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Opinions needed between Saratoga, Old Key West, Animal Kingdom

Panina

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I have only stayed at Saratoga and actually liked it. The 1 br room layout and decor wasn’t to my taste but I loved the resort itself.

I have seen more availability in RCI for Old key West and Animal Kingdom. I have seen most like these more then Saratoga but I would like to know why. What do you think is better? Also elevator access or steps?
 

louisianab

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I love Saratoga - I feel like Key West is very similar, both in location and theme. AKV is more unique, based on the decorations, the animals on the savannah and activities offered. I think it "feels" smaller based on the bigger buildings more together, but is farther away from some of the parks.
 

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I would pick AKV for animals. Both Jambo and Kidani have elevators but halls are long. Unique restaurants as well. I believe one of the AKV 1 bedrooms has two baths. I think that is Kidani. And one has salt water pool, I think Jambo. OKW has larger rooms so if spending time in room, that might be more comfortable. Only 3 buildings at OKW have elevators so need to get wheelchair accessible to guarantee no stairs.
 

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Also different handicap units are available so need to be sure it is wheelchair accessible or rollin shower. Some people dislike the layout of the handicap rooms. No stairs trumps layout for me.
 

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Jambo does a free restaurant tour in the afternoon if you just wanted to try some highlights. We had bread service, soup and zebra domes at ours. I’ve had the buffet there and it had lots of different spices but some american food as well if you decide you’d rather eat less spicy.

Jambo has some unique kids activities and CMs are from Africa so can learn from them.
 

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OKW has limited quick service compared to AKV and Saratoga. OKW has Olivia’s table service but reasonable prices for Disney. Olivia considered hidden gem by many. AKV has a lounge for adult beverages and OKW has a small poolside bar but you sit outside. Not sure on Saratoga.

OKW activity room is fine but nothing unique.

AKL Jambo does night vision goggle animal viewing too.
 

elaine

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Akv has an upscale hotel feel. Great pools full bar service inside and at pools. Multiple restaurants. cool african theme and animals. Lot of free mini-enrichment programs Re. animals and Africa. Okw transports me to key west. Fun active pool playing Jimmy buffet music. Somewhat limited outside bar and quick service snack bar. Never used the sit down place at okw. Ate at bomas many times. We love both for different reasons. If it’s summer and rainy. You’ll get wet from car to okw unit and maybe walk up slippery stairs. okw kitchen and living room is huge compared to ssr.
Akv 100% elevator. Okw has elevators In a few bldgs. Send a request based upon limited mobility and they’ll put you in one or 1st floor. Shouldn’t be an issue. Medical doc usually not even needed. I’ve just called and said dad had knee surgery etc.
 
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elaine

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Akv feels like deluxe room. OKW moderate. Both are great Rci trades.
 

Janann

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The posts above sum it up pretty well. I have stayed at all three, so here are my thoughts in no particular order:
  • Most AKL (perhaps all) RCI trades are into Kidani Village, which is a 1 bedroom, 2 bath unit.
  • The overall resort feel of OKW and Saratoga are very similar.
  • You can walk from Saratoga to Disney Springs, with a choice of two bridges; one is at each end of the resort.
  • AKL is best during extreme weather (hot/cold/rainy) because you will be indoors most of the time. The walkway to the bus stop is covered.
  • AKL at Kidani Village does not have a quick service restaurant option. You will have to go to Jambo House, which is perhaps a 10 minute walk outside. There is a gift shop in Kidani which has snacks and groceries, but not real meals.
If I had a choice of the three and had only been to Saratoga, I would take AKL. AKL is a unique experience.
 

JohnB3

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I own SSR and like it alot but prefer AKL the savanna view rooms and feel of the resort are better than SSR in my view the only real downside is you need to take the bus everywhere with SSR disney springs is walkable
 

Dean

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I have only stayed at Saratoga and actually liked it. The 1 br room layout and decor wasn’t to my taste but I loved the resort itself.

I have seen more availability in RCI for Old key West and Animal Kingdom. I have seen most like these more then Saratoga but I would like to know why. What do you think is better? Also elevator access or steps?
I like all 3. OKW does not have elevators except in buildings and unless you get a HC unit, there's no way to guarantee access without stairs. Rooms are larger. Studios have 2 queen beds. For an exchange at AKV you have a good chance of getting Savannah view and will likely be in the Kidani Village side. For 1 BR at AKV you'll likely have a sleep 5 unit with 2 baths.
 

