Kilimanjaro Safaris opened at Walt Disney World on Earth Day 1998 (after a soft opening that spring). As the signature attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris is Walt Disney’s dream come to life. As a lover of animals and nature, Walt originally intended for Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise to feature live animals, but it just wasn’t possible at the time. Kilimanjaro Safaris might have been Walt’s favorite attraction. With about three dozen unique species of African animals who are free to roam within a handful of ecosystems, authentic safari trucks that have been converted into eco-friendly vehicles, a rich storyline that continues into Harambe Village, live Cast Member narratives, conservation messages, cultural motifs, and a land size greater than Magic Kingdom Park, Kilimanjaro Safaris might just be the most impressive attraction at any Disney Park.
As a former Cast Member on this attraction, I know Kilimanjaro Safaris better than any other and am incredibly excited to share this knowledge with you. In today’s episode, we’ll explore the history of this attraction, including its rich backstory (along with Harambe Village’s backstory), history, detail, safety considerations, and fun facts. We’ll also discuss its ties to Walt Disney, and I’ll take you with me for a binaural audio ride-through of the attraction (recorded in 2019).
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