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Old 10-30-2010, 07:34 AM   #1
skier_pete
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"Anythings possible, for a Possible!" - Oct 15-25 TR(Final thoughts 5/25-Post 249!)

One and All to my newest Trip Report!



My starting quote is from the TV "Kim Possible" and I used it because we came to MNSHHP as the Possible Family!



So...who are we??

DD7 - "Kim Possible"...also known as KP! Not a teen superhero - but a regular 7-year old. She is the apple of our eye as our only child, and she's a great little girl if a bit on the stubborn side. She loves Disney her frequent comment is "I wish I could live at Disney World!". She is, however, afraid of almost anything new and won't go on most of the thrill rides. She also has recently developed an aversion to meeting the characters that we simply cannot understand and she won't tell us why. We were hoping to do a lot of character meets this trip, and we still did, but she is missing from many of the photos.

Me- DH40 - Skier_pete - AKA Dr. James T. Possible. Rocket Scientist (actually an engineer by trade). I am the insane Disney planner and can be blamed for turning my family into Mousejunkies. I planned this trip as a surprise trip - not the trip itself, but DD and DW did not know any of the details, from where we were staying to what we were doing each day. This is our 6th trip in 5 years, and our 3rd in the last 10 months since we got an AP, so I wanted to make it extra special.

DW - Age withheld but around the same as mine - Dr. Ann Possible - Neurosurgeon and super-mom. She is probably as into Disney as anyone in our little clan, but is also perfectly happy to let me do all the planning. After 6 trips I've gotten pretty good at figuring out a pace that keeps everyone happy, so she very much goes with my flow.

When: October 15th - October 25th. Since we were arriving late on the 15th and leaving early on the 25th, this means we had 9 FULL days at Disney World, with 10 nights of hotel stay. I find that 9 days is the ideal trip length for getting to do what we want at the pace we want.

Where: Since I had saved up last year to pay for the AP, we had a little more money to spend on the hotel. I totally splurged and got us 9-nights stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge using rented DVC points. We were originally going to fly back home on Sunday - but for whatever reason the ticket prices were really high and it was much cheaper to fly back Monday, so we also stayed a single night at Pop Century to end our trip.

For further details - check out the PTR describing the trip - or just follow along here!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

Last edited by skier_pete; 05-25-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:49 AM   #2
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"What's The Sitch!"

I will use this post to link directly to my individual updates

An easy link to our PTR: "We're going wild, Disney style"
The Mapless Challenge


Animal Kingdom Lodge review (part 1)
Animal Kingdom Lodge review (part 2)
Animal Kingdom Lodge review (part 3)

Day 1 - Animal Kingdom - Our visit to Harambe
Day 1 - Animal Kingdom - Rafiki's Planet Watch
Day 1 - Animal Kingdom - Anandapur (Asia)
Day 1 - Animal Kingdom Lodge - Disney Dining Review @ Boma

Day 2 - Epcot - The Fabulous 5!
Day 2 - Epcot - The Seas with Nemo and Captain EO (Hey that rhymes!)
Day 2 - Epcot - WS and Food & Wine
Day 2 - Dinner @ the Garden Grill plus wrap-up

Day 3 - Typhoon Lagoon Part 1
Day 3 - Typhoon Lagoon Part 2
Day 3 - Dinner at Jiko: The Cooking Place

DD Hand Written Trip Journal - Days 1-3
Photopass Photos from AK and Epcot - Days 1 and 2

Day 4 - Magic Kingdom Part 1 - Fantasyland
Day 4 - Magic Kingdom Part 2 - Adventureland
Day 4 - Videos from Adventureland (JC Spider and Alladin and Jasmine)
Day 4 - Magic Kingdom Part 3 - Frontierland
Day 4 - Magic Kingdom Part 4 - Tomorrowland
Day 4 - Magic Kingdom Part 5 and Hoop-De-Doo Revue

Day 5 - Disney Hollywood Studios - Part 1
Day 5 - Disney Hollywood Studios - Part 2
Day 5 - Le Cellier Dinner

Day 6 - MNSSHP - Part 1
Day 6 - MNSSHP - Part 2
Day 6 - MNSSHP - Part 3

Day 7 - Return to AK - Part 1
Day 7 - Jounral Entry & Return to AK - Part 2
Day 7 - VIDEO link - DD feeds a hornbill
Day 7 - Dinner at Sanaa

Day 8 - MK - Family Magic Tour
Day 8 - 1900 Park Fare dinner
Day 8 - Magic Kingdom Evening

Day 9 - "What - no PLAN!"
Day 9 - More aimless wandering

November 2011 Pre-Trip REPORT STARTED. PLEASE JOIN IN!

