Jambo House vs. Kidani Village: Where Should You Stay At Animal Kingdom Villas



Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Animal Kingdom Villas at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge is split up between two sections: Kidani Village and Jambo House. Both parts of the resort are lovely and offer a variety of villa accommodations, but there are some distinct differences you may want to take into account when you are booking a stay!

Room Size Differences Between Kidani Village and Jambo House Villas

The Kidani Village and Jambo House sections of the resort both feature deluxe studios, one bedroom villas, two bedroom villas, and three bedroom grand villas, but they are not identical copies of each other. Notably, the same room type can have a meaningful difference in room size. The same room size with the same view category does cost the same amount of vacation points at either Jambo House or Kidani Village, so if you value spacious accommodations you may want to prioritize one section of the resort over the other.

animal kingdom lodge balcony
All villa rooms come with a balcony or patio for your enjoyment.

Deluxe Studios at Animal Kingdom Villas

If you are looking to book a deluxe studio stay at the Animal Kingdom Villas then room size isn’t a big factor. The Kidani Village studios are officially one square foot larger than the deluxe studios at Jambo House, but you absolutely won’t notice the difference.

One Bedroom Villas at Animal Kingdom Villas

At both Kidani Village and Jambo House, the standard one bedroom villa accommodations sleep up to five guests, but the overall space allocations are quite different. The Jambo House one bedrooms measure to be approximately 720 square feet, versus the one bedroom villas at Kidani Village are about 807 square feet. This is almost a 100 square foot difference! If having space to spread out and relax is a key factor to a great stay for you, definitely prioritize booking a Kidani Village one bedroom villa instead of Jambo House.

Two Bedroom Villas at Animal Kingdom Villas

Similar to the one bedroom villas, there is a meaningful difference in the footprint of the two standard bedroom villas at the Animal Kingdom Villas. Kidani Village two bedroom villas are about 1,173 square feet compared to those at Jambo House that are around 1,075 square feet. Again, this is about a 100 square foot difference! I personally enjoy when accommodations feel particularly roomy, so for a two bedroom villa I would be aiming to book Kidani Village.

Three Bedroom Grand Villas at Animal Kingdom Villas

Grand villas have an even more prominent difference in square feet for your to enjoy between the two resorts. This time, Jambo House comes in on top at 2,349 square feet compared to 2,201 square feet at Kidani Village. These rooms have the same maximum occupancy with the same types of beds provided, so why not go for the larger space at Jambo House?

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge opened in 2001.

Occupancy and Types of Beds at Animal Kingdom Villas

Between Kidani Village and Jambo House the same room size always has the same maximum occupancy (disregarding Value rooms, which is discussed below), so that is not a factor when deciding between the two. That being said, the bed types provided can differ. Deluxe studios are the same with both sides of the resort featuring one queen-size bed and one double-size sleeper sofa. However, the sleeper sofa accommodations in the one bedroom villas are different. At Kidani Village the one bedroom comes with one king-size bed, one sleeper chair, and one queen-size sleeper sofa; at Jambo House you will have the same one king-size bed and one sleeper chair, but instead the sleeper sofa is double-size. One bedroom villas at Kidani Village are larger and the sleeper sofa is a bit roomier too.

Jambo House only features lock-off two bedroom villas, which includes one king-size bed, one queen-size bed, one double-size sleeper sofa, one queen-size sleeper sofa, and one sleeper chair. Kidani Village features both dedicated two bedroom villas and lock-off two bedroom villas. The dedicated rooms feature more beds instead of sleeper sofas: one king-size bed, two queen-size beds, one queen-size sleeper sofa, and one sleeper chair. The Kidani Village lock-off two bedrooms are a combination of the studio and one bedroom offerings: one king-size bed, one queen-size bed, one queen-size sleeper sofa, one double-size sleeper sofa, and one sleeper chair. All of these two bedroom villas sleep up to nine guests. I personally prefer the dedicated two bedroom villas at Kidani Village because you are equipped with three standard beds and only one sleeper sofa and one sleeper chair. The sleeper sofas are plenty comfortable, but I prefer a standard bed when it is available.

Finally, the three bedroom grand villas have no difference in bed types. Whether you are enjoying these lush accommodations at Kidani Village or Jambo House, your grand villa will come with one king-size bed, four queen-size beds, and one queen-size sleeper sofa.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Fire Pit
There are plenty of fun activities to do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, such as S’mores at the fire pit.

Value Rooms At Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House

Animal Kingdom Villas uniquely offers the “value” category of rooms at Jambo House. Value rooms are considered desirable to many because they cost less vacation points to book. This is because these rooms are converted hotel rooms rather than rooms originally designed to be villas, and therefore are smaller than their standard villa counterparts and occupancy is often fewer maximum guests.

