Kidani Village: New DVC Property at Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks
Home Florida - Walt Disney World Caribbean - Disney Cruise Line California - Disneyland Resort Anywhere and Everywhere! Travelers Store Message Boards PassPorter's Club Help!
  About Us  |  Customs Office   |   Register Your Book   |   Book Updates   |  Newsletter  |  Articles  |  Photos  |   Follow Us on
       LINKS
       ARTICLES
WDW Planning Articles

WDW Traveling Articles

WDW Lodging Articles
A Night On the Savannah at Animal Kingdom Lodge
All Star Vacation Homes
All-Star Music
Bay Lake Tower at Disney's Contemporary Resort
Choosing a Disney Resort
Choosing A Disney Resort
Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club
Disney Vacation Club's Old Key West
Disney's All Star Movies Resort
Disney's All Star Movies Resort
Disney's All Star Music Resort
Disney's All Star Sports Resort
Disney's All-Star Movies
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas
Disney's Beach Club Resort
Disney's BoardWalk
Disney's BoardWalk Resort
Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Contemporary Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Coronado Springs Resort
Disney's Deluxe Resorts
Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Disney's Old Key West Resort
Disney's Original Value
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Polynesian Resort
Disney's Pop Century Resort
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter
Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort
Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort & Villas
Disney's Yacht Club Resort
Fort Wilderness
Fort Wilderness
Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
Fort Wilderness Resort Cabins
Fort Wilderness Resort Camping
Kidani Village
On Again, Off Again
On-Site Lodging vs. Off-Site Lodging
Pampering Perfected
Renting Disney Vacation Club Points
Reserving a Disney Resort Hotel Room
Roughing It - Confessions of a Deluxe Resort Fan Staying at a Moderate Resort
Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs Resort
Shades of Green
Shades of Green
Shades of Green Resort
Shades of Green Resort
Sheraton Vistana Village
Staying in a Cabin at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
The Art of A Smooth Check-in At Walt Disney World
The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
The Villas at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
The Villas at Disney's Grand Floridian
The Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Using RCI Points for Disney Vacation Club Resorts
Why We Stayed Off-Property For our Disney Vacation

WDW Touring Articles

WDW Dining Articles

WDW Making Magic Articles

WDW General Travel Articles

View all PassPorter articles
PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF

Kidani Village: New DVC Property at Animal Kingdom Lodge Resort

Walt Disney World photo
by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 6/4/2009
  

Cool Tip: Click here to get a FREE PDF version of this article, fully formatted to print and put into your PassPorter Deluxe Binder!


Filed in Articles > Walt Disney World > Lodging  

Since it's opening in April 2001, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge has become a favorite with many visitors to Walt Disney World. It's hardly a surprise, considering the unique features of the resort! Where else can you see zebras and giraffes roaming on the savannah below your room?


There was some surprise when Disney Vacation Club (DVC) announced its newest property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, as most of the speculation at the time swirled around the construction at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

Kidani Village, as we learned it would be called, was a completely separate building on the same site as Animal Kingdom Lodge. Disney Vacation Club villas first opened at Animal Kingdom Lodge in 2007 in the original main building that would soon become known as Jambo House. Having stayed in one of those villas shortly after they opened, I was delighted to find that Kidani Village would be throwing open its doors on May 1, 2009, when we would be at Walt Disney World for part of PassPorter's Decade of Dreams Tour. Instantly, I made plans to visit it to see the newest home resort on offer to DVC members.

The first surprise as we pulled up was to see that the signs had changed, with the entrance to what used to be Animal Kingdom Lodge now instead welcoming you to Jambo House. Although I knew this would be the new name, I somehow wasn't expecting it to be as obvious as it was. We soon came to the Kidani Village sign and drove in and my first impression was, sadly, disappointing.

As you pull up, my first thought was that the building looks a bit like a prison camp, with very few windows. Even understanding the reason (the vast majority of rooms here have savannah views, so as you approach, you face just huge blank walls, rather than rooms with balconies), it's a very odd sight and I almost felt as if we were backstage. The Cast Member who was driving us even remarked that it wasn't quite what she had expected.



Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway photo
Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway

The Audi R8 from the Exotic Driving Experience at Walt Disney World Speedway - photo by goofyboysmama

Fortunately, that was the end of feeling disappointed. As soon as you pull up, Kidani Village suddenly has the much more familiar feel of its older brother. Some of the rooms you can see by the entrance obviously have views of the parking lot. That was confirmed when I spoke to Member Services a while later to make our booking there for December, with the Cast Member informing me that standard views could be of the pool or the parking lot. With this in mind, I opted for a savannah view.

