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View Full Version : Mixed feelings about our Kidani stay


LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 01:10 PM
Just back from our 9 night stay at WDW, including 4 nights in a savannah view studio at Kidani.

The positives: The resort itself is gorgeous, absolutely beautiful. Loved the art and the quotes around the building. I like the dark wood. We saw lots of animals from our balcony. Everything is clean and new. The pool and fitness center area are awesome - love the pool theming. DD spent quite a bit of time down there and when I was with her it never seemed too crowded.

The negatives: Our room - in fact we dubbed it "the lemon room". The internet didn't work when we arrived and after my DH who is a software engineer had a long conversation with tech support on the phone - they finally said they'd seen a tech over - but no one showed. This was important because DH was going to be on call during our last day. The TV worked intermittently, along with the toilet - which we kept fixing ourselves, the flushing mechanism kept coming apart on the inside of the tank. Also, this was a HA room and the sliding door to the bathroom had a wide gap, it didn't close all the way - so walking by you'd be looking right at the toilet - no privacy there.

When we checked in we had left Ft Wilderness cabins, gone to Tampa for the day to visit DH's grandmother and arrived about 8pm. At first we thought the room was beautiful and were focused on the giraffes outside. I didn't even realize it was a HA room until we'd hauled our stuff in. Knowing I'd already accepted the room I though it wouldn't be a big deal, until all the above started being discovered.

On our second day I went down to talk to the conceirge about all the problems and was nicely told I could move the following day for a fee of $30. I had a runner walk me down to see a regular room and there's a big difference in the bathroom area. The vanity in the HA room is small compared to a regular room, not near as much storage and the toilet is in the bathroom area in the HA room instead of in a separate room. I would have moved except the room that was available was much farther down the opposite hall, away from the pool. So I agreed to let the staff try to fix everything in our room, except the the bathroom door gap - they said they wouldn't get to that during our stay, and by later the second day the internet and tv seemed to be fixed. We hung a big beach towel lengthwise on the sliding bathroom door to fill the gap. This was July 7th, DD's birthday and we were busy, I didn't want to pack up everything to move either. This day they also tested the fire alarm system and let me tell you it seemed to work well. There are flashing lights that made me dizzy, you couldn't stay in the resort and have any peace so we went out all day.

On subsequent days the TV and toilet continued to have problems, thus us fixing the toilet ourselves and calling down to have the tv reset. DH had an air card shipped to him from work just in case and that managed to get to us but a package from Ft Wilderness was lost forever - we gave up on that. The CM's were nice and helpful but perhaps the resort being new - things just weren't working efficiently. I just have mixed feelings about Kidani after all the problems. Next time I'll request a non HA room and hope for the best. It isn't our home resort and I'd stay there again, but probably not going to rush back soon.

Like the underneath parking, really helps keep your car cooler but am hoping the landscape grows up along the outside edge so you don't see all the vents etc, really detracts from the resort's appearance.

We were in 7616 (I think that was the number) on the lobby floor (2) in the Rafiki area.

florep1
07-12-2009, 01:20 PM
We had the room next door to you last week, 7618 which is also a HA room and we liked it. I agree with not having enough storage in the vanity and we did miss the bar, but we didn't have issues like you did. In fact, we had issues with internet access in the Zazu room, we had to call tech support every day for an access code, but as soon as we got to the Rafiki room, no issues with internet access, so I'm guessing it is a networking issue.

Shelly F - Ohio
07-12-2009, 01:30 PM
We did not like our stay either. The bed squeeked terribly. We complained but nothing was done. At least we had a split stay and could not wait to leave AKL to go to SSR

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 02:51 PM
:( Sorry to hear you all had some problems too. florep1 - the day we checked out (Friday, July 10th) they were changing out the bed in 7618. The bed furniture itself and I was wondering why - did you have problems with it? Too bad we didn't know we had DIS'ers next door!

I love the building itself, and the pool area but I hope for better luck whenever we return as far as a room. Did your bathroom door have a gap in it like ours?

