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All reviews savannah view jambo house animal kingdom kidani village savannah room african theme watching the animals savanna view room the bus boma restaurant zebra trail african animals night vision love animals booked a standard room quick service disney world
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Reviewed October 24, 2019

Decided to stay at Disney's AKL in a savannah view room with concierge level services. Had previously stayed at Grand Floridian, concierge level, so I knew this wouldn't be as nice, but this was a markedly lower quality hotel and overall experience.

Check-in was promised by 3 but didn't actually happen until 630, and when we did check in, found an outdated, dusty room which appeared to have baked-on dust on most of the fixtures in the room. Furniture appeared to be beat up, well beyond its service life. The room was also very small, a glorified closet, and there was no soap or shampoo in the room. Called to complain and they moved us to a 'newly renovated' room on the other side of the hotel.

New room was marginally better but not large enough for anything other than an upright chair and desk, which meant you could not sit and talk comfortably. Short on storage space. Savannah view was underwhelming, mostly only saw one or two zebras, wildebeest and birds, and that's about it. Don't go expecting to see a wide variety of wildlife from your porch, you will be disappointed. Disney cast members confirmed that containment needs for lions, elephants, and other exotic wildlife were beyond the containment devices currently in place on property. So you might see a giraffe, but when you do, they were far away. Most of the time, we were staring out onto a large yard with no animals visible. By the end of the trip we didn't even go onto our balcony.

The hotel staff were nice but inconsistently so. I was was watching a podcast one evening at 11 PM and a guest actually reported me for a noise complaint, so the manager called me and asked me to "turn my TV down". I told her I was on a MacBook Air and that this thing only gets so loud, so be prepared for this if you have a room with an adjoining door like we did. Overall, this was a very average to below average Disney experience and we will not be returning to this hotel if we ever decide to return to Disney World. This room was smaller than, but comparable to in quality to a Holiday Inn. Not a "deluxe resort" when it comes to the room. The lobby is just OK.

The bed was lumpy and uncomfortable. Woke up with sore back about half of the days I was there.

The concierge lounge, similar to other concierge experiences at Disney, offers the same selections of foods at different times of the day. So not a ton of variety. You can get free alcohol if you want it, but that didn't make up for the below par experience overall at this hotel.

Have been coming back for years to WDW, and paying top dollar, but the parks are overly crowded. At the end of the trip we were just ready to go home and tired of the endless throngs of cranky people, strollers and scooters in our face. Enough is enough, it's time for this company to refocus on the guest experience rather than how to squeeze more people into their parks. If you want to stand in 90 degree+ weather in standing humidity for 180 minutes for Splash Mountain, come on down!!

Date of stay: October 2019
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank Broph1
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 25, 2019

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is meant to be a unique and enriching experience, transcending distance and putting you right in the center of a tropical, South African village. With Cultural Representatives beaming with knowledge at every corner, exotic animals like Wildebeests and Zebras grazing right outside your window, and the alluring smells of traditional bites wafting through the air, we want each of our Guests to leave here feeling like they had a “roaring” good time.

As someone who has returned to the magic year after year, it is understandably disheartening to feel as though that Disney difference you have come to be familiar with is not as apparent. It’s great to see our Front Desk Cast Members worked to provide you with more comfortable accommodations, and I sincerely apologize that even with this change, you still felt underwhelmed. Please know, we take your feedback to heart and will be sure to share your concerns with the Resort’s Leadership team.

Whether your next visit finds you having a wild time at Animal Kingdom Lodge, or returning to the Victorian charm of Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, we look forward to welcome you back for a much more magical time again soon.

Thank you for your review.

