Disney Animal Kingdom vs Old Key West

Feb 24th, 2011, 08:26 PM
  #1  
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Disney Animal Kingdom vs Old Key West

Hello all. Planning a trip to Disney World for next January and could use some help. It will be four adults and a one year old. We're looking at the Animal Kingdom Lodge/Villas either Jambo or Kidani Village not sure which would be best. The other place we're thinking of staying is the Old Key West. We had also thought about the Bay Tower at the contemporary resort. Any advice on where to stay would be appreciated.

Also, I've read in a few places that there are renovations/refurbishments being done to both the OKW and Animal Kingdom lodging. Has anyone else heard this and if so, any idea when it will be done or what is all being done?

We're thinking about not renting a vehicle if possible but don't know if it would be necessary.

Thanks in advance for your help!
so_in_love is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 08:35 PM
  #2  
 
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I've not stayed at either but at the top of my Wish List is staying in one of the balcony rooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Friends have stayed there and raved about watching the animals roam and graze. I want to see a giraffe in the morning
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/res...kingdom-lodge/
starrs is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 08:35 PM
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I've not stayed at either but at the top of my Wish List is staying in one of the balcony rooms at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Friends have stayed there and raved about watching the animals roam and graze. I want to see a giraffe in the morning
http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/res...kingdom-lodge/
starrs is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 03:45 AM
  #4  
 
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Check out disboards.com. Those people know everything about Disney World!
Pat_in_Mich is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 05:02 AM
  #5  
 
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Advantge of the Animal Kingdom is the ambiance of the hotel and the animals roaming. Disadvantge is the need to take a bus everywhere unless you plan on using your own car (rental or otherwise.)

Advantage of the Contemporary is the closeness to the Magic Kingdom and the monorail to Epcot. Disadvantage of the Bay Tower is it's not much different from hotels in a lot of other places. Doesn't have that "transporting" ambiance that other WDW properties have.
Ryan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 07:54 AM
  #6  
JJ5
 
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I've stayed at 7 different places in WDW starting over 4 decades- very different eras.

My least favorite location was Animal Kingdom Lodge. The place is nice, but dark, the restaurant there good and I did have a balcony. But found way, way more negatives than positives. Never saw an animal from the balcony. Not once.

Did spent at least 50 minutes to 1-1/2 hours extra a day getting up and back from everything else. DWD has TREMENDOUS mobility and transport but Animal Kingdom Lodge is the end of the line and least often served- longest waits- bigger distance commutes to everything.

We did huge disboards and Disney club research last summer and my DD ended up picking either Coronado or Dixie Landings for location.

Myself, I think Key West (I never stayed here but did on Boardwalk)- if behind EPCOT on the water (which I think it is) would be much preferred if you want to use the World. In fact, that is my favorite area of all.

Are you one who sits on a balcony or spends time in the hotel? At WDW I am always at events or shows or displays or on the water or rides. That might make a difference in your decision, IMHO.
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Feb 25th, 2011, 08:01 AM
  #7  
JJ5
 
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BTW, she took the meal plan and was supremely happy with it. She is more frugal than I, and used it mightily. They had 2 adults, 2 kids (10, 7)- and did 3 or 4 high end dinners and a couple of character meals besides all the lunches, minor meals etc.
JJ5 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 09:29 AM
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For location, I think Old Key West and Contemporary are both more central. If you really don't want to rent a car, then I would skip Animal Kingdom Lodge, though it's my favorite of the three you've mentioned.

For me, the mention of a 1 year-old is key. You want proximity to as many different parks as possible so you can get back to the room easily and quickly. For that reason, I'd choose Contemporary, which is connected by monorail to both Magic Kingdom and Epcot. You'll no doubt want to visit Animal Kingdom, but you can do that by bus.
doug_stallings is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 11:27 AM
  #9  
 
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I agree with the proximity factor and the one-year old isn't going to remember the difference in hotels anyway. Do it for yourselves at this point. You could also stay at one of the other two resort hotels on the Monorail which would be a bit different than staying in the Contemprary
Dukey1 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 12:32 PM
  #10  
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Thank you for all the replies so far...very helpful thoughts. I agree with the fact the one year old won't remember a lot so we do want to do a lot for us, the adults. We don't know which place would be best given that fact. The transportation proximity is inviting about the contemporary but we think the atmosphere at the others may be better? Any other thoughts or experiences would be great! We are limited to those three places as we're going through a timeshare points exchange.
so_in_love is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 12:37 PM
  #11  
 
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There are other monorail resorts. What about the Grand Floridian or the Polynesian. With a one year old, you will want to get back for naps and breaks and they also would be good.
taitai is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Two very specific reasons why neither the Polynesian or the Grand Floridian could not make sense.

First, neither has Disney Vacation Club Villa rooms and the OP specifically stated she was looking at those options at both the AK and Old Key West.

Second, there can be a significant price difference when you look at either the Polynesian or GF above the other options listed.

An option to consider that may combine ease of getting to the MK, proximity to the Monorail line, ambiance, and Villa is the Wilderness Lodge. You need to take a boat to the MK and a short bus ride to the monorail heading towards Epcot, but it would be the option that provides a good combination of what you might be looking for.
Ryan is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 06:12 PM
  #13  
JJ5
 
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I don't think some posters have read that you are limited to those 3 choices because of a timeshare point exchange.

Look at a map. I much prefer the OKW. And you are on water and super quick proximity to MK. Contemporary is right there IN it. Both are much easier commute than AKL.

Yes, you are so right about atmosphere. To me it would be only one choice, just because of the crowd density. In January it might not be so much of a differential with people density though, as it is at other times of the year when school is out. Four adults aren't going to be staying in MK all that long to stay within it, especially if the vacation is more than 2 days.
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