We started out in a Ft. Wilderness cabin because the rest of my family just loves it there. I like Ft Wilderness too but miss being in the middle of the action. I think I felt the same way somewhat about Kidani. I was told the resort was full but it didn't seem crowded but peaceful - still I like the resorts that are near the MK and Epcot. After Kidani we moved to a MK view room at the CR, and had the most awesome view from the 10th floor. It really put us back in the Disney mood.

The CM's were helpful but the one thing that really irritated me was a charge for moving when so many things were not working in our room! Not that $30 is a huge amount but when things aren't working I don't think a DVC member should be charged for moving - it wasn't that we just didn't like the room. I was told we'd be charged because they would fix the room - but as I said they didn't fix everything and it was an inconvenience. Just my opinion.

florep1
07-12-2009, 03:12 PM
We left July 5th and didn't notice any issues with the bed or the bathroom door. We tried to extend our stay by a day or two but were told they were fully booked. I mainly used the bathroom in the bedroom and once I got over the fear of making a mess in the shower as it is a roll in shower so there is no door, just a shower curtain I was okay. I would have preferred a non-HA room but the location itself made up for it. I never used the bathroom by the entry, the kids did. Now I'm wondering what was wrong with the bed....

ToddyLu
07-12-2009, 03:21 PM
:( Sorry to hear you all had some problems too. florep1 - the day we checked out (Friday, July 10th) they were changing out the bed in 7618. The bed furniture itself and I was wondering why - did you have problems with it? Too bad we didn't know we had DIS'ers next door!

I love the building itself, and the pool area but I hope for better luck whenever we return as far as a room. Did your bathroom door have a gap in it like ours?

We started out in a Ft. Wilderness cabin because the rest of my family just loves it there. I like Ft Wilderness too but miss being in the middle of the action. I think I felt the same way somewhat about Kidani. I was told the resort was full but it didn't seem crowded but peaceful - still I like the resorts that are near the MK and Epcot. After Kidani we moved to a MK view room at the CR, and had the most awesome view from the 10th floor. It really put us back in the Disney mood.

The CM's were helpful but the one thing that really irritated me was a charge for moving when so many things were not working in our room! Not that $30 is a huge amount but when things aren't working I don't think a DVC member should be charged for moving - it wasn't that we just didn't like the room. I was told we'd be charged because they would fix the room - but as I said they didn't fix everything and it was an inconvenience. Just my opinion.



OMG!!!! We had our local DisMeet last night and one of the girls had that exact room....she was complaning of the huge gap and that everyone had to make an announcement to use the bathroom becasue of the gap. She said when she called about the internet...she got nowhere and finally talked someone into coming to help her FIND IT! Low and behold they skipped that room for the Internet access.

She loved the decor and pool, even the garage becasue it was so hot....but they were glad to leave and go to SSR, too. I thought darn, DH and I just bought our points....Oh well, at least we will be a WDW.

DVC Mike
07-12-2009, 03:23 PM
Unfortunately, there are a certain number of HA rooms, and some people who don't need/want them will end up with them.

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 03:26 PM
OK ToddyLu, now that I know it's not just my opinion - I think I'm writing a letter about that room! Not looking for anything but to get it fixed!

I know DVCMike and the fact that we got in fairly late that night - 8pm - I think limited our choices, we were left with what was left. I would have preferred a regular room but would have been fine if it weren't for the issues -especially that darn door!

The good thing about 7616 was the location definitely.

famsen
07-12-2009, 03:44 PM
Our home resort is AKV. We've stayed in five different rooms at AKV since becoming members and the only time I have NOT gotten a HA room was when I specifically requested we not be put in one of those rooms.

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 04:02 PM
florep1 - we just missed you then, we checked in on the 6th. I thought it was strange they were putting a new bed in there, having just been open a couple of months? Maybe the family following you did something to it :confused3

famsen - oh wow, you'd think the odds would be better. I know now that I will always put non HA in my requests too.

