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“Don't listen to the bad reviews - we had a Great time!!”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #34 of 342 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 23, 2006

We stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for eight nights in July 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed our stay!

Our room was clean and nicely decorated.
We had a room overlooking one of the savannas and we had the opportunity to see various animals - including giraffe, african cattle, ostrich, gazelle and other birds, every day right from our hotel balcony. The housekeeping staff was efficient and helpful. We asked for extra towels one day and were given extra towels every day after that without having to ask.

We spent several days at the DIsney parks, but also spent a few days hanging around the hotel. During the day, there is a fun pool area including a water slide. There are craft activities and African art tours around the hotel. There is also an arcade with lots of different games and a fitness center. In the evenings, it was fun to sit around the open fire pit outside. The staff even has night-vision binoculars available to guests for viewing animals at night. There are two jacuzzis to relax in as well.

We ate at the Boma restaurant for breakfast and dinner. It is a buffet with some African dishes and also some traditional American food. Both times the food was good - lots of variety. The Mara is a fast-food cafe near the pool area where you can get snack foods and lighter meals. We did not eat at the third restaurant, Jiko, during our stay.

Don't let the bad reviews scare you off. We have stayed at several Disney resorts including the Wilderness Lodge, Caribbean Beach Resort, Port Orleans, the Contemporary and the Grand Floridian and Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of our favorites!

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with family
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28  Thank bucsbabe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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6,058 - 6,064 of 7,091 reviews

Reviewed July 22, 2006

We were supposed to stay at AKL for 7 nights but ended up switching to the Grand Floridian after 4. AKL is beautiful and the food really good, but I was not impressed with housekeeping. We saved for 2 years for this big trip. At close to $450.00 a night Canadian, I expected a lot more. The first night when I bathed my son, I noticed the plastic bolt cover for the base of the toilet, on the floor beside the toilet. It never moved for 4 days. That means the housekeeper never cleaned the floor around the toilet. When we got back to our room the eve of day 2 you could smell urine in the bathroom (i've 2 young boys!) so I dont know why the maid could not. On day 3, we decided if the bathroom floor wasnt cleaned, we would complain upon our return to the room in the evening.....except we forgot to remove the do not disturb sign from the door! So we couldnt very well complain at that point. The 4th morning we had a character breakfast at the Contemporary Hotel and decided to tour the Polynesian and the Grand Floridian too. When my oldesty son saw how beautiful the GF was he begged us to stay there. It didnt take much begging as we had stayed there on our honeymoon and loved it. The GF cost $50 more a night for the cheapest room but we went for it. It was the best decision we made! I now feel if you are going to spend a fortune on a room, might as well go all the way and stay at the GF. There is absolutely no comparison. Guests are treated royally! The beds turned down every night, and chocolates and a poem on the pillow! The rooms are stunning, fresh flowers everywhere in the lobby and hallways.
Back to the AKL......some other minor annoyances. The walls around the bathroom sinks were covered in toothpaste splatters along with the wooden front of the vanity and wooden frame of the mirror. I dont know how many weeks it would take for that much to accumulate, but I've never seen a quarter of that in my own bathroom with 4 of us, and I probably wipe the walls around the sink area once a week. It was the first thing I noticed while unpacking. The taps actually had a layer of dust further up the handles where the hands dont touch! And trust me, I am not a clean freak. Is it too much to ask to have your bathroom cleaned fully, not partially, for $450.00 a night? We have stayed at probably 8 different Disney hotels and I have never had a housekeeping problem.
Regarding booking a Savannah room, I paid aprox $1000.00 extra for this view for the week. Definately not worth it unless all you plan to do is sit on your balcony and try to look at the animals. I say "try to" because of the time we spent in the room during daylight hours, I would say the animals were in sight about 25% of the time. A lot of money for what you get if you ask me. Unfortunately, you dont really figure this out until you're in the room. I had read other review saying how you can go to the viewing areas and see the animals instead of booking a savanna view, but it sounded so cool to wake up and watch the animals eat breakfast! The only animals we saw in the morning the whole time was 2 zebras, one morning.
Regarding the walk....didnt really bother us. We were 3 rooms from the very end of the Zebra Trail too! As long as you are in reasonable shape you can do it. It will not be good if your children are too tired to walk and you dont have your own stroller as you will have to carry them all the way from the bus to the room!
The food was really good at all 3 restaurants. We enjoyed Boma as it is a buffet and a great way to try a variety of African foods and not commite to a whole entree.
We did the dining plan which we recommend. We figure it saved us aprox $500.00 over the course of the week. Most sit down meals at Disney ended up being about $150.00 for us (2 adults, a 12 year old and 4 year old) and the dining plan cost us about $115.00 CDN a day. If we paid for what we ate , on average it would have cost about $225-$250 a day.
All in all, we felt ripped off and somewhat disappointed about the Animal Kingdom. Once we switched to the Grand Floridian, it save the holiday!

