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  1. #1

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    Animal Kingdom Lodge

    So for my upcoming trip in December (now pushed back two weeks) My friends and I were thinking of staying at the animal Kingdom Lodge. Our other choice is the Port Orleans Riverside, which I've stayed at. Has anyone here atayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Before? Is it worth the extra money?
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  2. #2

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Animal Kingdom Lodge is great! It's a beautiful hotel and we love being able to look outside and see what all the animals are doing. The only downside for us is that it seems so far away from the parks probably because the only tranportation is by bus so you may want to use your own car to get around.

  3. #3

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    I always hate the "Is it worth the extra money?" question, mostly because it is impossible for anyone to make that decision for you. Since we all come from different backgrounds and all an extra hundred a night to me for a bigger room, extra amenities at the resort and all is a no brainer especially if I have already stayed at the other resort. But only you can make that decision for yourself.

    That said the AK Lodge is wonderful, quiet and out of the way, the staff there is very friendly and love to tell you about their homes in Africa and the animals at the lodge, apparently not many people take the time to talk to them. The on site food is outstanding and different from the rest of the WDW resorts. They have a nice pool area and the animals of course.

    The only downside for me is the transportation, there is only Bus Service and they are rather far from all the resorts save the Animal Kingdom. You may wish to consider renting a car while you are there if you are not driving, it will save you quite a bit of time getting around.
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  4. #4

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    I've stayed at both AKL and POR and can tell you that I much prefer the lodge. But, as mentioned above, a lot of it depends upon what you yourself are looking for in a hotel. I've stayed at the lodge twice, as well as several other Disney resorts, and it is still my absolute favorite. Here are several pros and cons to each (in my humble opinion):

    Animal Kingdom Lodge
    + Very close to Animal Kingdom, so it's a quick bus ride to the attraction
    - Rather far from the other parks, downtown Disney, and resorts as others have noted
    + Two amazing restaurants - Jinko and Boma...Boma is an incredible all-you-can eat buffet with really delicious African and Middle Eastern cuisine (both are vegetarian friendly, too, if that's a concern)
    + You can go out at *any* time and watch the animals. We spent a lot of time just relaxing around the animal's homes - they come up quite close - and watching them.
    +/- Depending upon your preferences, this may be a plus or a minus - the lodge is one central all contained building. So all the rooms are off one main great hall. This means no walking to other buildings - everything is fairly centralized and easy to reach.
    + The rooms were surprisingly spacious and, for me, felt very comfy.
    + GREAT kids activities, many of which are nature or animal related.
    + Really well done theme. The interiors are very appropriate - lots of neat Afrian artwork to look at and the room interiors and lobby really make you feel like you're not in Florida but rather miles away. Definitely gives you the feeling of escapism.
    END NOTE: Again, we've stayed in this hotel twice now (and will certainly do so again) simply for the fact that it is just so darn neat. But, if you're not going to spend a good amount of time in the resort relaxing - if you're focusing more on the parks - you may want to opt for the cheaper hotel.

    Port Orleans
    + Very close to attractions and downtown - bus rides weren't very long at all from place to place and the buses seemed to come more often, too
    + I believe there's a boat that you could take from the resort to other locations (downtown Disney or Pleasure Island, maybe?) but I may have this confused with another resort we stayed at (eep!)
    + Has a really neat mess hall with a big water wheel and whatnot.
    - The food wasn't very good. We ate at several of the restaurants and it just didn't seem to be made very well.
    - The rooms were pretty standard. Not terribly impressive in terms of theme. The bathroom was very cramped, too.
    +/- The grounds have a very natural feel - they've left a lot of native Floridian flora around. Very beautiful if you're not from around here and like being among pine trees and whatnot.
    +/- Rooms are grouped together in what amount to little mansion type buildings. So you have to drive or walk from your room to the lobby, bus stop, whatever and it can get to be a little far. Especially if you, like us, get caught in a torrential downpour. Fun!
    END NOTE: This is a nice hotel, and the rooms are ok. I have to confess I was a bit disappointed because I'd expect a bit more from a Disney themed hotel - the comparably priced Coronado Springs was much neater (IMHO) and really did more with their theme. POR was interesting, and had a sourthern type feel to it, but didn't really go much more than that. Overall, pretty but, for my $, I'll take Animal Kingdom over it any time.

