[Disney Vacation Planner]
|At A Glance
||Safari style ride through
African savannah complete with animals and a suprise towards
Note: The Kilimanjaro Safari generally closes at 17:00 PM daily.
The loading area for the Kilimanjaro Safari (KS) is located at
the back of an authentic looking African bush village. As with
quite a few of the newer Disney attractions the queueing area
has some high level TVs mounted so that you can watch some preview
stuff before loading when the queues are particularly long. Note
that there are two disembarkation points on the safari ride. The
first is the main un-loading area, with a second especially for
guests in wheelchairs.
During the early CM previews the TV monitors presented a pre-show
programme about there being poachers in the area, and how everyone
needed to be on the look out for them and stop them if possible.
The ride itself takes place with you sat fairly high up in an
open air truck, which provides a reasonably comfortable ride.
On the back of each seat there's a panel that depicts some of
the animals that you should see as the safari progresses.
As the truck leaves the loading area driver starts their commentary,
and will try to point out the various animals as the safari proceeds.
Note that although the vehicle will slow at various times when
animals are encountered, it won't generally come to a complete
stand-still, although it depends on the particular driver whether
he/she will merely slow or actually stop to allow you to get a
better view of the animals.
There are two definite parts to KjS. The first part which lasts
for 15 mins or so is where you will encounter all of the real
animals as you go on Safari through the park, which if you're
lucky will include Giraffe, White Rhino, Ostrich, Zebra, Alligators,
Elephants, Gazelles and a host of others.
The second phase of the ride is very tongue in cheek, and consists
of a chase to catch and stop some poachers who are after the local
wildlife. It even manages to out-cheese the Jungle Cruise in the
Magic Kingdom, and unfortunately suffers from having Audio Animatronics
throughout the second part of the ride.
Audio Animatronics are great in an isolated environment, but
unfortunately, when you've just driven past the real thing, an
Audio Animatronic mock-up no matter how realistic just doesn't
quite hack it.
Aside from the animals and trees the theming of the attraction
and the Animal Kingdom in general is excellent. The theming on
KjS is enhanced by African tribal music being played over the
vehicle's sound system at various points, and when the truck crosses
an old steel bridge it appears to sag and buckle slightly under
Disney has managed to do a good job of keeping the Animals away
from you, (or is it you away from them?) without making it look
as though there are big fences all over the place.
One thing you need to remember about the Kilimanjaro Safari is
that all the animals seen are real, and are in as close to their
natural environment as it's possible to get, and just as in the
wild they all have different patterns of behaviour, so you can't
guarantee to see lions, elephants, or zebra at all times. If you
plan to photograph a particular animal you may well need to return
to the Safari a number of times at various times through the day,
or better still on differing days. You can be sure not to see
everything it contains on only one ride!