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Old 07-23-2014, 10:14 AM   #1
disprincess2213
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Help me understand Animal Kingdom Lodge/Kidani

LOoking to book a room but im having the hardest time understanding thre resort....

What are the zebra trails?
Which savanna is best with the most animals?
If you book a Savanna or Arusha view room, are you guarenteed to see animals?
Where is the kidani village in comarison to Jambo house?
Are any of the Arusha views blocked by the lobby?
Has anyone who has ever stayed here who booked a arusha/savannah view been completely let down with the animals they saw?

We are looking for a room with the best view of the most animals for the longest periods of time. What room should we book for best animals and unobstructed views? Any dedicated websites for AKL?
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:54 AM   #2
AineDeBruggh
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I can try and clear up a bit, since I stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge last year.

Zebra Trails is the name of one of the "arms" of the hotel (for lack of a better word to describe it). It refers to a part of the building, as it is very large and long (in a sort of semi-circle shape).

I can't tell you which savanna is best, sorry. I know that I stayed in a value-level (non-savanna view) room in the zebra trails section of the hotel and still saw animals on my stay there but we were on the very end of the savanna and there weren't always animals right outside our windows.

If you book a savanna room, you are guaranteed to have a room that faces the savanna. I don't think the hotel can guarantee that you will see animals. The animals go wherever they like (they walk around freely). It's highly unlikely that you'd miss out though as the savanna itself is cleverly designed for maximum viewing potential, and the animal keepers do a great job of laying out the food in such a way that the animals are generally very visible. Keep in mind that even if you can't see a specific kind of animal outside your window you are free to walk around the resort and view them from the hallways, paths and lookout areas. I saw lots of giraffes, zebras and urdu as well as several kinds of large birds. We saw the animals more often in the mornings where our room was situated, but sometimes in the evenings too.

I'm not familiar with the Arusha views. I assume that they are the Kidani equivalent to the savanna view rooms.

Kidani is the "other half" of the Animal Kindgom Lodge. The two "branches" are both semi-circular in shape (bowing away from each other like two crescent moons back-to-back) and are connected by a path. Each has it's own pool area, gift shop etc. You are free to use the facilities at either "branch" if you are a guest at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

I've not stayed in the Kidani side so I'm not sure if blocked views are a problem.

I did not specifically reserve a savanna view room, but was still mightily impressed by the amount of animals that we saw from our room. I don't see how anyone could rightly feel "let down" by the ability to see the animals with so little effort. As I mentioned above, even if you aren't able to see any out of your window/balcony you can take a quick walk down the path or even through some of the internal hallways where they have big picture windows and see them from there.

I understand that this resort is on the expensive end, but in my honest opinion it is worth the extra money for the experience of staying there. There is a lot more of an exotic feeling at this location (as if you have been transplanted to a different continent), with the general decor both inside and out, the super-friendly staff, great food (both comfort foods and adventurous) and plenty of opportunity to learn something new about other cultures (don't tell your kids if you have any!). The animals are what prompted me to go there originally, but I'd go back in a heartbeat even if the savanna wasn't there.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:48 PM   #3
chalee94
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Quote:
What are the zebra trails?
there are maps at the bottom of this page that show the zebra trail section:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=40480616

Quote:
Where is the kidani village in comarison to Jambo house?


Quote:
Which savanna is best with the most animals?
If you book a Savanna or Arusha view room, are you guarenteed to see animals?
Are any of the Arusha views blocked by the lobby?
Has anyone who has ever stayed here who booked a arusha/savannah view been completely let down with the animals they saw?
of course there is disappointment from time to time. animals (and the weather) are not completely predictable. arusha savanna is the best bet. most people are happy with their stays here. (i have enjoyed both of my stays and love the theming and restaurants here.)

Quote:
Any dedicated websites for AKL?
i like this one:

http://www.aklresort.com/

but there is plenty of info on the DVC boards and resort forum if you look for it...
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #4
mevelandry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disprincess2213 View Post
LOoking to book a room but im having the hardest time understanding thre resort....

