Disney's Animal Kingdom Kidani Village

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas- Kidani Village

There are so many amazing options when it comes to staying at a Walt Disney World property but my absolute favorite is Kidani Village Resort. This stunning horseshoe shaped African themed getaway is unlike any other you have stayed in before. Located closest to the Animal Kingdom Theme park, this resort features deluxe studios as well as one, two and three bedroom villas. One of the main attractions that makes it stand out is the large savanna area taking up most of the grounds. There are over 30 species of African wildlife on a 21 acre reserve to be found which can be viewed from certain rooms, decks off of the main building and even when sitting down to dine in their restaurant, Sanaa. You will be blown away by the initial view right from the wall of windows in the lobby. We always opt to stay in a savanna view room so we can wake up and open our balcony doors to giraffes, zebras, cattle and more, right outside our balcony! We love how the main living area in the rooms are a bit larger than other villas and you cannot beat having 3 bathrooms when you stay in a two or 3 bedroom option. The Lion King inspired mosaic in the master bathroom is a favorite Disney detail of mine. The furniture is wooden, large and gives a very cozy feel to the living room and bedrooms. Another amazing bonus is that in a two or three bedroom villa you have a small washer and dryer right in your room. We always stay for 2 weeks but only have to pack for one since we can do laundry right in our resort room at the end of the day. As a family that has food allergies and dietary restrictions, staying in a villa with a full kitchen is a must for us. We love having the option of a full refrigerator and freezer, stove, oven, microwave and dishwasher. We prepare many meals in the room and it makes travel so much easier and safer for us. Also, those of us who are ordering meals at the resort or in a theme park restaurant always have leftovers that we surely do not want to waste a delicious bite of! We are thankful the full size fridge has plenty of room for our safe food and the doggy bags for late night snacks. A few of my most favorite Disney vacation pictures are of my kids all lined up on the balcony watching the animals play right before their eyes and using the provided animal spotting guide to see if they can find them all. One time we were sitting on our balcony and it started to rain. All of the giraffes in the area started running across the grass at full speed, as if they wanted out of the weather, it was such a fun moment we would never see anywhere else!

A second reason I love this resort is the secluded and peaceful atmosphere. Surrounded by lush foliage and tall trees, you will feel as if you’ve arrived in your own little corner of the world. Soft music plays in the lobby and hallway and you can find African inspired artifacts, art and quotes throughout. A wonderful way to start a busy Walt Disney World day is waking up early and enjoying a hot cup of coffee overlooking the savanna. Animals are just beginning to roam and it is so quiet aside from birds saying good morning. A lovely room off the lobby called the library has comfortable couches and chairs to relax in front of a wrought iron fireplace. Just outside this spot is a deck with large wooden rocking chairs. You can find information plaques all along the deck that tell about the special animals roaming the grounds. Returning home to the resort in the evening is especially peaceful as the outside walls of the entrance are lined with flickering lanterns of different shapes and sizes.Cast Members are always waiting just out front to welcome you home. Finish off your day at the Pembe Overlook firepit where you can hear stories and roast marshmallows under a starry sky. Since this resort has fewer rooms than the larger Animal Kingdom Lodge next door, it never feels crowded and helpful Cast Members are always easy to find. If you return to the resort during the day be sure to take advantage of the walking path off the lobby that splits the savanna- you never know which animals are roaming around! After dark, ask a Cast Member if they are offering night vision goggles that day- it is a truly unique experience to see the wildlife roaming around at night. For an extra special experience you can book a Starlight Safari for guests ages 8 and up. Tours run at 8:30 pm and 10 pm and are an exciting open air safari vehicle ride where you will explore the grounds for animals using provided night vision equipment. Kidani Village is tucked away a bit further out from the main hustle and bustle of theme park areas and feels serene and quiet all day long. Not to worry about travel hassle though as this resort offers the same complementary and easy to use Disney owned transportation to the parks. It should be noted that you cannot actually walk to Animal Kingdom park from the resort, a common misconception! 

