Back from AKV Kidani (early) *Updated with Videos page 3*

Discussion in 'DVC-Mousecellaneous' started by ShuisFan584, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    Our trip to Kidani was scheduled from Thursday May 28 - Friday June 5. We stayed at a 2 bedroom villa with a savanna view. I'm always excited about Disney trips, but I think I was most excited about this one for many reasons. First of all, it was our last family trip before I get married. My sister and I haven't been on vacation with our parents in years, so we were excited to go with them along with my fiance and her boyfriend. It was also my first trip being a DVC member (my parents have been members for a few years, but I just joined a few months ago), and my first trip was to my home resort! I've also been looking forward to getting away from the stresses of real life...just like everyone else. I've been so busy with wedding planning, work, and studying for actuarial exams and feel like I never get a break. I also lost my first grandparent a couple months ago and I'm still having a hard time with that since I was really close to my grandfather. Only about 2 weeks after he passed away, we found out that my other grandfather's cancer was back. These two things have put me and my family a bit down in the dumps recently and we were so excited to go to Disney for 9 days since Disney is such a great place to lift our spirits.

    We arrived Thursday the 28th in morning and weren't supposed to leave until Friday June 5 at night. On Friday the 29th, my parents and I were up early in the morning. Around 7:30am, my aunt called my dad. My heart stopped because I knew she wasn't calling that early in the morning just to chat. Sure enough, she was calling to let us know that my grandfather had passed away during the night. We were all devastated. Obviously, they couldn't put off the wake and funeral for another week, but at this point, why would we want to stay on vacation? Since we were already there, we figured we would have to make the best of it. The wake/funeral were scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, so we ended up cutting our vacation in half and instead of staying until Friday, we stayed until Monday. So we tried to make the best of our long weekend.

    I would like to say that Disney, DVC and JetBlue were very helpful and understanding with all the changes we had to make. JetBlue was able to change our flights from Friday night to Tuesday morning with just a couple days notice. Normally they charge $100 per person fee for changing flights. We're not sure if they charged us yet, but if they don't, we definitely know we'll continue to utilize their services in the future. DVC was very understanding and instead of my points being forfeited or put into a holding account, they were able to give me all of my points back for the nights we lost which can still be banked. We were also able to easily change the Magical Express service, upgrade my sister and her boyfriend's passes to annual passes, and get a refund for the last 4 days on my parents passes. So I would like to thank Disney and JetBlue for being so understanding and helpful for having to make all of these last minute changes.

    Ok, now I'm going to try to make this post a little more happy and talk about the good things we experienced at Kidani. Like I said, even though it wasn't exactly our dream vacation and was very short (4 and a half days), we still managed to have somewhat of a good time.

    We stayed in room 7238 which was on the second floor (second floor is the same floor as the lobby). We arrived pretty early (around 11:30am). Everytime we've stayed at a DVC resort, we've always arrived before noon and our room was always ready. Our room ended up not being ready until about 3pm or so. I know our room doesn't have to be ready until 4pm, so I can't blame them for that, but I guess we've just been spoiled the last few times being able to get into our room right away.

    I have to say that once we checked in, we absolutely LOVED our room! Even my mom, who wasn't sure if she'd like it because of the dark theming, thought the villa was "adorable." I've stayed at OKW, SSR, and BWV so far, and I can definitely say that Kidani is my favorite so far. The villa was huge, the theming of everything looks even better in person than from pictures, and I loved the fact that we had 3 bathrooms. This was so helpful considering we had 6 people so there were 2 people to each bathroom.

    The deck was also bigger than the 2br's I've stayed at in SSR and OKW. We all loved sitting out first thing in the morning or late at night to watch all the animals. During our 4 and a half day stay, we saw tons of animals. You never knew which animals would be out there next. I definitely believe the extra points towards the savanna view are worth it and that everyone should experience it at least once! It was disappointing when we came home and stepped out onto our deck and there were no animals to see.

    The pool was amazing! It's definitely smaller than a lot of other pools on Disney property, but the slide is what makes it so great. It's definitely the longest and fastest slide I've been on at any resort. This was our shortest Disney trip we've ever taken, but we spent more time at the pool on this trip than any other. I don't think I'd be able to count how many times me, my mother, sister, and her boyfriend went down that slide. It's definitely not just for kids. We saw so many other adults constantly going down it just like us. It was so much fun. *Edited to add that the pool is open 24 hours a day! I never realized any of the pools were like this. The pool slide closed at 10pm and the lifeguards left at 10pm. But they make a big announcement that they are leaving and that swimming is at your discretion. They also let everyone know where the phones are to dial 911 in case of emergency.

