Pop quiz: what’s the most expensive room in Walt Disney World?

No, it’s not Cinderella’s Suite in the castle (they don’t rent that one out for paying customers, preferring to give it away when they feel like it or otherwise keep it vacant).

No, it’s not at the Grand Floridian. Or the Contemporary. Or the Polynesian.

Give up yet?

It’s the Presidential Suite at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Only special keycards get in here.

This baby clocks in at over 2,100 square feet and almost $2,000 a night… in the low season. It's almost $3,000 per night in the busy season! This is one mega-sized hotel room, it truly gives new meaning to the term “home away from home!”

Wood covers just about everything in the suite giving it a rich look.

At Disneyland, the ultimate in Disney experiences can be found at the hidden and selective restaurant Club 33. At Walt Disney World, there is no such members-only club, but this Presidential Suite comes close for the title of “ultimate Disney secret.” This is one hard-to-visit Disney environment. Do you know any Chief Executive Officers at major corporations?

For the right price, all this could be yours! (But check in is still at 3pm)

The suite is on the third floor of DAK Lodge, the concierge level. The double-doors are labeled with “Royal Asante Suite.” Inside is a foyer with some tasteful art and a small dome.

The first foyer.

Off to the side is a small restroom, also nicely decorated.

Details galore! A stone base for the sink.

Just inside the suite itself is the formal dining/meeting room.

The dining/meeting room.

There is colorful artwork and a magnificent table!

One of a kind.

To the immediate right is the kitchen, with a full-sized refrigerator. There’s no stove, though, so this isn’t really for “cooking” in the usual sense.

The spacious kitchen.

Beyond that is the circular living room, complete with remote-controlled fireplace. The TV in this room is all-digital (think iPhone-type interface), as is the sound system.

The roof above is real thatch (though it’s not visible from inside).
Plenty of room for all your friends.

Let’s just say that there is only a common area below this room and no neighbor to the side. You could crank it up here and not disturb anyone. An office abuts the room. Despite its small size, it’s a fully-functioning business center with Internet access.

Not that you’d want to do any work from here.

The balcony beckons, and a view of the Jambo House awaits outside. You can’t see it at night, but there’s a Hidden Mickey on the climbing trellis across the way. And that other big room is the Vice-Presidential Suite.

Despite the blurriness, you can see the amazing view.

Back in the dining room is a door to another, much larger balcony. They used to offer a treadmill here, but now it’s all tables and relaxation.

The balcony is as big as it looks.

The view is, well, unbeatable. Three giraffes knelt down in slumber directly in front of us, as if on command, to provide a good view for the VIP room.

An executive vista for an executive suite.

Branching off from the dining room is another small foyer with more minimalist artwork.

A second foyer.

To the right from here is the master bedroom area. You come first to a sitting room—let it never be said that you’re cramped in here! The sofa here folds out to a two-person bed.

Care to pull up a chair?

The master bed itself is quite large. In fact, it was built here, inside this room, after the room was already constructed around it. They couldn’t move this bed if they tried! The closets light up when opened, revealing bathrobes and still more TVs.

A bed fit for a king.

Around the corner is the master bath, and I’d wager you haven’t seen anything like this before. The toilet area is simple enough, being equipped also with an honest to goodness bidet.

Sometimes simple is best.

A rather large hallway provides counter and mirror space.

Bathroom big enough for ya?

The hallway leads to the standalone bathtub.

It looks old-fashioned, but a soak here is probably relaxing beyond measure.

And here was also the master shower, roomy by anybody’s standards.

The shower at the end of the hallway.
No, it’s not a Roman bath—it’s just a shower!

Back at the second foyer, a further hallway leads away from the master bedroom. There are some closets with storage space here, and at the end of the hallway is a more standard hotel room. There may be a double-door here, implying it could be separated from the presidential suite, but in reality it has no room number of its own—it’s definitely part of the suite.

This second room doubles the sleeping capacity of the suite.

The appointments in here are less extravagant. The additional two queen beds brings the total capacity to eight people (not counting sofas in the living room). 

