Kidani Village vs. Jambo House: Which Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas Should You Choose?

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge in Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fl, is one of the newest Disney resort hotels to offer Disney Vacation Club (DVC) accommodations. The Disney Vacation Club-Disney's timeshare program-has accommodations at two sections of the Animal Kingdom Lodge hotel. The first, called Jambo House, is the original Animal Kingdom Lodge building; DVC villas take up the 5th and 6th floors of this section, while regular guest rooms make up the rest of the building. The second, called Kidani Village, is a separate complex housing only DVC accommodations and amenities.

While the DVC villas in Jambo House opened last year, Kidani Village has just opened in May 2009. This means that DVC members and guests are wondering which section of the resort is preferable; unfortunately, they are just far enough apart (a 10-15 minute walk or a shuttle bus ride) to make traveling between the two a more than trivial matter.

We endeavor here to compile some of the reviews we've read and received in order to give you some pros and cons of both.

Jambo House
Housed in the original Animal Kingdom Lodge building, Jambo House villas ensure a stay on a top floor (only the 5th and 6th floors are DVC at Jambo House) and an opportunity to request one of three savannas populated with African animals. Jambo House villas also provide very easy access to the main Uzima Springs pool (complete with two hot tubs and a slide) and Animal Kingdom Lodge table-service restaurants Boma and Jiko. Jambo House is home to AKL's Simba's Clubhouse child care center, the hotel's Victoria Falls Lounge, as well as the only counter-service restaurant on property, The Mara.

While Jambo House offers several pros, there are a few drawbacks. The rooms were recently re-modeled from standard rooms into villas, so although you're in a re-modeled room, it's not brand new. Also, staying at Jambo House, you'll be sharing the pool and other amenities with the hotel's regular, non-DVC guests, so you get less of an "isolated" feel for your vacation.

Kidani Village
Kidani Village, the DVC-only complex down the road from Jambo House, is brand new, and guests have reported a feeling of having a smaller, closer-knit group of fellow vacationers in this location. The feeling of being in a true vacation home, set apart from the hubbub of Disney World, has been mentioned as well.

Rooms at Kidani Village were conceived of as villas, unlike Jambo House, where regular hotel rooms were converted into villas. Kidani Village guests are closest to the brand new Samawati Springs pool complex, which houses a large children's water play area and two slides. Also, the Kidani pool complex will be used primarily by DVC guests, while Uzima Springs at Jambo House will be used primarily by non-DVC guests (as there are more regular guests than DVC guests at Jambo House). Finally, Kidani Village offers guest parking underneath the resort building. This means it's an easier trek from your car to your room than you'd have at Jambo House. Kidani Village, starting in September, will have two savannas for guest viewing.

On the "con" side for Kidani Village, this section offers only one restaurant, the table-service Sanaa. There is no counter service location for dining, but there is a pool bar offering snacks. Also, Kidani Village does offer grocery items for purchase in the Johari gift shop in the lobby. Another con of this section is the relatively long walk to the pool, fitness center, and sports areas. While all are top of the line, they're about a city block away from the actual front door of Kidani Village.


Both sections offer cultural and animal programs, restaurant tours, and kids' activities. While Disney is working out the bus issues (busses serve both sections of the resort), it remains to be seen which is the most desirable outpost; right now, all busses seem to be crammed full. Both sections offer valet parking for $10 per day.

Author Info: 

Brad Johnson is an administrator at and is always trying to keep up to date on the latest news at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge and Villas. Visit for more general information about the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and visit's DVC Villas page for more information about and photos of the Disney Vacation Club Animal Kingdom Villas.

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