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Old 05-06-2009, 12:30 AM   #1
lugnut33
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Kidani Village Rocked! Our Trip Report

It had been a long time since my wife and I took a vacation by ourselves without the kids (two girls 11&8). I felt like as we headed into our 17th year of being married it was time to reconnect and enjoy a little time to ourselves. Plus, our anniversary and my wife's birthday are 2 weeks apart (tough on the wallet) so I had to do something special.

We bought a loaded DVC contact (Saratoga) last August and made a ressie for the Tree House Villas for Aug. 09. Well, I couldn't wait that long so I had my wife ask if she could get a couple of personal days from work and do a weekend getaway.

She could, so I called Member Services that day (end of Feb.) and made a ressie at Kidani for May 1 (opening day) through May 4. I waitlisted for a Savanna view room and it came through a couple of weeks later. I was amazed I secured a reservation for the grand opening. I was also amazed that I was able to get a plane flight out of O'hare (Chicago) for $189 RT with American, but we had to fly out on April 30 to get the good fare. That meant making a ressie for one night cheap, which ended up being the Radisson in Celebration (that place is plain worn out and beds are like rocks, definitely not recommended). I was also able to rent a Dodge Charger SRX for $10 a day, which is less than the cost of stroller rental at WDW.

Finally the day arrived for us to take off. I picked up my wife right from work and off to O'hare we went. Got to the airport and noticed that our flight was taking off from gate L8, which was appropriate because it was delayed for an hour. No big deal since we had nothing planned. We ended up having a good flight down to Orlando. Once we landed we got the rental car with no wait by using the self-serve kiosk to avoid the large line of people waiting. Got to the worn out Radisson at just after midnight and went directly to sleep on the stone bed.

Up early the next day, stopped at the grocery store to pick up some goodies (wine, beer, sandwich stuff, etc) and headed over to check in. Stopped by the security gate and and got our first "Welcome Home", which brought a smile to my face. Inside AKL there are lots of signs directing one to Kidani Village which we found with no problems (just remember when outside AKL be sure to follow the signs to the Animal Kingdom as that will point you in the right direction for the Lodge).

Driving in you just sort of stumble upon Kidani village because of all the lushness of vegetation and then it's there. However, it's an unassuming building while driving up and I'm pretty sure that is exactly how they wanted it. It just blends in really well with the surroundings. It's not some big collosus that sticks out like a sore thumb... a la Bay Lake Tower. Being unassuming it makes it feel more homey and quaint. I believe "quaint" is the word they used when designing this resort.

There's a small check-in parking lot right in front of the Lobby. The drop-off area is beautifully themed and with all the lamps recessed into the wall. Here we are infront of the lobby:





Much more to come
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