I have only been to Animal Kingdom a handful of times. My family and I really enjoy everything AK has to offer! We love Expedition Everest, Kali River Rapids (even though each time I get completely drenched), the Lion King Show, A Bug’s Life attraction, and many other things. What we love most is the Kilimanjaro Safari!
This ride/attraction is amazing! I definitely would put this on your “must do” list of things to see and do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I also highly recommend you enter the park as early as you can possibly get in the gates and head straight to the Safari. If you are visiting the park anywhere from December through March it probably is not as big of an issue, however we are going into our first “winter” in Florida so I will have to report back as to if my opinion changes on whether you should head straight there on any given morning in the winter months.
Once you get to the line area you can hop right in, stroller and all (there is no height requirement on this attraction, everyone in your party will enjoy together). Once you work your way back in the queue there will be Castmembers placing your stroller in a waiting area convenient for where you will be exiting the attraction. As you proceed towards the attraction take note of the amazing details (as usual) Disney has put into the waiting area. You clearly are headed towards an African Adventure in the Harambe Wildlife Preserve.
Our 1st Safari Adventure we had an awesome driver who was totally into playing the part. It was very fun; we seemed to be running from poachers in the wild African terrain. Another time we took this adventure we had a driver who seemed to be reading a script and not into the part at all. The last time we rode this (in the last few months) we had another awesome driver who was completely in to making our safari a fun adventure! The story had changed though, this time we had climbed aboard a safari truck to go out into the Harambe Wildlife Preserve and try to get photo shots. It was fun and entertaining as well. If you respond to the drivers’ questions and small jokes they usually get more in to the part they are playing.
Your safari will pass through many types of terrains including Ituri Forest, wetlands, and open brush country. We saw giraffes so close to our vehicle if we’d been allowed to reach out of the truck we would have touched them. It was so neat to see the animals up close. The other giraffes in the back ground were eating from trees with their necks stretched up very high. It was a perfect picture moment! There were a couple small giraffes hanging out with their mammas as well.
The elephants were another amazingly entertaining section on this particular safari. There was a new baby in town and he seemed to be quite the entertainer. Playing with another elephant, they locked trunks and made all kinds of noises; another perfect picture moment. I should also mention not to worry about where you sit on the truck because there are animals on both sides of the vehicle. If there seems to be a better photo opportunity up ahead the driver will make sure to get you there and will also wait an extra moment for everyone to snap pictures of the animals and other surroundings. We generally see crocodiles/alligators, however this past time we didn’t see any laying out. The lions were sunning themselves that early morning and the warthogs were up and about for us to see. There are various other animals you are likely to see along your safari including antelopes, the very quick moving gazelles, monkey’s, hippos (which always seem to be bathing in the pond, however we do have several nice shots of the baby this past Fall), cheetahs, ostriches, various birds, wildebeests, and, of course, zebras.
Walt Disney had always liked the idea of including real-life animals in an attraction and had planned on doing just that with the Jungle Cruise attraction, located at Magic Kingdom. However for many reasons that couldn’t be done and the animals became animatronics. After much work and planning Kilimanjaro Safari opened with Disney’s Animal Kingdom using real, live animals. They had custom built GMC trucks made to hold the guests as they traveled through the attraction. Although there are no “gates” or “fencing” keeping the animals in their “areas” there are hidden chain road sensors and bars to prevent animals from traveling into other ecosystems.
If you haven’t ventured out on the wild African Safari adventure known as Kilmanjaro Safari I highly recommend adding it to your “must-do’s” on your next trip! If you have gone before, go again! I’m quite certain you will see something different!
For those of you that have been on the safari…were you able to locate the hidden Mickey head?
Abbie shares with us: “I am a wife and mother of 3. My parents first introduced me to the Magic of Disney World when I was 5 years old. However it wasn’t until my second trip as a teenager that the magic actually infused into me. I started eating, sleeping, and thinking Disney all the time. I even made a small Mickey head as the dot on my “i” in my first name and it then became part of my signature. I now have 3 children of my own and had the pleasure of introducing them, along with my husband, to the magical world of Disney a few years ago and they have all fallen in love with the magic that is Walt Disney World as I did. We just were transferred to Tampa, Florida with my husband’s job and my dream of living near the Mouse has come true. We will be taking our first Florida resident vacation in September and are excited to say that we are upgrading our tickets to Passholder’s. We are excited to see what adventures and new things we can learn about the Wonderful World of Disney!”