No animals in the savannah
Reviewed 3 October, 2021
This was our third time staying at AKL and we are huge fans. This time, we were in town for one night and splurged for a savannah view room. We deliberately didn't make plans to visit a theme park on the morning of our stay because we were really looking forward to just enjoying our room and looking at the animals all morning. The first disappointment was that our room was not ready at check in time. This is pretty inconvenient when travelling alone with three kids and for $700/night I'd like my room to be ready at check in. The biggest disappointment was that there were no animals in the savannah for the entire morning of our stay. My kids and I got up early to watch the savannah and enjoy the view. We had been looking forward to it and talking about it for months, but there were only a few pelicans and nothing else. After two hours without animals, we walked around the hotel viewing areas looking to see if they were hiding somewhere and we couldn't find a single one. We asked multiple casts members and no one seemed to know. They kept saying maybe they were hiding in the shade, but we looked everywhere and when they looked they could tell there were no animals either. One cast member suggested that we could take a shuttle to another part of the resort to try to see some animals there. I guess there had to do some kind of maintenance (although we didn't see anyone doing anything) or something and that's understandable and I'm sure they always need to do what's best for the animals first of course, but maybe don't charge the premium nightly rate for a savannah view if guests are only going to be looking at an empty field. Or maybe offer to make it up to the guests in some way instead of just having them pack their kids up and leave the resort massively disappointed. It's not a huge deal in the great scheme of things, but it stung coming from Disney and I felt pretty ripped off for having saved up to splurge on that experience for my kids. I don't think I would ever try to book a savannah view again either because it just seems like a gamble now and I'd hate to have it be so disappointing for the kids again.
Unbelievable ,,, The WOW Factor...
Reviewed 26 September, 2021
This Place is Amazing...!
The WOW Factor....
Disney did it right,,, every little detail of this place is African Serengeti ...
We were blown away by everything this place offers.....
We woke up every morning to giraffes, and a multitude of exotic animals walking just off of our patio..
It was beyond fun... And we are not kids... the neighbors next to us had little children and you could here how delighted they were to see the animals every morning.
The rooms are beautiful.. You will want for nothing...
The food, Oh MY gosh.. So good... I am gluten free and they made sure I had every thing I wanted... The Buffett was simply the Best !!!
Wait staff, always pleasant anything we needed it was done..
We had so much fun,, We didn't want to leave...
We even went over and had a dink or maybe two at the other resorts at Disney and while they were nice as well. this one was worth every cent.. and by far my favorite...
You will not be disappointed ...
It has a huge pool which looks more like a crystal clear lake with an area for children but also a place for the adults it has a tiki hut like play area for kids one one side, and I believe three spas.
We loved this place, we had an amazing glass of wine out on the deck the architecture was so perfect every little detail of this place was over the top Africa...
We did not rent a car, they picked us up at the airport and took us every day to the park... We never waited more than a few min. for a bus from Disney..
They also took us back to the airport..
This was all included in the rates
No hidden fees...Hope you find this review helpful. I normally don't write reviews but this place was so fun !!!
Reviewed 26 September, 2021
The hotel asked us what time we expected to arrive months in advance. 30 minutes before we were scheduled to arrive, we got a text that told us our room wasn't ready yet, and that we would recieve a text in 45 minutes with an update. We never received that text.
We arrived and gave our luggage to bell services and walked over to Jambo from Kidani. That's quite a trek, I do not recommend. But there is no signage letting you know there are shuttles between the two sections or where the shuttle is.
Anyway, we walked to Jambo, ate at The Mara, explored a bit, found the shuttle, and got back to Kidani. We checked on our room 4 hours after we were scheduled to arrive, and having been given no additional updates via text like we were promised. Our room wasn't ready, but they had a room ready they could give us. We took it as we wanted to get some rest in before Boo Bash.
Instead of a partial Savanah View, we got a view over bell services and valet parking. It was kind of loud. But spending over a week there, the lobby was probably more convenient as this hotel was very spread out and sprawling.
The next day we decided to sleep in. Until housekeeping banged on the door til we woke up. Even though we had the do not disturb sign up. They absolutely had to come in and get our trash right then. I wasn't impressed.
