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View Full Version : Is it Just Me? Part II - AKV


Deb & Bill
05-30-2009, 09:02 PM
Diane posted her views on BLT, so I thought I'd cover my opinion on AKV.

We spent the morning at BB, so we decided to head over to AKV to see Kidani Village. We just followed the signs to Kidani Village.

BUT, as we drew closer, we were surprised at the appearance of the building. It looked somewhat like a prison to us until we got to the actual front entrance of the building. Not a very pretty exterior to the building. We could see where people who booked standard views could be very disappointed with their view.

I can see what some people are saying about the under the building parking looking somewhat industrial. We did find a place to park the car and headed over to the lobby with a little help from a CM. The lobby was nice and we did go out to the savanna area that is fenced off. Were my eyes deceiving me or did they really name the sections - Zazu, Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa?? With all the great African names they could have used??? Or was that just the parking garage??

We headed to the pool area and started to turn away when we saw the gate required a room key to open it. But another family also checking things out like us tried the gate and it opened right up.

We thought the actual pool area was very small. Take away the bar and kids water play area and you don't really have much pool area left. So AKL/AKV only has two actual pool areas for the guests of both buildings. The pool at Jambo House seems larger than the one at Kidani Village. I can see both pools getting crowded quickly during hot summer afternoons even without any pool hopping allowed there.

We also headed over to SSR to check out the models (I had seen them earlier and wanted Bill and Will to see them). We did like the model rooms for AKV-Kidani Village. Will especially loved the BLT rooms and they grew on me a bit, too, though not the studio. Both Bill and Will loved the THV architectural model, but with no king sized bed, I won't be staying there.

After SSR, we drove over to OKW and visited Olivia's and the store, plus drove through the neighborhoods. Of course, we couldn't leave out VWL, so we drove by there for a short visit, too. Then back to BCV (and I walked over to BWV this evening after dinner).

Bill and I both agreed that we would have been disappointed if we had bought at AKV. Not that we plan on adding on ever again (we sold 175 points last year). It just didn't have a very inviting view to us.

dianeschlicht
05-30-2009, 10:01 PM
Deb , I agree with many of your Kidani observations. The generic look of the building as you first drive up bothered me too. I compared it to a Holiday Inn feel. However, when you got to the real lobby front it did indeed look like Animal Kingdom villas.

My first impression of the parking garage was industrial too, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked the idea of parking near your room and having access to an elevator close to your room.

The first impression of the lobby was that it was so small, but then I started looking at the details, and I decided I liked the look and feel of it. I liked the light fixtures and the thatch inside the lobby. The Library was a nice area, and the public restrooms near Sanaa were wonderful! We made the mistake of walking into the building on the end (near the "Holiday Inn* part) and walked the hallway all the way to the lobby. That gave me a very uninspired view of things because I compared it to the spectacular savanna views you see when you walk the halls of Jambo, but it really isn't as spectacular. I think that will improve as the new savanna and the rest of the resort is completed though.

I also agree the pool area looked smaller than I expected it to, but I thought the water play area looked like a lot of fun. I also thought the pool bar/eating area was nice.

mdinme
05-30-2009, 10:06 PM
It's a sad occasion when folks get critical of the decor of the parking garage.

ADP
05-30-2009, 10:17 PM
Thanks for the observations.
The actual pool at Jambo House is one of the largest (if not the largest) pools on property. Everything else will appear smaller (Kidani included). I do feel the pool area at Kidani is very nice. Once the construction fence behind the Maji pool bar goes down there will be a savanna viewing area. I'm looking forward to that.

I agree the exterior of the building (especially the green facade) looks very generic. I wish they would have done more with the exterior.

amystevekai&bump
05-31-2009, 12:32 AM
Once the construction fence behind the Maji pool bar goes down there will be a savanna viewing area. I'm looking forward to that.



Hi, sorry to go OT slightly;) - but any ideas when this construction finishes??:confused3 We will be taking our first visit 'home' for Christmas 2010 and would love it if it was 'construction free!!':thumbsup2:thumbsup2

KAT4DISNEY
05-31-2009, 12:54 AM
We had many similar thoughts. DH thought that it looked like a dormitory when driving up. :rolleyes: I do like the Kidani models but we also liked the 1 BR we just had at Jambo and I think that is probably where we'll tend to book. However, I am not at all concerned about how the parking area looks and think that is a very nice feature! :thumbsup2 The pool was much smaller than I expected for a resort of that size but the workout room looked like it may be one of the best!

Buckeye Fan
05-31-2009, 12:59 AM
...BUT, as we drew closer, we were surprised at the appearance of the building. It looked somewhat like a prison to us until we got to the actual front entrance of the building. Not a very pretty exterior to the building. We could see where people who booked standard views could be very disappointed with their view.
The lobby of AK reminded me of the lobby at WL. When you pull up to the resort, it's average, but when you walk in...WOW. AKV doesn't quite have the 'wow' factor to me that WL does, but I saw WL first, which may make a difference.

...I can see both pools getting crowded quickly during hot summer afternoons even without any pool hopping allowed there.
We were at Jambo during Easter week before Kidani opened. Even though the resort was full, it didn't feel that way. The lobby never felt packed, and though it was hard to find chairs at the pool, the pool itself wasn't bad at all. I think it all depends on how many people pool hop between Jambo and Kidani. If Jambo people stay at Jambo and Kidanit people stay at Kidani, then I think it will be fine.

