13 glorious days at Christmas - Kidani & Jambo Club Level

Discussion in 'DVC Trip Reports' started by momof2disprincesses, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    They're just all over the Lion King rooms area. I wouldn't say they are a playground, but the elephant jungle part you could easily sit on (like my DD did for a photo). Most of the others I think are just intended to be big icons, like Pop Century has, making a great photo op!!
     
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  3. kirstenb1

    kirstenb1 DIS Veteran

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    I'm in!! You took some amazing photos!! Thanks especially for the new Fantasyland ones. We're staying at Kidani this summer. I don't think we'll ever have enough points for concierge, so I'll have to live that part through your trip!!
     
  4. Luv2trav

    Luv2trav DIS Veteran

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    I'm in.... We just reserved AKV Concierge for next Dec too... Can't wait to see you pictures and reviews..
     
  5. rmcildw2m

    rmcildw2m DIS Veteran

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    these are some awesome pics can't wait to se more.
     
  6. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    Thanks so much for the kind words and encouraging comments! :goodvibes

    Christmas 2011, my family got me a camera for Christmas. Prior to that, I have NEVER owned my own camera! When I married my husband, he had one and then when his got outdated, we'd buy our girls cameras and I just never had one of my own. So now my family says I'm "dangerous" with my own camera because I always want to take pictures. So, as you can see, I'm making full use of my 2011 Christmas gift. :)

    Alright, the time has come to check into Kidani! AKV is our home resort. We bought it sight unseen on a Disney Cruise in 2008. WOW! Did we make a good choice. We absolutely love both Kidani and Jambo House. Being at AKV is literally my favorite place on earth and I always seem to be in my bliss when there.

    We checked in and my DH got his birthday button. We were celebrating his 50th birthday, which was actually in Nov. but always fun to celebrate a birthday at WDW! :yay:

    We had the first room off the lobby on the 2nd floor. It literally could not have been closer to the lobby! This was mostly good. It was nice for when you need to go to the lobby or community room but it was a little on the noisy side because literally outside our balcony was the circle where cars and trucks do short term parking. The view from our balcony was also not great, but it was nice being so close to the lobby.

    We had a 1 bedroom standard view.

    Here is our first view of the room. As you can see, Perry snuck in before we did.

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    Another angle

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    The second bathroom

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    A sweet surprise for DH's birthday

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    A closer up version (you can see one of my DD's sampled them ;))

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    We also found this in the fridge! YUMMY!!!

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    Another view of the living/dining room

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    The Master bedroom!! You can sort of see our "view" of the front of the hotel from our balcony.

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    The Master bath. I would LOVE to have a bathroom like this in my home!!! :love:

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    More Master bath (sorry, bad pic!)

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    And even more Master bath

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    Can you tolerate even one more of the Master bath?!
    Both DD16 and I did enjoy soaking baths in here. HEAVEN!!!

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    Okay seriously, last one!

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    Washer & dryer (obviously)

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    I just love the table legs!

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    And I love the Disney details!

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  7. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    Towel art

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    And of course you saw this in the last post

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    Our little Disney Christmas! We checked into this villa on Sat. Dec. 22 and checked out of this room on Thurs. Dec. 27, so we did indeed have our Christmas Eve and Day in this room. So we brought a little tree and all of our gifts. Perry was an early gift to DD16, so he wanted to be included.

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    Later that night as we headed out for dinner, this is who was in the lobby by Santa's chair & the tree. No waiting, so of course I said "let's take some pictures!"

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    Coming up next...SNOW in Celebration, FL! AND No, it wasn't in the middle of an orange grove (story to follow).
     
  8. lilpooh108

    lilpooh108 DIS Veteran

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    Great pics!
     
  9. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    After we got all settled in at Kidani, we decided to go see it snow in Celebration, FL. In my 30 trips to WDW, I've always wanted to visit Celebration, FL - known as a town developed by the Disney folks. I had heard it was a neat place to see, so two years ago when we were at Disney for Christmas, we planned to go to church on Christmas Eve and then go watch it snow in downtown Celebration.

    However, on that trip 2 years ago, we put Celebration Hotel into our GPS and we began to drive. We drove around in places around Orlando we'd never been to before and suddenly found ourselves on a pretty desolate road. It was pitch dark and it was starting to get a little scary. When we could see, we realized we were driving down a dirt road surrounded by orange groves. No lights, no homes, no nothing in sight. Soon, our GPS said "go straight ahead and GO OFF ROAD." It was then we knew for sure, we were not headed for Celebration. So our family joke about Celebration since then has been that if you try to head there, the GPS will take you "off road to be mugged or killed!" :scared1::scared1:

    So because of this, it took my family 2 years to "get over that" and want to try a visit to Celebration again.

    So we had a very nice dinner at the bistro inside the Melia Hotel in Celebration. We had eaten there once before (its on the outskirts of Celebration, you can see it from Hwy. 192). I had a restaurant.com gift certificate for this place and once again, the food didn't disappoint. Sorry, I don't have any photos of this meal.

