We were so excited to work with DVC-rental.com to stay in a studio with a Savannah view at Animal Kingdom Lodge- Kidani Village. They were amazing to work with and everything went smooth as silk. I would highly recommend you look into them.
I’ve never stayed at Animal Kingdom before. I’ve always felt like it was really far-removed from everything else, so I’ve never really considered it. However, when DVC-rental.com said they had a room available there for less than I would have paid to stay at the Swan and Dolphin for my convention, I was excited.
The lobby in Kidani absolutely has an interesting African flair, but the highlight of the lobby is the floor to ceiling windows that open out to the savanna. You can often find giraffes, ostrich, zebra and more wandering in the open. In the lobby you will find the front desks for check in and the concierge. There is also some open seating to relax in for a bit and the gift shop. There is no quick service at Kidani Village!
The drink machine for the refillable mugs is in the gift shop area where there are also some groceries you can pick up if you really want breakfast or a snack. I don’t know why we were so surprised at this, but we were. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed anywhere like it. You can hop a tram over to Animal Kingdom Lodge, – Jambo House- and have many quick service options. Just keep in mind there is only Sanna, a sit down restaurant in the Kidani Village area.
We checked in at the front desk and had no problems at all. They gave us our key and pointed us in the direction of our room. We were on the 5th floor and let me just tell you that the elevators are super fast and smooth.
So, here’s a big tip for you…some of the rooms are a REALLY LONG WALK from the lobby and buses. Like, really long. Ours was one of those. We were as far on the right side as you could go before you hit the last grand villa. It was a HIKE to and from the room. So when they put you in a room MAKE SURE YOU KNOW HOW FAR IT IS FROM THE LOBBY! We would have asked for another room if we had been paying attention when they were showing us where the room was on the map.
Because its Disney Vacation Club, you don’t pay more to stay closer to the lobby, so ASK TO BE MOVED CLOSER and wait on it if you have to. Trust me, it was a seriously long walk and it was brutal at the end of a long day.
The Studio itself was quite nice. There was a Queen bed, couch, table with chairs, dresser and armoire in the main room.
In the Hallway there was a small closet to store your luggage in, a sink with a refrigerator and microwave and some cabinets where you could store groceries. If we were staying a bit longer we would have called Doorside Delivery and had them bring us some groceries! There was also a coffee pot in the room.
The beautiful dark woods, stone accents, and vibrant colors definitely whisk you away to feeling like you’re in a beautiful hotel in Africa.
The bathroom was spacious especially for a studio. The toilet had a separate room which is helpful when people are trying to get ready in the morning. There was also a tub/shower and a double vanity.
The highlight, of course, is the balcony that overlooks the savanna My husband was particularly excited about this because Disney heavily advertises the concept of enjoying your morning coffee on the balcony with a giraffe strolling by. However, this was not what we experienced. It may because we are early risers, or because we are ALWAYS doing our best to make park opening, but we were usually out of the doors by 8:00 a.m. heading to a park. My husband vows that in those 5 days he never saw more than a squirrel on Savannah during early morning. I’m not sure what time they release them, or if they put out more food around Jambo house in the early mornings since that’s where the bulk of guests are. In any case, we never saw animals in the morning. When we came back in the afternoon for a rest, they were EVERYWHERE though. Still, we thought that was something we should share.
Kidani does, however, have the wonderful restaurant Sanaa. I was a little skeptical at first, fearing I wouldn’t be much of a fan of African food, but I was happily surprised. (look for my review coming soon!)
In particular the Naan breads with the dips were SUPER and I loved them so much that I ordered them at the bar the next night. Speaking of the bar, it is GREAT and the bartender was SUPERIOR! I really enjoyed my time there trying different drinks and chatting with the bartender. I will have a review up about Sanaa soon I promise!
The pool is zero entry, meaning you can wade right in. The slide looks like a lot of fun and it’s super relaxing.
Kidani offers a laundry facility and a arcade room on the main level near the lobby, but we did not go inside either.
We were really impressed with the AMAZING fitness center. I always pack like I’m going to work out at Disney, but I rarely do. This room is near the pool complex and looked really well fitted out!
There is also a gathering room where activities take place in regular intervals. We didn’t get a chance to experience these, but they really looked fantastic.
While Kidani is beautiful, the long walk to the room really tainted our view on it. So did the lack of animals in the morning. I didn’t feel it was as far from the other parks as I previously did EXCEPT when we would go to and from Magic Kingdom, because it would take FOR-EV-ER to get home. I thought it was nice, but in the future I would pick a different DVC resort to rent points for from DVC-rental.com.