We recently stayed at Kidani Village for the first time at AKL, which is our DVC home resort. We fell in love with Animal Kingdom Lodge during our first stay at Jambo House, and joined DVC in October 2008. This was our first time staying on the Kidani side since it opened, and as much as we love AKL, we found that some oversights for the design of the Kidani made our stay less inconvenient. We brought our two small daughters on this trip: a 4-year-old and our 6-month-old. Our room (#7751) was located on the Red River Hog side (far side) of the Sunset Savannah. We paid for a savannah room and since our room faced outward (not toward the main savannah) we saw very few animals at all (only hogs, pelicans, Okapi). It was a very shallow area of savannah with a service trail running right through it, and was bit of a disappointment for us and for our 4-year-old. I will definitely request a room on the Giraffe side when staying at Kidani again.
Our room was very far from the main lobby, and with two small children it was quite a hike to transportation, especially after a long day at the parks. A major oversight in my opinion is the absence of a quick-service restaurant, which resulted in the Mara (Jambo House) being very overcrowded not to mention at least a 20 minute walk from our room. The last half of our week was rainy and we stayed in the better half of two days which made the distance from Jambo House and restaurant access sort of a pain. "Sanaa" seemed too exotic for our daughter so we did not experience it and I really think just a small cafeteria even if only for breakfast/lunch would be nice. We love Boma and Jiko, so opted for those instead. After reading some of these other reviews, I regret not having asked for a different room as I think this would have made all the difference in a more pleasant stay.
Our room was spacious and very clean as we have always found with AKL. We did find leftover underwear in the dryer which was strange (4/5), but otherwise the room was very clean. The master bathroom in our 1BR villa was huge and we overall had plenty of space. The beds for some reason are very uncomfortable and stiff, which we've found to be the case at Jambo as well. The pool is amazing, was not crowded during our visit, and the Samawati springs area is a very cool play area for kids. The resort was great, our room was ready even though we were a few hours early for check-in and the staff was friendly and efficient. The store at Kidani could definitely be bigger and offer more options, but the main shop at Jambo House is a larger, better alternative.
The bus service is much busier that it was before Kidani existed, and we found the wait to be much longer and the buses often packed. During the rain, we waited over 30 minutes at Magic Kingdom for a bus. Fortunately, most park buses stop at Kidani first, otherwise we would have had issues getting 2 strollers on/off. After staying at the main lodge, we found Kidani to be overall less impressive and some of the wonderful conveniences we really liked about Jambo House are not the same, but it is still a beautiful place to stay. We just learned to be more specific in our request next time!
- 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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- Also Known As:
- Disney`s Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village Hotel Orlando