In this series, Know Disney?, blogger Kendall Foreman will introduce readers to aspects of the Walt Disney Company, its films, history, and parks that are possibly heretofore unknown to the reader.
Many Walt Disney World (WDW) visitors are unaware of the extravagant, premium accommodations available to those willing to pay significantly more to vacation in the lap of luxury while staying at the world famous resort. Some have heard about, but never seen the prestigious, beautifully designed and spacious Presidential Suites at the various Deluxe WDW Resorts. Not many will have the opportunity to stay in one of the lavish suites, each of which redefines the term VIP-Level. The most impressive (and pricey) of the suites is located in the African-inspired Disney’s Animal Kingdom (DAK) Lodge. Known as the Royal Asante Suite, this 2,115 square-foot floor plan dwarfs many American homes.
Found on the third floor/concierge level of the DAK Lodge, the suite’s double entry doors beckon guests into a striking, domed foyer leading to the ultimate in luxury in a WDW resort. Original African artwork greets all who enter. There is a powder room just off the foyer. The entryway then opens to a spacious, circular living area with comfortable seating for at least eight. It boasts an expansive thatched roof/ceiling and towering stone fireplace. Accessible from the great room as well as from a short hall off the foyer is a formal dining room with a magnificent wood slab table with tree stump pedestal base that seats eight. There is a tucked-away kitchen with several cabinets, counter and a full-size refrigerator. In addition, for those who simply cannot leave work behind, there is an adjacent study complete with a desk, built-in cabinetry, and internet services.
For Royal Asante guests, their relaxing stay extends to two expansive balconies with spectacular views of the lush property as well as comfortable furnishings. From one of the two terraces, the Jambo House – DAK Lodge Villas can be seen. From the other, occupants can observe the DAK‘s 43-acre savanna where African animals such as gazelles, giraffes, zebras, blue wildebeests and numerous other species of animals roam freely.
Another hallway off the foyer leads to the sleeping quarters of the suite. While the master bedroom with bath and attached sitting area can be accessed from one side of the hall, the second bedroom can be entered from the other side. Within the master bedroom is an impressive king-size, hand-honed wood canopy bed so massive that it had to be built within the room. The luxurious master bath has a double sink, bidet, oversized double shower, and a standalone soaker tub with a view. The second bedroom is comparable to one of the standard rooms offered throughout the various resorts. It contains two queen size beds and a full bath. In addition to the suite’s king-size bed and two queen-size beds, a pullout sofa brings the suite’s total sleeping accommodations to eight.
Depending upon the season, the rate per-night to stay in the Royal Asante Suite ranges from $2000-$3000, translating into a cost of $250-$375 per member of an eight-person party. While the price is high, given the means and opportunity, who would turn down a stay in WDW’s largest, most impressive suite?
Kendall began visiting Walt Disney World in 1991 with her family and has continued to visit the resort with her husband. As a child, she and her family filled vacations with challenges such as “How many times can we ride Splash Mountain during SpectroMagic and the fireworks?” (Answer: 7) Now, after marrying a converted Disney skeptic, she and her husband enjoy challenges such as “How many hours can we eat nonstop at the Food & Wine Festival?” (Answer: 4)