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“Not What I Expected”

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Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 27, 2013

We had a family of 10 stay at Kidani Village for 5 nights. I had great expectations for my grandchildren. The workers at the hotel could not be beat ,as usual with Disney properties.We had 2 rooms with a savannah views.My grandchildrens room was on the inside of the hotel with all sorts of animals,my wife and mine was on the outside of the hotel,I didn't think that chain link fences were part of a savannah..The other part of my disappointment was the fact we were in the far end of the hotel.We had to walk the total perimeter of the hotel to get to the lobby.WE were located in rooms 7771 and 7772 quite the walk for my pregnant daughter and young children,thank god we brought a stroller for the 3 year old. The room my children had was superb,nice bathrooms ,dining area and kitchen.My room was typical queen room with a bad coffee pot lid that we had to ask for a replacement,nothing amazing about this room at all..One of the great features was the pool area ,though it was a long walk it could not be beat.We had a wonderful time hanging at the pool,waterslides,music and they also had interactive games for the children. The cost for these rooms were more than any other hotel rooms I have ever stayed,it was for the kids ,but I do not see me staying there again..I am sure to try out another Disney property at sometime but not at a luxury resort like this.

Room Tip: Make sure you are closer to the lobby,and your savvanah room is on the inside of the hotel.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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Thank frednmo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 27, 2013

Arrived way earlier than the check-in time and pleasantly surprised to find our room was all ready for us. We checked in online, so all our room keys were prepared, making the physical check in process a breeze. Upon entry, the carpets were still damp from being shampooed, but left the ceiling fans on and balcony door slightly ajar, and by afternoon, it was dry.

Lobby: Kidani's lobby is much smaller compared to Jambo House and lacks the wow factor.

Rooms: We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa in Kidani Village overlooking the savanna. The rooms were spacious, layout well thought-out, modern and clean. Our sauté pan had a deep scratch in it, but housekeeping came within 15 minutes to replace it with a new one once we notified them. The local market at the lobby had the usual breakfast items at reasonable prices to purchase so we could save a little by preparing the first meal of the day in the villa. We chose to stay at Kidani instead of Jambo House because their two-bedroom villas have 3 bathrooms vs 2 at Jambo. It was comfortable for three families (with 5 kids in total). Although Jambo House is where the main entertainment and food is, we liked the quieter Kidani Village and the walk over to Jambo is not bad at all. Worse comes to worse, just take the shuttle bus or drive over. Oh, and wi-fi signals were surprisingly strong for a resort this size (well, our room was fine anyway). Our room was right above the pathway to the pool, so we lucked out in terms of not having to walk far to get to it.

Amenities: Washer and dryer was a nice convenience. Only comes with one load's worth of detergent, so plan ahead and buy your own or bring some from home. Bathrooms were well stocked with toiletries as well. Kitchen was fully stocked with pots, pans, utensils, etc if you choose to prepare your own meals. If you're staying as time-share members, room service comes on the 4th day to replenish supplies, linens, etc. As hotel guests, the rooms are serviced daily.

Food: Both Jambo and Kidani have their own on-site restaurants, so there's no lack of sit down service if that's what you crave. We only went to the buffet at Jambo House, so that's the only one I can review.. it had something for everyone, so we all left there full tummies with smiles on our faces. There's also more casual dining places by the pools for quicker "fast food" service (usual themepark fare: burgers, salads, kids meals, etc).

Gyms: Both areas have them, next to the pools. Both well equipped. Folks staying there and staff are super friendly and courteous!

Pools: Kidani has its own pool and slide separate from Jambo (guests can use both). Jambo has a bigger pool, but also more crowded. Daily flyers are packed with poolside activities for the kids in both pool areas. At 7p each evening, Disney cast members bring out the marshmallows for roasting.

Garage: underneath the hotels! Keeps your cars cool in the summer. Once you figure out what part of the complex you're staying at, it's no effort to know where to park to be closest to your quarters. Each section is named with Lion King characters.

Savannas: If you're going to spend the money to stay at this resort, don't skimp now. Worth the little extra to get savanna views. Our kids really enjoyed waking up and seeing giraffes and ostriches, etc wandering right out the windows and balconies. The animal caretakers spread their food throughout the savanna to lure the animals all over the space to insure all guests can have the best chance to see the animals as close as safely possible (no, animals are not within touching distance). Warning though.. guests are not allowed to throw food or objects to the animals. There are cameras overlooking the savannah. Savannas at Kidani and Jambo have different animals, but there are plenty of opportunities in common areas to view them. Disney has plenty of knowledgeable staffers to answer any questions about the animals and their habitats.

