View Full Version : Wilderness Lodge or Animal Kingdom Lodge
06-29-2003, 03:54 PM
My family and I Have booked a stay at the Wilderness Lodge in Nov. 2003. We have always wanted to stay at this particular resort, but never have (have stayed at the Poly and Caribbean Beach). Our friends are booked at the AKL for the same week and we plan to hook-up quite a bit. My question is...Should we switch to the Animal Kingdom Lodge, or should we stay put at the Wilderness? We are not too concerned about being somewhere different than our friends, but we would greatly appreciate some pros and cons about the resorts in general. Thanks
Both resorts are similar and will give you the feel of being either: in the Pacific Northwest or Africa. From WL you can see and hear MK, but from AKL, it's like being in Africa. All you can see are the animals (Ok, by the bus stops you can see some outside intrusions). If you're planning on spending a lot of times in the parks, then WL might be the way to go. If you're going for a more leisurely time, AKL is the perfect place to kick back and relax. It is truly a hotel you should spend some time in.
06-29-2003, 04:28 PM
We've stayed at Wilderness Lodge several times and greatly enjoy this resort. We were here most recently in September of 2002. The resort is terrific. We love the proximity to the Magic Kingdom and to the other resorts in this area. The pool area is wonderful. The resort ambience is a real favorite. The restaurants here are quite nice - Whispering Canyon and Artist Point. Territory Lounge is a favorite for hanging out and putting our feet up at the end of the day. Roarin Forks is fine for a quick breakfast or snack.
We stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge once. We were at this resort in February of 2003. This is also a beautiful resort. We particularly loved being able to see the animals from our balcony. It does feel a bit far away from the parks though. Boma was great as was Victoria Falls Lounge. Jiko is a terrific restaurant and Mara is fine for quick breakfasts or snacks.
Either resort is a great pick. Personally, if I were going to spend a fair amount of time with a particular group of folks, I'd find it easier to do if we were starting and/or ending from the same location.
06-29-2003, 04:51 PM
I would agree that it's easier to stay in the same place as your friends, but you mentioned you've always wanted to try out WL, so why not stay there? Besides, I'm sure its safe for me to say that since your friends are staying in AKL, you will be spending a lot of time at both resorts... so you'll get the best of both worlds!
06-29-2003, 05:01 PM
Exactly what we were thinking...the kids will be able to enjoy both resorts... Thanks so much for your replies...
06-29-2003, 05:07 PM
We are big Wilderness Lodge fans, recently returned from an 8 day trip in May. Love it! Have visited AKL but not stayed there. Don't plan to. Much prefer the WL. AKL a little too removed from things for us. We prefer the dining at the WL also. Did eat lunch at the AKL and wasn't overly impressed. It is a personal choice, but we love the theme at WL. The lobby and the pool can't be beat, and we love the Roaring Forks for a quick bite. Mostly, we enjoy the amenities that the WL offers. In particular, they have a family plan that allows you to use the water sprites, pontoon boats and bikes as much as you want, for as long as you want for $199.00 per family(up to 5). We really took advantage of this, as we enjoy riding bikes over to the Ft. Wilderness, which is accesible via the bike/walking trail from the Lodge. We also enjoy the convenience of the boat launch to MK. So I guess I'd have to say "Stick with the WL!". graemlins/thumbsup.gif Besides if your friends are at AK, you will be able to visit them, and get to see which resort you'd prefer for your next visit.
06-29-2003, 05:08 PM
I am going to back up what Faline has said but I would like to add a few things about WL.
Before I do this I do want everyone to know I have never stayed at AKL. I also love the WL so maybe I am biased.
Wilderness Lodge has water so they have:
Direct boat transportation to MK, a 10 min ride.
Boat transportation to Fort Wilderness and Contemporary,
A marina, which means boats, water mice, and pontoon boats to rent,
A beach even though you can't swim in bay lake you can go on the beach.
The nightly Electric Water Pageant right off the beach.
Bike rental and paths to Fort Wilderness.
With the boats to FW and Cont. you have such a wide choice of dining options.
Trails End Buffet at FW.
Chef Mickeys Concourse steak house and California Grill all at the Cont.
Easy access from the Contemporary to the Monorail.
Also easy access to the TTC. less than 5 min bus ride.
