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“Not Up to Snuff”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #35 of 337 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Lexington, KY
Level Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
“Not Up to Snuff”
Reviewed May 22, 2005

I enjoyed my Disney experience but AKL rooms don't compare well with others in the $300 - $400 range.

Check-in at 3:00 p.m. was prompt and professional. Lobby is impressive and well maintained. Hallways offer multiple viewing sites of adjoining animals.

Four days/3 nights in "Savannah Deluxe Double" (i.e., animal view - 2 queen beds). Typical U.S.-size room with shallow balcony: semi-private double basin vanity, private commode/tub chamber, keyed wall safe, small fridge, coffee maker and supplies, walls/carpeting in browns, furniture of heavy black wood.

Room very dark b/c of theme decor (photos are brighter than reality b/c of flash); vanity felt cramped; wall safe large enough for a laptop but capacity limited b/c of vertical mount - key required, not a combo lock; sheets are "hospital-grade;" no wifi/no direct internet access/no on-site business center; questionable housekeeping/cleanliness: hair on "clean" pillow upon arrival, neglected to remove dirty towels after replacement; failed to replenish coffee pack. Guest Services (for info/tickets/reservations) understaffed: long lobby wait for rep/failed to answer phone for inquiries from room. A long bus ride for airport & theme parks; bus access to other Disney resorts inconvenient.

Large, shallow pool popular with families. Excellent food at on-site restaurant BOMA - don't be put off by buffet-style service. If using "Magical Express" bus service from airport pick up and transport your own luggage (transfer by Disney staff yields a 4 - 5 hour wait for luggage delivery).

In summary, if you're a road warrior accustomed to Marriott or Courtyard you'll be disappointed. If your travel experience is more limited, AKL is a fine choice. Presence of animals is a redeeming feature.

24 Thank HelpfulTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Murfreesboro, TN
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed May 22, 2005

We initially were staying in a comfort inn. One night we decided to visit the AKL. It was awesome from the minute you drive up. The lobby is just breath-taking! My wife, 4 year old daughter, and 2 yera old daughter , and myself were just awe-struck. After walking around it was time to leave and let me tell you, it was a very depressing drive back to the comfort inn.
So the next morning I called and booked us a room at AKL. We were ther May 19-21, 2005 in room #5029.
The room had a queen bed and a set of bunk beds. It was a standard with a refrig, bouble sinks, lg tub. ceiling fan, balcony, crib, all kinds of disney soaps, shamppos, etc... The rooms were beautifully decorated in the African theme
The grounds were immaculate! The pool was great with a water slide. There is a playground for the kids, 2 jacuzzi hot tubs, and a small kids pool.
We ate at Boma and Mara. Boma was the buffet, for $25.00 its an all-you-can-eat African food buffet. Prime rib, Salmon, soups, and desserts to die for, etc etc...Mara is more of fast food, but it was good food as well.
We used the Disney buses to go to Epcot daily and we NEVER waited over 10 minutes. One day the bus was there waiting on us.
The resort staff was great. No problems at all!
There are a lot of activities to do at this resort. Check with a cast member! At night you can view the animals with infra-red binoculars, make necklaces, watch African lectures, and so on. My children enjoyed the parade the participated in every evening. At 8:00 pm a cast member would gather up children and have them select an instrument from the gift shop and then theyt would all line up and march around the lobby playing the instuments, then they would all get a certificate. The kids loved it,
Check out was a breeze! They have express check out were they leave the paperwork on your door, if everything looks in order, you just go home.
Overall this was the best hotel / resort we have ever stayed in. My only regret was that we should have stayed here the entire time. We can't wait to return.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
22 Thank darrellland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
new york
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2005

Just got back from Walt Disneyworld and I have to say it was one of the best vacations I've had.We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and it was stunning,from the lobby to the room to the pool,absolutly beatiful.I also stayed at the Boardwalk Villas for part of my trip and although it was very convenient to get to MGM and Epcot it could not hold a light to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.The restaurants in the Kingdom(Jiko and Boma as well as the counter service Mara)were wonderful as well.Our check in took no longer than 5 minutes and everyone was friendly and helpful.
At Disneyworld the lines were nothing like I expected.We must of picked a great week to go because with the exception of magic hours nights we did not wait on any line for more than 20 minutes,most of the time not even that long.The fastpasses are also a great invention and must come in really handy on the really busy days.We went the 2nd week in May.
All in all everything was wonderful.Loved it and will go back to the Animal Kingdom Lodge again and again.

21 Thank hstar29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Somerset, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
116 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 105 helpful votes
Reviewed May 21, 2005

We spent 3 nights at the Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge as part of a 6 day visit to Florida. The plan was to take my 9 year old son for a whirlwind tour of 4 parks in three days.

My husband has wanted to stay at this hotel ever since he learned that it was being built. We have stayed at the Yacht Club (in 2000) and he has also stayed at the carribbean beach resort about 14 years ago.

The decor is amazing as always- I cannot complain about that. The ability to see the animals is a treat.

