Ever since our first visit to AKL in 2012, we have vowed never to stay anywhere else on property. It simply can't be beat. There is no greater pleasure than rising early in the morning, strolling down to the Mara for some breakfast, and eating it at a leisurely pace whilst overlooking the savannah. Sanaa is the best non-signature table service restaurant on property, and Jiko is consistently rated highly amongst the signatures. Theming is impeccable and immersive, the first time you walk into the lobby will take your breath away. We have never had troubles with cleaning, after staying a total of 56 nights there!
We just returned yesterday from a 5 day stay at AKL with a sunset savanna room. It is a very nice resort, and the view was great, but our previous stay at CR was superior. A couple of things stuck out.
We paid extra for the savanna view and had to call and have the room change the first day we arrived since there were 4 support beams attached to our balcony and no animals. Now, to their credit, they moved us to a great room (3283) but it took several calls to accomplish this.
There was no envelope left for us on the door the night before check out, which caused a little issue at check out and return with the DME. It all worked out, but was still a bit of a hassle.
The biggest issue was that when we booked, we had advised them that it was our DD's birthday and they promised the "character phone call". They didnt deliver. It took a phone call from my DW to get it the day after.
On the positive side, the commute is not nearly as bad as people think and the resort is absolutely beautiful.
Would we stay there again, probably with a good deal.
We stayed at AKL - Jambo House June 9th to June 13th, the second half of our vacation. The luggage transfer was seamless. We were Magically upgraded from a standard view to a savanna view, which was a very nice surprise. We were in room 3283 on the Kudu Trail with the Sunset Savanna view. The room was beautiful, just like all the pictures we've seen. Being there in June was problematic in that the resort and room were cold but external temperature was really humid and hot. The room quickly warmed up with our constant opening the balcony door. Maybe this is just me, and maybe this is due to the humidity, but the carpet seemed a little damp.
The bathroom was nice and had a shelf above the two sinks. I loved the wall paper. The water closet was small, and the light couldn’t be used without the fan. As others say, it was a little dark.
A good variety of animals greeted us and hung around most of the time. Between Kidani and our room (to the left) was a backstage working area of AKL. While on the balcony, we always heard a low drone from whatever machinery was there, but it was OK. Sometimes, the work being done was a little louder, but the animals didn’t seem to mind.
The lobby is absolutely beautiful, and all the art and artifacts are amazing. The CMs are out and about with hands-on educational and fun activities. SO cool. The décor is totally what we wanted, and AKL delivers. Disney planned the savannah viewing areas behind the pool very well, along with the posts with the animal information and facts.
We didn’t eat at the Mara, but I went in one morning to get a cup of coffee. It was nice, clean, well-stocked and well laid out. The coffee was good, by the way. It is in the perfect location right near the pool. The pool area was great. The slide was fun, and the landscaping was lush.
We ate dinner at Boma one evening. Everything was great.
My only real downer was the bus wait times. I was ready for the trips to the Parks to take a little longer, and that was OK. It seemed that the Park we chose that day always had a long wait for the bus. It was too bad for us that we didn’t use the “whichever bus came first” method of Park decision.
I would stay at AKL again in a heartbeat.
We stayed in a savanna-view room in Jambo House (June 2011). The theming in the room and the resort itself is outstanding - a great example of what sets a Disney resort apart. Loved relaxing in the huge lobby and with a drink at Victoria Falls. A big reason why we love this resort is that it's home to two of our favorite restaurants - Jiko and Sanaa (in the Kidani building...a short walk/shuttle ride away). Really liked being able to grab a quick bite at the Mara and the pools at Jambo and Kidani are beautifully landscaped and themed. Transportation wasn't bad at all - we expected worse, but going into it with realistic expectations we really weren't disappointed. Can't wait to go back in December!
Stayed in a savanna view bunk bed room with the wife and 2 year old in August of 2012, and we were very impressed with this resort! Very reminiscent of the Wilderness Lodge, but with the African theme. I loved the lobby, particularly the continuously burning campfire, and the view from our room was fantastic! We utilized the shuttle to visit both pools during our stay, and they are both great for kids and adults.