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 04:05 PM
ToddyLu - the resort is gorgeous, just put "not room 7616" in your requests! And at least the internet did seem to get fixed!

drakester
07-12-2009, 05:29 PM
We stayed at Kidani in June and loved our stay. I have no complaints. I'm only sorry not everyone is having the same type of experience we had.:goodvibes

AKV707
07-12-2009, 06:55 PM
I am so sorry to hear that you had a negative Kidani experience. Your room should not have been in that condition.

We were at Kidani in June as well and loved it. As I wrote in another post, we had an issue by being assigned to a dedicated 2 br when we booked a lockoff. That was a major inconvenience as was moving the next day to a lockoff. However, both rooms were in perfect condition.

We will return there in January and again next June. It is beautiful, very Disney, and we love love it.

To the OP, I would email member satisfaction. Who knows, they may help. At least the issues should be brought to their attention.

deva
07-12-2009, 07:27 PM
OK, I'll bite...

What is a HA room?

WolfpackFan
07-12-2009, 07:33 PM
HA is a Handicap Access room.

twinklebug
07-12-2009, 08:37 PM
Our first stay at Kidani is in a week's time. As it's our home resort I'm really hoping we love it -- but if not, I know we love Jambo house :lovestruc It's like 2 resorts in one!

I do hope they fix the crowded bus situation I've been reading about though. I love using disney transportation, but if every bus I go to get on to or from the parks is packed to standing it will quickly remove even Jambo from my list of favorites. I know I could rent a car, but on vacation I don't want to drive... I'll save that for my commute.

AKV707
07-12-2009, 08:57 PM
Our first stay at Kidani is in a week's time. As it's our home resort I'm really hoping we love it -- but if not, I know we love Jambo house :lovestruc It's like 2 resorts in one!

I do hope they fix the crowded bus situation I've been reading about though. I love using disney transportation, but if every bus I go to get on to or from the parks is packed to standing it will quickly remove even Jambo from my list of favorites. I know I could rent a car, but on vacation I don't want to drive... I'll save that for my commute.

We did not experience overcrowding on the buses with the exception of one or two times when we were there in June, I brought up the concern to member satisfaction that when Kidani is fully open there could be an issue with crowding and they assured me that they are conscious of that and will provide sufficient busing. I guess we will see.

I hope that you like Kidani. It is a beautiful resort. Have a great vacation!

florep1
07-12-2009, 09:10 PM
florep1 - we just missed you then, we checked in on the 6th. I thought it was strange they were putting a new bed in there, having just been open a couple of months? Maybe the family following you did something to it :confused3

This bothered me, so I asked DH if he noticed anything wrong with the bed in our room other than being really low. He said, "Yeah, it had no frame, just a box spring, mattress, and a headboard". So maybe they were adding a frame to it?
:confused3

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 09:25 PM
That might have been it, they were carrying some long pieces in. Our bed was quite high - isn't that strange?

florep1
07-12-2009, 09:29 PM
That might have been it, they were carrying some long pieces in. Our bed was quite high - isn't that strange?
It is strange. We stayed for 4 nights in a savanna studio on the Zazu section prior to that and the beds were indeed high and I remember thinking "wow, these beds are really low!" So low in fact that DH kept tripping and losing his balance when he'd try to get on the bed. I just thought that's how accessible rooms were supposed to be.:lmao:

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-12-2009, 09:34 PM
LOL, I think it must have been sitting on the floor - our bed was high so that's one issue we didn't have! Amazing the things you learn on these boards!

SamSam
07-12-2009, 09:35 PM
I hope the internet access isn't a continuing problem. Dh and I absolutely have to take our work with us on vacation (only morning though) and it is internet based, so I hope AKV gets those issue worked out before we arrive in October.

le9397
07-12-2009, 10:12 PM
I think the HA rooms all have low beds. We had one at Pop in April. We walked in and I asked DBF if the bed seemed low. Then we realized the bathroom had the HA setup for the shower. The one plus was we had a fridge in the room which you do not normally get at Pop.

