AKL or Beach Club???

ngoodelle

New Member
Original Poster
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
 

Herdman

Well-Known Member
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We have not stayed at the Beach Club before, but we did stay at the AKL a couple years ago. We did not experience any of the bus transportation issues that others warned about, but we were there in May rather than over Thanksgiving. We absolutely loved the lodge. The only "negative" that my wife had was that the lodge was always kind of dark with all the dark wood and not a great amount of lights. It was awesome waking up to the animals each morning and when coming back from the parks. Boma was great for breakfast!
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
Both are great. AKL is such a unique property. If you were there in the Summer I might push Beach Club because the pool is great, but AKL has a pretty good one too(check Kidanis as well) and it really is a show stopper lobby and lots of activities. I lean towards AKL and enjoy the savings.
 

SeaCastle

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
Have stayed at both and they are lovely. AKL is distant but it is very special on its own merits because the resort is an attraction in of itself. For that price difference I would only switch to Beach if you know that you guys will want to be in the parks as much as you can and sitting on a bus makes you antsy. If you're fine with that, the trade off in distance for the experience at the AKL is a fine one. Seeing the animals (which I think are more active when it's cooler) and exploring the hotel are truly attractions in of themselves.
Will echo the above poster in that if this was summer I might skew towards beach for the ability to quickly head back to the hotel to swim or rest. The pool is truly the best of its kind. It's more than swimmable in November but in the summer I'd be more willing to pay more for the convenience- imo
 

HoneyBee1991

Active Member
I'm obsessed with animal kingdom lodge. The atmosphere, the restaurants and seeing all the animals put it at the very top of the list for us. We are animal people though and animal kingdom is our favorite park. So we like that it is closest to animal kingdom. However, if you are not renting or driving a car down the bus ride to all the other parks can be obnoxious. That is the only downside I could find. I'm sure your kids will love AKL!
 

PSM

Active Member
It’s really hard to pass up the opportunity for a stay walking distance from both Epcot and Hollywood Studios these days. That would be possibly the biggest factor for me when making that decision. You’re going from one of the best locations to one of the worst locations for getting to the parks if you choose AKL over Beach Club.
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
While I really like both, there are pros and cons to both...some of it is also personal preference. I hate sand, so I actually prefer AKLs pool over BCs. I also like having a full sized balcony and don't like running the risk that I might wind up with one of the Juliette balconies at BC, so AKL is the preference there (aside from the fact that even a lot of standard views come with a savanna view). I also personally prefer AKLs overall theme/decor in the common areas and really feel like it "transports" you to feeling like you're at the themed destination better than any other WDW resort. That being said, BC will give you a bigger room and I like the room design and decor better. BC is also super convenient to Epcot and relatively convenient to HS. So, that's two parks that won't require bus service. I also really like the Epcot/HS resort area. No, I don't really feel like I've been transported someplace other than Disney, but I just love the vibe of that area and the wide array of dining options between BC, YC, BW, Swan and Dolphin (not to mention the adjacent parks). You also can access the Skyliner from that point, so it makes a lot of other areas more convenient as well.

Ultimately, I'd probably go with BC if it's between these two.
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
While I really like both, there are pros and cons to both...some of it is also personal preference. I hate sand, so I actually prefer AKLs pool over BCs. I also like having a full sized balcony and don't like running the risk that I might wind up with one of the Juliette balconies at BC, so AKL is the preference there (aside from the fact that even a lot of standard views come with a savanna view). I also personally prefer AKLs overall theme/decor in the common areas and really feel like it "transports" you to feeling like you're at the themed destination better than any other WDW resort. That being said, BC will give you a bigger room and I like the room design and decor better. BC is also super convenient to Epcot and relatively convenient to HS. So, that's two parks that won't require bus service. I also really like the Epcot/HS resort area. No, I don't really feel like I've been transported someplace other than Disney, but I just love the vibe of that area and the wide array of dining options between BC, YC, BW, Swan and Dolphin (not to mention the adjacent parks). You also can access the Skyliner from that point, so it makes a lot of other areas more convenient as well.

Ultimately, I'd probably go with BC if it's between these two.
I should add, while the walk to Epcot is super easy, the one to HS, on a very hot day, can be brutal, and the boat just doesnt run frequently enough for me.
 

wedenterprises

Well-Known Member
I would consider BC as it has arguably the best pool, and transportation options (bus, boat, skyliner, walk).