The resort offers quick service for breakfast in the restaurant downstairs, Sanaa. You can order up waffles, eggs, home fries and more as well as a large grab and go selection. If you take advantage of mobile ordering in your My Disney Experience app, you’ll be grabbing up your meal and on your way before you can say zebra. Brewing coffee in your room is an option as they come with appliances but there is something fun and vacation like to take your refillable mug to the lobby and grab a fresh brew in the gift shop off the lobby. Be sure to come back to Sanaa for their lunch and dinner menus with the famous bread service and slow cooked meats. Snag a dinner reservation to watch the sun set outside the floor to ceiling windows and see the animals start to wind down for the day. In our experience there has almost always been one or two of the orange crowned cranes hanging out right in front of the window. If it weren’t for the glass they would practically be dining with you! If you need a quick service option for lunch or dinner, there is a convenient walking path right over to Jambo House where The Mara serves up an eclectic menu ranging from cheeseburgers to pulled pork to pizza and falafel! A resort to resort shuttle is also available free of charge but may require a short wait if in use before you ask for a ride. There is something for everyone to enjoy at this three station quick service restaurant. Their signature blend cheeseburger is one of my favorites that I look forward to having each visit. Of course, be sure to stop in the fridge section to grab a container of zebra domes for dessert. We have been happy to see the options of allergen friendly gran and go items grow with each visit and Kidani Village is no exception. Be sure to ask to speak to a chef about specific menu items before ordering and they will be more than accommodating to ensure you get a safe item for your needs. The Mara offers both indoor and outdoor seating or they will happily send you off with to go boxes and carrying bags. If you love buffets, you have to take an evening to head over to Jambo House and experience a meal at Boma. This African flavor inspired restaurant is a seemingly endless spread of dishes to choose from including a meat carving station. No one will go hungry with a menu that ranges from hummus and cous cous to chicken fingers and mac and cheese. You can branch out and try traditional foods you may never have had before and those who like to stay in a comfort food zone will be satisfied as well. Of course, save room for the dessert table. When you go, be sure to try the dish called Bobotie- my husband dreams about it after every trip! This spot is popular so be sure to snag a reservation in advance.

A key highlight of our stays at Kidani Village is the Samwati Springs Pool and Uwanja Camp area. This zero entry pool is perfect for families with little ones who can sit and splash in very shallow water or enjoy a pint sized waterslide. Bigger kids and adults will love this pool too with a 128 foot waterslide and hot tub area. Cast Members are usually around to play music, lead guests in fun games and contests and keep the mood lively and exciting! This spot has been a perfect fit for our family over the years as my kids have gone from babies to confident swimmers. Another bonus of Kidani being a smaller resort than Jambo is the pool never feels crowded and it is easy to keep track of your little ones.We have never had trouble finding enough lounge chairs and I love that towels are fresh, folded and waiting for you upon arrival. One less thing to carry back and forth to the room is always a welcome treat. Life jackets in large and small are always available at no charge right next to the pool. Unjawa Camp is a splash and play zone connected to the pool area with dumping buckets, bubbling geysers and sprayers and lots of space to climb and burn some post Mickey bar energy. The area is broken into three different spots, each geared towards the age groups of under 4, 5 to 7 and 8 and up. There are benches nearby so parents can watch while avoiding being sprayed! Once all the squirting and swimming works up an appetite, you can stroll over to the Maji Pool Bar. Here they offer drinks (both alcoholic and non) and a small menu of sandwiches, salads and snacks. A refillable mug station is also available with soda, tea and water. I’m always ready for one of their warm pretzels with cheese sauce after a few hours in the water. The area surrounding the pool and splash zones are beautiful with tall trees, tropical flowers and green leaves to create an oasis feeling, almost as if you’re tucked away in a hidden place just for you! There is a full size exercise facility just steps away that is adorably named Survival of the Fittest. It looks beautiful from the peeks we took in but to be honest- we just aren’t a vacation workout family! For those who are, this is a great option as it is right outside of the resort. 

On top of all the wonderful amenities above, you can also find an arcade, a community hall of games and billiards, and daily activities. Be sure to check the activities board for the events of the day such as cake decorating, learning about the animals from expert Cast Members and beading crafts. One unique experience for kids is building pinecone puzzle feeders for the animals which are then placed on the savanna! Or put on your pj’s and watch a movie under the stars at the pool. An added bonus is that guests staying at Kidani are free to use the pool, playground and other activities offered at Jambo House. With all of these choices, you could have an entire staycation at the resort and never need to leave!

Overall, I can’t say enough positive things about this beautiful and relaxing Walt Disney World resort. Email me today – [email protected] to get started planning your magical savanna getaway!

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