Last minute switch to Kidani = amazing trip

Discussion in 'Disney Resorts' started by toodycat, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. toodycat

    toodycat DIS Veteran

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    i’m just writing this now, but our trip was in mid -August. The original plan was to visit family in Clearwater, spend four nights at the GF and then two nights in Miami. We had booked two garden view rooms at the GF, one for DH and me and one for our 24 year old son. The total for those two rooms was about $4600. The whole trip would cost roughly 10K. Then, about 9 days before our trip DH’s current employer—-DH is a self-employed consultant —- ran out of $$$ and our future income stream took a bit of a hit. Although we all love the GF, DH suggested I try to economize a little more on our resorts. They were really the only flexible thing since air and park passes were paid for and the rental car was already quite the bargain. I was able to save about $700 by switching from the Marriott to the Sheraton in Clearwater Beach and another $200 through negotiation with the Marriott in South Beach. I also canceled a pricey ADR. However, how do you change resort plans nine days before a Disney trip? Add to that the caveat that DS is a big guy and can’t comfortably sleep on a sofabed and that DH only likes to stay deluxe. My husband had worked like a beast for the past year putting in up to 70-80 hours per week without a vacation, so I still wanted him to have as magical a time as possible. That day, I kept checking the Disney website, but most deluxes either had no rooms or rooms that were roughly the same price. The next morning, I checked again and there was a two bedroom villa at Kidani for $1300 less than our two rooms at the GF. It said the view was of the parking lot, but I didn’t feel that I was in a position to be picky and, of course, there are so many public spaces from which one can view the animals anyway. I booked the villa immediately and canceled our rooms at the GF.

    We had a fun weekend in Clearwater and as we drove to WDW, I was trying hard to manage my expectations...OK, this won’t be the Floridian, but it will still be fun. The important thing is that the family is finally having a vacation...parking lot views are not so bad...and so on.

    I need not have worried. Kidani Village was fabulous. Upon check-in, we got the good news that our room had a view of the Pembe Savannah—a big improvement over the parking lot. When we got to our villa, we were blown away by the space, theming and luxury. There were three full bathrooms, including a gigantic master bath with a jetted tub and separate shower. There was a balcony running the length of the whole unit with entrances from both bedrooms and the living room. Not only could you see the animals, which was fascinating,but there was a direct view of the Epcot Illuminations every night. The kitchen was pretty well-stocked for cooking. The dining area has Simba etched on the back of the chairs, The living room was spacious and comfortable with a flat screen TV. There was an abundance of storage for our clothing. The master bedroom was lovely and DS loved his room which had two queen beds. Much of the decor had Lion King touches which were charming. Mousekeeping was excellent.

    Transportation was effficient. We never waited more than 8-10 minutes for a bus to the parks. There is also a regular shuttle to AKL which we used to go to Jiko and Boma. We only used the pool twice, but it was beautifully themed and not overly crowded.

    The whole resort was very relaxing and welcoming. I especially loved coming home to a living room where I could spread out after a day at the parks. The whirlpool tub was great for aches and pains after walking all day. We also loved having the ability to make breakfast in our villa each day.

    I am really grateful that we changed our plans. Not only did we save money, but we had an entirely new Disney experience that I would love to repeat.
     
  2. LYSE

    LYSE DIS Veteran

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    We just got back from a stay at Kidani and we LOVED the resort but hated how far it was from MK especially, but that's because we have an 18 month old and like to go back to the room once or even twice a day and are used to staying at VGF or Poly.

    Sounds like you got a good deal out of it though :-)
     
    toodycat likes this.
  3. Deb & Bill

    Deb & Bill DVC-Trivia Contest, Apr-2006: Honorable Mention

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    All the times we stayed at Kidani Village, it only took us about 13 minutes to get to Epcot. It should be a bit less for DHS and even less for AK. MK would be a bit more.
     
    gillep and clayfolks like this.
  4. toodycat

    toodycat DIS Veteran

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    [GALLERY=][/GALLERY]
    We kind of cut our Disney teeth on the GF because we liked to have the monorail or boat to go back to the resort when our son was little and it was nap time, so I know what you mean. But, now that we are all adults, I would go back to Kidani in a heartbeat.
     
    LYSE likes this.
  5. Tinkerbellmom43

    Tinkerbellmom43 Re-earning my ears

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    Absolutely LOVE Kidani! We've always had a great experience staying here.
     

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