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View Full Version : Kidani -- My thoughts -- 3/6-3/13


toniosmom
03-16-2010, 04:38 PM
I just spent a week (3/6 – 3/13) at Kidani Village in a 2BR Dedicated Savannah View. We were in Room 7710 and it was a great location. Close to the lobby and pool. Here are a few of my impressions of the resort:

First the negative:

• The pool area is way too small for the size of the resort (considering Jambo guests can use the Kidani pool) and there are too few upright chairs. My mother is handicapped and cannot sit on a lounge chair. The only option she had were the few tables located near the bar. We were there during a relatively slow part of the season – if we ever go during a more popular time, she would have trouble finding a chair.
• The chairs in the lobby are very uncomfortable. I think they were more worried about theme and skimped on comfort. However, the only time we spent any length of time in the lobby was while waiting for ME back to the airport for our return home, so I didn’t notice it until then.
• The knives in the unit were horrible. There is no knife to chop with. I struggled with a pearing knife and a serrated steak knife to chop garlic.
• The TV stations are far too limited. I know this applies to all resorts, not just Kidani, but wanted to mention it. Can’t they provide basic cable? Those of us with small children spend some time in the villa (naps, early bedtimes, etc.) and it would be nice to be able to watch something other than the 4 major networks, news shows and Disney-related programming. How about some HGTV or Food Network? TNT? TLC?
• My mother finished her book and didn’t have another, so she called to ask if she could borrow a book from the Library and was told “sure”. She went to the Library and found a few books about Africa and ONE novel (that was likely left by another guest). Perhaps she went to the wrong place, so if anyone knows where she could have obtained a book/novel, please let me know.
• Lack of counter service. I know this has been noted by many DIS-ers, but it bears repeating. We bought groceries and ate mostly in the room, however, we did venture out a couple of times and going over to Jambo was a pain. We didn’t have the option to walk because (1) Mom was using a walker and (2) it was pouring rain when we wanted to go. Picking up any bus to go over to Jambo was not a problem, but waiting for a Downtown bus to return to Kidani was annoying. The two times we went over, we waited at least 20 minutes for the bus. I suggest that there be a trolley that constantly just goes back and forth between Kidani and Jambo.
• Lack of good lighting in the bathrooms (at the sink). I didn’t mind the soft lighting around the villa, but I would have loved a brighter light so that I could see putting on makeup or putting in my contact lenses. There is a nice bright light that shines down into the sink, but you have to lean over to get yourself under it and then you still can’t see because the light is only shining on the top of your head.
• I was using the bathroom in the 2nd bedroom where the toilet is in a separate room. The fan would go on automatically when you enter the toilet room, but not while you are in the sink/shower area. Showers resulted in very steamy rooms which would have been helped by the fan. I finally got fed up and started to walk into the toilet room to trigger the fan, jump into the shower, then when I heard it go off, I would reach out of the shower and throw something into the toilet room in order to trigger the fan. LOL
• The day we arrived, we were told that the pool heater had been broken for the last week, so the pool was freezing. Since the air was cool (only in the 60’s), it was impossible to swim. We were VERY disappointed. Luckily, the heater was fixed on Sunday, but as late as Wednesday, the water was still cool. (It rained Thurs & Fri.) It wasn’t a total disaster for us, but if we had been there the week prior, we would not have been able to swim at all.

Now with the negative out of the way, below is what I loved:

• Loved watching the animals from our balcony. Having a savannah-view is so worth the points.
• Loved the warm lighting around the resort. (Just hated the bathroom lighting in the villa as mentioned above.)
• Loved sitting around the firepit at night, especially on cool nights. Not so crazy about the rocking chairs, though. Not even slightly comfortable.
• Everyone was so nice and accommodating. The toilet in the 2nd bedroom stopped flushing on two different occasions and both times maintenance came quickly to resolve the situation.
• Loved the chair that converts to the single bed in the living room. I mean as a chair – we didn’t use it as a bed. The chair was much more comfortable than the couch.
• I didn’t mind the buses at all – it was nice that all buses (except Downtown) stopped at Kidani first, so you always had a seat. I didn’t find the ride to the parks exceptionally long, either.
• I requested “close to lobby/pool on a lower floor” and that is exactly what I got. I registered online and when I got there, the CM told me that the 2nd floor room they had assigned to me was not yet ready (we arrived at 11am) and they had one on the 3rd floor that was ready and would I like to switch. Of course, I said yes! On top of that, our luggage arrived within an hour of that and our Garden Grocer order was there as well. We were all settled very quickly.
• My DS5 enjoyed the Community Hall and we stopped there at least once a day. The CMs there were very nice and were eager to help us find the right game, etc. It was nice that it overlooked the savannah, so I was able to step out onto the balcony a few times. (Not so crazy about the arcade – I thought it was a ripoff.)
• The pool activities were a nice break. My son enjoyed everything and it gave me a break. Love the water play area as well. The water was heated, so you didn’t mind being spritzed.
• It poured the last two days of our stay, so the Lifeguards and other CMs staked out a space in the lobby where they put out several video screens for Wii and also ran a few games. I guess it replaced a little of what they normally do at the pool.