This is a great resort for those who want to slow down and enjoy the hotel during your wdw stay, as there are lots of activities for the kids. The dining at AKL is really some of the best anywhere on property. The Mara is probably my favorite resort counter service restaurant, and the breakfast buffet at Boma is one of the best meals I've ever had on property. Highly recommend this resort!
Stayed there with my family back in 2006 during the Holidays. Booked a standard room with a view of the Savannah.
I will say that over all the AKL is a beautiful Resort. The decor is wonderful, and the lobby is very impressive. Never in my life had I ever seen anything like it. The rooms are great, very clean, with comfortable beds. I will , however say that they are not big enough for a family of four. I'd probably guess they are as big as a standard room at any of the All Star Resort, but much, much more expensive.
I like that they have a great African themed buffet right on property called Boma's. The food is very delicious there! Also, their hop is one of the nicest I've ever seen at any WDW property.
I will have to say that I can't and will not give this Resort a perfect 10. The room we requested was not exactly what we got. Yes , it had a view of trees, but not of THE (main) Savannah area, AND we got to see very little animals that were quite far, and not anywhere near our balcony :(
This is the best WDW Hotel I've ever stayed in! My room was right around corner from lobby & there were animals right outside my window. There are a ton of activities at hotel too as well as a cool pool. It is far from some of the parks but worth it in my opinion!
I have been to the Animal Kingdom Lodge twice now and am going back next May. It feels like you're away from everyday living. You're in another world altogether. The African decor is stunning. The food is so delicious. My favourite breakfast at Boma is quinoa which is an alternative to rice and wheat. The evening restaurant Jiko has very filling meals. Try some cinnamon bread. The Mara quick service restaurant has a vast range of meals. Butternut Squash Soup to me is irresistible. The bedrooms that I have been in so far have been comfortable, cosy and quiet. The balconies have had great views of animals wandering around the hotel grounds such as giraffes, ostriches, zebras, elands, blesboks, pelicans, storks and greater kudus. The staff members have delivered top customer service. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool with slides and divine hot tubs. Next door to the Mara is Pumbaa's Arcade which has different machines and air hockey table. My favourite machine is a pinball machine. It is so addictive. The hotel has a gift shop called Zawadi. It has the traditional gifts and a corner with food and drink supplies. There are pictures of the lodge in frames that look very detailed. There are regular complimentary bus services that go from the hotel to the theme parks. It is definitely essential if you don't drive or don't have a car. I strongly recommend it specially if you love animals.
We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for Christmas 2008. It was GREAT!!!! The view was phenomenal. We had birds eye views every morning of zebras and ostriches. You had the feeling that you were really in Africa for a safari trip.
Con: We asked the marketplace shop to pack our purchases and ship them home (like the other resorts do) and the lady handed us a beat up box and some paper to do it ourselves. Needless to say we struggled with packing fragile items and some didn't survive the trip.
The first night we got here, I wasnt expecting to see any animals as it was already dark, but we did and it was amazing!!! The staff were so friendly and were very helpful with telling us the best times to view the animals and history and culture of Africa. Disney really do go the extra mile.
I had seen some bad reviews and was a little worried, but I really believe that it is worth the money, seeing animals from your balcony evry morning and night is such a breathtaking experiance.
If I had to put a downside, then it would be transportation. It wasnt the worst thing it the world, most of the time it was easy to get too and from the parks, and I guess if you leave a park exactly after the fireworks then any hotel would be hard to get to. (so thi is only if im being really picky)
Before we went, I found it very hard to choose between staying here and Wilderness Lodge, and I have to say, If I had chosen to stay at Wilderness Lodge, I would have been so upset that I didnt stay at AK lodge, but I would never regret staying at AK!!!
