Friday October 21st 2016
This afternoon I went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. I was armed with two Fastpasses. One was for the Kali River Rapids Ride and the other was for the Kilimanjaro Safari.
The Kali River Rapids Ride is a wet ride so I made sure my scheduled time was at the heat of the day 4PM. I needed to kill some time after I arrived at the park, so I started with the Maharajah Jungle Trek. A Kimodo Dragon and a tiger were do a good job of posing and drawing a crowd. The warm sun allowed the Kimodo Dragon to be the most active I have ever seen. I also lucked out and got an up close view of the tiger moving around. They are usually basking in the sun far from the viewing area.
When I finished with my jungle trek it was time for the river rapids ride. The line to get in the Fastpass entrance was much longer than the standby line, but this was offset by the length of the line once you walk the long round about path to the boarding area. The standby line was listed at 50 minutes and even with the various Fastpass backups it probably didn’t take more than 15 minutes until I was ready to get wet. The 12 person rafts go up a ramp to rapids that are advertised to be class 4, then after traversing the top of the hill drops you back down “over the falls”. You can’t avoid getting wet. Purely by luck, I stayed a little drier than some of my raft mates. The ride was closed for rehab last winter so I didn’t get a chance to enjoy this ride. It was worth the wait.
My Fastpass time for the Safari was 6:20. I had two hours after the river rapids to dry out and do other things before the safari. I walked around the park looking for a snack and a place to sit and watch the crowd. I found the snack, but not the place to sit. This park doesn’t have many places to sit that aren’t in restaurants. It was warm enough so I was dry in 15 minutes and finished with my snack soon thereafter.
The other rides and shows either didn’t interest me or had lines that would get in the way of my up coming Fastpass. I took my time on the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail watching the merkats and the gorillas. The merkats are very community oriented. One stands guard with the others eat, work and play, then they switch off. The gorillas are family unit oriented with the silver back male keeping his mates and young nearby. The single adult males have their own area. The gorillas were near the viewing areas today.
After spending more time than I would normally spend on the Gorilla trail, I still had more than an hour until my safari time. The standby time for the Kilomanjaro Safari was only 20 minutes so I decided to get in line. I could use my Fastpass for a re-ride. It is a good thing I did. I was able to see many animals and get some good pictures. The second trip around was as darkness was arriving. The route the vehicle took was shorter and it was very difficult to get clear pictures.
On the way out crowds were gathering around the tree of life. The animal carvings on the tree are highlighted by flood lights and lasers to tell a story. I caught a little of it but kept moving toward the exit. Disney still hasn’t come up with a complete nighttime show even though they have completed all of the seating areas around the wide area in the river by the Finding Nemo theater.