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View Full Version : Quick observations on Kidani (with a surprise)


Tara
03-23-2010, 10:12 PM
My girlfriends and I just spent 4 days at AKV Kidani in a 2BR dedicated SV room.

I checked in online the day prior to arrival - I'd already requested "close to lobby - 1st or 2nd bead." I didn't do anything else with requests when I checked in online. One of my friends arrived first and was able to pick up our documents without me there. (I was surprised at this - but no big deal.) At about 2:30, the rest of us arrived and we took the hike to Jambo for some food since the food at the pool bar wasn't what we wanted. We took our time eating then got back to the Kidani lobby at 3:55 and I checked to see if our room was ready. (I hadn't gotten a text but thought maybe there was a glitch.) Room wasn't ready - another was, but it was on the last bead. After another call he determined the room just had to be checked out and would be ready in about 15-20 minutes. I said no problem, we'd just hang out in the lobby. We settled into the couches and in just a few minutes, another CM came up and said our room was ready and to make up for the inconvenience (we hadn't complained or said it was an inconvenience at all), they were crediting our room account with $100. Nice way to start the day! (that would be the surprise, folks) :goodvibes

We had 7910 - a terrific room.

Positives:

It really is neat to have animals right outside the balcony.
I don't know if all 2BR balconies are the same, but ours was one long, connected balcony - I like that.
The villa was quite roomy and having the 3rd bathroom was a HUGE deal for the 4 of us! (it was especially nice since one person slept on the sleeper sofa - having the 3rd bathroom meant she had some space that was just "hers")
I'm a valet girl (not a valley girl ;)) at heart, but we used the under-building parking instead and it was very convenient.
The master bathroom is HUGE.
The beds were comfortable.
I reported a maintenance issue the second morning (when I filled the whirlpool tub and turned on the jets, one jet assembly came completely out of its housing. My call was answered swiftly, the CM who answered was courteous, and when we returned to our room later that day, the problem had been fixed.
When we arrived, the valet (I think he was valet, not bell services, but I'm not sure given this part...) was helping us figure out what we wanted to take in and what to leave in the car and he added, "and of course you have two Owner's Lockers, too" -- I was impressed that he remembered that detail and reminded us about it.
SOUTHWEST RESORT AIRLINE CHECK-IN!!! (see below)


Now a few negatives:

Everything that made me cancel our initial contract at AKV and then buy into BLT instead is really true.
I know people argue this back and forth, but I felt like it took forever to get everywhere we were going.
Whirlpool tub problem mentioned above - not a big deal.
Very limited cabinet space - where are you supposed to put groceries in this place? I really missed BLT on this one!
DARK, DARK, DARK - I felt like we lived our days next to the windows - everything from packing up my Owner's Lockers to putting on my makeup required setting up next to the sliding doors so I had ample light.
Those motion-sensing fans are crazy - if you are in the shower in the master bath, it can't "see" you so it shuts off.
The walk to Mara is long - yes, I know it isn't really that far from Kidani's lobby to Jambo's lobby, but then you still have to make your way down to Mara...it's a haul.


When I arrived, I asked about Southwest being added to RAC service at the resort and they said "in a few days I think" - RAC was already closed for the day, so this was from a front desk CM. Early this morning I had to run down to Johari Treasures and checked the RAC counter - Southwest had been added! They were amused at how happy I was by this and when I said, "That's going to be a lot more bags for y'all!" one woman just said, "We like it - we like a challenge!" She seemed very positive and upbeat about the change. Then another person asked if I had my luggage tags and boarding pass in an envelope on my door and when I told him "no" so they said they'd add me. Not sure what that meant, but oh well.

Later when I came down to check my bag, it went somewhat efficiently - I'd give it a B for that but an A+ for friendliness and helpfulness.

Oh, there are several new DVC items in the gift shops - I got a new keychain, a new pink t-shirt and a pin set that has 4 pins: BLT, AKV-K, THV and OKW. There is also a new dark blue t-shirt and at SSR I saw a shirt for little kids that said "Future DVC Member" - I think that's new.

