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Grand Villa, Savanna View
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 75211 Fri October 4, 2013
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Recommended By Average Rating
100% of reviewers 9.6
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Description: Animal Kingdom Villas Grand Villa, Savanna View
Accomodation Size: Grand Villa
View (Value, Standard, Savanna, Concierge): Savanna


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Steamboat Bill

Banned

Registered: September 2006
Location: Treehouse Villa
Posts: 3025
Review Date: Tue April 22, 2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Huge, Great theme, Billiards room, 3x Balcony
Cons: Price, no concierge, questionalbe locations

DVC Animal Kingdom Lodge – Grand Villa Review


I have been a DVC member since 2001 and have had the opportunity to stay in a two bedroom unit at every fabulous DVC location. This year, I was planning a nice family reunion and decided to splurge on a Grand Villa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge on the fifth floor of the Jumbo House.


We were a group of eight and could have easily fit into a two bedroom unit, but we were planning on entertaining several friends on several different nights, so we used this as a nice excuse to upgrade to a Grand Villa.


Ever since I joined DVC, I thought the premium for a Grand Villa was not worth the points, but little did I know how nice these units really are. As an educated guess, the AKL GV was 6x as wide as a typical studio and 1.5x as long. Thus, my non-scientific estimation is a GV is about 8x larger than a typical studio hotel room. A great bonus was the three huge balconies that are included that are at least 6x (each) larger than a studio balcony. Thus, the GV provides balcony space that is about 18x the size of a typical studio balcony.


We checked into room 5483 at the end of the hallway and it occupied the entire end of the building. A double door entry way was a small clue to what lies inside. Surprisingly, there is no doorbell and this is something that should be added as we often were watching movies on the 42’ flat screen television and blasting the surround sound system that was so nice that it is actually hard to hear someone knocking on the door.


Once you enter the main doorway, there is a greeting room entry that is about 10x8 feet with a guest bathroom and shower to the left, laundry room to the left, mirror and table to the right, and an incredible view into the family room. The ceiling was about 8 foot and opened up once you entered the main living areas of the Grand Villa.


The family room was directly ahead with 2 lounge chairs, family sized couch and a fantastic entertainment center that housed a 42 inch LG television. There was also a DVD, stereo, and surround sound system that really rocked.


Off to the left of the family room was a pleasant surprise, a billiard table that appeared slightly smaller than a regulation table, but provided tremendous fun for the entire family and our guests each day. This is a novel addition as none of us has actually stayed in a resort with a billiards table in the room.


The master bedroom was left of the billiard room and had a very King sized comfortable bed, great colors, 37 inch LG flat screen television and a nice desk for my laptop computer. There was a ceiling fan that we never used and a huge bathroom. The bathroom is separated from the bedroom with two solid core wooden doors that slide to open or close depending on your privacy needs. The first thing you see in the master bathroom is a single person jetted tub in the middle with a 37 inch flat screen television on the wall. In fact, you can actually view both televisions while soaking in the tub. There are two separate sinks with granite countertops, shower stall, and a large walk-in closet that is about 10x6 feet in size. The only complaint was the built-in safe was incredibly small and could use an upgrade.


On the other side of the family room is the dining room with a huge dining room table made from solid wood that can easily sit 10 people for dinner. This is a great feature. The kitchen had full sized Black Whirlpool appliances including refrigerator, microwave, stove, range, 4x toaster, dishwasher and a ton of accessories. The cabinets were themed wood and had granite countertops.


There is a long hallway to the two other bedrooms and two other bathrooms and even had a separate entrance way that we never used. I am not sure why this is needed as this unit is not a lock-off and is really wasted space that could have been added to the bathrooms. The first bathroom was a standard size with a tub/shower combo and a single sink.


Both bedrooms were similar in size and had 2x Queen sized beds, desk area, and great African theme. The other bathroom was larger and had a separate shower and separate tub area and the commode had a door attached for privacy. There is another large closet at the end of the hallway.


A cool feature that is hard to describe is how large the three half circle balconies really are. You can easily fit 10 people on each balcony for a party. The balcony to the right was located directly over the hot tub spa area near the Uzima Springs Pool Bar and also had a view of the flamingo animal area. The flamingos are not on the AKL map and must have been in mating season as they were quite noisy the entire time we were there and prevented the guests from sleeping with the windows open as it was a nice cool breeze the weekend we were there. The middle balcony had a large table and 4 chairs where anyone could enjoy a nice breakfast while watching the sun rise. The master bedroom balcony had the best view of the Uzima Savanna and we saw lots of animals, but is not nearly as good as the GV located at the ends of the hallway that provide a view into the Arusha Savanna.


The themeing of the GV and the entire AKL were incredible and clearly the best of any DVC I have seen. This of course, is my opinion, but this place is unbelievably beautiful. The carpet, paint colors, pictures on the walls, light fixtures, bedspreads, etc. were superb.


Although the GV was fantastic, in all fairness, there were a few tiny issues that could be improved. I think this specific GV was a handicapped access room as the master bathroom shower had a fold down chair, elevated shower curtain (vs a nice glass enclosure in the guest bathroom) and a terrible shower hear. In fact, we ended up taking our showers in the front entrance way guest bathroom as the shower was MUCH nicer than the master bedroom. This did not make my wife happy.


