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View Full Version : Just got back from AKV Kidani


GuySmiley
03-22-2010, 04:33 PM
I'm not going to write a full "trip report" because all the details are really easily available by now, but I did want to share my opinions on Kidani. I've been there twice now, once in Oct with just me and my wife, and once last week with the whole family (3 kids, 15, 13, and 11). So this is a summation of those two trips.

Since I bought into AKV without ever staying there, I was glued to the internet during construction for info. So thanks to those who wrote up the early trip reports! But even before I had visited I formed opinions about certain things at the resort. It was really interesting to me to see what pre-conceived notions held up and what changed when I actually stayed there.

I thought I wouldn't like the smaller feeling of Kidani vs Jambo. The lobby is much smaller, you don't get that WOW when you walk in and look up. The store is much smaller. But I was happily suprised to find I really like that. Kidani is quiet and relaxing. Not quiet as in you are afraid your kids will annoy everyone, but quiet as in relaxing!

Along those lines, I thought I wouldn't like the walk over to Jambo for the services there. But again I was happily suprised. I timed the walk to be 8 minutes from lobby to lobby. No big deal to our family. We decided that if a bus (to Epcot, MK, or DHS) was at the stop when we went by we would take the bus to Jambo, but we wouldn't ever wait for one. Most the time we'd be at Jambo before we could've got a bus anyway. We went over there to eat at the Mara twice, to go to the gift shop twice, and to use the night vision at the savanah once.

I remember reading about the pool being small and I thought that wouldn't bother me, but it does. I usually go off-season when the pool isn't used heavily anyway, but I think especially at peak seasons when its hot, that pool will be very crowded. But hey, the Jambo pool isn't too far and its huge :)

I remember reading about the parking garage and how ugly it is without any theming. I didn't think I'd care about it. Well, I do and I don't lol. On our October trip, my wife and I walked through the parking level on our way to Jambo (due to bus stop construction), and I really didn't like it. It is ugly and very un-disney-like. On this recent trip we never went through it, because the sidewalk outside was open, and we don't drive to Disney. The path outside goes by, but there is landscaping that will grow and hide it. I do wish they'd do something with it though for people who are down there frequently.

Since I've bought, I was always wondering if the savanah view is worth the points. In October, my wife and I had a savanah view and I really liked it more than I thought I would. We spent mornings and evenings on the balcony watching the animals. This trip I booked a savanah view, but ended up with a standard view (bus stops are standard lol). Its a long story I wont tell here unless you ask, we could've complained, but we didnt and kept the standard view. Well I don't have to wonder anymore, for me, Yes! the points are worth the savanah view. I really enjoy the animals more than I thought I would, and I like the convenience of just going to the balcony in my own room with my moring coffee, or a snack at night.

So these are all just my opinions. I think the lesson here is when you read someone else's trip report, you can't really be sure about what you'll like or dislike till you see it yourself. I had a few of my expectations met, for good or for bad, and a few broken, for good or for bad.

auntsue
03-22-2010, 04:42 PM
Did they refund you the difference in points from savannah view down to value?

bub
03-23-2010, 09:48 AM
We visited Kidani for the first time last week (owners at OKW and VWL). I agree about the quieter atmosphere there - that struck me as well, and it seemed like it would be a positive part of staying there. I also agree about Savannah view. We stayed once at the lodge pre-villas, and really loved watching the animals at all times of day and night.

We were walking from Kidani to Jambo when a Disney cast member picked us up in a small golf cart. She seemed to be driving between the two properties offering rides. Most people did not take the ride because they were enjoying the walk. (It was a nice day.)

Thanks for your insights.

dzorn
03-23-2010, 10:19 AM
We enjoyed the Kidani pool also but it is too small. It was crowded when we went I cannot imaging how it will be when more of the resort is sold out. As much as the kids liked the play area by the pool I wish it was easier to see from the main pool. With two kids it was hard to keep an eye on them both when they wanted to be in different areas. Not very relaxing for me. We did not mind the walk to and from Jambo. Once the vegitation grows more by the parking garage it will look better and I could see the convience of parking closer to the room. Not to mention having your car out of direct sunlight.

We have not done the savanah category yet, but when choosing standard I think I will sitck with Jambo so it woud be pool view. Saving points for savanah view when we do a non-park trip.