...Both Bill and Will loved the THV architectural model, but with no king sized bed, I won't be staying there.
That is absolutely hilarious. :laughing: I told DH just today that I'd love to try a THV, but it had a queen in the master. We both turned our noses up, as we need our king bed, too! :thumbsup2 We will probably try it sometime soon, though. My son really wants to stay there! pirate:

...Bill and I both agreed that we would have been disappointed if we had bought at AKV. Not that we plan on adding on ever again (we sold 175 points last year). It just didn't have a very inviting view to us.
I have to admit that while I was excited to stay at AKV, I wasn't sure what I would think and if a savanna view would be worth the points. But, I ended up loving it. The savanna view was definitely worth it, and the value rooms in Jambo (though smaller) were a great value for the points. When we got there, DH said it was his favorite resort, but by the end of the trip, he had changed his mind. He thought the bus rides to and from parks were too long. He also felt that the resort was off to itself, with nothing close by (unlike DVCs near the Boardwalk or DTD). Believe it or not, my biggest disappointment with AK was the food. We ate at Boma, and just didn't care for it at all. I don't want to scare anyone off, as so many people on the boards love it. It just wasn't our taste.

Had we purchased AKV, I definitely wouldn't be disappointed. However, now that we've stayed there, I'm not sure it would be my first choice if I were buying a "hotel" style resort. I can't wait to go back, though! :goodvibes

P.S. Here was our room view.

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/simmerb/AKV%20-%20April%202009/P1020001.jpg

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/simmerb/AKV%20-%20April%202009/P1010917.jpg

http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn320/simmerb/AKV%20-%20April%202009/P1010913.jpg

MinnieLee
05-31-2009, 06:26 AM
Diane posted her views on BLT, so I thought I'd cover my opinion on AKV.

We spent the morning at BB, so we decided to head over to AKV to see Kidani Village. We just followed the signs to Kidani Village.

BUT, as we drew closer, we were surprised at the appearance of the building. It looked somewhat like a prison to us until we got to the actual front entrance of the building. Not a very pretty exterior to the building. We could see where people who booked standard views could be very disappointed with their view.

I can see what some people are saying about the under the building parking looking somewhat industrial. We did find a place to park the car and headed over to the lobby with a little help from a CM. The lobby was nice and we did go out to the savanna area that is fenced off. Were my eyes deceiving me or did they really name the sections - Zazu, Rafiki, Timon and Pumbaa?? With all the great African names they could have used??? Or was that just the parking garage??

My DH and I went over to AKV two weeks ago also to "check it out". While we agree that we really were not impressed with the outside and the parking area, the inside was beautiful. We loved the overall decor especially the sitting area with the fireplace, the member tapestry and the comfy chairs overlooking the savanna. We also went and looked at Sanna and we there in time for their opening ceremony. Beautiful restaurant with a different kind of menu. Unfortunately, the rain was coming down (and coming down, and still yet comng down) so we never got to see the pool area. I had seen a video though and it looked great. Also have a friend who stayed there and saw their pictures and the rooms were beautful. DH did say that having a view of the savanna is the only way to go but if you were not able to get one that he would not be happy. We were impressed with what we saw.You can't base it all on the outside appearance - like everything else, it's what is inside and what the resort offers that counts.

MiaSRN62
05-31-2009, 06:29 AM
I also recently drove over to Sanaa for lunch on May 9 to check out Kidani Village. I agree...standard views will be on the blah side---though some rooms appeared to overlook the pool area which I thought was pretty decent for standard points. Rooms with views of the circle pullup for the cars were not looking too desirable in my opinion but some people prefer to people-watch over animal watch I guess ? I found the room views of the pullup area similar to some other resorts. We purchased Kidani for savanna views only.

And yes, we also felt the pool appeared smallish for a resort of this size but the play area was creative and really added to it. My teens even said they planned on playing there ;););)

To us, Kidani's lobby felt like the little sister to the AKL lobby.....same as we see the VWL's lobby to the main WL lobby. Once inside the lobby and walking the hallways....we felt the themeing was pretty grand. By looking at the outside of the bldgs, it's a fairly large contrast. Sort of downplayed on the outside, but went full tilt on the inside. Felt much more deluxe to us on the inside. We are excited to stay there in the future, because, after so many trips to WDW, the resort we stay in is getting more important as we enjoy more and more relaxing days by the pool. The gift shop was smallish----and again---that was a bit disappointing. Not too much of a selection in there but glad they had the refillable mug station and a decent choice of food items for the kitchen.

To us, inside the lobby, hallways, common areas.....Kidani felt very warm and cozy to us. The day we were there something was going on though and caused a commotion. We saw security running in....the actual police. They were looking for a man/guest who had been screaming at CM's and shoved someone (a child ?). We only overheard bits and pieces and one of the things we heard was this man/guest was VERY ticked off he couldn't find the pool. Sounds like he had become extremely irate. Saw police/security interviewing a family who was witness to this.


Other than that, it was pretty low-ley and relaxing. If it had not been so hot we would have explored more outside. But it was like 100 degrees outside and we were there between 1:45--3:45 pm between lunch and walking around.