    Refillable mugs can be refilled at 3 places: the Mara over at Jambo, Johari Treasures (gift shop in Kidani lobby), and the pool bar at Kidani. The pool bar only had sodas, and the gift shop had sodas and coffee. I thought I remember other resorts having more options, such as hot chocolate, but I could be wrong. But it was nice having multiple places to refill our mugs.

    The busses as with any resorts were hit or miss. We had some days where we watched every bus go by before the one we were waiting for, and other days when our bus was right there when we got there. Our first day we were headed to Hollywood Studios. We saw one MK, one AK, two Epcot, and two DTD come before Hollywood Studios came. We also had to wait for the second bus twice at MK since the line was so long, but these were on EMH nights and practically every resorts bus line was long. Other than that, for the most part we didn't wait much more than 10 minutes for a bus. My parents actually had to sit on a bus one day listening to one woman complain the whole ride about how she will "never, never, never, never, never, NEVER, stay at AKL" again. She just kept complaining about the busses and how they've been bad "ever since they added that new Kidani building." Oh well, that's one less person I have to worry about booking before me at my resort.

    I've also never stayed at Jambo house, so I can't really compare staying at Kidani to Jambo.

    Overall, we all thought Kidani was amazing! It's definitely my favorite resort and I hope that next time I go, it will be under different circumstances. I would have liked to try this vacation again with the same 6 people, but my parents said they won't be going again this year because they're too busy with other things. My sister, her boyfriend, my fiance and I are hoping to use my developer points (which I was originally using towards Williamsburg) to go again in late August so we can try to do a full 8-9 nights this time. Unfortunately they can't be used towards Kidani, but we wouldn't mind staying at SSR and we're hoping it's not all booked up!

    I'll be posting pictures in another post below this one since this one is already long enough. My dad also took some videos of the room, going down the slide, etc. I'm sure people have already seen these videos, but if not, I can get those from him and post those later.

    If anyone has any questions, I'll try my best to answer!
     
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  3. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    Pictures (sorry the room pictures were taken AFTER we had already made our mess :rotfl:):

    Resort exterior:
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    Walkway to the pool:
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    The pool:
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    The room:
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    Living Room/Kitchen:
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    Bathroom off of the kitchen:
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  4. ekball

    ekball DIS Veteran

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    So very sorry to hear about your grandfather. :hug: What a tough time for your family. I'm happy to read that you were able to be together and enjoy what you could of your vacation. It's important to celebrate the happy times together as a family when you can, and I'm sure Grandpa would have been happy that you all were together.

    Thank you for your review of Kidani. We were there for opening weekend and I couldn't agree more with your views. We are in love :love: with our home resort too. It's great to read more positive reviews like yours.
     
  5. TINKERIFIC

    TINKERIFIC HOUSEHOLD CEO

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    I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather. That is just awful. I am 34 years young and still have both sets of grandparents. It will hit me hard when my day comes.

    On a more positive note, I think the way DVC, Disney and Jet Blue handled the situation was A-W-E-S-O-M-E!! Kudos to you!

    Question - Was your 2bdrm a lock off or dedicated? Close to the pool? I am looking for ideas of room numbers to request. I want a 2bdrm l/o close to pool...SV.
     
  6. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    Master Bedroom:
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    Master Bathroom:
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    Second bedroom:
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    Mickey in the bedspread:
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    Mickey in the carpet:
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    Second bedroom's bathroom:
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    The deck:
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  7. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    Some of the animals:
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  8. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    Wow, definitely consider yourself lucky! I always felt very lucky to have all of my grandparents up until the age of 25, since I know most people don't have them all around for that much of their life. I definitely think it was harder dealing with it at this age since I never dealt with it when I was younger. I took my first grandfather's death very badly. I just pray that both of my grandmother's are around for a very long time because dealing with the death of both of my grandfather's in such a short time frame has been way too much for me to deal with.

    As for your questions, our 2 bedroom was a dedicated 2 bedroom. Here is a map of where our room was (circled in red):
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    I don't know why it came out so small, but hopefully you can see how far it was from the pool. Even though it was one of the farther rooms from the pool, the walk to the pool was a lot shorter than I thought it would be!
     