Overall, we all had a wonderful time at Kidani and would enjoy staying there again. However, I plan to bring a large coffee mug with me -- the coffee cups we had were miniscule! I may bring one of my old Disney plastic mugs the next time.

This is the 2nd DVC resort we have experienced (stayed at Saratoga last year) and we are looking forward to trying others in the future. We'll be back on December 4th - I already have AKV booked (my home resort). I would like to switch out at 7 months to try another resort, but I doubt I will have any luck at that time of year.

Simba's Mom
03-16-2010, 05:26 PM
I just spent a week (3/6 – 3/13) at Kidani Village in a 2BR Dedicated Savannah View. We were in Room 7710 and it was a great location. Close to the lobby and pool. Here are a few of my impressions of the resort:

• My mother finished her book and didn’t have another, so she called to ask if she could borrow a book from the Library and was told “sure”. She went to the Library and found a few books about Africa and ONE novel (that was likely left by another guest). Perhaps she went to the wrong place, so if anyone knows where she could have obtained a book/novel, please let me know.


I'm an avid reader, so I'll give my suggestion. Whenever I go to WDW, a traditional souvenier for me is to go to the Writer's Stop and buy a paperback book. Sometimes, I even sit myself in the big couch there and start reading. So buying a paperback book is a WDW traditional souvenier for me.

Tara
03-16-2010, 05:41 PM
I just spent a week (3/6 – 3/13) at Kidani Village in a 2BR Dedicated Savannah View. We were in Room 7710 and it was a great location. Close to the lobby and pool. Here are a few of my impressions of the resort:

I'll be arriving there on Saturday and have a 2br dedicated SV - I hope I get as lucky with room location!


• The knives in the unit were horrible. There is no knife to chop with. I struggled with a pearing knife and a serrated steak knife to chop garlic.


This has been my experience in all the villas - that's why I keep a good all-purpose knife and vegetable peeler in my Owner's Lockers!


• Lack of good lighting in the bathrooms (at the sink). I didn’t mind the soft lighting around the villa, but I would have loved a brighter light so that I could see putting on makeup or putting in my contact lenses. There is a nice bright light that shines down into the sink, but you have to lean over to get yourself under it and then you still can’t see because the light is only shining on the top of your head.

I've been debating getting some light bulbs at the grocery store to bring with me...but from what you are saying, it sounds like the bulbs are only part of the problem and some of the problem is location of the fixture. I HATE poorly lit bathrooms!


• I was using the bathroom in the 2nd bedroom where the toilet is in a separate room. The fan would go on automatically when you enter the toilet room, but not while you are in the sink/shower area. Showers resulted in very steamy rooms which would have been helped by the fan. I finally got fed up and started to walk into the toilet room to trigger the fan, jump into the shower, then when I heard it go off, I would reach out of the shower and throw something into the toilet room in order to trigger the fan. LOL

Yes, I noticed this at SSR in the 1 and 2br units, but not at BLT. I'm guessing it's the same at BLT and I just didn't notice it, though.

[quote]• Loved watching the animals from our balcony. Having a savannah-view is so worth the points.

Was your room on the Sunset Savannah or Pembe?

kirstenb1
03-16-2010, 07:16 PM
We stayed at Jambo last year for the first time, and I feel exactly the same way about the bathrooms. They're just odd. Poorly lit, high, deep countertops and the tub is really tall to step over. I'm 5'7 and felt like I'd been through a shrinking machine!! I too wear contacts, and it was hard to lean in close enough to the mirror.

With there being no fan in the shower/bath area, I just left the door to the bedroom open. I have young kids, so privacy is a distant memory anyway!!

