Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village is our home resort as Disney Vacation Club members. We have stayed here a few times now and we always have a great time. The lobby, while smaller than the one at Jambo House (Kidani’s sister resort), never fails to take my breath away. The huge windows looking out on to the savannah give you an instant glimpse of what awaits you and the subtle music gently playing in the background instantly transports you to Africa.
What we Love;
The Savannahs and Animals. Let’s face it, who doesn’t love waking up to see giraffes, zebras, okapi and plethora of other animals right outside their balcony? The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down as many of the animals are nocturnal and there are night vision goggles available down by the campfire to view them. There are also lots of rocking chairs on the balconies surrounding the lobby, as well as down by the campfire, where you can while away the hours watching the animals roaming about on the savannah.
The Lobby. I love the feel of the lobby. It’s dark but not in a bad way, during the day it makes it feel cool and in the evening it feels warm and cosy (once you get over the icy blast of air conditioning as you come through the front doors!) There is a small gift shop on one side of the lobby and lots of comfy seating between that and the front desk.
The Cast Members. The Cast Members (that’s Disney lingo for staff) at all Disney resorts are fantastic, but the Cast Members at Animal Kingdom Lodge are my favourite. The stories they tell you about their homes in Africa are so interesting and they teach us something new every time we stay.
The Samawati Springs Pool. We love the pool! It has a fun slide that is 128 feet long, plus a separate splash park for the little ones to run around in and get soaked. The pool has a zero depth entry area, which is great if you’re like me and don’t like having to slide in off of the side. The atmosphere around the pool is great too – there are games throughout the day and the big sports events are shown on the screens around the pool bar, plus the frozen margaritas from the Maji pool bar are delicious!
Sanaa. One of our favourite table service restaurants on Disney property. The food here is lovely – especially the Indian-Style Bread Service and the Lamb Shank. If you are visiting here for lunch or dinner ask if there are any tables by the window as you should be able to see some of the animals on the Savannah.
The ArtWork and Theming. Throughout Kidani Village you can see pieces of art, not just paintings but also pieces of pottery, statues and artefacts. There are little cubby holes in the walls around the lobby, in the lounge and around the elevators that have items for you to look at. This really adds to the cultural feel of Animal Kingdom Lodge. The African theme is everywhere, from the decor in the rooms, to the carpets in the corridors, and the thatched roof above the front desk, you really do feel immersed in African culture.
What We Don’t Love;
There’s not much that we don’t love about Kidani, but there’s a couple of little things that I thought I would mention;
The Long Walk. Oh my goodness, if you are at the far end of the resort it is a long walk from the buses and lobby to your room! Now this isn’t a problem on the whole, but when you have tired kids at the end of a long day in the park the walk back to the room is no fun!
The Location Of The Pool. While we love the pool, we don’t love the location so much. It feels like you are leaving the resort to get to it as you have to go out through the lobby and around the side of the building to get to it. There is a short cut if you are staying in Pumbaa or Rafiki as you can take the elevator to the underground car park and follow the path round to the pool. We prefer this route and will use it rather than walk through the lobby with all of our swimming stuff.
The Dining Options. There isn’t a very good selection of places to eat at Kidani Village. Other than Sanaa and the Maji Pool Bar the only other option is the gift shop, which has a selection of pastries for purchase or items that you can buy and take to your room and heat in the microwave. The best option (other than simply waiting and eating at one of the parks) is to catch the complimentary shuttle bus down to Jambo House where they have a better selection of food outlets.
These are very minor things and they would most definitely not put us off of staying there!
Are you thinking about staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge? Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments below. Have you stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge? We would love to hear your views, leave us a comment to tell us what you thought of your stay.