One way that a Disney vacation is different than most vacations is that there’s very little downtime. How can you possibly relax, or even sleep, when there’s so much to do and see? I’m a willing victim of trying to do too much on every trip, but I’ve started making it a goal to find quiet spots in Disney World where I can sit and people watch or read a book, even for just a short while. While I doubt I’ll ever reach the point where my Disney trips are slow-paced, I’ve found that taking a short break each day helps slow me down and allows me to reflect on the experiences I’m having rather than allowing my trip to turn into a (admittedly fun) blur.
Animal Kingdom Lodge is one of my favorite resorts. I love the main building, Jambo House, for its incredible theme and energy, but my favorite part of AKL is Kidani Village, one of the two Disney Vacation Club properties attached to the resort. Kidani is smaller than Jambo House, but just as beautifully themed, and what draws me back time after time is how quiet and peaceful it is. While most Disney lobbies are bustling with energy, Kidani, even during busier times, is calmer; you can actually hear the soft, African music. The low lighting, muted colors, and fun but subtle Disney-themed touches help ease you into the feeling that you’re cut off, in a good way, from the rest of Disney property. It really is its own little world.
Kidani is lucky to have an ideal spot where guests can relax, a small lounge complete with a fireplace and WiFi; it’s officially known as the library, but you’ll need to bring your own books. Several Disney resorts have impressive fireplaces; the beautiful stone fireplace in the Wilderness Lodge comes to mind. But Kidani Village’s fireplace, while smaller, has the advantage of being cut off from the lobby, a fact which leads many guests to ignore it completely. In fact, I’ve never been in the lounge when there have been more than three or four people in there.