I'm writing this review from room 7844, a one bedroom savanna view villa. We are currently on day #5 of our 8 day vacation and this is the second time we've stayed here - and will definitely not be our last. I'll break this review down into specific categories in order to help organize my thoughts.
Overview: The best advice I can give for non-Disney Vacation Club timeshare members who are interested in booking a room here is to rent DVC points from an owner and save close to 50% of what Disney charges when you book through them directly. Disney wanted $4700 for 8 days/7 nights. I rented DVC points and got the same room for the same time period for $2600.
Location: One of the more isolated resorts in WDW, so there aren't a lot of outside amenities around and you will need to drive or take a bus to get anywhere - but the wild animals lounging outside your balcony 24 hours a day need space. The views more than make up for it.
Parking: Convenient covered parking on the first floor of the resort. Makes for a cooler car and protection from rain when going from the car to your room.
Room: Simply spacious with nice African/Lion King style theming. All the standard amenities of a DVC resort room, including a full kitchen, dishwasher, and in-room washer/dryer. An added benefit is that the 1-bedroom villas have 2 bathrooms. The living room has a sofa with a queen size pullout bed as well as a comfy chair with a full size pullout bed. The balcony is large and provides decent privacy. During our stay Disney upgraded the door locks from the standard electronic locks with slots to RFID readers so all you need to do now is tap your keycard on the door to unlock it - nice touch. My only gripe is that the room could have brighter lighting.
TV: Horrible. The LCD flatscreens in the living room and bedroom are fine, but for some reason Disney still chooses to provide only analog, non-widescreen, standard-definition signals of every channel. Local channels look like they're being broadcast over the air from 1990 - lots of noise and static. Seriously? Come on, this is 2012.
Pool: smallish pool compared to Jambo House but very nicely decorated, with a longer/higher waterslide, outdoor ping pong table, and kids' water play area. You can always go and use the pool at Jambo House if you wish.
Internet: Disney is in the process of rolling out systemwide free WiFi across all of WDW, including the parks as well as all of its resorts. When I stayed here 2 years ago, they still had wired internet in every room for a fee, which albeit expensive, was decently fast. No longer. Although the ethernet jacks are still in the rooms, they don't work. This time, the only word I can use to describe the free WiFi is ATROCIOUS. Throughput speed, when it works, maxes out at about 1mbps. The rest of the time, it was an exercise in frustration. Data transfer would stop randomly every 5-15 minutes and the only way to fix the issue would be to turn WiFi off on my computer or iPad, turn it back on again, and reconnect to the network. I finally got so tired of dealing with this and ended up tethering my devices via WiFi to my 4G smartphone, which gave me better speeds and more consistent connectivity. In short, Disney's free WiFi is CRAP. Hopefully this changes soon.
However, none of these drawbacks would prevent me from staying here again. It's a beautiful resort with large rooms, incredible views, and a very nice example of the Disney vacation experience. Just don't pay full price - there are ways to stay here for much cheaper than what Disney charges.
Savanna view rooms are the most expensive but worth it
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.