  9. Mom2BCCC

    Mom2BCCC Mouseketeer

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    So sorry about your Grandfather. I'm glad you were treated well by DVC and JetBlue.

    Thanks for the report and pictures. My family of 6 will be in a 2 BR in April 2010. I wish it were sooner!
     
  10. "Got Disney"

    "Got Disney" <font color=blue>They’re like Lays chips...just ca

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    First let me tell you that I am sorry to hear about your loss:hug: :flower3:

    Your pictures are really great. It makes me wanna stay there. By the way are the pictures of the animals from your balcony, or were you walking around??? I like to stay at the BCV because my one son(12) and I always close Epcot and can walk back....DH and my other son(15) like to head in earlier.

    We are yet to stay even at SSR our home. We have thought about breaking up our days at the resorts so to stay at more. This looks like it would be very nice.

    Thanks for sharing and again....sorry about your loss.
     
  11. jakenjess

    jakenjess DIS Veteran

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    I'm so sorry about your grandfather.:grouphug: I know I took it very hard when my grandfather passed away also. Grandparents definitely hold a special place in our hearts.:flower3:

    Thank you for sharing the wonderful pictures and the review.

    Best,
     
  12. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    [QUOTE="Got Disney";32130125]
    Your pictures are really great. It makes me wanna stay there. By the way are the pictures of the animals from your balcony, or were you walking around??? I like to stay at the BCV because my one son(12) and I always close Epcot and can walk back....DH and my other son(15) like to head in earlier.[/QUOTE]

    The pictures of the animals are from the balcony and from the viewing deck outside the main lobby. I actually don't think I took that many pictures from our deck. But there were always animals out there. I think one morning we didn't see anything, but any other time we went outside, there were always a few animals outside.

    I know one day while I was out at the parks but my parents were back at the room, my mom had called me because she was so excited at how many animals were outside the room. I think my dad might have taken some videos from the deck, so I'll have to see if I can find them.
     
  13. ltms

    ltms Earning My Ears

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    Do you know what floors/buildings have the 1 bedroom villas?
    Would you have preferrered a higher floor for the view?
    thanks
     
  14. ltms

    ltms Earning My Ears

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    Also, do you think that there is a way to fit the sleeper chair in the living area through the bedroom door?
     
  15. ShuisFan584

    ShuisFan584 <font color=red>Bowler & <font color=blue>Softball

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    I don't know the answer to your first question, but I'm sure that there must be maps floating around somewhere that show where all the studios/1 br/2 br/grand villas are located. I know I've seen them before for other resorts.

    We're actually glad we got the second floor. The second floor is the lowest floor (so it's still above ground level) and the fifth is the highest. We had a very nice view from the second floor and I felt like we were much closer to the animals being on a lower floor.
     
  16. rascalmom

    rascalmom <font color=purple>Business trips should include a

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    I'm so very sorry for your loss - I lost my grandmother this past December, and my grandfather is now 91....so I know how hard this must be for you!

    :hug:

    Your pictures are wonderful - thanks for sharing.
     
  17. ead79

    ead79 <font color=#FF0066>Disney Bride!<br><font color=v

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    I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for your loss. :hug:

    I hope it works out that your family is able to head down to the World together again!
     
  18. Dreamfinder2

    Dreamfinder2 DIS Veteran

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    I, too, am so sorry about your loss! My mother-in-law died while we were doing an overnighter in New Orleans for our anniversary, and it was especially poignant. Bless you!

    But, on a much happier note, we're big Kidani fans now, too. It rained like the dickens the whole time we were there, so it's nice to see some photos of the savannah when there wasn' a monsoon.


    That sleeper chair is so heavy, I couldn't even drag it by myself. I don't think there is enough room in the bedroom to put it anywhere. :confused3
     
  19. ltms

    ltms Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for the reply. It just looks like it would fit on the opposite side of the bed by the window.
     
  20. TINKERIFIC

    TINKERIFIC HOUSEHOLD CEO

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    Another question - dedicated vs lockoff

    I have heard the dedicated 2nd bedroom does not have the kitchette, true? Also, does the 2nd bedroom have a DVD player? Outside of the 2 beds vs bed/sofa combo, I am trying to figure out the difference between a lockoff 2nd bedroom and dedicated.
     
  21. JasonDVC

    JasonDVC DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the great pics of our home resort

    We have a 2 bedroom from April 17-23, 2010. Can't wait!
     

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