In this corner… Animal Kingdom Villas Kidani Village Deluxe Studio with one queen bed and a sleeper sofa! And in this corner… Animal Kingdom Village Jambo House Deluxe Studio weighing in with one queen bed and a sleeper sofa! You might think the two rooms would be exactly the same, right? The difference is in the details!
Disney Vacation Club (DVC) members have the choice of either Kidani Village or Jambo House when staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge Villas. Until our last trip, we had always stayed at Jambo House — our comfort zone. Due to some of the refurbishment work underway at Jambo House, though, our home for our October 2019 trip was Kidani Village. As we made our way onto property, parking was the first noticeable difference. Although there are some parking spots outside at Kidani Village, most of the parking is actually under the resort! The parking area is labeled according to room locations, and there are several elevators, so all you have to do is follow the signs and pick your space. It’s such a great benefit to be able to unload your vehicle undercover without worrying about a sudden Florida thunderstorm (been there, done that, had the wet luggage!).
Since the elevators are on the garage level, you don’t even have to go through the lobby to get to your room. After you settle in, though, the lobby is definitely worth seeing. It may not be as expansive as Jambo House, but it’s still impressive. Plus, the gift shop, Johari Treasures, is the place to find the refillable beverage station as well as sundries, souvenirs, and other necessities.
Other amenities abound at both Kidani Village and Jambo House with beautiful pools, exercise facilities, and valet parking, making them very comparable.
The only restaurant on-site at Kidani Village is Sanaa, but since we love the bread service, we won’t complain! Jambo House does have more dining options with quick service at The Mara, table service at Boma, and signature dining at Jiko. However, we typically bring our own breakfast items then eat other meals in the parks, so that wasn’t a concern for us.
As for the rooms themselves, the bedroom area of the standard deluxe studio at Kidani Village has a very similar layout to the standard deluxe studio at Jambo House with a queen bed, nightstand, sleeper sofa, coffee table, “dining” table with two chairs, a dresser, wardrobe and television. The kitchenette still has the mini-cooler, microwave, toaster, and coffee maker.
The main difference is in the bathroom. The Kidani Village studio bathroom has a more residential layout than the ones at Jambo House. As you enter through the bathroom door, you have a double vanity with a tub/shower combo in the same area. The water closet is still in the bathroom area, but it has a door separating it from the vanity area, unlike Jambo House, where shower and toilet are together in a separate room. We found that we liked the Kidani Village layout much better since there is more room to get in and out of the shower and more privacy for anyone needing to use the facilities while someone else is in the shower.
Another huge difference we really appreciated at Kidani Village was the transportation. The Disney buses pick up guests at Kidani Village before Jambo House guests, then returns guests to Kidani Village before going to Jambo House. We were used to being the first on, last off at Jambo House. But when we returned from Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party in the wee hours of the night and we drove past the sharp right-hand turn toward Jambo House, my heart soared – we would be the first to exit the bus!
You can’t go wrong with either Kidani Village or Jambo House. In fact, when it came time to make our next reservation, we had a hard time deciding which one we preferred. Ultimately the parking, bathroom, and bus schedule won out for us. For some DVC members, though, the convenience of more dining options at Jambo House may be the better choice. No matter what you choose, Animal Kingdom Lodge will be the home base for an unforgettable Disney vacation!