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“Utterly Overrated”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Ranked #36 of 341 Hotels in Orlando
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 27 April 2012

The titels says it all. Couple of farm animals and every zoo shy ones in a central large park made this hotel the huge uncalled for reputation. They have room very far toward the end of each edge, they decided to market them as the Savanah ones with the special view bla bla bla. Not worth it at all. Having experienced it, I would have stayed at any other Disney themed hotel and paid this a quick visit instead of the uncalled for premium I paid. We wake up very early and leave to the parks so won't be able to see the "Animals" that the special Savanh Rooms has the view over which. Given that the Savanh rooms are special, pay for it physically and walk the longest walk until you can reach the doors for the parks' buses. No room service after 7-8 pm! And the lodge theme makes you feel you are in a 3 stars motel! Anove all, the Disney monorail doesn't stop at it yet stops at other Disney hotels. However, buses to the parks are available. Absolutely won't visit again.

Stayed: September 2011
4  Thank FahadDM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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4,474 - 4,480 of 7,059 reviews

Reviewed 27 April 2012

The entire family loved this resort! From the impeccable Disney service, to the pool, to the bunk beds and of course the views of the animals; this is a one of a kind experience!! Animals are close and I would absolutely recommend..... headed back this year!

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank AntoineFam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

We spend 5 days and 4 nights at the lodge and couldn't be more disappointed. The Lodge is dark, dated, poorly maintained, with absoultely horrible food. Would never consider it again. Love the park but the Jambo House was horrible. Had a Savanna Villa that you needed a flashlight to find you way around the bathroom and kitchen. The elevator walls were so filthy that we afriad the kids might touch them and get sick. Horrible, Horrible dated dirty place.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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13  Thank David D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2012

Our family has stayed here many times since it has opened and we continue to love and enjoy the place. The value has gone a bit down over the years as the price has continued to go up. However, its a wonderful place. The positive and negative for many who know Disney well is that the AKL is a bit off the usual track. Meaning bus times will be a bit longer. However, that is also a positive in many ways to seclude yourself in the AKL and off the beaten track.

Room Tip: The Savannah view is usually worth it. If you have the extra money to spend.
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  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank currycook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 April 2012

The Animal Kingdom Lodge is an amazing place to visit! It is a great experience. You get to see animals such as wilderbeast, zebra, giraffes and much more. You can also see birds. One bird you can see is a flamingo. You see these animals up close. I would definately reccomend Animal Kingdom lodge!

Room Tip: Get a room on the second. They have the best views of the animals.
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank JimmyT50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

We recently stayed for 6 nights at Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) and had an excellent time. We used Disney's Magical Express to transport us and our luggage from the Orlando airport to AKL. We arrived at approximately 11am, and knew there was the possibility our room would not be ready.

As luck would have it, our room was ready for us, and, having used Disney's online check in service prior to arrival, our check in time on-site was limited to about 5 minutes.

Our room was about halfway down the Kudu Trail, was on the 2nd floor, and overlooked the Sunset Savanna. We had reserved a "standard view" figuring we would not spend much time in the room, and were very pleasantly surprised that we received a complimentary upgrade to a savanna view. Our 4 year old was delighted that instead of 2 queen beds, there was 1 queen and 1 set of bunk beds.

The rooms are somewhat small, and I have heard that's one of the reasons AKL is a little more modestly priced than other WDW deluxe hotels. Besides the queen and bunk beds, there was a mini-fridge, a TV stand with two drawers for clothes, a small round table with 2 chairs, a closet, and a night stand.

The shower and commode are behind a door, and there is a double sink with a large mirror between the bathroom and the sleeping area. There is a wall between the double sinks and the beds; however, there is no door to serve as a light/sound barrier between the two. From other reviews, this has been one of the negatives about the room layout (meaning that someone getting ready at the sink could be disruptive to those in the sleeping area). We didn't have a problem with it - we wore our 4 year old out!

During our stay, we saw the giraffes, zebras and ostrich numerous time. We also saw some of the hoof stock and ankole cattle from our balcony. Across the savanna we could see Kidani Village, a Disney Vacation Club property. It was far enough away that it didn't detract from the view. One night, from our balcony we could hear the live entertainment covering Beatles songs.

The lobby of AKL is gorgeous, and people justifiably rave about it.

Here are the negatives - and please keep in mind, I still rated AKL as excellent.

AKL is BIG. We were about 1/2 way down Kudu trail, and it took us a good minute or two of walking to get back to the lobby, then up the stairs, through the lobby, out the door, and down the hill to the bus station. Overall, we probably had a 5 minute walk from room door to the bus waiting area. It doesn't sound like much, but after a long day at the parks, it feels like a mile.

