May 15-22, 2018, Kidani Dedicated 2BR Savanna View

drusba

I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
We (six of us) stayed in a dedicated, savanna view 2BR at Kidani May 15-22 near the Timon elevator (area I requested for easy access to buses). Room was fine. Had a minor issue with a bedroom drawer that would not stay closed and they fixed it. Points of interest:

1. Alcohol. They are now serving alcohol (bear and wine) at all the sit-down restaurants in Magic Kingdom (including Crystal Palace). I am not sure about that one. Leaving it to just one location, Be Our Guest, would have been my preference because it was nice having the main kids' park free of any issues such as those that occur during Food & Wine at Epcot, but hopefully it will be OK.

2. Waterpark Buses. As far as I remember at AKL, the bus to Studios stopped at Blizzard Beach and the bus to Disney Springs stopped at Typhoon Lagoon. That has now changed (maybe others already knew about this). There is no longer a direct bus to the waterparks. You have the to take the bus to AK and switch there to one to Blizzard Beach, and you have to take the bus to Disney Springs and switch to one for Typhoon Lagoon. I am guessing similar changes have been made at the other resorts. I consider this a poor management decision because it adds far too much time to going to and from a waterpark and who wants to be standing around at AK or Disney Springs waiting for a bus in things you are wearing to the pool.

3. DAS (Disability Access Service) Pass. I have a handicap daughter (now an adult) and we make use of the DAS system. Though I preferred the former system that allowed us to use fast pass lines, I am OK with the system change made a few years ago, where one needs to get a return time at a ride and is provided a return time that is shortly before the total time that is the length of the stand-by line. However, we continue to have serious problems with the DAS system. The problem is that it hardly ever works properly in that the computer systems (for providing the return time and then returning and using the pass) have been a piece of junk ever since this began and despite complaints I have made, Disney IT has apparently done nothing about it. This trip gives a usual example. We tried the pass eight times. Once it worked as it should. Four times, they could not get the tablet (iPad or other) to recognize we had DAS and give us a return time, and each time spent about five minutes trying to get it to work before finally just giving us a card pass. Three times we got the return time but then the fastpass sytem and tablets would not recognize us as having the DAS pass when we returned for the ride. At two of those they spent several minutes constantly retrying it and finally it worked. The last time, the worst, the Disney CM could not get it to work and told us we could not get on without it working. I requested to see a manager, who came and let us in. In other words, there is a serious computer problem and a second problem of not assuirng all employees know what to do when it does not work.

4. Rain. I just lived through one of the worst Chicago winters and springs and wondered why God was punishing us. I took off for a wonderful week of relief in WDW in Florida and His Holiness's apparent anger just followed us. Never seen so much rain on a trip. Not a typical "here is a thunderstorm, then sun for four or five hours, and then here is another thunderstorm." For the first five days, it was just one storm after another most of the day and evening. We still did many things, with ponchos, but it does not have the same thrill as when it is dry. We lost Rivers of Light, Fantasmic, and Test Track because of cancellations due to storms.

5. Restaurants. Rain was the worst part of the trip and there were many good things. Maybe I am just imagining this but the food at Crystal Palace, Boma, Biergarten, and Hollywood and Vine seemed much better than usual (perhaps it was discovering five different and excellent soups at Boma that keyed me into things seeming better). Everything seemed freshly cooked, nothing dried out, excellent salmon dishes, and at each place we had an outstanding waiter or waitress. Of course, this was not September when Disney is often doing free dining with the room packages and good choices at dinner seem slim.

6. Lines. It was crowded, not quite extreme but real heavy often. I saw what I believe may be a record. About 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, the stand-by line for Avatar Flight of Passage went to 300 minutes (yes, that is five hours) and still people were getting in line. Many of the main rides elsewhere often saw 90 minute and longer stand-by lines during the week. And at times fastpass got out of hand. For example, we had a fastpass for about 2 p.m. for Everest on the day we were at Studios. The fastpass line started right near the entrance to Finding Nemo. It took over 45 minutes to get on the ride with a fastpass. We had similar experiences at Toy Story and Space Mountain, indicating a problem with too many fastpasses being issued for the same time periods. Maybe Disney should fire its current IT of Donald, Goofy, and Clarabelle Cow and hire some new IT personnel who actually know what they are doing.

7. The Pirates Change. Not too long ago they shut down Pirates of the Carribean for quite a while to supposedly do upgrades. What they instead did was a politically correct change. "We want the redhead" is gone. Now the redhead is dressed in pirates clothing wielding a sword in the auction square and the choice is between the plump lady and having wine. I am not even going to comment on this abomination. I did not see anything else as being changed.

8. Polynesian Luau. It had been about four years since we last did the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. The food was better this time but the real issue is the show. It was decent before but not too exciting. Most of the show is like before although a little better now.The climax, as it was before, is the dancer with flaming torches. But therein lies the difference. The flame dancer they have now is something I have never seen before and I recommend all seeing. He was just incredible to the point that the main thing you are wondering while watching is whether he will actually get through his routine or instead burn himself to death. I have seen in my lifetime many flame dancers at polynesian shows in numerous places, including Hawaii, and this one makes all the others look like rank amatuers.

9. Anything Else. We did see animals from our room although seldom in the morning. The little bit we got to use the pool (during a couple hours when it was not raining), it was nice and the people working at the Maji pool bar were first rate and friendly. The pool seemed better heated (a little higher temperature) than it was before. The buses were generally OK although we had one long wait for an MK bus (we watched as two buses for each other park came while we waited for an MK bus). Still consider AKV a favorite.
 