    After dinner, we put the Celebration Hotel into our GPS once again and prayed. :thumbsup2 This time, based on the traffic going the same direction we were going :drive: it was obvious we were headed in the right direction this time. Let me tell you, Celebration was CROWDED!

    It literally took about 30+ minutes to drive from the Melia to the downtown area of Celebration and then another 10 minutes or so to find a place to park. Now, normally this would probably be a 2-5 minute endeavor all told.

    So, apparently we were NOT the only ones who knew of this wonderful town and their nightly "snow" downtown.

    Once we parked and began strolling around, we were impressed! Let me just suffice it to say, it is now my goal to someday LIVE in Celebration, FL. Most beautiful town I've been to! In fact, DD20 and I went back a few days after Christmas and just drove around town during the day. Oh yeah, I wanna live here! :cool1:

    So, here are the photos from our wonderful night in Celebration.

    DD's by the lake

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    The girls and I by the Celebration Town Christmas Tree

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    Town Center (where the snow falls)

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    They even had ice skating available. To me as a WI girl, "ice skating" on plastic seems odd, but the kids doing it seemed to be enjoying it. Plus, there was a long line to do it!

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    It's SNOWING!!

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    My girls by the fountain

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    Other activities included a train ride through town (LONG line for this)

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    Horse & carriage rides

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    They even had carolers wandering around

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    We also got ice cream from this adorable shop downtown (sorry no pics). AND then we wandered into the Celebration Hotel (it DOES exist GPS!). Gorgeous place!

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    Then we left. Overall, we spent 2 very pleasant hours at this event and enjoyed it very much. This will certainly be part of our Disney Christmas traditions in the future!

    Up next - Hollywood Studios and the Osborne Family Lights!!
     
  10. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    We spent Christmas Eve day at Hollywood Studios and had such a great day!

    We headed to the park right at opening time. DD20 and DH headed straight to TOT. Neither DD16 nor I wanted to ride it this time, so we said we'd get FP's for TSM. It was our intent to ride Toy Story Mania after getting the FP's, but the line was already getting long and when we turned around and saw these guys in the window and NO ONE waiting to get a photo with them, we decided we would.

    Woody & Buzz...no waiting

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    Then, my lovely DD indulged me as I said let's just wander around and take some more photos while everyone else is scampering to get on rides, so we did. It was ideal! We wandered and took photos with virtually no one anywhere near us. When we did see others, we'd ask them to get a photo of the 2 of us and we'd do the same for their group. Here's the result:

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    Then we met up with DD20 and DH and used our FP's for TSM. We did a few other things too and then wound up in the Animation Building and saw Mickey! Since I was able to convince my girls to wear our "dorky matching shirts" that morning (I think they were just being nice because it was Christmas Eve), we HAD TO GO SEE MICKEY! :thumbsup2

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    He LOVED our shirts!! :love:

    Then DD16 and DH headed off to see the Voyage of the Little Mermaid and DD20 and I got in line for Wreck It Ralph. While in college, DD20 lives with a family friend (actually the family of my old college roommate) and she had just seen Wreck It Ralph with their youngest DD and loved it.

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    Up next, lunch at 50's PTC!
     
  11. DVC'96

    DVC'96 Mouseketeer

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    Looks like you all had a great time! We did Christmas at WDW several years ago and I would love to do it again now that my kids are older.
     
  12. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    We had our Christmas Eve lunch at 50's PTC. This is one of our all-time favorite Disney restaurants. Our server was super fun and we had a wonderful lunch!

    We started out by sharing onion rings. This is new how they serve them.

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    Then we got 2 of Mom's favorites to share among the 4 of us.

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    Our server thought DD16 might make a mess, so she got a bib! :rotfl:

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    DD20 and DH decided to decorate the napkin for Christmas

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    DH got a cupcake to celebrate his 50th birthday!

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    And one of my favorite desserts - the Boston cream parfait. It was delish!!

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    Up next, we went back to AKV and took some animal photos
     
  13. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    After lunch, we decided to head back to Kidani for a little nap and down time. We had a good intention to then go to church at a local church we've been to when in Orlando before and then head back to HS after church for dinner and Osborne Lights.

    We did all of that except for the church part. We all napped a little longer than we planned. Sorry God!

    On the way back to the room, I stopped at the main savanna area to take some animal photos.

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    Up next, back to Hollywood Studios - Osborne Lights and dinner at Mama Melrose
     
  14. mom of princessx2

    mom of princessx2 DIS Veteran

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    I should be cleaning but I am hooked! Can not wait to hear more of your report.

    Looks like you had an amazing trip and the pictures are quite enjoyable. You are true Wisconsin folks wearing shorts when it is 60 degrees!
     