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE TRIP!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

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Old 10-30-2010, 08:08 AM   #3
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"Saving the world - so not the drama!"

So, a little side story. On the first day of our trip, we were talking about all the garbage that Disney generates, and for how they spend a lot of time preaching the Environmental message they sure generate a lot of refuse there. I know they supposedly go through the garbage and recycle quite a bit...but it still annys me.

Now, we are not environmentalists by any stretch, but we DO believe in doing what we can by recycling and minimizing energy usage. We actually tend to have more in the recycle bins each week than in our garbage, especailly since we started composting last year. I also work for a company making low-global warming products, so I always joke with my wife that we do more for the environment than 1,000 average people do.

Anyways, our first day this led to a discussion about how each morning grab a couple of maps and times guides, and how we really don't need to waste the paper of having a map. (Not that us not taking a map is going to change how many they print!) But, so we decided to give ourselves a challenge for the week....NO PARK MAPS. That's right, we decided to tour without any map of the park.

Realistically we know these parks pretty well at this point. I like to tell the story of how as a little kid I used to have a big fold-out map of the MK at home that I would use to play that I was there...so honestly I could probably DRAW a scale map of MK. The other parks I don't have memorized as well, but I have a fantastic sense of dimension and space so rarely get lost in places that I don't know, never mind places like this.

So, I save any suspense - we did it! Nine days with no maps - the exception being we did get one for MNSSHP, only because we hadn't done it before and needed to know where the Trick or Treat locations were. Generally, we didn't need it, only occasionally did we find ourselves having to ask where the nearest rest room location was. We did grab a Times Guide each day, but I still figure that's a lot less paper we are wasting.

So, on your next trip fellow DIS'ers- a challange to you. Go mapless! If enough of us do it, we CAN make a difference!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 10-30-2010, 05:33 PM   #4
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Yay! A trip report from my fellow "wait in line for the dwarfs" friend.

We also didn't do maps this trip! More because I simply forgot to grab them Mom grabbed one at each park for her scrapbook, but that was it. We didn't even use Times Guides....I used my Iphone apps.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:47 PM   #5
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I don't know how I keep missing everyone starting their trip reports lately, but I'm here now. I love your costumes and the shot with the dwarves. Can't wait to hear all about the trip.

I'm impressed with no maps. I'm good for every park except the Animal Kingdom. Once again I had to dig out the map for that one. I sure one of these days I'll get it, but it wasn't this trip.
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Old 11-01-2010, 09:31 PM   #6
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I'm here! Can't wait to read all about it. So glad we were able to meet while we were in disney.
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Old 11-02-2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by If U Had Wings View Post
I don't know how I keep missing everyone starting their trip reports lately, but I'm here now. I love your costumes and the shot with the dwarves. Can't wait to hear all about the trip.

I'm impressed with no maps. I'm good for every park except the Animal Kingdom. Once again I had to dig out the map for that one. I sure one of these days I'll get it, but it wasn't this trip.
I have no problem with AK...the only one that *might* be a problem is DHS - with all those stupid laid out back-lot streets. However, there's usually multiple ways to get somewhere there - so while we might not go the fastest route - we usually will get there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chelley00 View Post
Yay! A trip report from my fellow "wait in line for the dwarfs" friend.

We also didn't do maps this trip! More because I simply forgot to grab them Mom grabbed one at each park for her scrapbook, but that was it. We didn't even use Times Guides....I used my Iphone apps.
Nope - still using paper Times guides...as I always tell people - I just have a dumb-phone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by laashley View Post
I'm here! Can't wait to read all about it. So glad we were able to meet while we were in disney.
Hey there - it was great meeting you to - it would've been nice to be able to chat longer - but it's always tough when your at Disney - and it seems your always on your way *somewhere*.

Other than the two of you - I did meet two other DISer, one on the bus from AK (HeatherBell I think she was) - and another working at Pop Century (I can't remeber her user name now - but had Goofy in it...)

I really want to post more - but work is too busy right now.

