I visited Animal Kingdom over 10 years ago, and one attraction really stuck in my mind, the Kiimanjaro Safari. When I visited again last month, I knew my girlfriend and son would love the Kilimanjaro Safari. This was the first place we headed on our trip to Animal Kingdom in August 2010.
Tickets / Wait
Tickets are easy to get. In the Africa section of Animal Kingdom, in the African town of Hirambe is the Kilimanjaro Safari. Go to the ride, pick up a fast pass ticket, and avoid the line! Fast Pass tickets are free, and it gives you a return time that lets you get on the ride within 10 minutes instead of waiting for an hour. We did this, and used the wait time to meet and greet with the Disney Characters instead of waiting an hour in line. You could also use the time to explore the town that looks like a busy African town. It has restuarants and gift shops as well.
The Safari Itself
By far the biggest attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is this safari. They have literally set aside a huge preserve that looks like the African Savannah. Guests all get aboard huge open covered buses. They seat about 4 across, I sat on one side so that I could get photographs. The bus bumps over dirt roads and takes you through a a very detailed Africa. This is no set of plastic trees and animatronic animals, all the trees, vegation and animals are real and you really feel as if you are on safari!
We saw hippos, giraffes, lions, zebras, rhinos, flamingos, ostriches, antelopes and even elephants. Even the scenery when you aren't seeing animals is breathtaking. Everyone really enjoyed this ride, it is a fun experience.
My only complaint would be that all the animals seem rather lethargic. Although I certainly didn't want a rhino charging our tour bus, I would have liked to see more of them walking around. On the other hand, the giraffes walked right past the tour buses!
The ending of the ride was a little silly, as our guide pretends that we have encountered poachers and scares them off. However, it is designed to raise awareness of the problem poachers create for the longevity of African Wildlife.
My only caution would be that the ride can be a bit bumpy. It is not intentionally fast or jerky like rides, but just imagine taking any four wheel drive vehicle over a series of muddy rut filled dirt roads, and you have an idea of the ride. Sometimes I had wished that the bus would stop more often to take good photographs, sometimes I would see a great shot, but I wouldn't be able to get it because we were moving right along. The bus does stop at several spots as well to allow everyone to get a good look at the animals and take photos of them.
The Kilimanjaro Safari remains my favorite exhibit at the Animal Kingdom. If you make Disney's Animal Kingdom part of your Orlando, Florida visit, this is the MUST SEE attraction. I really enjoyed all the exhibits and rides at the Animal Kingdom, but this is the best one!
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Best Suited For: Families
Best Time to Travel Here: Dec - Feb