We just returned from our week long Disney vacation. We booked a Standard Room and upon check-in were given a room closer to transportation/dining as requested. My father and step-mother were also traveling with us and were given a room on the other end of the resort. After the staff asked if we would be willing to change rooms to be closer to my parents (at my parents request) we finally made our way up to the room. We were pleased to find that we had been upgraded to a Savanna view. I'm sure this had a lot to do with the fact that it was off season and was my father's first trip to Disney. We were in the 2300 room area and were quite a walk from dining and transportation, which was tough being pregnant with three children, but it is no fault of the resort as they gave us a closer room originally.
The staff ranged from nice to exceptional. I have high expectations of Disney so I could be asking a little much, but some of the front desk staff were just average (for Disney). Surprisingly, the front desk staff working late nights (around 12 to 1am when we returned from EMHs) were the kindest and most cheerful. Housekeeping and Bell Service were awesome and there were always plenty of people at the front desk to help so we rarely had to wait.
The pool and playground were nice. We all loved the zero entry portion of the pool, including my 1 year old. We ate at Boma, which was nice but didn't really offer much that my kids were interested in eating. The counter service area was crowded, even in the off season, but had a good selection.
Overall, my experience was wonderful. My only few complaints were the distance to transportation, the commute from the resort to some of the parks, and the lack of outdoor space. I already covered the walking to transportation, and that is the price I paid for changing rooms/getting an upgrade, so no big deal there. The buses were a little crowded (you share with AK Kidani Village for DVC guests and they are the first picked up and dropped off) even in the off season so I ended up standing on many of the commutes. The distance to the parks (aside from AK, obviously) is a bit of a commute, so plan accordingly. We did attempt to drive to MK and DD and, even with my complaints about the buses, they are still the way to go. Finally, one of the drawbacks of staying at the resort, for me, was the closed in feeling or feeling that there wasn't much outdoor space. This may be a small price to pay for some to see the animals roaming free, but for me was a drawback.
In conclusion, we really enjoyed our stay and I would definitely recommend this resort. My few nit-picky issues are really just a matter of personal preference and I see no reason why someone couldn't have a perfect 5 star stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Step into the heart of Africa at this magnificent Resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design provides spectacular views of 4 lush savannas that over 200 hoofed animals and birds call home. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and one of the largest collections of African art in the United States as you experience your own African safari adventure with a touch of Disney magic. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Animal Kingdom Florida
- Disneys Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney Animal Kingdom Resort
- Disney Animal Kingdom Hotel
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Disney
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Orlando
- Animal Kingdom Hotel Disney
- Disneys Animal Kingdom Hotel
- Animal Kingdom Hotel Florida