Kenzi
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 23, 2019

I was so excited to finally stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge after all our years of visiting and staying at other resorts. This Lodge with the Savannah View was on my bucket list. We were greeted outside with a woman carrying an iPad and she escorted us to the check-in line and answered our questions. It is pretty obvious that the Lodge is large but we are senior citizens and discovered on our way to our room that it was really far away. We were in the Jambo House and had to walk through the lobby, then down a long hallway, to the elevator and then down another long hallway. We probably should have asked if there was another room closer to the lobby. In any event we were excited when we arrived at our room. I could not wait to open the curtains and look for the animals. Imagine my dismay when I pushed the curtain aside and found the patio doors and chairs covered with bugs. I could not go outside and was so upset. I called the front desk and was told that they were love bugs and would be diminishing each day and that the housekeeper could come up and sweep them but they do that every time they clean the rooms. With not being from the area, I had never heard of love bugs. I told her how upset I was and that I had been wanting to stay at the Lodge for a really long time. As a consolation she offered 3 additional fast passes per day for 3 days for both my husband and myself. Even though there were restrictions on the rides I greatly appreciated this gesture and we did use some of them. This was great customer service. The love bugs did diminish enough each day so that I could go outside but never sit down. A few always managed to sneak in but we could deal with them. We did get some great shots of the animals, with the giraffes and zebras being the most common.
We didn't have the dining plan since we had discounts through the military program for our room, the park passes and memory maker. We therefore ate most of our meals when we were in the Lodge at Mara, a cafeteria type restaurant, which worked fine for us.
We also did the Starlight Safari where you go for a ride in a truck with a guide and use night vision goggles to see the animals. We enjoyed the ride because it was different and we were given a glow-in-the-dark pin at the end of the trip.
All in all, a great trip and I'm glad we stayed here!

4  Thank Theresa L
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2019

After wanting to experience Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge for so long, I'm thrilled to hear you had such a wild stay despite a few small issues. In particular, I absolutely understand the concern if walking a little further is an issue for your party. Did you know that you can request a room location prior to your visit? I always recommend noting this when making your reservations! While we cannot guarantee placements, our Cast Members do try to accommodate requests when possible.

In addition, since you also weren't aware of the little flying bugs that seem to love central Florida, I can understand how this might have caused you some alarm at first; they won't hurt you, but I know sitting on bugs isn't a preferable way to enjoy the savanna! As noted, Housekeeping is happy to assist with cleaning. I'm glad you could still enjoy your views despite it and that a Cast Member was able to provide a little extra magic to your trip.

Otherwise, it's wonderful you were able to experience some of the other amazing things this Resort has to offer. Since you so enjoyed all the delicious food The Mara has to offer, I'd sincerely recommend having dinner at Boma - Flavors of Africa during your next visit! This is truly one of my favorite places due to the atmosphere, cuisine and service. Be sure to keep it in mind!

Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts! We can't wait to welcome you back for another wonderful stay soon!

Liz
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 23, 2019

I am what you would call a hotel snob.  I like a nice and new, updated room, and when I pay a lot for a room, I expect it to be nice.  I have stayed at Polynesian and Grand Floridian many times, and I have been disappointed each time.  With either outdated rooms, service issues, or dirty sheets; there has just always been a problem.  So I have not had good experiences with Disney Deluxe hotels.

I was looking into staying at a Disney Springs hotel, but once you add in the resort fees, they're not that cheap.  Plus, the shuttle was on a schedule, so I'd likely have had to Uber back and forth most of the time.  I booked this trip pretty last minute, so I decided to see what was still available at the Disney hotels.  Animal Kingdom Lodge had a room available, and I'd always wanted to stay there. It was cheaper than the other hotel I was looking at, and I could take the Magic Express and Disney transportation, too, so it was a no brainer for me.  And I'm so glad I booked here.  It was my favorite Disney resort stay, by far!

When I got to the airport, I got right on a Magical Express shuttle.  I do wish they only stopped at Deluxe hotels since you're paying so much of a premium, but we stopped at several hotels before AKL.  The bus left at 4:22, and we were at Jambo house at 5:07 on a Wednesday.

I looked in the app and got my room number.  I went to find it, and it was FAR!  It was as far away from the lobby that you could be on the Kudu trail.  And then I got to my room and...my magic band would not open the door!  I tried multiple times and couldn't get it to work.  I tried to call the hotel because I had my luggage with me, and it was a long walk back.  She tried to fix it on the phone, but it wouldn't work, so I had to go the whole way back to the lobby.  The girl that helped me there was very nice, and she walked back with me to make sure my door opened.

Once I was finally in the room, I loved it!  I had sent a fax in requesting a renovated room (which was my priority) and a partial savanna view.  I got both!!  The room was really nice. I loved the dark fixtures and the details on the furniture to make it feel more African.  The Lion King pictures were also cute, and I loved the backlighting behind the bed.  Far and away the best Disney room I've ever had!  I have a video of the room if you'd like to see it.  You can message me since I can't post links here.

