Griffin Guide Rating: 4/5
Scary Scale: 3/5
Fast Pass: Recommended during the day, you may not need one at night
Background: When Robin worked at WDW, this was her ride! She worked at Kali River Rapids for 6 months and knows all the ins and outs. This ride has a great theme and is decorated accordingly. The standby queue line is beautiful and filled with memorabilia. Pay attention to the video screen in the second to last queue room, it plays a video about logging and sets the scene for the ride. The ride is a story about how logging and deforestation is really impacting our environment. You’ll see this evidenced in the scenery as you go through the ride. You’ll go up the big hill and hear chainsaws, then you’ll start to see downed trees, and finally you’ll see (and smell) burning trees and a barren forest. It’s a really neat look into a real life issue, without feeling like they’re shoving conservation down your throat. Overall, this is one of the more intricately themed rides at Walt Disney World.
Ride Description: You go through a long queue and end up on a turntable. A friendly river guide (cast member) will direct you to one of the 12 seater rafts floating along the turntable. Remember to buckle your seat belt as soon as you sit down so that there are no delays. Once you leave the turntable you’ll go up a loooong lift hill. You’re on that hill for about 2-3 minutes so look around! It’s a nice time to soak in the view and psych up the kids for the fun ride to come. Once you’re off the lift hill there’s a good chance that you’ll be be squirted with a little water. Then you’ll go immediately to the right, and see some downed trees. One left turn later and you’ll be at what the cast members refer to as “burn zone”. This is the part in the ride that shows the true destruction of deforestation. You’ll come to a large tree crossing over the river, this is the “big drop” and it is very fun. Everyone will get a few drops of water on them but the two people who are going backwards will get SOAKED! Once you’re down the hill you’ll go around a couple more curves and get sprayed with a little more water. Finally you’ll come to the end of the ride. While you’re waiting to get out of your boat, you may get squirted by other guests controlling the little elephants from the top of the bridge. Also, stay seated until a cast member tells you to get out of the raft…otherwise they have to stop the entire ride again until you sit back down (prolonging your exit even more).
- Griffin Guide Tips:
- When you’re walking through the standby queue line, take a look up into the rafters. You’ll see a TON of hiking boots on top, covering just about everything. These are NOT props! They are the boots of river guides past. Basically, once you’re done working at this ride, you earn the distinct honor of adding your used boots to the rafters! It’s a great way that Disney incorporates previous cast members while still remaining true to theme.
- Buckle your seat belt as soon as you sit down! It makes it easier on you and the cast member. If your seat belt isn’t buckled by the time the ride is ready to go, the entire ride has to stop and wait for you…don’t be that guy!
- Don’t waste a fast pass on this unless you REALLY love water rides. You can typically get on with little to no wait once it gets dark, as most people don’t want to get wet at the end of the day.