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Reviewed 9 April 2018

Well, the title says it all. This was our big trip to Disney and animal kingdom kidani village was a bust. There were so many things wrong that it’s hard to tie them together to make a more a generalized complaint. However, I will posit that many of the problems relate to the fact that this is a timeshare property. While I can’t say that definitively since I didn’t stay at the other properties (particularly Jambo House), it at least gives Disney an out as it relates to their entire philosophy around hospitality. So, here we go…
First, and most striking, the general attitude of the staff was apathetic at best. Everyone from porters, greeters, front desk staff to the concierge didn’t have an ounce of the Disney “magic” you would have expected. Smiles were few and far between and energy levels were low. For a company that prides itself on having a “way”, this was shocking to experience. Our family didn’t feel transported to some magical place and often felt like our presence was more bothersome than welcome by the staff. We had stayed at the Lowes at Universal earlier and felt the experience there was notably better. Process that for a second: Universal provided a better hospitality experience than Disney – that should just never happen.

Food is just bad. They literally have one restaurant on property with a very particular and inflexible menu. It’s hard to get seating there (including in the lounge), and if you do, you better like the food because they aren’t changing it for you. Again, take a second and process that. You are at a Disney resort and you only have one inflexible place to eat…like how does that make sense whatsoever. And good luck if you have any particular dietary restrictions – as vegetarians, it was over before it even started. We literally had to go off property for every meal. I mean, come on, what is that? This applies to the pool bar as well. They literally don’t have a fryer on property…so sitting poolside, you can’t get fries. You can get hummus on a hot sunny day…yeah but no fries. Make sense. Also speaking of the poolside bar, absolutely no flexibility on the drinks. Coffee smoothie/milkshake? Nope, no coffee. But you have coffee downstairs at Sanaa? Yeah, but that’s too much work for us, so no. Just mind boggling.

Lack of detail, just poor execution. For half of the time there we didn’t have wifi in our room. When I called guest services about this the first time, I literally didn’t get a call back. Just doa. When I had to follow up, I was told it was being worked on by the Wifi department. Still no fix. 2nd day in, and another call later, we finally had someone come to our room. He simply told us the signal was strong and that that was that. Wow. It was also suggested to us that the wifi worked in the lobby so that was an option. Again, just wow. Other incidents? Yeah there was more. When I called guest services to ask about the gym hours I was told 9-11pm…the same as the pool hours. That didn’t seem to make sense to me so I asked again, and was told same thing. Only when I literally went to the gym myself the next day to verify myself did I see it was open 24hrs. When I mentioned this to the front desk staff it was simply met with a shrug. No apology, or follow through whatsoever. Just a meh. Same reaction when I called the front desk asking for a pizza cutter. I was told it was on the way up. Never showed up. When I told the front desk about this, same indifferent response. On our first day I asked the staff outside if I should take an uber or taxi to animal kingdom park – I wanted to get there quickly and at the best price. They said taxi. 20 minutes later, a taxi shows up and charges me $20 (2x the rate of Uber). Like why would recommend that? They simply don’t care. Now I know these are very specific incidents that are unlikely to replicated by guests in future, so my point is about how the situations were handled and the lack of professionalism.
As a final kick on the way out, I was denied a comment form by the front desk when asked. They told me only “housekeeping” has those. So instead of voicing my concerns directly to Disney, here I am.

  • Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Samir J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Disney-Parks-Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, responded to this reviewResponded 10 April 2018

I’m sorry to learn after reading your review that you were so disappointed with your stay at Kidani Village. Just as you mention multiple times in your review, the thing that sticks out about Disney as a whole is the first rate Guest service that everyone has come to know and love. When a visit deviates from this norm, I can totally understand the frustration. We certainly never want anything to go wrong while visiting, but sometimes things just happen. When you reach out to our Cast Members, they are expected to jump to action and return the magic to your visit. It’s disheartening to read this didn’t happen.

I truly appreciate you taking the time to air your frustrations with us. I will be sharing your review with our Resort Leadership so they can also learn of the areas we fell short and work to ensure we are only providing the world-class experience that you deserve.

While we do have more dining options available at Jambo House, just a short walk or ride away, it seems this Resort just wasn’t a good fit for you and your family’s needs. We hope you won’t let this visit sour your opinion of the Walt Disney World and that you’ll give one of our other Resorts a chance to provide a much better experience for you and your family in the future.

Brittany
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

My stay here was short but I would probably not go again... this place has the worlds longest corridors also the rooms aren’t as good as the other luxury resorts such as Saratoga Springs or Old Key West! The shown animal idea you never really look at? Maybe once or twice. Overall personally not my favourite hotel :/

Stayed: April 2018, travelled with family
1  Thank Isaac L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Disney-Parks-Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, responded to this reviewResponded 7 April 2018

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback about your stay at Kidani Village.

I’m sorry to hear that you had some concerns with the layout of the Resort. Since this Resort is unique with its sprawling savannas, it was import to us that we offer the most extensive views to our Guests. This is why the corridors are long to accommodate the maximum number of Guest rooms. We can understand how this would affect the walk to your vehicle or the bus stop every morning and feeling like you have to go on a wild Africa trek to leave the Resort.

