Resort advice

mnelson3

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Last year I surprised my mom with a room at POR, royal guest room, and she absolutely loved it. The theming of the room mostly and that “magical Disney” feel of it. It was my first time staying there as well and I really enjoyed it a lot. I’m still a newbie to many of the moderate and deluxe resorts. The other resort high up on my list, eventually is Animal Kingdom Lodge.

We are debating whether to stay at POR again, maaybe AKL, except not a fan of the location/distance to the other parks, or another resort?
Some big things on my list with a resort are:
1. The “Disney feel” and theming in the room
2. Boat transportation or maybe the skyliner
3. Recreation rentals such as bikes, golf carts (if any resort has that), boat rental.
4. Very comfortable beds

The parks we will attend the most this time will be DHS and Epcot. Maybe DAK. Will likely skip MK this time, though my mom really enjoys HEA lol.

Thanks for the help and advice!
 

TPSou

Member
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We originally stayed at French Quarter and loved it, and the only other resort we've found so far with that 'magic' is Wilderness Lodge. It's more expensive, but for that you're getting a decent sized balcony with some impressive views from plenty of rooms, boats to Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness, a fantastic quick service with Geyser Point, and what I think is the most impressive lobby on the resort. It's a fantastic place and we can't wait to afford to go back.

Haven't been to AKL yet because the lack of transportation options (boats etc) and the distance from everything put us off a little.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
lol, Animal Kingdom lodge hands down,
So, it depends on what you mean by "disney" feel. inch by inch nothing beats Animal kingdom lodge for the 'WOW" factor. I have literally seen people walk in and their jaws drop. Wilderness lodge is second. but some folks don't think of that as "disney".
The theming is immense and through out the entire resort from the lobby to the hallways to the room and let's face it, sitting around a fire pit watching Okapi and wart hogs stroll by is got to be the coolest thing one can do at a resort.

Now I never thought it was outrageously far from a lot but it does only have the bus transportation. It's right next door to DAK so that won't be long at all.
Lastly it has some of the best resort restaurants around.20180413_133546.jpg
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Think Tink

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
So out of all the Disney hotels I’ve stayed at AKL has the best theming I’ve seen. I walked in and was immediately blown away with its beauty. Yes, it’s a huge bummer that it’s farther away to most of the parks, but I never felt it was extremely far. We are doing a split stay in April with AKL and YC because those are our two favorite resorts. I’m finally getting a savannah room!
 

Seeshark

Member
I agree on AKL (Jambo) - that's my favorite looking resort. Wilderness Lodge comes in a close second, and I love using the boat to get to MK. I found on my week's stay at AKL I was on the bus about 90 minutes a day, give or take, so that could be a consideration. You could consider a split stay with an Epcot resort since you'll be spending so much time in that area. I've done splits with AKL and WL, and AKL and Boardwalk, which we really like as well, though more for the location and Boardwalk itself. We're staying at Beach Club in a few weeks for the first time, but I was considering taking the last night at AKL.
 

ninjaprincesst

Well-Known Member
Animal Kingdom Lodge is beautiful, but staying there was the worst experience I have had at Disney. The staff was rude and the very first night we were there we come in from a long morning of flights and then spending the day at Epcot to find a message that we would have no power for the night in the entire hotel, we had to shower by the light of our phones, we could nor charge our phones for the parks the next day, and it was hot so we had a hard tie getting any sleep and when we went down to complain we were just pretty much ignored and dismissed. It is so pretty though and waking up to the animals outside is amazing.
 

nickys

Premium Member
I vote AKL hands down.

Two great pools, three amazing restaurants, one of the best lounges on property (my personal favourite) in Victoria Falls, the largest private collection of African Art in the US, CMs from three African countries who provide art tours, information on the animals and their culture, the savannas themselves and a recreational calendar that beats every other resort hands down.

The bus service is great, the two lodges often have their own buses and we found it was frequent and fast.