Morning of check out, we utilized Disney's onsite airline checkin services at the lobby and got our boarding passes and checked in our luggage so our time spent at the airport was less. Yay!


Possible gripes, but really non-issues for me: TV signal is still analog and not high-def, but no matter, we weren't there to watch television anyway. It is one of the farther resorts on Disney property, so the drive or shuttle bus rides to the other parks takes a few more minutes longer, but not a problem really. We used both car and shuttle bus to get around with no kids whining, and it wasn't an issue since both options were air-conditioned.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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2  Thank pogostix
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 24, 2013

This was our first stay at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village. AKL has many pro and cons. First we are a family of five and we fit comfortably in a one bedroom suite. Much more cost efficient than having to book a two bedroom. We stayed in room 7360, which was on the third floor, with a savannah view.
Room - Excellent. This is nothing like staying at a hotel. The bedroom has a king sized bed that was great. The master bath was amazing. It is a huge room with a large enclosed shower, a separate spa tub, a closet and a enclosed room where the toilet is located. The bedroom opens out to the balcony which overlooked the savannah. The main room has a living area with a sleeper sofa and another deep seat which converts to a sleeper. This room also has a balcony overlooking the savannah. There is a dinning table and a full kitchen and another full bathroom. Like all of Disney the attention to detail is there, big and small.
Animals - as advertised there were many different species of animals roaming freely. I was fascinated by this. I loved sitting on the balcony with a drink and watching them pass by. Food is placed around the resort for the animals to graze on, and they follow it so they arrive at different times. By us it was later in the day. I feel that it is worth noting that there was no odor from the animals, even in the August sun.
Resort - the lobby was nice. Amazing architecture throughout. Gift shop a little smaller than other resorts, but they have all the amenities that you may need, including food, beer and wine which was priced reasonably. The outside fire pit was cool. We missed the story telling but did try the night vision goggles. Very cool, however there are not many of them and they go quickly. People were lining up waiting for a staff member to start handing them out. We visited on pool, which was large. There is a water slide and a sprinkler play area for littler ones. There was entertainment by the pool and a bar where you can get a drink or bite to eat. Of course the staff was excellent.
Restaurants - sorry we did not eat at the resort other than what we made in the room.
Some of the cons are 1 - the size of the resort. Many resorts in Disney are large and spread out into different sections. Kidhani Village however, is one large building. Our room was located near the end of the hall. I forget exactly how long the hallways was, I remember someone saying it was almost a quarter of a mile long. It sure felt like it. So to put that in perspective, to fill your kids drink mug or to get a coffee from the lobby it’s a quarter mile to the elevator, down to the lobby, back up, then a quarter mile back. Another con is that it is located a distance from most of the parks.
All in all, I liked AKL and look forward to staying again after visiting a few of the resorts that we have yet to stay at.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank Rob_from_LI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

I recently went to Disney world with my family (parents, sisters, brother in laws, nieces and nephews). My boyfriend and I stayed at the kidani village.

While upon arrival it is breathtaking and amazing to enter the lobby. I thoroughly loved the viewing areas for animals. I saw giraffes and zebras almost daily and got awesome shots. However, everything else was inconvenient.

We were given a savannah view (worth it because it is awesome to wake up to giraffes). But the room was almost as far away as Africa! The walk from the lobby to our room was a good 10 minutes! Adding in the walk to the bus stops and then in the park and upon arriving at night walking back is just too much.

We were "late" for dining reservations 2 times when leaving from the hotel even with leaving over an hour before the reservation.

The bus systems is nice because kidani is picked up and dropped off first, but the ride to any park is at least 20 minutes.

I did enjoy learning about the animals and Africa from the cultural representatives. We even got to go to a graduation for some cultural representatives. That was really interesting.

As for the pool it is beautiful w a water slide and zero depth entrance. They have a special water play area for kids. The bar was beautiful and whole area. However, yet again this was a 10 minute walk from the lobby. So it took me 20 minutes from my room to the pool. Yikes!

