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Last Updated on May 3, 2021 by Allyson
Let’s talk about what it’s like staying at Disney World’s Kidani Village. The full name of the Walt Disney World Resort hotel is: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas — Kidani Village.
Thanks to a Disney World discount, I was able to stay here with my family in February 2021. Not only was it our first time booking a room at Kidani Village, but it was the first we ever stayed at a Disney Vacation Club Resort.
We aren’t DVC Members, nor did we rent points to stay here.
I’m glad we had the chance to experience Kidani Village as resort guests, because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To be able to wake up every day to the animals you see at Animal Kingdom was a dream.
As many pros as there are, there are also several cons to staying here. Let’s discuss!
First, here are some basics to know:
- Type: Deluxe Villa Resort (highest price bracket)
- Location: Animal Kingdom Resort Area
- Dining: One Table Service option (this also turns into Quick Service for breakfast; there’s also a lounge attached and a to-go option available) and one pool bar
- Shopping: One gift shop
- Transportation: Access to buses
- Pools: One main pool with two spa pools and a water play area for kids
- Recreation: Fitness center, basketball court, tennis court, shuffleboard, pool tables
- Amenities: Movies Under the Stars, an arcade, campfire activities, and a Community Hall
Note: Sometimes not all dining, recreation, pools, amenities, etc. will be available. This is something to look into prior to booking, because it may affect your decision on where you want to stay.
Now, here are the pros and cons of staying at Disney World’s Kidani Village.
1. The Animals
Just like as if you were on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom, you get to see all kinds of animals on the four savannas located on the Animal Kingdom Lodge property.
There are over 200 birds and hoofed animals (from over 30 African wildlife species) across Animal Kingdom Lodge, including two of the more popular animals — giraffe and zebra.
It doesn’t get much better than waking up, opening your balcony door, and seeing a variety of animals.
2. The Food
At Kidani Village, there is one main dining location called Sanaa and it is superb. I’ve eaten here a total of two times and both were fantastic.
You can have breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Sanaa. African-style food with Indian flavors are featured and they are stellar.
I also appreciate the plant-based choices. You definitely need to try the most popular option — the Indian-style Bread Service. It comes with five different breads and nine sauces.
Sanaa also overlooks the Sunset Savanna and it’s quite something to see animals roaming while you eat, depending where you sit.
There is also the Sanaa Lounge, which is connected to the restaurant. You can order a variety of cocktails and other beverages here, along with bites, like the bread service.
Keep in mind that there is also Sanaa To Go via the My Disney Experience app, which is essentially Mobile Order. If you can’t snag a reservation or prefer to eat in your room, this is always an option.
Note: The To Go meals are made to order, so your order might take the same amount of time to be prepared is if you were dining in the actual restaurant, so plan accordingly.
Make sure you book reservations for Sanaa early enough (currently, you can make dining reservations up to 60 days in advance), because they go fast and it is a popular location.
There is also the Maji Pool Bar by the Samawati Springs Pool. You can get a few snack and other food choices here, along with beer, cocktails, frozen drinks, and non-alcoholic selections.
Full disclosure: When we ate here in February, we sat at our table for a long time before we were even waited on. After telling a Cast Member, they made things right. Our waiter was beyond apologetic and even brought us a free dessert as an apology. This is just one of the many ways Disney usually tries to make up for poor service or unfortunate moments that do happen from time to time.
3. The Size
It feels both intimate and secluded, not to mention quiet and relaxing. You almost don’t even feel like you’re at a Disney World hotel.
At least during my stay, there wasn’t all of the hustle and bustle you usually have at other hotels. It has a very calming atmosphere, which I always welcome, especially after a long day at the parks.
4. Pool & Fitness Center
But what makes them even nicer is they are secluded and not attached to the main hotel. You don’t hear all of the pool noise like you usually do at other hotels.
I didn’t use the pool or fitness center, but I did check them out and was impressed. Now, you might not like the idea of having to walk to the pool and fitness center to exercise, but it’s not a far distance.
Here’s a map to give you an idea:
5. Close To Animal Kingdom
In what shouldn’t be surprising news, Kidani Village is close to Animal Kingdom. The bus ride is short and sweet.
