Animal Kingdom Lodge Grand Villa

Thanks to Cynthia Graham, one of our favorite fellow Animal Kingdom Lodge fans, for this fantastic review of the Grand Villa in Animal Kingdom Lodge's Kidani Village!

Grand Villa Kitchen & Dining Room

August 2009 Review: Cynthia Graham

Our family visited Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge from 8/19-8/22. We stayed at Kidani Village and our party included 6 adults and two children. We booked the Grand Villa, which sleeps up to 14 people. Our Villa location was room 7446 with a Savanna view.

Our parking location, Zazu Blue, was perfect because it was close to our vehicle, bus stop, and our room as well.

Grand Villa First Impressions
As you stepped into the Grand Villa, the foyer is a little small. There is a nice full bath to the left for guests who are probably sleeping on the sofa bed in the living room. The double stack washer and dryer is to the right, as is the staircase, which leads to a loft area and two additional bedrooms.

The Grand Villa has a full kitchen with dishwasher, nice electric stove, refrigerator, microwave, and other small electric appliances. The granite counter also doubles as a breakfast bar with 4 stools on the opposite side of the counter. The dining room houses an enormous round beautiful table which seated 6-8 people.

In the living room, there was the sofa bed and a flat screen television (6 in total), and the floor to ceiling window where the balcony ran the length on the first floor. The master bedroom is on the ground floor and appeared smaller than the Jambo House Grand Villa bedroom. The master bath was smaller as well, and also had a television.

As you make your way upstairs, there's a comfortable loft area and two bedrooms -- each with its own full private bath and 2 beds. The rooms were a nice size and each had a private balcony for viewing the animals. We didn't see many animals this trip, though.

Grand Villa Review
I would have to say that I liked the Jambo House Grand Villa better than the Kidani Grand Villa. As far a Kidani itself, I don't feel the warmth that I feel when I walk into Jambo House. The atmosphere is different. At Jambo, when you enter the lobby, you are greeted with the aromas of the restaurants, and I like the hustle and bustle of the visitors. Kidani only has the one restaurant, Sanaa, and I have not tried it yet. Kidani's store is much smaller and does not offer much of a selection of souvenirs. I loved the library with the warm toasty fireplace. There is also a laundry room, game arcade and community house on the first floor lobby area.

Grand Villa Living Room

The walk from Kidani to Jambo is a pleasant one. My one concern about Kidani was the proximity of the barbecue grills [for guest use]. They are across the street. I understand that by placing them in that location, the smoke won't hurt the animals. But across the street? I don't think I would want to schlep my food across the street and back. Also, if you forgot something in the villa, then it's a pretty long way back across that street. It seemed like an afterthought to me. I really don't think it would be highly utilized and can be removed. The pool was great. I liked it better than Jambo, which seems like a big bath tub to me. The Kidani pool was quieter and seemed more private, which I loved! The kids play area with water, water, everywhere was great fun for the kids! There is also a nice bar and exercise facility.

My other pet peeve is the fact that if it rains and you are going to the lobby, the walkway is not covered. And I don't like the proximity of the smoking area. You still are walking in a haze of smoke coming out of those side doors. I think it should be across the street with those grills!

What's missing from Kidani? A nice counter service like the Mara. I saw people on the bus with food going back to Kidani! You may as well stay and eat at Jambo.

If I had to choose, I would choose the Grand Villa at Jambo House! It's all on one floor and much bigger. They have great balconies and that pool table was awesome! It's also convenient having the restaurants close by. We still had a great vacation, but next year we'll stay Concierge at Jambo House.

AKL will ALWAYS be my home. I LOVE it!

Thanks again, Cynthia! If any of you have other reviews from the Animal Kingdom Lodge, be sure to drop us a line here!

Also -- this post is part of a Disney Blog Carnival over at DisMarks.com! If you like reading Disney blogs and articles -- head over to the carnival to take a look at some other great posts!