Our trip is in 2 weeks so it’s time to make a decision.
I have planned an adults-only trip for my husband and me for 3 nights. We’ll have two full park days, one resort day until 7pm (then Disney After Hours at MK), and one resort day on checkout day until we leave for the airport at 3:45pm.
We are big animal/nature lovers, and the Kilamanjaro Safari was my husband’s favorite ride on our family vacation in August. ALK is a no-brainer for us. We would not pay for the whole family of 7 to stay there for a week (we’d need 2 rooms or a 2-br DVC rental) but for the 2 of us for 3 nights, with a “good” rate (for a deluxe, around $267/nt w/tax) I figured let’s go for it.
However, since booking, my husband has started working for a hotel in the Marriott family and now we get discounted rates on all the Marriott hotels and resorts. Seeing how much we could save by staying at a Fairfield/Residence Inn or even an actual resort owned by Marriott makes me feel guilty about the amount AKL will cost, even at that “good” rate.
AKL with DME: $800 ($773 with gift cards)
Marriott Harbour Bay resort or Residence Inn plus rental car: $355
$420 difference for 3 nights is a lot!
Plus I already have one “extra” added into our trip with the Disney After Hours (passholder price).
Harbour Bay looks like it has lake views from a lot of their buildings, and they are 11-17 mins drive to each park. I have the AP so free parking and have stayed offsite twice with no problems.
We could have lunch/dinner at Sanaa on our resort day and linger in the animal watching areas. But I hear AKL is very cozy and romantic and has the fantastic lobby. And of course the private balcony viewing animals!
I just feel like if not Animal Kingdom Lodge now, then when?? Prices will only go up.
Should I go for my dream stay at AKL, or the more sensible, but still nice, money-saving Marriott resort?