Griffin Guide Rating: 4/5
Scary Scale: 0/5
Fast Pass: Recommended, this ride is very popular especially with families so the line gets extremely long.
Park: Animal Kingdom
Background: This ride is a large part of what makes Animal Kingdom the biggest Disney Park in the WORLD! When Animal Kingdom was being built, it was one of the first times Disney had ventured into the world of live animals instead of animatronics. There were several animal rights activists who were worried about how Disney was going to treat the animals and several of them actually protested outside of Animal Kingdom! Disney knew they had to do something, so they brought in many expert zoologists, scientists, and biologists, including the amazing Jane Goodall. These experts gave some great insight into how animals should live and how Disney could make a park with live animals actually feasible. One of the things they took into consideration and made into practice was size. The total size of the land the animals have in the Kilimanjaro Safari ride is 110 acres, which is about 1/5th of the total park size!
Ride Description: The entrance to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride is split into two sides, one side (to the left) is the standby entrance and the other (to the right) is the FastPass+ entrance. As you walk through the queue on either side, you will see TV’s hanging down from the ceiling showing safety and informational videos. You cannot take strollers on the ride, so before you get to the front of the line, there is a spot to park your stroller if you did not do so before getting in line. After all of that, you are ready to ride! You are loaded onto a large safari vehicle, seated 4-5 across. You’ll see a sign on the roof of the vehicle showing you all of the potential animals you can see on your journey. Some of the highlights of the trip are the giraffes, elephants, lions, ostriches, and Nile crocodiles. The ride lasts for approximately 22 minutes so make sure you’ve got time before you embark on the safari of a lifetime!
- Griffin Guide Tips:There are a few “best” times to ride; while its raining (the animals love to play in the rain and there are fewer guests), at dawn, and at dusk. Ride this at a few different times and you will get to see different animals each time, as each animal has a different sleeping schedule.
- The lions love to be on top of the rocks on a hot day because Disney literally built air conditioning vents on top of them! So if you see a lounging lion, thank modern amenities.
- Be careful on that bridge! About halfway to 3/4th of the way through, your tour guide will take you over a rickety bridge. This bridge actually has a fun “breaking” effect. If the weather is right and your driver has clearance, they’ll turn the effect on and it will feel like the ride vehicle is falling off of the bridge! The first time we experienced it, we were scared but then we realized it was an effect and we were thrilled.