Denise in MI

BEASLYBOO
03-23-2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks for the review. We've only ever stayed at Jambo and this August are looking forward to staying at Kidani. Being Floridians, the underground parking will be a welcomed plus to anyone staying at Kidani in summer, its just like the Vero Beach resort. We love to walk, so the distance to Jiko is no problem, and we don't utilize Mara so that's OK too. I've heard the decor is not as dark as Jambo so we're looking forward to seeing it. I also wondered why they didn't plan a large pool, oh well. For longer stays, OKW is still our favorite resort, but sometimes you just need "the Savanah". We've always brought friends and family new to Disney to AKV, the theming is so spectacular and for us, if it's AKV then the SV view is a must, no matter the extra points.

JasonDVC
03-23-2010, 10:36 AM
You have a good way of looking at it. We'll find out for ourselves next month.

Thanks! :thumbsup2

rance
03-23-2010, 11:41 AM
could someone offer advice for us (jambo or kidani) our kids will be 5 and 2 and we will spend lots of time enjoying the resort.
don't think we can afford sav. few so would also like a recommendation on what to request for std. view.
thanks

BEASLYBOO
03-23-2010, 11:54 AM
could someone offer advice for us (jambo or kidani) our kids will be 5 and 2 and we will spend lots of time enjoying the resort.
don't think we can afford sav. few so would also like a recommendation on what to request for std. view.
thanksEach resort offers pretty much the same activities for children. If you need quick food service you may be better off at Jambo (Mara), Kidani offers limited CS. With a Standard view the room doesn't matter so much as location nearest the elevator etc., near the pool, it really depends on your family's preferences and needs. I.e. I prefer to be near an elevator, I hate walking miles and miles of corridor.

stormer
03-23-2010, 07:18 PM
could someone offer advice for us (jambo or kidani) our kids will be 5 and 2 and we will spend lots of time enjoying the resort.
don't think we can afford sav. few so would also like a recommendation on what to request for std. view.
thanks

You may prefer Kidani for the water play area. Your kids are the perfect age for it. We stayed there in August and didn't find the pool to be too small. It was never overcrowded during our 8 day stay. The only problem we had was getting a parking spot under the building. we found the lot to fill up very quickly. At that time valet was free so if we couldn't get a spot we would valet the car. Don't know if it has gotten any easier to park.

Shleedogg
03-23-2010, 09:17 PM
could someone offer advice for us (jambo or kidani) our kids will be 5 and 2 and we will spend lots of time enjoying the resort.
don't think we can afford sav. few so would also like a recommendation on what to request for std. view.
thanks

If you'll be at the pool a lot, I'd say to stay at Kidani. We've done both, and we loved the pool at Kidani. The kids play area is awesome! I think your kids are the perfect ages to enjoy it!

DVC~OKW~96
03-23-2010, 09:26 PM
OKW is our home resort and we love it there, and always will.

We stayed at Kidani Village several months ago and are going back in April. We're bringing a young relative and cannot wait to introduce him to the joys of a villa on the savannah!

He is going to love the pool area, and we are excited about that too.

We love Kidani Village more than we thought possible. The only thing we don't care for is the food at Sanaa (or the service).

Other than that, it's a great place and we nearly threw caution to the winds and added on! :eek:

GuySmiley
03-24-2010, 12:09 AM
Did they refund you the difference in points from savannah view down to value?
Yes they did. :)

GuySmiley
03-24-2010, 12:20 AM
We love Kidani Village more than we thought possible. The only thing we don't care for is the food at Sanaa (or the service).
I'm right there with you on loving Kidani:thumbsup2 BUT, we really liked Sanaa. We went kind of late because we didnt have ressies. The service was outstanding, wish I could remember the waiters name, but he was great. Those kind of experiences are always hit or miss though it seems. Of course the spices used are something people will either love or hate, not much room for in between I think. :)

GuySmiley
03-24-2010, 12:31 AM
Oh! Something else I was going to add was about the bus rides. Yes, they are long! Especially the Magic Kingdom. Doesn't bother me, but I can easily see people not liking that. Another big plus for Kidani is that the busses stop there first (excpet Downtown Disney).

The way I see it on my Disney trips is that my feet have a certain number of minutes until they expire. Every minute standing on a bus is wasted time. I'd rather spend those foot-minutes in the parks :)

I think when I stay at Jambo (in December, I have to try it), it'll be worth walking to Kidani to make sure I get a seat if its a particularly busy time.