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Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village Part 3


I think "Survival of the Fittest" is a fantastic name for the Kidani Village health club!

Survival of the Fittest offers state-of-the-art exercise equipment in a very pleasant atmosphere. It is also located next to the pool so a cool-down swim is just a short walk away.





A number of the machines have pleasant views of the pool area or natural surroundings.


The Samawati Springs pool (Sah-mah-WAH-tee) measures 4,700 square feet and offers a zero-depth entry. Samawati is the Swahili word for the color "azure."





Also part of the pool is a 128-foot slide and two whirlpool spas.





Plenty of lounge chairs are available for sunbathing. But don't forget your sunscreen!



Adjacent to the Samawati Springs is Uwanja Camp (oo-WAHN-jah). This is a children's play area, but after you see the pictures, I'm sure that you'll agree there will be as many adults here as little ones. Uwanja means "play area" in Swahili.

Let's start at the entrance where two African masks spray mist on you as you pass by.


Once through the entrance gate, prepare to get wet. Water comes at you from all directions.








These next two pictures show how a water-canon battle could erupt between the attackers and the defending fort.



There is also a "Jungle Gym" type apparatus for the kids to climb on, slide down, and burn off energy.


Also located near the pool is the Maji Pool Bar (MAH-jee). Maji means "water" in Swahili. Besides soft drinks and adult concoctions, a limited selection of food is also served.



At Kidani Village, DVC Members and Guests can choose between four different room categories: studio (sleeps up to 4), one-bedroom villa (sleeps up to 5), two-bedroom villa (sleeps up to 9), and three-bedroom, two-story Grand Villa (sleeps up to 12). All rooms feature a balcony, most with spectacular views of the resort's savannas.

Studio units feature one queen-sized bed, one double-size sleeper sofa, and a kitchenette.



Once again, the Fabric theme of the resort is evident in the bedspread. Also, check for hidden Mickey's on the spread and carpet.



One-bedroom units and larger feature a living area, a full-size kitchen, washer & dryer, multiple bathrooms, and a whirlpool tub.

Here are two pictures of the kitchen.



Below are pictures of the living area. Notice the wood-carving on the TV cabinet.






Next we see photos of the two basic bedroom styles. One features a king-size bed while the other has two queens.










Here are pictures of the bathroom that is connected to the bedroom with the king-size bed.





Below are pictures of the bathroom that is associated with the bedroom with the two queen-size beds.



One-bedroom rooms at the Kidani Village feature a second bathroom. This is a nice feature in the morning when multiple family members are trying to get ready.


Jambo House offers the same type of accommodations with slightly different floor plans than Kidani Village. In addition, The Grand Villas in Jambo House are one-story and feature a pool table. The Grand Villas at Kidani Village are two-story and have entrances on both the fourth and fifth floors.










Well folks, that's all I have for now. I will be staying at Kidani Village on May 1st and 2nd so I can explore this resort in more depth. Watch for updates.

I'd also like to extend my thanks to Kristin for spending over an hour with me and showing me this fantastic resort.

The previous post in this blog was Walt Disney Studios Park Paris - Part 8 - Toon Studio – Flying Carpets Over Agrabah, Cars Race Rally, and Crush's Coaster.

The next post in this blog is “Green” comes to Disney Merchandising .

Comments (50)

Rob G.:

Jack, thanks SO much for posting this photo essay on the new resort. As an "owner" at AKV, I have greatly anticpating a look at this half of the resort, and the photos do not disappoint. It looks like Disney really knocked this one out of the park! Thanks again for all your efforts; they are most appreciated.

Frank B.:

Thanks for the fantastic pictures! I can't wait to visit these villas; your three part series has my family very excited about this new addition to the DVC!

Robert Beach:

Jack these were wonderful pictures and great commentary about all that Kidani has to offer. I cannot wait till Memorial Day weekend!


Nicola - Northern Ireland:

Is it possible to rent a villa or a studio in Kidani Village if you are not a member of the DVC?

Jack's Answer:

Yes, non-members can rent DVC accommodations. Disney sets aside a few rooms at each DVC resort just for this purpose. But the percentage is small so you may have to be flexible with dates and room type.

tara j:

We will be staying at the AKL in october. I thought i had read somewhere else that we would be able to the AKV pool also. Does anyone know if this is true? Jack, your fantastic pictures are really making my family hope so! Thank you.