Here’s that calendar to look at:

 

nickys

Premium Member
Animal Kingdom Lodge is beautiful, but staying there was the worst experience I have had at Disney. The staff was rude and the very first night we were there we come in from a long morning of flights and then spending the day at Epcot to find a message that we would have no power for the night in the entire hotel, we had to shower by the light of our phones, we could nor charge our phones for the parks the next day, and it was hot so we had a hard tie getting any sleep and when we went down to complain we were just pretty much ignored and dismissed. It is so pretty though and waking up to the animals outside is amazing.
What did you expect them to do if there was a power cut? Just curious as to what you thought would have been a reasonable outcome.
 

ninjaprincesst

Well-Known Member
What did you expect them to do if there was a power cut? Just curious as to what you thought would have been a reasonable outcome.
Since they had advance notice and left a message on our room phone the could have texted and gave us a heads up, as well as the price you are paying per night to have no power, be showering in the dark and unable to sleep in the heat I don't think refunding the first night would have been too much to ask, especially since the club level had power. Which by the way was the outcome when I got home and called guest services to complain. If guest services could do it so cold the AKL cast member. Even a simple I apologize for the inconveience would have been better than being dismissed.
 

youngdeb

Active Member
We just returned from 10 nights at AKL. Apart from MK, the bus rides really aren't that bad. If you're staying at any of the resorts in the MK area, you're going to have a similar bus ride to AK park. We love the theme at AKL and nothing beats looking out from your balcony and seeing animals roaming around. We had a great stay and had no complaints about the room, hotel or staff while we were there.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I have stayed at almost all of the Disney resorts over the years. I did love the actual AKL resort, but I did not like the location. It is great to get to AK, but it is a long bus ride to every other park, especially MK. I felt that that trip, I spent the most time ever on buses. Plus that is the only time in 25+ years of visits that I got bitten by mosquitoes when I went out in the evening by the pool. They do not spray that resort because of the animals. Those two things have kept me from staying there again. I do like POFQ and WL.
 

MissViv

Well-Known Member
Last visit was AKL, and although it was really a good experience I would not stay there again. The price is good for a deluxe but it is long bus rides to anywhere you want to go. I would hate to stay until park closing and try to return to AKL.

WL or Poly would be my choice for a deluxe. I love Contemporary but it does not have hardly any Disney theming. POFQ would be my choice for a moderate.
 

Kingdom Konsultant

WDWMAGIC Board Sponsor
Premium Member
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Ok after reading your list:
Some big things on my list with a resort are:
1. The “Disney feel” and theming in the room
2. Boat transportation or maybe the skyliner
3. Recreation rentals such as bikes, golf carts (if any resort has that), boat rental.
4. Very comfortable beds

The parks we will attend the most this time will be DHS and Epcot. Maybe DAK. Will likely skip MK this time, though my mom really enjoys HEA lol.

What I am going to suggest so that you hit most of these is one of the Epcot area hotels since you want DHS (walking distance) and Epcot (walking distance). You can also take what I call the "slow boat" if you like.
The resorts there all have comfortable beds, beautiful theming, surrey bike rentals at the BWI

I do love AKL. It's one of my faves but keep in mind that it is located further out from the parks including AK due to the surrounding Savannas. Also the bus to each park can take a while. I would honestly save this hotel for a more relaxing trip, longer trip or if you will definitely be going to AK.

Pam
 

helenabear

Well-Known Member
I do love AKL a lot and it is a top choice, but I give a small edge to Wilderness Lodge really over it (if we're throwing out options there). We're doing 2 trips this year and we're staying at both AKL (Kidani) and WL (BRV). Both have excellent themes. Both have good dining options. AKL has more activities I think scheduled that you could do. Buses are not bad at all from either. WL has the boat to MK and to Ft. Wilderness & Contemporary. I love it there. So calm and peaceful. They have boats to rent as well as bikes. So that's one I'd suggest.