  15. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    Sorry to keep you from your cleaning! Glad you're enjoying the report. Like others who do trip reports I'm sure, it is so fun to re-live the trip.

    My DH says he will not wear pants in FL! :cool1: To us, 60 is summer-ish...especially in winter! :goodvibes
     
  16. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    For me personally, Christmas Eve night was one of the best nights I've ever experienced at Disney. It was just truly magical!

    After we were rested up, we headed back to Hollywood Studios and discovered a holiday show called "The Comedy Warehouse Holiday Special". This was performed in what I've been told is the former Hunchback of Notre Dame Theater - next to the meet and greets for Cars characters and Phineas & Ferb.

    This was an improv show put on by the former cast members of Pleasure Island's Comedy Warehouse. According to one cast member we spoke to, they added this for the busy week between Christmas and New Years to give the big crowds another place to be and something additional to experience.

    I saw a rumor on the internet that they are thinking of doing this more at HS during busy times like Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.

    I for one, am all for it! The show was hilarious!!!! It was a family-friendly improv where they talk to folks in the audience and make up skits. Very similar to the TV show "Whose Line Is It Anyway."

    The theater was about 3/4 full, so others knew about it. We only found out about it because when DD16 and I were wandering around taking photos that morning, we saw the sign by the theater and asked a CM about it. So glad we were able to see this funny show! :rotfl2:

    Before we had left that morning, we had grabbed another set of FP's for TSM and rode that again. My DH is very competitive with this attraction and won among the 4 of us again. One of these days, I too am going to win a cat!

    So after the show and ride, we wandered around looking at the Osborne Lights. I just love this at Christmastime!! The crowds were heavy, but certainly not unbearable at all. We hung around watching and taking video and pictures for quite awhile (probably more than an hour). My family even left for awhile to ride Star Tours and I stayed and watched even longer.

    We had the CM with the photopass CM take this photo of all of us. It's one of my favorites from this trip.

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    As you can see, DH actually wore pants! These were the clothes we brought to wear to church and since we didn't go, we all wore them in honor of Christmas Eve. So he DOES wear pants at WDW...although not often.

    My lovely DD's!

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    The black cat! For those of you who don't know, they always "hide" this black cat amongst the Christmas lights. Apparently it has something to do with them setting up the lights around Halloween and so there was one "Halloween" decoration amidst all the Christmas ones. Regardless of how the story really goes, we always make it a contest to see who can find it first. We were very competitive about it. DD16 even "cheated" and asked a CM who did guide her in the right direction, but DH found it first!! That meant he got to pick dessert at dinner.

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    You can sort of see the crowd level in this photo

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    See the hidden Mickey inside the tree?

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    LOTS more Osborne lights and Christmas Eve dinner at Mama Melrose to come!
     
  17. codysmom1990

    codysmom1990 Mouseketeer

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    Awesome, thanks for sharing!!!
     
  18. wrighter

    wrighter DIS Veteran

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    We are hoping to stay in a 1 bd standard view at Kidani this Christmas/New Years, and I am loving your TR. You and your family look like you truly enjoy your time together!

    Can't wait to see and read more!
     
  19. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    It is so fun to re-live the trip! It truly was one of our best!! :)
     
  20. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    We just love Kidani! I'm sure you will have an amazing time this coming Christmas/New Years!

    We really did have a great time. It was a little bittersweet knowing that we had our DD20 for 2 full weeks but then also knowing at the end of the trip we'd be saying good-bye to her for 4 months (she's studying abroad in India this semester and left from Orlando on the last day of our trip).

    This is only the 2nd time I've done a trip report, but I felt this one was so great, it deserved sharing! :goodvibes
     
  21. momof2disprincesses

    momof2disprincesses I love my INCREDIBLE family!!!

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    Back to the TR. Here are some more photos from the beautiful Osborne Lights at HS.

    A tribute to the Osborne family - their stockings each hung by the fireplace! If you look very closely, you can see their names on their stockings.

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    Now onto our Christmas Eve dinner at Mama Melrose. We had never eaten here before. it was a truly lovely way to spend our Christmas Eve. We had a really great server and we never felt rushed. It was a very enjoyable dining experience!

    DD20's entree
    Chicken Campanelle - wood-grilled chicken over Campanelle pasta tossed with four-cheese sauce with broccoflower, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh spinach and sweet onions $18.99

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    DD16 and I both got the same thing
    Oven-baked Chicken alla Parmigiana - with marinara sauce topped with melted mozzarella over spaghetti $17.99

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    DH got this
    Four-Cheese Flatbread - with Asiago, Mozzarella, Provolone, Pecorino Romano $12.99; add pepperoni $1.00

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    Bread

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    And even though DH won the "find the cat" contest and should have been able to pick our dessert, none of us had room for it.

    Overall, Christmas Eve day was a really nice family day! It was great to have the 4 of us together and have such a relaxing & fun day with good food!

    Up next - Christmas Day at an almost empty Blizzard Beach!
     

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