If Animal Kingdom is your favorite park and you want to spend as much time there as possible, you may want to try staying at a hotel in the Animal Kingdom resort area. This also means a shorter bus commute.
Other hotels located in this area are:
- Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort
- Disney’s All-Star Music Resort
- Disney’s All-Sar Sports Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
- Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas — Jambo House
6. The Rooms
To be honest, these aren’t the nicest rooms on property, but there are some perks.
Here’s what I loved about our room — a Deluxe Studio with a Savanna View (you have to pay extra for a savanna view):
- A balcony with a savanna view.
- Kitchenette with a coffee pot, microwave, toaster, mini-refrigerator, disposable dishes, cups, and silverware, and more.
- The bathroom was spacious, with two sinks, plenty of counter space, and a toilet with its own door.
The kitchenette was a huge bonus, especially because it can help save money. For example, we brought our own small boxes of cereal, instant oatmeal, and a container of coffee for breakfast. We bought milk and juice at the hotel.
It was also really nice being able to have coffee and breakfast on the balcony, while watching the animals.
If you don’t want to worry about breakfast, Sanaa offers a Quick Service-style breakfast in the mornings. The Sanaa Kuamsha Breakfast doesn’t require reservations and runs from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. (Lunch and dinner is Table Service.)
There’s a range of options, including eggs, French toast, kids’ meals, grab ‘n’ go options (banana bread, yogurt parfait, etc.), sides, coffees, and more.
The gift shop, Johari Treasures, sells souvenirs, along with food and beverages. From milk, to juice, to cereal, to fountain drinks and coffee, you can find all that here.
Let me also note that the hallways are extremely long at Kidani Village.
Depending where your room is located, you may have a long walk to your both your room and the lobby. We were almost at the end of our hallway and it was definitely a hike after a long day.
7. Close To Another Disney World Hotel
It’s always nice being close to another hotel, because this also means access to more dining choices. The more dining options, the better, especially at your resort.
Jambo House is quite stunning, just like Kidani Village, so I recommend walking over at least once to see it.
When it comes to dining choices, Animal Kingdom Lodge/Jambo House has more options, including Quick Service location The Mara.
You can easily walk over to The Mara for breakfast, if you didn’t want Sanaa. But, again, you have to walk. This might not be something you want to do, especially if you’re rushed in the morning.
But, if you wanted to, you could always grab a bus at Animal Kingdom Lodge/Jambo House after breakfast and head to the parks. You don’t have to walk back to Kidani Village to do so.
1. The Price
It’s no secret that DVC resorts are in the higher-price range. Depending on the time of year and room type, you won’t pay lower than $400+ per night when staying at Kidani Village.
This isn’t an affordable hotel for the average family. We were lucky enough to apply a Disney World Resort hotel discount, but it still wasn’t cheap.
As many pros as there are, I think there are better resorts to choose that are worth your time and money.
Keep in mind that just because a resort is “Deluxe” doesn’t mean it’s the nicest or best choice.
The are some really great hotels in the moderate price range, not to mention Pop Century and Disney’s Art of Animation, which are value resorts.
Kidani Village only has one form of transportation. The bus depots are only a short walk from the main building.
Disney World buses are fine and will get you from point A to point B, but it’s a huge perk when you have access to more than one form of complimentary transportation.
To be able to choose how you want to get to a theme park or Disney Springs is a bonus, especially if you can walk, use water transportation, get on the Monorail, or ride the Disney Skyliner.
As fantastic as Sanaa is, there isn’t much variety when it comes to dining at Kidani.
Of course, you can also walk over to Jambo House, but, again, it’s nice when you have multiple dining options at your hotel or are at least closer to other hotels so you can try a range of restaurants.
For example, I love staying at a hotel on the Disney Skyliner, because then you can take the gondolas to a variety of hotels for breakfast, lunch, dinner, late-night, and more.
Overall, Kidani Village was lovely. Between the animals, the views, the theming, and the dining, I’ll never forget staying here. But, there are still other resorts on property that I prefer, including French Quarter and Pop Century. Also, Caribbean Beach is another good choice.
There are always going to be pros and cons when it comes to a hotel. Have you stayed at Kidani Village? Let me know your thoughts!