The GV in the Jumbo House is clearly a converted hotel room vs a specific DVC built GV that I think will be MUCH nicer in the new DVC ALK Kidani Village buildings and I would request staying in the Kidani Village if you want a GV in the future. I also think GV guests should get access to the 6th floor concierge floor as I tried to pay extra for this service and the front desk refused. Come on, we are staying in the most expensive and largest room on the AKL and we can’t get access to the concierge?


The view from room 5483 was sub-par at best and was probably the worst view of all the GV locations. The view of the Uzima Savanna was only seen from the side of the master bedroom balcony and the two other balconies had a nice view of the hot tubs and lots of people standing at the Savanna overlook below. At first we thought it was a restaurant downstairs, but was only an area for hotel (and non-hotel) guests to view a few animals.


The rack rate for this room was about $2,000 per night and it only cost me 99 points per night. Thus, I felt I received great value from my DVC membership as I never would have spent that much cash on a GV. I can say for sure, our family can easily get used to staying in Grand Villas from here on out, but I will reserve these visits for special occasions.


Here is a link to some photos I took on the last day when we were checking out. It was a little messy and should have taken some photos when we arrived, but the kids were so excited and we had two carts of luggage that was unpacked.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/steamboatbill/

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dschwarzbauer
Grand Villa

Registered: December 2008
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 1422
Review Date: Mon August 17, 2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Views, size, theming, tv's, bathrooms,
Cons: distance from our pool and check-in.

We stayed at unit 7464 in Kadanni Village and it is stunning. The views are fantastic, we saw giraffe's, zebras, and mnay other animals. There are 6 tv's including one in the master bath. The master toilet has a phone as well. These are two story units with the master in the lower unit. The kitchen and living rooms are huge. The washer/dryer are neatly hidden on the first floor. On the second level is two other bedrooms with two queen beds and full bathrooms. There is a sitting area on the second level with a 42" flat screen tv. The lower level has another full bathroom for a total of 4 full baths. With 9 people this was really nice. The balcony's were huge and each bedroom has one as well. The theming and the pictures made this unit even more special. The wierd part is we were at the end of Kadanni as far away as possible from the Kadanni check-in. We were actually closer to the Jambo house pool then our own pool. As Robin Leach would say, for the discriminating traveler the Grand Villa at the Animal Kingdom Lodge is the perfect solutioon for the rich and famous.
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hillbilly1170

Waiting to pass ROFR (i.e., n00b)

Registered: April 2007
Posts: 6
Review Date: Sun February 6, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Flat screen above jaccuzzi, savannah view
Cons: Long walk to lobby,

We stayed at a Grand Villa at the Jambo House October 2010. This exceeded our expectations as it is different than most Grand Villas! We were on the 5th floor looking out toward Arousha Savannah.


First of all everyone was pleasantly suprised, in fact we are going back again to stay there next year. At the entrance you were greeted to a double door entryway that was impressive to say the least. Once you walked in to the large foyer area there was the washer and dryer tucked in a closet along with a bathroom and coat closet.


The living room was large and a huge 42" flat screen TV. It also had it's own balcony to view the animals in the savannah. The kitchen was much like the 1 and 2 bedroom kitchens, however, the dining room table was long enough that you felt you were royalty.


Down the hallway were the two individual bedrooms with flat screens, internet access and one had a private full bathroom while the other was located outside the door and had full ammentaties as well. A balcony could be accessed from the bedrooms to view the savannah.


The master bedroom had it's own private balcony and a huge master bathroom. Most impressive was the flat screen tv you could view will soaking among the jets in the jaccuzzi. Next to the master bedroom was the billiards room. This was a family favorite during our stay. I have been in every grand villa on disney property and must say this is the nicest. I highly recommend this room.

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Disneygeek

Waiting to pass ROFR (i.e., n00b)

Registered: March 2011
Posts: 12
Review Date: Thu March 31, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Love the view and details of the villa
Cons: Long walk to and from the bus/hotel room

My only complaint really is the walk from the bus to where our room was located. Our grand villa was the last one in the farthest bldg. It was a good 10-12 min. walk from the bus; and with two grandkids after a long day (even when we broke it up with naps), it was a long-g-g-g walk.
The whole villa, however, is wonderfully decorated. I worried a little about the grandkids slipping on the tile floors with their socks. So, I made them take their socks off when they walked in.
The views were great and we had so much fun first thing in the morning seeing the giraffes, etc. It was a little distracting to get the kids in when it was time to eat.
I am not sure why they are making DVC members stay in the Kidani Village. We had made arrangements to stay in the main "village" but when we checked in, we were told that they had moved us to Kidani and all DVC members were going to be asked to stay there. Because of this, they did upgrade us from the 2-bdrm to the Grand. Nice!
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dlhvac

Waiting to pass ROFR (i.e., n00b)

Registered: October 2009
Location: pocono mountains, Pa
Posts: 49
Review Date: Fri October 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Price you paid?: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: liked you could actually see the savannah from one balcony
Cons: 2 balcony no savannah view pool view

really liked the size of the space for the 6 of us it was overkill
but very nice it was not concierge but nice nevertheless
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