AKL - Kidani or Jambo?

bcwife76

DisneyMomma
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
About to book our first DVC stay this weekend, 1 bed villa at AKL. What are the major differences (if any) between Kidani and Jambo? Is there a reason to choose one over the other? Thanks!
 

dd08

Mouseketeer
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Kidani will have 2 bathroom vs 1 bathroom in Jambo

Depending on the ages of your party Kidani has the better pool (it has a water play area much better suited for Little ones)

Jambo has more dining options (and since we love Boma, we consider it as a “better” dining.). The QS at Jambo is also much better than Kidani

To me those are the biggest differences
 

drusba

I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
If the comfort and size of the room is an important issue with a 1BR then Kidani wins by a large margin. The Kidani 1BR is about 100 sq ft larger than Jambo's (a very noticeable difference), has two bathrooms to Jambo's one, has a larger master bath with a separate tub and shower compared to Jambo's combined tub and shower where the tub has a very high stepover which can be a real entry issue for any older person with any knee issues, and Kidani has more closet space.

Jambo has the larger lobby and much larger store. It has three good restaurants: Jiko, an expensive but very good table service, Boma, one of the best buffets on site, and Mara, a counter service with lots of seating including some outside in the shade. Kidani has only one restaurant, Sanaa, a very good table service. Jambo's pool is also larger and has far more places to find shade, but Kidani has the much longer slide and a kid's water play area (for anyone 2 to about 12) that can't be beat. It also has more tables and seats under the roof in the bar area than Jambo has. If you have a car, Jambo's lot is across the street from its front entrance, meaning a likely long walk to your room while Kidani has under-building parking almost throughout the building and with three elevators along each of the two wings, you can usually get a parking space close to your room.

A major difference is building length and walk from lobby or bus station to room. Jambo's two wings are very long and provide quite a walk from an end room to amenities (you may see posts by members emphasizing how excruciatingly long the walks can be at BWV from room to lobby, and Jambo's are longer). However, Jambo has nothing on Kidani which has the longest walk down an internal hallway from end room to lobby or bus station than any hotel in the world (that means on earth not just WDW). The walk from the end of its south wing (closest to Jambo) to the end of its north wing is more than 2/3 mile and from bus station to end room on the north wing is well over 1/3 mile (typically five to six minutes normal adult pace, or eight to nine minutes with little ones in tow -- distance is about the same as it is from the base of World Showcase at Epcot to Germany).

All rooms at Jambo are on the fifth floor (except for club level rooms on the sixth floor that are over the lobby, the only place there is a sixth floor). Jambo has rooms that can overlook any one of three savannas, Uzima (to the right of the buidling), Arusha (in the center), and Sunset (to the left and the largest of all savannas). All three are fine with Arusha being considered by many the best and Sunset a close second. If you have savanna view, you may want to ask for Arusha savanna view there and along Zebra Trail (the right side of the building) which not only has good views but room looks west and thus does not get blinding sun coming in during the morning. Avoid requesting close to lobby or to transportation because savanna view rooms in that area do not have the best views. If you have standard view, be aware that more than half the standard view rooms actually have savanna view (the rest are pool view), with decent views but just not quite as good as savanna view rooms. If you want to try for savanna view there in a standard, request a room along Kudo trail (the left side of the building where the exisiting standard views all have savanna view).

Kidani overlooks two savannas, Sunset to the east of the buidling (over which are more than 80% of all savanna view rooms at Kidani), and Pembe (on the north to northwest side of the building; the front entrance faces west), which many consider not that good including because it has no giraffes or zebras. If you have savanna view, one request made by many is Sunset savanna view (with a high chance of getting it simply because that request includes most savanna view rooms). A second request made by many is for a room close to lobby to avoid the long walks. Avoid that request with savanna view because it is one now having a significant risk of not being met because so many make the request, and if they cannot meet a location request, they just put you in any available room which most often is one near the end of the hallways, far from the lobby. If you want to be close to the pool (on the north wing) and within striking distance of the lobby and bus station, request a room near the Rafiki elevator (down that elevator to ground/parking lot floor provides shortest possible walk from the building to a gate that enters the pool area). If instead, you want to be close to the bus station, and fairly close to the lobby and within striking distance of the pool, request a room near the Timon elevator (on the south wing). Down that elevator to second floor provides a very short walk to a door that leads directly to the bus station. If you do not mind long walks and want the shortest possible walk to Jambo, request close to the Zazu elevator (from the ground floor of that elevator, you have about 1/4 mile walk to Jambo's front door. Another request some like to make is lower floor to give a more direct view of the animals but higher floor gives a good panoramic view and personally either is fine to me.