    Also, be aware that you can enjoy AKL without the extra $100 - there *are* rooms there that aren't as pricey. Of course, there's a catch - these rooms do not face out onto their savanah/veldt area. But they're still absolutely beautiful and quite comfy. Hope this helps! Either way, you'll have a great time!
    Last edited by mishakitty78; 09-06-2007 at 06:12 PM. Reason: can't spell!!!

  5. #5

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Isn't Animal Kingdom Lodge still mostly closed due to the noise from construction of the DVC building?

  6. #6

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by mishakitty78 View Post
    - the comparably priced Coronado Springs was much neater (IMHO) and really did more with their theme. POR was interesting, and had a sourthern type feel to it, but didn't really go much more than that. Overall, pretty but, for my $, I'll take Animal Kingdom over it any time.
    I've heard that the Coronado Springs was kinda far removed from anything...does anyone know if that is true?

    Thanks for the great advice mishakitty, we're only going for about four days, so we don't anticipate spending much time at the resort aside from the first day.
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  7. #7

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanSkippa View Post
    I've heard that the Coronado Springs was kinda far removed from anything...does anyone know if that is true?

    Thanks for the great advice mishakitty, we're only going for about four days, so we don't anticipate spending much time at the resort aside from the first day.
    Coronado Springs is very close to Blizzard Beach (right across the street) and Animal Kingdom. Relatively close to MGM and Epcot, with the MK being the farthest away of all of them. Its roughly in the same boat as the Value resorts in terms of distance to most attractions.

    I'f your looking for a good resource to get an idea of where everything is in relation to a WDW Hotel I would suggest the map located here: http://www.wdwinfo.com/resortmaps/propertymap.htm If you plan to use WDW transportation you can get time estimates (your millage may vary...) from an online calculator here: http://www.ourlaughingplace.com/asp/twiz.aspx
    Hi I'm Jerren and I'm a Disneyholic...

  8. #8

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Isn't Animal Kingdom Lodge still mostly closed due to the noise from construction of the DVC building?

    Maybe that's why it's available for CM discounts.


    I know the rooms out here at the Grand Californian are generally considerd fairly small. Does anyone else have experience with the room size, I'll br travelling with 2 other adults.
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  9. #9

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by aimster View Post
    Isn't Animal Kingdom Lodge still mostly closed due to the noise from construction of the DVC building?
    We have one of the new DVC studio villas next weekend. We are just going down for one night for the AP Priority Access to the newly refurbed Haunted Masion. We have stayed at AKL twice before and love it! If we could afford DVC right now, we would choose this resort as our home. I there are any pics of anything you would like to see let me know and I will do my best to get them for you and post them the week after we return.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by evilqueenrocks View Post
    We have one of the new DVC studio villas next weekend. We are just going down for one night for the AP Priority Access to the newly refurbed Haunted Masion. We have stayed at AKL twice before and love it! If we could afford DVC right now, we would choose this resort as our home. I there are any pics of anything you would like to see let me know and I will do my best to get them for you and post them the week after we return.

    *jealous* Have fun!
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  11. #11

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanSkippa View Post
    Maybe that's why it's available for CM discounts.
    CM discounts are usually almost always available for AKL... mostly because people are so hung up on "how far it is from MK". Please.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by evilqueenrocks View Post
    We have one of the new DVC studio villas next weekend. We are just going down for one night for the AP Priority Access to the newly refurbed Haunted Masion. We have stayed at AKL twice before and love it! If we could afford DVC right now, we would choose this resort as our home. I there are any pics of anything you would like to see let me know and I will do my best to get them for you and post them the week after we return.

    Wow thanks,

    I'll pretty much take pictures of anything you feel like taking pictures of. I'd really like to see the main lobby, front desk, zero depth entry pool (whatever that means) and a room if possible. Thanks again!
    -"Enjoy the rest of your stay here at Disneyland, where all of your dreams come true...well except for two of them, short lines and cheap food."

  13. #13

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    Quote Originally Posted by TrojanSkippa View Post
    , zero depth entry pool (whatever that means)
    .....no steps. Like a beach.

  14. #14

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    Re: Animal Kingdom Lodge

    This is a great resort. It's a bit quiet these days due to construction and a small amount of rooms open, but more are opening each month. I really hope you get a chance to stay there because it's gorgeous!

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