Animal Kingdom Lodge vs. Wilderness Lodge 2020

Welcome to the battle of the Lodges! I need your help fellow Diz nerds!!

We’re making a surprise 5 day trip to WDW March 20th 2020. My wife and I, 14 yr old daughter, 9 yr old son. We’re Disney vets. Planning on touring early mornings and late evenings, with mid afternoon crashing back at the resort for some pool time, and nice relaxing lunches maybe a nap? (doubtful)

We’ve never stayed at either location, but we’ve eaten at Jiko (the best!!) and Saana, as well as Artist Point (there is no way Snow White replaces the quality of food at the original AP). We love the look and feel of both locations. So I’m really looking forward to hearing your experiences of which Lodge you’d choose!

Here’s the battle points as I see them:

Transportation- Does WL win because of the boat to MK? Which bus system is better?
Rooms - If staying in a Garden view room. Does it matter which resort? Or is the Savanna view really worth the extra $160 a night?
Quick Service - AK - The Mara, Uzima Springs vs. WL - Roaring Fork & Geyser Point
Table Service AK - Jiko, Saana, Boma vs. WL -Storybook Dining, Territory Lounge, and Whispering Canyon
Pool - WL feels like it has an edge over AK? I think it’s newer?
Other - What else am I missing?

Let the Battle-Royale begin!!

WL: Boat to MK is cool but bus everywhere else and buses share with other resorts.

AK: bus everywhere but no sharing - get on and go to destination.

WL: Roaring Forks gets good marks
AK: Mara is often rated best QS anywhere.

WL: Geyser Point is amazing. The rest, meh
AK: Best dining of any resort.

WL: pool is newer but tiny
AL: Uzima is an oasis


I think you’ll have an amazing time at either one, but I’d also take into consideration the resort activities that your kids might enjoy! Here’s a current list of all of them that could sway you:

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I don’t think you can go wrong here but my personal opinion:

Transportation: there is no better way to arrive at MK in the morning than by the WL boat. Everything about it, including an amazing bag check experience, is lovely.

Rooms: a standard view room at AKL with partial savannah is the better view . There are no bad views at WL. A standard view room above the dumpster almost always has a firework view at night.

QS: I love the Mara but the combo of Roaring Fork/Geyser Point cannot be compared.

TS: AKL- no contest

Bar/Lounges- I prefer Geyser/Territory to Victoria/Sanaa//Jiko just because of limited seating and distance

Pools: I think the distance between Jambo/Kidani is a negative. I like the convenience of WL. The quiet pool is small, but does remind me of the Oasis at Poly.

Electrical Water Pageant from your balcony vs giraffes…


I’ve stayed at neither so I’m a complete fraud on this subject (in-joke), but I have visited both a bunch of times.

WL makes me feel all warm inside. It defines the best of America for me. The bits that really make me love the country — and its countryside. It’s grand yet cosy. I like it a lot.

AKL is . . . I dunno. I’ve never felt the love for it that others do. Sure, waking up and sitting on your balcony and seeing a giraffe outside your window is crazy cool. If that actually happens. (Does it?)


It can! You can also wake up in the middle of the night and see then sitting outside your window. There is nothing quite like it.

Of course I say that but I it is WL, that in the end, is where I belong.


I’m in if the giraffes serve me breakfast like they would in a Disney movie.

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Yeah, me, too. If had many money I would stay at WL. Well, provided they refurbish the rooms. I’m very into refurbished rooms. I like wood floors.

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Eww. They have hooves. I don’t want hooves near my bacon.

Seeing zebras, and giraffes, makes me very emotional for some reason. Other animals don’t do it for me, but those two do.


I love WL. I find the boat to MK very lovely and relaxing. But people should know that it’s a terrible mistake to count on it for RD.

I think people have different experiences. I have always planned an earlier boat to CR and then walk to MK but the breakfast boat, and private ride, to MK at 7am was an amazing surprise.

You can’t go wrong either way! We stayed at both and loved both for all the reasons stated (giraffes by the balcony ALL day!!!). WL was the first one we stayed at and wins for nostalgia. Going to MK by boat was the best!!! Although to RD we had to go to the CR and walk from there…easier to take the bus but no thanks!!! Can’t wait to hear what you pick!!!


I’ve stayed at both and this is a very tough choice. I agree that dining at AKL surpasses all resorts, but WL is forever my favorite resort and I cannot explain why


Africa 2024

We’ll all be dead by then.

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But in case not, I’ve been saving towards it!

The whole point of life is to die with as little money as possible, having spent it all wisely on Disney vacations. The dream scenario is to die in massive debt — that you’ll never have to pay off because you’re dead.

So think how stupid you’re going to feel if you die with a whole bunch of savings the bank.

You are fortunate to have me to counsel you on these things. I am wise.


Don’t forget, you can watch MK fireworks from the sidewalk by the lake next to Geyser Point. The sound is piped from Geyser Point.

Also MK is open later than most parks. If you want to go to boardwalk, launch from WL to MK. Hop on the bus to the resort. Same for AKL.

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100%, different experiences for different people. Which is kind of the point. The fact that there can be wild (and planned!) variation is a public service announcement that I think anyone discussing the WL to MK boat should telegraph upfront.

I don’t think the super early breakfast boat, or the CR boat and then walk, is what most people do. I think most people, if they’re RDing liners, are going to go to that dock 1 hr (ish) before RD and think they’re going to be good. And sometimes they are. And sometimes they’re not. Because though that boat often starts early, it’s not scheduled to start until 30 minutes pre-RD, and 30 minutes isn’t enough.

And that’s really important to emphasize. It’s not like discussing potential bus problems. Most bus frustrations are a function of poor dispatching, traffic, breakdowns, bus or driver shortages (or both), etc… in other words, something going “wrong”. Here with the boats, I’m talking about when it follows it’s own official posted times… when it’s technically going “right”! 8:30am to make 9am RD? Impossible. But at least if it always followed it’s official schedule, at least you’d know. The problem is that, because it so often runs early, it conditions guests to use it, (because it is so pleasant early in the morning!) and believe when they show up at 8am, so will the boat… and then it doesn’t on random days.

The CR boat is scheduled to start much earlier than 30 minutes- every day- right?

Yes, 6:45

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