AKL is my favorite hotel! I hope to stay in AKL for my birthday! I really love the shops and dining! The animals are awesome to watch right in your hotel room! For My birthday next month I hope to stay in the awesome hotel for me and my family!
I booked the last 2 nights of our 2005 Disney trip at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savanah view room as a surprise for my girlfriend. We had an amazing time! The rooms are so much better than the moderate resort rooms we normally stay in. The marble counter tops in the bathroom, bigger mirror, real decor on the walls, including very nice wall paper, all made the room so nice! Even the shower was nicer. Compared to the moderate resorts, these rooms are really decorated well and are taken care of.
As for the savanah view, we loved it! We woke up every morning with breakfast (delivered to our door each morning, an ammenity not available at moderate resorts) with the animals. The giraffes were our favorite! When the weather cooled down, the giraffes would come up closer to the resort. I have atleast an hour of video footage that I took of just the savanah view. Very much worth the $$!
The resort is also unbelievably close to the Animal Kingdom Park. In addition, you can walk around some of the savanahs outside and see the animals up close. If you stay here, be prepared to fill your memory cards with pictures and your tapes/hard drives with lots of video footage!
There are a couple negatives to this resort. The bus station is very busy, especially in the morning. One bus stop for the entire resort isn't right (we are used to 5 bus stops at Coronado). Also, the restuarants are very different from any other resort. If you like these adventurous types of menus, then you'll love your meals. However, the only food stop we enjoyed was the snack bar next to the pool. The rest of the food at the sit down restuarants were not for us.
Since we really only ate breakfast in our room, we forgot about the weird food and had patience at the bus stop. We enjoyed the end of our trip at Animal Kingdom Lodge very much! Highly recommend for animal fans!
Like most of the other posters here I have recentlee diskovered I can no longer spel or use cowrecked grammer or sintax.
I think it's the water, or the africant phood.
After staying in a savannah view room in the Jambo House I was really excited. The hotel rooms are extremely detailed. The wallpaper used throughout the room have very interesting designs of a map of African cities with some animal drawings on the map. The terraces gave a great exclusive and private view to see the animals. When you get to see a giraffe, cattle, or antelope walk closer and closer to your room you really feel like you are in the middle of Africa. Another great feature of this hotel is the restaurant Jiko. During my last vacation here I ate at both Jiko and California Grill. Personally I enjoyed Jiko more, I thought the food was great and that this cuisine was a unique and original one that I had never tried before.
awesome hotel for my birthday in
I had stayed at the AKL Villas in '07 and was ecstatic about them - everything from the theme to the pool to the amazing buffet breakfasts at Boma. I decided to take my family with me in '08, and our stay started quite differently... first, we had requested a two-bedroom villa and were placed in a one-bedroom, so took this up with the CM's and they placed us in a different room. The second room, although it was a two-bedroom villa, did not provide us with a view of the savannah but an appetizing view of... construction. We once again journeyed to the front desk, reiterated that we were DVC MEMBERS (remember, kids - it gets you places!) and they upgraded us to the Vice-Presidential Suite, free of charge. Needless to say, it was magnificent.
Kudos to an all around great resort, but even more props to how they handle their own mix-ups. They were very compliant, apologetic, and polite. Great staff, great pool, and I would highly recommend a savannah view over anything else.
It's a nice resort but the Savannah view is all that makes it worth the price. If I was paying more than $200 for a standard view, I would certainly stay somewhere else. Jiko is a nice place to eat.
Brilliant hotel - 3 wonderful stays!
I've stayed at AKL twice, and both times I enjoyed it. Pros: The atmosphere and decor are definitely unique (and amazing). The dining options are good, and the rooms were "Disney quality". I should add that both times we had special rates of roughly $150 a night.
Cons: Bus-only transportation around WDW; normal room rates are too expensive for this resort-- if I was going to spend over $250, I'd go for Contemporary, Poly, Wilderness Lodge, or one of the Boardwalk resorts (even if costs a little more).
i love how the animals are outside your window. great food and rest. great pool and other activities
The last four years we have spent 14 nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and not one of them have been disappointing. Staff are great, rooms are clean, the atmosphere is just awesome and to top it off you step out on your balcony to some stunning views.
