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“Not up to par...”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Certificate of Excellence
St. Augustine, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Not up to par...”
Reviewed March 21, 2011

We stayed in March with friends and family. We had a a two bedroom suite with a view of the savannah. From ratings we read, they said it was a 4-5 star Hotel. Not true very cheap looking. Not enough animals to view from the balcony and way..way..way over priced. The employees were not very friendly..check in was a joke. I had to move the car three times to finally be parked correctly. Really nothing to do there but look at animals, and the pool was packed with random people that where not even staying there! The pool bar had one bartender and a line that was not worth the wait. They have a buffet dinner that was terrible...it was denny's quility food with a price tag of Morton's steak house. I recomend getting the meal plan(we had that thank god or we would have been more ripped off) If you have to stay at the parks I recomend the Grand floridian. The price is very similar(bit more) but you get what you pay for and your near to the parks. I would never stay at the lodge again unless the price was what its worth. A big disapointment. I feel Disney has really slacked off in giving you that exciting experience that they once did.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank rmboats1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 10, 2011

This may seem redundant with everyone else's reviews. We bought points from a friend who is part of the Disney Vacation Club. We stayed a week and so only had towels replaced once which wasn't as big of a problem as I had expected. I did pack a couple extra towels, though. I also thought having garbage changed once would be an issue but it wasn't...we had 3 garbage cans in the Studio and there were extra bags at the bottom so we were able to change them ourselves. The biggest problem was the long walk to lobby, restaurant, bus, pool, etc. We did not go to the pool at all due to inconvenience. Luckily my parents had a car so they picked us up in parking garage which was a rather short walk. We did walk to bus twice which took about 10 minutes. We did not go to the restaurant due to the long walk and we did not shop at the gift shop for same reason. When we got to our room we basically stayed there because it was too much of a walk to go anywhere else. We had a good view of the Savannah with giraffes, zebra, ostrich, etc. There were times when we looked out and there were no animals there but other times we would look out and there were a bunch out. I ended up spending a day at the room because of illness and I must say if you are sick, this is the place to be stuck at. I spent a lot of time sitting on the balcony animal watching. Every time you look out your window you have a different view which was great. The bad part again, was while I was sick we had to order room service because I knew I wouldn't make the long walk to a restaurant and there is no quick service restaurant at the Kidani Village. Room service was quick, though, and tasted great.
The room itself was better than expected. Very clean and roomy.
Overall I liked the animal views best. When booking I would make sure you request a room close to lobby with a view of savannah with giraffe and zebra. My husband ran into someone who had a room on the other side of us and he complained of not being able to see the "good" animals. For the price you pay to stay at this place, you want a great view. While we are glad we experienced this resort, we will not stay here again. We will probably try Bay Lake next time as we like that it is closer to Magic Kingdom and easier access to parks.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank nolan1123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 26, 2011

Don't let my title discourage you from the start until I explain. This was my family's 10th + trip to Disney. This year my husband and I decided to invite our 21 & 18 yo daughter's boyfriend's along, to make the vacation more enjoyable for everyone! Our party consisted of my husband, myself, our two daughters, our 15 yo son, my mother-in-law, and the two boyfriends - 8 people. We looked at many different room options for our large family but in the end decided we wanted to be together. Kidani Village was the perfect match.

With such a large group (we came in on 3 different flights at different times) the Magical Express was wonderful for our oldest daughter, her boyfriend and my mother-in-law. Five
of us got to Kidani early on our first day, we were greeted by a wonderful staff who was more than willing to store our luggage and then deliver it to our room when it was ready.
The staff also told us that they would call us as soon our room was ready and when the
Magical Express had picked up our family members at the airport. This really impressed me
because we had never used the Magical Express before and I have read so many horror
stories online about it. The only complaint that my family had about the Magical Express
was that it made so many stops. To me this is minimal - it saves the cost of a taxi, rental
car, picking up luggage, etc. Additionally, I don't see how there could be a Magical bus for
each hotel, that just seems excessive. I will also tell you that my 21yo daughter & her
boyfriend's flight # and time was changed three times the day before departure. We had to
go to the concierge to make sure that they were scheduled for the correct Magical Express
departure. There were so many mix-ups with the airline and Magical Express that the
concierge assured me that she would stay (she was getting ready to leave for the day) until
the problem was resolved and if it didn't get resolved correctly with Magical Express she told me the hotel would have a car take them to the airport. This again truly impressed me -
this staff member was willing to stay late to resolve a problem instead of passing it on to
someone else. After 2.5 hours I was called on my cell phone by the concierge to tell me
that everything was confirmed. She also provided me with the name of the Saturday concierge who she had already given all of the information to in case we had any issues, as she would not be working the next day. Incidentally, she called me on my cell phone on her day of to make sure that my daughter had gotten to the airport as planned - WOW!