This is not the hotel to stay at if you want to come back and relax in the middle of the day and go back to the parks later. The time everything takes means once you come back you won't me leaving again. Assume each day 3 hours between walking to buses, waiting for a bus and getting to the park and back again.

I am glad I stayed there, but I would not choose this hotel again unless I planned to not go to the parks or leave the resort. It was an awesome one time experience.

I hope this helps in your decision making process! I would suggest to ask for a room as close to the lobby as possible!

- a Disney vacationer of 5 times

I have stayed at: wilderness lodge, Caribbean beach, all stars, fort wilderness, Polynesian, and animal kidani lodge. (Split some in one trip etc)

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank HappyTravels1010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 23, 2013

We have stayed at AK Jambo house several times always with a savannah view. This was our first time at Kidani. We have been DVC owners for 4 years. Our home resort is Bay Lake Tower.

We were headed down on March 8, 2013 for a Cruise that was leaving on the 9th. We opted to stay at Kidani and use our points.

We really enjoyed our stay here! We requested a savana view room and got one. I like the Savannah better at Kidani....I think! But at least just as much as at Jambo.

Check in was quick and very painless, I always use online check in and it has never failed to be fast.

Parking at first was confusing to us. Once you drive into the garage and see it you will really appreciate the setup! We liked it again better than Jambo.

We walked past Sanaa and it looks like a lovely restaurant. It was about 8pm when we arrived and it was empty. It is nice to have a restaurant right there in the main building of a DVC resort!

The rooms are nice! Again I like the rooms and the entire building better at Kidani only because the halls are so long at Jambo that after a long day walking around I always dreaded coming home to have to walk those seemingly miles of halls to get to the room! LOL

All in all I loved Kidani!
I still love Jambo and would take a concierge room at Jambo any day over any room at Kidani. :) But after writing this I do think I prefer Kidani over Jambo! Unless Concierge!

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Indychristine62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013

We are part of the DVC and expect nothing from the best from the Disney experience. Our expectation were met at this property. The Disney hospitality is spectacular (although i'm not sure why the Disney "Cast members" are all carrying iPads!). Kidani Village was always well staffed by very attentive cast members. The building is spectacular architecture. The lobby makes you feel like you are in what i would imagine an AFrican village community hut would be like (except for the air-conditioning). OUr check in was flawless (although there was some confusion with our disney passes) and the room was large, well appointed and comfortable. (and stocked with groceries that we pre-ordered from the disney website).

we had a two room Savannah view villa. its was quite nice. one room with two queen size beds and a very generous bathroom, a master suite with a spacious bathroom with jacuzzi tub, and a third full bathroom right next to the front door (which was helpful, we were able to give our 5 year old a bath at the same time the teenager was occupying the other bathroom and my wife was in the master bathroom. it made getting ready a breeze!).

And, yes, there were animals to see. our room, 7773, view was away looking south, away from the center area. we were initially concerned that we would seen animals from our room. However, we were wrong. Several of the animals strolled by during the day. the animal keepers also placed food on our side of the building thus assuring we would eventually see all species. it was quite spectacular to sit out on our spacious balcony and watch the animals graze by.

our only complaint is that it was quite a walk from the main lobby to the room. our room was located almost at the end of one of the "arms" of the building. the walk from the lobby to the room was easily a 1/4 of a mile. it was a nice way to start our day, but after a long day at a disney park, the last thing we wanted to do was walk another 1/4 mile to our room. as a result of the distance from our room to the lobby, we didn't take advantage of our free drinks that we purchased with our dinning plan. Disney should place drink dispensers throughout the Villas to accommodate long distance room locations.

Room Tip: if you are given a choice, pick a room that has a smaller third number (ie, 7200 were closest to the...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with family
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1  Thank beacho
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 21, 2013 via mobile

We stayed this past weekend in a one bedroom villa with savannah view. The room itself was amazing- all the comforts of home plus perfectly sized for our little family. Downside was that the walk from the lobby to the room literally took about 15 minutes. Must request a close room.
There are no quick service restaurants on site. You have to take a shuttle to the main property which was no big deal.
The bus service to the parks was very quick but on the way home after MK closing, that left much to be desired.
Our home resort is Bay Lake Tower and nothing compares to that property to us, but we would definitely enjoy another stay at Kidani Village in the future.

  • Stayed: April 2013
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2  Thank TRUST311
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 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 22 Specialty Lodging in Orlando
Price Range: $405 - $1,386 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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