Mom With Kids After RunDisney; Mickey Fantasia Hat; Donald Duck Hat; Goofy Hat
  • On Jul 27, 2011
    Jennifer from UT Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My family (3 children ages infant, 2, 3) will be going to WDW in December 2012. We are trying to decide between the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Wilderness Lodge. What would be the best place to stay?

    Hi Jennifer!

    I can't choose between the lodges. I love them both! I can point out the differences so that you can choose more wisely as to which resort is best for your family.

    First, the Wilderness Lodge (WL) is absolutely exquisite in December. It's decorated with an enormous tree, wreaths and garlands. It's like visiting a National Park lodge for a festive holiday! The Animal Kingdom Lodge (AKL) is decorated but in a more exotic, understated way.

    Do the kids love animals? AKL with a savanna view is a magical stay. I remember our two-year old son standing on the balcony watching giraffes as he ate his cereal.

    Love Lincoln logs? The WL looks like a big log cabin, complete with a stream running through the lobby with a bridge. My son loved it when he was little. Whispering Canyon Cafe has a Lincoln log table in its small lobby.

    Standard rooms have identical floor plans and they are the same size. Western theme in the WL and African safari theme in the AKL.

    The pool at AKL has a zero entry wading area. This is ideal for young kids! The pool at Wilderness Lodge requires stepping down into it and does not have a wading area. There are small, circular kiddie wading pools at each resort.

    WL is closer to the Magic Kingdom. This is a plus especially for families with young children. There is a boat to the Magic Kingdom too! AKL is more remote, however it is just a short bus ride to the Animal Kingdom.

    The table service restaurants at AKL offer food that may be a bit exotic for picky eaters.

    WL is easier to navigate with small kids. The hallways at AKL are extremely long and the lay-out can be a bit confusing. Guests must go outside to access the quick service restaurant, The Mara. At the Wilderness Lodge, you can access all restaurants from within the lodge.

    WL is casual, while AKL is a bit more elegant.

    Best wishes!
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Meet the Panelist: Kimberly, Tennessee

I am a stay-at-home mom with a 12 year old son. I thrive on planning vacations, especially to WDW. Inspiring families to vacation at Disney with a memorable itinerary and budget-saving tips is extremely rewarding for me. Learn More About Kimberly

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