Worth every penny!
JUST GOT BACK 09/14 TO 09/22/07 THIS RESORT IS SEROUS ANIMAL LOVER'S AFTER 3 DAY'S I TOOK ALL PIC'S I COULD. CHECKIN WAS CRAZY!! ROOM READY AT 4PM. THEY WERE NOT BUSEY. JUST NO MOUSEKEEPING!!! BUSSES NEVER ON TIME. SPENT ALOT ON CAB'S. WE WERE THERE FOR 9 DAY'S. WE LOVE DISNEY I BEEN GOING SINCE 1977. 2 TIMES IN 07. 1ST TIME THE FRENCH. BOMA WAS O.K. EVERTHING TOO SWEET! FOOD WISE. THE ANIMAL'S WERE AWSOME!!! HAD TO SWAPE A TOWEL RABBIT FOR MY WIFE. FOR THE MONEY YOU PAY! $345.00 A NIGHT PLUS TAX. CLEAN RESORT. NIGHT VISON WAS AWSOME!!! POOL WAS GREAT. TRY IT FOR YOUR SELF. SEE WHAT YOU THINK!!!
we dined at Boma the night we stayed here and it was a great experience. although the food was average, the variety was neat and they had african drummers while we dined! although a bit pricey, worth it to go atleast once.
the beds at AKL were the best we had during the whole week, having stayed at coronado and port orleans riverside as well. there were little towel animals that reminded you of the great disney hospitality and the wallpaper in the bathroom was unique. overall the african theming was delightful!
although i have heard from others their veiew of animals was bad, i saw alot of animals! they dont come out much in the morning, but at night around 4-8 there were alot of animals walking around and feeding right below our room! we had a savannah view room on the left side of the lodge on the 3rd floor. recommend a 3rd or 4th floor for the best animal viewing rooms.
overall the AKL was great, and i would recommend not visiting the parks on days you visit it. there is so much to do and see at the lodge itself, that going to the parks would be a waste of money on these days.
while we were there, the gift shop was visited by an Artist who does disney paintings, and we purchased a painting of the AKL he had done and got it signed while we were there! what a great souvenir!
Okay, lets start with the positives. It has a nice pool (not as nice as the other deluxe resorts) and it has a decent place to eat (you don't have to stay there to eat there though). That's it.
Now for the bad. It only has bus service. The maid service was horrible, dirt in our hallway was there the day we checked in and was still there the day we checked out. Animals are hardly ever out. Yeah we were there in the Summer and I was told in the hot times the animals are usually hiding from the heat in a place you can't actually see them. SO much for seeing animals. And the price. Sorry but if you don't get animals only the promise of animals and the occasional whiff of animal droppings I would rather stay in a barn.
If you are a animal lover, this is a must Resort. The place is very detail. In 2002, the bus transportation wasn't bad. But Bus is the only transportation. The Resort is very close to AK. For us that was a plus because AK is our favorite park.
I loved it hear. It feels like a deluxe hotel. My only concern was being 'out of everything'. Definately not. Bening in any other hotel than the ones on the monorail loop is a false reassurance. The truth is that the bus' ran so well and frequently going straight form the hotl to the parks with the longest wait ever being 15 minutess and mostly being 5 minutes. The room serivce was good, but expensive - the pizza me and my brother ordered for two of us could feed 5! And the mara gives you a cheap place to buy breakfast, snacks, etc. Savanah is great, but dont get to hung up on it - you get bored quick. But dollar ofr dollar, great value and if you have a whole family, I think it is a great place
This hotel is easily one of the best becuase it has a savannah full of animals. The food is of Africain culture and is quite delicious. The lobby is beautiful and the rooms are a sight to behold. This is THE hotel to stay at.
