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Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village Part 2

I'd like to start this blog with some logistical details.

Guests and Members must check-in to their respective section of the resort - either Jambo House or Kidani Village. But other than that, all resort facilities are shared.

Kidani Village will have its own bus stop with service to all four theme parks, both water parks, and Downtown Disney.

Guests wishing to travel from Jambo House to Kidani Village can board any Downtown Disney bus.

Guests wishing to travel from Kidani Village to Jambo House can board any Theme Park bus.

Much of the parking is underneath the building. You will appreciate this when you go to get your car during the hot summer.

Phase 1 of Kidani Village is opening on May 1. Phase 2, including the Pembe Savanna, is scheduled to open this fall.

Kidani Village was designed with three themes, Fabric, Proverbs, and Art. And when it comes to Art, it is abundant everywhere. But it's far more than just paintings hanging from the wall. The building was designed with all types of artistic creations in mind. Everywhere you see alcoves and recessed shelves that were designed specifically for sculptures and statuary.



Other pieces are strategically positioned in the middle of a room.


The ceilings are equally impressive.


Even the elevator doors are magnificent!


And let's not forget about the public restrooms. This is the men's, by the way.


Here's one of the hallways leading to other public rooms. This, in and of itself, is a work of art.


Sanaa (sa-NAH) is a 150 seat restaurant that will be open for both lunch and dinner. Sanaa means "artwork" in Swahili and will offer culinary traditions of East Africa.

Below is a picture of the check-in podium. Notice the hidden Mickey? Also, if you look closely at the counter you can see a colorful band running horizontally. This band is made up of small, ceramic beads. As I mentioned in my first blog, Kidani means "necklace" in Swahili and these beads are keeping with this theme.


Sanaa also has its own Proverb.


Right off the entrance of the restaurant is a 24-seat lounge. This is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail while waiting for your table. The lounge is dimly lit, so in order to give you a better view, I have lightened the first two pictures.




The restaurant portion of Sanaa is broken into sections by the use of half-walls, trees, and giant beads. Hanging from the ceiling are light fixtures that resemble gourds dangling from a tree's limbs.


Other architectural features also help give this restaurant an intimate feel.


There are a handful of tables that look directly out onto the Sunset Savanna. Don't despair. The chain-link fence will be gone by May 1st. Note, "window" tables can be requested, but not guaranteed.



This next picture shows off another of the resort's themes, Fabric.


Here's a picture of a booth with a not-so-hidden Mickey on the wall. Once again, notice the rich Fabric used on the cushions.



I was quite impressed with the décor of Sanaa. I will be eating there on May 1st so watch for my review. In the meantime, check out their Pre-Opening menus: Sanaa Lunch and Sanaa Dinner. There is also a Press Release from Disney about Sanaa.

Another of the public rooms is Community Hall.


Community Hall is the place where you can play games to your heart's content. Computer games, including Wii, board games, pool, foosball, and more are waiting for you. This is also the place where you can check out basketballs, tennis rackets, and other outdoor sporting equipment.





Kidani Village also has its own electronic game room, the Safari So Good Arcade.


A very nice laundry room is also available for those of you in Studio units or if you have more loads than your room facility can handle.


The last public room I'm going to talk about today is The Library. Now don't think of books when you venture this way, think of activities. Posted outside this room is a list of programs that will be offered to entertain and educate. Besides a description of the activity, times and locations are also listed here.


In a sense, this bulletin is like a cruise ship activity sheet. I realize you can't read it, so let me give you a few examples of what's offered.

Make your own beaded jewelry
Cookie decorating
Face painting
Culinary Tour
Animal Viewing with Night Vision
Pin Trading
So you think you know Disney Trivia
Story Time

Obviously, not all of these activities take place in The Library, but some do. Here's a few pictures of this innovative room.




That's it for this blog. Next I'll be talking about the swimming pool and the guest rooms.

The previous post in this blog was Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village Preview.

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

Comments (32)


Wow, oh wow, oh wow, oh wow! OMG Jack! Oh this is even better than the first installment!! Disney sure has hit it right for sure!! I cannot wait until May 1 when we dine there and I cannot wait until June when I stay there!

