DVC: Copper Creek vs Animal Kingdom Kidani | 2 Bedroom Villas Compared + PHOTO GALLERY
Recently we took our five kids on our first family stay at Walt Disney World Resort as DVC Owners, and we checked out two resorts over eight days. We stayed one night (arrival day) at Copper Creek Villas, at Wilderness Lodge, near the Magic Kingdom area, and six nights at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani, near the Animal Kingdom Park. Who will win out as our favorite place to stay? Let’s rank each category and find out.
Resort Lobby + Layout
Wilderness Lodge (Copper Creek) is stunning, no doubt about it. Grand lobby, fantastic views even from the pools, and amazing food options. The layout is such that you’re never TOO far from restaurant or pool bar, whereas Animal Kingdom Villas is known for the long, long…long hallways and can be a little bit of a trek to get to the lobby/bar/pool etc. However, the lobbies at both Kidani and (moreso) Jambo House at Animal Kingdom Lodge are also incredibly remarkable. I think having the good fortune to visit both Copper Creek and Animal Kingdom Lodge over the holidays was the perfect way to start our family with DVC stays. Gorgeous!
Aesthetically, the Copper Creek Springs Pool is beautiful. We loved having the entire thing to ourselves…but honestly, if this was a “normal” weather day in FL, it would be PACKED—like people soup. It’s simply not a large pool. There is a playground area as well, but the hot tub was not available. The slide was fun and for the kids, super exciting. I should note again, this was our first resort. We did not use the Boulder Ridge Cove Pool this time, but there is no slide over there.
At Animal Kingdom Villas, you are also able to use both pools, as Jambo House and Kidani each have their own pool area. Thank God we walked over to Jambo House’s Uzima Pool first on our resort day. The “water slide” was very meh. My kids essentially looked at me with the “seriously?” meme face. The kids had an amazing day in the water but they were all one and done on that slide. So lame. We enjoyed the Disney music trivia that the cast members were running. In stark contrast, Kidani’s Samawati Springs Pool was the gem of the week for my whole family. This 128-foot slide was really fun and the ambiance/theme of the pool was just fantastic. Josh apparently had some secret formula to go incredibly fast, and it prompted the lifeguard to ask him what he was doing. He had never seen someone fly off that slide so quickly, and the two of them started coming up with ways to go even faster. I suppose it’s worth noting there’s a zero-entry section to the pool, along with a very small/gentle sloping slide, and a few hot tubs as well. We had an absolute blast swimming this vacation.
Winner: Kidani was no contest, followed by Copper Creek. Jambo was tied for last with the one we didn’t even try, but my kids actually wanted to rank Jambo House pool behind Boulder Ridge!
Our view from Copper Creek’s balcony was really peaceful, but honestly aside from some treetops and a bit of the parking lot, we just were looking at the Boulder Ridge rooms. It was rustic and all in all, not a bad view. I’m glad we weren’t overlooking the pool, and we were really close to the lobby so that was a win for us. I’m sure some of the rooms look out at the cabins and lake, which would have been fine too. This resort is so serene, I’m not sure there are too many rooms with a bad view, if any.
At Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani, we splurged on the Savanna View room. The other category is Standard View, and don’t tell my kids, but that’s probably what we’ll do more often just to save the extra points. There are tons other areas of the resort to view the animals, but nothing like sitting on your balcony and seeing the giraffe or the ornery ostrich a few feet away. The savanna view was spectacular. Simply unlike anything else to sit out there and have a coffee, and even at night you could spy some animals moving around.
Winner: Kidani was hands-down the winner here for the balcony and room view.
All 2 bedroom villas are not created equal. For example, at Animal Kingdom Villas – Kidani, there are THREE full bathrooms to Copper Creek’s 2 full bathrooms. Yup, that might seal the deal for us right there to make it top choice. There is also an extra sleeping space, so Kidani can hold up to 9 guests, Copper Creek can sleep 8. But it’s worth pointing out Copper Creek’s master bedroom made it feel like we were at a whole different place than our kids. *This is okay because we have some kids who are older and none that are quite so little anymore. I could see this as a negative if we had different ages. The master bathroom is sort of nuts, because it has the shower, toilet, sink, and walk in closet, then ANOTHER bathroom with a huge tub and 2 sinks, but no toilet. So *almost* 3 full bathrooms, if someone is just cool with a bath only. At Kidani, the giant tub is in the same room as the shower and to get to the actual toilet you’d be walking through the shower/tub/sinks/closet space. Possibly less ideal for some.
There seemed like a TON of storage spots at Copper Creek, which is great and all but it was just kind of bizarrely placed. Useful I suppose if you’re really trying to move in on vacation. The laundry closet had no room to set a laundry basket or anything at all, but there were closets in each bedroom. I almost felt like the tub/sink room off the master was wasted, but I’m not one to spend a ton of time getting ready in the morning.
Conversely, Kidani had very little storage, but loads of empty spaces…which I consider wasted. Bump out some extra room in the kitchen and main room or tuck the laundry on the other side of the wall (Josh literally opened the room door and it bumped the laundry closet door because I was using the washer). Balconies at both were absolutely massive and really comfortable to just sit in a quiet space. YMMV though with balcony neighbors, right Steve?