 

Jambo House

 

Value Villas Standard Villas

Occupancy

Square Feet

Occupancy

Square Feet

Studio 4 316 4 365
One Bedroom 4 629 5 720
Two Bedroom 8 945 9 1,075

If you have a smaller travel party or are comfortable in less space, value rooms can be a great way to save some points. Do note though that these are only available at Jambo House; Kidani Village does not feature any value rooms. Additionally, there are no value three bedroom grand villas. Value rooms can be difficult to book without home resort priority, but it is not impossible. If you are looking to rent, keep an eye out for these rooms being listed as confirmed reservations.

Club Level Rooms at Animal Kingdom Villas – Jambo House

Jambo House standard deluxe studios, one bedroom villas, and two bedroom villas feature the Kilimanjaro Club Concierge room category, which is another unique feature of this resort. All Club Level rooms feature an upgraded view of the savanna or pool/water, and there are no Club Level rooms at the Kidani Village portion of the resort. Beyond just your usual, wonderful Disney Vacation Club stay, when you book Kilimanjaro Club Concierge level then you have full access to Club Level amenities. These include perks such as individualized front desk and concierge services, access to the Club Level lounge, help with advanced itinerary planning, and more.

The Club Level lounge should not be overlooked, as it offers refreshments throughout the day from about 7 a.m. until 10 p.m. Depending on the time of day you will have an assortment of coffees, teas and other drinks, and snacks. While I have personally not had the opportunity to stay Club Level yet, the lounge offerings are widely revered. While it may not be enough to fully replace all of your meals, you can certainly count on a light breakfast and snacks throughout the day to come from the Club Level lounge. Plus, utilizing Disney Vacation Points to book a Club Level stay is extremely economical; your points have a high dollar value when using them for Club Level! If you want your vacation to be extra special, go for a Club Level room at Jambo House.

Animals

Both sides of the resort feature savanna view rooms, and in my opinion it is absolutely worth it to pay a few more points to get that savanna view instead of a standard view. This is a portion of what makes the Animal Kingdom Villas resort so magical. The resort features four unique savannas.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Animals
Your savanna view room could mean coffee in the morning on your balcony with some other friends, like these lovely animals.

Savannas for Jambo House Guests: Uzima and Arusha Savannas

There are two savannas only viewable from the Jambo House portion of the resort: Uzima and Arusha. Uzima is one of the smaller savannas, but features some impressive animals. Here you can spot giraffes, kudos, bongos, gazelles, impalas, and blesboks. If you are not staying with an Uzima savanna view, walk down the Zebra Trail hallway to gaze at the animals from the large windows. The Arusha savanna is the entire back of Jambo House and features zebra, ankole cattle, giraffes, geese, wildebeest, gemsbok, eland, and pelicans. If you are not staying in this section of the resort, general viewing is available through the large windows in the resort along the Zebra and Kudu Trails.

Sunset Savanna: Shared Between Kidani Village and Jambo House

Sunset savanna is the largest of the four and rooms from both Jambo House and Kidani Village have views of this landscape. Given the sheer size, this savanna also features the largest variety of animals. Among others, you can see giraffes, ostriches, ankole cattle, cranes, impalas, and bongos. In addition to general viewing from windows along hallways, there are also overlooks into this savanna; one is near the Jambo House lobby and the other is near Sanaa at Kidani Village.

Flamingos Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge
Flamingos can be seen at Jambo House.

Pembe Savanna at Kidani Village

Pembe savanna, viewable from Kidani Village savanna view rooms, is the smallest of the four and features okapi, nyala, ostriches, red river hogs, geese, impala, and ground hornbill. There is not a specific overlook for this savanna, but it can be viewed through large windows along the North Trail. Do note that there are no giraffes in this savanna, so if you have a giraffe lover in your travel party you may want to stay at Jambo House instead, or request your Kidani Village savanna view room overlook the Sunset savanna.

Parking at Animal Kingdom Villas

If you are bringing a car, parking is included at no extra charge with your villas stay when paying with points–so yes, this means if you rent points you do not pay for resort parking! However, the parking logistics at Jambo House and Kidani Village are quite different. At Jambo House you will most likely park in large lot outside the front of the hotel. Jambo House is not particularly large, so even if you are staying in a far away room it won’t be too long of a walk out to your car. In contrast, Kidani Village offers parking along the length of the resort, mostly on the first floor of the resort. Some of this parking is partially covered, meaning you are protected from the intense sun or a sudden downpour. There are also elevators scattered throughout the parking area, which creates easy access to higher floors. I have had a rental car and stayed at Kidani Village before and really enjoyed the convivence of the parking. It was usually easy to find a mostly covered spot close to our room, followed by just a short elevator ride up a couple of floors. The parking lot at Jambo House is equally functional, but in my opinion parking at Kidani Village is just a bit easier overall.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo House
This is the entrance to Jambo House.