Wonderful rooms, very clean. Staff are knowledgeable and have great customer service skills. Pool is nice but I wish they had a separate adult pool.
We stayed for two nights, with a Savanah view, back in January. What a great time! It was amazing to see animals right outside our balcony any time we looked out the window. It was fun to explore the resort and enjoy the quiet corners and areas, very relaxing.
MY WIFE AND I STAYED AT AKL ON OUR HONEYMOON IN OCT'02, WHEN WE WALKED THROUGHT THE DOORS IT WAS OUTSTANDIG! THE THEMEING, MUSIC AND THE CAST MEMBERS WERE GREAT. BOTH THE JIKO AND THE BOMA HAVE EXCELLENT FOOD THEY WILL HAVE YOU COMING BACK FOR MORE. i WOULD RECOMMEND THIS RESORT TO ANYONE LOOKING TO HAVE A GREAT VACATION.
In a word, amazing. The overall experience was incredible. Be sure to take in all the craftsmanship, whether it's the furniture in your room, or in the lobby. Peruse the exhibits throughout the hotel. View the animals. Drop in on the nighttime story at the fire outside. To enhance your experience, if at all possible, pay a little more for the concierge service and a savannah view. You will absolutely not regret it.
I had an amazing time here, and the food, atmosphere, theming, and animals were so cool. if you like hanging out in the room, and you love animals, this is the place for you. Boma's is great, and I hear Jiko's is too.
A real experience but too pricy for every vacation
This is the best hotel at disney. I was one of the first persons to stay here and it was great. The themeing is unlike any other disney resort it is awesome. The pool is the only thing i didn't really enjoy here (kinda dull). The price is right for this hotel too you dont have to fork over 350 for this one it was only 175 for me. 5 stars
I love this resort.
I stayed here over the Christmas holidays (Dec. 26 2002-Jan. 1 2003)and I didn't want to leave. I wish that I would have had more time to just wander and explore the hotel. I thought it would be an hour or two of exploring at most, but I think it could easily take days.
My room was spacious for two large people and a lot of stuff and had plenty of room to get around.
If you can afford it stay here. I'm going to try and time my next visit during value season so I can get an even better deal. I had a pool view and wish I had forked over the money for a savanna view.
This resort exceeded everyone of my expections. When I first walked into the resort I was in aww. To make the experience even more amazing I walked around back and saw all of the animals and realized this has to be one of the coolest hotels ever built! The food at Boma was amazing and our rooms were nothing short of perfect.
This resort makes you feel like you are still in a theme park. Disney put alot of effort into this one and it shows. The detail is great. Nothing can compare to going onto your balcony and seeing the animals.
THis is one of the best hotels in WDW. The theming is the best part. When I first heard about AK Lodge I didn't realize it was going to be o big and have so many animals. It is deffinately worth the price.
The best hotel on property. Hell, mabey even the best Disney has ever created!
This particular resort brings new meaning to the term "luxury". I suppose that there is no other resort such as The Animal Kingdom Lodge on this earth to date which makes this place worth visiting regardless of the price. Evidently, the theming in conjunction with the "grand" architecture overshadows a good number of other resorts on the property which is why I reccommend visitors to take heed of the immaculate details because this resort requires a great deal of filming throughout the stay.
We stayed at the AK Lodge for the first time during our mini-visit to WDW in 2001 (three nights) and as soon as we got home we arranged for a week long visit in October 2002 and I can't wait.
ONLY WDW COULD DO THIS WITH THEIR ATENTION TO DETAIL.THIS IS A RESORT NOT TO BE MISSED.EAT AT BOMA OR JIKO TO GET AN INTRO INTO A WORLD CLASS EAPERIENCE
We loved AKL! It was the first time at a WDW resort where we found ourselves spending more time at the resort than we normally would. Usally the resort was just a place to lay your bones after a long day in the world, but AKL is very different.
There is so much to see at this resort. Great resturants (Boma and Jiko), a very nice pool, and the animals of course.