dis-happy
07-13-2009, 02:38 PM
We had internet problems with a VWL room a couple of months ago. It was a huge problem for us, as my dh works all the time and some important things were happening, plus my dd was on a deadline for a college summer internship application. The access was vital. Someone from tech/maintenance came on Sun. night and couldn't fix it, said he'd be back the next day. By talking to the hotel manager I was able to get my dh use of a room for the day in the lodge until it got fixed. They also put us on a list to change rooms, just in case. We ended up making use of both options and they did not charge us to change. Hope it never happens to you again, but when it's for work (as opposed to casual internet use) I would talk to the manager and ask for what you need (nicely of course!!!). They should be able to accomodate a work situation if necessary.

danielle782001
07-13-2009, 03:19 PM
We just came back from a six night stay...

We loved:
1) The size of our dedicated 2 bedroom
2) View of the savanna and all the active animals
3) Parking near our room because our room was right near an elevator and parking
4) Beauty of the village
5) The pool

We did not like:
*1) Far distance from the Mara
2) Small selection of food at the shop
3) Coffee was terrible at the shop

We would like to see:
More food offerings at the shop or a small quick service that takes the dining plan...Could be just cold food but we would like some more convience for grabbing food.

DebbieB
07-13-2009, 04:00 PM
I was at Kidani last month. Regarding crowded busses - Kidani definitely has an advantage there. We used the busses a couple of times for early opening and we had no problem getting a seat but there were people left on the curb at Jambo. Regarding internet - no problem. I did have a problem at Jambo last year but it turned out to be the configuration on my computer (something with an IP address typed in).

gkrykewy
07-13-2009, 05:10 PM
Man, I really hope we don't get an HA room in August. We're arriving at the airport at about 10am, so hopefully that mitigates that possibility to some extent. I think I requested a non-HA room, but I sometimes forget to do so.

Overall Kidani impressions have been excellent - can't wait to stay! I wish the Pembe Savanna would open early.

kapeman
07-14-2009, 08:13 AM
Our home resort is AKV. We've stayed in five different rooms at AKV since becoming members and the only time I have NOT gotten a HA room was when I specifically requested we not be put in one of those rooms.

That is weird. I called once to ask NOT to get an HA room and the CM told me that wasn't really an option.

I guess it is another case of having to play CM roulette. :confused3

gkrykewy
07-14-2009, 08:44 AM
That is weird. I called once to ask NOT to get an HA room and the CM told me that wasn't really an option.

I guess it is another case of having to play CM roulette. :confused3

The trick is to request a room with a bathtub.

florep1
07-14-2009, 09:51 AM
The trick is to request a room with a bathtub.
Wouldn't have worked in our case. We had a 1BR with roll in shower and tub in bedroom as well as a shower/tub in the entryway/kitchen.

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-14-2009, 10:28 AM
Our HA studio had a tub as well, the sides were just not as high as normal.

Really, a CM should put in it in your requests if you don't want an HA room, although they cannot guarantee it. Next time someone refuses, hang up and call back. Then ask again to NOT have that room type at check in. I didn't even think about it but will do this on our next visit. I think that's the most you could do. As others have said, if that's all that is left - you'll end up with it. In our case, we stuck it out to avoid the inconvenience of changing rooms and our HA room was in a much better location, the location was awesome actually. Sometimes I guess it'll be a trade off.

That's another thing that concerns me about Kidani though, some of those rooms are a long, LONG, way from stuff like the pool. It's a huge resort.

florep1
07-14-2009, 11:18 AM
That's another thing that concerns me about Kidani though, some of those rooms are a long, LONG, way from stuff like the pool. It's a huge resort.
Be careful what you wish for. We learned this the hard way. A month ago or so, as soon as Kidani opened and I heard about the lack of CS options there, I actually asked here where would be a good location for easy access to Mara as we were on the DDP. The response I got was, request to be close to Jambo house. We got that request for 4 nights, just a couple of doors away from the end of the hallway on the third floor. As soon as we got to our room, we decided to venture out and find Mara. I noticed a door at the very end of the hallway, saw a stairwell, and took it all the way down to the ground floor. We ended up in the receiving dock and happened to find a CM who showed us the way to Jambo house. I would not recommend this route. We just happened to be there when that gate was open. On subsequent trips, using the elevator and following the signs, that gate stayed closed. The silver lining? walk to lobby of Jambo house was 2-3 minutes.
We moved to a 1BR on day 4, and although it was a HA room, we preferred it's location.

eliza61
07-14-2009, 11:22 AM
Sorry you had problems. Hope you mention these issue to management and email customer relations.

