Kilimanjaro Safaris Review
Location: Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park – Africa
Height Requirement: None
Attraction Type: Animal Encounters
FastPass+ Attraction: Yes
Kilimanjaro Safaris has got to be one of the most unique attractions Disney has ever done at one of their theme parks. The idea that you can go to a theme park in central Florida and experience a Safari with real animals like elephants, crocodiles, giraffe, hippopotamus, rhino and more is amazing to me.
Honest to goodness there’s a ton more animals than that and it’s such a blast! Easily one of my favorite attractions when it comes to Disney. When you talk about the size of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park you can actually fit the three other theme parks inside the boundaries of the park, it’s that big. What I love about this the most though is that the majority of this is dedicated to the animals and Kilimanjaro Safaris.
While I realise that “zoos” can be a sore spot for some people out there Disney has really made this attraction open, free roaming and lifelike for the animals and in turn us. My understanding is that the majority of the animals in the attractions are rescues or on the endangered species list. Preservation is something that I can get behind.
When you’re planning your Walt Disney World vacation be sure to make Kilimanjaro Safaris a top priority for FastPass+. They can be hard to get the same day you’re visiting and the Standby Line typically holds a 60+ minute wait time unless you get there real early in the morning.
Here’s what you can expect from Kilimanjaro Safaris: 2 lines that I’ve already mentioned, one FastPass+ line and one Standby Line. When you get into either of these lines, you can bring your stroller or wheelchair. Part way through the line a Cast Member will grab them and park them for you. It’s actually quite nice since most attractions don’t allow these in line.
Both lines are covered in the shade the entire time you;re in line which makes things nice and cool. Also part way through you’ll be able to watch a video on conversation and poaching and how you can make a difference even from your country. You will also find signage that talks about some of the animals found on the safari and some fun facts about them. They do really good job at keeping you entertained.
At some point you’ll come down to the end of the main line and a Cast Member will ask how many people are in your party and let you through to a line divide. I hate these because I always feel pressure to choose the fastest one but you really never know which one is the fastest. Stop giving us choices Disney! ?
Just pick whichever line you want, both are always open and hopefully will be about the same wait time. Just know you’ll make it onto the ride no matter what. Guests who are accompanying someone in a wheelchair will be directed to a different section of the line where they will be able to store their device and board.
You’ll wind down a ramp and then a Cast Member here will ask you how many people are in your party again and put you in a line. There are at least 7 seating rows that hold about 5 adults or a few adults and some kids. You may be split into different rows depending on the size of your group. Also, if you just have 2-3 people you may get put with another smaller group.
Once it’s your turn to board the SUV just walk into your row and have a seat. There are no seat belts you’ll find some no worries about pulling on a yellow tab.
Once everyone is loaded on they will close the side doors and then you’re off! Your Cast Member guide is going to give you some instructions about riding and the SUV. Main things to understand are that you should never stand up during the ride, hold on to smaller children and don’t drop anything.
You’ll be out for a while, about 17 minutes or so depending on the animal action. Sometimes it’s longer because the animals get in the road and you have to wait till they move. I’ve ridden when a rhino just sat in the road for maybe 5 minutes then walked along the side of our SUV and behind us. I could have reached out and touched it if I had wanted too, it was that close. So cool!
One thing to keep in mind is that some animals are tired and just don’t come out into the open for whatever reason so don’t be bummed if you don’t see some of them. I’ve been on some Kilimanjaro Safaris where I didn’t see very many animals and then on others I’ve seen almost all of them. My suggestions is to ride it a few times at different times during the day.
Your Safari guide is very knowledgeable and will tell you all about the animals that you see and don’t see. It’s kind of hard to ask them questions, especially if you’re in the back but if you do have one you can always ask when you’re done. Be prepared to learn a lot (like a flock of Flamingos is called a Flamboyant) and have a blast!
When you’re done with the attraction you’ll unload at a different station and if you had a stroller just follow signs to the stroller parking area. You’ll probably also be talking about all the cool animals you saw! If you want to help out with Disney’s conservation project be sure to visit any store in the park and add a donation to the WWF. It’s a great cause!
Here’s a video of Kilimanjaro Safaris from my latest expedition:
- Get a FastPass+ reservation 60 days out.
- There is no height limit for Kilimanjaro Safaris to anyone can go.
- Take your stroller/wheelchair with you into line and a Cast Member will grab it from you later.
- When you’re boarding, aim for sitting on the left side of the vehicle. I feel like you see more animals on that side.
- Morning safaris can be some of the best to see a lot of animals. Of course there are no guarantees so try different times of the day.
- If you get motion sickness easily, this may not be the attraction for you. There’s a decent amount of bouncing around.
For more attraction reviews be sure to visit Park Savers main Walt Disney World Attractions Review page. I also have a great planning guide for guests who are going to Walt Disney World soon. For discounted tickets to the parks be sure to see Park Savers current ticket pricing.
Dean has been writing and blogging for over 10 years. He specializes in Disney theme park news including updates, openings, special events and general advice for travelers. He doesn’t shy away from the good, the bad and the ugly. His previous work includes being a Cast Member at Disneyland and working as a travel agent.