Some photos I snapped while walking around Kidani on May 9 :

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2725.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2728.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2729.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2730.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2731.jpg

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2733.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2742.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2741.jpg

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2740.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2739.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2738.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2737.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2743.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2745.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/100_5895.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/100_5912.jpg


http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/100_5913.jpg




Maria

bobbiwoz
05-31-2009, 07:00 AM
Maria, thank you for posting your gorgeous pictures!

Bobbi:goodvibes

whitfamily
05-31-2009, 07:44 AM
When we visited last week I had some of the same comments re:pool and lobby. The DW made an excellent observation-- Kidani is SIGNIFICANTLY smaller than Jambo. So of course the lobby and pool will also be smaller. Once she said that it made me realize that the property is much more of a homely, cousy feel-- isn't that the point of DVC? While the Jambo house has a nice lobby and huge pool there was a lot more hustle and bustle, which can sometimes eliminate the relaxation aspect.

WolfpackFan
05-31-2009, 07:51 AM
When I first saw Kidani a couple of weeks ago, the thing that first struck me was the small lobby and gift shop. But then I got to thinking, what other DVC resorts have large lobbies or even gift shops for that matter. After looking back through my pictures I am much more excited about Kidani and really looking forward to staying there in December. I really like the library area. I can see myself going down there every morning for my morning coffee while DW sleeps. My only real complaint about Kidani continues to be no CS restaurant. But even with that the walk over to Jambo seems easy and I know I need the exercise.

Dean
05-31-2009, 07:53 AM
We own at there as part of our points. I'd have to agree with your assessments. It is stark from the road. When we pulled up a few weeks ago that was the first thing my wife and I commented on and one of the things we asked them "are they done with the outside of the building roadside, it looks so bare?". The answer was yes but I bet they add something later if only a few mural type paintings. I was glad to see the underground parking, they should have done that at SSR. It should be stark there. The pool was a little smaller than I expected, I was a little disappointed in that. I'm just glad they have a lobby and check in there but don't be surprised if they have check in changed to Jambo at some point. It is a little dark and I think I'd have a problem with that if I stayed there every time but it's OK for part of the time. They active portion of the theme may be the best of any resort but that may not matter if you don't care for the theme. I know many have complained about the lack of a CS option but the reality is there is not enough traffic to justify both a CS and TS.

Deb & Bill
05-31-2009, 07:59 AM
It's a sad occasion when folks get critical of the decor of the parking garage.

But when it's in your face and so a part of the exterior, you can't help but wonder if they couldn't have at least painted the piping or done something to make it look less industrial. If it was enclosed like the parking spaces at Vero Beach, it wouldn't be so obvious.

Maria, your photos are great. I didn't have my camera for our visit so I appreciate your photos. I wish, though, I could have taken a picture of the pool area, it was pretty crowded yesterday even with not so many people there. I love your photo of the beverage station in the store!!

It would be nice if they had added a leisure pool on the other side of Kidani Village - no theming, just a rectangular pool like Dunes Cove pool at BCV. Might help take the load off the themed pool.

Starr W.
05-31-2009, 08:09 AM
Deb,

So the garage isn't enclosed? You can see into it from the outside?

I was wondering why everyone made comments about it's decor. :lmao:

rentayenta
05-31-2009, 08:38 AM
I think Kidani is beautiful and would be overjoyed to stay there. :goodvibes

dianeschlicht
05-31-2009, 09:17 AM
We own at there as part of our points. I'd have to agree with your assessments. It is stark from the road. When we pulled up a few weeks ago that was the first thing my wife and I commented on and one of the things we asked them "are they done with the outside of the building roadside, it looks so bare?". The answer was yes but I bet they add something later if only a few mural type paintings. I was glad to see the underground parking, they should have done that at SSR. It should be stark there. The pool was a little smaller than I expected, I was a little disappointed in that. I'm just glad they have a lobby and check in there but don't be surprised if they have check in changed to Jambo at some point. It is a little dark and I think I'd have a problem with that if I stayed there every time but it's OK for part of the time. They active portion of the theme may be the best of any resort but that may not matter if you don't care for the theme. I know many have complained about the lack of a CS option but the reality is there is not enough traffic to justify both a CS and TS.

Once again, Dean, you have it the nail on the head! I hope you are wrong about the check in area though. I HATE how Jambo handles check in.

jbrowna
05-31-2009, 10:28 AM
For all the people complaining about the parking at Kidani, not being themed, looking industrial, etc., etc. What if they had themed it very nicely? With all the cars driving through, spewing exhaust and whatnot, how long before this nice theming began to look shabby and dirty? How much of our maintenance fees would have to be spent constantly scrubbing and cleaning to keep the theming looking nice? Good grief, people, it's a parking garage! Let it look industrial as long as it's under cover, out of the Florida weather, and easy to maintain. How many rooms have a garage view? None? So then what's the big deal? And it didn't seem to me that it was so open as other folks are saying. There is a parking area as a berm between the road and the undercover area, as you drive up, and there is also landscaping which will obscure the view underneath more as it fills in.

Besides, do any of the parking areas at any of the resorts or parks have any kind of theming? Not that I can think of - blacktop and striping is the extent of it. Why waste money on something that is essentially off stage?

Lexxiefern
05-31-2009, 10:51 AM
We checked out Kidani last week and agree with alot of the sentiments here. I was very put off by the exterior as you pull up to Kidani. It definately looked unfinished. And the underground parking I thought looked terrible. I think they could have enclosed the area a little more similar to Vero Beach and it would not be as noticable. But once you get to the lobby it looks very nice.

