Animal Kingdom Lodge or Wilderness Lodge?


#1

We are in the process of planning my DD’s 16th B-day trip to WDW and are now stuck in between those two resorts. I was wondering what everyone’s experience at each resort and if you would consider them to be “special needs friendly”

Thanks for any help!!

Leanne


#2

Hi!

Both choices are great, and both are accessible and special needs friendly.
The pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge has a zero entry section for water wheelchairs - I don’t think Wilderness Lodge has that. Hopefully someone else can confirm.

Both resorts are bus service - except for Wilderness has boat service to Magic Kingdom.

My choice would be Animal Kingdom Lodge. (I am biased since I am a DVC member there - lol). But its a great resort, doesn’t share buses with any other resort, and the theming is incredible.

Have fun planning!


#3

[QUOTE=MickeyMcFizzle;866831]Hi!

Both choices are great, and both are accessible and special needs friendly.
The pool at Animal Kingdom Lodge has a zero entry section for water wheelchairs

I just stayed at AKL and LOVED IT! I wanted to stay at BC but when I arrived at AKL I fell in love and couldn’t imagine staying anyplace other then there.

The pool I thought was terrific for special needs guests and is also soooo beautifull. The Cast Members are so accomidating and the resort is spotless and decorated beautifull.

My vote is AKL all the way!!


#4

I’ve stayed at both multiple times. I’ve stayed at both this year. Both are good and both are the least costly of the deluxe resorts, in fact, across the board, their room rates are the same. AKL does not share it’s buses, while WL shares buses with Fort Wilderness or Grand Floridian. WL does not share the boat to MK with anyone.
There are rooms at WL that are actually castle view/MK view rooms (woods view). AKL has no views of any park, the animals on the savannahs are exclusive to the AKL and not part of Animal Kingdom’s collection.
I’m not big on pools, but the WL’s is far more interesting, starting as a creek inside the lobby and flowing through rocks and boulders until it joins the main pool.
While the AKL has it’s animals, WL has Bay Lake and a marina. I’ll take water over being landlocked most of the time.
Finally, WL is modeled on the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, right down to it’s own “Old Faithful geyser”. Plus, WL has received a Florida green lodging certification, the only other Disney resort that meets these standards is Fort Wilderness. Even AKL hasn’t achieved this.
I lean towards WL having stayed at both 5 times. As for special needs guests, all Disney resorts in WDW are very accommodating, including all resort transportation. the large boats are all roll on/roll off, as is the monorail. There are either ramps or elevators to all monorail platforms. All of the buses are equipped with lifts for ECVs and wheelchairs. When booking your room, make sure to specify H/C rooms. All hotels have elevators, while there are some corridors in both WL and AKL that are ramps.

Call me a sucker for national park lodge architecture.
Top is the real thing, bottom is Disney’s interpretation.


#5

That is genius!!! What a great plan, especially for kids who really want to swim!


#6

WL…100%! That resort is just BEAUTIFUL! You will be awestruck within seconds of walking into the lobby. Rooms lovely and Pool fabulous. Only downside for us was the food court. So small for a resort of it’s size IMO.
it is one of my faves for sure.


#7

I don’t have much to say about how accessible either would be for your daughter. But just as resorts, I really loved AKL. We stayed in a DVC room in April for a few days and then switched to VWL. I really missed AKL. To us the only sort of good thing of WL was taking the boat over to MK. But then again, there were times we waited like 1/2 hr or so in the full sun for a boat to show up.


#8

I personally I would like Animal Kingdom Lodge becausof all the animals and the lobby is very elegant. But I haven’t been to Wilderness Lodge but I have been to Fort Wilderness and that was good.


#9

I like the AKL better. I like the remote location, the no-sharing buses, and the theme of the resort. I think both are special needs friendly, but would pick AKL for the above reasons and because they have live animals…now that’s a theme.


#10

Both are beautiful. So staying at either will ensure you have a fantastic time - but I’d go with AKL.


#11

If someone would benefit from a zero entry pool then I would go with AKL. If not, I would have to vote for WL, the resort is one of our favorites.


#12

Both are lovely resorts. I’ve noticed that rates for AKL are less than those for WL (standard rooms… not taking into account savannah view, which I’m sure is preferred), so that might be a plus. Also, the zero-depth entry sounds accomodating.

As for convenience to the parks, AKL is closest to AK, but a little bit out of the way to the other three parks. WL is closest to MK, but the water launch is a bit slow. However, it is located closer to Epcot and MGM. As far as I can tell (while waiting in line for buses), buses run regularly for both resorts and are not incredibly difficult to catch.

It’s really just personal preference, though - water or animals?


#13

We stayed at AKL this week, and went hotel hopping to WL. AKL is still my favorite. We are one of those families that uses the resort as much as the parks. AKL is so peaceful. You can sit in the lobby, or the library or the look outs and be in your own little world. WL seemed so “busy”. The lobby seemed louder and with the restuarant right there in the lobby area, it was very loud. Also, the buses are such a plus at AKL. We never waited more than 5 minutes, and with one stop only, you got on the bus and off to the parks you go. When we left WL, the wait wasn’t that bad, but was still longer than AKL, then you had to stop at Fort Wilderness. Everything is a personal preference. You just have to take into consideration what you like and try it.


#14

I have to admit, I have always wanted to stay at AKL and will probably do so next year. But, I am now very interested in WL. I have never given it a second thought, but will have to start planning for that too.


#15

Thanks so much for all your replies!! The special needs aspect was for my son who is autistic. Our last stay at Coronado Springs was extremely disappointng due to the fact I had a run in with the housekeeping staff. I just didn’t find it that special needs friendly to be honest, so this time I was looking for a resort that my daughter would love and still be friendly towards my requests concerning my son.

You gave us lots to think about and I’ll keep you posted on where we decide to stay! I’m planning ahead but then I always like my ducks in a row so to speak before hand…LOL


#16

[QUOTE=TheHawley’s;869156]Thanks so much for all your replies!! The special needs aspect was for my son who is autistic. Our last stay at Coronado Springs was extremely disappointng due to the fact I had a run in with the housekeeping staff. I just didn’t find it that special needs friendly to be honest, so this time I was looking for a resort that my daughter would love and still be friendly towards my requests concerning my son.

You gave us lots to think about and I’ll keep you posted on where we decide to stay! I’m planning ahead but then I always like my ducks in a row so to speak before hand…LOL[/QUOTE]

Good luck deciding! I am sure you would be happy with either choice :slight_smile:


#17

Your timing was all luck! We’ve had long waits at the AKL bus stop and at the parks and we’ve had short waits. If your wait was never more than 5 minutes, it was all timing on your part, otherwise you’re saying that AKL has 12 buses an hour, which they certainly don’t.


#18

Then I consider myself a lucky person, as in the four times we’ve stayed there, the waits have always been efficient, and have never had a long wait at all. I think they have a good system in place with this resort.