My Wife and I booked the the AKL on a spur of the moment thing for our sons 5th birthday from 10th to 17th of April…We Only went to buy some trainers!.
Anyway we didn't research the place before hand but we took a gamble and it paid off.
The place is amazing, very well thought out. The staff on the front dest were very helpful and very friendly well just like all the Disney cast members.
I will try to go through everything to help anyone deciding in staying here.
We didn't book the savannah room… as like I said before we didn't know about them at the time of booking. So we had a standard room.
The rooms are large enough for a Family of 4 we had plenty of space with only 3 of us for the like of storage and TV don't forget to give your bags to the bell service in reception…but don't forget to tip.
They are tastefully decorated and of a very good standard although if you like a bath like me they are a little on the small side if your over 6ft.
As for the Savannah rooms. We got a standard room that was a good 7 minute solid walk away from the food hall and we still had a perfect view of the animals every day.
The savannahs are quite expensive to book in peak times but if you go what is classed as the off peak times they will normal give you a free upgrade.
For me personally they not worth the extra money 1. your not in your room long enough 2. if you are your normally sleeping. Obviously if they give you it for free enjoy.
They have 3 restaurants in AKL basically like all of Disney resort's 3 tiers…Cheap … Moderate …Deluxe.
We ate in the Cheap one everyday as we wanted to be out fast so it was pretty much run in grab something and go.
Bare in mind when I say Cheap it means Its just cheaper than the moderate not meal deal at boots cheap.
The food is pretty basic, The moderate is pretty much the same as the cheap normally a buffet but you get real plates not paper ones but the food is just the same.
As your staying on Disney property you will receive the magic bands when you check in these are used as your room key,fast passes ( VERY GOOD ) make reservations ( IMPORTANT ) and finally payment.
We had some slight problems with ours but we gave it the benefit of the doubt as it is a brand new system so just go see guest relations and they will fix it all for you. It has a $1500 a day limit which is linked to your credit card or if your from the UK and have a visa debit this works also, do bare in mind though if you don't clear it every couple of days like I did the final payment will be automatically deducted from your account before you check out.
Also download the My Disney Experience app for your smart phone or iPad I think its for android too. if you don't have these you can use a laptop to log in through the online version.
Use this app to make reservations at the restaurants,check the wait times in the parks, check the location of the characters for autographs, where the toilets are basically a disney sat nav it has GPS positioning so you won't get lost.
You can use this app to make dinner and lunch reservations from 180days before you go which I would recommend as the restaurants in down town disney and around the parks get very very booked up. they do accept walk ins but like everything else expect a min 1 - 2 hour wait.
The restaurants around the parks are good but the best ones are found around the hotels although some of the hidden ones are around world showcase in Epcot. and don't get me wrong some are utter pants and are very expensive for rubbish food even some of the fast food places for like burgers and hot dogs are rubbish. Think $9 for a hotdog…..or 79p from Ikea springs to mind….A few we liked were:
Liberty Tavern in MK
Wolf Gang Puck in DTD
T Rex cafe my sons favourite in DTD.
Via Napoli in Epcot.
Also if your a brit and your kids are wanting Black Current Squash like ours was go to the rose and crown in united kingdom in world showcase.
Ones we didn't like were:
Chef Mickeys in Contemporary Very Expensive Buffet.
Rain Forrest Cafe in AK
Hollywood and Vine in Disney Studios same as chef mickeys.
Also Tips 2 choices 18% or 20% on the bill now if the service is very good I love paying tips I really don't mind what I don't understand is when you go to said buffet restaurants they give you the bill with the same 2 options. when really they don't do anything to get a extra 18%.
As we did not hire a car we got transfers from the airport via a coach. we booked through Thomson they use a different company so unfortunately you don't get to use the disney magical express which look much nicer.
As for transport to the parks the system is very good the busses are frequent and you will only wait around 15-20 minutes for a bus.
Do give yourself a good hour though for reservations etc just in case. Through the day the busses are pretty quiet. obviously at park closing time its pretty manic but still efficient but be prepared to stand as they will fill the bus to capacity if your in a long que.
We also used the taxi service from outside the hotel to go shopping at one of the outlet malls we asked which one was the closest from AKL and they told us but I cannot remember.
Anyway the taxi was around $60 return….If your wanting to do it cheaper get a taxi from Down Town Disney as it was almost at $15 before we got to there from AKL…Also the outlet stores are cheap Ralph Lauren especially.
As we only had a flying vist of 7 nights we didn't manage to get to get to Universal but as the pound is good with the dollar at the minute Its cheaper to buy the tickets in the US.
7 nights is pushing it a bit but due to my work, I am only on leave for 16 days and I wanted some time at home too so we went for 7 nights, which I really would not recommend although it is doable you are constantly on the move a minimum 10 nights would be better.
Use the Extra magic hours available to your benefit and do plan a itinerary It really does help also like I said before reservations before you go are your friend if you don't want to wait for food.
We have Just booked to go back again this year for Christmas staying in Disneys Caribbean Beach Resort as we loved it so much please bare in mine I am a 6ft 1 Pipeline Welder and Disney made me all gooey inside and wanting to go back It really is magical the times you have with your family there are priceless…I am sat in my office in papua new guinea writing this singing do you wanna build a snowman in my head!!
So a quick summery.
Excellent Bus service
Food Is good but research is needed for where etc
Magic bands are excellent
Reservations are a must
Fast passes are a must
Magic Kingdom is the best and open the latest ( go to the big rides when the parades are on as there is normally a smaller wait )
Hollywood Studios is also good
Epcot excellent for food.
I hope this is honest enough review for disney and if it helps in anyway then its good enough for me.
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, Orbitz, Hotwire, getaroom.com, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly, HotelsforEveryone, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon and TripOnline SA so you can book your Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- 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