For those of you following the story on the reopening of Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House, you are not alone in wondering if this is the last we will hear from (what the DVC Fan Facebook Group has deemed) #Jambogate. For those with reservations at the resort, it has been one roller coaster of a ride to figure out where you will be sleeping at night once you arrive. While speculation has turned us to wonder many things (like if LeBron James would be overlooking the savanna from his Grand Villa), most evidence pointed out that Jambo House is a mixed-use resort with DVC making up a very small portion. It would not be financially viable to open up Jambo House for what is basically one floor. Oddly enough, that seems to be exactly what Disney is doing on July 10th.
In case you missed it, here is a timeline of events from when we first noticed something strange going on with Jambo House reservations up to what we currently know.
May 27, 2020: Disney announces they will reopen DVC resorts at Walt Disney World on June 22, 2020. Vero Beach and Hilton Head are to open June 15, 2020, and no plans regarding Grand Californian or Aulani are mentioned. Nothing is singling out Jambo House in this announcement.
June 6, 2020: Disney publishes a list of the DVC resorts reopening along with the amenities that will be available at each resort. Jambo House is noticeably absent. Member Services begin confirming to guests that Jambo House will not reopen June 22 with no known re-opening date. Some members begin to call and move their reservations.
June 10, 2020: Four short days later, Jambo House reservations go back live on the DVC member site with large amounts of availability beginning June 22 and onward. Member Services gives mixed responses on reopening possibilities and dates. Some members begin to rebook the resort.
June 17, 2020: DVC confirms through an announcement on their website that Jambo House will not open June 22, and instead, guests with affected trips will be moved to Kidani Village. The statement claims that as the volume as reservations increase over time, inventory will begin to include Jambo House. No re-opening date is given. Some members with earlier reservations are moved to Kidani. The ability to book Jambo House beginning June 22 still remains active on the member site.
June 21, 2020: Disney begins to make announcements regarding the reopening of other resorts. Among the list, Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House is slated as reopening July 10, 2020. It is to be noted that the list explicitly lists the resort as the villas, not the hotel side.
June 24, 2020: Jambo House Villas are quietly removed from Disney’s reopening list, leaving many guests scratching their heads.
June 26, 2020: An announcement currently up on the DVC site lists Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House as reopening July 10, 2020. However, the only amenity opening with the resort is the Uzima Pool. Everything else, including dining, will resume with the rest of the resort, which has no current reopening date. Guests are encouraged to use the amenities at Kidani Village.
As it stands now, it appears that Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House will reopen on July 10th with the DVC villas only. Dreams Unlimited Travel Agent, Elaine Edwards has confirmed for me that she is unable to book any of her clients for the hotel side of Jambo House and will not be able to until Disney announces an opening.
It seems Disney has had a difficult time figuring out what to do with Jambo House and I’m not entirely sure this is the last we will see from the #Jambogate saga. What seems most disheartening is not the fact that Jambo House may not open, it’s the lack of clear communication to both members and the member service agents fielding the phone calls on the subject. Regardless, Paul and I have a reservation for Jambo House at the beginning of August and I am feeling hopeful we will be able to enjoy one of our beloved home resorts. Tell us what you think in the comments about the opening of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas-Jambo House and how it has affected your DVC travel plans!