Tag Archives: Kilimanjaro Safari
If you’re traveling in a Grand Gathering, you have the option to enjoy exclusive experiences only for parties of 8 or more. Yes, these have an additional charge but they are wonderful experiences designed to delight everyone in your travel party.
International Dinner and IllumiNations Desert Reception: Enjoy a buffet dinner with international cuisine (from five different nations) while you are entertained with live music and storytelling. Keep an eye out for some of your favorite characters, you never know who might drop by! After dinner, your feast continues with a dessert buffet while you view “Illuminations: Reflections of Earth” from an exclusive reserved area.
Safari Celebration Dinner: At the end of the day you’ll be taken on a ride through Kilimanjaro Safari, followed by dinner at the Tusker House Restaurant. This African inspired meal is all you care to eat and is served family style. Don’t forget your cameras and autograph books because during dinner you’ll meet and great Mickey and all his safari friends.
Good Morning Gathering: Enjoy a family style, all you care to eat breakfast at Tony’s Town Square at the Magic Kingdom. Meet Mickey and all your favorite Disney characters, take pictures, get autographs and join your friends in a dance party! Tony himself hosts this magical breakfast and will give you preferred entry to Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
There is an additional charge for these Grand Gathering experiences, but the price is all inclusive, including gratuities. Rates vary by the experience and your travel dates. These experiences require advanced reservations and payment. Separate park admission is required for these events as is not included in the cost of the Grand Gathering experience. If you are on the Disney Dining Plan, you can utilize 2 of your table service credits per person for your Grand Gathering experience.
In Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park, a wonderfully themed play area is located in the DinoLand U.S.A. area. Known as the”Boneyard,”potential paleontologists can play in an area filled with dinosaur discoveries.
With a sand pit filled with”fossils,” kids can dig, explore, and uncover bones from Wooly Mammoths to Triceratops. The Boneyard Playground also has multi-level slides, tunnels, and other areas to climb and play. The shaded sand pit area also offers benches and fans for adults to relax while their children burn off energy in the “no-stick” sand. There are also many other hidden areas, such as bones that open doors, or even a “xylobone” that plays music!
For kids that need to simply run around and burn off steam, Animal Kingdom has several walkways for kids to run around and explore, learning about different animals on the way. A personal favorite area is Rafiki’s Conservation Station. A short train ride away from the entrance to the Kilimanjaro Safari, the conservation station has an outdoor petting zoo-type area, as well as an indoor area filled with characters to meet and greet and other animals to learn about and even see up close. And, for the adults who want to keep searching while their children are learning, there are over 100 hidden mickey’s at the Conservation Station to discover during your stay.
Photo credit Walt Disney Co
- Disney World Play Areas: Hollywood Studios (chipandco.com)
Cheap perfume and lions may not seem a likely match. But at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the scent of the wild can be found in hundreds of perfume bottles being recycled by Disney cast members.
Animal experts have long used unique aromas such as perfumes and spices as enrichment tools to help maintain an animal’s physical and mental health. Special treats such as toys, foods or fragrance prompt animals to explore, make choices, and maintain a level of activity in their habitat similar to their natural behavior in the wild. With a very keen sense of smell, large cats such as lions, cheetahs and tigers like to scratch, roll and mark their own scents on logs sprayed with cologne.
In addition to “aromatherapy,” lions, cheetahs and tigers are provided with a variety of other enrichment items and activities to keep the cats interested in their environments.
- Super tough plastic balls for chasing and swatting promotes physical activity.
- Drilling a hole in the ball and stuffing it with hard-to-get treats increases the challenge and the excitement.
- During the summer, frozen treats may contain meat to help the cats stay cool and encourage them to use their teeth, claws and ingenuity to get to the delight inside.
- A habitat complete with hills, tall grasses, shade trees, rocks, shrubs, fabricated termite mounds, dead trees, stumps and a sweeping view of the savannah provide opportunities to rest, communicate, interact, hide, explore the sweeping views of the savannah.
“Enrichment such as perfume is just one of the tools used to provide world-class care for our animals,” said Matt Hohne, animal operations director for Disney’s Animal Programs. “We also rely on positive training methods that encourage animals to participate in their daily health care and challenge them to stay mentally active.”
Positive conditioning techniques train the animals to cooperate with their own medical care, which makes the vets’ work much easier and safer. For example, with a hand signal or verbal cue from a zoological manager, lions, cheetahs and tigers voluntarily open their mouths for dental exams or stand on a portable scale for routine weight checks. They also present their tails or paws during medical check-ups.
This attention to care is given to all of the more than 1,700 animals representing more than 250 species at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests can see lions and cheetahs on the savannah of Kilimanjaro Safari while the tigers can be seen on the Maharaja Jungle Trek within the Asia section of the theme park.
In previous posts, I took a look at the one ride that I must ride at the Magic Kingdom and at Epcot. Today, we are going to take a look at Animal Kingdom, that Imagineer Haven where you can find a different aspect of the park to enjoy and appreciate at every turn!
My initial thoughts when it comes to Animal Kingdom and my must ride was that it wasn’t a ride at all that I must see – it was a show. However, as good as Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo – The Musical are, there really isn’t any comparison to the feel a great ride can make you feel. So I discounted them from the running.
Then I started thinking about the different rides that we enjoy at Animal Kingdom. There are some good ones there, but they are kind of spaced out so there is a lot of walking to get to them all. There’s Primeval Whirl, Sophie’s favorite ride at Animal Kingdom because it took so long before she was tall enough to ride it. Then there is Kali River Rapids, a ride that Sophie, my niece Stephanie, and I rode twice in a row, got soaked, then, as if we weren’t wet enough, the sky opened up with rain right after we got off. And don’t forget Kilimanjaro Safaris, that ride that takes you through to see some of the Park’s greatest treasures – the animals that populate the park.
But for me, after much consideration, I decided that my favorite ride is Expedition Everest. It’s got it all — a great queue, incredible theming, a fun storyline. But for me, Expedition Everest is made when you ride backwards down the track. That is when my stomach rises, the thrills increase, and I’m ready to ride it again. Check out these photos from TimeStream Software for just a hint of the incredible elements of the ride!
Mike is a writer for Chip & Company, and a Disney fan. When he isn’t writing for C&C, he can be found writing his own posts at My Dreams of Disney or planning his next trip to Disney! You can follow him on his Twitter account @Mickey_MDOD, and his Facebook Fan Page.
Luna, the fifth elephant baby to be born at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, is introduced to the park’s savanna less than a month after her May 20, 2010 birth.
Luna and her mom, Donna, spend part of the day with their elephant family group along the Kilimanjaro Safaris route.
There are 12 members of the park’s elephant herd — four males and eight females.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is part of a breeding program coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) that is focused on sustaining the elephant population in North America.
Gene Duncan, photographer
- Adventure comes alive in Wild Africa Trek, an exciting new experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. (chipandco.com)
- Wild Africa Trek safari tour overview at Disney’s Animal Kingdom (chipandco.com)