We has a second floor savanna view room. Many animal slept outside our balcony. The staff was friendly and very helpful. We had a great time. The only bad part was we had to leave. :(
Highly recommend AKL, everyone should stay there at least once!
UPDATE: We stayed a second time in October 2002.
This time we stayed in a deluxe room (5th Floor) and added concierge as well. This was deff. the dest vacation we've ever had. The addition of concierge made it so much more special. The CM's were great, they took care of everything for us. The Concierge Desk scheduled all our PS and even got us into the Princess Storybook Breakfast at the last minute when it had been sold out for months.
Plus using concierge makes you elegiable to take the Sunrise Safari tour. It's a extended long and detailed ride through the AK safari ride, followed by one heck of big breakfast spread. Limited seating and they only do it twice a week. If you do concierge, the tour is a must.
We love this place so much, we are planning another visit for October 2003.
I love the decore of the rooms and the hotel. We had an awesome room under one of the "straw" huts on the fifth floor. Viewing the animals on our balconey caused us to spend less time in the parks but we were more rested. The location may seem far away but only adds a couple minutes to your travel time to the parks. Food choices were nice and the pool was very plesent.
Gosh I love this resort. It is just beautiful looking and I absolutely love watching the animals...amazing resort.
I've just returned from Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. All I can say is- amazing! It's Disney at it's best. It would be very easy to spend a vacation here without even venturing into the parks.
The atmosphere is wonderful, the lodge is filled with authentic African art and artifacts. The place even smells incredible.
The cast members are very helpful and friendly. They offer all sorts of activities in the lodge for adults and children: cookie decorating for the kids at Boma, lodge tours, animal feeding demonstrations, cultural safarais, and more!
There is only one drawback to the resort, it's far from everything except Animal Kingdom. This wasn't a big deal for me, but it may be for some. One word of advice (especially if you have a savannah view room) bring bug repellant!
In our case the value for the money was excellent. We booked a standard room using a savings code, but recieved an upgrade to a savannah view. I plan to stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge again next year.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is my favorite Disney resort. I loved having the opportunity to watch all the animals. It was very peaceful and relaxing. Never in my life have I been so tempted to skip going to the parks all together!
Even if you don't get a savannah view room, there are many places to watch the animals. And even if you don't really want to watch the animals, this is a beautiful, extensively themed, hotel. The details are endless! There are also many people on hand to teach you about the animals and African cultures.
I was disappointed by the pool. It was crowded, and shallow. However, I didn't miss swimming. I was too busy watching the animals!
People who tend to prefer the more sprawling resorts may feel a bit hemmed in, as the vast majority of the grounds are for animals only. However, the savannah is far more impressive than any garden or beach I've ever seen at any other resort.
The food is very good. There are many opportunities to try more exotic dishes, but plenty of standard American fare to fall back on. This is especially true of Boma, which as a buffet allows for sampling many dishes.
The resort itself is a bit out of the way, but the bussing (which is the only Disney provided transportation to and from the resort) is very good.
Once you look out your hotel room window and see a giraffe walk by, you'll never want to leave!
If you've ever wanted to travel to Africa, but just haven't had the money, or didn't want to catch Malaria, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is the place to go!
When you are driving up to the lodge, you see little bits above the vast brush. Even the light posts look like something you would see in Africa! When you step out of your car, you can hear the African music playing in the background. Then walk through the doors, and straight infront of you you can see the African savannah. The low-cut celings were fun, and the thatched roofs were great!
Room sizes were rather small, for a Deluxe Resort, but the views make up for it all! There are three different savannahs in which you can view the animals.
The restaraunts are very good also! I recommend Boma for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Jiko is also a good choice. The food court was very nice also. Hours were a little limited though.
The pool was great! I would suggest a either a pool view room, or a Savannah view room.
The gift shop was great as well. Alongside the regular Disney themed items, there are different hand carved sculptures, and other items from, or representing Africa.
This is my favorite Disney resort, and I hope you will find it just as good as I did!