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“Excellent”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #35 of 342 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 17, 2014

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 hotel
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.

Room Tip: Ask to be close to Reception so you don't have to walk as it can be pretty far away
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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32  Thank MrP1985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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3,097 - 3,103 of 7,067 reviews

Reviewed May 16, 2014

We stayed in Animal Kingdom Lodge, Jambo House. The staff are superb, all were friendly, helpful and polite. The animals that wonder the grounds are lovely to watch. One morning I woke up and could see over 30 animals and birds from my baloney.

The whole thing about this hotel is the animal so a savanna view room is fantastic. All the restaurants are very nice and the Mira (quick service) has a good variety of choices. For breakfast I recommend the banana bread. It is delicious and huge.

The only negative is that this resort is quite far from everything apart from Animal Kingdom Park. This is a very minor down side as it's only about 5 minutes more on the bus.

Room Tip: Savanna view room
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  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Alyssa_holidogs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014 via mobile

We loved our stay at AK Lodge, definitely get one of the Savannah View rooms if you can. The kids loved watching the animals roam by while sitting on the balcony. They have several unique experiences for guests staying there.

  • Stayed: September 2013
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3  Thank sdchickie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

I'll start off by saying there was nothing wrong with Animal Kindom Lodge, it just wasn't a good value for the money. We stayed there on a Thursday and Friday night in a Savanna View room with bunk beds. We have two kids ages 3 and 4. On the positive side, the customer service was very Disney by which I mean first rate. Staff was very friendly and helpful, check in went smoothly, room service great. The Savanna rooms are a nice novelty but after the initial "there are giraffes outside my room" wears off you wonder if it's really worth all the extra money. The reason I only gave this place 3 stars is that they charge 5 star resort prices but the facilities are more like a nice Hilton. The rooms are SMALL and other than the fact that some have bunk beds, nothing special. The pool is big with a really shallow area for toddlers but again, nothing special, just a big pool. We ate at Boma for breakfast and dinner. Food was good with a good variety but nothing beyond what you'd get at a decent Sunday Brunch. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with this hotel. It has everything you'd expect in a resort (gym, spa, pool, restaurants) but for the money that you pay, I just expected a little bit more. My reccomendation is to stay at one of the cheaper Disney resorts with some nice kid's activities and save your money for other things.

  • Stayed: May 2014, traveled with family
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3  Thank Joe M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2014

One thing I absolutely love about the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the large pool area. Compared to some of the other disney hotels, this pool is spacious, user friendly with a walk in ramp sloping into the water. You have room to swim, not just get wet. There are two hot tubs and one is hidden off towards the back area. If you go off to the south of the pool past the flamingos there is another viewing area where you can see animals up a bit closer. A hot tub is hidden back there that is smaller and more secluded. Also sitting areas. The food court has a large variety of american and african selections that are all great. The buffet dining is expensive $50 a person. You do get to eat a huge variety of food, but that is expensive. The sit down restaurant is expensive too, but very nice. The lobby is large and open, not as noisey as the Wilderness Lodge. The gift shop has a large selection of american and african treasures to buy or bring home. The staff are all great and go out of their way. Sitting on your balcony of your savannah view room is amazing, just beyond words. You are viewing animals you would only see in a zoo unless you went to Africa. Just simply relaxing and wonderful.

  • Stayed: August 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank Hollie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2014

We started by making a reservation 4 months ago. We requested a room close to the lobby. We read other reviews and heard about the long walks back to your room. It's true, and Disney did not accommodate our request. We were told when we arrived our room was assigned and that their was nothing else available. The hotel is nothing special. If you plan on going to the Animal Kingdom itself you will see the same animals. The savannah view is nothing special and the savannah is small with no decorations, grass and animals. Stay at a better themed Disney hotel closer to the parks. The room felt like a Disney moderate hotel not a deluxe hotel that it's priced and suppose to be.

Stayed: May 2014, traveled as a couple
4  Thank Johnmyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 14, 2014

Animal Kingdom lodge is beautiful on the inside and out the first time you see it. This was our second time to this resort and the views from inside and out do not disappoint. Our only issue with the resort this trip was customer service. Upon check in we were given the wrong directions to our room and after walking all the way (a good 1/2 mile) to the room and back to the front lobby we were not even given an apology. I really expected at least an I'm sorry about the mix up.
The room had new carpet but could have used a good scrub down to clean it well. I left dust on the hairdryer all week long just to see if housekeeping would wipe it down and nope.....it stayed there all week. I was disappointed with this resort considering how much we had to pay for it. You pay 5 star prices for a 2 star room.
If you want Disney Deluxe Hotels I would recommend Wilderness Lodge that was much better than Animal Kingdom.

Room Tip: All of the Disney transportation buses go to Kidani Village 1st then to Jumbo House picking up and d...
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  • Stayed: April 2014, traveled with family
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Thank jlmeek0
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 32830-8410
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:
#5 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#11 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $344 - $753 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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