Wilderness Lodge has animals- rabbits all over. Fish by the marina and boat dock. ( they have food for you to feed them here ) Ducks.... Let me tell you about the ducks. They swim in the pool. No they don't really care if you are in there when they want to they jump in for a dip. I like this- they wont bother you.....
Things to do:
The Wilderness Villas are right next door. Go tour them they have 2 train cars from Walts home railroad. They are in the Golden Spike Room.
Fort Wilderness has the nightly camp fire where you can roast marshmallows and make smoores. They also have a movie. The bast part is Chip and Dale make there way over here and great people.
ok this is what I like and can think of off the top of my head.
06-29-2003, 06:55 PM
We stayed at AKL in January 2003 and fell in love with this wonderful place...it really seemed as if we were in Africa and we were so enchanted,we spent at least one whole day just soaking up the atmosphere...Haven't stayed at the Wilderness Lodge yet,but have heard great things about it,as well..Whatever you decide,I'm sure you'll have a great time~! graemlins/clappy.gif
06-29-2003, 11:48 PM
After having stayed at both resorts I think that I would really go with WL.
I prefer the food options at AKL and the atmosphere better but the transportation and layout of the resort we found to be a rather large problem. The resort is practically off-property really, like I think it is on an extreme corner of WDW and there fore it takes a relatively long time to get anywhere other than AK, it is also horseshoe shaped so if you get stuck at the end of the horseshoe you've got a mighty trek.
SO I guess it depends on what you value you more
If food and ambience are important go with AKL
If transit time and convenient layouts are important go WL
07-01-2003, 12:25 PM
Having stayed at WL, I think you shoul dhave no trouble getting between AKL and WL. You would be able to do one of two things to get between them:
-Hop a bus to the TTC which apparently takes about 10 mins. then get on a bus to AKL.
-Take a bus from WL to AK and then walk to AKL.
Now, I cannot say from experience as I have never tried to commute between these two resorts. Anybody else out there with this kind of experience?
It seems logical in my head. graemlins/crazy.gif
07-01-2003, 01:14 PM
From what I have heard, you can not walk to AK from AKL, or the other way around.
We choose AKL because my fiance' loves animals. I love them too, but it's really his thing alittle more than mine. He used to be a volunteer at the Phila Zoo.
Also, this is our honeymoon, so this laid back atmosphere is prefered. I was leaning towards WL because of location and the theming seemed nice enough, but after I had some look at the pictures of AKL, it took my breath away.
Also, after staying at resorts that share buses, I REALLY like that AKL does not share ANY bus with any resort.
07-01-2003, 02:34 PM
We just returned from 8 days at the Wilderness Lodge, and also had a chance to spend 2-3 hours over at AKL on the afternoon we were heading to the airport. Both hotels are wonderful and would be great places to stay - - however, I must say I preferred WL because of a couple of factors.
1.) Location, location, location. WL is more convenient to 3 of the 4 parks, and also a quick boat ride connects you to FW Campground or the Contemporary and the two other monorail hotels. This gives you a wide array of dining choices, as well.
2.) Water. Do you prefer looking at animals, or looking at and playing on a beautiful lake. My personal choice is water access. Boats to MK, etc. - - and being able to rent watermouse boats on Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon was probably my favorite "ride" of the trip.
3.) Other things (pools, restaurants, snack area, arcades, etc.) were very comparable - - although I liked the WL lobby with all its hidden nooks better.
Either way you can't go wrong - - although with your friends at AKL and you at WL, you'll get to experience both.
One final point - - IMHO the best non-car route between the two hotels would be to catch the boat from WL to MK, walk over to the bus stop at MK, and hop the bus to AKL. If MK is closed (late night or early morning) you could route through the TTC.
Have a great trip.
07-01-2003, 08:42 PM
We've stayed at both resorts as well. No preference between the 2 simply because they are both unique. Transportation from AKL is not a problem either. Busses (that are not shared with other resorts) are frequent...we never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus. The only time we used our car was to/from DD on our first night there. Didn't touch it again until checkout 6 days later.
Both resorts are wonderful and are destinations unto themselves. Although, in my opinion, AKL has a more relaxing, get away from it all feeling. So, you see, it comes down to personal preference.
Either way, you won't go wrong.
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