Saturday, January 30, 2016

Disney Vacation Club -- 25 years old!

Disney Vacation Club turns 25

Growing Up Disney
1991 Logo button

Growing Up Disney
1995 Logo sign

Growing Up Disney
2011 Logo

In October of 1991 The Disney Vacation Club Resort opened in the mythical town of Conch Flats. It was complete with a General Store and Olivia Farnsworth's  Olivia's restaurant with Captain Wahoo sitting in the corner booth.  Along Turtle Crawl the main building has Papa's Den, named after one of Key West's most famous residents.  While it was not  totally compete until later the resort was beautiful with a light house reminiscent of Key West standing near the main pool.  The buildings sat among the moss laden trees with a golf course winding through.  The buildings in shades of pale blue and green dotted the landscaping.  White balusters on the balcony had hidden Mickey's peaking through.

Growing Up Disney
OKW Lighthouse

 The first resort's name was changed later when Disney's Vero Beach Resort opened October 1995 and Disney's Hilton Head Resort in 1996.  The new name reflected the resorts architecture and Key West theming as the resort became Disney's Old Key West Resort.

Mom and I toured The Disney Vacation Club Resort about a year after it first opened and purchased our first membership points a few months later.  So we have been members for 23 years of the 25 years Disney Vacation Club has been around.
Growing Up Disney

The Disney Vacation Club has changed over the years and as it grew the DVC Logo changed.  Originally the logo featured 3 mountains with Mickey sun.  Then as Vero Beach was added the logo changed to only feature 2 mountains.  Then as Aulani was added the logo changed to feature a globe with Mickey ears.  Over the years Disney Vacation Club has grown and expanded from the original villas at Old Key West to a family of 14 resorts.  You can click on the resort names below to visit the official Disney site for each resort.

All the DVC resorts are unique but have one thing in common... a friendly "Welcome Home!" When you arrive at a DVC resort we have always been greeted the same way.  "Welcome Home!" We have stayed at most of the resorts or at least visited them.  One day I hope we make it to all of them, especially Aulani. Our favorite is still the resort we consider our home-away-from-home at Old Key West.  All the Old Key West villas still have "Welcome Home" door mats at the front door.

This year the Disney Vacation Club is celebrating it's 25th Anniversary all year long.  DVC has a lot planned for the Members this year.  To kickoff the year long celebration the Magic Kingdom will be open on February 25th and March 3rd from 9:30 PM until Midnight for the 25 and Beyond Bash.  This is a free ticketed event for DVC Members and their guest.  Totally Free but you do have to make a reservation.  Mom and I have reservations at Old Key West for the end of February to catch this party.

Check out all the 25th Anniversary events at .
Growing Up Disney
Welcome Home
Welcome Home!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Photo Flashback! Kidani Village 2 Bedroom Villa

October 2015 the Growing Up Disney family stayed at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village.  This is a short review of the resort with some pictures of the 2 Bedroom Villa.

We had me (DisneyDad), Mom, Amy, Andy along with Tink and Minnie in a savanna view 2 bedroom villa.  Ridge had his own  deluxe studio just down the hall from our villa.  We arrived early on our check-in day as we drove and waited for Amy and family to arrive on Disney's Magical Express.  We had lunch reservations at Sanaa and had an absolutely fantastic meal.  If you have never been to Sanaa, don't miss the Bread Service.  Naan with dipping sauces.  Yumm!

Growing up Disney
Amy, Tink and Minnie
We were all full from lunch and enjoying visiting around the table at Sanaa when we received a text with our room number.  We made our way to our villa to see where we were staying for the next week.  Our room was in the middle of the curve of the building at the end of the Sunset Savanna.  We could not have asked for a better room.  The view from our balcony was fantastic and I spent several mornings with a cup of coffee watching animals on the Savanna.
Growing Up Disney
Shield on Kidani Village Doors

Kidani Village is one of the Disney Vacation Club properties at Walt Disney World.  Over the years we have stayed at most of the DVC properties.  Each of the DVC resorts are unique with their own theme.  Kidani Village is themed after the African savanna with a good dash of The Lion King thrown in for good measure.  

Growing Up Disney
Kidani Village 2 br Living Room
 Our two bedroom villa would sleep up to 9 with a king sized bed in the master bedroom, two queen beds in the 2nd bedroom and a full sized sleeper sofa and an over sized chair that made into a bed.

Growing Up Disney
Dining Table in 2BR Villa at Kidani Village

Amy and Andy's bags had been delivered to the villa before we arrived and we brought up all our bags from our cars and began to settle in.  The villa has a full kitchen and comes stocked with cooking utensils and dishes.  Kidani Village is near US192 so off we went to the Publix at Celebration and stocked up on milk, bread and other goodies to make breakfast in our room.  Eggs, bread for toast, bacon, cereal, and ingredients for making sausage balls made sure we had plenty to eat for breakfast.  Dining reservations in the parks and Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival made sure we didn't go hungry,

Growing Up Disney
Kitchen in 2 Br Villa

Kidani Village has a large zero entry pool with a water play area next to it.  The girls loved going down the big waterslide with dad at the bottom of the slide waiting on them..  There were plenty of activities around the pool and the cast members had a modified dunking booth that popped a water balloon over your head instead of dunking you.  The kids at the pool lined up for a chance to "dunk" someone and be the next to be "dunked".  

Growing Up Disney
Master Bedroom Kidani Village - note the Lion King Headboard

Growing Up Disney
2 BR Villa 2nd Bedroom Kidani Village

Community hall had movies playing on the TV as well as plenty of games and activities.  Across the hall was the Arcade with lots of games there too.  I think Tink liked the arcade ride along a roller coaster the best.  That and beating me at Air Hockey.

It was not too far of a walk to go from our room to Jambo House where we had breakfast at Boma one day and dinner there another.  There was a shuttle that would take you but it was not but about a 5 minute walk.  Transportation to the parks was by bus.  Disney has placed video screens at the bus stop to let you know how long until the next bus comes.  I thought this was a great idea and the times displayed were always right.

The walk to Jambo House is important if you are not making breakfast in your room.  There are some groceries available at Kidani Village, but there is not a true counter service restaurant.  At the pool you can get some pre-prepared sandwiches or order from room service that will deliver to the pool.

Growing Up Disney
Mom and baby from our balcony, taken with my iPhone

The real draw of Kidani Village is the Savanna.  From our room you had a great view of the animals on the Savanna. Sitting on our balcony each morning you could watch animals come out for their breakfast.  Tink and Minnie loved watching the giraffes from our room.  There was even a baby giraffe that follow its  mother around.  Near the front desk were two areas to watch from inside or you could step out onto a balcony and sit in a rocking chair as you watch the animals.  Down on the grown floor you can walk out around a fire pit and watch the animals from ground level.  At night you could see the fire pit from our room, but we never made it there for the activities around the fire pit.  Also at night from our balcony you could watch trucks come through for a nighttime safari across the Savanna.

Let us know if you have been to Kidani Village and what you think of the resort.