My Review of “Kilmanjaro Safari”
This is one of those rides that never gets dull, and you can ride it over and over again to always come out with different results. Got to love the unpredicitability of animals! So let’s chat lions, tigers, and no bears- oh my!
Nestled in the back left hand side of the Park, this is one of those “door buster” attractions. What do I mean? Well, it is popular so if you want to beat the heat and the lines, ride it early in the day or towards the close of the Park.
Rumor has it that riding it early gives you a chance to see more animals because they are just waking up, eating, etc… well I can say that having rode it over 100 times at this point, I can’t say that is necessarily true. I have caught it at all times, and it just depends on what’s going on in the animal world that day if they feel like being near the vehicles or not.
I have had an entire group of giraffes walk up to the truck, and then last week we only saw one off in the distance. I know they have the special tours going on, and I have noticed they make an effort to feed the animals near the specific areas so they get the benefit and perk of seeing the animals out and close up. (As It should be, the tours aren’t cheap!).
I don’t think I have ever gone into Animal Kingdom without heading to Safari first- it’s just that good! Most of the time I do fastpass it because if it’s more than a 20 minute wait, it’s not worth standing in line longer than that. Why? It’s a very hot line. It does have shade the entire time, but Animal Kingdom is the hottest Disney park due to the heavy vegetation and when you are standing among it, it can be a bit much.
The line does usually move, and the theming is ok. You get to walk through the wardens office, which was clever, but the rest basically is tv screens overhead chatting about animals. The old storyline was about poachers and “Little Red” which was the elephant we were going to have to save. It had since changed, and I haven’t figured out if I liked that or not.
They opened this brilliant area up for Zebras, which clearly didn’t work, and now have other animals reside in the new home. I would like them to have a different ending to the safari, since the new area is what you see last. It isn’t bad, it just doesn’t seem to wrap it up as the poachers storyline did so nicely. Also there is a bridge you cross that may be “rickety” yet this one is another “hit or miss” thing lately. One trip it works, the next the driver doesn’t mention it. Odd, but it does keep things interesting.
What do you see on Safari? Well if you get lucky enough, hopefully all that live there! (And no, these aren’t animatronics on the Jungle Cruise- these are the real deal!) Lions, elephants, rhinos, baboons, giraffes, hipps, pelicans, cheetahs and so much more. They have a cheat sheet on the truck so you can see what each animal looks like and named.
I feel it is great for all ages, one of those “entire family” rides- BUT-I will say that the further you sit in the back, the bumpier it is. The first time we ever rode it, we had to hold onto Kyra for dear life over some of those twists and turns at the end because of all the bumps. It depends on who your driver is, but most of the time now they drive pretty easy at the end. Also, there are no seatbelts on this attraction, so you do have to make sure you secure yourself, family, and belongings properly. There is a place to put items away on the seat, and keep in mind that they won’t stop at every animal, so have your cameras ready on sports or safari setting.
I always ask to sit on the left, first one in the row. I know there are animals on both sides, but I enjoy being able to see the hippo pond, elephants, white rhinos, and lion area without anyone else in front of me for pictures. But my absolute favorite part of this ride is that I love seeing the giraffes walking across the “Serengeti.” It is always a treat to see what you will see and experience next, and that’s what makes this a “MUST SEE” in Walt Disney World.