Tamara Lasher:

Again I say wow! I feel like Im already there! Thanks for the great 2nd installment!

Mary Ellen Aliperti:

The pictures can almost speak for themselves but your commentary and attention to detail is greatly appreciated! The "Village" is amazing! Not surprising, "Disney has done it again." Thanks again Jack for the beautiful pictures, keep them coming!

Mary Albright:

Jack, I was excited to try Kidani Village, but I was still a little indifferent about my ownership there. I knew we wanted access to GVs and we loved AKL as a standalone resort.

Your pictures have made me truly excited about staying at Kidani! I'm ready for my June stay and probably will have to fight myself deciding on whether I stay at Kidani or BCV.

I can't wait for installment 3!

Sue VanVleet:

Once again, I am so jealous! Thanks for getting us this sneak preview of Kidani. I'm going to call right now to make my lunch reservation for June 5!


What an awesome job reviewing this!! I already couldn't wait til we leave for WDW in May...now I'm really going crazy!! Looks wonderful! We are staying at AKL and we are so excited!! Thanks for all of your great information.

Jeff Glocke:

Makes me glad that I bought the AKL DVC membership!!!!!

Wow is right! Gotta book this place!!! Great pics - thanks for posting!


Wow great pictures again! I was wondering is their an indoor fireplace besides the one in the libary? any fireplace in the lobby?

Jack's Answer: I don't remember seeing any fireplaces in the lobby. And I scanned thru all of my pictures and couldn't see any.

There is a fire pit out in the Sunset Savanna outlook area.

Fred Thomas:

Thanks for the fantastic previews, Jack.
I'm extremely happy to see that Kidani Village will be such an impressive compliment to the original AKL. It's awesome... WOW! We can't wait to see it... My wife and I have reservations in November for six nights at our home resort SSR, and six nights in Kidani Village. I'm also very eager to try Sanaa.

Amy Luciani:

Thank you so much for all the beautiful pictures!! My family and I will be arriving on May 4th and can't wait!!!!


Awesome pictures Jack!! We will be checking in on May 1st and can't wait!! One thing I noticed with the artists renderings were guests up on what looked like balconies in the lobby looking out at the savanna. Did you notice this?
And when can we expect pictures of the pool?

Maria Sylvester:

Thank you, thank you for the pictures and information. The hotel looks gorgeous. All the details Disney puts into it. I cannot wait to see your pictures of the pool. It looked pretty cool in the artist rendering.

Erica Endicott:

Though it looks like the proverbs are painted on to the walls, they are based on a typeface designed by a man named Adrian Frutiger in 1990. It's called Herculanum, and you can purchase it from Linotype.com. Might be useful for scrapbookers or other designers out there!

Cerisa Sansum:

I cannot wait to go home on December 15ht - a while yet - but getting closer!!! It looks gorgeous - so lovely, calming and warm.


Random question- you mentioned guests staying in Kidani Village could board any of the theme park buses if they wish to get to Jambo House. Does this mean that buses going to the parks will stop at Kidani Village first and then Jambo House? For those of us staying in Jambo House, does that mean we may be standing on our morning bus ride to the park?

Jack's Comment:

I got that information from a handout I was given during my tour -- and that's all it said about transportation. But it sounds to me like only ONE bus will be servicing both sections of the resort for each given park. So it does sound like you could be standing on your morning commute.


Beautiful can't wait for our trip will be staying Kidani Village Nov. 26 thru Dec. 6. Wow seems like such a long wait. Your pics really wonderful, Thanks, can't wait for more.


I am wondering if the children's water park area- I think it is called Uwanja? is going to be opening with phase 1 or phase 2? We are going to be there in early Sept. and are wondering if it will be open for our children to enjoy! Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

Uwanja will be open on May 1st. I visited this area when I toured the resort and describe it in some detail in Blog 3. It looks amazing.

Amy H.:

Looks unbelievable! Thanks for the great report. I am wondering if the activities in the library are free or have a fee associated with them?

Jack's Answer:

Most of the activities are free, but a few require some sort of payment. The Activities Board indicates these, but does not list the actual cost.