SkierPete
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:25 PM   #8
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I'm in!
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JULY 1994 // Offsite & Universal Studios & Busch Gardens | APRIL 1998 // All Star Music & Universal Studios |FEBRUARY 2001 // All Star Music & Universal | MARCH 2003 // All Star Music & Universal // Hard Rock Hotel | FEBRUARY 2004 // All Star Music & Universal // Royal Pacific & Sea World | OCTOBER 2007 (Disneymoon!) // Port Orleans French Quarter & Universal Studios // Royal Pacific | DECEMBER 2009 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/ TR | JULY/AUGUST 2010 // Wyndham Cypress Palms TR | NOVEMBER 2011 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | MAY 2012 // Disneyland // Wyndham Dolphin's Cove TR | AUGUST 2012 // Disneyland 5 Year Anniversary Trip // Peacock Suites TR | OCTOBER 2012 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek PTR/TR | OCTOBER 2013 // Wyndham Bonnet Creek & Universal // Royal Pacific PTR/"I Wanna See My Castle!" October 2013 TR | MAY 2014 // Wilderness Lodge Adventures at 40"! May 2014 TR
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by khertz View Post
I'm in!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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Old 11-03-2010, 09:36 AM   #10
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Day 0 - Travel Day

So, on Friday, October 15th, I left work after lunch with the guys (we go out every other Friday) and headed home. DW had picked up DD from school before lunch, and we packed up the car and headed out. We had a 4:20 PM flight to Florida, and we were dropping the car at a friends house.

So, I said as we were leaving the house "Do you want to know where we're going?". DD of course said "Yes" and even DW was ready to find out.

So, I said: "Well, here's the bad news - you won't be able to buy a balloon and bring it to the hotel..."

DD didn't get it, but DW got it pretty quickly. She tried to coax DD into thinking it to, but finally I had to just say it.

"We're staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge!" Happy cheers all around! DW was probably more excited than DD, of course maybe because she knows what a splurge this is.

So we get to the airport, check in, and...uh oh...flight delayed! We were about an hour late taking off from Buffalo, which wasn't so bad, but put us into Orlando at just after 8 PM.

We made our way to ME and were loaded right on a bus...which sat there for about 15 minutes, and THEN had to make 3 stops before ours...Coronado, All-Star Sports and Music...before finally arriving at Jambo House....

To Be Continued...with pictures!
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

Last edited by skier_pete; 11-03-2010 at 12:18 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 10:46 AM   #11
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Animal Kingdom Lodge review

While I will for the most part present this trip report in a linear fashion, I thought I would right up front give a detailed review of our stay at the Animal Kingdom lodge. I won't get into the dining just yet, but the overall service and the stay.

We had done on-line check-in and which I thought would get us right to the room. There was a separate line for on-line check in, but the clerks were very busy, and I had to wait about 10 minutes before getting our room keys...this was only a bit annoying because it was late, and we were tired, but it was not bad. Overall, the desk staff was very helpful whenever we had any questions.

We made our way to our room, which was room 5547. If you follow this link, you can see the map, we were on the far-right branch such that we were facing the edge of the Arusha savanna but could also see a corner of the Uzima savanna.

The room itself was a studio, and it was pretty cool, much more spacious than anything we'd stayed at WDW before. The main room had a full size bed which was very comfortable, though the pillows continue to suck at WDW.


There was also a pull-out couch:


A table with 2 chairs:


Two small tables/foot stools for the couch, a nightstand, another table with a lamp, a dresser with a TV and DVD player, and an amoir:



The other area had a small kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, coffee pot and toaster. Then opposite that was the two sinks and counter for the bathroom:


The bathroom itself had just the shower and toilet, and was actually quite tiny, though the shower was spacious enough I guess:


Overall, the room was great, but undoubtably the best reason for the price of the room is the view. This is what we saw looking out our window:


To be continued...
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

Last edited by skier_pete; 11-03-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:27 AM   #12
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Animal Kingdom Lodge review Part 2

Now, when we got the room assignment, I was a little annoyed by being where we were for two reason - the long walk from the lobby, and the worry that with it being kind of along the "back" of the resort, we wouldn't see many animals. In the end, the first issue was relatively minor, and because we were on that side, it was a fairly short walk to get to the pool and the Mara (CS restuarant) so that wasn't so bad.

As for the animals, I shouldn't have been concerned at all, we saw TONS of animals...there was almost always some animals out our window, and at one time or another I think we went through ALL the animals on the Arusha Savanna.





Breakfast with a view:


The picture below is from our last morning. We were able to see FIVE giraffes at one time, the two from the Arusha Savanna, as well as the three on the Uzima savannah. This picture kind of shows the juction between the two savannahs where they were.



