AKL lovers!

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Tell me your favorite things about staying here. Strongly considering this for a week long resort heavy trip. Me, DH, DS5
 

Dave Ber

Well-Known Member
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The cost ( as a deluxe hotel )is the only appealing thing to us, some people love the food there, but its not our cup of tea
 

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
IMO, the savanna rooms are not worth the price but the standard view rooms are the best value deluxe rooms on property. Every time I've stayed in one (two full weeks plus a number of single nights here and there), I've gotten a view of the savanna that's not quite perfect, but for the price of a standard.
I was going to book standard room, the cost difference to the savannah view was crazy! And the new room refurbs look amazing.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
Stayed there multiple times...never once paid for savanna view, but have always gotten some kind of savanna view anyway. Obviously, it's no guarantee, but when I book standard, I call in and ask for an obstructed savanna view as one of my room requests...since those do qualify as standard views. While I do online check in to help I have a room ready closer to our arrival time, I always check with the front desk rather than relying on whatever the system assigns. For my trip last month, the CM at the desk said my room was ready, but she didn't like what was assigned based on my room requests. She wound up changing my room.

This was my standard view.


I was told that while it looks like a savanna view and obviously has no real obstructions, it's considered standard because it doesn't face a main savanna.

Beyond that, the resort is beautiful, love the room refurbs, we usually have pretty good service here, great restaurants at both Jambo and Kidani, and have always had pretty decent bus service...good enough to make up for the added travel time.
 

dmw

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
There are a couple of places around the resort from which you can view animals. We love to eat at Boma and take time before or after the meal to watch the animals. The rooms with a savanna view are amazing, but super expensive. We went shortly after AKL opened and the price was a steal. Have not been able to justify the price in recent trips. The main lobby at Jambo House is huge and fun to explore. Be sure to take the elevator up to the top floor and walk across the bridge. Amazing view of the lobby from up high.
 

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We have eaten at Sanaa and really enjoyed it. Can’t wait to try Boma.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
I was going to book standard room, the cost difference to the savannah view was crazy! And the new room refurbs look amazing.
If you are going when it is not too busy, they may even upgrade you to a savannah view(its a big hotel and not always sold out)without asking(though never hurts to ask too, if they don't).
I am a big fan of the pool area(very relaxing and its a big pool) and all the little activities like story telling, drumming, and night vision animal watching. If you have time, another fun thing to do is to just go through the hallways looking at the African art that is on display, there are tons of it, and many are really interesting and they come with information placards about where the piece is from and what it is.
 

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
If you are going when it is not too busy, they may even upgrade you to a savannah view(its a big hotel and not always sold out)without asking(though never hurts to ask too, if they don't).
I am a big fan of the pool area(very relaxing and its a big pool) and all the little activities like story telling, drumming, and night vision animal watching. If you have time, another fun thing to do is to just go through the hallways looking at the African art that is on display, there are tons of it, and many are really interesting and they come with information placards about where the piece is from and what it is.

The activities looked really interesting, especially since we are only going to the parks 1-2 days over a weeklong trip.
 

nickys

Premium Member
The activities looked really interesting, especially since we are only going to the parks 1-2 days over a weeklong trip.
Well you need to check this out then, it will whet your appetite even more. ❤


I have a bucket list to stay for three days at AKL just to try a lot of these. We stayed four nights at Kidani, loved it but barely scratched the surface of all the activities.

Many of the CMs at the resort are also International College Programme CMs. They give daily tours of the Art (the largest private collection of African Art in the US, and second only to the Smithsonian). And they will also chat happily about the animals and their own country and life there.
 

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Well you need to check this out then, it will whet your appetite even more. ❤


I have a bucket list to stay for three days at AKL just to try a lot of these. We stayed four nights at Kidani, loved it but barely scratched the surface of all the activities.

Many of the CMs at the resort are also International College Programme CMs. They give daily tours of the Art (the largest private collection of African Art in the US, and second only to the Smithsonian). And they will also chat happily about the animals and their own country and life there.
thanks for the link! I can't believe how much more there is to do compared to the other resorts we've stayed at.
 

Simba’s Mom

Active Member
IMO, there's often nothing "obstructed" about the obstructed savannah view in standard rooms. Once I had a savannah view, and a few months later, went back and could "only" get a standard view, partially obstructed savannah, they said. Well, that had a much better savannah view than I'd had from the supposed savannah view I'd had a few months beforehand.
There are so many great resort activities-tours of Jiko and Boma (complete with free samples of food, often zebra domes), lobby tours, meetings with cultural interpreters, etc. It's a great place to stay if you're not spending much time in the parks-I often find myself feeling that I'm missing out when I leave to go to the parks. Can't wait for my next trip there!
 

Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
There are so many great resort activities-tours of Jiko and Boma (complete with free samples of food, often zebra domes), lobby tours, meetings with cultural interpreters, etc. It's a great place to stay if you're not spending much time in the parks-I often find myself feeling that I'm missing out when I leave to go to the parks.
This is exactly why I am choosing this resort! We will actually have time to enjoy its offerings.
 

HoustonHorn

Well-Known Member
I cannot recommend the Wanyama Safari enough. It is through the savannas at AKL, and in has dinner at Jiko. It isn't cheap, but it was really cool, especially when our jeep had to stop for awhile until a giraffe would move for us.
 

Nottamus

Well-Known Member
We visited on our first trip staying at Coronado, and the wife and I loved it! That lobby....Boma dinner smells ...the overall look and feel of the resort.

We have tried other resorts...BUT always come back to Jambo AKL. ( we are DVC owners there now as well)

The music, the sights, the smells, the food...the way the whole place is in the evenings - it's just awesome.

We are back there again in a little over 4 weeks, and I'm counting the days...

We did spend on savanna view the first trip, but you really don't need it, as there are many many places to relax and look at animals...use that left over money for a Boma dinner or two!
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
I'll be honest if at Jambo, I don't like the savanna as much. For us the savanna view at Kidani is worth it. I'm halway regretting not getting a savanna view next month when we go. If you are in your room a lot it is very nice.

The resort activity list is insanely long and there is so much we did but didn't get to do when we stayed a week our first time. We keep going back to try more things too. Sadly it seems the drum circle is gone (or my sleepy brain missed it). That was our favorite.
 
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Nala06

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'll be honest if at Jambo, I don't like the savanna as much. For us the savanna view at Kidani is worth it. I'm halway regretting not getting a savanna view next month when we go. If you are in your room a lot it is very nice.

The resort activity list is insanely long and there is so much we did but didn't get to do when we stayed a week our first time. We keep going back to try more things too. Sadly it seems the drum circle is gone (or my sleepy brain missed it). That was our favorite.
There is an african music hour now, which seems to have replaced the drum circle. it sounds like kids still get a chance to play some instruments though!
 

Weather_Lady

Well-Known Member
We just got back from our first week-long stay at AKL - Jambo House. We rented DVC points for a standard-view studio at a cost of about $285/night (about half of the rack rate for the room), so it was a good value. Paying full rack rate for any room at AKL would, candidly, be too expensive for us.

It's a beautiful resort, especially if you appreciate African art -- it's like a giant gallery, and you could spend half a day just checking out all of the sculptures, paintings, baskets, woven items and other art on display throughout the resort, and listening to the music and drums, some of which is performed live at various times throughout the day. We happen to love food that is different from what we find at home, so the fact that the dining options are interesting and African-influenced is a big plus. (Not that it doesn't offer typical American food options for picky eaters, because it does.)

Our studio faced the pool, but we had plenty of opportunities to view the animals from various lookout points around the hotel and even the big picture windows near the elevators that we passed by several times a day. I don't think paying more for a savannah view would have been worth it in our case, as we didn't spend much idle time in our room.

For me, the only downside of our stay at AKL was the bus transportation, which was not as frequent or reliable as the bus service we experienced at all of the other resorts where we've stayed in the past (e.g., Beach Club, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans Riverside).

It wasn't the length of the bus rides that was the issue -- complaints that AKL is "far from" the parks and that the bus rides are long are really overblown. Bus rides to the parks ranged from 10-20 minutes, similar to other places. Rather, waits for buses were longer than we're used to, both at AKL and at the parks going back, and in many cases, we waited 25-30 minutes for one. Also, when it comes to the buses, Jambo House is treated like a second-class citizen compared with Kidani Village: going to and from the parks, it's the last to be picked up and the last to be dropped off, which extends every return trip by an additional 6-8 minutes, and in many cases results in cramming onto a standing-room-only bus already filled with Kidani Villagers on the outbound trip. (If we had it to do again, we'd be happy to stay at AKL regardless of the transportation issues, BUT we'd probably choose Kidani over Jambo if we were relying on Disney transportation.)
 

dreamfinder

Well-Known Member
We love AKL. The food at all 3 TS locations and The Mara is great. It's a well themed location, and the overlooks and animals are great to see. Plenty of activities, and a lot more to do and see on a non park day than most of the other resorts.

Keep in mind that there are very few rooms at Jambo House that don't have some sort of savannah view. There are some that over look the parking lot at the front, and some that overlook the pool on the side. Touring Plans has a great room finder that will shows you the classifications and the views. Ones that don't have perfect views don't get Savannah view classification, but it may just be that you can see people pens, or are located over gates or things like that.
 
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