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“Best trip ever!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

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cattjer812
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Best trip ever!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2012

Love this place! The service is excellent, my one year old was given many coloring books, pins, etc. We loved the savannah view- it was a nice change from the hustle of the parks. My son wanted to sit on the balcony all day and look at the animals. We cannot wait to stay here again.

  • Stayed November 2011, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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782 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (305)
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Lockport, New York
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012 via mobile

We stayed at Koranic Village from August 19-22, 2012. It was amazing!! My daughter loved waking up in the morning and running out onto the balcony to see what animals were out. The staff was amazing and extremely helpful when we ran into some issues (none of them resort related at all!!) The only downfall I had was that the elevator to the lobby was almost 1/4 mile from our room, yes we calculated it! Made it a long walk when coming back after exploring the parks all day.

  • Stayed August 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

I'm writing this review from room 7844, a one bedroom savanna view villa. We are currently on day #5 of our 8 day vacation and this is the second time we've stayed here - and will definitely not be our last. I'll break this review down into specific categories in order to help organize my thoughts.

Overview: The best advice I can give for non-Disney Vacation Club timeshare members who are interested in booking a room here is to rent DVC points from an owner and save close to 50% of what Disney charges when you book through them directly. Disney wanted $4700 for 8 days/7 nights. I rented DVC points and got the same room for the same time period for $2600.

Location: One of the more isolated resorts in WDW, so there aren't a lot of outside amenities around and you will need to drive or take a bus to get anywhere - but the wild animals lounging outside your balcony 24 hours a day need space. The views more than make up for it.

Parking: Convenient covered parking on the first floor of the resort. Makes for a cooler car and protection from rain when going from the car to your room.

Room: Simply spacious with nice African/Lion King style theming. All the standard amenities of a DVC resort room, including a full kitchen, dishwasher, and in-room washer/dryer. An added benefit is that the 1-bedroom villas have 2 bathrooms. The living room has a sofa with a queen size pullout bed as well as a comfy chair with a full size pullout bed. The balcony is large and provides decent privacy. During our stay Disney upgraded the door locks from the standard electronic locks with slots to RFID readers so all you need to do now is tap your keycard on the door to unlock it - nice touch. My only gripe is that the room could have brighter lighting.

TV: Horrible. The LCD flatscreens in the living room and bedroom are fine, but for some reason Disney still chooses to provide only analog, non-widescreen, standard-definition signals of every channel. Local channels look like they're being broadcast over the air from 1990 - lots of noise and static. Seriously? Come on, this is 2012.

Pool: smallish pool compared to Jambo House but very nicely decorated, with a longer/higher waterslide, outdoor ping pong table, and kids' water play area. You can always go and use the pool at Jambo House if you wish.

Internet: Disney is in the process of rolling out systemwide free WiFi across all of WDW, including the parks as well as all of its resorts. When I stayed here 2 years ago, they still had wired internet in every room for a fee, which albeit expensive, was decently fast. No longer. Although the ethernet jacks are still in the rooms, they don't work. This time, the only word I can use to describe the free WiFi is ATROCIOUS. Throughput speed, when it works, maxes out at about 1mbps. The rest of the time, it was an exercise in frustration. Data transfer would stop randomly every 5-15 minutes and the only way to fix the issue would be to turn WiFi off on my computer or iPad, turn it back on again, and reconnect to the network. I finally got so tired of dealing with this and ended up tethering my devices via WiFi to my 4G smartphone, which gave me better speeds and more consistent connectivity. In short, Disney's free WiFi is CRAP. Hopefully this changes soon.

However, none of these drawbacks would prevent me from staying here again. It's a beautiful resort with large rooms, incredible views, and a very nice example of the Disney vacation experience. Just don't pay full price - there are ways to stay here for much cheaper than what Disney charges.

Room Tip: Savanna view rooms are the most expensive but worth it
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canfield, Ohio
Top Contributor
77 reviews 77 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Just checked in today.Despite reading reviews that the check in process was slow nothing could be opposite.As we pulled up to the visitors gate we were pleasantly greeted and given a pre-printed parking pass with our names on it.We pulled up to check in and our bags were quickly taken and we were greeted by a Disney rep who assisted us with check in ,answered all our questions and gave our 6 y.o. all sorts of Mickey mouse stickers.Later we had a snack at Sanaa..very good Samosas and an excellent South African Chard...Dinner at Jiko was fabulous.Very attentive wait staff even towards our little boy.They made his experience and ours great.The swordfish and beef short ribs were great.My son loved the make your own smores.Their wine list(book)of South African wines was huge..We shared a Five Soldiers Chard that was well balanced,rich and palate classing..ALL in ALLit has been great!

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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langhorne, pa
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
36 hotel reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
57 helpful votes 57 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2012