General question to any one. Why would you be charged a fee to move if your room is defective. I would think a broken toilet and no internet access would be considered below par.
Isn't kidani brand new?

LadyTrampScamp&Angel
07-14-2009, 11:41 AM
florep1 - yes, that's a word of caution to anyone. It's huge and guests will have to chose carefully what they want to request. I overheard a CM telling some guests to walk all the way down the hall toward Jambo, take the last exit and you'll be halfway there - in order to stay inside, covered in the air conditioning. He isn't kidding about how far down Kidani goes, but if you are on that end you're a long walk away from the lobby, store, pool and fitness center.

Why would you be charged a fee to move if your room is defective. I would think a broken toilet and no internet access would be considered below par.

My thoughts exactly. It's the first time I felt disadvantaged for being a DVC member :(

Is there a room report by resort thread anywhere? That would be useful to have.

Pinnie
07-14-2009, 11:52 AM
Interesting topic in that we checked into a one bedroom on Friday (7/10) and when we walked in noticed right away it was HA. We immediately called down to the desk and told them we wanted a regular room. We were told one wasn't available yet and that we would be called on our cell when it was ready. So, we schlepped our bags back down to our car. We were called a little after 4:00 and ended up in a room in the ZAZU area.

While it is a nice place, I am glad my points are at BCVs. Trying to read at night is difficult because it is so dark. The TVs are slow to respond to channel changing and we had to call down for 2 different coffee pots before we got one that worked.

Also, I didn't like where the dishes were kept in that lower cabinet by the stove.

The up side of this resort are the animals. Our view was spectacular! We saw the pool and thought it looked like it would be a lot of fun. CMs were outstanding and helpful.

Just not my cup of tea.

pinnie

pilferk
07-14-2009, 12:22 PM
I was at Kidani last month. Regarding crowded busses - Kidani definitely has an advantage there. We used the busses a couple of times for early opening and we had no problem getting a seat but there were people left on the curb at Jambo. Regarding internet - no problem. I did have a problem at Jambo last year but it turned out to be the configuration on my computer (something with an IP address typed in).

We had an issue in January of '08, at Jambo....and that was before "free internet" for DVC members.

I quickly found that the wall jack wasn't actually connected to anything...whoever had installed it had not actually connected the CAT-5 cabling to the jack.

They sent up a net tech, who ended up calling in facilities to make the connection. The tech walked in, plugged his network signal tester into the wall, and got no lights. He popped the jack off, and could see the wiring behind the face plate....sitting there. It had been run all the way to the jack, but never connected.

He said he had to have facilities send someone to connect it. He wasn't allowed due to union rules regarding electrician work....but the facilities guy showed up about 30 minutes later, and was done in 10 minutes or so.

The wonders of "full priced beta testing" new construction, eh?

pilferk
07-14-2009, 12:26 PM
That is weird. I called once to ask NOT to get an HA room and the CM told me that wasn't really an option.

I guess it is another case of having to play CM roulette. :confused3

In December '08, they tried to put us in an HA room. We called and talked to a CM, a supervisor, and finally the in-house manager for DVC. The HA set up, with young kids, can be downright dangerous. At least with our kids. The cooktop was super low, and they could easily (and by "they" I mean even our 2 year old) get to the controls. As my wife is on the phone, pleading our case, we watched our 2 year old (unprompted) go over and start playing with the knobs.

My wife relayed the story (and her displeasure about not having a tub, making it difficult to BATHE our 2 youngest kids)..and we were quickly moved across the hall to another room.

We made sure, on our ressie this time, to SPECIFICALLY request we not be assigned an HA room. Hopefully, that will help. It's our only request, actually.