My trip was only 3 nights, and not without some issues though.  There was a giant hair IN the shampoo bottle in my room (those things are gross, bring your own).  I got sick at Boma, and I'm 100% sure it was from what I ate there.  And the balcony was full of bugs.  Dead bugs and living ones.  Just literally covered in bugs.  I never went out there.  I never even opened the door.  There were just THAT many bugs.  So having a balcony here was useless.  I mention all of this though because I still LOVED this hotel.  That is saying a lot!  And I used their communication system one night to contact a manager, and they got back to me that night!  It was late, and I assumed I'd just get a response the next morning.  I got a call like 5 minutes later!  I was very impressed with the response time with that.

Having the animals right outside your room is also a great plus.  I like unique hotel experiences, and having a giraffe outside my window is about as  unique as it gets.  I spent some time just sitting in my room looking at the animals, and that was great.

I also liked that all the hallways are inside and air conditioned.  I was really far from the lobby and Mara, but I could be inside almost the entire time, which helped.  It's also really nice if it rains.

Speaking of Mara, it was my favorite Disney resort quick service restaurant, too.  The desserts are awesome!  I really was not a fan of the zebra domes that are so popular, but the Nyala brownie, OMG, I could eat those everyday!  And I did while I was there! :)  There were several cupcakes and other goodies I'd have also liked to try.

I would like to stay here again, but the person I usually travel with needs a scooter.  Unfortunately, the only transportation from here is by bus.  Getting the scooters on and off the busses is really inconvenient, and it inconveniences other people since they take up space, and I know she hates that.  The monorail is much easier to get on and off of with the scooter, so we'd probably stay at a monorail hotel again just for that reason.  I'm not sure she'd love this hotel enough to make up for needing to take busses everywhere.  I wish you could at least walk to one of the parks from here, but unfortunately you can't.  If transportation was not an issue, I'd stay here again next time for sure.

All that being said, this is the first Disney hotel I was even slightly impressed with.  The details in the lobby and the rooms is great, and there's just so many little things that they did with the design.  And the rooms being renovated is also a nice plus.  I also spent less here per night than I ever did for a monorail resort.  If you're looking for a Disney resort that can actually impress, I'd book your stay here without hesitation.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
8  Thank BSBgirl337
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 24, 2019

Despite a few little hiccups, I'm thrilled to hear you had a totally wild time at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge! As you mentioned in your very thorough review, there's so much to love about this unique Resort. From the moment you set foot in the grand lobby, you know you're in for an adventure! I am sorry to hear that you encountered a few challenges during your stay, including at the beginning of it, but it sounds like our Cast Members were able to turn it around for you; they are always happy to help!

Thanks for stopping by with such a detailed description of your visit! No matter where you choose to stay next, we look forward to welcoming you back for a visit that's just as magical.

Liz
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed October 23, 2019 via mobile

We thought we would take advantage of a $275 rate. BIG MISTAKE. The room was nothing more than a glorified closet. With Wi Fi that didn’t work. Maybe two places to charge your electronics. Just a full size bed. With Bunk Beds?????? If I was charged the regular price of over $450 I would have actually punched somebody. Disappointed is an understatement. Why would anyone stay here? When there are countless options just seconds away. With much nicer rooms and modern amenities. Yeah! I’m Pissed!!!!!!!

Date of stay: October 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
4  Thank 359gerarda
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 23, 2019

My 31 year old son and I checked in for a Father/Son trip. How cool was that, right? When we walked into the incredible lobby, the stunning sight just took our breath away. the African culture and majesty just set the stage for a wonderful trip. The staff is fantastic and so incredibly helpful. We stayed in the Savana King rooms which were perfectly appointed. Outside of our rooms were the animals roaming around the warm Orlando sun...wildebeasts, giraffe, zebra...to name a few. My son was over the moon! As there are no characters at Animal Kingdom Lodge--thank heavens---the animals, the genuine African artifacts, and atmosphere bring you to a place of understanding and appreciation. It literally was the perfect place and we can;t wait to go back.

Date of stay: September 2019
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Bill5042
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
WDW_Parks_Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded October 23, 2019

A father/son trip is always special, but when you combine it with your own African safari it becomes something magical! From the moment you arrive, you can't help but get lost in the atmosphere that makes you feel like you are far away from Florida. It sounds like you had a perfect room, and I just love the photos you shared.

Thank you for taking the time to mention our friendly Cast Members in your review. They are committed to making sure you are having the best vacation possible, and I am so glad to hear they had such an impact on your stay.

We hope you will join us for another wild adventure soon!

Anna
Disney Social Reviews

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