That's it for now - the girlfriends and I are in the early throes of planning another trip with our families where we'll stay at BLT or BCV...I better get back to my spreadsheet for sorting out all those options...or just go get some sleep! (Jellyrolls until 2am this morning, then up at 7:30am to pack...tough, but so fun!)

sjs314
03-23-2010, 10:19 PM
Sounds as if overall you had a pretty good time and I like your "surprise". I have heard many make mention of the darkness of the AKV's , will see staying there in November.

Ericandjenng
03-23-2010, 11:55 PM
Thanks for the rundown...sounds like you had a good trip...:)

DH and are debating adding on AKV or GCV. Your info is helpful.

GuySmiley
03-24-2010, 12:26 AM
SOUTHWEST RESORT AIRLINE CHECK-IN!!! (see below)

Oh wow, we just left there Friday the 19th, JUST missed it! lol

Crystal_27
03-24-2010, 06:57 AM
Awwww, thanks so much for the detailed report. :grouphug: Sounds like an overall great resort experience. I'm also glad to read that DVC is releasing more BLT pins. Hopefully, there are even more to choose from when we go in September. :rolleyes:

Tara
03-24-2010, 07:01 AM
Awwww, thanks so much for the detailed report. :grouphug: Sounds like an overall great resort experience. I'm also glad to read that DVC is releasing more BLT pins. Hopefully, there are even more to choose from when we go in September. :rolleyes:

FYI, the pin set is only available to DVC members. The display has those cards you give to the cashier, kind of like for Sudafed at the pharmacy. ;) I think the set is $22.

stopher1
03-24-2010, 07:46 AM
Oh, there are several new DVC items in the gift shops - I got a ... pin set that has 4 pins: BLT, AKV-K, THV and OKW.

I got that pin set when we stayed at VWL a couple of weeks ago. I loved it because of the THV and KV ones, both of which are our homes.


Sorry you had some negatives, especially the darkness factor - but then every resort has something about it that isn't "it" for everyone (for us your beloved BLT is just too contemporary and stark - at least that was our impression of the model, even though I know we want to stay there at least once to try it out). Initially AKV's model was a bit jarring to me when we first walked it several years back, but we've absolutely loved our stays there in both Jambo and Kidani. Even so, glad it sounds like you had an overall good time. Oh, and yay, we're a Southwest family, so that's great news about becoming part of the RAC at Kidani. :) Thanks for sharing that.

Anjelica
03-24-2010, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the post and insights!!!

Glad to see SW is now officially at AKL/AKV!!

hopare
03-24-2010, 02:51 PM
Thanks for all the info! I am looking forward to Kidani in Nov:thumbsup2

DenLo
03-24-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks for the trip report.

Those motion-sensing fans are crazy - if you are in the shower in the master bath, it can't "see" you so it shuts off.

I'm sorry to say that they have the same fans at BLT. We just stayed there 3/1 - 3/8/10 and every time we took a shower the fan turned off before we were finished. I found myself opening the shower curtain (in the studio) and waving my arm around to trigger the sensor, so the fan would come back on.

I can't believe you were able to get that 4 pin set. We tried to find it at CR and the pin store in DTD and every where else we shopped. I didn't think about going over to Kidani and see if it was in their shop. We couldn't find a pin for BLT anywhere. The CM at the Fantasia Gift Shop said that they haven't had any BLT pins including the 4 pin set in the store since December. That seems like poor planning by someone.

Tara
03-24-2010, 04:09 PM
Thanks for the trip report.



I'm sorry to say that they have the same fans at BLT. We just stayed there 3/1 - 3/8/10 and every time we took a shower the fan turned off before we were finished. I found myself opening the shower curtain (in the studio) and waving my arm around to trigger the sensor, so the fan would come back on.

To be fair, BLT does have these fans, too. I just complain about them at every possible opportunity. ;) (Seriously - it's kind of poor design, don't you think?)

I can't believe you were able to get that 4 pin set. We tried to find it at CR and the pin store in DTD and every where else we shopped. I didn't think about going over to Kidani and see if it was in their shop. We couldn't find a pin for BLT anywhere. The CM at the Fantasia Gift Shop said that they haven't had any BLT pins including the 4 pin set in the store since December. That seems like poor planning by someone.