I was very happy with the pool area. I didn't think it looked too small at all. The kiddie area looks wonderful for my girls altho it may be hard to keep an eye on them because it is quite large.

After looking at Kidani, I am happy that we will be staying at Jambo first in September and then try Kidani later down the road. The standard views aren't anything special (obviously since they are standard) and we booked standard at Jambo so at least I know we will look at the pool there.

ADP
05-31-2009, 11:41 AM
Hi, sorry to go OT slightly;) - but any ideas when this construction finishes??:confused3 We will be taking our first visit 'home' for Christmas 2010 and would love it if it was 'construction free!!':thumbsup2:thumbsup2
It appears the constructions walls are blocking the Pembe Savanna. This is the new savanna that will be used when the second half of Kidani Village opens. I would venture to guess that when phase 2 of Kidani Village opens the constructions walls will come down at the pool and you'll be able to view the savanna.

When I peaked behind the walls it also looked like there were trails leading to the Pembe savanna viewing area.

Kidani Village is a beautiful resort. Just a few things need added in my opinion to make it a perfect resort.
Counter service restaurant
Make the green facade more appealing
Add 1 or 2 more water play features at the pool area

BigMama
05-31-2009, 12:01 PM
maria-thank you for the pics !!

MiaSRN62
05-31-2009, 12:08 PM
Looks like several of us feel the same about the pool. I could see it getting crowded there as someone mentioned. And for the naming of the garage sections----maybe they just wanted something catchy and memorable so people didn't forget where they parked ? I LOVE the fact that there is underground parking though.

My only real complaint about Kidani continues to be no CS restaurant.
Same with me. My dh and I joked, that before checking into Kidani, we're pulling up to Jambo and running in Mara to get a vacation supply of zebra domes ! :rotfl: I could also see driving over periodically for the African Stew at Mara (very good). I won't be taking the bus back and forth as I feel that would be longer than driving or even walking when you factor in the wait times. Who knows. I may change my mind.

I hope not about the lobby check-in too as Dean suggested could happen. I'm thinking that could be quite confusing and cause congestion. I could see cars pulling up to Jambo and idling while one member of the family runs in and checks in. Or would they provide shuttles ? I mean, Kidani guests would have to park at KV....then backtrack over to Jambo to check-in......then backtrack again to their car to get their luggage. That would be one big hot mess if you ask me. I hope it never happens. But with DVC, I realize everything and anything is fair game.


Thank you. I'm glad some of you liked my pictures. I thought it was very warm and richly themed inside. Thank goodness they made up for the outside with the inside ;)

Oh...one more pic. I found this in the common hallway outside the library---shows the activities for the week for anyone who might be interested :

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2734.jpg



Maria

disney1474
05-31-2009, 12:30 PM
For all the people complaining about the parking at Kidani, not being themed, looking industrial, etc., etc. What if they had themed it very nicely? With all the cars driving through, spewing exhaust and whatnot, how long before this nice theming began to look shabby and dirty? How much of our maintenance fees would have to be spent constantly scrubbing and cleaning to keep the theming looking nice? Good grief, people, it's a parking garage! Let it look industrial as long as it's under cover, out of the Florida weather, and easy to maintain. How many rooms have a garage view? None? So then what's the big deal? And it didn't seem to me that it was so open as other folks are saying. There is a parking area as a berm between the road and the undercover area, as you drive up, and there is also landscaping which will obscure the view underneath more as it fills in.

Besides, do any of the parking areas at any of the resorts or parks have any kind of theming? Not that I can think of - blacktop and striping is the extent of it. Why waste money on something that is essentially off stage?


I totally agree!!

gamamalovesdisney
05-31-2009, 12:48 PM
I just spent 3-nights in a dedicated 2-bedroom at AKV and I absolutely loved it! The rooms were incredible. They felt so much bigger than some of the other resorts and the layout was much better. The master bath was huge!

I loved the parking garage. I thought it was very convenient and you couldn't really see it from the road leading up to the lobby. You could take the elevator closest to you room up to your room so that you didn't have to walk the entire hallway.

The pool is bigger than some of the other villa pools and the water area was really fun. My boys loved it.

I didn't care to much for Sanaa though. The views were wonderful, but I liked Boma much better. I really wish they would get a counter service restaurant though.

Even though BCV is my home resort, I really liked AKV more than I thought I would and wouldn't hesitate staying there again.

dianeschlicht
05-31-2009, 03:28 PM
I really like the idea of parking under the building and near your unit (via specific elevators). I also like that it keeps you out of the hot sun with the car. As for the "green" of the outside of the building, I think that is mostly an issue in that section where you drive into the Kidani complex. Once you get to the lobby area, the building looks better with the decks etc. I'm also quite sure it will improve greatly with mature vegetation and the opening of the new savanna.

While my first impressions had some negative aspects to it, I'm anxious to get a chance to stay there. It looks like it will be awhile though, because our next AKV stay will be in December in Concierge for a few nights.

dianeschlicht
05-31-2009, 04:59 PM
I hope not about the lobby check-in too as Dean suggested could happen. I'm thinking that could be quite confusing and cause congestion. I could see cars pulling up to Jambo and idling while one member of the family runs in and checks in. Or would they provide shuttles ? I mean, Kidani guests would have to park at KV....then backtrack over to Jambo to check-in......then backtrack again to their car to get their luggage. That would be one big hot mess if you ask me. I hope it never happens. But with DVC, I realize everything and anything is fair game.