However, I feel like AKL/Kidani would be more memorable and potentially life altering to a 10-13 year old kid. Jambo and Kidani both have fantastic pools too.

EDIT: what exactly is your concern over transportation? Length of the bus rides? I've never felt like that was a problem. The only thing I don't like is the options from AKL. It's bus or rental car.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
My top three are Beach, AKL, and Wilderness.

Can’t go wrong at any.

But I advise don’t wait...the schedule if it’s even back to full by thanksgiving is gonna put a huge crunch on the rooms. You’re talking about trips canceled in 40,000 ish rooms for a minimum 2 months
 

larryz

Kraken People Up Since 1953
Premium Member
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
Use the Free Dining bennie and rebook into the Beach Club! It'll be worth the extra $150 to get the DDP.
 

JustAFan

Well-Known Member
I've never stayed at Beach Club, although it seems nice. I have stayed at AKL twice and my whole family loves it. Seeing animals off of your balcony is definitely a highlight. Not many places afford that unique and fun option. The entire property is beautifully themed and decorated. The rooms are nice. Suites with 2 bathrooms are available - a plus for families of more than a couple people. Onsite dining is good as well. If you take the buses, it's a short trip to AK, but a long trip to MK (the biggest drawback). I highly recommend AKL.

Also, going at Thanksgiving will be cool. While it will be crowded, the parks and resorts will be beautifully decorated for Christmas. You'll hear nice Christmas music and have special holiday opportunities all over WDW.

Have fun!
 

Club Cooloholic

Well-Known Member
Hi everyone! We were supposed to go just this week, but that has been cancelled for obvious reasons. The only time that we can reschedule is over Thanksgiving. We’ve only ever stayed at values or moderates, but given that our current trip is paid off, it gives me more time to upgrade us.
My husband and I will be traveling with our 13 year old and 10 year old. I currently have AKL booked, as I think my kids will like it, but I am concerned with transportation. Would you stay at AKL or go to Beach Club and why? (Please note that staying at Beach Club would be $150 more per night for us) Thanks for any help!
I'll see you at AKL over Thanksgiving lol.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Beach Club.

I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge -- the theming is incredible and it has great restaurants. But the location is awful. I prefer to just go eat breakfast at Boma one day to visit AKL without actually staying there and having to deal with the transportation.

I'd personally say to go with the Boardwalk Inn over Beach Club (the pool doesn't matter to me because I don't use it, but Beach/Yacht Club does have an advantage there if you care about it), but you can't go wrong with any of the hotels at the Boardwalk. They are in the best location at WDW.

EDIT: Just noticed you said it's $150 more per night to stay at Beach Club. That seems crazy. I'd probably go with AKL if you're going to save that much money, but I'd check Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn for their prices too.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Beach Club.

I love the Animal Kingdom Lodge -- the theming is incredible and it has great restaurants. But the location is awful. I prefer to just go eat breakfast at Boma one day to visit AKL without actually staying there and having to deal with the transportation.

I'd personally say to go with the Boardwalk Inn over Beach Club (the pool doesn't matter to me because I don't use it, but Beach/Yacht Club does have an advantage there if you care about it), but you can't go wrong with any of the hotels at the Boardwalk. They are in the best location at WDW.

EDIT: Just noticed you said it's $150 more per night to stay at Beach Club. That seems crazy. I'd probably go with AKL if you're going to save that much money, but I'd check Yacht Club and Boardwalk Inn for their prices too.
I agree...

Yacht and boardwalk prices are always exactly the same as beach - however...so no help there.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
Despite loving the Boardwalk location, I usually end up staying at Port Orleans Riverside. It's just so peaceful and quiet there and significantly less expensive. And then I just visit AKL, the Boardwalk, etc. for meals.
I like that area too...but the prices are more outrageous to me now.
 

manmythlegend

Active Member
Beach Club wins for me hands down. Absolutely love that area. Being able to walk to Epcot and DHS is a godsend. From AKL, you will be taking buses to all of the parks.

I'm someone who basically has dinner at Epcot every night though so being able to walk back to my resort afterwards is worth its weight in gold.

So OP, do you plan to spend a lot of time at either Epcot or DHS? If not, there isn't a huge advantage to staying there and you can just opt for AKL.
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Location-wise, Beach club wins for me, but an extra $150/night would have me at AKL. It’s a great place. I’m assuming it’ll be 4 nights? 7? That adds up to a lot of ubers if you’re worried about there busses.
 
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