Our family won a trip to Orlando, FL through an e-bay contest and when we told the trip coordinator that we were planning on going to Disney World, she made reservations for us at the Animal Kingdom Lodge on Walt Disney World property. We were thrilled! This was going to be our first trip to Disney World and we were getting to stay at one of the Deluxe Resorts! Rooms usually start at $225 per night during the value season. This resort hotel is magnificent! The lobby is especially breath taking. It has an African safari theme, complete with three different savannah areas, where you can view over 100 animals and 130 birds. The area is even lit by artificial moonlight at night. The hotel is 6 stories and has private balconies. There are standard and deluxe rooms and most rooms, overlook the savannah area. The rooms are also beautifully decorated in the African theme and are well kept. Our grandson was three at the time, and loved getting up in the morning to see the animals grazing right outside our balcony.
There is plenty to do at the resort. The pool is one of the biggest on Disney property and is made to resemble a pond more than a pool. It has a zero depth entry, which means you walk into the pool without any steps, more like a beach. This makes it great for the little ones. There is also a wading pool and a 67' slide. In addition to the pool they also have a two outdoor hot tubs, a kids playground, fitness center, game room and three restaurants. They also have nightly storytelling at the outdoor fire pit.
The grounds of the resort are beautifully landscaped, and there are trails around the savannah area, so you can get a closer look at the animals. They have tours and guides that can let you use their night vision goggles to see the animals at night.
I can't say enough good things about this resort. We were so lucky to have been able to experience the atmosphere of this wonderful resort. I have to admit it is a little pricey, but I would say it's worth it.
Update On Apr 03, 2008: I have had a couple of questions about winning the contest. There were 2 stages; My daughter & I worked together to write an essay on designing a childs room. Our essay was one of 6 that was picked. We received $2, 500 to purchase items on e-bay and decorate the room. After the rooms were finished, the e-bay community voted and ours won!! That's how we got the trip to Orlando. If you want to check out the whole story here is a link to the blog we kept. Click on the Feb 2006 archive to start at the beginning. This will give you more pictures and information on AKL http://sbrazeaudreamtoddlerroom.blogspot.com/