DVC Resort Reviews: Animal Kingdom Villas

animal kingdom kidani
An animal lovers paradise, far away from the majority of themeparks but offering experiences and value that can't be had in most other locations.

Staff marks
Affordability (10/10)
Availability (7/10)
Transportation (4/10)
Food Choice (5/10)
Pools (7/10)
Room Sizes (9/10)
Peace and Quiet (8/10)
review occupancy rules
and bed configurations:


animal kingdom dvc Disney's Animal Kingdom DVC villas are divided into two different buildings known as Kidani and Jambo. As such, they have the unique distinction of having two sets of completely different experiences built into them. We will tackle this by focusing first on the things that are the same about these buildings and then we will discus the differences.

Both resorts feature a boomerang shape setup, with the inside facing an animal habitat (SAVANNA VIEW) where you can watch nature unfold on a wide open vista. Savanna view rooms all offer balconies so you can wake up to amazing sights and sit with your coffee as the giraffes stroll by. It is an experience and well worth the up-charge. All other rooms (STANDARD VIEW) feature views of the parking lots or pool areas. We should add that the STANDARD VIEW experience has its fair share of animal experiences as well. The hallways all have views of the savanna area and there are tons of common sitting areas to enjoy the animals from vantage points all over the resorts, especially the lobby areas. At night, make sure to check out the firepit in the center of the savanna where Disney provides guests with free night vision goggles to do some fun zoological spying.

ITS ALL CONNECTED: Unlike many DVC facilities, Animal Kingdom is more like a HOTEL then a village. There are two main wings that both connect with a richly African themed lobby. As such, these are great resorts to visit if you have mobility problems or want to do very little walking. Go in a straight line and you will pretty much get to where you want to be. Mobility impaired guests may enjoy Kidani better than Jambo as all of their parking is directly below the building rather than spread out.

FAR FAR AWAY: Animal Kingdom exists on the farthest point (resort wise) from the Disney themeparks (excluding of course Animal Kingdom park itself). You are about 20 minutes drive away from MK, ECPOT and Hollywood Studios, as well as Disney Springs and the water parks. As such, we recommend this resort for those with cars, because if you add the bus waits to that drive time, you will loose a significant chunk of time in transport.

POOLS: Both resorts have zero entry, modern pools of high quality with the one at Kidani being slightly smaller, however, Kidani has a smaller crowd so it evens out nicely. Ample kiddie splash areas are also provided. Jambo's pool area is a bit more open, with Kidani's being the more shaded of the two.

animal kingdom jambo pool animal kingdom dvc animal kingdom jambo store

DVC OR NON-DVC: Ok now we get to the differences. The Animal Kingdom villas were built in two phases. Jambo was the first to be constructed and a large portion of it was built for normal hotel guests, not DVC guests, with a number of their rooms being DVC conversions. Kidani was built to be a DVC exclusive facility. You will therefore find Kidani to be quieter on average, with a more members-only feel. The lobby is also a little smaller and compact, but that does offer a homey feel.

Kidani's rooms, built once again for the DVC program, are larger in comparison to their counterpart with a second bathroom in the one bedroom villas. They both offer a dark wood motif that makes you feel like you are in a cabin.

FOOD: This is the biggie. Although Jambo has plenty of food choices, Kidani has very few with NO QUICKSERVICE location. It is much like Old Key West in this respect. There is an inter-resort shuttle to get you between the two facilities; however, when staying at Kidani, expect to eat off property most of the time, which is what a lot of people do anyway.

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Value and availability: All Animal Kingdom Villa units are high on the value scale. You get a ton of room for the money. In fact, we would go so far as to say Disney underpriced these resorts when they launched, a mistake they are not able to correct due to Disney Vacation Club rules. Availability in recent years is becoming tighter with Jambo almost always harder to get then Kidani. If you are late to the party, you WILL BE in Kidani, so bear that in mind mentally when planning a rental.

Distance to parks:  Animal Kingdom park is right next door. Everything else, look for a min of 20 min transport time. Only bus transport is available here so the paid Minnie car service might be a good alternative.

Stay recommendations:  Larger rooms make stays with larger parties easier, with Kidani offering much more room. .  To take advantage of the best animal opportunities avoid January as the animals need to stay in their enclosures during the worst weather. For even more reviews check out this youtube video.

DVC Resort Selection

Current deluxe studio and villa resorts available for rental in the Disney Vacation Club system.

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