Before you even step inside Kidani Village, you immediately know that it's a DVC resort, with the obvious, but still subtle, "Welcome home" sign above the doorway. And it did indeed feel like home the second we entered the lobby. It's strange, considering that it is technically a new resort, that it really feels as though it's not. It's very much part of Animal Kingdom Lodge and the architecture is very similar, although some of the fixtures inside are different, including the lights. I loved the design of those, as they looked as if they had vibrant orange flames emanating from them.

Anyone who's been to Jambo House will instantly recognize the layout. The shop, Johari Treasures, is to the right of the lobby and check-in is to the left. Walk through and you head down the stairs to the savannah outside and the restaurant, Sanaa, which is located immediately below the lobby. We dined at Sanaa on its opening night (see the May 21 PassPorter News for the review), it's a great addition to the wonderful selection of dining that Disney has and it's definitely worth trying out. I can easily see it becoming just as popular as Boma and Jiko, and cements Animal Kingdom Lodge's position as one of the best resorts when it comes to dining.

It's really only when you head away from the main lobby and up to the rooms that you again remember that this is a Disney Vacation Club resort. The first thing I should say is that Kidani Village feels huge. I was lucky enough to get a sneak peek at both a one bedroom villa and a studio that friends were staying in and the studio seemed to be miles away from the lobby. It's something worth keeping in mind if you plan on staying here. If walking distances is an issue, requesting a room near the lobby may be useful.

The rooms come as no surprise to anyone who's seen the model rooms at the DVC Preview Center at Saratoga Springs Resort. I had taken a good look at those on our last visit and I couldn't spot any differences. What you obviously couldn't see from the model rooms was the savannah view and this is what I was most interested in. I wasn't disappointed and spotted a few ostriches out on the savannah. The impression I got immediately was that this savannah felt a lot quieter and more peaceful than the ones we had previously had outside our rooms at Jambo House. I couldn't help but wonder if that was just because it was the first night of operation, as there was no way of knowing how busy Kidani Village was on that particular night.

The long hallways are broken up by various examples of African art along the way, which is a lovely touch and very homely. I don't doubt that's the feeling that the Imagineers were trying to create, as DVC resorts are all about feeling at home.

Like any other DVC resort, Kidani Village has a range of facilities to reinforce that feeling of home, including the guest laundry, an arcade, and the community hall, which is the place to hang out and enjoy your free time. When I poked my head around the door, it was being well used, with people playing pool and others sitting at the tables there.

Sadly, the only part I didn't get the chance to check out was the new swimming area, called Samawati Springs Pool, but it's something I can't wait to explore on our next visit there, when we'll be staying there as members. The same is true of the basketball, shuffleboard, and tennis courts that Kidani Village adds to Animal Kingdom Lodge, but it leaves me the excitement of knowing there's more to see when we return in December.

From what I saw of Kidani Village on its opening night, it's a great addition to Animal Kingdom Lodge and I have a strong feeling that we're going to enjoy our stay there and will probably be returning there more than once.


Exotic Driving Experience photo
Exotic Driving Experience

Pictures from the Exotic Driving Experience, the shuttle pick up sign at the TTC - photo by goofyboysmama




About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!

Related Links:
The Art of A Smooth Check-in At Walt Disney World - Save Time and Trouble On Your Next Trip last updated 12/04/2008
Disney's All Star Movies Resort - Big "Blockbuster" Fun On a Small "Indie" Budget last updated 01/20/2009
Disney's All Star Music Resort - Quality Lodging For a Song last updated 1/13/2009
Disney's All Star Sports Resort - The Original Value last updated 1/13/2009
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - The "Perfect" Resort for Teenagers last updated 1/13/2009




Reader Comments:


So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 6/4/2009 - Article #90 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2014
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 

RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Making More Magic: Everything Else at Walt Disney World!
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Discuss tours, holidays, special occasions, childcare, and other magical opportunities.


Disney Rewards Cards
by AFO
30 Oct 2014 at 5:57pm
Can these VISA Rewards card be used "anywhere" in Disney? We will be eating at the T-Rex restaurant and I was wondering if it can be used at the...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Parks Moms Panel Round 2 Anyone?
by Cruisecrasher
25 Oct 2014 at 4:47pm
Howdy! I'm a longtime lurker, sometimes article contributor who loves Disney Cruising. I was just wondering if any other Passporters were...
(click title above to view replies)

Disney Merchandising is not letting you buy Frozen merchandise
by CinderAbby
11 Oct 2014 at 8:51pm
I don't know why but when we were in Disney, I never got Abby a stuffed Sven. We were in the Studios three different days but in the gift shops only...
(click title above to view replies)

Claiming Disney Visa Rewards in the park?
by B.M.
11 Oct 2014 at 6:39pm
I read on-line that you can claim your Disney Visa Rewards in the parks... I just wanted to verify this information.... So, I can show them my...
(click title above to view replies)




Total Visits: 4695


PassPorter ~ 1998-2014 ~ 16 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.