I also agree about the counter service and am sorry about the pool. I see you have a 5 yr old. With young kids, it's all about quick eats, and being able to swim in the pool.

AKV is really a beautiful resort, I totally agree. It sounds like overall, you had a great trip--thanks for sharing your experiences!!

Disney_Mama
03-16-2010, 07:36 PM
I was at Kidani from March 1-7 then moved to SSR from March 7-9. We loved it but really missed being close to DTD. We were in a 1 bedroom Savannah view. Loved to be able to look out and see the animals. It was cool so sitting out on the deck was really not an option. With the cool weather the pool heater being broken was a let down. The water was like ice. The only thing I did not enjoy was how long the hallways were. To make the walk go faster I changed the lyrics from the song "This is the song that never ends" to.....

This is the hallway that never ends
and it goes on and on my friends...
Some people started building it and didn't know when to stop
and they'll just keep on building it, it never seems to stop....

and so on.
My kids loved singing it as long as no one was around.:goodvibes

d-r
03-16-2010, 07:37 PM
FWIW, I like the knives at kidani, and I don't care that there isn't a counter service. Maybe we had different knives or something, I liked them.

toniosmom
03-16-2010, 08:13 PM
Tara -- We were on the Sunset Savannah. I specifically asked for that as well in my requests and felt lucky to get it. I love giraffes and zebras which is why I made that request. It's still early for spring break, so you may get lucky and get a good room like we did.

kirstenb1 -- When it's just me and DS5, I never close the door. Privacy? What's that? :rotfl2: On this trip, we had my parents, plus two teenagers with us, so I had no choice but to close the door.

Disney_Mama -- I agree about the long hallways. We were lucky that we were at the end of the first "bead", so our walk to the Lobby wasn't bad at all. I can't imagine being way out from the Lobby and having to make that walk from the bus after a long day at the parks. I love your song! :thumbsup2

Like I said, we really did enjoy ourselves and will be back there again in the future. This time I will be bringing a large coffee mug with me. I like a nice cup of coffee in the morning and those miniscule cups killed me. :laughing:

Robo-Daddy 3000
03-17-2010, 08:02 AM
I'm an avid reader, so I'll give my suggestion. Whenever I go to WDW, a traditional souvenier for me is to go to the Writer's Stop and buy a paperback book. Sometimes, I even sit myself in the big couch there and start reading. So buying a paperback book is a WDW traditional souvenier for me.

I'm pretty sure there are paperback books and magazines for sale in the gift shop/store at Kidani.

bobbiwoz
03-17-2010, 10:00 AM
I'll be arriving there on Saturday and have a 2br dedicated SV - I hope I get as lucky with room location!
...

Was your room on the Sunset Savannah or Pembe?

I'll be arriving on Saturday as well! :goodvibes I bring a traditional coffee mug with me to all of the DVC resorts.

Bobbi:goodvibes

DISNEY FIX
03-17-2010, 10:35 AM
Like I said, we really did enjoy ourselves and will be back there again in the future. This time I will be bringing a large coffee mug with me. I like a nice cup of coffee in the morning and those miniscule cups killed me. :laughing:

I'll be arriving on Saturday as well! :goodvibes I bring a traditional coffee mug with me to all of the DVC resorts.

Bobbi:goodvibes


We have learnd to bring disposable insulated coffee cups with lids it is perfect. You can take you brew on the go too, and instead of lugging a mug around we just chuck it.

Thanks for the review.:goodvibes

toniosmom
03-17-2010, 01:56 PM
We have learnd to bring disposable insulated coffee cups with lids it is perfect. You can take you brew on the go too, and instead of lugging a mug around we just chuck it.

Good idea -- I'm going to do that next time. :thumbsup2

Maliki2
03-17-2010, 02:37 PM
So did you have...

1) A corner room that had no Savannah view like us? (even though we paid for one with points)

2) Broken down dishwasher that made the whole place smell like dish detergeant ?Met by a DVC member inside who was as surprised as we were to see him.

3) Once we finally got moved to our new (half way across the resort) 1br...did you have the furnace grate falling off the wall?

4) Did you have the curtain rods broken and not working so you just had to yank on the curtains themself to move them?

5) Did you have the hide a bed sheets tucked in and caught on the bed, to the point where you had to have two people pull and rip them when trying to extend it?