Because Saratoga Springs and Old Key West lend themselves a bit better to your family’s style, I truly hope you’ll come back and visit with us at those locales again real soon.

Jessica
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 28 March 2018

If I was doing a review on just the resort itself, this would be a rave, 5 stars all the way. The resort is gorgeous, the savannah is beautiful, and the staff at the front desk was so kind and courteous. Sanaa is delicious as well. Whether you're staying on or off property, it's worth a visit! We stayed in one of the studios, which was a really nice size, but we had issues with the water pressure, the air conditioner, and then our bed was just rock solid. I think our bed was original to the resort from 2001. I think the rooms could stand a little updating as it was very dark and the carpet had a musty smell. Coming off a stay in a newly refurbished room at Coronado Springs, which was bright and so clean, we were so disappointed to have spent so much money to end up wishing we were back at a moderate resort.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Ashley F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Disney-Parks-Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2018

Thank you for staying with us at Kidani Village and for taking a bit of time to share feedback from your visit. I am thrilled to know that the Resort and our vibrant savanna were appealing sights. It's also lovely that our Cast Members embodied the Disney hospitality that our Guests have come to expect when vacationing.

I'm sorry to read that your room was not quite that same picture perfect experience and the bed was a bit uncomfortable, too. I will be sharing your comments with Resort Leadership as we do monitor our Guests' feedback to assist us with possible changes we make during refurbishments. Cleanliness is also a necessity of any Resort room and there is no excuse for a room to not be spotless upon arrival. I apologize that we missed the mark on this service.

Whether returning to our Resort or trying out a new adventure it will be our pleasure to host future Disney vacations for you.

Janet
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 25 March 2018

We stayed at Kidani Village with our son, daughter-in-law and grandkids. Our rooms had balconies overlooking the savannah area and there were always animals in sight. A bit like living in a zoo. An unusual but enjoyable experience. The only drawback to this hotel is if you're depending upon Disney transportation during your stay, the station outside the hotel lobby can be a very long walk to your room if it happens to be near the end of one of the hallways. This is the result of the hotel layout insuring that all savannah view rooms in fact have that view. Otherwise, it was a great place to stay. We ended up using the new "Minnie" van service (a Disney SUV for up to 6, including 2 car seats) to go to and from our hotel using a Lift type app downloaded to our iPhone. Service was great and they picked us up and dropped us off at the hotel garage elevator entrance closest to our room, thus eliminating the long walk with 2 strollers.

  • Stayed: November 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Service
1  Thank Gary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Disney-Parks-Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, responded to this reviewResponded 28 March 2018

Thanks for sharing a wild review of your time at Kidani Village. You definitely feel like you have been plucked out of Florida and placed right in the middle of Africa. It truly is amazing to wake up every morning to peek out your window to see all the animals grazing.

I’m delighted you got a chance to try out the Minnie Van service. It is a newer offering we implemented by partnering with Lyft, and so far I have heard nothing but great things. The Cast Members that take you where you need to go get a chance to share their knowledge and love for all things Disney, which definitely adds a lot of fun into travel time.

Thanks again for the review. I can’t wait to see you, your littles, and grand-littles, again to share many more memories.

Brittany
Disney Social Reviews

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Reviewed 22 March 2018

Kidani Village is a very well run hotel. The sign of a great staff is when everyone acknowledges you. When you walk down the hallways, the staff always says hello. They are genuinely want to help. The front desk staff is great. Its a short walk to Jambo House. (Make sure you check out the Jambo House Lobby, also at night they have night goggles you can use to see animals). You can also take a free shuttle that runs between the properties. The pool is a little hard to find. Walk out the front entrance of Kidani and go to the right. It has great kids play area. Make sure to walk around the property. it's well worth paying for a Savanah view. The rooms here are very large.

There is one downside. Its only close to Animal Kingdom, so your bus ride will be longer.

  • Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
2  Thank Michael C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Disney-Parks-Resorts, Disney Social Reviews at Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas - Kidani Village, responded to this reviewResponded 24 March 2018

Thanks for visiting our savanna for your family's recent holiday and for stopping by to review your experience with us.

Here at Walt Disney World we are in the business of making dreams come true and we know that many people, kids and adults alike, dream of going on safari. Welcoming you home with a warm smile is a big part of that, too, so I’m thrilled our Cast Members were always at the ready to make your stay extra special. We were lucky enough to make that dream a sort of reality through the concept of Animal Kingdom Lodge. Our Guests can tailor their experience as much as they'd like as we offer the opportunity to speak with Cultural Representatives to learn about African cultures in addition to seeing our animals. You can also schedule a number of activities through our Animal Programs team and I’m glad you found the night vision viewing of the animals to be such a treat!

We are a bit more remotely located from most of the Theme Parks; but we like to think that adds to the feeling of transporting to another place completely. Our Transportation partners do keep our buses running as frequently as possible so that Guests are able to enjoy each Park as long as they would like.

Around here we are always waiting for the king to return, so with that said, we hope you and your pride will return to share many future adventures with us.

Janet
Disney Social Reviews

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