Trip Report Spring Break 2017 - Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani Village

First time posting in Trip Reports - I enjoy reading everyone's write-ups!

I'm not going to be as detailed as most people but I thought I would throw out a few observations and thoughts to help anyone else going soon.

Just returned today. Spent last week (March 25th - April 2nd, 2017). First trip in 7 years!!!!

Hotel: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village
- Stayed in a two bedroom villa which was great.
- Booked through David's Vacation Club Rentals to use someone else's Vacation Club points. GREAT EXPERIENCE!! I won't go into the details of it all, but if you haven't done this, I highly recommend it. If you have questions on how it works, let me know. I am glad to tell you all I know (it can seem a little daunting at first).
- Used TouringPlans.com in planning - they have pictures from the different rooms to help you pick where you want to stay within each hotel. And they will fax Disney your room request a few days before hand. It worked and I got the room I requested. Great site!!
- WORST THING ABOUT IT - it is really far from MK, EP, HS - but I felt the Disney transportation was fantastic the whole time, even when we were stuck waiting a few buses after fireworks.

Magic Bands: Loved them. Put a credit card on there and didn't even need to carry a wallet! Photos automatically linked to My Disney Experience (it was a little "Big Brother" at first, but also pretty cool). Got cool "skins" for them on a website called Magic Your Band which worked nicely and customized them for a fraction of the cost of buying fancy ones in the parks.

Food:
- LOVED: Chicken and Waffle sandwich (Sleepy Hallow), Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich (Ice Cream shop in France), Butter Chicken (Sanaa at AKL, Kidani), and LeFou's Brew (Gaston's Pub).
- OVERRATED: Be Our Guest - Got reservations far in advance for lunch - it's fine, food is decent, atmosphere is fun, but do not wait hours to get in. Totally not worth it.

NEW EXPERIENCES: New Fantasyland is great - I wouldn't wait 1.5 hours for the Mine Train, but it was much more fun than I was led to believe. Rivers Of Light is (in my humble opinion) TERRIBLE! We went in over and hour early to be able to see it, and it was not good. Music was not inspiring. The backdrop water spray didn't fill in enough to even make out what was being projected on it. The water fountain flowers were cool, but mostly I just didn't think it was up to Disney standards. It will be busy for quite a while I assume. Once the hype dies down, if you can wander in at showtime to see it, it's worth judging for yourself, but don't waste your whole evening waiting for it.

Fast Pass +: This was my first time using it. It's frustrating, but it works OK. In Epcot and HS, where you are limited on top tier rides, it's tougher. But if you're on this site, I assume you know how to manage in the parks and will do fine. I didn't realize you could cancel ones you didn't need once you had started your day. This helped a lot once I figured it out. (For example, I would maybe have Soarin', Spaceship Earth and Journey into Imagination one morning, with plans to park hop to MK in the afternoon. We would enter Epcot, then cancel Imagination since we didn't really need it, and pick up something for MK that afternoon. It worked well instead of wasting a FP on a ride we didn't want to see or didn't need a FP).
 

Zipitidoda

Well-Known Member
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Thanks for sharing. I do agree with you about BOG. I'm hoping that we'll disagree about ROL. We will be there in September and I'm really looking forward to seeing it.
 
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Gartdog

Active Member
Original Poster
I do hope you enjoy ROL. I never root for something WDW related to fail. I just didn't get the same sense of wonder as I do from the other nighttime shows. By the way - saw the Star Wars fireworks in HS and that show is great!
 

amjt660

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the mini TR
You do not have to do a total play by play to do a TR
If you get a chance to download some pictures that would be cool

I find BOG a hit and miss thing
I love the atmosphere but the food is normally OK

We did not get to see ROL in December (it was supposed to be open but you know - Disney delays)

Thanks again
Max
 

DisneyBergh

Member
Happy to hear good news about Kidani (and even better new that TP room request worked great for you)! We're renting points from a friend, and staying in a 1 bedroom in November. We plan on using the room finder to avoid the possibility of a 1/4 mile walk from our room to the lobby!
Did you use the kitchen much? We're thinking of ordering some things from GG.
~edited to correct some seriously horrible grammar!
 

Scoppin

Well-Known Member
How did you find the crowds?

I am not sure when our next trip is going to be, however considering we were just there for DS's birthday, I think it only fair if next time we go for DD's birthday which would be March 29th.
 

Gartdog

Active Member
Original Poster
Happy to hear good news about Kidani (and even better new that TP room request worked great for you)! We're renting points from a friend, and staying in a 1 bedroom in November. We plan on using the room finder to avoid the possibility of a 1/4 mile walk from our room to the lobby!
Did you use the kitchen much? We're thinking of ordering some things from GG.
~edited to correct some seriously horrible grammar!

We used the kitchen for breakfast. It was great! And Garden Grocer was fantastic as well.
 

Gartdog

Active Member
Original Poster
How did you find the crowds?

I am not sure when our next trip is going to be, however considering we were just there for DS's birthday, I think it only fair if next time we go for DD's birthday which would be March 29th.

I used touringplans.com for some of my planning - they give crowd size estimates on a scale of 1 to 10. Most days we were there they rated it around a 7 or 8, and that seemed pretty accurate. So it was fairly crowded. I've seen worse at holidays, but it was definitely packed. It would have been more manageable under the old fast pass system, but the Fast Pass Plus system has done a pretty amazing job of distributing guests to all the different attractions (good for Disney and crowd control, but it throws a monkey wrench in the plan if you try to fast pass or ride big attractions early or late and then spend the crowded hours riding things with traditionally shorter lines - I can never remember a time when Small World had a 45 minute wait!).
 

Belle225

New Member
Thanks for your report! That's a great idea for FP - going to use that tip when we go in October!

We're staying at Kidani (never stayed at AKL - super excited!) Did you go to Jambo House much? And if so, how was the walk between Kidani & Jambo? Or, if you used the buses, how was the wait getting between the 2?
 

imahistorygeek

Well-Known Member
Thanks for your report! That's a great idea for FP - going to use that tip when we go in October!

We're staying at Kidani (never stayed at AKL - super excited!) Did you go to Jambo House much? And if so, how was the walk between Kidani & Jambo? Or, if you used the buses, how was the wait getting between the 2?

The walk is between 8 - 10 minutes in our experience. There's also a shuttle that runs between the two resorts. We never had to wait more than a few minutes for the shuttle van.
 
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