If you have standard view, most such rooms are not hugely far from the lobby and overlook either the bus station and some parking lots on the south wing or hills and the pool area on the north wing. For view of pool, request room near the Rafiki elevator and high floor. To be near bus station request near the Timon elevator and also request high floor (so you may actually see a little over the bus station). There are some standard rooms at Kidani that actually have savanna view of the Pembe savanna. If you want to try for one of those with standard view, request room near the Pumba elevator. Be aware, however, that getting one of those rooms means you will have very long walks to the lobby and bus station.

If you are in Kidani and want to get to Jambo, you have three options: (a) walk: front entrance to front entrance is about half mile but distance can be up to about 5/6 mile from an end room on the north wing to a 1/4 mile from the Zazu elevator on the south wing; (b) take the shuttle (a mini-van) which runs constantly day and evening between Kidani's front entrance and Jambo's (longest wait is typically no more than 15 minutes); or (c) get a park bus that starts at Kidani (the usual start place) and stops at Jambo; returning from Jambo would be the Disney Springs bus; note you have to be careful there and ask the driver because very often the MK bus, and on more rarer occassion even some others, may run directly from Kidani to the park.
 
Last edited:
  • JB097

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 22, 2018
    We like Kidani because of the splash park and the smaller feel of the resort. Sanaa is also one of my favorite restaurants at Disney
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    Thanks so much everyone!
    If the comfort and size of the room is an important issue with a 1BR then Kidani wins by a large margin. The Kidani 1BR is about 100 sq ft larger than Jambo's (a very noticeable difference), has two bathrooms to Jambo's one, has a larger master bath with a separate tub and shower compared to Jambo's combined tub and shower where the tub has a very high stepover which can be a real entry issue for any older person with any knee issues, and Kidani has more closet space.

    Jambo has the larger lobby and much larger store. It has three good restaurants: Jiko, an expensive but very good table service, Boma, one of the best buffets on site, and Mara, a counter service with lots of seating including some outside in the shade. Kidani has only one restaurant, Sanaa, a very good table service. Jambo's pool is also larger and has far more places to find shade, but Kidani has the much longer slide and a kid's water play area (for anyone 2 to about 12) that can't be beat. It also has more tables and seats under the roof in the bar area than Jambo has. If you have a car, Jambo's lot is across the street from its front entrance, meaning a likely long walk to your room while Kidani has under-building parking almost throughout the building and with three elevators along each of the two wings, you can usually get a parking space close to your room.

    A major difference is building length and walk from lobby or bus station to room. Jambo's two wings are very long and provide quite a walk from an end room to amenities (you may see posts by members emphasizing how excruciatingly long the walks can be at BWV from room to lobby, and Jambo's are longer). However, Jambo has nothing on Kidani which has the longest walk down an internal hallway from end room to lobby or bus station than any hotel in the world (that means on earth not just WDW). The walk from the end of its south wing (closest to Jambo) to the end of its north wing is more than 2/3 mile and from bus station to end room on the north wing is well over 1/3 mile (typically five to six minutes normal adult pace, or eight to nine minutes with little ones in tow -- distance is about the same as it is from the base of World Showcase at Epcot to Germany).

