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“Magically Amazing” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
4.0 of 5 Resort   |   2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #28 of 327 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Saint Michael, Minnesota
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Magically Amazing”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We were so excited to arrive after a very long day of travel. Michael checked us in, it was his first day and he was "earning his ears"-he did a fantastic job, was pleasant, answered all of my questions, and had us checked in in no time at all-thanks for a wonderful start to our vacation Michael! We were so happy to see that we had a savannah view room in a standard rate-I don't believe this was an upgrade, but some of the standard view rooms happen to have a view of the savannah. We were on second floor which seemed perfect. There are many opportunities to see the animals throughout the resort as well and they do a lovely job of encouraging the animals to roam throughout the grounds. I think we saw every kind of animal at one point or another. We enjoyed the extra activities as well such as cookie making, pool party, learning the bongos with staff, medallion rubbing. All were fun experiences.

I had been reading some negative reviews online prior to going, and these are my feelings on these items as I took time to note them while there and asked my husband his opinions as well:
-low lighting-I did not feel the room lighting was any lower than other hotel rooms. In fact, we didn't use all of the lights in the room. In the halls, lights are not florescent lighting, it is a nice lamp sort of lighting. This is part of the theme of the hotel, and we found it nice after a busy day.
-small rooms-we felt these rooms were what you would normally have in regard to the size of any room in a hotel. It is not a suite-it is a standard room-and was very adequate for a standard room. What makes it deluxe was the upgraded fixtures, theming, and overall appearance of the room as well as having a balcony. We found it to be a nice upgrade from a moderate resort which we have stayed at in the past.
-water pressure-we found the water pressure to be great. The shower head adjusts-so if you want the feel of less pressure-use one setting, if you want it to feel stronger pressure, put it on another setting. We found it met our needs very well. Additionally, the clothes line that you can pull out in the shower was a nice touch for drying wet suits.
-wait for busses-this was no longer or no shorter of a wait than the moderate that we had stayed at. We never waited longer than 15 minutes for a bus. The longest ride, of course, is to Magic Kingdom-as you would expect when looking at the map. If you must stay close to the MK, then this is not the resort for you. If you want to eat and sleep with amazing animals then this is a wonderful resort for you.
-Hospitality-I have found that your experience is often what you make of it-we treated the CM's kindly and with happiness. We received kind and happy service in response. Everyone we encountered was happy, interactive with our kiddos, and were family friendly.
-Food-We ate at the Mara most of the time. It is quick service-expect quick service level of food. Exception-the chicken flat bread was excellent and I could have eaten it everyday. We thought the food was good.
-Cleanliness of the rooms-we had no complaints. The room was spotless when we arrived, we had a towel Mickey Mouse on the day of arrival, and our room was cleaned daily with extra shampoos, etc added to our room each day. We appreciated the wonderful service.
-Walk-again, this is all in perspective. The walk was far less than what we had when we stayed at a moderate-and it was an air conditioned walk as opposed to walking outside, so we were more than happy.
-Pool-was heated, and was just the right temperature to us for cooling off in. It would have been too cool to swim in on a cold day, but was just right in the 80 degree temps.

My husband had gotten ill during the trip and needed to go to the Dr.-we were surprised that there was even a free shuttle to a clinic by Downtown Disney for him to go to quickly and then get back to the fun the best that he could. Disney really has thought of everything. Additionally, when it was time to leave, Disney had printed out our boarding passes and or magical express passes, and delivered them to our room which was lovely. From beginning to end it was absolutely seemless and disney took care of everything, we felt very well cared for. Well done, Disney!!

Room Tip: When checking in, if you have a standard room, ask politely to have a savannah room if possible-you...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Sherwood Park, Canada
Top Contributor
51 reviews 51 reviews
22 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 17, 2013

We stayed here because its close to Animal Kingdom. Its our first time to Disneyworld. We realized after that we could have stayed off-Disney for MUCH cheaper, rented a car and come into Disney every day just for the themeparks.
It was still interesting, however, to stay at this hotel simply because if you get a room with a view, then you basically have an African Safari park right outside your hotel window! Its relaxing to sit on your balcony and see which animals you can spot.
The hotel is quite nice, especially compared to other Disney hotels which are just your average old hotels. This one stands out because it seems like you are in a hotel in Africa.
We were also lucky that we could get into the buffet there to eat a few meals and so did not have to make meal reservations months in advance like at other Disney hotels. NOTE that we were here during a non-busy time of year, so if you come during a busy time then i think you need reservations for the buffet well in advance too.
Quick bus trip to Animal Kingdom for the day. You cannot find a more convenient hotel for that.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Madison, Alabama
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
40 helpful votes 40 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

