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“Nice balance of Disney fun and quiet relaxation” 4 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   |  
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Ranked #27 of 327 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Austin, Texas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Nice balance of Disney fun and quiet relaxation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 7, 2013

I stayed here for five nights with my family while vacationing at Disney. For our last Disney trip, we chose Port Orleans French Quarter and enjoyed it (I wrote a review of that property as well if you want to check it out). We chose AKL for this trip because we were traveling with my in-laws and they are Disney Vacation Club owners; also, because I had heard wonderful things about the property. I was also curious to compare the difference between moderate and deluxe classes of resorts at Disney.

In my opinion, you can really see the difference between deluxe and moderate. There is nothing wrong with moderate - you will get clean, well-maintained grounds and rooms and access to the Disney shuttles. I think that the difference between the two categories is that you get a higher level of comfort and luxury with the upgrade from moderate to deluxe. And of course, the theming is great. Not nearly as over-the-top as some of the other resorts, but very detailed and consistent throughout the property. I think that the difference can be described quite well with the check-in process. When we stayed at POR, we arrived and queued up to check in. When we stayed at AKL, there was someone to greet us as we stepped off the shuttle. She showed us a seat in the lobby and took care of everything. We never even went to the counter.

The hotel and rooms are dark and, in keeping with the theme, faux rustic. This dark peacefulness was a nice contrast to the hot sunshine and hustle and bustle of the parks. We got bunk bed rooms and the kids just loved them. The rooms were a bit on the small side, and I think that the bunk beds made them seem even smaller, but we did not mind this. My in-laws had a suite that was absolutely spectacular. It was basically an apartment located on the resort property.

We ate at Boma and Mara (the counter serve option) and found the food at both to be exceptional. We also enjoyed the pool and hot tubs, which are beautiful and well-maintained. I kind of wish that we had carved out more pool time during our stay, but the time just flew by. Also, we had quite a bit of rain on our trip, which also limited the pool time.

The only serious drawback we encountered on our trip was that one day we came back from the parks and the glass slider door of our ground-level room was wide open. After checking to confirm that there were no intruders lurking in the shower or closet, we called the front desk to complain. They told us that housekeeping opens the sliders when they clean and that they must have forgotten to close it when we left. Fortunately, nothing was missing and it turned out to be a non-event. But that is definitely NOT ok. This is why I rated the room service as "average"; our rooms were cleaned every day and we had not other issues with housekeeping. The other drawback was that the A/C was a bit out of date - it seemed to have two temperatures: hot or cold. So if it was set at 74 and you turned it down to 72, you would be blasted with cold air. But if you turned it to 75, suddenly the heat was on. This was a minor inconvenience and hopefully one that will be corrected the next time the hotel is rennovated.

I have heard that the location of this hotel feels remote and far away. We used the shuttle service and had no problem accessing any of the parks. We never had a shuttle that was insanely full or crowded, even though we were there during peak weeks for Disney (the first week of July).

All in all, we really enjoyed this hotel and would stay here again. It is a comfortable, relaxing, family friendly environment with good food and service. And of course, the animals are cool.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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4,555 reviews from our community

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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (1,161)
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English first
Smithfield, PA
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

I loved staying in the animal kingdom lodge. It was beautiful and We loved seeing the animals right from our hotel. The pool was nice, two separate hot tubs in private areas were great, a small water slide was an added bonus, and the rooms were nice but not very big. The bathroom was tiny, however it only contained a bathtub/shower unit and toilet , with the double vanity being outside of that and separated a little bit from the beds. The balconies were very nice and private. Room service menu was reasonably priced but the food was very unappealing in description. Not much American fare as most room services offer, however , there were several restaurants in hotel and take out places that were good. i dont recommend Boma. the bus rides to disney were about 20 min each way to magic kingdom but they came often . The staff was very friendly . The gift shops in Disney will have your purchases sent directly to your Disney hotel on property . We could not see the magic kingdim fireworks at night from our hotel . I did enjoy that there was a laundry facility on site at the hotel . Staying on Disney property is great , although Disney is 47 square miles , so unless you stay in a hotel in the magic kingdom that has the monorail (Polynesian , grand Floridian , and contemporary) ,you have to use the Disney buses . I'm sure it would be much harder to drive from a hotel off property to Disney because I don't know if they offer free shuttle service to the four parks . The busses drop you off fairly close to the ticket depot at the parks . All in all , we got a very decent price for the animal kingdom from this site. The value hotels on property are comparable in price but not in quality .

