Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth it?

by Rachel
(Georgia)

Dear Dad,

We are planning a trip to Disney in January, and as always, we are trying to live large on a budget. Is a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the extra price? We are looking at the Animal Kingdom Lodge because we want to see the animals, of course! However, a Savannah View Rooms will add almost $400 more to our total. If we stay in a Standard View room, will we get to see the animals at all?

Also, we are taking our son, who will be 1 1/2 at the time, and we are also considering staying at the Wilderness Lodge and the Caribbean Beach Resort. I guess my other question is: is an upgrade to one of the lower priced deluxe resorts really worth it? Also, do you have any suggestions about which hotel would be best with a 1 1/2-year-old (even if it's not one of these?)

Thanks a ton!!

See one of these guys

See a Kudu in a Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge
Photo by Express Monorail

Dad's I know this one Answer

Rachel,

Boy do I know the answer to this one. You might find it a bit surprising.

Dad attended a convention in Tampa earlier this year and I worked in one day at Disney World during the trip. I wanted to do a little scouting so I decided to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. (The Man-Child loves animals and I wanted to see if it was worth it to stay at the Lodge. Plus, I knew you would send me a question about it and needed to check it out for myself.)

Let's start with the question - Is the Savanna View Room at the Animal Kingdom Lodge worth the extra price.

Most people disagree with me, but I don't think so. There are several place around the lodge where you can go and see the animals. You can see them from the big windows in the halls. There are viewing areas outside where you can see the Savannas. The big picture window at Jambo House overlooks one of the Savannas and you can see animals from it. There are lots of places around the resort where you can see the animals even if you have a Standard View room.

Is it worth an extra $400.00 to have a balcony where you can sit and watch the animals all day? Only if you plan to spend several hours per day in your hotel room. I had a Savanna View room when I went. I was there for a couple of daylight hours and never saw any animals. I sat on the balcony for 2 hours in the morning and watched as the 2 legged wildlife cleaned up.

Read the whole story of Dad's Animal Kingdom Lodge experience

You mentioned an infant. The Animal Kingdom Lodge is not for families with infants. Let them grow up a bit and wait until they can appreciate the animals because, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the most remote of all the Disney Resorts. It's a long way from any of the parks even the Animal Kingdom. It can take an hour (that's what it took Dad) to get back to the hotel from the Magic Kingdom.

So which hotels would I recommend? Since you probably can't afford the Polynesian Resort, I'd start at the Pop Century. Yes, the Pop Century. I'd rent two rooms at the Pop Century. It's almost the same price as a Moderate Resort and lots cheaper than any of the Deluxe Resorts, even the cheap ones.

Dad's Pop Century page

With two rooms, you'll have 4 beds and 2 bathrooms. It's a real cheap suite and it's a great hotel for kids. Yes, it's not as convenient as the Wilderness Lodge, but it is as convenient as a Moderate and it's cheaper and bigger.

Dad's Bottom Line

Rachel, why not get in touch with one of the great Disney Vacation Planners over at Dreams Come True Vacations and let them help you pick out the perfect Resort for your family. They really know what they are talking about and love helping families with problems just like yours.

Dad's Dreams Come True Vacations page

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Feb 23, 2012
I disagree
by: David

I disagree with "Dad" on this one. My wife and I love staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and always get a Savanna View room. If you can afford to stay there, it's worth the extra money.

That said, if you're on a tight budget and want to stay in a standard room, the best choice for seeing the animals is to visit the external stairs at the different sections of the lodge.

You can actually see the animals up close and personal better this way. It takes a bit of walking to get to each stairwell, but the sights you'll see will make it worth it.

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