Jack's Answer:

According a hand-out I was given at the preview, ALL facilities are shared between Jambo House and Kidani Village.

Adriana L:

Jack, Thanks for the pics I can't wait to see more. I am so excited to stay here. I think my kids are really going to love it too! I am so glad this is my Home resort! The only down side is that I have to wait until September!

joe degnan:


Thanks for the pictures you were right this place is FANTASTIC. I am really happy this is our home resort.
We will be going Jul 30 can't wait.

Joe Degnan

Cari M.:

Thanks so much for the wonderful pictures and information! We will be there in December and the kids are hoping the weather will be warm enough to play at the Uwanja Camp!

Jan Farmer:

Thanks so much Jack. I just went through all these with my 5 yr old daughter and she is just as excited as I am. 16 days to go. Can't wait to hear how your stay is on May 1 & 2.


Great pictures!!! We are going to be there over Thanksgiving week and cannot wait!! This is our 10th trip to Disney in 11 years and we are all so excited about staying here.

Thanks and keep up the great work.

Susan Hall:


AMAZING! The photos are breath taking, good job!! Just can't wait to visit. The childrens play area is going to be a big hit in the July heat! Did you happen to notice whether the pool bar will be serving snacks since there isn't a counter service restaurant?

Thanks again for a fantastic preview.

Jack's Answer:

I wend back and looked at my unpublished pictures and discovered I had inadvertently taken a picture of a menu. When I magnified it, I was able to make out the words “sandwich” and “salad.” So it appears that some sort of food will be served here.


Jack -- super photos!! This DVC resort looks incredible. I'm a DVC member over at Wilderness Lodge and I've stayed at Beach Club Villas as well -- looks like I'll have to try this one out as well. Can't wait for the opening!! Thanks again, and I look forward to your posts -- enjoy your May stay!

Nicole Laskin:

Wow! I can;t believe how awesome these pics are! THanks for the pool pictures, I couldn't wait to see that slide! Can't wait to be at AKL May 15th :)

Stephen Conti:

Thanks Jack!!! Great, great job here. So happy to be an owner at AKLV after viewing these pictures and reading your commentary.

Were you able to discover where one will be able to get a cup of coffee in the morning without walking to AKL? And, is there a walking path to AKL or just a sidewalk along the road? Thanks!!!

Jack's Answer:

The brochure I was given only mentions taking a Disney bus between Jambo House and Kidani Village. I'm guessing there must be some sort of walkway between the two, but I really don't know. I'll check this out when I visit.


You were right Jack, these pictures blew me away! Thank you!!!

Mary Albright:

Jack - you were right. The pool is fabulous. And I can totally see the adults in my family going for the water cannons and having a water battle with the fort. Thank you again for taking the time to do this. I'm checking into Kidani on June 5 and I can't wait!

Terri D.:

This place looks wonderful. We are hoping to buy into DVC at AKL soon. The pictures really have me excited to see it in person. Can't wait to read/see more after your visit in May.

Karen M.:

OMG....you have me so psyched to see Kidani Village in person. This is the first time I've ever owned any kind of "time share" and I am now so thrilled to have bought my points at Kidani. I already have reservations booked for next Spring and anticipate spending a lot of time at the pools. Thank you for sharing such wonderful photos!

Jason Ouellette:

Jack, once again you've done a great job. My family is so excited that AKV is our home resort. We will be there May 1st - 8th and can't wait. We'll see you there.
One question I just thought of. The 1BR in Kidani. Do you have a choice between a king or 2 queen beds?

Jack's Answer:

As to your question, I really don't know. Sorry. Your best bet is to contact your DVC representative.

Kelly Z.:

WOW. Gorgeous. Do you have to be a DVC member to stay here?

Jack's Answer:

Non-members can rent DVC accommodations. Disney sets aside a few rooms at each DVC resort just for this purpose. But the percentage is small so you may have to be flexible with dates and room type.

Laura Fox:

I just read with fervor your three installments about Kidani Village and am so excited about the new property. We became DVC members last year and tried to book this for our trip in Sep but couldn't get a ressie for all the days of our trip so we'll be staying at the Boardwalk. Thank you so much for all the pictures and information. This is definitely top of the list for our next trip!

Nicki Selley:

Wow, wow and WOW!!! Wonderful shots Jack, thank you so much. We own a two bed, sleeps 6 timeshare with Interval International (floating week), do you have any inkling as to whether we would be able to exchange for Kidani or is this DVC mem bers only? Here's hoping!!