Thanks for the wonderful pictures! Because of this i just made a Sanaa reservation. PLEASE PLEASE have your review up ASAP, we are heading out right after May 1st and would love to know if we should eat here or at Boma!

Jack's Comment: I have reservations for Sanaa for the evening of May 1st. It's my intention to have a blog posted the morning of May 2nd.

Roberta Klisiewicz:

Jack, thanks again for this report! Kidani just looks more incredible with every picture.

Did you notice if it looked like there would be some quick food options in the store? i.e. is there someplace to pick up breakfast?

Jack's Answer:

There is no quick service restaurant at the resort that I saw. As for the store, it will stock the same items that the other DVC stores carry. To be honest, I've never paid any attention to what is offered.


Thanks Jack for the beautiful photos and commentary. We just returned from AKL staying in the villas and we were disappointed that we couldn't tour the new area (must have missed it by a few days!). Regarding the activity sheet that's posted in the library, it looks like the activity sheet that you get when staying in the main lodge. There are lots of great things to do around the main property currently, but it will be nice to be able to do some at Kidani too :)


Hi Jack, thanks for your great reporting. We couldn't get a GV in Kidani for our vacation 5/3-5/7, so we'll be at our home resort (SS) instead. But hopefully next time!

I was wondering, do you happen to know if Sanaa be included on the Disney Dining Plan? (If you already answered this, I apologize for asking again!)

Jack's Answer:

The general rule of thumb is this. If it's a Disney owned and operated restaurant, it's on the plan, otherwise it is not. Sanaa is a Disney restaurant.

Neil Holmen:

Jack, you are truly a great Ambassador. Thanks for the preview. Neil

Jack's Comment:

What a nice compliment. Thank you.

I love the Disney theme parks, but nothing gives me more pleasure than showing someone the parks for the first time. Watching their reactions and expressions as they experience the Haunted Mansion or Tower of Terror is an adrenaline rush for me.

I guess in a way, writing about new resorts and attractions is sort of the same thing. I'm getting to share something new with people who haven't yet experienced it. I had never thought about this way until I received your note and you called me an Ambassador. Thanks.

Ron Stalsberg:

Great pictures Jack. I'm so glad that we bought into Kidani Village.


Any Hidden Mickeys?

Jack's Answer:

I pointed out a few obvious hidden Mickeys in my blog, but I was assured that there are many more. But I'm going to let Steve Barrett (author of the Hidden Mickey book) tackle finding the tough ones.


YIPPEE!!! Everything looks great, thanks for the info, Jack!

One question...I am staying this November but am not a DVC member (don't black-ball me!) Will we still be allowed to use the Community Hall? Thanks!

Jack's Answer:

Don't worry. I won't black-ball you. I'm not a member either.

But to answer your question, anyone staying at the resort, member or not, can use Community Hall.

NIGHT VISION animal viewing!!!! I'm THERE!

Hillary Ann:

Again wonderful pictures! I totally want to see the Nightvision animal viewing myself! I'm sure my dad will love it too!

Thanks again!

allen young:

GR8 pix! now i am even more excited! 29 more days. I noticed you have a lunch and dinner menu from the restaurant, but where will we be having breakfast there?

Jack's Answer:

It's my understanding that Sanaa will not be open for breakfast. Your convenient options will be to fix something in your room or eat at Boma at Jambo House. If I learn more, I'll be sharing it with you in my upcoming blogs.


How far is Kidani from Jambo house? is it walkable? do I realy need to get on a bus?
We are staying there in July & my in-laws will be in the Jambo house.
Thank you for the great pictures and info, fantastic!

Jack's Answer:

It is about a half-mile from Jambo House to Kidani Village and there is a walkway between the two. However, I did not make this trek. The small portion of the walkway I saw went thru the Kidani Village parking lot -- not very appealing. And I don't think the remainder is any more scenic. And do you really want to walk a half mile in hot and humid July? Take the bus.


Hi Jack,
I'm re-reading these blogs in preparation for our upcoming stay next month. You mentioned there is a laundry room for those of us staying in studios. Are the washers/dryers free? I think someone told me they are, but I see a change machine in the picture and am not sure if this is for the washers & dryers or the machine where you can buy soaps.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 23, 2009 5:28 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village Preview.

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

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