Let me explain my perspective of the stay. I will have to preface this review by saying that I am truly a positive person, and it really pains me to write something negative. However, I hope that this will steer other families away from a possible unsatisfying experience.

This stay at the Animal Kingdom lodge was at the end of our vacation. We started the trip with a two night stay at the Grand Floridian. Then we went on a Disney 4-night cruise. Followed by one night at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for one night prior to flying back home.

My wife and I have 2 children (toddler/infant stages) and chose this hotel so that we could see the animals from our room, and also get club level service. We took a limo from the cruise to the hotel. As our cruise arrived in the morning, we arrived a few hours earlier than check-in. We planned to drop off our luggage and go to the Animal Kingdom park. We had a 2 bedroom club level suite reserved.

When we arrived to the hotel around 10am, none of the valet were able to help us with our luggage. Being a club level guest and paying $1500-2000 for the night, it was a little surprising that I had to handle my own luggage and then wait in line at the registration desk. They only had one person at the desk and we waited approximately 25 minutes prior to speaking with the staff regarding our reservation and luggage storage. We were then told that we should have been taken to the club level, and then we had to wait a bit more for someone to escort us to the club level desk for check-in.

When we finally were escorted to the club level desk, there was another wait. The club level attendant was assisting another family and we waited approximately 10 more minutes. My mother was not feeling too well, so I inquired to the possibility of early check-in. At approximately 11am, I was told that early check-in would not be a problem as the cleaning staff were cleaning the room as we spoke. It would take 1-1.5 hour maximum prior to our room being available. I offered to pay for another room that was vacant, but was told that was not necessary. My mother said that she would just stay at the club lounge area and wait the short time for the room while we went to the Animal Kingdom.

While I was with the rest of my family at Animal Kingdom, I get a call from my mother at 1pm stating the the room was still not ready. Of course, I understand the check-in is 3pm, but we were specifically told that our room would be ready earlier. My mother made the decision to not go to the Animal Kingdom based on the information. She was planning to rest - which of course not comfortable in a public area (club lounge area). I called and was told that it would be ready within the hour. At 2pm, the room was not ready. Recap: my mother is not feeling well and is being forced to stay in the lounge area. I call again and was told that the room would be ready within 30 minutes. At 3pm (the normal check-in time), room still not ready. At 4pm, room still not ready - empty promises from multiple managers. Room finally ready at around 430pm (a full 4 hours after it was promised). I, of course, was not able to enjoy any of my time at the Animal Kingdom, because I was on the phone for half of it trying to find out why I was being fed incorrect information and the other half with my mother who was distraught. For our inconvenience, we were given 25% room rate credit to our hotel account. We were finally told that the room could not be 'ready' until a housekeeping manager have reviewed it since it was a club level suite.

Common sense: When someone pays over $1000/night for a room, they are probably not worried about a few hundred dollars. They just want good honest service. When we got to the room, I expected it to be spectacularly clean due to the amount of time it had taken to turn over the room. Not the case. Table was dirty, baby pacifier and other debris under the furniture. Definitely not indicative of a quality resort. The room was a bit dated. Bed uncomfortable and hard. Took the a while to deliver the luggage. However, the views were definitely unique with the wildlife.

Trying to stay positive, we still tried to make the most of the visit. My parents did not stay because they were so upset with the hotel - and left to stay with my sister in Tampa. My wife, kids, and I went to Jiko for dinner. We did not want anything for the gift shop, so we thought we would spend the 25% room credit on dinner and some wine. Unfortunately, our youngest was not being cooperative. My wife did not bring her room card down, so she took mine to take our little one back to the room - as to not disturb the other guests. The rest of us finished dinner, and then came the bill. Everything looked fine, so I asked them to bill my room. My waiter (who was fabulous) then called the manager. I did not have my room key, and thus they could not bill my room. That seemed a bit odd, but I didn't argue. I told them that I would go put my other daughter to bed and return with my card later in the evening. The manager instructed me to ask for her when I returned, and she would help me take care of the bill.