Thank you. I'm glad some of you liked my pictures. I thought it was very warm and richly themed inside. Thank goodness they made up for the outside with the inside ;)

Oh...one more pic. I found this in the common hallway outside the library---shows the activities for the week for anyone who might be interested :

http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a400/MiaSRN62/WDW%20May%202009/IMG_2734.jpg



Maria

I agree check in at Jambo for Kidani would be a nightmare!

I saw that board outside of the library too. I like how nice they made an announcement board look like the theme. I hope that continues too! I'm sure we'll all like the looks of things at Kidani better once the vegetation grows up. I just wish that first view of the building wasn't so generic!

MiaSRN62
05-31-2009, 05:23 PM
I'm also quite sure it will improve greatly with mature vegetation and the opening of the new savanna.



Dh and I said this exact same thing Diane.......it still looks a little stark, but sure that will change..........

Maria

Dean
05-31-2009, 05:38 PM
I hope not about the lobby check-in too as Dean suggested could happen. I'm thinking that could be quite confusing and cause congestion. I could see cars pulling up to Jambo and idling while one member of the family runs in and checks in. Or would they provide shuttles ? I mean, Kidani guests would have to park at KV....then backtrack over to Jambo to check-in......then backtrack again to their car to get their luggage. That would be one big hot mess if you ask me. I hope it never happens. But with DVC, I realize everything and anything is fair game. The hardest thing would simply be that it was a change from what is currently happening. I don't think it'd be nearly as bad as you think and with the online checkin (when they get the kinks worked out), it really doesn't make sense to keep the lobby open there 24 hours. I could see something like a CM during high volume time and a sign up saying go to Jambo for the rest. I'd place the olds at about 50/50 long term for check in at Jambo at least part of the time, we shall see.

The parking being exposed is fairly easy to fix with minor coverings that will brake up the contour, many other places do it successfully with places just as exposed.

jade1
05-31-2009, 06:35 PM
The room decor is not our favorite but who cares (then again I never could see how a fabric color and the shape of some chairs can make much difference in liking an entire resort or not), we would have no problems staying in them, having flat screen HD would be nice, 5 in a 1BR, new appliances and no mold, the views of animals is fine (I would imagine great to many) but we are not zoo people anyway (again no reason to not stay at AKV) and certainly dont compare to the BLT BL View or MK View IMO, the swim area looks odd because it appears out of place (sort of like seeing a play park in Africa would) but still would be very nice as well. But we visit central Florida because of WDW and efficient use of our time while we are there is the only thing that matters, and nothing about AKV is enough to overcome not being able to walk to at least one park. We might have stayed there once or twice for a few days if it was closer to AK allowing a reasonable walk or even a boat ride to (even though AK is are least visited park). Its just like sking in Colorado. We know we will ski 2 or 3 resorts, but for sure we will stay at the base of one to have a few days of ski in and ski out-not just somewhere in the middle and drive to all 3.

Again, to each there own (which is the great thing), but taking buses to everything is not an option for us. So its 5 (up to 14) less people looking for AKV ressies at 7 months which is good for AKV lovers. :thumbsup2

Mississippian
05-31-2009, 07:56 PM
Here's my take on AKV. I think most owners are going to get tired of staying there all the time. But I think most DVC members are going to want to stay there at least once, or at the very least won't MIND staying there at least once. I think they built it a little too big, but overall I think it is a good addition.

gkrykewy
05-31-2009, 08:49 PM
I think most owners are going to get tired of staying there all the time.

Can't that be said about every resort?

That said, I think the bulk of AKV buyers are buying it because it's AKL, and it'll have a "loyal" group of owners. Remember that it's never had to stand on its own as the DVC default resort (aka, the only resort currently marketed for direct sale). It's shared time with SSR and now BLT. Accordingly, most AKV owners have chosen AKV out of at least two actively marketed options.

AllyBri
05-31-2009, 08:53 PM
Speaking from experience
When you take the car out and it has been 90+ all day, you won't care what the garage looks like. It was such a pleasure to get into a comfortable car.

oakmanner
05-31-2009, 09:32 PM
When we bought into DVC in June of '08 we did the tour of both SSR and AKV. We just hated how dark the AKV's were and knew immediately we preferred SSR. We did indeed purchase DVC with SSR as our home resort and love it, no regrets.

On our trip to SSR last week we took a day and toured some of the other DVC resorts and Kidani was one of them. We went to the check in desk and asked if they had a vacant room to show us. The CM couldn’t have been nicer, he took us to a two bedroom and let us go out on the balcony and view the animals on the savanna. I must say we were blown away at how beautiful and close you are to the animals.

The CM also pointed out the library and African art work etc. We liked Kidani so much we will try and book ressies there on our next trip! Who knows, an add on might be in our future!

We usually drive to WDW or if we fly we always rent a car so AKV's location to the Theme Parks has zero impact on whether we would stay there. So I guess you can mark me down as an AKV convert!

dianeschlicht
06-01-2009, 06:43 AM
When we bought into DVC in June of '08 we did the tour of both SSR and AKV. We just hated how dark the AKV's were and knew immediately we preferred SSR. We did indeed purchase DVC with SSR as our home resort and love it, no regrets.