Overall, we saw all of the following animals at one time or another: Giraffe, Thompsons Gazelles, Ankole Cattle, Waterbuck, African crown cranes, stork and blue cranes. Pelicans, ankole cattle, zebra, Wildebeast, eland, Kudu, Thompsons Gazelles, Stocks, and Flamingos (by the pool).

I was worried that it would get old looking at the animals, but it never really did. However, it is not like you can really spend hours watching them either. A few minutes each morning, and whenever we were around was enough.

Now, while the room location was fine, the level of the room is something I would have liked to change. It made a big difference viewing the animals from a lower floor versus being up on the fifth floor. Unfortunately, all the DVC room are 4th and 5th floor, so I didn't think changing rooms would do us any good here.

One last great thing about the room, we could hear the rope drop ceremony from AK, and also we could SEE the MK fireworks over the trees...this was pretty neat when you were home and weary at night.

In addition, because I had two separate room reservations, I had to make sure the two were linked so we stayed in the same room. The front desk was very helpful with this, so other than going down to get new room keys with our new DDP credits, it was very hassle free.

The pool area was of course very nice, However, I would say it wasn't ANY nicer than the POFQ pool, as it still had plenty of lounges and the slide was about the same. The Uzima pool was probably a bit larger, but the difference was not very noticable. There were TWO jacuzzis instead of one, but the one day we tried to use them, the one was really crowded, and the other was broken.








Another thing we really loved about the AKL is all the architechural details that either evoked Africa or animals in general. All the carpeting, curtains and fixtures used animals or animal prints. There were also TONS of hidden mickeys in the carpets and fabrics...for some reason I didn't get pictures of them. However, I did get some shots of the lobby area:















This is the inlay in the main elevator area - shaped like a turtle:


And this is one of the emblems on the floor in the lobby:


One other complaint I have heard about AKL is the bus service, particularly the length of time to get to some of the parks. I didn't think this was bad at all. Overall, we had very good bus karma, and rarely waited more than 5 minutes for a bus, and even the ride to MK was only 16 minutes door to door. The only thing I didn't really like was that Kidani dropped off and picked up first. Wasn't a big deal in the morning, as the busses were rarely full, but on the way home at night, it was a big pain.

So, what DIDN'T I LIKE?
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1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

Last edited by skier_pete; 11-03-2010 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:47 AM   #13
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HI! Just found this!
Great review of AKL so far.
We went mapless most days. I needed one for EPCOT but I ended up 'recycling' one that was just blowing in the wind and ended up at my feet
I also grabbed one at DHS as I was a little lost in the Backlot section while trying to get to Sci Fi.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:56 AM   #14
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AKL review - the bad and the ugly

So far, other than the walk from the lobby to the room, I haven't had much to complain about, but what I WOULD complain about is the housekeeping service. Now, perhaps this is more to do with DVC than anything, i don't know, I only have the one experience to count on, but it wasn't good.

So, first off we arrive with the understanding that staying DVC, we will not be getting housekeeping each day. That is fine, it's part of staying for less. But, when we get there, we notice there are only 4 full-size towels in the room. My wife likes to use 2 or 3 towels when she takes a shower, so we called down to ask for a few extra towels. They said because we are DVC, that they would have to CHARGE us for extra towels. HUH? We said, "No thanks" figuring that we would just grab some extra pool towels, but the next day, there were laundry carts all over the place, we just swiped a few extra towels off the laundry cart.

Then, DVC you supposedly get a "towel change" service at your fourth day, and a ful cleaning at your eighth. Well, it turns out fourth day means "after three nights" so they came on Monday to change our towels, which we didn't expect. Then, they came on the sixth day (Wednesday) and did the full cleaning. This was also the day we were changing room reservations, so maybe that explained it, but then they came AGAIN the next day after that?

The worst part - we were gone all day on Wednesday, so on Thursday morning we had our "lazy day", we were packing the sofa bed up, and we realized that one of DD stuffed animals was missing. We tore apart the whole room for an hour looking for it, and it was simply gone. We realized pretty quickly that the day before we had left all the animals on her un-made bed, and when we had gotten home the night before, they were all stacked on the side after the bed had been made (unexpectedly). So, the only thing we can figure is that the maid TOOK THE STUFFED ANIMAL WITH THE SHEETS.

