Not all my friends are naysayers, of course. For instance, I have some friends who bought a Disney Vacation Club® property sight unseen. Yes, sight unseen! They grew up as Disneyland®Resort devotees, but had spent minimal time at Walt Disney World® before plunging in full force to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas-Kidani Village. And while I’m not sure I could have made the same quick decision while aboard a cruise ship (even though it was a Disney cruise ship!), I do like their style! It reminds me of one of my favorite Walt Disney quotes, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.”
So, when their first Walt Disney World® vacation as DVC owners approached, they asked me for a little advice on their planning. And you know me, I leapt at the chance to sprinkle a little pixie dust their way. A whole week at Walt Disney World® is fabulous, but between the ever changing FastPass+ and the new Disability Access Service Card process (which they needed to know about), not to mention dining options for the foodies that they are, I had my work cut out for me – and happily so! I was on it and they were right on board with all my neurotic planning on their behalf.
And then the most magical happening happened…they invited me to pack my bags and come along! I was hoping they really meant it because my bags were packed in no time and I would have ridden on the back of a yak to get there if that’s what it took. The trip that followed was magical indeed. There was so much pixie dust involved that I’m only going to be able to hit the highlights of Kidani Village in this post or this website might explode like the truck in Catastrophe Canyon. So remain seated and keep your arms inside the vehicle and let’s get started!
Though I had toured DVC properties before, I had never actually stayed in one. The room was a one Bedroom Villa – Savanna View and it really was well appointed and spacious, including the fact that the master bath was larger than my bathroom at home.
There was actual African art work and artifacts on the walls, such as these fabulous sandals that I wish they sold in the gift shop. And there were multiple Hidden Mickeys in the carpet!
Now on to the view! We had a savanna view and was it awesome! We spent most of the first day relaxing on the balcony taking it all in using the handy dandy animal identification guide – everything from giraffe to wildebeests to a bird that was the size of an average man.
I would hate to run into that thing in Africa! If your are considering a Kidani Village stay take my word for it, the view was worth the extra money. One other thing to note about the views, all resort parking is located under the buildings, which was a nice touch for at least two reasons: no-one had a parking lot view and you could get in and out of your car in the rain without getting wet!
I had a lot of questions to ask about the animals: where did they came from; where do they go at night; and do they mind the Florida rabbits that have taken up residence alongside them? Fortunately, over at the Kidani Campfire area a cast member is present to answer these sorts of burning questions!
So I met up with Tumi from Pretoria, South Africa (who speaks Zulu, Setswana and English!) and was able to get all my questions answered: The animals come from lots of places that are too numerous to list; they stay in the savanna over night and you can come out at night and see them with night-vision goggles; and no, they don’t appear to mind the bunnies, especially since they are all herbivores.
And speaking of eating, there are plenty of good places to do that. Just off the lobby there is a convenience store/snack shop, The Mara, filled with all the essentials including these little prized goodies – Zebra Domes.
There are also all the fabulous eateries located over in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, just a short stroll away. And the newest table service venue in this area, Sanaa, is located right there in Kidani Village.
And speaking of food, a few days into our stay we came back to the room mid-day to find a surprise!
Holy smokes! The treats were beyond delicious and were a most pixie dusted way to kick back and relax for the afternoon. That’s just one of the many ways that the cast members of Kidani Village made our stay magical.
One of the things that I love about the Walt Disney World® Resort is that you often find quotes and sayings that are strategically placed around and that inspire you to think and to wonder. Kidani Village is no exception. As you make your way down the halls or into an elevator or out a door, African proverbs greet you. One of my favorites, that I kept seeing over and over was truly appropriate for this fabulous vacation my friends were so gracious to allow me to help plan and then enjoy…