    All rooms at Jambo are on the fifth floor (except for club level rooms on the sixth floor that are over the lobby, the only place there is a sixth floor). Jambo has rooms that can overlook any one of three savannas, Uzima (to the right of the buidling), Arusha (in the center), and Sunset (to the right and the largest of all savannas). All three are fine with Arusha being considered by many the best and Sunset a close second. If you have savanna view, you may want to ask for Arusha savanna view there and along Zebra Trail (the right side of the building) which not only has good views but room looks west and thus does not get blinding sun coming in during the morning. Avoid requesting close to lobby or to transportation because savanna view rooms in that area do not have the best views. If you have standard view, be aware that more than half the standard view rooms actually have savanna a view (the rest pool view), with decent views but just not quite as good as savanna view rooms. If you want to try for savanna view there in a standard, request a room along Kudo trail (the left side of the building where the exisiting standard views all have savanna view).

    Kidani overlooks two savannas, Sunset to the east of the buidling (over which are more than 80% of all savanna view rooms at Kidani), and Pembe (on the north to northwest side of the building; the front entrance faces west), which many consider not that good including because it has no giraffes or zebras. If you have savanna view, one request made by many is Sunset savanna view (with a high chance of getting it simply because that request includes most savanna view rooms). A second request made by many is for a room close to lobby to avoid the long walks. Avoid that request with savanna view because it is one now having a significant risk of not being met because so many make the request, and if they cannot meet a location request, they just put you in any available room which most often is one near the end of the hallways, far from the lobby. If you want to be close to the pool (on the north wing) and within striking distance of the lobby and bus station, request a room near the Rafiki elevator (down that elevator to ground/parking lot floor provides shortest possible walk from the building to a gate that enters the pool area). If instead, you want to be close to the bus station, and faily close to the lobby and within striking distance of the pool, request a room near the Timon elevator (on the south wing). Down that elevator to second floor provides a very short walk to a door that leads directly to the bus station. If you do not mind long walks and want the shortest possible walk to Jambo, request close to the Zazu elevator (from the ground floor of that elevator, you have about 1/4 mile walk to Jambo's front door. Another request some like to make is lower floor to give a more direct view of the animals but higher floor gives a good panoramic view and personally either is fine to me.

    If you have standard view, most such rooms are not hugely far from the lobby and overlook either the bus station and some parking lots on the south wing or hills and the pool area on the north wing. For view of pool, request room near the Rafiki elevator and high floor. To be near bus station request near the Timon elevator and also request high floor (so you may actually see a little over the bus station). There are some standard rooms at Kidani that actually have savanna view of the Pembe savanna. If you want to try for one of those with standard view request room near the Pumba elevator. Be aware, however, that getting one of those rooms means you will have very long walks to the lobby and bus station.

    If you are in Kidani and want to get to Jambo, you have three options: (a) walk: front entrance to front entrance is about half mile but distance can be up to about 5/6 mile from an end room on the north wing to a 1/4 mile from the Zazu elevator on the south wing; (b) take the shuttle (a mini-van) which runs constantly day and evening between Kidani's front entrance and Jambo's (longest wait is typically no more than 15 minutes); or (c) get a park bus that starts at Kidani (the usual start place) and stops at Jambo; returning from Jambo would be the Disney Springs bus; note you have to be careful there and ask the driver because very often the MK bus, and on more rarer occassion even some others, may run directly from Kidani to the park.
    Wowza, thank you so much for such an indepth comparison!!!!
     

    Shellybird

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 28, 2004
    If you choose Kidani, but want to go to Jambo to eat, you can walk along the path — kind of a long-ish stroll. If you prefer not to walk, there is a shuttle van that does nothing except take people back and forth between the two. We found that really helpful! You just stand outside the front entrance and wait, typically only a few minutes. We chose the bigger rooms at Kidani and were happy we had the van option because we don’t rent a car when we go and sometimes we’re very tired from all the walking at the parks.

    Cheers!
    Shellybird
     

    TheGecko

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 20, 2015
    I would go Kidani. It is a more peaceful vibe, bigger rooms, nicer pool. Biggest downside is the lack of dining options but Saana is great for dinner.

    Jambo is very busy at their pool, and lobby area, albeit because there are more things there to do. You can always walk there in about 5 minutes and there is a shuttle.