Ok, now for the reason that I like the Jambo House better. My family and I stayed at the
Jambo house in July 2009. We stayed in a Savannah viewing room (we had not requested
it, but were surprised when we opened the curtains to see all of the wonder and
amazement). The main lobby is unlike any I have seen before! I truly felt like I was in
Africa and learned so much about the many different people, cultures and various
languages spoken in Africa. Having just worked with a person from Nigeria I thought I knew
a lot, but I was so wrong!

The convenience store at Kidani is very small, it offers the basics. Several times I asked if
they had certain items and was told I could find these at the Jambo convenience store. The
walk to Jambo wasn't far or you could take the bus, but it is not "convenient". Additionally, there are no quick food areas at Kidani, just one restaurant. I understand this is due to the fact that Animal Kingdom Lodge is one complete resort with two separate buildings. The
pool at Jambo is bigger but both are very nice. The lobby at Kidani is very small and
doesn't give you the same feel as Jambo. Don't get me wrong, Kidani is WONDERFUL, but
overall I feel that Jambo is SUPERB and I would stay at Jambo over Kidani just for the
ambiance and convenience! Animal Kingdom Lodge is DEFINATELY the place to stay in
WDW!

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
6 Thank DisneyFrequentFlier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, IN
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2011

Disney exceeded our expectations with this African-themed resort. We stayed at Kidani Village by purchasing someone's DVC points. There are pros and cons to staying at the larger Jambo House at Animal Kingdom and the smaller Kidani Village. Regardless, the Animal Kingdom Resort is superb!
If you are skeptical about the frequency of animals (either from your room or numerous observation areas), don't worry. There was never a moment that we didn't see exotic animals in the savannah. When I jogged at 6am there were animals. When I took my son to the arcade at midnight there were animals to see. We even used nightvision provided by one of the workers from Africa who is available to answer questions about the savannah.
My 8 year old was fascinated with the animals and was telling us about the Elund, Ankole Cattle, Red River Hog, and Thompson Gazelles. Our only regret is that we spent so much time at the Theme Parks. We could have spent 2 whole days at the resort. They have cultural kids activities going on throughout the day, plus awesome pools, basketball/tennis courts, and a Community Room with a Wii, Pool Table, and games.

Animal Kingdom Lodge is worth the splurge and I would recommend this resort to anyone.

Be advised that this Resort is far away from Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and especially Magic Kingdom. Upon boarding a Disey Bus to Magic Kingdom, the trip was nearly 25 minutes (that includes stopping at Jambo House). You will spend more time on buses than if you stayed closer (example: BeachClub, Boardwalk, Wilderness Lodge, Contemporary, Polynesian, etc) but as long as you know that upfront, the benefits of Animal Kingdom Lodge outweigh the transportation issue.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank FamilyVacationers83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
119 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2011

First let me talk about the hotel. The Kidani is a Disney Vacation Club (DVC) property, and we were lucky enough to not only get a nice double room, but one with a savannah view. My wife and I took my daughter and son-in-law, with our two grandkids, Sarah (6) and Nick (1), and I wanted Sarah to be able to wake up and see giraffes and zebra off the balcony at breakfast. This worked out very well, the animals were out there often and there are a variety. One thing I have to comment on - many people who have written reviews on the Kidani have complained about the distance from the farthest rooms to the lobby/bus stop. Some people said it was a 10-15 minute walk, some complained that they were so tired from walking it ruined their time at Disney. I recommend they get off the couch more often and walk. I timed the walk from our room to the lobby - 2 minutes at a leisurely pace with two small kids in tow. If you are not prepared for some long walks and time on your feet, DON'T COME TO DISNEY!
Anyway, the breakfast buffet at the nearby Jambo House, a short walk from the Kidani, is excellent.
Since the Kidani is off in the corner of Disney, no monorail or boat ride to the Kingdom or Epcot, all buses which run (for the most part) frequently, although at the end of a long day it can seem like it takes forever for the bus to YOUR hotel to arrive.
The Kidani itself is very nice, rooms are spacious and comfortable, and the housekeeping staff very efficient. The rooms have full kitchen, and this worked well for keeping baby formula, drinks and snacks back at the room. Also have washer and dryer in room, very handy.
As for Disney, it seems the rumors about service becoming an issue are true. For the most part I encountered very helpful and friendly staff, but all you need is one inattentive waiter to aggravate you and the night can turn sour. A waiter at the Italian restaurant in the Magic Kingdom timed the dinner poorly, arrived with basket of bread at the end of dinner, disappeared for long periods, while a family at a nearby table had no concept of controlling their idiot children, not one of our better meals.On the positive side, we arrived at the Bibbidy Boppity Boutique and found we would need a 6 month reservation to get Sarah in, my wife was a little upset and mentioned this to a cast member at a nearby store. The cast member promptly got on the phone and we had a reservation for the end of the week, worked out well and showed that some staff really do go out of their way to help. Then there was the boat pilot that left us on the dock, in the rain, shouting to us that we had missed the boat (which was just being untied as we ran up). And you have the bus driver who had no one else aboard who went off his route to get us back quicker.
I have a theory that with the increase in guests and hotels on property, they have increased staff to the point where you are more likely to run into the (relatively) few jerks on staff.
Overall, we had a really nice time.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank M0rgoth
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coral Springs, Florida
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 16, 2011