I actually didn't see the cards for them at Johari Treasures - the CM told me the set was available. But at the shop in Jambo, I saw the cards on display. I'd think they wouldn't have the cards out (and there was more than 1) if the pins weren't available.

Tara
03-24-2010, 04:23 PM
Sorry you had some negatives, especially the darkness factor - but then every resort has something about it that isn't "it" for everyone (for us your beloved BLT is just too contemporary and stark - at least that was our impression of the model, even though I know we want to stay there at least once to try it out). Initially AKV's model was a bit jarring to me when we first walked it several years back, but we've absolutely loved our stays there in both Jambo and Kidani. Even so, glad it sounds like you had an overall good time. Oh, and yay, we're a Southwest family, so that's great news about becoming part of the RAC at Kidani. :) Thanks for sharing that.

Kidani is a very nice resort - just not my style...and a pet peeve of mine is dimly lit rooms, so I had to mention it! (Especially bathrooms!)

Sully
03-24-2010, 07:59 PM
A very nice report. We had a studio for 4 nights in February and do agree about the darkness-lack of light in the rooms. In keeping with the Africa ambiance, the rooms are decorated with too many dark colors. We still love the resort.

stopher1
03-25-2010, 07:40 AM
Kidani is a very nice resort - just not my style...and a pet peeve of mine is dimly lit rooms, so I had to mention it! (Especially bathrooms!)

AKV initially was more my DW's desire than mine, but I've definitely grown to love it - we wouldn't have added more points there if I didn't. The rooms can be dark/dimly lit - I agree with you. But in my case, I don't put make-up on, so it doesn't bother me :rotfl:

thelionqueen
03-25-2010, 11:54 AM
Hey Tara,
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on AKV! I am also staying @ AKV (kids wanted to try it out) for a weekend on our upcoming trip.

I am looking forward to being able to say that I have stayed at every single US Disney resort after this stay although AKV has never been one of those I desired to stay at, seeing the animals will be great for the kids!

Quick question, if you stayed there again, would you stay @ Jambo or Kidani? We are booked @ Jambo (I like the action of the main lobby) after a bit of research and opinions. We will have a car which may make a difference. Just wanted to know what you thought of the "commute" between the 2 areas.

This will be my first trip since staying @ BLT and I hope I am pleasantly surprised by AKV!

Tara
03-25-2010, 12:21 PM
Hey Tara,
Quick question, if you stayed there again, would you stay @ Jambo or Kidani? We are booked @ Jambo (I like the action of the main lobby) after a bit of research and opinions. We will have a car which may make a difference. Just wanted to know what you thought of the "commute" between the 2 areas.

This will be my first trip since staying @ BLT and I hope I am pleasantly surprised by AKV!

I'm not really sure. I enjoyed the extra bathroom at Kidani (I could be wrong, but I think this feature is only at Kidani, not at Jambo) and the pool area seemed a lot more cohesive and attractive than the pool area at Jambo. The parking was awesome. I don't know if having a car would make the commute that much easier - you would then have to go to the car, drive, and find parking - probably not much of an advantage unless it was raining and you were valet parked at Jambo and valeted at Kidani or parked under the building.

The nice thing about Kidani is that you can hop on any bus (except the Downtown Disney bus) and it will then stop at Jambo before going to its park destination. There is no such advantage at Jambo for getting to Kidani.

There's also a van that shuttles people from one resort to the other.

At Jambo you have MUCH better access to dining and the resort shop selection of everything from gifts to food items is far and away better.

thelionqueen
03-25-2010, 04:01 PM
Thanks for the information! I will probably second guess myself a billion times before we check in, but I'll stick with Jambo. The extra bathroom we had @ BLT was nice but definitely under-utilized so I don't think the extra bathroom would make a huge difference to us (although I say that now :lmao:).

I'm just thinking that Kidani looks so spread out, and, depending where your room is could be really far off the beaten path. I personally like a bit more action and involvement which is why I chose Jambo. I guess I'll try it and see.

Thanks again for your reply!