    Bussing is very good/shared at both resorts with possibly a slight edge to Kidani since they seem to be picked up/dropped off first. I only recall standing once which was at closing time leaving MK.
     

    sndral

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 3, 2008
    Just as an FYI in Dec. this year the shuttle ‘van’ that runs between Jambo and Kidani’s lobbies had grown into a shuttle bus - it’s not as big as the normal buses, but a smallish bus nevertheless :)
     

    Bobb_o

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jul 12, 2015
    I've only stayed at Jambo but I like it because of the grand lobby and I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure you have a much better chance at a "partial" view on a standard studio at Jamb (If there are even any available at Kidani)
     

    bcwife76

    DisneyMomma
    Joined
    Dec 10, 2014
    OP here: Thanks for all the info everyone! Just wanted to come back and report that we booked a 1 bedroom standard view (with a request for Kudo trail) at Jambo for October :) Super excited!!!
     

    jamiecarr@dvcstore

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 25, 2017
    I have stayed at both and personally like Jambo better. I like the smaller resort feel, with everything seeming closer. With that said, both are great and since you can walk back and forth between buildings or take a bus, being able to use the amenities at both, really makes you feel like you are not missing out either way. One of the biggest reasons I like AK so much overall. Have a great trip!
     

    famgel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2005
    Looking for a villa layout map for Kidani Village by floor? I’ve been searching but no luck! Ty!
     

    Deb & Bill

    DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention
    Joined
    Mar 20, 2000
    The standalone shower in the Kidani one bedroom is the reason I'd book there instead of Jambo. And the master bathroom is in the bedroom, not across a hallway like at Jambo House. JH is all converted hotel rooms. KV is all new construction.
     

    drusba

    I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
    Joined
    Aug 19, 1999
    Looking for a villa layout map for Kidani Village by floor? I’ve been searching but no luck! Ty!
    The closest anything comes to an available map by floor is the one you will find on this site http://www.wdwinfo.com/maps/Kindani_Village_Map.jpg It gives you the range of room numbers per building pod. There was long ago a thread that showed each pod and floor as it was being declared into the resort with photos but the photos disappeared from that thread when the site did an update making it of little to no value. If you are wondering where the the dedicated and lock-off two bedrooms are, which make up all the rooms except the Grand Villas, they run throughout the building generally together on each floor and pod.
     

    Wakey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Dec 22, 2015
    Drusba I was very disappointed in the lack of detail in your lacklustre reply lol.
    Good job.
    I didn't know Kidani had the longest internal hotel coridor in the world either.
     

    famgel

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 13, 2005
    The closest anything comes to an available map by floor is the one you will find on this site http://www.wdwinfo.com/maps/Kindani_Village_Map.jpg It gives you the range of room numbers per building pod. There was long ago a thread that showed each pod and floor as it was being declared into the resort with photos but the photos disappeared from that thread when the site did an update making it of little to no value. If you are wondering where the the dedicated and lock-off two bedrooms are, which make up all the rooms except the Grand Villas, they run throughout the building generally together on each floor and pod.
    Ty was trying to see if 1 br and 2 br villa could be next to each other? But as long as we r are the same floor hopefully close if be happy!
     

    aoconnor

    WDW Nut
    Joined
    Apr 27, 2016
    While the rooms at Kidani are about 100sf larger, a decent portion of that is just the extra bathroom. The living room is a little wider though which does make it feel roomier.

    Agreed that the standalone shower in the Kidani units is an overlooked difference.
     

    DSLRuser

    Age is a state of mind
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2009
    We prefer Jambo. Kidani seems like an afterthought and they did what they could to cram as many rooms as possible into a given area.
     

    TeeDisney1025

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Mar 4, 2017
    This has been very helpful! We are staying at Kidani in about 3 weeks and picked it b/c of the extra bathroom (a preference my mom and sis have) and the water play area for my almost 2 year old. I'm very excited! I've read about long walks to Jambo or buses but we have stayed at SSR and walked all over and actually don't mind.
     

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