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  • Author
    • SusieH212

      Registered: March 2013
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Fri February 28, 2014 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Everything....ambiance, music, mood, ANIMALS!
      Cons: Check in...although we did online checkin took quite awhile @8am?

      Third time at AKL. Usually stay @POFQ, but this was a special trip. Can't imagine staying anywhere else! Just walking into that lobby. Loved our rooms and paying extra for Arusha view was worth it! Unfortunately it rained everyday, but AKL helped. Only wish we had more time for the firepit. Back Dec. 2015.
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      Registered: November 2013
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Thu December 26, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Ambiance, Animals
      Cons: Bus Transportation, Distance to Room

      We love staying at AKL Jambo House for the ambiance -- especially the lobby area -- and the great views of animals. We stayed here two nights in December 2013. Our DVC room was about a two minute brisk walk from the lobby, which was a real problem for one of my traveling companions with health issues. Unfortunately, no other rooms closer to the lobby were available. The deluxe studio was comfortable for two, but a little challenging with four in the room. The wait time for bus transportation to the parks was very long -- especially for those of us heading to Animal Kingdom park. We waited over 20 minutes -- and some guests waited over 35 minutes -- before a bus arrived. It quickly filled to standing capacity leaving about 20 of us waiting to board. Another 5 or 6 minutes wait -- and then success -- only a short drive to Animal Kingdom park and we were even able to get seats on the bus! I would stay here again, but would definitely call in advance to request a room close to the lobby.
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      Registered: July 2007
      Posts: 41
      Review Date: Fri December 13, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Unique, beautiful resort
      Cons: distance to parks, room size

      AKL is a beautiful, warm, welcoming resort! The moment you step into the doors you are greeted with the tranquility of the resort. A great feeling after the hustle and bustle of the parks! We stayed in an Arusha View room and it was well worth the price. We had zebras, giraffes, and many more animals outside our balcony. What a treat to see while relaxing. The rooms are smaller than expected, but nicely done, and very comfortable. Plenty of drawer space, closet space and enough space to store your luggage under the beds. We found this to be very convienent with the kids suitcases and backpacks. The bathroom is small and does not leave much space for dressing. I wish the sink area had a curtain that you could close off for dressing as some of the other resorts have. House keeping was outstanding! We ate at Boma and at Mara which is the food court. Both were very good. Very impressed with the food court. Quick and easy to get in and out- not crowded at all! Being so far our it was a longer bus ride to the parks, however, we never waited longer than 5 or 10 minutes. The ride did not bother us. We used the kids club one night and we, and our son, were very happy with it. The pool area was fantastic. When we go back, I will be sure to schedule in more resort time!
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      Registered: October 2010
      Location: boston
      Posts: 12
      Review Date: Wed October 23, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Savannah!
      Cons: cost and distance

      I love this resort....it's my 4th time here and each time it impresses me! I didn't splurge for a savannah room this time but my pool room was perfect. I love staying here because of the animals (as I think most would say), but also the staff is great, the pool is amazing, all the restaurants are wonderful (especially JIKO). Had an amazing dinner at Jiko. The rooms have a nice balcony too! It was a nice touch that my room was ready at 11:30...well before designated check-in. Mousekeeping was great per usual. Just another lovely stay and I cannot wait to return next year! I do agree with most that the distance to other parks is far but it's a worthy trade off to have the animals right there! Truly a great experience. With the planned changes to the Animal Kingdom Park, I'm looking forward to staying close to that park! Thank you again AKL staff for a lovely stay.
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      Registered: December 2010
      Location: Texas
      Posts: 64
      Review Date: Sat September 28, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Restaurants, Pool, Staff, Decor/Details
      Cons: Distance to Parks

      I was nervous about staying at AKL because everyone seems to draw so many comparisons to WL. Not that WL is bad, but I didn't love it either. Thankfully, AKL was nothing like WL.

      The CM who assisted us at check in was wonderful, Mousekeeping was very attentive, and really everyone we encountered was just so friendly and helpful.

      The Mara is so far the best deluxe resort QS we've experienced, we enjoy Boma, and love that Kidani is a quick and easy walk- since Sanaa is divine!

      The room was nice and felt much brighter and happier than the WL rooms. And while we were upgraded to a savannah view, it's one of the few resorts where the view really seems worth it.

      The pool was also nice...felt like this wonderful oasis. It was clean, the slide was fun, and it's nice how things like flamingos are so close by.

      All in all, we've stayed in 4 of the deluxe resorts and been inside all of them...and so far AKL does the best job of really transporting you - i.e. making you feel like you're in a totally different exotic destination.

      My only complaint is transportation. The buses were always there in a timely manner, but AKL is just so far from practically everything else that you always burned more time getting from pt A to pt B. We were also told by their CMs that it's pretty much impossible to get from AKL to a 7am breakfast without taking a cab. So, that was kind of annoying.

      Still, the attention to detail and the amazing and informative cast members make it worth a visit or even a split stay if you have some downtime planned into your trip.
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      Registered: September 2013
      Posts: 6
      Review Date: Thu September 26, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Clean, Friendly Knowledgable Staff, More than exptected
      Cons: N/A

      My son and wife love animals so this resort met and exceeded our expectations. We had a Savanna side room and it was amazing. Giraffes were litterally at your balcony.