Resort Size and Free Transportation

As previously mentioned, Jambo House is a bit more compact than Kidani Village. The Jambo House portion of the resort is shaped like a horseshoe or U, with main amenities near the middle. Therefore, even if you are in a room at the very end of the horseshoe, it really isn’t a long walk back to main amenities such as dining options, the pool, and free bus transportation to the parks. Kidani Village instead is more of a long, winding snake shape. The lobby is in the center of two portions of Kidani Village villas, but the hallways are considerably longer than that of Jambo House. Kidani Village does have its own bus stop, so you do not need to make your way over to Jambo House to catch a bus to a theme park. However, again the bus stop is near the lobby, and your room may be far away. You can put in a room request with Disney to be closer to the lobby, and therefore closer to the bus stop. But if anyone if your travel party has mobility issues, you may want to consider the ease of shorter hallways at Jambo House.

Dining

Dining options at the Animal Kingdom Villas are arguably some of the best on Walt Disney World property; you really cannot go wrong here! Both sides of the resort do offer their own dining options. Certainly, you can walk (or drive) to the other portion of the resort to experience different options, but what is closest to your room will differ.

Dining Options at Jambo House

Jambo House is home to the signature dining location Jiko – The Cooking Place, and has an additional table service buffet-style option of Boma – Flavors of Africa. For quick service, Jambo House features The Mara and the Uzima Springs Pool Bar. The Mara is my favorite resort quick service location. There truly is something for everyone, prices are reasonable, flavors are fantastic, and most importantly you can buy a four-pack of zebra domes here! There is also the Victoria Falls Lounge and Cape Town Lounge and Wine Bar for drinks and light food fare.

Boma Zebra Dome
Packs of 4 Zebra Dome desserts are available for purchase at Mara, Animal Kingdom Villas. Image – HarshLight, flicker.com

Dining Options at Kidani Village

Kidani Village does not have quite the number of options as Jambo House, but these locations serve up delicious food and hold their own. Sanaa is a table service restaurant with gorgeous savanna views. If you are willing to be patient, let the Cast Member at the host stand know you are willing to wait for a table at the window. If you’re lucky, it can feel like you are dining with zebras and other animals on the savanna. Sanaa also features their famous bread service. I know, bread does not sound like a big deal. But it is outrageously delicious and absolutely a must try. There is also a lounge attached to Sanaa and the Maji Pool Bar. Admittedly, Kidani Village lacks a solid quick service dining option. But Sanaa is available to go by placing a mobile order in the My Disney Experience app!

Sanaa restaurant at Animal Kingdom Villas
Bread Service at Animal Kingdom Villas’ Sanaa, photo credit: Steven Miller, flickr.com

Pools at Animal Kingdom Villas

Both sides of the resort have their own feature pool, and guests of Animal Kingdom Villas are welcome to use all of the amenities, including the pools. The Uzima Springs pool at Jambo House is impressively large! Coming in at around 11,000 square feet with over 230,000 gallons of water this is one of the larger pools you will find on Walt Disney World property. There is zero-depth entry and a 67 foot water slide. The Samawati Springs Pool at Kidani Village is about half of the size of the Uzima Springs pool, but does feature a 128-foot water slide. If you are a water slide lover, the pool at Kidani Village may be your best choice!

Best For Your Travel Party

Overall, both Kidani Village and Jambo House accommodations are stunning and you are going to have a wonderful stay. Ultimately, you need to consider what amenities are most important to you and your travel party. I usually only travel with one other person and we often have a rental car. Given that the size of the deluxe studio villas aren’t meaningfully different, I find the parking at Kidani Village to be a big positive factor and enjoy staying at the Kidani Village portion of the resort. But if your party wants to be close to quick service dining or have shorter walks in the interior hallways Jambo House may make most sense for you! And remember, regardless of which section of the resort you stay in you are able to utilize all amenities at both Kidani Village and Jambo House to help make your stay fantastic.

Written by

Jacqueline R.


Contributing Writer

Jacqueline is a PhD scientist with a passion for synthesizing detailed information in an understandable format. She is a Disney Vacation Club owner, overall Disney fan, and the primary content creator on the YouTube channel Pixie Dust PhD.

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