Last edited:

larissawbb

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 12, 2015
We (six of us) stayed in a dedicated, savanna view 2BR at Kidani May 15-22 near the Timon elevator (area I requested for easy access to buses). Room was fine. Had a minor issue with a bedroom drawer that would not stay closed and they fixed it. Points of interest:

1. Alcohol. They are now serving alcohol (bear and wine) at all the sit-down restaurants in Magic Kingdom (including Crystal Palace). I am not sure about that one. Leaving it to just one location, Be Our Guest, would have been my preference because it was nice having the main kids' park free of any issues such as those that occur during Food & Wine at Epcot, but hopefully it will be OK.

2. Waterpark Buses. As far as I remember at AKL, the bus to Studios stopped at Blizzard Beach and the bus to Disney Springs stopped at Typhoon Lagoon. That has now changed (maybe others already knew about this). There is no longer a direct bus to the waterparks. You have the to take the bus to AK and switch there to one to Blizzard Beach, and you have to take the bus to Disney Springs and switch to one for Typhoon Lagoon. I am guessing similar changes have been made at the other resorts. I consider this a poor management decision because it adds far too much time to going to and from a waterpark and who wants to be standing around at AK or Disney Springs waiting for a bus in things you are wearing to the pool.

3. DAS (Disability Access Service) Pass. I have a handicap daughter (now an adult) and we make use of the DAS system. Though I preferred the former system that allowed us to use fast pass lines, I am OK with the system change made a few years ago, where one needs to get a return time at a ride and is provided a return time that is shortly before the total time that is the length of the stand-by line. However, we continue to have serious problems with the DAS system. The problem is that it hardly ever works properly in that the computer systems (for providing the return time and then returning and using the pass) have been a piece of junk ever since this began and despite complaints I have made, Disney IT has apparently done nothing about it. This trip gives a usual example. We tried the pass eight times. Once it worked as it should. Four times, they could not get the tablet (iPad or other) to recognize we had DAS and give us a return time, and each time spent about five minutes trying to get it to work before finally just giving us a card pass. Three times we got the return time but then the fastpass sytem and tablets would not recognize us as having the DAS pass when we returned for the ride. At two of those they spent several minutes constantly retrying it and finally it worked. The last time, the worst, the Disney CM could not get it to work and told us we could not get on without it working. I requested to see a manager, who came and let us in. In other words, there is a serious computer problem and a second problem of not assuirng all employees know what to do when it does not work.

4. Rain. I just lived through one of the worst Chicago winters and springs and wondered why God was punishing us. I took off for a wonderful week of relief in WDW in Florida and His Holiness's apparent anger just followed us. Never seen so much rain on a trip. Not a typical "here is a thunderstorm, then sun for four or five hours, and then here is another thunderstorm." For the first five days, it was just one storm after another most of the day and evening. We still did many things, with ponchos, but it does not have the same thrill as when it is dry. We lost Rivers of Light, Fantasmic, and Test Track because of cancellations due to storms.

5. Restaurants. Rain was the worst part of the trip and there were many good things. Maybe I am just imagining this but the food at Crystal Palace, Boma, Biergarten, and Hollywood and Vine seemed much better than usual (perhaps it was discovering five different and excellent soups at Boma that keyed me into things seeming better). Everything seemed freshly cooked, nothing dried out, excellent salmon dishes, and at each place we had an outstanding waiter or waitress. Of course, this was not September when Disney is often doing free dining with the room packages and good choices at dinner seem slim.

6. Lines. It was crowded, not quite extreme but real heavy often. I saw what I believe may be a record. About 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, the stand-by line for Avatar Flight of Passage went to 300 minutes (yes, that is five hours) and still people were getting in line. Many of the main rides elsewhere often saw 90 minute and longer stand-by lines during the week. And at times fastpass got out of hand. For example, we had a fastpass for about 2 p.m. for Everest on the day we were at Studios. The fastpass line started right near the entrance to Finding Nemo. It took over 45 minutes to get on the ride with a fastpass. We had similar experiences at Toy Story and Space Mountain, indicating a problem with too many fastpasses being issued for the same time periods. Maybe Disney should fire its current IT of Donald, Goofy, and Clarabelle Cow and hire some new IT personnel who actually know what they are doing.

7. The Pirates Change. Not too long ago they shut down Pirates of the Carribean for quite a while to supposedly do upgrades. What they instead did was a politically correct change. "We want the redhead," is gone. Now the redhead is dressed in pirates clothing wielding a sword in the auction square and the choice is between the plump lady and having wine. I am not even going to comment on this abomination. I did not see anything else as being changed.

8. Polynesian Luau. It had been about four years since we last did the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show. The food was better this time but the real issue is the show. It was decent before but not too exiting. Most of the show is like before although a little better now.The climax, as it was before, is the dancer with flaming torches. But therein lies the difference. The flame dancer they have now is something I have never seen before and I recommend all seeing. He was just incredible to the point that the main thing you are wondering while watching is whether he will actually get through his routine or instead burn himself to death. I have seen in my lifetime many flame dancers at polynesian shows in numerous places, including Hawaii, and this one makes all the others look like rank amatuers.

9. Anything Else. We did see animals from our room although seldom in the morning. The little bit we got to use the pool (during a couple hours when it was not raining), it was nice and the people working at the Maji pool bar were first rate and friendly. The pool seemed better heated (a little higher temperature) than it was before. The buses were generally OK although we had one long wait for an MK bus (we watched as two buses for each other park came while we waited for an MK bus). Still consider AKV a favorite.
Is it true that they set up a DVC sales desk in the lobby at Kidani?
 

drusba

I went to Iowa once, and it was closed.
Joined
Aug 19, 1999
^The few times I went to the lobby, I did not notice one, but I cannot say for certain there is none. It is not something I would have been looking for or paid any attention to if it were there.
 

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