Speaking of housekeeping... We stayed for over a week. They came in every day to get trash. But they didn't take dirty towels, or make the bed, or leave fresh towels, or toilet paper. We had to call down to the desk if we needed anything. It would have been nice to come back to a fresh bed just once. But that never happened.
The transportation to and from the parks was abysmal. Getting a bus from Kidani Village was always at least a 20 minute wait. One night we left Epcit gates right before 9:30. We got to a half full station. We watched bus after bus drive by. The station filled up. No bus stopped for our station. We watched a bus that was labeled for Animal Kingdom Lodge drive right by us, empty. Watched several busses "refilling pixie dust" drive right by. Busses that said "Dory". Other busses that said "training" drive by. Nothing for us. Finally after 10pm, a bus pulled up, and took as many people as it could. We weren't able to get onto that bus. Waited another 20 minutes for a bus to show up. We filled that bus up, and there were still people left at the bus stop. We didn't return to our hotel til approximately 10:45. It took us over an hour to get to our hotel from the park gates. Unbelievable and totally unacceptable.
Our room had a full size bed, but long. Not a queen. A full. It was ridiculous. We tried to pull out the couch, but that was extremely uncomfortable. We stayed at a value resort a couple years ago, the beds were larger, and the pull down Murphy bed was wonderful. But this room had a tiny bed, and a uncomfortable pullout couch.
While the room itself was large, it was extremely outdated and a major downgrade from what we had experienced at the value category hotel we stayed in previously. And coming here from a Universal Prime Value category stay to here, was a major disappointment.
There also seemed to be a constant stream of children running up and down the hall screaming at all hours.
Food. Hope you like being hungry! No quick service at this hotel. You can get Sanaa to go on mobile order. But if you don't like the food offerings from Sanaa, you're out of luck. The grab and go case in the gift shop is a joke.
On the morning of checkout, I was woken up at 8 am by knocking at our door. I presume it was housekeeping asking what time we were checking out. I don't actually know, as I chose to not get up and answer the door.
We gathered our items and took them to bell services to hold til our Magical Express came. And we shuttled to Jambo House so we could grab some lunch. When we arrived back at Kidani, we approached bell services about our luggage. They told us they would bring them out front. They brought us our bags and said thank you. They didn't look at the slip for a piece count. We had to explain that we were missing a lightsaber and an art piece. They said they weren't with our luggage. We asked them to look again, and showed them our card with the piece count. It took them another 15 minutes to find our lightsaber, and a matted piece of artwork with our last name painted on it. The explanation we were given is that someone just put it somewhere else. I wasn't at all upset that they couldn't find over $350 worth of merchandise. [Sarcasm]
We absolutely will not stay here again. I'd rather stay at an All Star if this is the kind of experience a Deluxe DVC Hotel provides.
Reviewed 20 September, 2021
My mother had a medical emergency during our visit to Disney (we were at Animal Kingdom park at the time). The park staff was excellent about getting my mother seen by paramedics quickly and helped facilitate transfer via ambulance to a local hospital where she was admitted.
Disney guest services contacted me later in the day to provide additional assistance which helped make a stressful situation a little easier. The Lodge manager was very compassionate and helped facilitate a later check-out time so my mother could return to shower and change before we took a flight home.
Nobody wants to think of anything bad happening while on vacation, but things can go wrong. I am beyond pleased with Disney's response (at the park and at the Lodge) and will be a forever Disney customer after this experience.
We were able to enjoy some time at the Lodge before the medical issue. The room was clean, modern and well supplied with everything we needed. Our Savannah view was fantastic, and we particularly enjoyed sitting on the balcony watching the animals.
I am a vegan and my mother has food allergies, but we both had plenty of food options to select from. While at the Lodge, we dined at The Mara several times. Allergy-friendly waffles aren't available on the mobile order app, but we were able to request them in person. There were two plant-based options, plus a vegan dessert, on the lunch/dinner menu. The meals were interesting – not the standard veggie burger option many places offer for vegans.
Bus transportation was easy, but crowded at park closing time. If you have COVID anxiety, you should probably take an Uber at peak times. They are able to pick up/drop off right at the Lodge entrance.
Check charges before you leave
Reviewed 19 September, 2021
Make sure you check your folio charges before you leave. Myself and another traveling party were charged for parking, even though we never even drove a car while in Orlando. Location is somewhat far, but the resort itself is nice.