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Kidani Village – Final Blog

In this final blog I’m going to try to tie up any loose ends and answer a few more questions.

When I checked into Kidani Village early on May 1st, I was the only guest at the front desk and I had seven eager cast members ready and willing to tell me everything there is to know about Kidani Village. When I mentioned that I had lunch reservations at Sanaa, in unison they said “Try the pork chop.”

Yesterday, it was time to put their recommendation to the test. But before I ever arrived at my table, I learned something new about the restaurant. It was designed to look like a stylized outdoor marketplace and all of the waitstaff are referred to as merchants. I realize that this is sort of gimmicky, but it works. Hey, it’s Disney and getting lost in our imaginations is what it’s all about.

Take a look at the design in the middle of the tables at Sanaa.


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Since I knew I’d be writing a mini-review about lunch at Sanaa, I felt it important to order two different meals. Since Donald and I were both still full from our large dinner the night before, we decided to skip appetizers and desserts and only order entrees. But now the hard decision – who gets the Grilled Port Chop ($17.99)? It was finally decided that Donald would get the recommended selection.

This chop is available at lunch only and is the sole pork item served. Because this meat is not commonly served in Africa or India it was decided to limit its use. In fact, the bacon used on the Club Sandwich is Turkey-Bacon.

The Grilled Pork Chop is glazed with ginger and pickled lime sauce and served with sautéed spinach. However, Donald opted for the stir-fried green beans.


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Donald did allow me a small bite of the pork and we both agreed that the front-desk cast members were right – this dish is a winner. It was tender, moist, and flavorful. Note, I would call the serving size a “lunch” portion, but there was enough food here to satisfy Donald.

For my entrée I tried one of the combination meals ($18.99). Here you can choose two from the following: Chicken With Red Curry Sauce, Paneer Cheese and Spinach, Shrimp with Green Curry Sauce, and Beef Short Ribs. I opted for Chicken Curry and Paneer Cheese.


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The Chicken Curry was good; however I wish there had been a few more bites of meat in the bowl. As for the curry, I liked it. Curry is certainly a robust flavor, but it wasn’t overpowering. It had a slight tingle, but not so strong as to scare away those of you who don’t like spicy-hot food.

The Paneer Cheese and Spinach was interesting. I want tell you more, but I’m really not sure what to say. I finished it all so it must have been good, but words escape me when I try to describe it. Sorry.

Overall, I’m pleased with Sanaa. The menu is diverse and it would take several visits to try everything. And the food is unique. Even though I found it difficult to describe the Paneer Cheese and Spinach, I’m still glad I ordered it. It was fun to try something new. And I love the décor of the restaurant. The designers created one of the most inviting and warm spots at Disney.

Now it’s time to move on to some final odds and ends about Kidani Village.

High Speed Internet Access: Each room is equipped with a cable to connect a laptop to the internet. You’ll find the cable in a cloth bag hanging in a closet. The price is $9.95 for 24 hours. However members (and their guest) get this service for free. Non-members making general reservations must pay. Also, if you take the cable home with you, you’ll be charged $9.95.

Disney is installing WiFi in many of the public rooms of their resorts. It will eventually make it to Kidani Village, but no date has been set for this to happen.

Throughout the resort you will see wonderfully shaped pieces of colorful glass in a number of chandeliers. This glass was crafted by Savoy Studios. For more information, check out their website. http://www.savoystudios.com/


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Take a look at the hidden Mickeys found in the hallway carpet.


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In your room, look for a “Wildlife Field Guide.” On it you’ll find a list of animals that roam the savanna and a brief description of their habits.

Of course, as nice as the resort is, the real reason anyone would stay here is to see the animals. Greg, Curator in the Animals Program Department, told me that when you see the animals on the Kilimanjaro Safari, it’s only for a brief moment. But when you view them from Jambo House or Kidani Village, you can actually watch them behave and interact over a period of time. This gives you a far better understanding of the animals than a quick “drive by” can provide.

All of the pictures below were taken from my room on the third floor.


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The previous post in this blog was Kidani Village Part 5.

The next post in this blog is Dinoland U.S.A. - Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Comments (32)

Amy Parikh:

Thank you so much for the wonderful photos and commentary. I can't wait for September!

Kathy Adams:

Thank you Jack for your extensive reports on this beautiful property. We will be at AKL (Jambo) in August and can't wait to check out the entire resort, AKV included. Perhaps I could even convince my husband that DVC should be in our future... :)

Thanks again for bringing Disney to us in full color and vivid detail!

Buddy:

I can't wait to go to disney ...I won't be staying at kidani village ...but the revue was tempting....maybe disney vacationclub is in my future.....who knows.....LOVE the last pic....LOL have a great day

DVCLori:

Thank you for the report. I'm looking forward to staying there in the future. Nice "end"-ing to the review.

