One of the recent questions posed by Grammy Grumpy in the Owning The Magic forum, the place to ask questions about the Disney Vacation Club on the PassPorter message boards, looked at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, and whether it’s better to stay in Jambo House or Kidani Village.
I’ll say here that my view on this one is straightforward. To me, Jambo is head, and shoulders above Kidani. The reason I say that is simple, and I think some of that is to do with history. To me, Jambo will always be the real home of Animal Kingdom Lodge, probably because it was there first. I’ve never forgotten walking into that lobby for the first time, and being completely wowed by it. My eyes went up to the ceiling, and I was immediately impressed with what I saw. Everything in here was just stunning, and I was transported to a far away, magical place instantly. To me, it was a magical moment, and that’s what Disney is all about, isn’t it?
Somehow, when I walked into Kidani for the first time, on its day of opening, as I was fortunate enough to be at Disney for that, it just didn’t have that much of an impact on me. Sure, I loved the drive up to it, as it helped to heighten the anticipation, just as Walt intended when the Magic Kingdom was first created. And the “welcome home” instantly made me feel at home, as a Disney Vacation Club Member, but it didn’t have the magnitude of Jambo House. For some people, that means it’s more intimate, but I felt that was a bit of a disappointment.
That continued when I explored one of the rooms that a friend was staying in. My goodness, what a hike I had in front of me to reach it! I had no concept of how far I would have to walk to get there from the lobby. It felt like it went on forever. Perhaps we’ve just lucked out at Jambo House, but I don’t ever remember experiencing such a lengthy walk over there.
I also felt as if Kidani was lacking facilities, compared to Jambo. Sure, it’s home to the wonderful Sanaa, but a second restaurant here wouldn’t go amiss for a foodie like me! I also found the shop there, Johari Treasures, a bit on the small side, compared to the magnificent offerings available in the lobby of Jambo House.
But let’s not be totally biased here. There is a lot that Kidani Village has going for it over Jambo House. The Samawati Springs swimming pool area, complete with an amazing water play area (Uwanja Camp) for younger members of the family, is really something, although personally I’d prefer it to be situated elsewhere, as I hate the idea of having to go through the lobby to get to it.
There’s certainly plenty to do at Kidani, with shuffleboard, basketball, and tennis courts, along with the wonderfully named Survival of the Fitness centre. That’s what you’d expect from a Disney Vacation Club resort, as I’d guess Members perhaps tend to spend longer at their resort than other guests, as they visit Disney more often than most other people.
Accommodations over in Kidani Village are significantly bigger than their cousins in Jambo House. Whatever the type of accommodation you choose, it will be the third biggest at Walt Disney World, behind the BoardWalk, and Old Key West, giving you lots of additional space. If you’re planning on getting the maximum number of people into a studio, one- or two-bedroom villa, or a Grand Villa, then that’s good to know.
So there’s plenty to think about whenever you’re staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas, with benefits to both Jambo House, and Kidani Village. You already know which my favorite is-so how about you?