  • Stayed July 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

One night at this resort is simply not enough. We were amazed. Where else do you wake up and find zebras, ostriches and giraffes outside your balcony only a few feet away? There are "experts" to help you find and identify animals. All of them are knowledgeable and willing to answer any questions. The room was quiet (AC was great) and roomy and what a view! The pool was awesome, just the right temperature and plenty of room. Another nice feature, airline check-in. It worked just like "curbside" check-in (without the hassle at the airport) and our bags made it to our destination, no issues. Next time, we're staying longer.

We used Disney's Magical Express (free) for our return flight. They were on time and got us to the airport in plenty of time for our flight.

  • Stayed June 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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PA
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2013

Let me start by saying that this hotel is amazing and Disney's attention to detail is unmatched. That being said, it really needs to fit your style to feel comfortable. We have stayed at the Contemporary, Boardwalk (our favorite), Yacht Club, and the Polynesian. This is by far our least favorite.

The PROS:
The staff is Disney staff so they were helpful, charming, and entertaining.
This resort provides the MOST additional activities for children that we have ever seen.
Seeing animals every day is exciting and unusual, especially when they are right outside of your room.
Transportation seemed adequate. Almost every bus went right to the park without stopping at another resort. Buses do stop at Kidani Village first when returning to the resort.
The smoothie at Mara is perfect!
Thought the beds were pretty comfy.

The CONS:
Some things are starting to need an update. Wallpaper was peeling, showers a bit rusty ( I am hoping that was not an intentional decoration)
Furniture is very big in the room and it feels like the rooms are a bit smaller than other resorts that we have stayed at.
Dark (you will see this in many reviews) - we brought a night light which helped a bit
Very ethnic (could be a good thing, but for us it was too much)
The pool is a bit boring compared to others

Some mishaps and how they were fixed:
When we arrived we were greeted by the bell hops (luggage people) and told my husband to go be with his family and that they would take care of the luggage from the limo company.

We were upgraded from a standard room to a savannah view. It was an okay view but it was still an upgrade (not going to complain). When we got to the room the keys did not work. Once that was fixed, we went into our room started unpacking.

Once all of our shower items were unpacked we noticed a leak in the shower wall. Where there are leaks, there can be mold. Not good with 2 kids under 5 with asthma. We also noticed our 2 single strollers did not arrive with the luggage. It turns out that the luggage guys left our strollers in the car but we didn't notice until our luggage arrived to our room.We went to the concierge and told them how the keys did not work, our strollers were missing, and there was a leak. We were upgraded to the Arusha view (expensive!!!) and they told us to rent a stroller from the park and they would reimburse us. We got to the new room and the keys did not work again!!! Back we go! Once that was figured out we were able to call the limo co and they said they would drop off the strollers at 3:30 that afternoon.

When we arrived back to our room around 9 that night, we went to get our strollers and they could not find them. The limo co said when and where they were dropped off. Disney offered to buy us new strollers the next morning and send someone to walmart or Target. Not ideal but it was a nice gesture. By 12am we were frustrated and tired. I just wanted our strollers!!! They ended up giving us a $200 credit for poor experience and the aggravation with the lost strollers.

The next morning our strollers were located.

Throughout all of this nonsense, the staff was SUPER helpful. I think it helped that I was polite and kept a smile on my face all while letting them know that I was disappointed.

In all, I liked the resort. I was not comfortable there, but as you can see with the other resorts we like, this one is a bit outside of the box for us.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Dartmouth, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

My family and I stayed here two years in a row because we loved the atmosphere so much. The rooms are clean and comfortable. You really need to pay the extra for a savannah view if possible I know there are look outs but I really enjoyed having coffee in the morning on the patio watching the animals and the kids looked forward to coming back from the parks to sit on the patio too. The pool is great and all of the restaurants here were good, althought the buffet is amazing. The only negative is having a room far back which we did the second time because it can be a hike getting to your room after a long day out carrying sleeping kids.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 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.
Harrisburg, PA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

Fifth trip to Disney World, first staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. For some reason, maybe the price, I expected the rooms to be bigger. The Lodge is beautiful, especially the lobby area. The food at Boma and Mara were good. My only real complaint was the pool. It was warm. I don't know if it was heated or not, but in June the pool should feel refreshing, not like a small child germfest. Views from the room's balcony were nice--the animals never got very close. Great service from everyone as usual in Disney's employment! The Hoopty Doo review continues to please the crowd. Great character breakfast at the Polynesian Resort.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Jakarta, Indonesia
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 3, 2013

At least once in a lifetime we dream of going to wilderness to seek for adventure, to experience the wilderness, only we always consider the risk in the wild.

Animal Kingdom Lodge take our fantasy to the place but with the convenience of a 5 star. Clean, Spacious, and yet keep the authentic African artistic fills up every corner of the experience.

What can I say? I just want to go back there again ......

Room Tip: Arusha Savanna View is the best.
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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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
Phone Number:
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
#31 Family Hotel in Orlando
#45 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):
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

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