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“Deluxe Resort does not live up to the word”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #39 of 339 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
A TripAdvisor Member
Boynton Beach, FL
Reviewed March 6, 2005

My husband and I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge for 3 nights in March 2005, which turned out to be 2 Nights, because we thought the service and overall stay was so horrible that we left a day early!! We arrived about 7:00pm on Friday and after it took us almost two hours to check in and get our luggage we headed to our room (The room was very dark , had two queen beds and very hot ..the heat was on???) .....we had realized that they didn't give us our park tickets, so we had to head back to the front desk, stood in line again and after about 45 minutes they told us we had to go to the will call window to get our tickets the next day? We also reported that our heat was stuck on and were told that someone would be up to fix it.(you had to leave the door open to breathe) After another 15 minutes or so, we finally got our tickets and headed out to get dinner. I ran up to the room to grab a few thing and there was a girl leaving with our thermostat unit, she said she would repair and replace it before we got back ( she also had 5 other units from other rooms and told me they were having big problems with them that night).
There are three restaurants in the hotel, one is upscale, one is a buffet and one is a cafeteria. The Buffet and Upscale restaurant had 1 1/2 - 2 hour waits, and the cafeteria was just that...a cafeteria. Due to the fact that it was very busy at check-in, you were NOT told much. Not where go to take a bus, not where special things where going on, where to get info, etc. It took us about another half an hour to get out of there to find dinner...we ended up grabbing a cab, rather than wait for a bus...we were starving. We went to downtown Disney for dinner, we arrived about a half an hour before the restaurants closed...but we made it! But then we couldn't figure out where the bus picked up to take us back (we had taken the cab, so we couldn't find the bus stop). Finally after walking around the entire place we found the bus stop (quite a walk to get to). We arrived back at our room around 2:00am, and we immediatley checked our thermostat, because it was now frezzing in our room. It was on 65 and blowing cold (it was 49 degree's outside that night)....so we turned it up to 68 degrees and it blew HOT air again....there is NO OFF button so we had to sleep with the patio door open and the heat basting to balance the air??

We were up all night either freezing or sweating...thank goodness for the extra bed, because we had to take all the blakets off it and use them! We actually held our blanket in front of the vent to warm them up because our room was so cold. We finally got up at seven, and just said forget this. We called down to tell them that our thermostat still was not working properly, we asked them to send someone up, as we were going to the park for the day and also to send up extra blankets, just in case!
We got back around 8:00 and had planned to changed into our suits and relax in the Jacuzzi after all the walking, we couldn't wait to relax. We opened the door to our room and it was about 90 degree's! We called down to speak with a manager and were told that they would call him and have him call us right away....my husband hung up phone and it rang instantly!!! My husband said hello and the man at the desk that we just spoke with says to my husband in a sarcastic voice," Room # 1234 wants to speak with a manager right away, their heat is in and they just can't stand it any more...blah, blah, blah", This is when my husband speaks up and says, Sir, this is room # 1234 and the guy just stops and says...oh, i must have hit redial, needless to say, my husband just hung up.

So now the staff is being sarcastic and rude. So we wait for a call back and a half and hour later we have a knock at our door. Its two repair women, who tell us that the manager sent them instead, and that they were never sent to our room that day to repair it again. One tells us that she did what she could with ours last night, but that they couldn't get new one's until today. Now it 9:00, nobody came to fix or replace it while we were gone all day, and so we wait with them. After they make a phone call to the Head Repair man (on a radio) they ask him to come up, he says he is busy, she tells him it is an emergency and he tell her that she can do it....just check the such and such part. One leaves to get the new part and one stays with us. She returns and goes to replace the part...then a Pipe Burst and boiling hot water is shooting out all over the floor...and hitting the walls across the room....she is soaked and because the water is so hot they are scrambling to find towels or blankets to cover themselves, so they can shut it off and not get burned! It was beyond a nightmare!

