What We Like: Where to begin? Well, as you can agree waking up to animals roaming the savannah outside your balcony doesn’t suck. There’s two of the best table service restaurants on Disney property in Jiko and Sanaa, plus their buffet, Boma, is amazing. Inarguably this place contains the best theming of any resort the mouse owns. They imagineered the hell out of this place and no detail was missed. Joe Rohde (google him kids) and his team blew it out of the water. You can walk around this place for an entire day and feel like you’ve still not seen everything. The pools are great, and even if you can’t score a Savannah View Room the outdoor savannah viewing areas add something you just can’t get anywhere else. Then comes the price, while Disney prices it’s rooms dynamically based on supply and demand AKL is seemingly always on the low end when it comes to the Deluxe and DVC Villas. While there are times it may be higher than another Deluxe or two it is NEVER the most expensive. Essentially this is the best hotel in all of Walt Disney World when you consider just the property itself. So why is it rated only third-best? Well, because we like fucking with you that’s why. Joking aside, this CAN’T be the top resort on property because of the two things we’d change.
What We’d Change: The transportation, fuck that damn bus. Not to get haughty, but when you’re paying Deluxe prices, you expect some Deluxe shit. While the resort itself delivers on that and then some getting to and from it is a bitch. Every other Deluxe has at least three modes of transport to the Parks whether that be boat, bus, monorail, or even short walks (sub 1 mile). AKL has just one and it’s the damn bus. The Disney Bus system isn’t perfect it’s not utter failure either but when staying at other Deluxes you can get to at both Epcot and Magic Kingdom without setting foot on one if you wish. AKL is not even close enough to Animal Kingdom Park to walk so you’re waiting for the bus unless you have a car. Hell, even Value Resorts are getting cool transportation. Our number two complaint goes hand in hand with the transportation issue. AKL isn’t close to shit, barely even close to the Park it’s named after. Meaning that you have to account for longer transportation times and waiting for the bus to arrive (plus it stops internally at Jambo House and Kidani Village so depending on which you’re staying at you will have an extra stop either coming or going. So plan accordingly if you trying to make dinner reservations or be anywhere at a set time.
photo credit: Disney
Overall: Animal Kingdom Lodge gets a massive thumbs up. Even if you aren’t staying here it’s highly recommended that you stop by to eat. Afterwards, as you’re walking-off your meal experience the bonus of taking in the beauty of this place, it’s incredible.