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Friday, February 26, 2016

Kidani Village Disney Vacation Club Review by Mrs. Lo

We LOVED the Disney Vacation Club’s Kidani Village Resort at Animal Kingdom! Our mid winter break included a 5 day stay at Kidani Village and 5 days at DVC’s Vero Beach resort, it was the perfect blend of Disney FUN and lying on the beach doing nothing.

We are Disney Vacation Club members; our home resorts are the Grand Floridian (Orlando) and Aulani (Hawaii).  This means we stay for free at any Disney Vacation Club resort for 50 years.  We have stayed at many DVC resorts, including Animal Kingdom Lodge, this was our first time at Kidani Village.  Kidani is located next to Jambo House, the big, beautiful towering structure known as Animal Kingdom Lodge.

There is a shuttle going back and forth between Jambo House and the Village about every 10 minutes, or you could walk it’s about 10 minutes. We like one bedroom DVC villas because they are so spacious.  One bedroom villas have a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms and easily sleeps 4 people.  Like the Grand Floridian villas, Kidani has its own lobby (styled after Jambo house); concierge; grocery and souveneir store, and Animal viewing area.



In the morning, you can bring your refillable mug down to the grocery store and get free coffee, tea or fountain drinks.  You can also purchase bagels, muffins or breakfast sandwiches.  That’s only in the morning, after that, you have to go up to Jambo house for refills and quick service meals.  There is a fabulous (but expensive) restaurant at Kidani Village, called Sanaa, it is mostly Indian cuisine, with some African dishes.
We like to stop at a major grocery store like Publix on the way in from the airport and stock up on groceries.  As DVC members, you can go online and order groceries which will then be stocked when you arrive in your room.  However, selection is limited and you will pay Disney prices for your groceries.  We always eat breakfast in our DVC villa and often I make sandwiches or salads for lunch.  One of the reasons we bought into the DVC was so that we could have more space and I could have a kitchen and laundry machines.  Kitchns are fully stocked with plates and cooking items.  Kidani also has a cute little member lounge in addition to the lobby.

I loved waking up early and coming down to the Animal viewing area to have my coffee.  The animals roam free around the property and there are scientists there to take care of them and answer your questions.  There is also a campfire in the viewing area at night.
There are two Savannahs where the animals roam:  Sunset and Pembe.  Sunset is bordered by Jambo House but the Pembe Savannah is just at Kidani Village.  I believe all one bedrooms and up have a Savannah view.

The pools at Kidani are especially beautiful.  However, the best pools in the DVC system are far and away at Aulani in Hawaii.  The next best would be Beach Club Villas.  At the Kidani resort, you can see Anikole Cattle, Giraffes,
Zebra, Wildebeest, Ostriches, and the African Crane, and sometimes the Okape.   There are both day tours and night tours for guests, you go in the back of a jeep with caretakers.  During the night tour, you wear night goggles.
While at Kidani, we were easily able to visit all 4 parks, plus Disney Springs.  We have annual passes.  As DVC members, we are offered hefty discounts on annual passes, to the point where an annual pass, good for all
365 days of the year, to Disney World costs less than the retail price of one full day in the Disney parks.  We went to Animal Kingdom by Disney bus our first day.  The second day we took a bus to the Magic Kingdom, then a monorail to Epcot.  We drove to Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) in our rental car.  And we also ended up driving to Hollywood Studios, just to change it up a bit.

The food at Sanaa was delicious but our absolute favorite in the Animal Kindgdom resorts area remains Boma.  The most delicious African inspired cuising you could ask for, and it is all served in unlimited buffet style.  Boma is located at Jambo House.
All in all, I give Kidani Village 4.5 stars.  The only reason I can’t give it 5 stars is because I have to reserve that for the Grand Floridian and Aulani.
Next week, my review of the DVC in Vero Beach.
We stayed for free as DVC members but the front desk advised that Studio Villas rent for about $700 per night and one bedrooms for about $900 per night that time of the year.
I should add there is also a gym (which my son used and said was “OK”), tennis courts, basketball, an arcade, and lots of fun activities for the kids scheduled throughout the day and night.  By far the best part was sitting there and watching the animals roam.
Have a great day, everyone and, as always remember to Count Your Blessings!  <3 Mrs. Lo