They now have to move us to another room. I packed everything up and we moved....our room was not on the same Savannah that we had in the beginning, but at this point, we don't care...we put our suits on and now its after 10:00pm and we go to the jacuzzi. I guess the part that really surprised me, is that we never got a phone call back from the manager. After the mess that just happened, I would have expected a manager to call us and apologize, and just check in on us at this point. But we got nothing, not a phone call, not a message on our room phone, not a note! We checked out the later on the next day.

Things happen that are out of our control, but I am a business owner and can never imagine not approaching a customer to apologize for something like this. My husband and I get away once a year for a long weekend, as small business owners we work 6 days a week and so look forward to our little getaway, needless to say I would never recommend this property. I have stayed at other Disney deluxe Resorts and can tell you that the service at this Resort is unexceptable.

Also, be aware that there are no mini-bars in the rooms, Room service food seems like it comes from the cafeteria restaurant, there is NO poolside service, and you cannot order food from the pool bar. The service level at this Hotel is very poor. As far as the animals go, they are hard to find and are far and few. Customer Service by far needs huge improvement, they just are not living up to what they sell you. I was also told that my package include a private safari for Hotel guest only, yet when we got there upon check-in were told we were not qualified, that this was for special guest at conceriege level only. I actually had another guest checking in directly beside me and overheard her telling her service check-in person the same thing...so when you are told that your package includes a special Safari...get it in writing. Hope this helps in making your vacation a better experience then ours.

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6,202 - 6,208 of 7,025 reviews

Reviewed March 1, 2005

As a child-less "twenty-something" not quite ready to deal with other peoples' children, choosing a hotel in Disneyworld can be tricky. Our experience at the Animal Kingdom Lodge was perfect! They were very accomodating; from allowing us to check in early, to upgrading us to a better room, and finally calling us after our stay to alert us to the fact we'd left some things behind and they were already in the mail!! The hotel is very pretty, has a nice restaurant/lounge ambience, and- the part we were really blown away by- has the QUIETEST ROOMS! Even though we were overlooking the pool, we couldn't hear a single "marco polo"! The doors to the hallways were also quite solid, and we didn't have to wake up on those rougher mornings. This hotel seemed to have great amenities for families and couples alike. Also great in-room dining. I would go back for sure!

18  Thank AvatarGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2005

My husband and I stayed 3 nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge in February. We got a great deal with a resort discount code found on the internet. Our room was on Sunset Savannah, Ostrich Trail. We had a great view! We could usually see ostrich, giraffes, ankole cattle, all kinds of birds, and lots of other animals. The only animals we never saw were zebras, but we did see them at a savannah near the pool.
The only restaurant we ate at was the quick service place for bagels, pizza, etc and it was very good.
The pool was large and heated, but still a little cool in February.
There are plenty of places to walk around and explore at this resort. It is very different from all the other Disney resorts I have stayed. One drawback is that the only Disney transportation is via bus, but we never had to wait over 7-8 minutes for one and usually just had to wait 1-2 minutes. It is farther to Magic Kingdom/Epcot, but the ride never bothered us.
Conclusion: I would definitely stay here again if I found another discount available for a Savannah view room. I don't think I would like it as much if we had only a regular or pool view since I spent time out on the balcony looking at animals a lot. However, even for savannah view, I would not pay the regular Disney rate, just wait for a discount and save a lot of money for a great resort!

21  Thank jarmes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Miami, Florida
Reviewed February 22, 2005

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is simply the best hotel in Orlando to stay at! Having stayed at Universal's Royal Pacific Resort and Universal's Portofino Bay Hotel, I always seem to find my way back to Disney for that extra attention. Disney really out did themselves when they opened Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Animals can be seen grazing throughout the entire property even if you do not have a savannah view.
As expected from Disney, the rooms are always CLEAN and maintained unlike some Universal on-site hotels (owned by Loews).
Whatever you do on your next visit to Disney, just make sure that you and your family spends a night or two on the wildside at Disney's Animal Kingdom Hotel!