What are the zebra trails?
Which savanna is best with the most animals?
If you book a Savanna or Arusha view room, are you guarenteed to see animals?
Where is the kidani village in comarison to Jambo house?
Are any of the Arusha views blocked by the lobby?
Has anyone who has ever stayed here who booked a arusha/savannah view been completely let down with the animals they saw?

We are looking for a room with the best view of the most animals for the longest periods of time. What room should we book for best animals and unobstructed views? Any dedicated websites for AKL?
Arusha view is supposed to be the best view you can get (it's the most expensive as well) but, they cannot promise you'll see animals (they are free to go wherever they want).

We haven't been disappointed. Being Arusha view during our stay in AKL, at 11 p.m. every night, we had 4-5 giraffes eating right in front of our balcony. Magical? YES. But during the day, it was more quiet. The best views were in the morning and at night.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:28 PM   #5
Anthony1971
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As you can see from the map there are other Savannahs...
BE AWARE they feed the animals and that is what attracts them to a location...
I will make this short I hope.
if you book a savannah view you will have an unobstructed view. If you have another cat. book you may get an obstructed view that could have good animal viewing... like a good number of the rooms on the sunset where the Mickey head is... in the end you only may see a section of the Savannah which makes it obstructed
Arusha is the main Savannah the most animals in general are there around 5or later as that is when they feed them so all the Boma guests see a lot of animals.
Uzima much smaller off to the left side on the map. The animals are there late afternoon as they feed them at that time the payoff here is you will be able to see the EPCOT and MAGIC kingdom fireworks IF you get a room on the one small section opposite the pool. the further to end of the hall the better... also has a great view of Everest form AK.
Sunset is the largest and shared with Kidani village do not know the times the animals are feed and where... but there is far more activity on the Kidani side due to the viewing area.
You will see animals from all however they may be a few birds or a lone??? most of the time... again only at certain times when the animals are feed will you see the most activity ask the guide at main viewing area and you will know when to be in your room. With those expectations there is no better view at Disney even without animals......
Kidani in a nutshell has a smaller main viewing area and less activities and no real QS except the pool bar... However a much better slide at the pool a great child play area and is more peaceful then Jambo house.
I have been to Jambo 5 times and Kidani 2 I prefer Jambo house because of all the activities such as a parade for kids (nothing great but kids like it) story time at the Fire pit and marsh mellow roasts and a lot more. You can easily spend days here...
lastly again make sure your expectations are within reason for seeing animals they are free to go where they want and attracted at other times by food...
The first time I stayed at AKL I was not in love with it but it grew on me after the views of other hotels (lakes, castle or trees) as well as just a completely unique atmosphere.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:32 PM   #6
MakiraMarlena
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1. It's a section of the Jambo House resort.
2. It's subjective.
3. There are animals on the safari. They move around. They live in barns that they go back to sometimes. Most likely you'll see at least a few. They do put out food that makes them wander out where guests can see them. Guaranteed? No.
4. Separate building maybe a quarter mile away.
5. No.
6. Are you intersted in certain animals? Because they do have certain animals on certain savannas. They did say the zebras do not get along with the gazelles, so they are on different savannas. If you are really into seeing zebras from your balcony be sure you are on a savanna that has zebras.

Quote:
We are looking for a room with the best view of the most animals for the longest periods of time. What room should we book for best animals and unobstructed views? Any dedicated websites for AKL?
Again, what do you mean by "best animals?" I don't have any way to know if I say "sure you will see plenty of animals" and you get there and are disappointed that you saw giraffes and antelopes because you wanted to see a zebra. And they are animals, they don't have schedules. They wander around. They'll be out when they are fed, you might be able to find schedules for that.