On our trip to SSR last week we took a day and toured some of the other DVC resorts and Kidani was one of them. We went to the check in desk and asked if they had a vacant room to show us. The CM couldn’t have been nicer, he took us to a two bedroom and let us go out on the balcony and view the animals on the savanna. I must say we were blown away at how beautiful and close you are to the animals.

The CM also pointed out the library and African art work etc. We liked Kidani so much we will try and book ressies there on our next trip! Who knows, an add on might be in our future!

We usually drive to WDW or if we fly we always rent a car so AKV's location to the Theme Parks has zero impact on whether we would stay there. So I guess you can mark me down as an AKV convert!

Interesting that you and others seem to focus on the distance from the parks for AKV. Frankly, when we have stayed there, the bus service has been fantastic! The only place I thought it was difficult and long to get to was DTD. Since I don't really care if I go to DTD, it wasn't a big deal. I always think good bus service gets you to the parks easier, faster, and with less hassle than driving. I guess it's because I absolutely HATE those trams from the parking lot!

ead79
06-01-2009, 08:45 AM
Here's my take on AKV. I think most owners are going to get tired of staying there all the time. But I think most DVC members are going to want to stay there at least once, or at the very least won't MIND staying there at least once. I think they built it a little too big, but overall I think it is a good addition.

I don't think that AKV owners will get tired of staying there (but I'm biased since I own at AKV, LOL!). For me personally, Disney opening AKV pushed me to become a DVC member. I just love the immersive theme of the resort, how exotic and different from my everyday life it is, and the entire experience of staying there and watching animals right outside my balcony. I also love the room decor, plus the additional bathroom in the one bedrooms at Kidani. So while I'm glad that DVC has many resorts to choose from, and I would like to try them all over time, most of the time I want to be at AKV. :)

DisneyBrideToni
06-01-2009, 09:22 AM
I really didn't like the rooms in AKV. They were kind of depressing and dark to me BUT I would stay there just to see what it's like. I am not going to knock the place until I try it out.

dianeschlicht
06-01-2009, 09:54 AM
I really didn't like the rooms in AKV. They were kind of depressing and dark to me BUT I would stay there just to see what it's like. I am not going to knock the place until I try it out.

We are owners of AKV and have stayed there several times already. While I HATED the dark decor in the bathrooms, I wouldn't say it was at all depressing. The biggest problem for me was that I couldn't see in the bathroom. Too little light, too dark paint, and too high a cabinet that I couldn't get myself close enough to.;) Of course, I'm old, and I need to get up close to see without my glasses!:rotfl: I loved the detailing of the decor and the theme though. Just not at all fond of those long hallways. The view of the savanna though, makes up for all of it!:thumbsup2

discott71
06-01-2009, 10:24 AM
We just returned a week ago from our first trip home to Kidani. We actually had a split stay between SSR (5 nights) and Kidani (4 nights). We bought in without visiting any DVC resorts. All I can say is we LOVED Kidani. We can't wait to go back!

Our stay at SSR was o.k., but we were not impressed with the dirty worn out carpet and the bed/bath layout (we had a 1 bedroom). There's no privacy. Also, the 1 bedroom at Kidani is sooo much larger. I know it's only about 100 sq ft bigger but it seems a lot larger than that. We are a family of 5 and used the pull out chair and sofa at Kidani and SSR. SSR pullout - very uncomfortable and no room to walk from kitchen to living area once opened. At Kidani, we had the chair and pull out sofa opened - tons of room and extremely comforable. Kidani has 2 bathrooms - SSR - 1. Also the bed/bath layout at Kidani - very nice, beautifully decorated, lots of space and private.

I agree the outside isn't as nice, but the lobby area outside is beautiful - my kids loved the laterns built into the wall. The lobby itself is on the smaller side, but very classy and the CMs were all very helpful and friendly. I don't see why they would change the check in from here to Jambo and Dean mentioned.

My kids loved the pool - especially the 128ft slide. The interactive play area was also wonderful for my 4 & 6 year olds. They played here for a long time.

As far as the garage goes, we thought the names were adorable - it's just a parking garage. The names also carry through to the elevators. Also, nice to have car parked out of the sun on hot days - we particularly liked that.

I should also mention, even though we had a car we did use Disney busses as well. We had no complaints - never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus @ Kidani.

Overall, we loved it. What's inside is what matters most to us and we were extremely happy and proud to call Kidani our home. I don't think we will ever stay in a 1 bedroom again that doesn't have the 2 bath layout.

DisneyBrideToni
06-01-2009, 10:56 AM
We are owners of AKV and have stayed there several times already. While I HATED the dark decor in the bathrooms, I wouldn't say it was at all depressing. The biggest problem for me was that I couldn't see in the bathroom. Too little light, too dark paint, and too high a cabinet that I couldn't get myself close enough to.;) Of course, I'm old, and I need to get up close to see without my glasses!:rotfl: I loved the detailing of the decor and the theme though. Just not at all fond of those long hallways. The view of the savanna though, makes up for all of it!:thumbsup2

I would still like to try it out there. I would love to see the animals! The theme does seem to be done really well. Lots of details. I think I just like how bright BLT was. Plus cheaper maintenance fees. :rotfl: AKV will be on my list of places to stay though.

