1. The Kilimanjaro Safaris ride is at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It is most likely the most popular ride at the park. The only competition it may have is Expedition Everest the one roller coaster at Disney parks that goes forward and backwards (but this post is not about that ride). The ride opened with the park in 1998 and is the signature ride for the Animal Kingdom. On this ride your travel through the Harambe Wildlife Preserve. The area simulates forest area, wetlands area and the serengeti plains. There are many animals that you will encounter on your safari. Here is a short list taken from wikipedia:
- Greater Flamingo
- Yellow-billed Duck
- Thomson’s gazelle
- Yellow-backed duiker
- Saddle-billed Stork
- Black rhinoceros
- White rhinoceros
- Grant’s zebra
- Nile crocodile
- Reticulated Giraffe
- Dama Gazelle
The safari ride lasts about 22 minutes and goes until sundown. The drivers of the vehicles definitely know their stuff when it comes to animals because you can ask them questions and please feel free to do so. The drivers used to not be able to stop when there was a good photo opportunity but with some changes to the ride they can which is great because it enabled me to get some very cool shots.
The story line of the safari is that you are going out for 2 weeks and you try to help prevent poachers from getting “little red” the baby elephant. In the end little red is safe from the poachers and everything is happy! Disney has recently revealed that they will be eliminating the above story line as they are going to make some changes. These changes include removing the poachers camp and the animatronic little red. This will be to make room for a new watering hole and specifically Zebra exhibits. There is no word on how the story will change but it is expected to be completed by the fall. Luckily for guests the ride will not close this spring-fall as they make these changes.
2. The first time I rode this was in 2010. I missed it in 2000 because I did not know that it existed and I spent the next 10 years watching shows on the travel and history channels wanting to ride that ride. It was great and I loved it. I loved seeing the animals and being able to take pictures. My favorite trip on the ride was this past December when I got to go on one of the last safari rides out. This was in my opinion one of the best times to go the animals are getting ready to turn in for the night and get fed so they are all very active. Also our truck driver was great he showed us some hidden mickeys such as the flamingo island and a few others. Animals I got to stop for were lions, hippos, nile crocodiles, warthogs and giraffes. I absolutely love this ride and usually only ride it once a trip but I can’t wait to ride it more.
3. This ride in my opinion epitomizes disney. It shows the ability for them to be innovative and provide new experiences for park guests. Here are some tips for the next time you ride the safari:
- Ride the early morning or late afternoon safari
- ride when it is raining the animals are very active
- use fastpass the lines can be long even right now at 11am the wait is 40 minutes or more
- for good pictures sit on the outsides of the rows
- sit in the very back row if you can
- after the ride take a walk through the pangani forest to see more cool animals
I hope you enjoy your 22 minute safari ride I always do!
I have lots of amazing pictures but I will have to post them later.