When I came back down, the manager appeared free. I asked the greeter to please notify the manager that I had returned with my room card and was ready to take care of my bill. For the next 20-25 minutes, the manager walked around aimlessly, straightened some menus, and talked to a few of the other guests prior to allowing me to take care of my bill. It was clear that she was making me wait as a sort of some passive aggressive punishment. Maybe my fault for not being familiar with Disney's policies - but I have never been to a hotel restaurant where you couldn't bill the room with you room number and ID. I would have just paid with my credit card, but we had the room credit for our previous inconvenience. Nevertheless, I would have gladly not even received the room credit - to avoid having being treated this way by the manager.

Other than the view, the only positive of the stay was the hotel's in house airport check-in. It was quite convenient to check our luggage at the hotel - and not have to lug all the bags to the airport. It was unfortunate to end our great trip (Grand Floridian and Disney cruise were excellent) on a sour note. I did not feel the views made up for the shortcomings of this resort.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

Beautiful welcoming hotel. Grounds are well kept as were the small rooms. We arrived at hotel early and our room was not ready. We were fine exploring the grounds but check in was at 3:00 and it was after that when we were finally given our room. We were fine with the bus transportation to and from Disney World. Never waited very long and it was nice to get back to the hotel away from all of the noise of the parks. The animals were beautiful and is was a great experience. Dinner at Boma was very good and very expensive. I don't think there is any justification to charge for a 3 year old child for a buffet meal. We paid over $25.00 and I think my grand daughter ate a couple of tablespoons of rice and fruit. The age for children should be raised to at least 5. This kept us from eating at this restaurant again. Everyone was very friendly and very nice. I would stay here again and recommend it .

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We just came back from five nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. This was our second stay at the AKL and it did not disappoint. The hotel is just beautiful and is very unique. We reserved rooms on the concierge level, and it was completely worth the added cost. From the moment we walked up the driveway from the Magic Express, we were treated with the best service. No one walks by without saying hello and smiling. We gave the greeters our name and they immediately took us upstairs to check-in on the concierge level. (And we had a Jungle Juice mimosa while checking in! Highly recommend them!) Everyone on the concierge level went to great lengths to make our stay special--especially Sam- he made our family feel so welcome each day we were there. Every day we looked forward to coming "home" after our long day at the parks to the hotel and the concierge lounge, which is a relaxing and peaceful retreat when you have been in the parks all day. My family woke up to a wonderful breakfast every morning and then looked forward to wine and desserts when we came back every night. We have stayed on other concierge levels at other hotels (Ritz etc.) but none of them gave us the level of service we received here. Thank you to Sam and his co-workers for making our stay at Disney truly memorable.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rochester
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We Loved our stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom. We had a great view of the animals from our room balcony. Even if you do not have a view from your room you can see the animals from the hotel lobby. We loved the convenience of staying on site with young children and talking the bus in to the parks. We had a great experience at the hotel pools. There are quite a few pools to choose from and our kids had fun on the water slides at the hotel pool. My youngest loved to dip his toes in the wading pool!
We splurged and had dinner at Boma in the hotel and my husband and I really enjoyed it! The kids did well. Plus you can get a super close view of the animals from Boma.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Robbinsville, New Jersey
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2013

One of the best places to stay at WDW!!! Very impressed with the hotel.. Staff and service are excellent. We stayed in the club room and it was well worth the extra cost to have all the snacks, water, sodas, in the am.

The only thing is that the hotel rooms are very small for what you pay, but the balcony view, and common areas, the swimming pools etc were great! Kids activities were good. The transportation to the parks was easy. Well worth it to stay if you have kids who love animals.

Awesome visit.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Address: 2901 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#8 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#14 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#30 Family Hotel in Orlando
#68 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 972
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African lodge-style resort amidst a 43-acre wildlife preserve. The Resort offers authentic African-inspired architecture and the kraal African-village landscape design—a semi-circle design popular in Africa which offers expansive views of the surrounding savanna and its many animal inhabitants. ... 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

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