Yes this was my first trip to Kidani, and I was not happy at all. I had invited my parents and this turned into a nightmare trip from hell. Not happy about the way they are spending my money.

DISNEY FIX
03-17-2010, 03:31 PM
:scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1::scared1::scar ed1::scared1::scared1::scared1:

Wow I may want to rethink Jambo.

toniosmom
03-17-2010, 03:35 PM
So did you have...

4) Did you have the curtain rods broken and not working so you just had to yank on the curtains themself to move them?

5) Did you have the hide a bed sheets tucked in and caught on the bed, to the point where you had to have two people pull and rip them when trying to extend it?

I actually had the curtain rod come off in my hand and resorted to yanking on the curtains the last few days. I reported the issue when we checked out so that they could fix it before the next guest.

I slept in one of the queens in the 2nd bedroom and I noted how tight the sheets/blanket were tucked. After a few nights of struggling to pull the covers up to my neck, I had to practically unmake the bed to get more length on them.

Other than that, we did not have any of the experiences you noted. I can understand your frustration -- I would have been a maniac if we dealt with that. We enjoyed our time there. I hope if you go back again that you have a better experience.

Maliki2
03-17-2010, 04:01 PM
I actually had the curtain rod come off in my hand and resorted to yanking on the curtains the last few days. I reported the issue when we checked out so that they could fix it before the next guest.

I slept in one of the queens in the 2nd bedroom and I noted how tight the sheets/blanket were tucked. After a few nights of struggling to pull the covers up to my neck, I had to practically unmake the bed to get more length on them.

Other than that, we did not have any of the experiences you noted. I can understand your frustration -- I would have been a maniac if we dealt with that. We enjoyed our time there. I hope if you go back again that you have a better experience.

I'm usually not a picky person but we had saved our points for the 1br Savannah. I just wasn't impressed and pretty mad. Only my wife kept me calm through most of this. Had it not been for our three year old I would have demanded a new room in a new resort. This is MY home resort, I pay for this and expect to have a decent room, not a dump like we got moved into, TWICE.

The sheets werent even tucked in tight on the couch bed, we couldnt open it with two of us. We worked it for about a hour until we finally have in and gave it some massive work over which resulted in the sheets being ripped to get the couch out.
The curtain rods were cheap as hell. The metal at the top was bent when we got in there and we couldnt even move the curtains like I said unless we just pulled them closed. So what is the maintence fees paying for? Thats my question.

Regardless we are moving to Jambo next year and have already made our reservations. I hope things work out better for us. :mad:

disneyfan67
03-17-2010, 04:19 PM
OP, sorry to hear about the issues you had and I hope I have better luck in December when I go there for my first time as DVC member. I'm trying to read up on everything here about Kidani and prepare myself. Thank you for your honest review and may you have better luck on your next trip.

eporter66
03-17-2010, 11:29 PM
We go during non-peak times and the pool area seemed fine, it was never too crowded.

I agree with the lighting in the bathroom, they are very dark. However, I love the size of the bathrooms and the shower and tub they have - so for me it ends up not being a big deal. My wife was very annoyed by the dark bathroom.

I agree that Kidani could use a fast food place. You can get food down at the pool area, but they could use something. There are some interesting choices at the Jambo House fast food area.

I do love the resort, and it has been available for us at the 7 month window (just booked for October) this year and last. My daughter loves being able to see the animals - I think it is a great resort

twinklebug
03-18-2010, 12:10 AM
I love Kidani. I love DVC. There are areas that I'd love for them to improve upon which make me consider "bringing my own from home". The kitchens are one & the same issues seems to exist at all the DVC units I've stayed in: knives are no exception.

Allow me to get offtrack a bit: Many years ago we a rented beach front hotel room in Myrtle beach that came with a glorified kitchenette, meaning it had a fully functioning stove but in every other regard was equivalent to a DVC kitchenette. I'm not a princess, but the place was grungy and I was cringing at the thought of using the pots and utensils that came with the place. I did, we ate and apparently survived the ordeal none for the worse. :rotfl:

I tell you this only because I find myself edging toward the direction of being repulsed by the dishes and utensils that come with our DVC rooms. My new thing is to clean everything that's in the drawers and cabinets before anyone can grab a cup, mug or spoon. This was after hearing some of the stories here on the Dis and then looking into one of our mugs from the cabinet on our next stay and finding the bottom of it coated in something pure white. :eek:

Owner's locker is looking better and better.