Way in the back of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an attraction like no other. On Kilimanjaro Safari, guests can experience a one of a kind “two week safari” into the African savannah. Unlike the Jungle Cruise over in Magic Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safari has live animals! 34 different species of animals! Read below for more amazing facts about Kilimanjaro Safaris!
Kilimanjaro Safaris covers over 110 acres. That’s bigger than Magic Kingdom which comes in at 107 acres. Just that one attraction is bigger than an entire theme park! Disney’s Animal Kingdom is roughly 500 acres, so the safaris makes up 20 percent of the whole park.
9. Road Blocks
Normally, a road block isn’t something to smile about. But on a safari, everyone is happy to be stopped. The animals in the attraction can roam about within their enclosure. So when your safari truck passes through that enclosure, you might be stopped by an animal in the road. When else can you boast about being stopped by a giraffe in the road?
8. Custom Trucks
Ride vehicles for every Walt Disney World attraction are unique, but the safari trucks might take the cake. Guests ride in open air trucks to allow a fairly unobstructed view of the animals. Above each row of seats is an animal guide to help guests identify the various animals they encounter on their safari. Expect a bumpy, bouncy ride, especially if you’re seated in the back few rows.
7. Baby Animals
Everybody loves baby animals! Over the years, there have been many babies born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. From zebras to giraffes to elephants, there’s been lots of babies to coo over. My favorites have to be the baby elephants. Keep your eye out (and your ear open for the heads up from your safari guide) for babies along the trail.
6. Baobab Trees
Baobab trees are an African plant particularly good at conserving water. The tree has an incredibly thick trunk, and leafs for very short periods, which gives it an upside down appearance. You’ll see these upside down trees scattered throughout the safari, especially in the savannah section. However, none of them are real. The only real Baobab tree in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is in Harambe Village, outside of Dawa Bar.
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5. Night Safari
Want a completely different safari experience? In 2016, Kilimanjaro Safaris began setting off after dark for night time safaris. This is Kilimanjaro the way you’ve never seen it before! Themed lighting throughout the attraction lights different sections as sunset, twilight, or moonlight. Moonlight with the scimitar oryx near the end of the attraction is my favorite lighting package. A night time safari also takes advantage of the cooler temperatures, which is an added bonus!
The lines for Kilimanjaro Safaris can be quite long. If experiencing the safari is high on your must-do list, or if you want to ride it more than once, you should really get a Fastpass+. Make your Fastpasses ahead of time; 60 days out for on-property guests, 30 days out for guests not staying in a Disney hotel. When making your Fastpasses, keep weather in mind. The queue in outdoors and not air conditioned, so if heat is a big issue for your family, don’t make a fastpass+ for the middle of the day.
3. Avoid the Heat
In addition to avoiding a scorching line, riding the safari during a cooler part of the day may mean more active animals. Just like us, the animals like to nap during the hot afternoon. To see the animals a bit more active, head to the safaris first thing in the morning, or after a drizzle.
2. Animal Lineup
Kilimanjaro Safari features a huge array of African animals! Guests can see almost three dozen animal species throughout their journey, although a few are hard to spot! But several of the animals come fairly close to the safari trucks. You may find yourself closer to a rhino than you ever thought possible! That’s because the Imagineers hide food or air conditioners to encourage the animals to hang out in plain view!
1. Former Backstory
The story told during the attraction has gone through several iterations over the years. Kilimanjaro Safaris first had a storyline about elephant poaching, with the guests helping find Big Red and Little Red and stop the poachers. Much of that original storyline has since been dropped. Today, Kilimanjaro Safaris has a more general message of conservation and anti-poaching.