Eric Bouchet:

Jack,


I love THE END.
Very funny....I actually did laugh out loud.
Again thank you for all the information you give.

Ashley Turner:


Awesome and Clever!

You have the "gift" of blogging!

Sarah Barnes:

A great finish to a great blog! Loved "The End"!

Mary:

Thank you for the wonderful commentary. We are returning to AKL Jambo in August and can't wait to see Kidani Village and Sanaa.

Deb Wills:

Jack,

Awesome job on all the Kidani blogs! I laughed out loud as well, on the final photo for this one. You do a super job describing everything.

Really looking forward to staying at Kidani later this week and seeing you on Friday.

Thanks for all your hard work to make the blogs happen!

Deb

Lisa:

Jack, you do such a wonderful job on this! Thanks so much. I am looking forward to Sanaa and Kidani. Lisa

Jennifer :

Thanks for the info about Sanaa! Can't wait to try it!

Jenni:

Thank you so much for this perfect blog series! I am planning to stay at Kidani with my husband and 2 children this Fall and your blog with all details has helped me better prepare and has also solidified my decision to book here. It has also helped me decide that we will definitley give Sanaa a try.

James Orth:

Thanks so much for your outstanding articles and pictures -- that's a lot of work and we really appreciate it! I understand that phase 2 of Kidani, including Pembe Savanna, is scheduled to open later this year. Just wondering if you can comment on how much of the complete resort is actually finished/open now -- for example, is just the southern wing open now?

Jack's Answer:

The exteriors of both wings are complete. So everything looks "neat and pretty" to the guests. I do not know how many (if any) interior rooms have been finished in the north wing.

I did peek over a fence into the Pembe Savanna. At the moment, it's just dirt. It needs some landscaping.

Wendy Snelgrove:

Jack,

In my opinion, you are the best blogger on the net. I read the other blogs on this site, but you are really a master at providing comprehensive information and photographs to match -- perfect for all of us who are crazed Disney fans.

As for this review, I have decided not to tell my wife to read it. Otherwise, we may end up with more DVC points instead of the new windows and deck our house needs!

Many thanks, Wendy

Jennifer Thilo:

Thanks for your awesome reports. So, are there some parks or amusements nearby? I am thinking that after a week or so at the AKL I might get bored and want to do something else...

Kim Hammond:

Thanks so much for the thorough reporting. My family will be there in December, and you have really whetted my appetite. Can't wait to go!

Mike:

Just got back from lunch from Sanaa.

I could live off of the bread alone!

Kelly:

I enjoy your photos so much, more than any others. Your perspective is amazing. I feel as if I am right there. I am in the market for a new camera and was curious what you have?Especially the recent photos of the new Animal Kingdom Lodge.

Jack's Answer:

I use a Nikon D80 camera. My lens is a Nikkor 18-200 anti-shake zoom lens. It's the lens that allows me to get some of the great shots that I do. And just for the record, all of the pictures of the animals were cropped to maximize their impact.

At home I used Paint Shop Pro to edit my pictures. This is a poor man's version of Photoshop. Paint Shop Pro can be purchased for under a hundred dollars.

I edit my pictures on the computer all the time. I remove unwanted people (or objects) from my shots. I change or enhance the color. I change the perspective. Computers go hand-in-hand with good photography these days.

But I'm no expert when it comes to cameras. If you have technical questions, the three photo-bloggers on Allears are much better suited to answer your questions.

You do a great job Jack. We would love to talk to you about being a guest blogger on our website when we are ready.

Jeff:

I just wanted to write and say how awesome your blog on the Animal Kingdom Villas was. The pictures were absolutely *amazing* to say the least, and you must have felt like a kid in a candy store getting to photograph the resort before it was open to the public. I will be staying there in late July and can not wait. I will be dining at Sanaa while I'm there, as the trip is more about visiting the resort than the parks.

I just returned from WDW last week and had the opportunity to stay at the Contemporary and the Caribbean Beach (in the new pirate rooms). The weather and the entire trip were wonderful. And I got to try out the new Characters In Flight - that was so much fun and one of the highlights of my weekend trip. I was very nervous beforehand but it wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be.

I also had wonderful meals at Shutters, The California Grill, The Wave and Citricos. I was surprised at how good the food was at Shutters this time around, as I have dined there in the past. On my previous visits the food has been good, but not exceptional.

I came home with almost 1,200 photos from a 5 day trip - thank God for Memory Cards and digital cameras.

Keep up the good work with the blogs - I'm sure they are a lot of hard work but they are a lot of fun to read.

Mary W:

I had bought AKV sight unseen and was having a touch of buyer's remorese, but after reading your blogs on AKV, I know I made the right decision.

I may not be around to see the end of my AKV contract, but I'm sure my granddaughter and her family will certainly enjoy it for many years to come.

