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by Pixie Dusted Diva

IMG_6801While riding the Magical Express to Animal Kingdom Lodge, you will hear the driver announce there will be two stops at Animal Kingdom Lodge: Jambo House and Kidani Village. Every time we have stayed (which is several times) I hear people start to ask others in their party which they are staying at. First time visitors or even veteran Disney goers who have never stayed here may not know the difference, or even where their reservation was made. Again, the same thing happens when riding the buses back from the theme park. Those who got on the bus at the second stop (typically Jambo) may not realize there are two stops, as the theme park bus will stop at Kidani on the way back first. I’m going to break down for you the difference in the house verse the village that way you can choose where your family should stay!

Jambo House

The Jambo House is considered the main building of Animal Kingdom Lodge which is a Deluxe Disney Resort. You will find all the amenities of a deluxe resort plus some as the fourth and fifth floors at Jambo House are Disney Vacation Club Villas. The sixth floor is considered Club Level where Disney’s Concierge team will take great care of you. The Uzima pool at Jambo House features a zero depth entry and a waterslide along with a pool bar offering drinks and light snacks.

IMG_5589Jambo offers a variety of dining options from fine/signature dining, to unique themed African dining, quick service, lounges, dining events and in-room room service.

Dine at Jiko, the signature restaurant which offers a combination of African, Mediterranean, and Indian cuisine. Jiko offers a wine tasting and a safari and dinner adventure. Keep in mind as this is a signature restaurant a dress code is in effect. Like other Disney signature restaurants men should wear khakis, slacks or dress shorts with a collared shirt. Women may wear capris, skirts, dresses, but tank tops, swimsuits, cover ups, hats, cut offs or shirts with graphics are not permitted.

Boma is a family friendly buffet at Jambo House. I am not an adventurous eater by any means and while there are many African dishes offered, American food is also served. Boma is open for breakfast and dinner, featuring Simba waffles at breakfast! IMG_2716 (1)

The Mara is Jambo’s quick service restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Along with your typical quick service favorites of chicken nuggets, fries and burgers you will also find pitas, African stew and salads.

A large gift shop with a variety of groceries is available at Zawadi Marketplace.

Kidani Village

IMG_4617 Kidani Village is considered the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) village of Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is important to know you do not have to be a DVC member to stay here. Any Disney guest can pay cash or rent DVC points to stay here. Of course, if you happen to be a DVC member like we are, you can use your points to stay here. Kidani actually uses less than most of the DVC resorts, especially if you stay in a Value or Standard room. At Kidani, you will find studios, 1 bedroom or 2 bedroom rooms. One of the perks of the 2 bedrooms units here at Kidani are they sleep nine and have three huge bathrooms!

Diva Tip: The hallways at Kidani are long (as in it feels like miles), especially after a long day at the parks. I always request a room near the lobby and near elevator. This should help you receive a room closer to the start or middle of the hallway, not the end, even though room requests aren’t guaranteed.

At Kidani you will find Sanaa restaurant and may have heard of the bread service here. This family friendly restaurant again offers African dishes for all to enjoy. Also, a lounge is located at Sanaa, which offers appetizers and salads with wine, beer and cocktails as well.

Kidani does not offer a quick service restaurant. There is a small gift shop, Johari Treasurers, in the lobby that has a refill station for your refillable mugs.

The Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village is also a zero-entry pool with a water slide. There is also a kids play and splash areas that will be very popular with your little ones.

Community Hall at Kidani Village offers arts and crafts, a pool table, video games and planned activities. Simba’s Clubhouse at Jambo House is the children’s activity center that offers babysitting should the adults want to enjoy dinner alone.

IMG_5588Both villages will give you the option of a value, standard or savannah view. If you do not want to pay the extra for the Savannah view, a standard view will give you a view of the parking lot or pool. However, there are several animal viewing areas throughout the hotel along with large glass windows in all the hallways. You can see animals all around the resort, so a savannah view, while nice, may not be worth the extra money or DVC points.

Jambo and Kidani are located right next to each other within walking distance (approximately a half mile). There were many mornings we would walk from Kidani to Jambo to eat breakfast at the Mara. There is also a shuttle van which runs back and forth from lobby to lobby.

Disney transportation buses pick up at Kidani Village first and then Jambo House for all the theme parks, and Jambo first then Kidani for the Disney Springs bus.

IMG_6802Nightly activities are offered at both Jambo and Kidani such as night time googles for animal viewing or campfires overlooking the safari.

So which is my family’s favorite? Although we have stayed at both Jambo House and Kidani, personally, my family enjoys staying at Kidani. Kidani has a more relaxed feel to us over Jambo House. My little ones love the pool and children’s splash area as it seems to be quieter than Jambo as well.

Regardless if you stay at the Jambo House or Kidani Village you will enjoy your stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Need help planning your stay? Contact our Military Diva, Patricia with All for Dreams Travel for a quote today!