Review: Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Continued

By Dave Shute

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There are currently 8 official Disney Vacation Club resorts at Walt Disney World.

However, I have come to count them as ten, because two of the resorts–Saratoga Springs and the Animal Kingdom Villas–have two very different areas.

In order of their appropriateness for first time family visitors to Walt Disney World, they are:

  1. The Villas at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  2. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Jambo House
  3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas–Kidani Village
  4. Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
  5. The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
  6. Disney’s Beach Club Villas
  7. Disney’s Boardwalk Villas
  8. Disney’s Old Key West Resort
  9. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, main resort
  10. Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort, Treehouse Villas area.

These resorts are available to anyone to reserve through the regular Walt Disney World website or the resort reservations phone number at 407-939-7675.

They also are available to the general public at great discounts through renting points from a Disney Vacation Club member.

All Disney Vacation Club resorts have studio rooms, One-Bedroom Villas, and Two-Bedroom Villas.

Most have Grand Villas as well.

Kidani Village floor plans of all room types are on this page.

Studio Floor Plan Kidani Village from yourfirstvisit.netAt Kidani Village,  Studios sleep four and have a microwave and mini fridge.

One Bedroom Villa Floor Plan Kidani Village from yourfirstvisit.netOne-Bedroom Villas have a master bedroom with a king and a private master bath.

They have as well a particularly livable full kitchen/dining/living space with a second bath, and sleep 5.

The three additional sleeping spots are on fold-out furniture in the living space.

Two Bedroom Villa Floor Plan Kidani Village from yourfirstvisit.netTwo-Bedroom Villas add a second bedroom with a queen and a full sleeper sofa to the amenities of a One-Bedroom, and sleep 9.

Grand Villa Floor Plan Kidani Village from yourfirstvisit.netGrand Villas at Kidani Village sleep 12 in a little less than twice the space of a Two-Bedroom Villa, in three bedrooms (one with a king, and two with two queens) plus sleeper sofas.

At Kidani Village, Grand Villas are two-story spaces.

The master bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen are on the first floor, and the two other bedrooms are on the second.

Also on the second floor is a smaller sitting area, lofted to the main living room.

(To each of the capacity figures above, you can add one more kid under 3 at time of check in who sleeps in a crib.)

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas are  described on Walt Disney World’s Disney Vacation Club website as a place where you can “immerse yourself in the wonders of the wild, surrounded by colorful creatures … Delight in African-inspired details while you relax in accommodations that capture the adventurous atmosphere of the wild. Feel at home in this village alive with the spirit of the savanna.”

The two Disney Vacation Club areas here–Kidani Village and Jambo House Villas–share resources with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The original Animal Kingdom Lodge opened in April, 2001, as the most unique resort hotel at Walt Disney World, and one of the more unique in the world.

Kidani Village Savanna ViewThis distinction came partly from its stunning lobby, partly from its glorious African art and theming, but mostly from the fact that more than half of the rooms overlook “savannas” filled with wild animals.

Sipping your morning coffee on your balcony with a giraffe 50 feet away needs to be experienced to be believed…

The original Animal Kingdom Lodge also included two table service restaurants, a quick-service dining area, a pool and an exercise area.

In 2008, Disney completed converting some of the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s rooms into Disney Vacation Club rooms, and in 2009 it opened Kidani Village, a separate Disney Vacation Club building with its own lobby and check in area.

Kidani Village Pool 2Kidani Village also has its own pool, workout area, and adds a third sit-down restaurant to the complex, Sanaa.

When Disney World opened Kidani Village, it renamed the original Animal Kingdom Lodge as Jambo House, to limit confusion between it, its check-in area, and its DVC rooms, and Kidani Village.

Among the DVC resorts, Kidani Village’s strengths for first time visitors are its views of animals–especially if you reserve a savanna-view room–its spacious and very livable One and Two bedroom Villa floorplans, and the fact the One Bedroom Villas can sleep 5 and Two-Bedroom Villas can sleep 9.

Kidani Village’s restaurant, Sanaa–with an Indian-influenced African menu–is also delightful for adults, but has limited options for kids.

Kidani’s principal negatives are its distance from Walt Disney World theme parks other than the Animal Kingdom, its distance from quick-service meal options at Jambo House, and the lack of drama of its lobby compared to that of Jambo House.

Returning visitors will likely find Kidani Village to be a favorite. Its spaciousness is a delight, it is quieter and more serene than Jambo House, and then there’s those animals!!


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1 debbie donahue { 04.26.12 at 10:31 pm }

we’re staying at kidani village in sept, what would be the best room close to bus stop while still having a good view of savannah?

2 Dave { 04.27.12 at 6:30 am }

Hi Debbie, when you make your reservation, ask for a third or fourth floor savanna room near the lobby. That’s ll put you near the bus stop.

3 Solomani { 10.08.12 at 9:59 am }

Hi Dave, what is the difference between a value, standard, savannah and club villa at AK? Just the views? Thanks.

4 Dave { 10.08.12 at 12:01 pm }

Solomani, the “value” spaces are shorter than the other ones–about 4 feet in the long dimension. “Club” villas give you access to concierge-type services, but are almost always snatched up by DVC members. “Savanna” is a description of view, and can apply to any room type. You can see animals from the savanna views…

5 Solomani { 10.08.12 at 9:21 pm }

Thanks again Dave.

6 Amy { 04.07.13 at 3:59 pm }

We are DVC members and are looking to book our 2014 vacation at Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House, what do you get with the concierge room?

7 Dave { 04.08.13 at 6:44 am }

Hi Amy, I haven’t stayed in AK Club level. Here’s an example of club offerings at the Poly:

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