Let me begin by saying this hotel is very nice, the room didn't let us down, it had everything we needed and then some. It was nice having a dishwasher, washer and drier, full stove with oven, etc available. This is specially true when you are traveling with little ones. However I was severely dissapointed with the service. It was horrific. Let me walk you through our 3 day stay. First day: we checked in at noon (although we knew our room wouldn't be available until 4 but we wanted to get the chjeck in done so we could go to the parks). They took at least 45 minutes to get us checked in and although I had called multiple times in the past months to make sure I'd have a crib in the room it seemed as though this was the first they heard of it so they ended up assigning us a pack and play. They told us they would text me the room number to my cell during the day and gave me my keys. ot back to the hotel that night, not text. Went to the front desk, it seemed our room was not even ready yet (mind you we had checked in at noon and it was about 8 pm when we went back). Finally we get to our room, ordered dinner. They said it'd be 45 minutes. An hour and a half went by, no dinner. Meanwhile, two very small, hungry children in my room. Had to give them some baby food jars that fortunuately had in the diaper bag plus some fruits and snacks we had. After almost two hours we called to inquire on the status of our food and they said it'd be ready soon - no apologies thank you very much - and we said, you guys told us it'd be 45 minutes and it's been almost two hours, they just replied: I know. Day 2: realized the walls in the room are so thin, you can hear everything in the other rooms, including when they are pushing the buttons in the microwave. Unreal. It was lovely seeing the animals out in the balcony though. Went to parks, came back. Room had not been cleaned. Had to spend a good part of the afternoon cleaning the room (otherwise safety issues with my two toddlers), doing dishes and laundry. I guess that's why they say 'welcome home' because I did as much work there as I do in my house. They should have left me a tip. At about 7 pm reported the room not being cleaned and that we were out of coffee (answer was ok, and again no apologies!). Got some coffee, but room was never cleaned. Day 3: Left in the morning, aside for the conveniences of the room inside and the nice view of the animals, don't know if we'll be back. We've stayed in teh value resorts before (All Stars, etc) and were treated way better there than in Kidani.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank YCG73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maple Valley, Washington
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed February 13, 2011

My family and I have been to many resorts and this one by far is the best we have visited. From the minute you step off the bus you will feel like you have been trasported to an African safari paradise. Drummers playing native music greet you into the breathtaking lobby. The staff is very helpful and show that they genuinely care about you and your vacation. The rooms are well equipped and comfortable. Look for the Disney carvings in the furniture and the Disney themed details in the furnishings. A safari view room is defintely worthwhile, as you are constantly reminded of where you are and why you came to this wonderful place. The pool at Kidani is the best, it has the kid's water play park and two fun water slides that even me and my husband enjoyed. Kidani village does not play second fiddle to the main lodge. The main lodge is easily accessible if you wish to visit Boma, their premier restaurant but the pool at the main lodge is not worth the trip. Boma is pricey but a memorable experience. I like to close my eyes and imagine we are back there, it is really that great.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank MapleValleyRealtor
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

Property: Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Address: 3701 Osceola Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, Orlando, FL 32830-8445
Location: United States > Florida > Central Florida > Orlando
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 #4 of 18 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):
Escape on your own African safari adventure at this magnificent resort hotel. Inspired by the traditional African kraal, the horseshoe-curved design offers exquisite views of lush savannas-where over 30 species of African wildlife freely roam. Delight in dazzling pool areas, exciting animal programs and all the comforts of home in our spacious studios and multi-bedroom villas. ... more   less 
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Disney`s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village Hotel Orlando

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