Animal Kingdom Lodge vs. Wilderness Lodge


We’ve decided to do a Magical Gathering this December with the extended family (we’ll have 8 kids with all but 2 with their first time visit to Disney). We’ve stayed at the AKL but not at WL. We’re trying to decide if we should have everyone go back to the AKL or try something new with the WL. We absolutely loved AKL and wouldn’t mind going back but we’re always up for something new.

So those of you who have stayed at both…or those of you who have selected one over the other…sell me on why you made your decision and where you would stay.

Thanks for the input!


I’d definitely stay at AKL again. With all those kids,they will love the animals.


We loved WL and can’t wait to go back again. Its just so relaxing there, and you’re so close to FW so its easy to go to Chip and Dale campfire and Movie. There is also a petting zoo and horse riding, and the wagon rides are fun too :slight_smile: BTW< I’m a BIG fan of WL & FW< LOL We were supposed to stay at AKL once, but I just wasn’t sure about it, so we switched.


I have stayed at both and prefer the AKL over WL. The only reason is the animals. They are both beautiful resorts that have excellent service and theme. I just love animals and waking up with them outside my window makes my day. That and I think the transportation at the AKL is a bit better because it doesn’t share buses.


Stayed at both, will stay at both again. However, I think I lean towards Wilderness Lodge because it feels like it’s faster to get somewhere from there than from AKL with the exception of Animal Kingdom, which is next door.
Reading Dana’s post just before I hit send, I realized she has a good point, in that Wilderness Lodge shares it’s buses with Ft. Wilderness. But you can take a boat directly to the MK.


I do love Wilderness Lodge ALTHOUGH, in this debate, my vote will ALWAYS go to AKL. I can’t say ENOUGH about how amazing the grounds of the resort are, how knowledgable the CMs are, the pool is peaceful and pretty, the spa and gym there are great, and I love BOTH restaurant there. We’ve never had any transportation problems and all the room views we’ve had have been BEAUTIFUL!


I’ve stayed at both, and would choose the AKL in a heartbeat.

Unless you really want to spend lots of time at the MK.
Then I would go with the WL.

They are both wonderfull resorts, but the animals at AKL, just amazing!


I like WL better AKl just seems so far out for me.


We have stayed at both and honestly you can’t go wrong either way. We love them both.


I pick WL!. (ive never been to AKL)
I stayed there last fall with my DM and DD and we all loved it there! :happy:
another thing I like about this resort, is that it’s in the Magic Kingdom area and so easy to get to MK and the other MK resorts I visit to eat at.
The hotel is beautiful and there’s that cool Geyser! :happy:
You have boat service to the MK, FW and CR!
It’s the next best thing to staying at a monorail resort (budget wise), IMO.


I have stayed at both and prefer the AKL.

  1. Love the animals, like other says it is great to wake up and see the animals right out your window.

  2. I like the “out of the way” feel of the resort.

  3. Victoria Falls, one of the best lounges at the WDW.


I really love the WL, but have never stayed at AKL so I cannot compare. I will say that the WL is just so awesome. There is no other word for it. I love everything about it. It’s a MK resort. I love that you can take a boat to MK from there. It is very relaxing there. They have a great pool area.


I agree. I love both resorts equally, I think, but for different reasons. The animals and fantastic CMs are the draw for me at AKL, where the cozy feel and close proximity to MK are the draw for me at WL. Both are fantastic and you’d truly enjoy either, I’m sure!


Thanks for the input! I agree, AKL is wonderful and we really enjoyed it but not having been at WL made me wonder if we should consider it. My SIL is going to look at this site and a few others this weekend. Tomorrow night we’re going to compare notes and make a decision.


That is so true, both resorts are wonderful I haven’t stayed at AKL but we love WL, it so beautiful and relaxing after a long day in the parks. You are going to have a wonderful trip no matter which resort you pick.


I’ve stayed at both and loved both!! The main reason I would pick WL over AKL is the fact of being so much closer to everything (other than the AK). It’s a boat ride to the MK & Contemporary. Either one you choose, you can’t go wrong. Tough choice!!


Something that seems to be overlooked in this thread. Both the AKL and WL share their architect with the Grand Californian at DL. All three have a very similar style and feeling to them. The huge open lobby, ringed by guest floor catwalks and doors to rooms. Lots and lots of wood. Lots of places for kids to explore.


We loved WL, and can’t wait to stay at AKL, and what everyone is saying here makes sense – they’re both special (and as Soundgod wisely points out, that’s probably because they share the same stupendous architect).

One thing, though, that might be worth considering as you plan your trip, tmcquaid, is how many people in the party will be seeing WDW for the first time, and what their ages are. AK is a little out of the way, which can be a wonderful plus, but that might make less sense if you have a lot of people eager to experience MK and everything near it at the monorail resorts. Part of what was great about WL was not just its proximity to MK, but also the convenience of dining and exploring at the Contemporary, Poly, and GF.

Hope that’s helpful – No matter where you stay you’ll have a great time!



All the input has been terrific and greatly appreciated. Most of the individuals in the group will be there for their first time. Although everyone keeps pointing out the long trips on the buses but the last time we were there that really didn’t stand out to me, and at the time my DDs were 5 and 7. They never once complained about the length of time on the buses. It just didn’t seem that long to us. Could be we were just too excited to be there!


Well, Ill be able to compare in a couple of weeks for you. I’m finally gonna get to stay at AKL may 20th !!