Thanks for taking the time to share such a great experience and photos with the rest of us. Some of us have to wait until August to enjoy an AKV stay. :o)

Wendy:

Hi Jack!

We had the privilege of eating at Sanaa on May 1 also!! I fell in love with it. We had Christopher as our Merchant and he was fantastic! I told him to pick me three of the salads as they all sounded so good. I had the carrot, orange and mint, which although nice, the mint was a bit much; next was the beets--YUM YUM and they had the kick that I like; lastly was the spinach, potato and corn--very tasty.
For my entree I had the Lamb Chops. My very, very first time ever trying lamb and I LOVED them!! The 5 grain rice was too dry, and the sauce for the lamb didn't do me, so we let the managers know that. Heck, we had 3 or 4 asking how we were liking it so far! I am toying with the idea of going back next month for me next taste.

Oh, the scallops are to die for. My dining mate had them and the sustainable fish. It was good, but toward the end it dried up and she couldn't finish it.

We're not complaining about it though and we've got plans to go back again in December!

Love THE END photo. That is the best.

Fred Thomas:

Thanks again, Jack, for a fantastic series. You supplied us with a great in-depth view complete with photos and valuable details and descriptions. Our excitement and anticipation of experiencing Kidani Village in November has multiplied that much more.

Only thing I can't understand is your not so wonderful opinion of Jiko. It's one of our favorite must-do's. Can't wait to try Sanaa.

Best wishes.
-- Fred

Mary Anne Nichol:

Jack,
In a few short weeks we will be experiencing the wonderful world of Kidani Village! Our grand family gathering has been following your blog through Kidani Village and you have heightened our anticipation for all it has to offer.
Thanks!

michelle in maryland:

Thank you for this series! Wonderful!

Annie in NH:

What a wonderful review and gorgeous pictures! Even though we've never stayed at AKL, we always make a trip over just to visit during our WDW vacations. Your blog makes we want to go right now! I do have a question for you: Do the Kidani studios have a kitchenette area like the other DVC's (I didn't see any in your photos)? Thanks and keep up the great work!

Jack's Answer: If you look under my blogs for Kidani Village Part 3 you can see a picture of the kitchenette.

Bob:

Are there any quick service restaurants (like Mara) at Kidani village?

Jack's Answer:

There is no quick service restaurant at Kidani Village. At the pool bar you can order a premade Club Sandwich and Caesar Salad or you can request Private Dining (room service) to be delivered to the pool area.

Others have commented to me about the lack of a quick service restaurant and have questioned the wisdom of this decision.

Kate from NJ:

I really enjoyed reading about Kidani Village. My family and I were booked to stay there Thanksgiving week and so I was following your blog and learning about the resort. Unfortunately, DVC called me recently to say they experienced computers problems and there was no availability at Kidani Village for the dates we requested. This was after I received confirmation for my reservation. Needless to say, we were quite upset. But have since been confirmed in 2 Treehouses.

Have you heard of any other computer problems with regards to Kidani Village? We are hoping we can stay there soon.

Thanks,
Kate

Liza:

Looks great! (I especially liked "The End" :) Very cute) We have to burn up the rest of our DVC Developer Points @ Saratoga Springs in August, then come Halloween, we'll get to see what our $$$ 'bought' us at AKL. From the looks of your photos, I think I'm going to be a happy camper. Thanks!

Gayle:

Thanks for all the great info! We will be staying at Kidani for the first time come November. As DVC members our home resort is Saratoga Springs (which we always enjoy). My question for you is this: at Saratoga there are small pools throughout the resort as well as the large resort pool. Does Kidani have the small pools throughout the resort as well. Thanks in advance for your response!

Jack's Answer:

Kidani Village only has the one pool. You are welcome to use the other pool at Jambo House, but this is a long walk and I can't see the point.

Kristen:

Hi Jack-

Thanks for the wonderful blog! I was just wondering if they offer more "normal" food on a kids menu? I'd love to stay there w/ my family, but w/ 2 small kids who would like to eat grilled cheese and fries everyday, I'm nervous about the food being too exotic.

thanks!

Jack's Answer:


We try to keep every menu at Walt Disney World up-to-date and posted on Allears.net. Check out "Dining" at the top of our home page.

Here is the link for the children's menu at Sanaa. I think most kids would be satisfied.

http://allears.net/menu/menu_sanaak.htm

Traci Higgins:

Such a great blog. Thanks so much!!! Do Savannah rooms only over look one Savannah or are there different ones like at Jambo. I know only the center one had the Zebras and Giraffes at Jambo. I think my kids and nieces would like to see those animals, so is there a certain Savannah I should request when we stay in September? Thanks, Traci

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 3, 2009 9:48 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Kidani Village Part 5.

The next post in this blog is Dinoland U.S.A. - Disney's Animal Kingdom.

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