Just returned from an 8 night stay in a 2br Savannah view at Kidani. Having been to Disney many times we were unsure about staying at AKL-Kidani due to the remote location. We usually stay in Old Key West and have also stayed at the Beach Club Villas. Kidani is our new favorite and we will definitely stay here again! We were on the 3rd floor- Room 7312- in between the Timon and South (Lobby) elevators. It was a great and convenient location both for the lobby and the parking garage. The unit was very large, although there were only 4 of us staying there. The 3rd bathroom was great! The only room that was really dark was the master br/bathroom. It would not take much to put a light in the ceiling fan which would take care of the problem. We saw animals everyday, mostly in the afternoon. While I have read people complaining that they don't release the animals early in the morning,we didn't miss that as we are too rushed in the morning to get started to have time to look at the animals.
As reviewed by many, the biggest downfall to Kidani is no quick serve restaurant.While there were 2 places to fill our mugs, the selections were very limited. I ended up making iced tea in my room rather than drinking soda all the time. The pool was a little small for the size of the resort although we were always able to get lounges. The bees were horrendous around the pool though. While alot of Disney service and attitude has gone downhill over the years, the staff at Kidani was top notch. From the welcoming greeting upon our late check in, with everything ready because of the new on-line check in service, to the day of check out. The amenities were plentiful and anytime we needed extra a call to mousekeeping brought an overabundance of extras.
While the location is far from most things we didn't really find it to be a problem. We drive everywhere except the Magic Kingdom so the distance didn't matter to us. Having a car makes it much easier to access other resorts for restaurants, etc.and you don't pay for parking if staying on property.

Room Tip: Ask for a room near lobby on 3rd floor.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Top Contributor
89 reviews 89 reviews
18 hotel reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

Let's get the obvious out of the way. The hotel rooms are great, the staff is awesome, the experience of this resort is amazing.

So, you might say why the "poor" rating. If you are not looking for a totally immersive African experience, you should go else where ... or limit your stay. We were there for ten nights. Way too much drums, African décor, and especially African/Indian themed food. The only restaurant is a themed one. Its really good, its a really great experience, but after you've done it, you're in trouble. "normal" as my kids called it food was a trek away, 45 minutes by Disney Bus.

Ok, they give you the choice of standard or savanna views. The only reason to be in this hotel is a savanna view of the three giraffe's, as many zebra's and a few long horned cows. It's cool. We were on the wrong side of the hallway, and we didn't get this joy.

The "waterpark" pool. It's on the other side of the road, just before you get to the swamp. It's nice, but the use of the term waterpark is a good bit misleading.

You are in the boonies! It's, I'm sure the only Disney Resort that you can see a Target from, you know the red circle folks, and hear a highway in the distance. To get to any of the parks except for Animal Kingdom it is at least 45 minutes on the Disney Transportation Bus, that you may wait as long as 20 minutes for. It's a special E ticket ride when at park closing you get crammed on to a bus, with every seat taken, and people standing in the aisles, wet, tired and well you get the picture --- and its not pretty. To get to Blizzard Beach (which is also awesome) you have to get on a bus that In our case took us to Downtown Disney first, then Typhoon Lagoon then The Caribbean Beach Resort then POP Century to end up at Blizzard Beach. Again well over an hour.

To add insult to injury we visited Jumbo House, the other Animal Kingdom Lodge. Lets just say it's got a bigger budget than Kidani, so if you got to get your African fix stay there. Much nicer, finished out better, more places to eat, bigger gift shop and food store. My wife was the first to visit it, and came back declaring "we're in the ghetto!" Obviously far from it, but you get the idea. By the way the "other" Animal Kingdom is a bus or shuttle van ride away. Then the way Kidani is designed would make any workout coach proud. It was a death march from the lobby to our room. The parking can also be very unforgiving, with a very long walk.

Lastly, for some reason the normal and expected kids activities were really not happening. And my kids missed them. We went over to the Contemporary to do some water sports, and my boys were standing there staring at the kids playing in group activities with the lifeguards, playing games, listening to music, etc. "Hey dad why aren't they doing that at our pool?" "Well boys mom says we're in the ghetto." Maybe not the ghetto, but I think the cheap seats.

A cast member did share with me the reality that you can transfer out to another resort (by that time we only had one night to go). He also shared with us that Kidani has the highest rate of transfers out, and lowest guest experience satisfaction.

Walt Disney World is always going to be our number one choice for a kid friendly vacation. But for our family, we've learned some very important lessons, and that's what I'm try to share with you. It's just not everyone's cup of tea. And there WIFI is terrible!

Room Tip: Only Savanna side, try to get close to the lobby
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hoboken, New Jersey
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 22, 2012

We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa last year, and I am still semi-obsessed with this hotel. The details are so beautiful and its such a unique theme and experience. Boma and Jiko are definitely in my top 5 favorite restaurants on property.

I thought the rooms were beautiful, and the villa was so nice to take a break in. This is probably my first trip where I spent time in the room hanging out and not just sleeping.

I was traveling with a group of 12 though, and I may be the only one that would actually stay here again. We have stayed at monorail resorts before, and I guess they have all be so spoiled, that the long drive to the parks was too annoying. It is definitely a noticeable difference with the travel time to the parks, but the isolation is definitely a benefit for some people. It is nice to get a break from the chaos of the parks.

The quick service food something I would not try again. Definitely stock up on some room snacks and eat elsewhere whenever possible.

If you don't a pre-conceived notion about what the travel times to the parks could be, I can't see how someone wouldn't love this hotel.

Room Tip: Know your priorities because the pool, check-in, and the main AKL building are in 3 different areas.
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  • Stayed September 2011, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

Address: 3701 Osceola Parkway, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando > Walt Disney World Resort
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 14 Specialty Lodging in Orlando
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village 4*
Number of rooms: 493
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village is an African lodge-style Resort boasting accommodations that include kitchenettes/kitchens and multi-bedroom units. Featuring over 30 species of wildlife that roam free amidst a 21-acre wildlife preserve that includes lush, tropical savannas, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village offers you the unique opportunity to observe exotic animals in their natural habitat from special viewing areas throughout the Resort – and from the balconies of select Guest rooms. ... more   less 
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Disney`s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village Hotel Orlando

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