-up. Its nice looking but lacks personality.
    I've gotten the same exact impression of the GF. It seems very elegant and all (especially with a small orchestra and/or piano player playing every once in a while), but it always looked very snoody to me.

    Out of the two, I'd definitely go to AKL (but that's just my opinion). Everything there just looks so themed and nice.

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  3. #18

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    I have stayed at the Grand Floridian, Boardwalk, Yacht Club, Beach Club, Dixie Landing (I think its Port Orleans now) and some others, but not AKL.

    My dad and I were turned off by AKL because it really is not close to anything except Animal Kingdom. The Grand Floridian is WDW's top hotel, it is modeled after the Coronado in California.

    BUT, while it is very nice and classy, I have to say my favorite is the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a only a walk away from Epcot (World Showcase entrance) and it is also very nice (I think it is nicer than GFloridian). The themeing is very cool too.

    The Beach and Yacht Club are also very fun too and even CLOSER to Epcot.

    So the Beach and Yacht Club and Boardwalk (I think) are on the same level as the Grand Floridian if not nicer. AND most people over look that these three hotels (B&Y club and Boardwalk) have there own themed area like Downtown Disney called Disney's Boardwalk (a la Boardwalk hotel). It has a dance club and a dueling piano bar too.

    I would HIGHLY recommend The Boardwalk hotel or the Yacht and Beach Clubs. But if I had to choose one it would be... The Boardwalk.

  4. #19

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    Quote Originally Posted by jom6
    My dad and I were turned off by AKL because it really is not close to anything except Animal Kingdom.
    But when you think about it, Animal Kingdom is very close to both Epcot & DMGM, while Magic Kingdom is isolated from the rest of the resort.

    BUT, while it is very nice and classy, I have to say my favorite is the Boardwalk. The Boardwalk is a only a walk away from Epcot (World Showcase entrance) and it is also very nice (I think it is nicer than GFloridian). The themeing is very cool too.
    Definitely agree with you there. Boardwalk ties with Old Key West in my opinion as the best resort on property.
    “You can design and create, and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.” - Walt Disney

  5. #20

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    [quote=TheDisneyInquisitor]But when you think about it, Animal Kingdom is very close to both Epcot & DMGM, while Magic Kingdom is isolated from the rest of the resort.


    ^True, but when you think about transportation around the Animal Kingdom Area, you have the buses and/or a rental car. The Epcot Hotels have the friendship boats that can take you to MGM or Epcot. But I still feel AKL is more isolated because in that area there is just AKL and Animal Kingdom. Phsyicaly Magic Kingdom is further, but a much more popular area because of the number hotels it has by it; i.e. Wilderness, Polonysian (sp), Contemporary ect.

    AND with the Monorail connecting Epcot with Magic Kingdom and the boats connecting Epcot and MGM, it separates The Animal Kingdom area even more. The only way to get to Animal Kingdom is the Bus.

  6. #21

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    People keep saying GF is "classy" and "ritzy."

    It's not.

    As I mentioned before, all the white victorian looking woodwork is jsut vinyl siding from Sears. The rooms have cheap CHEAP fixtures and furnishings.

    Everything there looks good from a distance.. but it's all really plastic and fake. It's like, I don't know, walking into a forest and realizing it's made out of silk plants.

    At other Disney resorts, stuff is atleast somewhat real. Everything I touched at GF was "room temp" plasticy. At AKL and WL the stone was cold because it was stone, at Poly the woodwork was rough because it was wood.

    Most of the guests at GF are normal folks who saved and penny pinched to be able to go. To be perfectly honest, sometimes it's folks who put on heirs they don't have.

    For the price you can probably score concierge at a non-monorail resort, and that is a nice treat. Moreso than any standard room will ever offer at GF. Their standard rooms are worse than the All Stars to me - i've never had things broken and falling apart, stained, and the toilet backing up (without touching it!) like I did at GF.

    And those "interior hallways" everyone says makes the difference between deluxe and moderate? At GF they're yellow striped wall paper and the occasional dehydrated flower basket - oo.. aah.. exciting.

    ETA: I've never stayed at any Disney resort where the glass doors to the balcony were opaque due to someone's child rubbing their nose against it before I arrived- until the GF.

  7. #22

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    One more thing... 70-95% of the rooms at GF have a view of nothing. The place was poorly landscaped so that the few MK-view rooms look at the trees 5 feet from them.

  8. #23

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    Quote Originally Posted by MickeyMania
    instead of the new Contemporary tower rooms, which look just as nice and have a magical element in the A-frame
    You know I stayed in Contemporary Garden Wings and they were very nice, but the few times we decided to cough up the money for a Tower room we backed out...Disney can't and won't guarentee a certain side to the tower, and frankly I'd feel a bit jipped to pay for a tower room and get a Bay Lake side.