Winner: With Kidani feeling very 2-bedroom-hotel-room-y, I’ll give it to Copper Creek for its interesting differences.
When we toured the Copper Creek Villas before we purchased DVC, I wasn’t a fan of the galley-style kitchen because it has such a small amount of counter/prep space. We planned a couple of days that we would definitely be cooking meals, and not relying on park/resort food. We ordered our food from Amazon Prime Now (Groceries & Alcohol Delivered to your Walt Disney World Resort – (notclub33.com)). Inside the CCV room, the dining area of the kitchen proved to be great size, with a booth style bench and some chairs, we could have all fit around the large table. I loved the cabinet space, and if we had ordered a lot of groceries for the week at this first location, I am confident we could have fit everything pretty easily. I think some of the kitchen tools and items that are typically in each villa were missing, but we made it work. I do not, however, recommend using a large slicing knife to cut frozen pizza, except in the case of not having a pizza cutter. Lame. The oven also takes an inordinate amount of time to come to temperature. Like a really really long time. The size of the kitchen and counter space would have been more of an issue if I were trying to prep more meals for my family, and if someone is using the kitchen, then there’s not a ton of space to get past them, but overall it was just fine.
I was actually excited about the “larger” kitchen at Animal Kingdom Lodge – Kidani…until we tried to put our groceries away. The cabinets were not plentiful, and there was really just nowhere to put anything that didn’t come with the unit. (I will mention there was a pizza cutter, so that took away a little space we could have used for…nothing.) We had to get creative, using the bartop counter to hold some grocery items, which effectively eliminated the ability to sit there. Why is this an issue? Because the dining table seats MAYBE five- IF you pull a stool from the bartop counter over. This is annoying AF to me, because this unit sleeps NINE. My family, while possibly in the minority, likes to eat meals together – at the table, not in front of a television or on the couch. That’s really just not possible, but we would have settled for 2 at the bartop. Obviously we survived, but I will say that was one thing I was a little down on when I saw the layout, is how small the dining table was. The table was great for a homework space for my kids, and we did push a couple of them outside on the balcony to do homework with a view. Not having a pantry of any kind (remember the wasted space I mentioned before) and the complete lack of cabinets makes this hard for me to say, but my home resort’s kitchen is just not what I wanted.
Winner: Realistically, neither of these resorts has a kitchen I would choose again, but both were usable. If you can’t be flexible at Disney, you really shouldn’t come.
Copper Creek (Wilderness Lodge) is a very fun place to explore. Did you know there are thermal features INSIDE the resort?! You can start by following the gurgling stream/spring in the back of the lobby, and follow that all the way around outside….and it actually ends in the Copper Creek Springs Pool. In terms of our personal experience, it was fun to go see the geyser and take a quick look at the scenery. We checked out a few other nooks and walkways and we loved the theming of the resort in general. I wish we could have relaxed at the 4th floor fireplace but it was always occupied. Josh and I enjoyed visiting Territory Lounge for drinks with a friend and I was able to get the last Oktoberfest beer they had, so that was a small win.
We also really enjoyed exploring at Animal Kingdom Villas, both the Kidani side and the Jambo House side. The lobby is so beautiful and so many neat cultural things to see and explore made us stay inside longer than we thought we would! We were able to talk with a Cast Member for a while about the animals on the savanna, and having multiple up close viewing areas was incredible. We even got a front row view of all of the animals taking off running from one end to the other. It was unreal.
Winner: Seeing something that we truly don’t think we’d experience anywhere else made us choose Animal Kingdom Villas for exploring over Copper Creek Villas.
We took the boat from WL to Magic Kingdom and it was amazing. We got down to the launch about 10 min earlier than the first trip of the day (according to the front desk’s schedule). We walked right on and departed within 2 minutes. This was our only transportation usage as we only stayed one night at CCV.
From AKV-K we took, wait for it, a bus. Every day. And it was okay for the most part. I don’t disagree that it would be sweet to have more transportation options out of AKV but I suppose I’m fine with the buses since we don’t typically have our own vehicle. *This will change as soon as Disney’s Magical Express (complimentary transportation round trip to MCO) ends.* Even then, I’m not doing the TTC if I don’t have to on a Magic Kingdom day, so even if I did have my own ride, forget that crap.
I’ve got to say though, the people who complain about “how far” it is to every park from AKV are annoying. I timed it and we made it from Magic Kingdom to the resort in 16 minutes at the end of the night. We made it to Magic Kingdom from the resort in 14 minutes in the morning. This is really not that big of a deal! I guarantee those guests will wait longer to get ON the Skyliner from Riviera Resort to go to EPCOT or HS on the daily, not even including the giant clusterF to swap lines at Caribbean Beach. People love to bitch I guess.
Winner: Obviously Copper Creek/Wilderness Lodge, because BOAT!
I asked my kids which resort was their favorite after our trip. They had such a hard time choosing one over the other because they’d say they loved AKV Kidani for one reason but loved Copper Creek for a whole different reason. I do think this is the beauty of not just Disney Vacation Club membership, but Walt Disney World Resort in general. With such a wide range of resort themes to experience, there really will be something for everyone.
Copper Creek Gallery (below)
Kidani Village Gallery (below)