Monday, March 23, 2009

Escape to Africa at Disney's Kidani Village

One of the great things about Walt Disney World is the way it can transport you to exotic and international destinations. And soon, guests will be able to experience a whole new world of international fun at Animal Kingdom. Select rooms at Jambo House at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge have been converted into vacation villas, and by the end of spring, those villas will make their debut as Kidani Village – a fresh and unique new option for lodging that will make guests feel as though they’ve been whisked away to Africa.

Kidani Village is the first of four new Disney Vacation Club properties opening in 2009, and these villas are sure to stand out with their intricate African-inspired details. Kidani means necklace, and this Animal Kingdom villa-village is appropriately shaped like a piece of native African jewelry with villas forming the beads, garden-like walkways creating the knots in between, and the lobby representing the jewel at its center.

With Disney’s penchant for storytelling, Kidani Village will make guests feel like intrepid 19th century explorers on an African expedition. The Disney Imagineers designed the new Kidani Village to feel at home in its wild savannah surroundings; each villa features a thatched-roof, hewn-timber structure that seems to emerge organically from the land beneath it, and most villas offer sweeping views of the savannah, inhabited by a variety of African animals.

In fact, the Village will offer views of two savannahs – the Sunset Savannah and the new Pember Savannah – with up-close glimpses of exotic creatures. Guests can see them from special viewing areas throughout the resort, but select room balconies will also yield views of zebras, giraffes, elands, impalas, gazelles, wildebeests, storks, flamingos, waterbucks, and much more.

And though the exterior of the villas are authentically wild and African, guests will find no shortage of comfort in the interior with plenty of home-like amenities like a kitchenette/kitchen. Scheduled for opening on May 1, Kidani Village will offer 340 two-bedroom equivalent vacation villas.

Kidani Village is set to open in phases through the spring and fall, but first to open will be a brand new table-service eatery called Sanaa. Perfect for families, Sanaa will serve up savannah views and tasty foods from tandoor ovens, along with slow-cooked African specialties. The Village will also eventually include Samawati Springs, a themed pool area; Uwanja Camp, a themed water-play area; Survival of the Fittest, a fitness center; Johari Treasures, a merchandise shop, and more.

So if you’ve been toying with the idea of an exotic vacation adventure but wasn’t sure where to go, head to Walt Disney World this spring and check out the new Kidani Village. These timeshare villas are definitely a step above and beyond your average hotel room, and they’re more affordable than you think when you consider the savings you’ll get with Walt Disney World tickets from And they’re definitely much more affordable than a trip to Africa!


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