Let’s see, $2,800 divided by eight is … still too much for many of us. If you’re among the privileged few who has friends that can afford $350/night per person, then you’re in luck. The Royal Asante Suite may be just right for you.

Everything here feels roomy and regal.

Kevin Yee may be e-mailed at [email protected] - Please keep in mind he may not be able to respond to each note personally. FTC-Mandated Disclosure: As of December 2009, bloggers are required by the Federal Trade Commission to disclose payments and freebies. Kevin Yee pays for his own admission to theme parks and their associated events, unless otherwise explicitly noted.

2011 Kevin Yee

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Kevin's Disney Books

Kevin is the author of many books on Disney theme parks, including:

The Unofficial Walt Disney World ‘Earbook 2010 is a photo-rich volume of 70 pages that park fans will find especially useful if they want to know what’s changed at WDW since their last visit.

History was on my mind as I composed this book. As you might expect, there is a section on additions, another on removals, and a third on events. But I wanted to make sure to include some prices from January 2010 in the book, the better to capture in future years (and future generations?) exactly what it costs to buy admission, parking, a night at each level of hotel, or such food items as a turkey leg. I also wanted to provide a bit more specificity to the unfolding of events, so the various additions and removals, as well as smaller alterations and debuts, are laid out in a timeline broken down month-by-month.

In short, the book is designed to appeal to those folks who are similarly history-minded, as well as those who are hungry to know what changed at Disney World since their last visit. Or perhaps it’s a worthwhile keepsake for anyone who DID visit in 2010—it captures what was new, after all.

Also recently issued...

Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes:

As the title implies, this is all about those little things in the parks that have significance to insiders and long-timers, but are never explained or highlighted. When a ride closes, sometimes pieces or props from that ride are folded into the replacement attraction (think of the World of Motion car seen in the queue of Test Track). Other times, designers intentionally craft a tribute to the previous ride—an example of that might be the carving of a submarine in the cement tree created for Pooh’s Playful Spot where the 20,000 Leagues subs used to be.

The other kind of homage in the parks concerns not rides, but individuals. The designers, artists, engineers, executives, and people important to Disney’s history often provide the inspiration for names and titles used at the attractions. Sadly, these are almost always unheralded. All of these remnants and tributes are normally left for the truly obsessed to spot piecemeal. They are usually not even discussed in the official Disney books and tours. This book sets out to change that, and catalog all such remnants and tributes in one spot.

The final result is 225 pages of hyper-detailed historical factoids. Broadly speaking this is a “trivia” book, but remember that it’s a particular kind of trivia. You’ve known before that the Walt Disney World theme parks wove a thick tapestry of details and backstory into a seamless (and peerless) experience. But armed with the specifics of homages and tributes, you’ll become aware that the parks are even more alive, and layered with meaning, that you could have ever imagined.

Might this be an ideal present for the Disney fan on your shopping list? If so, please have a look.

Also written by Kevin...

  • Your Day at the Magic Kingdom is a full-color, hardcover interactive children's book, where readers decide which attraction to ride next (and thus which page to turn to) - but watch out for some unexpected surprises!
  • Mouse Trap: Memoir of a Disneyland Cast Member provides the first authentic glimpse of what it's like to work at Disneyland.
  • The Walt Disney World Menu Book lists restaurants, their menus, and prices for entrees, all in one handy pocket-sized guide.
  • Tokyo Disney Made Easy is a travel guide to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySeas, written to make the entire trip stress-free for non-speakers of Japanese.
  • Magic Quizdom offers an exhaustive trivia quiz on Disneyland park, with expansive paragraph-length answers that flesh out the fuller story on this place rich with details.
  • 101 Things You Never Knew About Disneyland is a list-oriented book that covers ground left intentionally unexposed in the trivia book, namely the tributes and homages around Disneyland, especially to past rides and attractions.
  • 101 Things You Never Knew About Walt Disney World follows the example of the Disneyland book, detailing tributes and homages in the four Disney World parks.

More information on the above titles, along with ordering options are at this link.