    Since we're off the two main hotels for a moment if you had to choose any hotel I say go Wilderness Lodge.

  9. #24

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    They do now have MK-view as a room option in Contemporary Tower. It's like an $85 night difference in price I think.

  10. #25

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    This comparison won't make sense if you aren't familiar with our resort scene in Las Vegas, unfortunately, but the GF looks like what would happen if Harrah's tried to build the Bellagio. It's not that it's really BAD per se, it's just that you can see quite easily (especially from my perspective of being around so many multi-billion dollar hotels) that it's not what it's trying to be.

    The night I ventured in, I was somewhat impressed by the lobby and how quiet it was, but also noticed the excessive use of tile and other less-than-luxurious touches about. Now, I blame that on the age of the place rather than them being cheap with it, but the point of it all is that this hotel no longer deserves the throne and pricing structure that it may have held when it was new. People who really know what a luxury hotel looks like, which is the market they're aiming for with the GF, will find it is ho-hum. They would be better off repricing themselves to woo the mid-range people who are willing to spend a little more to stay at what they think is a high-class prestigious hotel.

    I think the Contemporary sits on a large enough plot of land that it can be expanded to have all the amenities the GF has and be the REAL luxury hotel at the resort, if they wanted to do it like that. The modern theme best represented at the Contemporary is very in style in the luxury line here right now, and it's already has a cachet as "that Monorail hotel." I say bulldoze the wings and do the place right.
    Last edited by MickeyMania; 04-02-2006 at 05:36 PM.

  11. #26

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    I have stayed at EVERY WDW resort (except some of the DVC props), most many times. I stayed at the GF just once ... and, frankly, that was enough. I've stayed at the AKL about eight times since it opened in 2001.

    I guess that tells you my feelings.

    You get a whole lot more bang for your buck at AKL and save a bundle while doing it. It is so unique and relaxing with a great pool and incredible dining from fast-food at the Mara to the best buffet outside of Las Vegas at Boma to gourmet cuisine with an African flair at Jiko. I love the ambience. It transports you away from Florida. It's a destination in its own right.

    Now, the GF isn't exactly a Hampton Inn with Victorian architecture either. It just professes to be five-star caliber when it isn't. It can't compete with the local Ritz Carlton Grande Lakes yet charges much more for its rooms. For a few years around 1998-2001, the place was even borderline rundown in its rooms, hallways etc ... It's not that it isn't nice because it is. I don't find it stuffy, but it is more upscale than the other resorts. I just don't find the rooms, service and extras equal the much higher prices.

    OTOH, because of many ignorant complaints about AKL's 'remote' location and bus transportation, you can almost always find rooms there and usually discounted one with AP, Fla residents, AAA etc ...

    If I had to stay close to the MK, I'd pick the WL (although the rooms there are getting in serious need of a major rehab). If I had to be on the monorail, I'd stay at the Contmeporary or Poly, which are both undergoing major and total rehabs and have the best standard rooms on WDW property right now.

  12. #27

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    Original question asked "Floridian or DAKL?". I say neither.
    Wilderness Lodge is the best in my opinion. But if in DLR...then the Californian... If in TDR... The Miracosta. If in DLRParis... the NY Hotel, and if in HKDLR... the Hollywood Hotel.

  13. #28

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    The more negative comments that I read about the Grand Floridian, the more I begin to wonder if I have made a mistake in choosing to stay there on my next WDW vacation.

    I will be spending 6 nights at CBR, followed by 2 at GF.

    I, would like to be able to experience all of the different WDW resorts. They all have a different feel. I have stayed at the Polynesian, Contemporary, Port Orleans Riverside, and the Beach Club.

    My vacation is in July. My last few days will be spent mostly at Epcot, and Magic Kingdom. The GF has good access to those parks. I also have a few PS's in that general part of the World.

    I have never been disappointed in any resort so far, so I guess only time will tell.

  14. #29

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    Quote Originally Posted by KNRG
    They do now have MK-view as a room option in Contemporary Tower. It's like an $85 night difference in price I think.
    Oh finally.

  15. #30

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    Re: Floridian or Animal Kingdom Lodge?

    The floridian is cool, but as I just said in an email today to my parents who are deciding the same thing, animal kingdom lodge has a rustic and authentic feel about it. There are hidden stairways to rocking chairs and animal viewing areas, outdoor bonfires, and a lobby that is to die for. There's even a very cool looking "rope bridge" that you walk over on the 3rd or fourth floor. Not to mention Boma Yum. So all in all if you want to stay in the most extravigant hotel on property go for the Floridian, but if you want a Disney vacation that takes you away from the super Disney-ness of it all, head for the Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Hope this helps.

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