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Old 05-28-2018, 10:33 PM   #1
DVC Darcy
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Default A Lotta Hakuna Matata - Live Trip Report!

Hujambo, everyone!

My name is Darcy and I am a very lucky Vacation Coordinator at David’s Vacation Club Rentals. In fact, this week I am even more lucky than usual. Why? Well, let me tell you.

For the next week, I have the pleasure of bringing you a live trip report from Animal Kingdom’s Kidani Village! (Fun fact: as you might have guessed “hujambo” is one way to say “hello!” in Swahili)

Joining me on this adventure will be Kelly, our amazing Manager of Operations, and my fellow Vacation Coordinator Kayla, who will be taking over later in the week and closing out the show!

Let me first start off by saying that I am first timer here at WDW and this trip is quite honestly a dream come true. Not only am I finally visiting the most magical place on earth, but I am accompanied by two seasoned experts and staying at my bucket list resort! (My favorite Disney film is The Lion King, so I’m sure you can understand my extra dose of excitement)

With that out of the way, let’s strap on our hats and let the safari begin!

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL
Our day began bright and early at around 7:00 am when we hit the road, heading from our home base of London, Ontario to Detroit to catch our flight (shout out to our fellow Canucks!) I am not exactly an early bird, so I felt a bit like Baloo waking up from hibernation but even that could not stop the excitement.

We finally took off around 12:30pm and made it to Orlando just before 3:00 pm. Thankfully by this point I had some caffeine in my system, so we grabbed our bags and took a detour to the Magical Express counter to show the Disney novice (aka me) the lay of the land.



With the mini-tour over we hopped in our rental car and made our way to our home for the week, the beautiful Animal Kingdom Kidani Village!
The check-in was a bit busy when we arrived, but the Cast Members were great at chatting with guests as they waited and getting everyone settled as quickly as possible. We even got some Hawaii themed stickers from a great Cast Member named Jennifer, who we found out is also Canadian!

Originally our assigned rooms were not close together, but they were able to move us around so that we were all on the same floor. Our Cast Member, Gregory, was very helpful. Not only did he give me two celebration pins (one for my first visit and one for my birthday) but he also shared some great animal facts. A good way to kick off our safari adventure.



After some shuffling around with room assignments got our room numbers and Magic Bands and before we knew it we were checking out of amazing Savanna View Studios!

Our villas were located on the South Trail, facing out on the Sunset Savanna. As soon as we arrived we could already see a lot of zebras, ostriches, and a few shy giraffes wandering around! (Of course, as soon as you go to grab your camera they are nowhere to be seen… or is that just me?)





The Studios at Kidani are beautiful and spacious (bigger than my apartment back home, though that isn’t saying much!) I love the rich browns and unique carved furniture. The whole look is right up my alley!



After getting settled the three of us got the ball rolling on our first DVC resort tour. What better place to start than home sweet home, Animal Kingdom? First, we explored Kidani.



Animal Kingdom is the perfect place to kick off our week-long safari adventure because there are truly animals everywhere, and not just on the savannas! You can find animals in the quotes hidden all around the resort, like this one overlooking the savanna itself:



There is also a heavy animal influence in a lot of the art you find in both buildings! With that being said, my favourite part about Kidani so far is the pool area. I have heard great things about the splash pad and boy does it really live up to the hype! There are some great jungle-themed touches like snakes and flowers that shoot water (a flower did get me in the arm when I was not paying attention but I have lived to tell the tale). Unfortunately, the area was really bustling today so I did not get a chance to snap a picture of the very charming snakes (you can, however, spot the flower that shot me)



Kidani definitely has a very homey feel. We stopped by the community hall and library and it seemed like everywhere we went people were relaxing and making themselves comfortable. The relaxing vibe really carries through the whole resort.

As for Jambo House, I will say what my mother said to me when I first started tweezing my eyebrows as a teenager, they are sisters, not twins. The two buildings have a lot in common, but the feel is also very different.