Jack's Answer:

I'm sorry. I'm not a DVC member and I do not know the ins and outs of how you exchange points between different companies. All I can do is refer you back to Interval International or Disney DVC.

Amy :

Hello Jack!

I will be going on the tour in May with Deb for the new villas. I was wondering, is this what we will be seeing? I scrolled all the way down not to see the pics purposely so I could be surprised when I get there. I can't wait to take the tour in person! This will be such a treat.

Jack's Answer:

Yes, the Kidani Village is what we'll be seeing on the tour. In fact, I'll be your guide. Looking forward to seeing you!


Thanks for sharing the pics! 17 days and counting. You made us crazy excited with these pics! We were wondering if DVC members have free access to the gym or do we have to pay the fee as well? Can not wait to see more.

Jack's Answer:

I called Disney information and was told there is no charge to use the gym and exercise equipment for guests staying at a Disney resort.


Fantastic pictures and commentary! I was worried whether Kidani would live up to my dreams as I am a huge fan of the Lodge but now I am so excited for our August visit. I was wondering about the savannahs. I alway's requested to overlook Arusha because of the fantastic viewing of giraffes, zebras, wildebeest etc. Do the savannahs at Kidani have that same intimate feel?

Jack's Answer:

At the moment, Sunset Savanna is the only animal area open for Phase 1 of Kidani Village. It's located between Jambo House and south wing of Kidani Village. In my opinion, it had a fantastic feel about it. I'm not sure I would use the word "intimate" but certainly peaceful. I think you'll be pleased.

Pembe Savanna will open in the fall when Phase 2 of Kidani Village comes on line.


Hey Jack I Love when you blog! How many Grand Villas have SV? Is the one in the picture a view of the Savannah?

Jack's Answer:

As to your question, sorry, I have no idea how many Grand Villas have Savanna Views. But the villa I visited did face the savanna and it was remarkable.


This was just wonderful! I am so excited for our stay in 2 weeks. We will be staying in a studio. It appears from your pictures that all of the sinks are in the bathrooms. Is this the case with the studio as well? Is there a sink outside of the bathroom, like with most Studios? Is it a single or a double sink? just trying to plan. Thank You and Enjoy your stay!

Jack's Answer:

The studio unit has a kitchenette/bar. There is one small sink here so you do not have to use the bathroom sink when rinsing coffee cups or other dishes.

Dom Abbatiello:


Loved the pictures. We will be staying in a Grand Villa on 7/8/09 with 12 family members.

I noticed that the table in the GV only has 6 seats around it. Did you notice if the table can be made larger?

We plan on some meals at 'home' so we were a larger table would be nice.

Jack's Answer:

I took a look at my original pictures (before I shrunk them for the blog). I was able to zoom in on the table for a closer look. Unfortunately, there is no "split" in the table where you could add a leaf. Sorry.

Love, love, love the pool! Now when can I stay here? :)

Fred Thomas:

Thanks again, Jack, for all the preview info and pix... Part 3 was awesome as well. It just keeps getting better and better. We can't wait for our November stay.

Heather Young:


You lucky, lucky man! Getting to have free run of the place must have been fantastic! I am now planting seeds into my husband's mind (LOL) to get him to think it's his idea to stay here or even purchase DVC points (Joking!).

We have all gathered around the screen and this is definitely where our next stay in WDW will be.

Thanks again for sharing. I have got that fuzzy warm feeling as I anticipate my next trip.


Wonderful photos and commentary, as always, Jack. I always look forward to your blog!!!


We'll be staying at Jambo House May 1 and 2 to celebrate our daughter's 4th birthday (on the 2nd). We're planning to use the Kidani Village pool on Sunday and have a look around. CAN'T WAIT! Your pictures and descriptions are fantastic - I wish I was there now!

Michele Anderson:

these were awesome pictures, the whole series, thank you very much ! I can't wait to stay there.


Jack, thank you for sharing this with all of us. This report is astonishing!!!!
Living in Italy, for me it is not possibile (money wise) to become a DVC member but I think that Disney has really done a wonderful job here.
Hope you and all the other All Ears readers will have fun and relax there!!!


Thanks so much for these great pix. We are AKV owners and will spend our first trip there this fall. After seeing these photos, we are even more excited!