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled with family
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25  Thank torontotripster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2006

Fantastic, I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for two weeks and loved every minute of it. When you walk in it is just breathtaking. All the staff were very friendly and there are cleaners around the hotel nearly 24/7. The food was great in both 'Mara' and 'Boma', we didnt try 'Jiko' but it was supposed to be really nice aswell. The pool could of been cleaned a little more often but was not too bad.
The rooms are very comfortable and all cleaned to a high standard every day. The decor was interesting arounf the hotel and in the rooms but just added to the 'African' feel.
Overall FANTASTIC.

Food - 4.5/5
Cleanliness - 5/5
Service - 4.5/5
Activity choice (while staying in the hotel) - 3/5 *It needs a few more daily activities like water aerobics or things to keep people amused.

  • Stayed: July 2006, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
14  Thank robertw1990
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 20, 2006

my family and i just returned from wdw on july 14th,we stayed at akl and we just loved it. everything was great the food the rooms the pool was great our two children loved it. housekeeping was excellent, i am not sure why it was bad for other people,we left our room about 10 am and no matter what time we came back it was clean. we loved the fact that if you wanted to go for a swim after a day at one of the parks no matter what time it was you could go in the pool. my sister in law and her family were also there and we wanted 2 rooms with connecting doors and they were more than happy to accomodate us. i would most definetly reccomend this hotel it is well worth it. our check in was very easy
and our check out was even easier. great place to spend your vacation.

Stayed: July 2006
15  Thank bigburrito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 19, 2006

My wife and I just got back from our honeymoon at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We both were very impressed with the service and friendly staff we encountered. We were even sent a complimentary bottle of Champagne and toasting flutes to our room compliments of Disney. Many of the comments I have heard concerning this hotel is concerning it’s outside appearance which is supposed to mimic African building styles, which it does. Also the pool is meant to resemble a watering hole with a zero entry end to the pool which allows you to simply walk right into the water without using stairs. The hotel rooms are very large and well appointed. Each room includes a mini fridge, hair dryer, in room safe, ironing board & iron, internet service for a charge, sofa, dining table with two chairs and so on. The restaurants inside the hotel are very good but they can be expensive unless you choose the Disney dining plan which we did. I have never used the dining plan before but I can honestly say we definitely saved quite a bit of money and we did not have to worry about how much the trip was costing us since everything was already paid for. The only issue we had with the hotel was that we were in our room at the time the maid came by to clean our room and she asked us to call housekeeping when we left so that she could clean our room. I called about 4:30pm as we were leaving and when we returned at 11:30pm the maid had not cleaned the room. I called housekeeping and within ten minutes a maid was at our door and she cleaned the entire room within 25 minutes while we were having drinks. I have noticed that most of the bad reviews come from the United Kingdom and I understand completely why that is. The rudest people I encountered during our entire stay were from the UK so please take into account who is rating the hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2006, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank seanchagan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 16, 2006

The Animal Kingdom Lodge sets itself to be a beautiful oasis overlooking an animal filled Savannah. The room we had was overlooking a car park (as were a very large number of rooms) the front desk staff were extremely unhelpfull and ill advised (some would say doltish) they did not seem to understand English at all - It was a struggle to get them to understand anything withount enunciating it loudly and slowly. C a n w e h a v e a n o t h e r r o o m k e y p l e a s e ??? seemed to phase them greatly "Er... what does that mean ?".
The rooms were adequate and tidy, but the hotel exterior - though adequate and we know it was supposed to look slightly lodge like - just looked a bit, well, shabby really.

