If you are a Disney’s Animal Kingdom lover, like myself, then you love the classic Kilimanjaro Safari! If you are also like me, you’re often disappointed by the lack of animal activity when you go on your trek. Disney has changed that, by allowing Animal Kingdom to be open past their normal 5/6pm, with a safari at night (or dusk) option!
The best time to see these beautiful animals is in the morning or evening. The temperatures are a little cooler then, so they are more likely to come out from their comfort to say hello. Also, many animals are nocturnal, so they are typically sleeping most of the day.
I cannot emphasize how great it was to go at night to see the animals! If you haven’t yet, I urge you to do it!! I got to see so many animals, up close & personal on this adventure, it was just like I had been whisked away to Africa!
For me, this was a FastPass+ priority. It’s a catch 22, because you’ve tied up a FastPass for the day & can’t use your rolling FastPasses, but it was worth it. On my Animal Kingdom day, I made sure this was one of the first ones I booked when my booking window opened. If seeing the animals is on your wish list, I would suggest doing the same. With that said, Kilimanjaro Safari is not always a long wait, and I could have actually walked on. However, there often is a long wait time, and I wanted to be sure I got on! I had to avail of the last FastPass+ option of the day, which was the 6:45-7:45 time frame. I waited until about 7:30 to head there.
It was still dusk, and wasn’t quite dark, and it really made for a nice atmosphere along the sunset. The safari started out & I was on my way!
I really lucked out, and got to see a ton of animals. The elephants & rhinos were out & about. The giraffes were feeding, and taking care of a baby giraffe literally inches from our car! The wildebeest, gazelles, okagi & smaller animals were walking right in front of our path. We actually had to stop for a few minutes to let a herd of ankole watusi (african cattle) pass! We had to do the same again later with a few hyenas.
The crocodiles & flamingos were pretty stationary, but the ones everybody is always excited for is the lions & cheetah. While the cheetah was still rather far away, she was more active & close than I had ever seen before. The lions were active as well, but remained on their rock. We interrupted the lioness’ (very long) bathroom break, followed by bath. It wasn’t EXACTLY the best thing to see, but it was still pretty great to see them roaming about!
Overall, was one of my highlights of my solo trip, and one of my favorite experiences ever at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It truly is a unique experience that every guest should do at least once! I know I will be on my next trip.
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