Which resort for a short stay

So we want to stay in one of the resorts on our next trip after doing a cruise. I’ve only ever rented off site on previous trips, but I’ve always wanted to stay in a resort room at least once. Well, I’m going to get my one night! We’ll probably do Disney Springs the first day after disembarking and then relax at the hotel. The next day, we’ll check out and do either EPCOT or MK for rope drop.

So, my question is which hotel would you recommend? We won’t do any value, as we don’t like the double beds. I can’t afford villas or suites, so I’m looking at either a Moderate or a Deluxe on the low end, although I’m considering AKL for the Savannah view (is it worth it?).

AKL is absolutely a great choice. It’s a destination all it’s own. Plenty to do and see and eat and drink there!

Cool!! It sounds like you’ll have a ton of fun. If you did Port Orleans, you could take advantage of the boat to Disney Springs (if you’re not tired of watercraft after the cruise lol).

We stayed at AKL and it is gorgeous. We absolutely loved it and there is SO much to do at the resort. If you want to enjoy a spectacular resort, I would highly recommend it. But for a short stay, if your focus is going to the parks, I just wanted to mention that it does take quite a while to get from AKL to any of the other parks except AK.

We only made it to rope drop once out of our 5 days in the parks because busing just took longer. It was 15-20 minutes between buses for each park, and then a 15-20 minute ride to actually get to the parks (except AK, which is close).

Not at all to discourage you from staying at AKL because it is fantastic, but I just wanted to mention the time to get to the parks, so you are aware of it!


I agree with @jenphalian. POFQ would be great for what you are looking for. Its compact, so everything is close… The boat ride to DS is very nice, and if you want to stretch your legs, Riverside is a short walk away. And we had no trouble getting to MK or Epcot for RD. We were there in December and loved it.

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We will have a rental vehicle, so the bus times aren’t an issue. POFQ sounds nice, but which is better POFQ or Riverside? I had thought about staying at one of the hotels by the International Gateway in EPCOT, but then I looked at the prices. The cruise is already costing a lot, so that’s probably out for just a one night stay.

I know we’re all spooked about the horrible alligator death recently, but I’m hoping that’s not going to affect the swimming pool areas of the resorts. Since we will have plenty of time on that day for relaxing (Disney Springs is only so big), which resort has a nicer pool area. My kids will be 12 and 14, so I don’t need a kid’s splash area.

I toyed with the idea of Typhoon Lagoon, but that really is an either/or with Disney Springs as it’s a whole day thing, if I’m not mistaken.

As for AKL, if you get a Savannah room, what are your chances of seeing the wild life? Do they let the animals out there regularly or is it more of a rarity that you’ll catch them, if you’re lucky. In short, is it worth the extra price for those rooms?

You’ll see tons of animals even if you are not in a Savannah room.
At night, you can go out and view them with night-vision goggles that they let you borrow.

I was sort of assuming that this part of your trip is going to be park-free. If it is, AKL is so wonderful you won’t miss not going to Magic Kingdom or any other park.

We’ve stayed at POFQ. Loved it too, but aside from the pool, there’s little to do there throughout the day. True the boat to DS is great.

I’m a big proponent that everyone stay at AKL at least once. It’s truly amazing.

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So, do they have places to just sit and watch/relax or is the savannah off by the pool or a restaurant? Having not ever stayed in a resort hotel, I really don’t know what there is to do on a “relax” day. Of course, after the cruise, I might be an expert at relaxing. :wink:

No viewing areas near the pool as far as I recall. But there are rocking chairs that face the savannah that you can relax in.

Definitely check out some youtube videos of the resort.

Animal Kingdom Lodge video

Here are some photos from the balcony of my standard view room:

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Very nice pictures. Also, I watched the video (and a few others). Thanks for posting that link.

A standard view room is one of the cheapest deluxe rooms on property. Of course POR/FQ are great too. If you are going to PO be careful if the FQ food court refurbishment .

We aren’t going until March, but with Disney, refurbishments can take a long time, or pop up at any time, so thanks for the heads up.

Is it worth it to ask for a Savannah view over the standard view?

It is a different room category and costs significantly more. That is why I wanted to show you some pictures of what could be possible from a standard view. Of course if you look at the map you will see there are about 6 rooms where a standard view will be a tree view of the front of the resort. To me, the resort has so much to offer and I know I could send hours sitting in multiple places throughout the resort- so- I save my money and use the touring plans room request (that is room 4218).

Those are amazing shots. I didn’t realize that most of the rooms would have some type of view of wildlife. Well, I should qualify… probably not the pool view rooms. :slight_smile:

Are there any resorts where you can see the nightly fireworks from your balcony?

Theme Park views at the monorail resorts and swan/dolphin (Epcot and Hollywood Studios views) would be the only resorts I can think of for fireworks views.

You could always rent points and stay at a monorail resort. We have rented points at Bay Lake Tower twice and can’t recommend it enough. Beach Club and Boardwalk are also beautiful and steps away from Epcot.
If you want to be closer to Disney Springs, I know a lot of people that love Saratoga Springs.
(We go through DVC Rental Store to rent points - huge cost savings and the process is so simple.)

@egkleinmann Does Rental Store have a minimum number of points per transaction? I know DVCRequest (David’s) has a 44 point policy. So, 1 night’s worth of points usually won’t make the minimum.

Not that I’m aware of. I often see low, discounted points on their specials page - such as the 13 points available now.