We thoroughly enjoyed our 4 night stay at Kidani Village with our two young boys.
When you step off the shuttle to the entrance of Kidani, the door man says, “Welcome Home!”, and he means it! B/c this is the DVC part of the resort, it is designed to feel smaller scale and “cozier” than Jambo across the savanna… Cool oil lanterns light the way into the lobby with African music softly playing in the background… You feel like you are about to enter an exotic lodge in Africa! It’s a magical experience only Disney could pull off well… On the flip side of being in the cozy (read as quiet) side of the resort it that if you want to be in the middle of the action, you might feel “out in left field”… The walk to and from the main lodge is enough to plan your day accordingly… There is a shuttle but cueing up for that takes time too… But for us, we liked having our own quiet corner of the savanna. We loved having the extra bathroom in the 1 bed villa (you only get one in the Jambo House). That allowed us to easier accommodate the grand parents who stayed with us for one night. Room was clean and in excellent shape. The décor was “as expected” for higher level Disney hotel. Thoughtful details to enhance the Disney experience were noticeable. Only complaint is with the lights… I know the lighting design is part of the African savanna feel but it was just too darn dark in the hotel room. Need better task lighting to make it feel comfortable.
The kids water playground was an unexpected bonus at the pool area. The facility was never too crowded and the staff was exceptional with the kids. Be on the lookout for some fantastic “Magic moments” at the pool! Go to the far side of this area to see more views of the Pembe Savanna and the animals. Tennis and basketball courts we very underutilized! Probably b/c there was not a lick of shade available and a bit of a walk.
Definitely make time to talk with the naturalists to hear more interesting facts/stories about the animals in the savanna. These people have amazing stories to tell of their own background and how they found themselves working at Disney World. In fact, in my opinion, the wonderful international staff is an underappreciated attribute of the Animal Kingdom Lodge in general. Story time around the camp fire is special. Go there if you love animals and want to be transported to the savannas of Africa. But you’ll LEAVE raving about the staff as we did…
Dinner at Sanna was just OK. Staff seemed overwhelmed and timing was off (even though we had a reservation). Again, everyone was friendly and tried to be accommodating. But do be prepared to wait! Best meal at Animal Kingdom Lodge was Jiko without question. We ended going back two more times it was so good! Great wine list. We got the meal plan but ate breakfast in the villa so we could save our chits for better dinners (our kids are pretty adventuresome when it comes to food). All in all, a very rich and rewarding stay way out in Kidani village. It’s worth the trek.