CPNY

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I like all 3. OKW does not have elevators except in buildings and unless you get a HC unit, there's no way to guarantee access without stairs. Rooms are larger. Studios have 2 queen beds. For an exchange at AKV you have a good chance of getting Savannah view and will likely be in the Kidani Village side. For 1 BR at AKV you'll likely have a sleep 5 unit with 2 baths.
When you say 2 baths do you mean two full? Or one shower/toilet but two sinks? I’ve been in villas that boast two baths and it’s just a jacuzzi tub and sink in master room then a toilet and shower with access from living and master.
 

JohnB3

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When you say 2 baths do you mean two full? Or one shower/toilet but two sinks? I’ve been in villas that boast two baths and it’s just a jacuzzi tub and sink in master room then a toilet and shower with access from living and master.
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Dean

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When you say 2 baths do you mean two full? Or one shower/toilet but two sinks? I’ve been in villas that boast two baths and it’s just a jacuzzi tub and sink in master room then a toilet and shower with access from living and master.
Per the diagram, 2 baths plus a pull out queen AND a pull out single. OKW will sleep 5 in the 1 BR as well and for the newer half of the resort, separate access to the split bath through the laundry room.
 

CPNY

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Per the diagram, 2 baths plus a pull out queen AND a pull out single. OKW will sleep 5 in the 1 BR as well and for the newer half of the resort, separate access to the split bath through the laundry room.
That’s a HUGE plus. Damn Disney does it right.
 

Dean

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That’s a HUGE plus. Damn Disney does it right.
Some things, others not so much. They lag on routine maintenance and they also fall behind on handling day to day maintenance and supply requests. BLT also has 2 baths in the 1 BR and 3 in the 3 BR like AKV Kidani.
 

ljmiii

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That’s a HUGE plus. Damn Disney does it right.
Well...did it right. I personally regard the resorts opened in 2009 - Kidani, BLT, and VGC - as the high water mark of DVC (and the decision makers that got them built as a high water mark for DVD). They thought, "We have a problem...1BRs are considered less valuable so lets fix it. We'll make 1BRs sleep an extra person comfortably and add an extra bathroom."

Later management realized, "Wait...*we* don't have a problem, DVC owners do. Our job is to sell points...so lets make studios as attractive as possible and convince families to buy 100 point contracts for a 'week at Disney' every year. So what if studios will be difficult to book or that those 100 points won't do much in high season when school kids can come to WDW. That's a later upsale opportunity..." Which brought us Poly, CCV, and Riviera.
 

Dean

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Some things, others not so much. They lag on routine maintenance and they also fall behind on handling day to day maintenance and supply requests. BLT also has 2 baths in the 1 BR and 3 in the 3 BR like AKV Kidani.
I can't edit for some reason but it's 3 baths in the 2 BR.
 

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We have stayed at Old Key West and Saratoga. If we had the opportunity to start at Animal Kingdom we would jump at it.
 

Panina

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We have stayed at Old Key West and Saratoga. If we had the opportunity to start at Animal Kingdom we would jump at it.
Which did you like better?
 

geist1223

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We preferred Key West.
 

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We are going to Saratoga for the first time in spring. Our first DVC was Old Key West. I thought the room was large, but it was not fancy. (This was around 2005). We were lucky to get in to Animal Kingdom, Kidani two different years. We loved it. Incredible to see animals from the balcony. They had lots of kids activities at the pool. The waterslide is just right. We enjoyed eating at BOMA. I would enjoy another stay at Animal Kingdom if I could get it. For this exchange, I was not picky as we needed a specific week.
 

cbyrne1174

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100% resale!!
Didnt DVC stop depositing AKV? I thought they deposited about 85% SSR and 15% OKW.
 

paxsarah

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Didnt DVC stop depositing AKV? I thought they deposited about 85% SSR and 15% OKW.

There have been sightings/matches of a week or two here and there at AKV and even BRV. (Even within the last week in the Sightings forum.) But in far fewer numbers than SSR or OKW. In my completely unscientific analysis I’d say 89% SSR, 10% OKW, 1% other.
 

JohnB3

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I’m guessing but since SSR is being renovated now we may see a bit more OKW and AKL for the next couple of years as they are the next largest resorts
 
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