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AKL Club level and west coast sleep shift

Hello all. 2 questions (if I should separate these into 2 different threads, please let me know).

1. We're going for 5 nights in January. With the current (meager) $400 deal, a club level Savannah view room at AKL would only be about $700 more than the regular room is. I've researched it to see what you get. I only see 2 possible benefits for us. One is the food in the lounge, although that's certainly not going to be worth the $700. Is the Savannah view from the club rooms any "better" than the other Savannah view rooms? We've stayed here before in Savannah view rooms, but the animal viewing from the room wasn't anything special and we could see better animals by going to the outdoor area behind the hotel. I believe I've seen people refer to a couple of different savannahs by name that the rooms overlook. Didn't know if there was a "better" one and if club level got you that.

2. We lived in NC until 3 months ago when we moved to Alaska. Our plan has always been to be in line for rope drop, hit everything, get lunch, siesta at the hotel in afternoon, and then back into another park for the early evening. However, we're now 4 hours behind east coast time. It will be myself, my wife (who has sleep issues at baseline), and our 2 - 8 y/o's. Is it worth trying to shift our sleep schedule to east coast time or we would be better off trying a different park strategy, like starting our day a little later and focusing on staying until park closing when people begin to thin out? Of note, our trip to Disney is 5 days, but then we'll be going to Uni (for the first time) for another 5 days, so we'd potentially be shifting our sleep for 10 days.

Thank you for looking and for your sage advice!
 

CaptainAmerica

Premium Member
Hello all. 2 questions (if I should separate these into 2 different threads, please let me know).

1. We're going for 5 nights in January. With the current (meager) $400 deal, a club level Savannah view room at AKL would only be about $700 more than the regular room is. I've researched it to see what you get. I only see 2 possible benefits for us. One is the food in the lounge, although that's certainly not going to be worth the $700. Is the Savannah view from the club rooms any "better" than the other Savannah view rooms? We've stayed here before in Savannah view rooms, but the animal viewing from the room wasn't anything special and we could see better animals by going to the outdoor area behind the hotel. I believe I've seen people refer to a couple of different savannahs by name that the rooms overlook. Didn't know if there was a "better" one and if club level got you that.
The Savanna view in the club rooms is arguably worse than non-club Savanna View. It's the "better" savanna in the sense that it's the Arusha instead of the Sunset or Uzima, but it's on the 5th floor. It's too high. In my experience, the best value at AKL is to buy Standard View and then request Kudu Trail. I've done this three times and every time I've gotten a partially-obstructed savanna view, basically for free. One time our room was directly in the path of the kitchen exhaust from Boma and it smelled incredible the entire week.

(Savanna, not Savannah. Savannah is a city in Georgia.)

2. We lived in NC until 3 months ago when we moved to Alaska. Our plan has always been to be in line for rope drop, hit everything, get lunch, siesta at the hotel in afternoon, and then back into another park for the early evening. However, we're now 4 hours behind east coast time. It will be myself, my wife (who has sleep issues at baseline), and our 2 - 8 y/o's. Is it worth trying to shift our sleep schedule to east coast time or we would be better off trying a different park strategy, like starting our day a little later and focusing on staying until park closing when people begin to thin out? Of note, our trip to Disney is 5 days, but then we'll be going to Uni (for the first time) for another 5 days, so we'd potentially be shifting our sleep for 10 days.

Thank you for looking and for your sage advice!
On a 10 day trip, you're going to want to adjust. I wouldn't try to do it gradually, I would accept that your first day is going to suck and sacrifice the entire day at the altar of sleep. That said, 5-5 is a very Universal-heavy split for a family with two 8 year olds. I would go 6-4 or 7-3, especially when you consider that the first day is going to be the hardest.
 
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MickeyLuv'r

Well-Known Member
Hello all. 2 questions (if I should separate these into 2 different threads, please let me know).

1. We're going for 5 nights in January. With the current (meager) $400 deal, a club level Savannah view room at AKL would only be about $700 more than the regular room is. I've researched it to see what you get. I only see 2 possible benefits for us. One is the food in the lounge, although that's certainly not going to be worth the $700. Is the Savannah view from the club rooms any "better" than the other Savannah view rooms? We've stayed here before in Savannah view rooms, but the animal viewing from the room wasn't anything special and we could see better animals by going to the outdoor area behind the hotel. I believe I've seen people refer to a couple of different savannahs by name that the rooms overlook. Didn't know if there was a "better" one and if club level got you that.