Right away the architecture of Jambo is absolutely stunning. I am sure if Kelly could have captured my dumbfounded look on camera it would make for a great addition here. Luckily for me, I was able to scrape my jaw off the floor of the lobby before I looked too silly.



When I calmed down from my first impression of the lobby, it was not long before I spotted some art featuring one of my all-time favorite animals, the elephant! This time, they were hiding right underfoot.



Something I never knew was that outside at Jambo House they actually have a butterfly conservation area that is full of all different kinds of flora. (I wanted to make a pun here, but I decided against it… insect puns really bug me)



Luckily (for my stomach) while Kelly was touring us around we had a chance to try one of the many outdoor activities at the resort — s’mores!



You can roast an unlimited amount of marshmallows, however, each guest is limited to one s’more. A very lovely Cast Member helped us make our s’mores out of some chewy chocolate chip cookies. I had never made s’mores out of cookies before. This was truly a revelation for me. It felt like being on Masterchef. I was truly left wanting s’more.

Luckily, we did take a break for dinner (no puns involved, honest!) at Mara. I had the Crispy Chicken BLT Sandwich, Kelly had the Pulled Pork Sandwich, and Kayla had the Chicken Nuggets. Kayla and I also embraced the chocolate food group with some Candy Bar Brownies!



With our bodies properly nourished we rounded out our tour by taking in the pool area of Jambo. This, of course, means a visit to the flamingos!



Cast Members were out and about feeding our feathered friends their dinner and were more than happy to answer questions about their diet and eating habits. (Fun fact, flamingos eat a lot of krill and approximately zero s’mores)

Our evening was beginning to wind down, now. However, before we made our way back to Kidani, Kelly did point out a few other hidden gems. Mainly, the mailbox. Each resort has its own mailbox that fits with the specific theme and décor. Jambo House has a very safari-worthy mailbox, however, guests should only use it if they are comfortable feeding their mail to a hippopotamus.



That is all I have to report from day one of our Animal Kingdom Safari Adventure. Tomorrow is a very big Magic Kingdom day so I hope you’ll tune in and see how our escapades unfold!

Last edited by DVC Darcy; 06-03-2018 at 09:52 PM. Reason: fixed image links
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:50 PM   #2
Disney54us
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Enjoy your first visit and happy birthday! If I lived in Canada I would want to work for David. Love the excitement and TR’s from those who do, especially if it’s their first time. What a better way for his employees to help customers than have first hand knowledge.
Being here in the states and a hockey fan we will just have to see how the cup goes, this year. I still find hot weather states having teams odd....
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Old 05-28-2018, 11:00 PM   #3
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Happy Birthday! Off to an excellent start! Great pictures. Thanks for taking the time to share. Looking forward to much more.
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:36 AM   #4
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What a great start to your trip! I can't wait to see what you guys do today
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:01 AM   #5
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Sounds like a great start to your trip!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:08 AM   #6
Joeli
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Im looking forward to more of your trip report. We have a stay planned in Sept. @ Kidani for the first time. We plan on doing more resort staying than park as this is the end of a week long split stay (first part will be @ BWV for new toy story stuff). We also requested Savanah Sunset, so we are hoping it will be fun for the kids. Splash pad and pool will be what we hope is a good alternative, as we will be traveling with an almost 5 and 2 year old at that time.
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Last edited by Joeli; 05-29-2018 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:29 AM   #7
DVC Jen
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Awesome Trip Report so far Darcy! You definitely had me laughing!
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Old 05-29-2018, 09:45 AM   #8
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OK, so jealous of the s'mores! Don't forget to bring some back to the office!

It looks like your trip is off to an amazing start and I'm so happy you're loving Kidani (and Jambo too!) Can't wait to see what you guys get up to next!
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Old 05-29-2018, 11:09 AM   #9
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Very fun start to your trip and great humor. Love it!
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Old 05-29-2018, 03:26 PM   #10
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awesome trip report so far! Cant wait to see more!
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