Jack,Back in 2000 when i started my dvc journey I thought it could not get any better watching the beach Club villas breaking ground.This year it has reached new heights with Kidani Villas and Bay Lake Villas.Im glad they have added a community hall to AKL because it,s a great place to hang out with the kids.

Thank You Jack for your words and pictures


I believed you mentioned that the second savanna will open in the fall. Have they posted a date yet? I have an arrival date of October 16th. Thanks for the great pictures, can't wait.

Jack's Answer.

I was quoting from a handout I was given during my tour. It's possible a firm date has been given, but if so, I don't know what it is.

Great photos, as always. Do you know if Surival of the Fittest will also have massage services?

Jack's Answer:

I don't know. But I'll put it on my list of things to find out when I visit.

Jack... if they have massage, put the massage on your list to actually get one also, so we can get the report on that : )


These are fabulous pictures!! I have already looked at them several times. This is making it hard to wait for our January AKV trip!!

Amy Marie:

Thanks Jack - these pictures are great! We'll be there also on Friday and Saturday night. I foresee a lot of time spent by the water! Hope to see you there.

Do you know of any grand opening celebrations scheduled for Friday?

Jack's Answer: I do not know of any grand opening celebratons. But who knows what magic Disney might have in store for us.

Michelle B.:

Wow!! Who would ever want to leave the resort?

Hillary Ann:

Hiya Jack,

I have some questions for you.

For the pool - how deep does it go? Do they have 1 or 2 Saunas? Do you have a picture of the tennis courts and BBQ area? What floor is the best for savannah view room? Can you find out if the buses routes shared between AKL Jambo House and Kidani Villas - have they been doubled for the two areas or just the regular number of buses are for both?

I'm concerned that people staying at Jambo House will over populate the pool and other areas at Kidani (those that want to see both areas) and overcrowd the people staying there. I don't want to stay somewhere where it's really overcrowded and have an abundance of noise - this is supposed to be home away from home after all...

I am so excited for you...and can't wait for the pictures!

Jack's Answer:

I did not see the basketball court, tennis court, or BBQ on my preview visit. I will be doing so during my stay and taking pictures.

I will add your questions to the list I've already started. Watch for my future blogs for the answers.


Going to Jambo House June 19-26. I am thrilled to have finally coordinated a trip with my husband's sister. My nephew's are in for quite a treat. We are OKW DVC members since '95.

Your pictures and articles add to my excitement. Thanks for all your foot work, although I'm sure it's rather enjoyable ;0) to say the least.

What's the worst part of a Disney vacation? Why having to leave of course!


My parents joined DVC in 2007 just for Kidani Village. We make our first trip home June 4-11.

My 9 year old looked at the pictures of the pool & sprinkler area and said "We may have to stay at this resort more than one time!"

We all agree with him.


I am so happy that Disney realized that four people+one bedroom= need for a second toilet, at least! This will make my 14 year old very happy in the morning/afternoon when she wakes up! Thanks for keeping us informed.

C Alvares:

Jack, awesome pictures! This is our home resort and we're planning a trip in 2010. We will be staying in a 1br - what floor is the best for savannah view room?



Jack's Answer:

You're not going to like my answer, but here goes.

Disney put Sanaa, their restaurant, on the ground floor, which has lovely views of the savannah. They put the two public observation decks on the second floor. Both offer very nice views. And they put the Grand Villas on the fourth/fifth floors, which have wonderful views.

None of the guest rooms are on the first floor so this isn't an option. But I really don't think it matters between the second and top floors. You won't be disappointed.

Amy Hensley:

I agree with everyone else - fantastic pictures and information! We will be at the Jambo House in December, so hopefully it will be warm enough to use the pools!
Do you know if there's an age limit on using the pool slides? My 15 year old would love to use them, but I seem to remember hearing from someone that there are age limits posted. Any ideas?

Jack's Answer:

The weather in December is iffy. Some years we have fantastic swimming weather, others, it's sweater and jacket time. Keep your fingers crossed.

As for the age limit on the slides, I really don't know. You can call Disney General Information at 407-824-4321. When you get the recording, just press zero.


My husband & I will be staying at the kindini villa in november. I can't wait. I will let yall know how it is when I return.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 24, 2009 6:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Walt Disney Studios Park Paris - Part 8 - Toon Studio – Flying Carpets Over Agrabah, Cars Race Rally, and Crush's Coaster.

The next post in this blog is “Green” comes to Disney Merchandising .

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.