Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is comprised of two areas, Jambo House (the main building) and Kidani Village, which is dedicated to the Disney Vacation Club, though there are ways to stay here without being a DVC member. Here are 8 Disney pro tips for your stay at the fabulous Kidani Village.
8. The Savannas
There are two savannas (Sunset and Pembe) that are located on the Kidani Village section of Animal Kingdom Lodge. There are over 30 species of animals on the savannas, and it would be a shame to miss seeing as many as you can while staying at Kidani. If you don’t have a room with a view of the savanna, there are viewing areas around the resort, complete with rocking chairs and picturesque views. A great time to try to spot some animals is early in the day, before you head out to the parks.
7. The Pool Area
Samawati Springs is the pool at Kidani Village. It is a zero entry pool, with a 128-foot long waterslide that twists around before dropping you off into the pool. There are also two whirlpool spas located in the Samawati Springs area if you need to relax after a day at the park. If you’re visiting the pool, have the full Samawati Springs experience and visit the Maji Pool Bar. Maji Pool Bar has a great drink menu, as well as a menu which includes entrees like the Vegetarian Falafel, Tandoori Chicken Caesar Salad, and even classic Mickey pretzels for a snack.
6. Uwanja Camp
Uwanja means ‘play area’, and that’s just what it is. Uwanja Camp is a fantastically fun playground with an elevated rope bridge, geysers to rush and jump through, and a waterfall lagoon. There are technically three different play areas at Uwanja Camp, so make sure you check them all out. If you’re traveling with kids, do not pass up a chance to visit Uwanja Camp.
As the sun sets on a magical, and tiring day at the park, head out to the campfire at Kidani Village. What better place to settle down by the fire with your family than at Animal Kingdom Lodge? You can roast marshmallows and chat about the fun you just had at the parks, or your plan for the following day. And you can also stick around after the campfire for a movie under the stars.
4. Visit Jambo House
Although Kidani Village has its own lobby and concierge, and is in a completely separate building, the amenities at Jambo House are available to the guests staying at Kidani Village. There is a pathway connecting the two areas of the resort, making it easy to access both areas of Animal Kingdom Lodge. The pool, restaurants, activities and tours are open to guests of Kidani Village, so make sure you wander over to Jambo House to fully experience all that the resort has to offer, and of course spend some time in the amazing lobby at Jambo House.
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3. Plan Your Time Wisely
Perhaps the only downside of staying at Kidani Village is the location, and that is only if location and proximity to the parks is high up on your list of priorities. Animal Kingdom Lodge is located a little farther away from the parks compared to some of the other resorts, especially the other deluxe resorts.
If you want to eat at Boma, Jiko or The Mara before heading to a park, take your travel time into consideration. It takes a few minutes to get from point A to point B, and if you’re heading to Magic Kingdom on the bus for a particular time, we would recommend giving yourself a good 30 minutes, especially if you’re hoping to catch the Welcome Show.
A stay at Kidani Village would not be complete without a visit to Sanaa, which is the restaurant at this area of the resort. Sanaa means “work of art”, and it definitely lives up to the name. Both the theming and the food are works of art here. With seating near large windows, you can watch the animals traipse across the savanna while you enjoy your meal. The menu is a blend of African and Indian inspired dishes, and the Indian Bread Service is a must when dining at Sanaa. The lunch and dinner menus are different, so you may want to either make a reservation for both meals, or check out the menus online first to see which appeals to you more. You can also make a special reservation to Dine with an Animal Specialist at Sanaa. It includes a four course lunch, is limited to 12 guests, and the specialist will tell you about the animals you see roaming outside, how they are cared for, and following your meal you will get to see one of the animals up close.
1. Spend a Day at the Resort
The best pro tip we can give you about Kidani Village is to spend a day at the resort. Take a day off from the parks and explore all the wonderfully fun and relaxing activities there are to do at Kidani Village. Sleep in, have breakfast on your balcony, and then head out and experience all that Kidani has to offer. It’s not just a place to rest your head at night after all, it’s part of the vacation experience. Dine at the restaurants, go swimming, see the animals, go on a tour, or just wander around the resort. You’ll be glad you did!