I do love AKL a ton though.
 

JTT

Well-Known Member
1. The “Disney feel” and theming in the room - Polynesian - I love the themeing of the rooms and resort. It's an Oasis.
2. Boat transportation or maybe the skyliner - Polynesian - Monorail, Boat and Bus. You can also walk to the TTC.
3. Recreation rentals such as bikes, golf carts (if any resort has that), boat rental. Polynesian - boats and maybe bikes.
4. Very comfortable beds Polynesian.
Polynesian has great restaurants, quick service, snacks, gift shops and bars. Easy access to Magic Kingdom, GF and Contemporary for food and fun.
You can also get Dole Whip! :)
 
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UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I love Riverside -- it's my go-to place to stay, and the royal guest rooms are the best rooms there. I don't actually care that much about the theming of the rooms, but their location is perfect. You can even walk to the French Quarter from them in 10 minutes or less (and the French Quarter food court is better than the one at Riverside). I also like going to Disney Springs several nights per trip after the parks close (often eat a late dinner there), and that's incredibly easy to do from POR.

I personally would never stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge unless I was going for like 10+ days (and I doubt I will ever do that). I love the theming and the animals, and I tend to head over there once per trip for the Boma breakfast buffet, which I think is the best breakfast at WDW. But it's just too far away from everything but Animal Kingdom. The waits for buses and the bus rides themselves are much longer than they are at other resorts (I've driven there for Boma and then left my car there for day while using the buses to get to the parks from AKL).

Regardless, if you're planning to spend most of your time at EPCOT and DHS you should be staying at the Boardwalk Inn or the Beach or Yacht Club. Personally, I'd go with the Boardwalk Inn. It may not feel as Disney as the royal guest rooms at POR, but I think it's a beautiful hotel that's very well themed to the time period. There's a cool lounge with a balcony where you can sit out outside in wicker chairs and you're right next to Flying Fish which is one of the best restaurants at WDW. There's also the Boardwalk pizza window which is surprisingly good for how quick it is and the Boardwalk Bakery and Ample Hills for baked deserts and ice cream. And, most importantly, you can walk, take a boat, or use the Skyliner to get to DHS, and can walk or use a boat to get to EPCOT.
 
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HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
If it's between AKL and POR, I'd always choose AKL. I never find the distance to be a problem. In fact, I think we spent just as much, if not more, time on buses when we stayed at POR. I had this discussion with this guy on my last visit who strongly disagreed with my assessment when I told him our good bus service at AKL during our various visits evened out our transportation time compared to other resorts...i.e. waiting 5-10 min for a bus at AKL and taking 15-20 minutes to get to whatever park compared to waiting 15-20+ min for a bus at another resort and taking 8-12 minutes to get there. Ultimately, I'd rather a longer bus ride and a shorter wait on said bus. I know not everyone has had this experience, but we have...pretty much every time. Beyond that, AKL has real wow factor and while it's not the princess vibe of a royal room, the rooms are stunning. Even with a standard view, you can usually get an obstructed view room that still looks on to a savanna. This was the standard view room I stayed in last month.

 

Tony the Tigger

Well-Known Member
While I love AKL - the rooms, the grounds, restaurants, etc; and think it’s an excellent value for a deluxe, based on your criteria I’d consider Caribbean Beach Resort or maybe the new Riviera next door.

CBR tends to be one of the lower priced moderates, often with deals available. The skyliner stops right there. We like the food options, and there are minor additional activities. It’s close to both Epcot and HS. Might be low on “Disney Magic” to some, but not to us!
 

casuter

New Member
Animal Kindgom is a little to inconvenient for me.
Wilderness Lodge has to be one of my favorites, though.
The lobby is absolutely spectacular. Every single time you walk in, it blows your mind away.
The rooms are very rustic, and the general theming of the resort is on point. You will not be disappointed.

oh...and the oatmeal at Geyser Point is somehow better than the other resorts i've been to
 
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