We were on the dining plan. AKL's dining options are somewhat limited. I understand some of the moderate Disney hotels have food courts. AKL has 1 signature table service restaurant (Jiko), one buffet (Boma), and one quick service restaurant (The Mara). All have African inspired dishes, and some traditional American fare. I really like Boma, and enjoy trying various cuisines. My wife's taste is a little more limited, and she felt like she ran out of less exotic menu choices pretty quickly. As part of the dining plan, we received mugs with unlimited refills at AKL. These included fountain drinks, coffee and tea. We only filled them once or twice a day. Kudu Trail is on the opposite side of the resort from The Mara where the drinks were located. It was a 4-5 minute walk each way (often longer with my 4 year in tow). Had it not been so far, we might have taken greater advantage of this perk.

Our housekeeper was a little gruff with us at one point (even after tipping her $5 a day). We had just gotten back from the parks and were going to have some afternoon pool time when she initially knocked on the door (probably around 3:30). I asked for 5 mins and she seemed a little perturbed. Promptly at 5 minutes, she knocked again and seemed a little irritated that we weren't quite ready for her.

I had one concierge member who was a little snooty to me about a dinner reservation -- all the others were amazingly helpful.

AKL is in a fairly remote corner of WDW. The only transportation offered here is bus (no monorail, no boats). Bus to Animal Kingdom is 10 mins including a stop at Kidani Village. Bus to Downtown Disney is about 20 minutes.

The beds are very firm. I suppose this could be a positive, depending on your preference.

Random Note - Neither Positive nor Negative
Immediately below our balcony was an enclosure with a stockade style fence. When I saw two of the animal keepers outside, I asked them what it was for. If there is an emergency, and people in their rooms cannot escape through the lobby, they evacuate the guests to this outdoor enclosure instead.

The positives:
It's a beautiful building. The architecture is amazing. The pool is great, kid-friendly and the waterslide is a lot of fun. there is a full service bar right next to the pool as well. And, there is a playground and hot tub in the same area as well. There is always an animal to see - even at night. Go to a viewing platform, and they will let you use night vision goggles and tell you where to look.

Finally, the customer service was exemplary (outside of our couple of minor encounters noted above - however, I always want to acknowledge that some could just be having a bad day. My wife hurt her knee at one of the parks. We're not really sure how she did it (no memories of a bad twist, etc), but it became swollen and painful enough that we went to urgent care. The protocol for getting medical care at AKL is to dial 911 from your room (unless it's an absolutely emergent situation). We called, the dispatcher asked some basic medical questions, and only a few minutes later people began to arrive at our room.

Eric (I hope I got his name right. You can't miss him - he played offensive line for Va Tech) was on the spot supervising the situation as the paramedics arrived and checked out my wife. They gave us contact information for a local urgent care facility, and left us with a wheelchair to use for the remainder of our stay. We ended up calling urgent care, who picked us up, checked her out, gave her some crutches and ibuprofen for her knee sprain and took us back to AKL.

When we arrived at our room, we discovered that Eric and hotel management had room service deliver milk and cookies to us, along with a get well soon card. The cookies and card were on a tray on the bed, the milk was in the fridge. It was a very nice touch.

I would stay at AKL again in a heartbeat. The negatives I mentioned above are nothing new - I have read the same items on several sites, but they are overwhelmingly outnumbered by the positive aspects of this resort.

Room Tip: The 3rd floor may give you the "optimum" height for viewing the savannas and animals. If...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank wanderingidiot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 April 2012

I was at this resort in October 2011. there was bit of mix up when we checked in, but at no fault to the staff or reservation. It was a mishap with the computer stating a room was ready when in fact it was still being cleaned. Captain Bruce at the front desk was more then helpful and courteous. We were originally in a standard view room, but due to the mishap they upgraded us to a savanna view! We didn't complain or request any changes and perfectly understood that computer errors happen. We had no idea the view we got until we entered the room. Also, Captain Bruce called up to the room and made sure everything was up to standards; he also sent up a plate of deserts! The room was very well maintained, quiet, clean, and nicely themed. Boma's is the restaurant located in Jambo House which is a MUST to eat at. All of the staff at the hotel is very friendly and helpful. I was able to use the weight room a few mornings. The weight room is small, but didn't get packed while I was in there. There are plenty of machines with free weights as well to do any routine you need. The pool is nice and large. Even during a warm afternoon with plenty of people around and in the pool, we were able to find our own area to relax pool side. The one thing that is unfortunate about the resort is that it's far away from the other parks; aside from Animal Kingdom. That means be prepared for a semi lengthy bus ride after a full day at the park. If you wish to purchase balloons and bring them back to the resort, they have a "balloon babysitter" where you can leave your balloons for the duration of your stay. The reason is because of the live animals they do not want plastics that can harm animals. Also, they use cardboard straws which is really different. Overall I had a great time and would go back again; however, I am most likely going to try a few other hotels as well seeing this was my first deluxe stay.

Room Tip: Depending on location you may have to do some walking from the lobby to your room. It's a large...
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  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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Thank Scott S
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
Region: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre 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: £260 - £565 (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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