  • Stayed: January 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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A TripAdvisor Member
Long Island, NY
Reviewed February 13, 2005

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for four nights. They upgraded our room since we were on our honeymoon. But they gave us a room with two queen beds when we requested 1 king. No big deal. The hotel is dim and after awhile, it got annoying. The service was ok. Not outstanding. It was clean. I didn't feel that for my first time staying at a Walt Disney World property was really anything special versus staying outside of Disney property. There of course are extra park hours for hotel guests only. But Animal Kingdom Lodge is far away from other parks and the bus ride to Epcot was 25 minutes. The last day it rained and the smell of animals was definitely looming the air.
But we got to see a giraffe from our balcony. Which was cool. It was ok. I wouldn't spend the money again.

11  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
charlottesville, Virginia
Reviewed February 13, 2005

My husband I stayed at AKL for three nights 2/7/05. After reading reviews I was prepared to not have a very good experience. Quite the contrary our experiences there were exceptional. Not one staff person was unpleasant in fact all were friendly and generally spoke to us first and could not have been more intersted in accomodating us whether for directions or providing service. The maid even brought us extra toiletries and made us a Mickey Mouse from wash cloths; and we had no children! Our check in was pleasant. I had read that the rooms were first come first serve so we planned our arrival for around 11:00. I requested a room on the inner circle and not only were we given the room of our choice but it was ready for immediate check in. We were on the 2nd floor which was wonderful for viewing the animals. We saw giraffes, zebras, wildebeast and assorted birds. Definately try to get a room on the inner circle for the best view. The rooms are small but adequate and vanity area is quite nice. All rooms now have a refridgerator and coffee maker (coffee was replenished each day). We did have breakfast at BOMA and while not extrodianary it was very nice. One evening we had reservations at Artists Point at the Wilderness Lodge. This was perhaps the best meal we had while at WDW the food there is exceptional and the wait staff were wonderful. The Lodge itself however though much like AKL does not have the serene ambiance of AKL and we were happy to return to our hotel. We did use the transportation system and the buses were most often prompt. As noted in other reviews these buses only serve AKL so you are not on endless stops at other resorts. If you drive to the lodge you are given a pass for your car which allows you into any of the resort areas or parks free. This enabled us to go to the Boardwalk one day for lunch and see some of the other resorts. All in all our experiences were very nice and much better than indicated by some of the early reviews. I would definately recommend this hotel especially for couples or adults. Though there were many children here the hotel is not frantic with Mickey Mouse and was most appealing to an older traveler..

28  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Viera, Florida
Reviewed February 10, 2005

I have stayed at this reort two times, once with my family of 5 and once with just my husband . It was so perfectly suited for both the family and the romantic stay. The staff was a joy! The fireside story telling was charming. Waking up to Giraffes and Rhino's made me/us feel like we weren't in the U.S. anymore. The decor was stunning especially at Christmas time. The pool great, the non buffet restaurant (JIKO) was soooooo yummy. My children enjoyed the dancing and singing of the hosts and hostesses as we waited to be seated before dinner. My husband and I enjoyed the bar and moonlit savannah walks. We got a lot of enjoyment out of the arcade both trips. The gym is well appointed and has all the equiptment needed for a great workout. I cannot wait untill our next stay there. If you are on the fence about this resort, just go for it and stay. I highly reccomend Animal Kingdom Lodge!!!! I really cannot think of even one bad thing to say about this delux resort (unlike the Beach club resort that beside the great clam bake felt more like a moderate resort than a delux one; it smelled dank and was worn and dated in decor too. The beach club has poor insulation, you can hear both hallway and room-next-door chatter).

17  Thank A TripAdvisor Member
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
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:
#6 Top resorts Hotel in Orlando
#13 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 Business Hotel in Orlando
Price Range: $345 - $692 (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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