Well, if you are Disney World and you want to find a way to really put a damper on a child's vacation, then TAKE AWAY THEIR STUFFED ANIMALS! DD was very upset by this, though less upset than I thought she'd be. I basically promised her that they would be able to find it and return it. Fortunately, it was a webkin, so I knew it would be fairly easy to replace. The worst of all this was that the morning before, when I was rechecking into the room, is I overhead another conversation where a man had lost something (I don't know what) when they changed their sheets. So I now am aware of this happening twice in TWO days within the hotel.

Well, I am not one to rant and rave, but I went down to the front desk and explained the situation. I would best describe their response as simpathetic but not very helpful. Basically, all laundry goes to a central location and as it's washed, anything lost is sorted and can take 1 to 2 weeks to get back to the lost and found, even if they can find it. I had to say that perhaps the better solution would be to train your housekeepers NOT TO TAKE STUFF OUT OF THE ROOM IN THE SHEETS! They DID give me a $20 credit so that I could replace the pet, and as I said I guess I can't complain about the response, even though we have yet to get the animal back. My feeling is it is unlikely to be found intact, and again I think what was so disappointing is that something like this should NEVER happen in the first place. It really put a damper on an otherwise perfect vacation, and in my view falls squarely on the blame of AKL. DD has still been asking about when we will get the pet back, i have called today, and they still indicate they can't find it, we will just break down and buy another.

So, compared to the amazing work we've seen from housekeeping in POFQ and Pop Century, where not only do they keep the rooms clean but they are always propping up DD animals in various poses or leaving towel animals, we felt that housekeeping at AKL did nothing impressive and in fact gave us the biggest negative we've ever had on a Disney trip. (We are very very cautious with DD stuffed toys / dolls, and have NEVER lost one on vacation.)

So, overall impression, we liked AKL very much, and enjoyed our stay a lot. However, two things stuck me. (1) I did not find the overall service and accomodations (other than the room size) to be so heads and shoulders above a moderate as I might have expected and (2) what I kind of suspected all along, is you don't spend enough time at the resort to have it really be worth it having all the extra amenities. We hardly used any of the activities available around the resort, we only got to use the pool three times, even though I purposefully planned for more resort time than in the past. So, for us, while we were very happy with the trip, I don't feel impelled to stay at Deluxes, or especially not to buy DVC points. I really think there were a lot of things I liked about POFQ better than AKL, though I would admit overall that AKL is the nicer hotel of the two. I would definitely go back again some time, but I would probably consider doing a split stay and only staying there maybe four nights. For us, this was a LOT more expensive a trip than usual, and it is unlikely we will be able to afford to do this again anytime soon, but we were really glad we did it.
__________________

1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK

Last edited by skier_pete; 11-03-2010 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:23 PM   #15
skier_pete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Disneychix View Post
We went mapless most days. I needed one for EPCOT but I ended up 'recycling' one that was just blowing in the wind and ended up at my feet
Hah! I did that one day at MK...we were on the train and I needed to look at something, and there was this mushed up one on the floor. After picking it up and using it, I decided it was kind of disgusting and threw it out. Recycle, Reuse, that's my motto!

Actually, my DW is much more willing to go the extra effort. Whenever we go on vacation, she insist on bringing home all the recyclable material so that we can make sure it gets recycled. Not so bad when your driving, but more difficult when you have checked bags. I am surprised that Disney has bottle recycling all over the place, but you don't see a lot of paper recycling.

Ah...enough of that!
__________________

1971 - 1982 Many childhood trips May 1997 - Off-site w/ DGF (now DW) October 2000 - Off-site w/ DW - 1st AK
October 14-20,2006 - First on-site (POFQ), first w/ DD3 and DMIL. September 22-29, 2007 with freinds @ POFQ! August 23-31, 2008. Just us 3...dining for free!
December 12-20, 2009 - 40th Birthday trip! Trip Report April 20-25, 2010 - Short surprise trip for DD! Trip Report
October 15-25, 2010 @ AKL Trip Report!
November 11-20, 2011 - Free dining at CBR! PTR! and Trip Report
July/August 2012 Disneyland / Australia TripPTR "I choose to Be Amused" TR
The Disney Trifecta - a PTR for 2013. LINK Trip Reports - ABD: "A Fistful of Fastpasses" WDW: "For A Few Fastpasses More" DCL: "Once Upon a Time in the Carribean"

October 2014 Pre Trip Report- "Let us plan our Escape !" LINK
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