      The room was clean, well maintained, and well worth the price.

      The restaurants were very good. The Mara (quick service) was outstanding. Everything was always well stocked and they had a great helpful staff.

      I would recommend staying here, it was great.
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      David Carrano

      Registered: January 2007
      Location: North Branford CT
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Wed September 18, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quite, Friendly check-in, Nice theme, Animals, Pool
      Cons: Out of the way, long bus rides, small rooms

      Stayed at the AKL the week of Sept 8, 2013. Overall a very nice experience, friendly staff. The resort is beautiful,clean and nicely themed. Somewhat disappointed with the room, small in comparison to Disney's other Deluxe resorts. Our room was showing signs of wear and tear, has a worn look not what you would expect from a deluxe resort and price. Lighting was a big issue, very poor in the bathroom sink area. Had an issue second day with house keeping. We returned back to our room at 3:30 p.m. from being gone all day and our room was still not cleaned. I complained and they said that they have until 4p.m. By 4p.m still no show. We had early dinner reservations and needed to shower. After making a fuss, they came back at some point after we left and cleaned the room. No other issues for the remaining days. Overall the resort is beautiful, well themed. The rooms are not great.
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      Registered: July 2012
      Location: Michigan
      Posts: 15
      Review Date: Fri August 2, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Cleanliness, Service, Pool Area, Food
      Cons: Air Conditioning Too High In Common Areas

      We checked in for a seven night stay at Jambo house on July 10th and were thrilled to be upgraded from a pool view to a savannah view. Our room was on the second floor of the Zebra trail facing the Uzima savannah. We love the Zebra trail because you have the savannahs on one side and the pool and restaurants on the other side. Very quick walk to anything you need. My children love the pools and Jacuzzis at both the Jambo and Kidani sides of the resort. The pool games, though, were a bit of a disappointment. However, the nightly movies were a big hit.
      Mousekeeping did a great job keeping our room clean, and left my boys towel animals upon request.
      The food at Boma and Sanaa was great, but we really like room service. The food is plentiful and delicious, and the room service is prompt and polite.
      My only complaint was that the air conditioning in the common areas is very high. We had to take sweatshirts with us to eat or even to grab a refill in our mugs!
      My son used Simba's clubhouse twice and had a great time!
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      Registered: July 2013
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Fri July 26, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Quiet, clean, friendly staff
      Cons: Confusing layout of rooms

      My husband and I stayed 6/19-6/24 for our 10 year anniversary. We were immediately greeted by the wonderful aroma as you enter the hotel. I was presented a rose during check-in since we were celebrating our anniversary which was a nice touch. At first we were issued a first floor pool view room. When we got into the room and could barely see the pool through all the shrubbery my husband immediately called to ask for a room change. This was after we had spent a good 20 minutes trying to find the room! We were completely lost and no one seemed to be able to help us. The staff was wonderful with finding us a room on a higher floor, which took about another 20 minutes for them to call back and send us on our way. We ended up with a third floor room (same as the lobby) with a beautiful pool view. This time our room was just past the gift shop and very easy to find! We enjoyed the towel animals that were left for us 3 nights out of our 5 night stay. The atmosphere of AKL is so unique and homey that we had a very nice vacation. The pool, hot tub, and pool bar were great, it wasn't too noisy, and it provided that tropical feel that I love on vacations. Biggest complaint was that when we returned to our room mid afternoon each day for a break from the parks, the room had not been cleaned. We just got into our swimsuits and went out to the pool for a bit and they were always done with our room when we returned. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed our stay there. We would love to return with our kids, but being a family of 5 there are no daybeds for the fifth person at this deluxe hotel.
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      Registered: October 2006
      Posts: 110
      Review Date: Tue June 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros):

      We just returned from our third stay at AKL. (5/22-5/30). Like the past 2 trips we booked a Pool View room. When we checked in we were SHOCKED to find out that we had been upgraded to a savanna view! We were in room 3136 - same floor as the lobby facing the sunset savanna.
      The room was ready at 9:00am and immaculate. We love the theming of the rooms at AKL. There are only 2 small details that are not perfect. 1. The lighting in the bathroom/vanity area is terrible. and 2. There are only 2 drawers for storage. The first point is not a huge deal. But the second....We are a family of 4. One drawer went to my daughter, the other to my son...so hubby and I spent 9 days living out of our suitcases. I am an organizer and never feel settled until I unpack and put everything away...this made me a bit nuts!
      While we very much enjoyed the beautiful view (we saw giraffes and a few other animals 5 or 6 days during our 9 day stay) - I would never pay the significant price difference for a Savanna view over a Pool View on our future stays there.
      AKL never ceases to amaze me. It is such gorgeous resort - the attention to detail is like no other. There is nothing like stepping out of the HOT FL. sun into that cool, breathtaking lobby and hearing "Welcome Home.".
      The pool is beautiful - an oasis! Our kids loved the poolside activities. One night they watched Wreck It Ralph while swimming - magical!
      We ate several meals at the Mara. We had different flatbreads, the African inspired breakfast, Mickey waffles and different pastries (strawberry scone was exceptionally yummy!) Everything was tasty and well prepared.
      We had dinner at BOMA one night and all LOVED it.
      The CM's at AKL were fabulous. Very friendly and super helpful. They truly make the resort feel like home.
      We visited a few other resorts during our stay and we still have not found one that feels quite as beautiful and unique as AKL.
      And one final thought: One of the most common concerns I hear about AKL is how "far away" the resort it. After staying 3 times I can honestly say that should NOT be a concern! No, it is not on the monorail or steps away from Epcot - but that is part of the beauty. It may be an additional 5-8 minutes on a bus, but you avoid the masses of vacationers. When you go home to your resort you feel like you are on vacation! If you are considering AKL - you MUST try it. You may very well never want to stay anywhere else.
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      MM from Connecticut