Daisy414
06-01-2009, 11:31 AM
thanks for all the info. we will be staying at AKV in late Sept. Can anyone tell me if there is a place to fill the mugs with coffee?

ADP
06-01-2009, 11:38 AM
thanks for all the info. we will be staying at AKV in late Sept. Can anyone tell me if there is a place to fill the mugs with coffee?
The gift shop (Johari Treasures) has a coffee & tea station for mug refills (No hot chocolate). You can fill your mugs with soda at the gift shop and the pool bar. The pool bar does not have coffee and tea refills.

Daisy414
06-01-2009, 11:46 AM
Thanks I really need my coffee and was afraid that it only had soda refills

btrim
06-01-2009, 02:07 PM
at AKV (Kidani Village) and we loved it. My husband bought here because he knows how much I love being able to watch the animals. We also own at SSR and love it there. Everyone likes different aspects of the different resorts. Thank goodness Disney doesn't make them all the same. I love the decor of AKV and we loved the underground parking. We have stayed at BWV and the Swan and Dolphin (I know these are DVC) before and for us being that close to the parks is not that important. In faact I don't like having to decide what type of transportation actually will take you back to these resorts. We were in the front area of EPCOT and it started to rain and we wanted to take a bus back to the Dolphin. No such thing unless we took the monorail to MK and then caught a bus there. As I have said before to each his own and thank goodness we aren't all made the same or want the same things.

ADP
06-01-2009, 02:18 PM
Daisy414
Here is a photo of the coffee and soda mug refill station inside the gift shop.
Hope it helps.

http://i205.photobucket.com/albums/bb190/cdpa4d/Picture146-1.jpg

Disnead
06-01-2009, 03:14 PM
Interesting that you and others seem to focus on the distance from the parks for AKV. Frankly, when we have stayed there, the bus service has been fantastic! The only place I thought it was difficult and long to get to was DTD. Since I don't really care if I go to DTD, it wasn't a big deal. I always think good bus service gets you to the parks easier, faster, and with less hassle than driving. I guess it's because I absolutely HATE those trams from the parking lot!

Good bus service can't get you back to AKV any faster. Even after you get on it is a long ride from most of "The World"...and when you have small kids...its the last thing a lot of people want. Also when you are done with the parks after a long day and they cram those busses with 500 more people than it can hold, you start to notice the distances.

The only park/restaurant we really notice that on is AK and AKV meals...and we have used bus transportation very often from a lot of different places. In fact...when buying DVC that was one of the major cons that we had listed for AKV. Some people like being away from everything and that is fine...we are just not those people.

Inkmahm
06-01-2009, 03:31 PM
We just returned a week ago from our first trip home to Kidani. We actually had a split stay between SSR (5 nights) and Kidani (4 nights). We bought in without visiting any DVC resorts. All I can say is we LOVED Kidani. We can't wait to go back!

Our stay at SSR was o.k., but we were not impressed with the dirty worn out carpet and the bed/bath layout (we had a 1 bedroom). There's no privacy. Also, the 1 bedroom at Kidani is sooo much larger. I know it's only about 100 sq ft bigger but it seems a lot larger than that. We are a family of 5 and used the pull out chair and sofa at Kidani and SSR. SSR pullout - very uncomfortable and no room to walk from kitchen to living area once opened. At Kidani, we had the chair and pull out sofa opened - tons of room and extremely comforable. Kidani has 2 bathrooms - SSR - 1. Also the bed/bath layout at Kidani - very nice, beautifully decorated, lots of space and private.

I agree the outside isn't as nice, but the lobby area outside is beautiful - my kids loved the laterns built into the wall. The lobby itself is on the smaller side, but very classy and the CMs were all very helpful and friendly. I don't see why they would change the check in from here to Jambo and Dean mentioned.

My kids loved the pool - especially the 128ft slide. The interactive play area was also wonderful for my 4 & 6 year olds. They played here for a long time.

As far as the garage goes, we thought the names were adorable - it's just a parking garage. The names also carry through to the elevators. Also, nice to have car parked out of the sun on hot days - we particularly liked that.

I should also mention, even though we had a car we did use Disney busses as well. We had no complaints - never waited more than 10 minutes for a bus @ Kidani.

Overall, we loved it. What's inside is what matters most to us and we were extremely happy and proud to call Kidani our home. I don't think we will ever stay in a 1 bedroom again that doesn't have the 2 bath layout.
We haven't stayed at Kidani yet but we love Jambo. I just started to do our 2010 trip planning and decided we need more points for our spring trips so I called our guide this afternoon and added another 100 points at AKV. Now we have 300 there and it MAY be enough for awhile...:goodvibes

discott71
06-01-2009, 04:06 PM
We haven't stayed at Kidani yet but we love Jambo. I just started to do our 2010 trip planning and decided we need more points for our spring trips so I called our guide this afternoon and added another 100 points at AKV. Now we have 300 there and it MAY be enough for awhile...:goodvibes

That's awesome - congrats. I can't wait to add on someday - we could definitely use another 100pts (or at least I could :lmao:)!

discott71
06-01-2009, 04:13 PM
Good bus service can't get you back to AKV any faster. Even after you get on it is a long ride from most of "The World"...and when you have small kids...its the last thing a lot of people want. Also when you are done with the parks after a long day and they cram those busses with 500 more people than it can hold, you start to notice the distances.