2. We lived in NC until 3 months ago when we moved to Alaska. Our plan has always been to be in line for rope drop, hit everything, get lunch, siesta at the hotel in afternoon, and then back into another park for the early evening. However, we're now 4 hours behind east coast time. It will be myself, my wife (who has sleep issues at baseline), and our 2 - 8 y/o's. Is it worth trying to shift our sleep schedule to east coast time or we would be better off trying a different park strategy, like starting our day a little later and focusing on staying until park closing when people begin to thin out? Of note, our trip to Disney is 5 days, but then we'll be going to Uni (for the first time) for another 5 days, so we'd potentially be shifting our sleep for 10 days.

Thank you for looking and for your sage advice!
1. Over the course of 5 nights, $700 = $140 more per night. If you have 2 people, that = $70 per person. If you have 4 people that = $35. I'm not trying to insult you with basic math, but rather map out some numbers for you.

In the Mara, you'll pay:
2 hard boiled eggs = $3.20
mandarin orangs $4.46
bottled ice tea = $4.79
cereal/oatmeal = $5.31
yogurt = about $7 (though that is for the parfait)
orange juice $5.32
latte $4.25

about $6 for cake or $4.79 for some zebra domes

About $10 for a beer
almost $12 for a glass of wine.

If you have 4 people, and normally eat (cereal, fruit, eggs, orange juice, latte) for breakfast and consume 1 glass wine/day then club level food offerings = about the same price as going to the food court. On top of that, you get desserts, soft drinks, daily appetizers, and PM cordials.

Compared to other CL''s the lounge is not quite as convenient as other CL's to where your room will be located, but eating food in the lounge is still much faster that eating in the QS. If you want a latte, you walk up and push a button. Though most (all?) WDW CL's now have Nespresso machines, so for those you put the capsule in the machine push a button for your coffee and another for your milk.

If you are so inclined, you can have a mimosa upon arrival and in the AM. the kids get unlimited access to soft drinks, water, and in the AM milk. I have not been to AKL in some time, but the CL's usually have canned soft drinks, plus 2 decanters, and AM milk. Also all day coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Coffee starts at 6:30am, but the rest of breakfast runs 7am-10am. Ooh, just read they have warm bread pudding every day.

I would not say the room view is improved, but the AM convenience is a significant time saver. How long is the line to get a coffee or latte at the Starbucks in the park in the morning? I'm not sure as I have not waited in it, but it usually looks pretty mobbed. The last time I bought a refillable mug WDW was still serving Nescafe and only with nasty fake cream. I'm somewhat tolerant when it comes to coffee, but that combo was pretty vile, IMO. I'm not a huge fan of Starbucks either. The espresso/lattes that comes out of Nespresso machines is excellent though. Did I mention there's no wait?

The PM dessert buffet runs 8-10pm, and tends to be little tart sized desserts, so similar to Boma and other WDW buffets. alongside the desserts are cordials and soft drinks. they also tend to have fruit out all day, but it is very limited, usually apples and mandarins/oranges.

The appetizers are not quite dinner, but they offer items like veggies w/hummus, cheese w/crackers, assorted rolls. There are also some hot offerings, AKL offerings include options like butter chicken, tomato soup, shrimp curry cous cous salad, tabouli with beef.

At AKL, a good share of the foods offered are options they serve on the buffet at Boma. Not the full buffet, but the hot appetizers will often include one of the soups they serve at Boma, the cold will include one of Boma's salads, and you'll see some of the same desserts as Boma.

A trade-off of CL is that you have to visit the lounge, and that can be a challenge if you don't normally visit the hotel mid-day. In your case though, your approach to touring sounds like a pretty ideal fit for CL: getting out quickly in the AM, then spending some time each day relaxing at the hotel.

Another plus of the CL at AKL is that it offers a spectacular view of the lobby. You can't see any fireworks or the animals, but it i still a great view.

One more factor is that you are allowed full use the lounge on your arrival and check out days. You can access the lounge at 7am on arrival day and continue to snack until it closes on your check out day. There is also a small restroom adjacent to the AKL CL lounge.

You also get access to a sperate concierge staff to answer questions. These days, they can't do a ton, but if you have any questions or problems, it can be a time/hassle saver to have someone nearby read to answer all your questions without having to trudge all the way to the lobby and wait in line. They also used to deliver packages direct to the room.

Prior to the pandemic, CL came with turndown, but that is not currently offered. That said, I'm not sure how to explain but basic DAILY room service is now spotty at WDW. The hotels tend to prioritize the CL rooms. Staff has to service turnover rooms, but after that CL tends to be prioritized.