The receptionist made a mistak on checking in and said she would make a comment on the computer system and that if we returned the following morning it would be corrected, we went back and she had made a comment not that SHE had made a mistake, but that WE had and it was all our problem, and lo and behold she wasn't there for comment thereafter.

The animals are penned in smallish enclosures so they are trapped to be close to the rooms by electrified barbs stuck in the ground - you will be horrified when you see them... they look barbaric and probably are. The reserve guides knew beggar all about the animals and said the electrified barbs were to keep the animals safe from feeding by the guests and to keep them from being too close to the hotel balconies. But they looked ugly and a bit barbaric - this is a hotel in a zoo and nothing more 'different' than just that.

All in all, we would definately NOT recommend this one, please think of elsewhere - other disney or the good quality and much lower priced I-Drive hotels as it is very high cost and pretty low quality - you have been advised !!

Rick & Paula Manchester UK

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
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12  Thank rickpaulakayleigh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 15, 2006

We just came back from AKL. Stayed July6-12 in a savanna view room. Check in was easy, no line (we did get there after 7pm). I had read some reviews saying that even though you have booked a savanna view room you rarely see animals. So first thing I did was go out on the balcony and right in front of me was a giraffe, so that was nice. We actually had giraffes outside our window almost the entire stay! That was a real treat for the kids. We were on the 4th floor not far from the lobby, room 4236.
The only thing that needs improvement is housekeeping. I have to agree with a previous post in that we would split our day in half and go back to the hotel after 2 or 3pm and our room still wasn't done, our houskeeper sometimes wouldn't get to our room until about 4pm! All the other staff was great.
We requested a refrigerator in the room, which we did get. I have an 18 month old and she drinks whole milk. We took ice packs to keep the milk cool while at the parks. FYI: these refrigerators do not have a freezer. When I asked at the front desk if they had fridges with freezer I was told no, but the front desk agent said that they have a freezer in the back and they would keep our ice packs overinight every night of our stay. I really liked that detail. So every night after we'd get back from the parks we would hand over or packs and pick them up in the morining. It is not an uncommon thing.
We liked the pool. The only time we found it closed was when it was raining. The pool is open 24 hours, weather permitting, of course. Because of the rain on some afternoons the kids didn't get to use the playground (wet slides after the rain).
The Mara is their quick service restaurant, I really liked it because of the convinience and their quick service. For breakfast they have an $8 breakfast platter, waffles, cereals, bagels ect. For lunch they have chicken strips, burgers, and you can get a large pepperoni pizza for $18, pretty good.
Boma offers buffet for breakfast and dinner. Tried both and both were good. Reservations recomended.
Tried Jiko once for dinner, I enyoyed the Hallibut bot not the appetizer or salad. You have to really be open to those different flavors. Again, reservations are recommended.
Did the character breakfast at the Beach club, good buffet.
And the highlight of the trip was dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table. Dinner is pre-paid with a 24hr cancel policy. Included is a 3 course meal and icludes soft drinks. You get your picture taken with Cinderella before dinner. The photographs are complimentary! 4 people plus an infant was $174.
Everyone really had a good time. I would definitely recommend this hotel. Never waited long for any bus to any of the parks.
Also, for those interested, We used Disneys Magical Express and it was the best! Our bags got to our room about 2 hours after we did. Then on our last day our plane wasn't leaving 'till 730pm, so we checked our bags at 10am and got our boarding passes, went to magic kingdom with our carry-ons and got back to the hotel at 5pm to get our transfer back to the airport. This is a really good idea if you're flying on a participating carrier,we otherwise would have wasted our last day.

  • Stayed: July 2006
    • Value
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13  Thank Ksigns
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 - $726 (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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