Villas at Jambo House

by Mark Goldhaber, staff writer

Villas at Jambo House

With the work on the Animal Kingdom Villas at Jambo House—what they're now calling the main Animal Kingdom Lodge building (the new annex under construction is being called Kidani Village)—scheduled for completion on January 29, I thought it might be an opportune time to tour one of the Disney Vacation Club villas that has been built in the main building. This article focuses on a one-bedroom villa in Jambo House with a view of the Uzima Springs pool area. [For a look at the public areas of the Animal Kingdom Lodge, you can check out Brian Bennett's photo tour of the resort.]

The main room of the villa contains the kitchen, dining area and living area.

Upon entering the door of the villa (center), you immediately find the kitchen (left rear) before proceeding to the dining area (right) and the living area (foreground). Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The kitchen (rear) has a fully refrigerator, oven, stove, dishwasher and all other amenities usually found in a DVC one-bedroom villa. The dining area (foreground) has a table with a bench and two chairs, though other chairs can be dragged around the table from elsewhere in the suite. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The space between the dining and living areas is close, with the dining table immediately adjacent to the unit holding the flat-screen TV. At right is a sleeper chair, which adds capacity for a fifth person to sleep in the villa. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Of course, when the sleeper chair and the sleeper sofa are both folded out, the living area becomes a bit crowded. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Looking out from the balcony of the Zebra Trail room that I toured, you have a view of the Uzima Pool area. Other rooms have savannah or parking lot views. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

A short hallway between the kitchen and living room area leads to a closet containing the washer/dryer and other laundry supplies. To the left is the bedroom, to the right is the bathroom.

As with all one-bedroom and larger villas, a washer and dryer are available so that you can do your laundry in your room at any hour of the day or night. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Moving into the bedroom, the décor continues a bright, African-inspired color palette. The bed set is particularly colorful, and shows the first of the Disney-themed details you'll notice.

The colors of the comforter and pillows on the bed are bright, despite the washed-out appearance of the towel Mickey-head that sits on the bed awaiting guests. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The bed's headboard features a Rafiki-style portrait of Nala and Simba from The Lion King. The bedside lamps also carry an African feel. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The bedroom features an armoire, rather than a standard closet, as well as a chest of drawers and another flat-screen TV. All woodwork features African-inspired carving work. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

In natural light, the woodwork seems much darker, though still carrying a warm tone. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

But of course, what Disney resort would be complete without lots of Disney-themed décor? Let's take a look through the villa.

We'll start back in the kitchen, with another Simba on a backsplash tile directly behind the kitchen sink. Other animal tiles continue the pattern along the wall. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The woodwork below the living room TV also features Simba with other animals above. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

What Disney bedroom carpet would be complete without a hidden Mickey in the pattern? Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Even better, the curtains are a veritable smorgasbord of characters from The Lion King and other African residents. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Of course, the front edge of the desk needs a hidden Mickey along with more African-themed carving. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

I was told that the circular patterns on the mirror are intentional sideways hidden Mickeys . Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

Rounding it out, what rectangular Jacuzzi tub would be complete without tilework depicting the fabulous opening scene of The Lion King directly over your head? Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

All in all, it's a very nice villa, and one worth using your Disney Vacation Club points at, or booking for cash value if you're so disposed. While the work to convert hotel rooms to 134 DVC villa accommodations at Jambo House has come to an end, it's just heating up over at Kidani Village. The new annex is targeted for completion in late 2009, and will feature a new restaurant, themed pool area and water-play area, fitness center, merchandise shop, sports and recreation facilities, underground parking and 324 more DVC villas.

A construction crew works on the first sections of the Kidani Village buildings back in October. Photo by Mark Goldhaber.

The new Animal Kingdom Villas are bound to be a very popular destination, making DVC's tag line of "Disney's Best-Kept Secret" even more of a misnomer.