The only park/restaurant we really notice that on is AK and AKV meals...and we have used bus transportation very often from a lot of different places. In fact...when buying DVC that was one of the major cons that we had listed for AKV. Some people like being away from everything and that is fine...we are just not those people.


On our trip a couple weeks ago we hardly waited more than 5 - 10 min. for a bus. We waited a lot longer than that at SSR - probably more like 20. So, if you cut your wait time down then the extra length in travel kind of evens everything out. Also, was never on an over-crowded bus. I think the busses are more frequent at AKV thus less people on each trip. Lastly, I just have to say even though AKV is further out, lets face it, it's really not THAT far - maybe an extra 7 min. to get to MK - big deal?!

Disnead
06-01-2009, 04:52 PM
On our trip a couple weeks ago we hardly waited more than 5 - 10 min. for a bus. We waited a lot longer than that at SSR - probably more like 20. So, if you cut your wait time down then the extra length in travel kind of evens everything out. Also, was never on an over-crowded bus. I think the busses are more frequent at AKV thus less people on each trip. Lastly, I just have to say even though AKV is further out, lets face it, it's really not THAT far - maybe an extra 7 min. to get to MK - big deal?!

On a normal day MK, Epcot, or HS for us...we go in the morning, come back during the day for naps and a swim, go back to the parks and come back to sleep. IF it were only 7 extra minutes (i think that is on the low side...also seems to share a bus with Blizzard Beach at times if I remember correctly which adds to it). Then I am looking at an extra half an hour a day minimum on that bus. To some that is a big deal!

bobbiwoz
06-01-2009, 05:15 PM
We haven't stayed at Kidani yet but we love Jambo. I just started to do our 2010 trip planning and decided we need more points for our spring trips so I called our guide this afternoon and added another 100 points at AKV. Now we have 300 there and it MAY be enough for awhile...:goodvibes

That's great! Enjoy the extra points!

Bobbi:goodvibes

Maistre Gracey
06-01-2009, 05:21 PM
We just got back, and we visited Kidani a couple of times. We didn't notice any lack of appearances on the drive in... other than they didn't put those little camp fire thingys in..

MG

icydog
06-01-2009, 05:21 PM
It is the Disney Studios bus that stops at Blizzard Beach. That bus took forever. On average though, I have to agree the buses were more plentiful and less crowded.

I liked the resort a lot. I didn't like some things but on average I liked the resort more than say, the Beach Club, where I also own.

I loved the theming. It was done especially well in this resort. Even the hallways are interesting with lookouts for the animals and giraffe carpeting. I loved the granite counter tops and upscale kitchen. Way, WAY, WAY, nicer than the last DVC resort, Saratoga Springs.

The bus rides gave me a chance to decompress on the way home from the parks and a way to dream on the way to the parks. I didn't mind the extra time on them at all. In fact, I found the bus service wonderful on all accounts. I hate taking buses, but on this trip, they didn't bother me.

I would return in a heartbeat. I loved almost all of it. I just wish the restaurant, which was beautiful by the way, had a more diverse menu. I can't eat spicy foods and without hot spices Indian food is only so- so.

jade1
06-01-2009, 05:21 PM
On a normal day MK, Epcot, or HS for us...we go in the morning, come back during the day for naps and a swim, go back to the parks and come back to sleep. IF it were only 7 extra minutes (i think that is on the low side...also seems to share a bus with Blizzard Beach at times if I remember correctly which adds to it). Then I am looking at an extra half an hour a day minimum on that bus. To some that is a big deal!

If your comparing MK to BLT instead of AKV-its more than 7 minutes. You will likely be in your room (or the pool) before the AKV bus leaves MK most of the time.

As for underground parking at AKV-that sounds very nice for someone that drives while at WDW. We never will with ME though. We often have 12 to 14 of us which is renting 3 minivans (over $1000)-plus no need for them when we can walk to the parks, garden grocer and owners locker.

icydog
06-01-2009, 05:23 PM
If your comparing MK to BLT instead of AKV-its more than 7 minutes. You will likely be in your room (or the pool) before the AKV bus leaves MK most of the time.

As for underground parking at AKV-that sounds very nice for someone that drives while at WDW. We never will with ME though. We often have 12 to 14 of us which is renting 3 minivans (over $1000)-plus no need for them when we can walk to the parks, garden grocer and owners locker.

What is the Garden Grocer? Is it a store? Thanks

Golden Rose
06-01-2009, 05:34 PM
Ok, I have to share my "first sight of Kidani" story. DH and I were driving over to Jambo House for dinner at Jiko two weeks ago, and I said I wanted to drive by Kidani to take a look at it. I warned DH I'd read reports on the Disboards that it wasn't much to look at as one drove up...

DH's reaction upon seeing Kidani - "Well, that is unimpressive. But, honey, it is a construction site. What do you and your Disboard friends really expect from a building still under construction? When is it due to open, September? I'm sure it will look fine by then..."

MiaSRN62
06-01-2009, 05:51 PM
What do you and your Disboard friends really expect from a building still under construction? When is it due to open, September? I'm sure it will look fine by then..."

It opened May 1 Golden Rose. I was there for lunch on May 9.

Maria

jade1
06-01-2009, 06:00 PM
What is the Garden Grocer? Is it a store? Thanks


http://www.gardengrocer.com/

Grocery/alcohol delivery to your resort. Its awesome. :thumbsup2