Animal kingdom lodge vs Jambo vs Kidani

I am confused that there are three different animal kingdom lodges. Are they all grouped together? Can you walk between them? Which are better and why?

Animal Kingdom Lodge has two parts - Jambo House is the main part of the “regular” Animal Kingdom lodge hotel. Kidani Village is the DVC section. They are walkable between the two although it’s a healthy walk. They also used to share a bus so you could just take the bus there/back, although I thought I read a recent report here that they weren’t sharing recently but it’s possible that’s a seasonal thing.

Here’s the Touring Plans link for AKL Jambo:
https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/hotels/disneys-animal-kingdom-lodge

And here’s the Kidani write-up:
https://touringplans.com/walt-disney-world/hotels/disneys-animal-kingdom-villas

The biggest difference is just regular DIS resort vs. DVC though although I think more amenities are an easier walk from Jambo house.

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but when you look on the website, it gives THREE options. Animal Kingdom Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas Jambo House and Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village.

can you see animals from anywhere or do you have to get a particular room?

Jambo is one building but there are some DVC rooms available. Kidani is all DVC. Many standard rooms have at least partial views, pool view is also available. You can sit and watch the animals (day and night) from many locations throughout the resort. It really is a magical place.

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Looking at the Disney booking page the 3 options are:

  • Animal Kingdom Lodge
  • Animal Kingdom Villas - Jambo House
  • Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village

The Villas are suite type options like DVC although DIS also lets you book direct rather than via points. Although looking at amenities in the Jambo House villas and I’m not sure how a studio is different than a regular room - looks priced about the same too. The Animal Kingdom Lodge option is just a regular hotel room (or suite) at Jambo House. The Touring Plans link says rooms at Kidani in general are bigger - I’d really suggest reading those links as TP has a ton of info on the resorts there. You need to be at Jambo for Club level if that’s of interest.

Savannah view rooms which are the priciest are the ones guaranteed to have a view of the animals on one of the Savannahs. All of the options have some Savannah view rooms. There are some standard view rooms that also offer animal views, although you’ll need to request those rooms specifically and hope you get lucky. As noted, even if you don’t have a view of animals off your deck, there are lots of places throughout the hotel to go to animal watch as well. We did Savannah view when we stayed at AKL and loved waking up in the morning to check out what animals were out in the morning or on our return from the parks. But at an extra ~$100 a night opting for Standard view may make more sense given all the animal viewing options around the resort.

Here’s AllEars.Net explanation of the difference:
“Animal Kingdom Lodge comprises two unique areas, Jambo House and Kidani Village. Jambo House (the original Animal Kingdom Lodge) has both Disney Vacation Club (DVC) rooms and regular guest rooms. Kidani Village has only DVC-type room. Each area has its own check-in lobby but share all other facilities. The term “Disney Vacation Club Villas” refers to the Disney Vacation Club accommodations at both Jambo House and Kidani Village.”

Lots more good info there: http://allears.net/acc/akv.htm

thank you, I know I can read online, but I like to hear personal opinions.

Personal Opinion: I much prefer Jambo, whether its a regular room or renting DVC points. I think the the lobby at Jambo is quite possibly the most beautiful interior space in WDW; no matter how many times I enter, it’s breathtaking and reinforces that I am on vacation in an exotic place. The Kidani lobby, while pretty, just doesn’t have the same effect. Jambo also has 3 restaurants; Mara (QS), Boma (Buffet TS), and Jiko (signature). It also has Victoria Falls - one of my favorite bar/lounges in WDW. Kidani has only one restaurant - Sanaa. Granted it’s one of my favorite TSs in WDW, but I wouldn’t want to eat there more than once per trip.

Kidani does have some “pros”. The pool is considered nicer by many, especially if you have kids. I (a) have no kids, and (b) rarely swim while on vacation, so this doesn’t really factor into my decision. People say Kidani is quieter and more “secluded feeling”. It is - but I like to have activities going on, people watch, hang around in the lobby (or bar), so again that “pro” isn’t really one for me. It’s never more than DW and I traveling, and we never get more than a single room. “On paper” the rooms at Kidani are slightly larger, but practically speaking, I don’t think it’s really all that noticeable.

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We liked Jambo better when the kids were really little because of the restaurants and the pool, which is big but doesn’t have a lot of features.

Now that the kids are older, we prefer Kidani because the kids love the pool there. We’ve stayed with three generations of family at Kidani and there was something for everyone - fitness center, pool, basketball court, animals. If you have teenagers (like we do now) it’s also a blessing to have the extra bathroom so that it’s easier to get up and out in the morning.

Both Jambo and Kidani are great choices, and I don’t think you will be unhappy at either one.

If you select AKL, Jambo House Villas will you automatically have access to the club lounge?

I think kidani has underground parking, if that sounds better to you than our car baking in the sun if you’re going to be using it.

If you go for a DVC villa, then the 1 bedroom villa at Kidani has 2 bathrooms.

I’ve only stayed at Kidani. You can walk between the two, takes about 10 minutes. Or there’s a shuttle bus. You can also swim at either pool.

Jambo has the vibe of a luxury hotel when you walk in. At Kidani though you can see the savannah as soon as you walk in.

A DVC studio is typically a similar size as a regular hotel room, but has a small kitchenette. Toaster and microwave.

Man, we selected kidani and you guys are making me second guess our decision! :flushed:

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No! We loved Kidani last summer!! DD11 loved the pool and splash area so much better than Jambo. It was less crowded and the slide was longer. There was also a fitness center right by the pool…not that I used it!!:grin: The views were amazing and there was an overall laid back vibe to the place. We also enjoyed being the first bus stop in the morning and on the return trip!

We got a bounce back offer for Jambo this summer, but we are really thinking we might try for something else…although I know Jambo would be amazing as well.

Im sure youll have an amazing time!

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Oh, one more thought…the bathroom had three separate areas…sink/shower/wc…very handy! Not sure about Jambo?

Thank you, I was literally thinking of switching. Phew!

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My group of 9 stayed at Jambo in November and LOVED it. After a 12 hours of travel, we walked into Jambo and felt like we had been transported to a magical land (which, essentially, we were!). Our rooms faced the main savannah in the back of Jambo and were always seeing animals in the mornings. I remember a CM commenting that they tend to direct the animals to different savannahs during certain points of the day. Around 10am, they would start directing the animals to the savannah closest to the pool. It seems they at least try to give all the savannah view rooms their money’s worth. I personally feel it was worth the extra money to get the Arusha savannah view.

I did not stay at Kidani, but we did have a few events where we checked in there, and I wasn’t as wowed by the lobby as I was at Jambo. I felt as though Kidani had more of a “large home” feel, where Jambo was more like a “lodge” feel. Both resorts were absolutely beautiful though, and I have NO problem recommending Jambo House.

I’m bumping this thread to see if there are any additional opinions. We are headed for our Disneymoon in October – have never stayed Deluxe but this is obviously a special occasion. Fiancé wants AKL for at least half of a split stay. I currently have a savannah studio booked at Kidani for the first half and a value studio at Jambo booked for the second half. We might keep both, but we kind of want to try an Epcot resort for one half (BC/YC/BW). So, for a newly-married couple, which would you keep – Jambo, Kidani, or doesn’t matter? And why? Thanks!

What did you end up doing and how did you like Kidani? Would love any recent opinions. We have a 3 yr old and 1 year old and plan to go in November. We stayed at Jambo in '16 and loved it, but have an opportunity to stay at Kidani for a better price and guaranteed Savanah views which we love. Obviously, the access to the food court at Kidani is great, but what do y’all think about Kidani?