Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas
|Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas|
|Location||Animal Kingdom Resort Area|
|Resort type||Disney Vacation Club Resort|
|Theme||African safari lodge|
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas is the eighth Disney Vacation Club timeshare resort, and the fifth located at the Walt Disney World Resort.
The first phase opened in summer 2007 and included 134 remodeled units (216 guest rooms) on the fifth and sixth floors of the existing Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, which opened in 2001. Later construction added 324 units (492 guest rooms) in a new building, Kidani Village, which opened in phases and was completed in 2009. The main building of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is now named Jambo House in order to prevent confusion between both buildings. The development was originally announced in October 2006.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani Village is an African lodge-style resort with accommodations that include kitchenettes or kitchens and multi-bedroom units. Featuring over 30 species of wildlife that roam free on the savannas of a 21-acre wildlife preserve, Kidani Village offers guests the unique opportunity to observe exotic animals in their natural habitat from viewing areas throughout the resort and from the balconies of select guest rooms.
The lobby and the villas of Kidani Village extend outwards and resemble the curlicue shape of a water buffalo's horns. This string of buildings can also be viewed as a piece of native African jewelry, a "necklace" with Villas forming the beads, garden-like walkways creating the "knots" in between, and the main lobby building as the ornament or jewel at its center.
Inside, the resort features authentic African-inspired architecture and decorations, including hand-carved columns, intricate patterns adorning the golden-tone furnishings, tall floor lamps, ornate hanging fixtures, thatched and woven ceilings, and other real African artifacts. An arched window in the main lobby reveals the adjacent savanna.
Outside the main building, wetlands border landscaping that features thousands of indigenous African shrubs and grasses.
There are several dining locations at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas. Authentic African and Indian cuisine is offered at three award-winning table service restaurants: Sanaa is located at Kidani Village, and next door at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Jambo House both Jiko – The Cooking Place and Boma - Flavors of Africa are located. Counter Service offerings are also available at Jambo House at The Mara. Drinks and some lighter snacks are also available at the pool bars and Kidani Village lobby.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas is served by Disney Transport bus service which transports guests to the four major theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Additional bus transportation is available to Downtown Disney, Disney's Blizzard Beach, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon. All theme park buses first go to Kidani Village, and then Jambo House when dropping off or picking up guests. The Downtown Disney buses go in the reverse order, starting at Jambo House instead. A shuttle van also runs between the two locations.
The Sunset Savanna and the Pembe Savanna offer glimpses of exotic animals in a traditional setting. Each savanna is home to different varieties of African animals. The savannas are open 24 hours a day.
Animals that can be observed on the savannas include the Ankole-Watusi, bontebok, common eland, zebra, greater kudu, impala, okapi, red river hog, mountain zebra, plains zebra, nyala, reticulated giraffe, roan antelope, sable antelope, Thomson's gazelle, waterbuck, blue wildebeest, Abyssinian ground hornbill, blue crane, Grey crowned crane, greater flamingo, marabou stork, ostrich, pink-backed pelican, spur-winged goose, guineafowl, and Rüppell's vulture.
Other recreational offerings include Samawati Springs, a 4,700-square-foot, zero-depth entry pool with a 128-foot long slide, a barbecue pavilion, basketball (half court) and shuffleboard courts, bike rentals, Community Hall, jogging trail, Movies Under the Stars, playgrounds, Safari So Good Arcade, and the Survival of the Fittest Fitness Center.
- "AAA Four Diamond Hotels" (PDF). AAA. Retrieved 28 January 2016.
- Disney Vacation Club Members to Find African Adventure in New Time-share Resort Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- Animal Kingdom Villas official site