My husband and I stayed here for 7 nights for our honeymoon. It was a dream trip for us. We had booked a king-size bed room with a savannah view.
Our 1st 24 hours at the hotel were difficult. We had to wait several extra hours for a king-size bed room. When we got the room at Jambo House, which overlooked the Uzima Savannah, the first thing I noticed was the very strong stench of mold/mildew. You could even smell it in the hallway. We decided to try and air out the room while we went to dinner and make the best of it.
We came back several hours later to find that the fridge, which I had put groceries AND medications in, was not working and everything was warm. We lost the food which wasn't a lot, but aggravating. We called the front desk and they brought us up a new fridge. It was 10pm at night and I was a bit cranky due to traveling all day and exhaustion. We also noticed that there were no animals on the savannah in the afternoon, evening, and the next morning. It was quite disappointing since that was the main reason we chose to stay at this resort.
The next morning, my asthma and allergies were really acting up which is VERY unusual for me in Florida. I attribute it to the continued mold stench in the room. We went to the front desk and requested a new room. To make a long story short, they agreed to upgrade us to an Arusha savannah view room (we did not know that the Arusha view costs more and is an upgrade but it is) however there was a lot of miscommunication throughout the day as to when the room would be ready. We had to REpack all of our stuff and leave it at bell services. We came back from the Animal Kingdom park at noon like they told us to move into our new room. It wasn't ready until 4pm.
As I said, this was our honeymoon and I was determined that nothing was going to ruin it...and it didn't. But, it was trying.
Our new room was spectacular. I am actually glad that we had the room issues because the view from our new room was fantastic...giraffes, zebras, etc. etc. No smell, king-sized bed. We had to compromise for a handicap accessible room but I have some physical issues so that all worked out for me. I have to make mention of the water pressure in the showers...out of this world!
The resort is big and it seems like some room are quite far from the lobby. Our new room was close but not too close to be disturbed by noise. If you have any physical issues though, keep this in mind.
The décor and atmosphere is second to none at this resort and we loved every minute we spent there from the 2nd day on. The staff are great at sharing their heritage with guests and there are a lot of educational opportunities. The pool area is the best I have ever seen at a hotel anywhere and I love the private, secluded hot tubs.
We ate at both Jiko and Boma and loved both of them, especially Boma. The gift shop is amazing and seriously, you could spend hours just relaxing in the lobby.
The room are on the smaller side (both the regular and handicap accessible rooms) but we did not find them uncomfortable for 2 of us. 4 might be a different story. I also had a small scooter that I kept in the room and we had plenty of room. The bathroom are a good size. Bed was very comfortable and we did not have any issue with outside noise keeping us up...despite having children in a room nearby.
I read a million reviews about this place before we went and a common complaint was the distance from the parks, except for AK. We went during a slower season and did not find the commute time bad. 20 minutes to MK. The only exception was getting to Downtown Disney. We had one trip on a Friday evening that took us well over an hour. But we figure we are on vacation, so enjoy and spend the time relaxing while someone else drives. I actually liked the remote location of AKL because it was a quiet place to go back to. We had visited The Polynesian and The Contemporary during the week and those places were crazy-busy!
I guess the question remains, would we stay here again? I think we would if we could get the same room or a similar room because we loved the atmosphere so much. But, there are so many other resorts at Disney to check out that are more reasonably priced so it is hard to say.
- 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