Mid-day snacks are also offered but they are now just like bagged chips at all CL's, so pretty minimal. The general directive rom the CM's is that children are supposed to be accompanied by a parent, but a plus is that they can choose to sample new foods. They can see the food before they try it. The CL's usually offer something very kid-friendly during the appetizers. VERY important, if anyone has food allergies/other special dietary needs, and you let the staff know, they will make sure to provide safe food for that person.
 
Upvote 0

Lilofan

Well-Known Member
1. Over the course of 5 nights, $700 = $140 more per night. If you have 2 people, that = $70 per person. If you have 4 people that = $35. I'm not trying to insult you with basic math, but rather map out some numbers for you.

In the Mara, you'll pay:
2 hard boiled eggs = $3.20
mandarin orangs $4.46
bottled ice tea = $4.79
cereal/oatmeal = $5.31
yogurt = about $7 (though that is for the parfait)
orange juice $5.32
latte $4.25

about $6 for cake or $4.79 for some zebra domes

About $10 for a beer
almost $12 for a glass of wine.

If you have 4 people, and normally eat (cereal, fruit, eggs, orange juice, latte) for breakfast and consume 1 glass wine/day then club level food offerings = about the same price as going to the food court. On top of that, you get desserts, soft drinks, daily appetizers, and PM cordials.

Compared to other CL''s the lounge is not quite as convenient as other CL's to where your room will be located, but eating food in the lounge is still much faster that eating in the QS. If you want a latte, you walk up and push a button. Though most (all?) WDW CL's now have Nespresso machines, so for those you put the capsule in the machine push a button for your coffee and another for your milk.

If you are so inclined, you can have a mimosa upon arrival and in the AM. the kids get unlimited access to soft drinks, water, and in the AM milk. I have not been to AKL in some time, but the CL's usually have canned soft drinks, plus 2 decanters, and AM milk. Also all day coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Coffee starts at 6:30am, but the rest of breakfast runs 7am-10am. Ooh, just read they have warm bread pudding every day.

I would not say the room view is improved, but the AM convenience is a significant time saver. How long is the line to get a coffee or latte at the Starbucks in the park in the morning? I'm not sure as I have not waited in it, but it usually looks pretty mobbed. The last time I bought a refillable mug WDW was still serving Nescafe and only with nasty fake cream. I'm somewhat tolerant when it comes to coffee, but that combo was pretty vile, IMO. I'm not a huge fan of Starbucks either. The espresso/lattes that comes out of Nespresso machines is excellent though. Did I mention there's no wait?

The PM dessert buffet runs 8-10pm, and tends to be little tart sized desserts, so similar to Boma and other WDW buffets. alongside the desserts are cordials and soft drinks. they also tend to have fruit out all day, but it is very limited, usually apples and mandarins/oranges.

The appetizers are not quite dinner, but they offer items like veggies w/hummus, cheese w/crackers, assorted rolls. There are also some hot offerings, AKL offerings include options like butter chicken, tomato soup, shrimp curry cous cous salad, tabouli with beef.

At AKL, a good share of the foods offered are options they serve on the buffet at Boma. Not the full buffet, but the hot appetizers will often include one of the soups they serve at Boma, the cold will include one of Boma's salads, and you'll see some of the same desserts as Boma.

A trade-off of CL is that you have to visit the lounge, and that can be a challenge if you don't normally visit the hotel mid-day. In your case though, your approach to touring sounds like a pretty ideal fit for CL: getting out quickly in the AM, then spending some time each day relaxing at the hotel.

Another plus of the CL at AKL is that it offers a spectacular view of the lobby. You can't see any fireworks or the animals, but it i still a great view.

One more factor is that you are allowed full use the lounge on your arrival and check out days. You can access the lounge at 7am on arrival day and continue to snack until it closes on your check out day. There is also a small restroom adjacent to the AKL CL lounge.

You also get access to a sperate concierge staff to answer questions. These days, they can't do a ton, but if you have any questions or problems, it can be a time/hassle saver to have someone nearby read to answer all your questions without having to trudge all the way to the lobby and wait in line. They also used to deliver packages direct to the room.

Prior to the pandemic, CL came with turndown, but that is not currently offered. That said, I'm not sure how to explain but basic DAILY room service is now spotty at WDW. The hotels tend to prioritize the CL rooms. Staff has to service turnover rooms, but after that CL tends to be prioritized.

Mid-day snacks are also offered but they are now just like bagged chips at all CL's, so pretty minimal. The general directive rom the CM's is that children are supposed to be accompanied by a parent, but a plus is that they can choose to sample new foods. They can see the food before they try it. The CL's usually offer something very kid-friendly during the appetizers. VERY important, if anyone has food allergies/other special dietary needs, and you let the staff know, they will make sure to provide safe food for that person.
Good feedback, I'm hungry.
 
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