HOWEVER: we had planned to use the "magic your way" express from the airport- but never received any documents or information prior to leaving home, so we instead decided to keep our rental car and drive to the resort.

When we checked in at approximately 10:30 am (the first of our three days in the parks) we were given a DIRTY room. We were given absolutely no information about the resort, the park hours, or any type of welcome packet. All we were given was a map of the resort and the maps of the four parks.
Since we didn't want to waste time, we dropped off our luggage, put on some sunscreen, and headed to Magic Kingdom, expecting the room to be cleaned when we returned.

When we arrived back, tired and hungry, the beds had been made but the room still had the the dirty towels, used soap, used dental floss, and former room occupants trash in it. Needless to say, I had to make a request to have the room cleaned and to specify to have the sheets changed. I got no more than an apology for the misunderstanding.

The next morning we took one look at the pool and almost became ill. It was green and cloudy. My son was hoping to get to go swimming, since it was still cold in New England, but even he didn't want to go in after looking at the condition of the water. Absolutely filthy and disgusting.

The resort was also beginning to show some signs of wear.

I would say- do not stay here! It was not worth the price- you are not getting anything better here than you would at any of the Disney hotels.

The restaurants were outrageously overpriced. Buffet breakfast for the three of us was over $45.00, and there were no real special items available beyond omelets made to order. These are Hawaii prices, but not Hawaii quality.

The appearance of the parks was also dissappointing. They are not as clean as they used to be, and the staff are not as helpful, or friendly as they used to be. The sight of McDonalds everywhere was also not what was expected in a Disney experience.

We did have a good time, but this is the last time for us at Disney.

When we arrived home, we found the information for our "magical express" package, including coupon for complimentary lanyard and trading pin for my son.

I called customer service to voice my complaints about the resort and the delayed documentation and they really did not seem to care. The only response about the condition of the pool was "did you speak to the hotel manager?" and a promise to be called by him. That was last week and I never received a call.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
13 Thank Makai7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, Georgia
Level Contributor
80 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed May 18, 2005

I stayed at AK Lodge in Disney back in late March for 5 nights. The reason for selection of this hotel was Disney annual passholder rate of $199, which is great for "Deluxe" resort. First of all, they should not label this hotel as "Deluxe". As stated in this list many times before, the hotel is very dark, and has murky smell. My request for upper floor was not honored and I was put on the first floor with the view of the walkway to the pool. What was funny was that the front office person refused to tell me which floor I was placed on just 30 minutes before the check-in time as if it is a national secret.

The room was murky, damp, and tiny, tiny, tiny. I found mosquitos in the room. 2 kids and 2 adults in that tiny and dark room for 6 days in a row was very tough. It is a very ill-designed hotel, as it took more than 10 minutes from the room to the front door. The pool was absolutely dirty. My kids refused to go back to the pool after the first jump-in. People save loungers with towels and do not remove them when they leave. They never enforce any policy about them, and I did not see any crew going around picking up those towels, so there are a lot of empty loungers with towels on, and many more people wandering about looking for place to sit.

A lot of people complain about restaurants or lack of them, and I never attempted to eat at the hotel. The least amount of time spent at the hotel was better. The service was almost nonexistent. Immediately after I came home, I was e-mailed guest survey from Disney so I vented out everything, but I was never contacted back.

I have been an avid Disney visitor for the last few years, and I sense quality changes in Disney hotels. They are getting older, and they charge enormously for those rooms. You can never get less than $300 for deluxe resorts whereas if you drive a few minutes out, you can stay at wonderful hotels for half as much. We still enjoy Orlando immensely, however, I would think twice about staying at Disney hotels. This was it for us.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
12 Thank alshin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saginaw, MI
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
Reviewed May 17, 2005

This hotel rocked. My three year old loved it and so did I! We were actaully there during the big hurricane in Sept 2004, so we got put on lockdown, but they had just tons of stuff to do for the entire family! They kept the poor staff there for a couple days to enetertain us, but they were good sports. We loved the shuttle service and if you stay here you have to stay Savannah side, we giraffes right in our faces! We stayed on the second floor and that was perfect, there a ton of different animals out everyday, The pool area is great, the gift shop is enormous, and the restaurants are definetly interesting! I was totally impressed with the lobby, it is awesome! The deco of the place is fantastic, our favorite resort at Disney so far!

  • Stayed September 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
17 Thank alidiffin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 4, 2005

We live in Tampa and decided to go to Animal Kingdom (as we've done all of the other theme parks several times) and spend the day as we've never been to this particualr park and then on to Animal Kingdom Lodge after our day at the park. We had a savannah view room and we loved it. We saw lots of animals!
Yes, it's "dark" in the hotel, but we thought that's what gave it character along with all of the awesome design and architectural features that where there. The property was great and the employees that we had dealings with were pleasant.
As noted it was hard to get a reservation at the resturants, but we made due with the other options that were available!

  • Stayed June 2004
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
19 Thank FLMonaLisa
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

Property: 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
#11 Luxury Hotel in Orlando
#17 Romantic Hotel in Orlando
#34 Family Hotel in Orlando
#42 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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