      Registered: May 2012
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Sat May 25, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Incredible Experience
      Cons: Long walk to get outside near pool

      From the moment we arrived to the moment we checked out, the hotel was as much part of our vacation experience as the theme parks. Incredible staff, cultural learning experiences for the kids, and animals galore. Only con, and it is most likely for safety reasons with animals, is there is only one exit for pool, and no outdoor walking trails like at other resorts.
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      Registered: April 2006
      Posts: 8
      Review Date: Tue May 7, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 8 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Animals, charm
      Cons: Distance

      Our first stay there on a split hotel visit in a pool view room. LOVED the hotel. Our four year old loved seeing the animals at all of the look out spots. Jiko was a highlight. Partake in the evening hotel activities. Night vision goggles were a hit with the family.
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      Registered: February 2009
      Posts: 18
      Review Date: Sun April 14, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Peaceful, Relaxing, Clean, Quiet, Pool
      Cons: Bus transportation

      My husband and I stayed here (2nd time) for our anniversary. We stayed 4/2-4/8. We were shocked that our room was ready when we checked in, and we're pleasantly surprised to to have been upgraded to a savannah view room. Nothing better! Our room was clean and mouse keeping was phenomenoal - our room was always ready when we returned.
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      Registered: January 2007
      Location: Cabot, AR
      Posts: 3
      Review Date: Sat April 6, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Atomsphere, staff
      Cons: Distance

      My family and I stayed at AKL 3/16 thru 3/22 and couldn't have asked for a better vacation. The relaxed atmosphere of the resort was a nice refreshing change from some of the other Disney resorts that we have stayed at.

      We had a savannah view room on the 3rd floor and thoroughly enjoyed waking up each morning (not early) and sitting on the balcony watching the animals. Our room was a queen bed with bunk beds and was a tad small for 4 adults, but both of the 21 y/o were just fine sleeping on the bunk beds. And honestly, you're at Disney...why are you in your room so much?

      Both restaurants were amazing and even Mara was good for a quick dinner or breakfast. All of the staff were very nice and always helpful. We even attended a South African wine tasting at Jiko and it was a highlight of our trip. It was a nice change to come back in the early evenings and sit by the fire outside and sip on a glass of wine without screaming kids running all over the place.

      The only negative aspect of AKL was the long bus rides from the parks (and yes we knew about this going in). We wisely chose to start driving the car when we were attending the parks late at night so we wouldn't have to wait in long lines or endure the bus ride back to the resort. But this wouldn't keep me from staying here again.

      All being said, I would return to AKL without any hesitation and was thoroughly impressed and relaxed at the resort and am very happy that we choose to stay here for our vacation

      ps..Amanda (the chef) made an amazing birthday cake for my son and was very easy to talk with over the phone for the ideas. Thank you Amanda for making his day very special.
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      Registered: December 2007
      Posts: 27
      Review Date: Sun March 10, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Pool, Mara, Overall Grounds
      Cons: Room size, mousekeeping

      We just returned from a February break 5 day stay at AKL and overall the resort was fine. The lobby is great and the pool and overlook areas were fine for the kids. Mara offered a good selection of food and the bus service was timely.

      However, after staying at the Beach Club in August we felt the AKL was definitely lacking with respect to Beach Club. For one the rooms were much smaller so our family of 4 was very cramped. There were extra dressers at Beach Club as well as a desk and day bed. At AKL there was no desk, small dresser or day bed. The bathroom shower area was cramped and difficult to get in and close the door with any room. There was a lack of dresser space to unpack in and generally we felt cramped. Mousekeeping never left any animal towels which was a disappointment. Our room was a pool view on the bottom floow near the fitness center and was hard to find at first. The pool was nice but the deck was smaller and crowded. Mara was good but hours could be later. The gift shop was large and definitely better than Beach Club. The savanna overlooks were fine but we had expected bigger areas. I am glad we did not pay for a savanna view room as it would not have been worth it given the number of animals we saw.

      Overall this is a nice hotel; however, I likely would not visit again as its off the beaten path and the Epcot area resorts are much closer to everything access wise. It was nice but again below what we expected room size wise. Beach Club area just can't be beat.
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