Last edited by MakiraMarlena; 07-23-2014 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:46 PM   #7
Happy Snowman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalee94 View Post
there are maps at the bottom of this page that show the zebra trail section:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=40480616







of course there is disappointment from time to time. animals (and the weather) are not completely predictable. arusha savanna is the best bet. most people are happy with their stays here. (i have enjoyed both of my stays and love the theming and restaurants here.)



i like this one:

http://www.aklresort.com/

but there is plenty of info on the DVC boards and resort forum if you look for it...
I have been trying to find a map like this--THANKS!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1971 View Post
As you can see from the map there are other Savannahs...
BE AWARE they feed the animals and that is what attracts them to a location...
I will make this short I hope.
if you book a savannah view you will have an unobstructed view. If you have another cat. book you may get an obstructed view that could have good animal viewing... like a good number of the rooms on the sunset where the Mickey head is... in the end you only may see a section of the Savannah which makes it obstructed
Arusha is the main Savannah the most animals in general are there around 5or later as that is when they feed them so all the Boma guests see a lot of animals.
Uzima much smaller off to the left side on the map. The animals are there late afternoon as they feed them at that time the payoff here is you will be able to see the EPCOT and MAGIC kingdom fireworks IF you get a room on the one small section opposite the pool. the further to end of the hall the better... also has a great view of Everest form AK.
Sunset is the largest and shared with Kidani village do not know the times the animals are feed and where... but there is far more activity on the Kidani side due to the viewing area.
You will see animals from all however they may be a few birds or a lone??? most of the time... again only at certain times when the animals are feed will you see the most activity ask the guide at main viewing area and you will know when to be in your room. With those expectations there is no better view at Disney even without animals......
Kidani in a nutshell has a smaller main viewing area and less activities and no real QS except the pool bar... However a much better slide at the pool a great child play area and is more peaceful then Jambo house.
I have been to Jambo 5 times and Kidani 2 I prefer Jambo house because of all the activities such as a parade for kids (nothing great but kids like it) story time at the Fire pit and marsh mellow roasts and a lot more. You can easily spend days here...
lastly again make sure your expectations are within reason for seeing animals they are free to go where they want and attracted at other times by food...
The first time I stayed at AKL I was not in love with it but it grew on me after the views of other hotels (lakes, castle or trees) as well as just a completely unique atmosphere.
Can you clarify where you see the fireworks on that map?

disprincess2213--our last trip 10+ years ago we stayed at AKL. The Kidani Village did not exist. Our room, if you look at the map, was in the far upper right of the Jambo in that "Y" or "1" shaped corner. We saw a LOT of animals, mainly in the morning and evenings. We were disappointed with our location at first but waking up to my coffee on the balcony watching the giraffes eat was a pleasure and we ended up really liking that area. It was more private, quite and we saw animals on 2 Savannahs. I don't think there is a bad place to stay at this resort. Animal viewing is all around, but maybe not "right" from your room if you get a parking lot room.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
disprincess2213
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thank you thank you thank you!! We only have the option to book arusha bunk bed view, or kidani studio villa. Those are the only two available for our times. Which has a better view and more animals?

We were hoping to see giraffes and zebras. Those are the two we would most prefer.

Also, is the transportation time really that bad to and form the MK? I read somewhere it could take 40 minutes once on the bus...does that sound right??
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disprincess2213 View Post
thank you thank you thank you!! We only have the option to book arusha bunk bed view, or kidani studio villa. Those are the only two available for our times. Which has a better view and more animals?

We were hoping to see giraffes and zebras. Those are the two we would most prefer.

Also, is the transportation time really that bad to and form the MK? I read somewhere it could take 40 minutes once on the bus...does that sound right??
I never really paid attention to the travel time because the bus was fun too. Not only do you get to chat with people from all over, you do drive by and through other parks, hotels, etc. and get to see those along the way. We mostly traveled at non-peak times, but not always. Just consider the bus part of the experience because no matter where you stay, you will be 'far" away from somewhere you will be going.
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Old 07-23-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
chalee94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disprincess2213 View Post
thank you thank you thank you!! We only have the option to book arusha bunk bed view, or kidani studio villa. Those are the only two available for our times. Which has a better view and more animals? We were hoping to see giraffes and zebras. Those are the two we would most prefer.
arusha is the safest bet to book.

Quote:
Also, is the transportation time really that bad to and form the MK? I read somewhere it could take 40 minutes once on the bus...does that sound right??
AKL/AKV does "feel" like a long trip to the MK, IMO.

but i would say it's more like 16-20 mins travel time. waiting for the bus might push it to 40 mins, though.

i love AKL but i wouldn't really pick it for a trip that focused on the MK. it is a trade-off...
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