Hotel Reviews

Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village Review

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village is a Walt Disney World resort near Animal Kingdom. Kidani Village is a secondary resort of sorts for Animal Kingdom Lodge, behind the more recognized Jambo House. The hotel has an African and Indian inspired theme while showcasing different live roaming animals right outside of the doors, balconies and windows. Kidani Village is a DVC Resort and falls under the deluxe Disney World hotel category. In this post, we’ll review Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village, sharing photos of the resort and room while offering our thoughts on the value.

Animal Kingdom Lodge has been a mainstay in our favorite Walt Disney World hotels for years. Everything about the hotel is top notch, from the amenities and room to the theme and food. Not to mention, the most important part! Giraffes, zebras and 30 other species of wildlife are on the savannah which can be viewed from several areas in the hotel. In our first three or four stays at AKL, we were at Jambo House but finally made our way over to Kidani Village during a recent stay.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village lobby

The first question many ask about the two different branches (I’m not sure if this is the right word to use but I’m going to go with it for the course of the review) of Animal Kingdom Lodge is how different they are. Kidani and Jambo do share a number of similarities, as the rooms and theme are largely the same. The biggest differences in the hotels reside in the common areas like the lobby, pool and dining. While we’ll break down those in this review, I should say that guests can use the amenities at both resorts regardless of which branch they’re staying at as it’s a simple 10 minute walk or a short bus ride between the hotels

That should mean that regardless of whether you like Jambo’s or Kidani’s amenities more, you should probably just pick the cheaper one and take the time to visit both. If there’s more than a $20/night difference then I do recommend going with whatever’s cheaper. Ignoring the price, I do prefer Jambo House simply because of the grandiose nature. But this isn’t a Bay Lake Tower vs. Contemporary situation where one is thriving only because of the hotel it’s connected to. Kidani Village is spectacular on its own merits with some excellent dining, a great pool and a compactness that makes the hotel feel more accessible than its partner.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village windows

Where Jambo House does set itself apart is with its giant lobby featuring beautiful bridges and stunning woodwork. Kidani Village’s lobby is much smaller but does have a beautiful wall of windows facing the savannah. There’s still some flare too with colorful light features, unique furniture and a swarm of intricate details. The scale doesn’t measure up to Jambo but it’s no less beautiful, just less jaw-dropping. Walking out of the lobby to enjoy a view of the animals up close is a treat.

Dining throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge is excellent with Jambo House featuring Boma, Jiko and The Mara. There aren’t as many options at Kidani Village but the star of the show is Sanaa, one of Walt Disney World’s best restaurants. There’s also a pool bar with some food offered. Stopping in Sanaa Lounge for a late night bread service is a pro move if you’re staying there.

Sanaa french toast

I do prefer the Kidani Village pool to Jambo’s and actually recommend if you’re having a pool day while staying at either hotel to go use this one. Samawati Springs Pool is a little smaller but has a better slide, a large splash area, hot tubs and is just more interesting as a whole. There’s also a slew of recreation and exercise activities right by the pool if you’re so inclined. Samawati Springs Pool is generally less crowded than it’s counterpart just because there are less people staying at Kidani than Jambo.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village pool

As far as seeing the animals at either branch, the views are largely the same. While Jambo has more common areas, again thanks to the larger lobby, Kidani has some beautiful areas to explore. Rocking chairs and benches are all around to relax in while you start naming the different giraffes. Yes, they already have names but it’s a fun pastime, I swear. If you’re worried about seeing animals at Kidani Village, don’t be. Look for a savannah facing room if that’s of importance to you, although you will likely have to pay more for that.

Speaking of the room, let’s turn our attention there. As I mentioned, I didn’t notice much of a difference in the two branches rooms in terms of theme or design. They both feature one of my favorite hotel rooms in Walt Disney World.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village room bed

We stayed in a studio room which has a queen bed and a pull-out couch. As you can see, the patterned artwork on the wall matches the intricate details of the lobby and rest of the hotel. It’s colorful and unique without being over the top.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village table

Here’s a look from the other side of the room, where you can see the table and chairs as well as the dresser and TV. The TV is on the smaller side compared to other WDW hotel rooms. The dresser is detailed and beautiful. One of my favorite details in the room is the mirror, with the lizards seemingly holding up the lights.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village shower

The shower, which is unfortunately a tub/shower combo, continues with the intricate carvings. It’s a very pretty shower with the pop of color coming from the curtain. The sink and a small kitchenette is outside of the bathroom.

Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village sink

All of this makes for a gorgeous hotel room that is only enhanced if you have a view of animals outside on the deck. As our stay was quick, we didn’t splurge for that option. Even if you don’t splurge you’ll have plenty of chances to see animals. That said, if you’re looking for a perfect rest day at Disney World it would include staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a savannah view.

Overall, we absolutely love Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village. While we might prefer Jambo House, that’s by the slightest of margins and the difference between staying at one place or another is negligible. There are places to explore in at Animal Kingdom Lodge and so many places to just sit, relax and watch the wildlife. If you’re looking for a way to splurge at WDW this hotel should shoot to the top of the list.

Sanaa light

Overall Rating – 9.5/10

Have you stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani Village? Let us know your thoughts or questions below in the comments! Planning a trip to Walt Disney World? Check out our planning guide for help! If you enjoy what you’re reading here on Wandering in Disney, please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Thank you for reading, we really appreciate it!

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