Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom had been a special experience we had our eye on for some time. So after going to Walt Disney World annually for the last few years, we decided it was time to try something outside of the box. Behind the Scenes at Animal Kingdom, up close with wildlife and lunch on the savanna? Yes, Please. We absolutely loved the idea of upgrading our vacation with something extra special. With so many tours, VIP experiences and parties, how do you know which one to choose? Here’s what made us pick this Disney Special Experience over all the others.
Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World
Animal Kingdom is one of our favorite places so convincing ourselves it was time to try out the Wild Africa Trek was fairly easy. Of course the fact that a special lunch was included helped. But really, it was all about the animals, and seeing all this amazing wildlife up close. How could we choose any other experience? Luckily, Disney was offering $50 off the Trek during the dates we were planning. Thankfully, this sweetened the deal given this vacation upgrade runs about 200 dollars per person normally. However, as this is for a 3 hour immersion experience in Animal Kingdom, we think that may actually be worth it. Let’s dive in. Here’s everything you need to know about Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World.
Where do you go in Animal Kingdom?
Finding the location to meet your tour group is not as difficult as you may think. We were instructed to check in by the Kilimanjaro Safari line. Chances are if you are like us you know the Kilimanjaro Safari ride well. Because let’s face it when we’re tired of walking and just want someone to drive us around, this is the ride we find. And wouldn’t you know it? Lo and behold, you can see the Wild Africa Trek sign right on the sign above. We have seriously never, ever noticed this before. Check in is on the right of the Safari line. You can’t miss it.
Is Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom Good in Hot Weather?
Let’s face it, Florida is hot most of the time. Luckily, most of the “behind the scenes” activities on the Wild Africa Trek tour at Animal Kingdom are located in very nicely shaded areas! Add that and the fact that they give you a cooling towel as part of your experience and we couldn’t be happier. So for the most part we were able to stay cool throughout the 3 hours.
What Happens First? You Get your Wild Africa Trek Gear
After we checked in, we were given all of our gear. You get a stainless steel water bottle with the Wild Africa Trek logo on it. So fun! And we LOVE a good free souvenir. A name badge and an ear piece so we could hear what was being said by the guides. And you also get fitted for a harness vest. You will get weighed ( always fun) so you can get the best vest for you, and they will help you attach it to yourself.
Do you really need the harness?
So, frankly, we’re not big on being dangled from things, from any height. The harness is merely a safety feature and the reason that kids have be at least 9 years old to go on this tour. And ll kids 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult. So if sending your teen on this tour alone sounds a good way to get some “me” time; rethink that plan.
Something to know ahead of time. The harnesses are supposed to be fairly snug. And your guide and helper cast members will continue to tighten them throughout the entire tour. Don’t loosen them. Seriously, don’t do it.
Where Do You Put Your Disney Day Bag? And everything else?
Since the Wild Africa Trek tour is very active, there really isn’t room for a purse or anything. As a result, you are given a locker to put your things in. You also aren’t allowed to take anything with you that can’t be attached to the vest. This is a safety measure for the animals mostly, and so your items don’t easily fall into the animal habitats.
You can bring a camera if it has a strap or if it can be attached to the vest. But we wouldn’t recommend it. As a perk for being on this tour, you get access to some amazing high quality photos taken during your tour. And they can all be downloaded once the tour is over. You can also ask the tour guides to take any photo of you and your party. We loved this perk, as navigating rope bridges and trying to take photos of the alligators below, should never be a thing you’re doing.
What do you do on Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom?
Ok, lets get into the nitty gritty of what you’re paying for here! Once the group was together and harnessed up, we were introduced to our guides. They gave us a little intro, took a group photo and we learned a few Swahili words.
Wild Africa Trek actually starts with walking through the main area of Animal Kingdom. Yes people will be staring at you. Not because you look weird, but because they are jealous. At one point in this journey you will exit the public park area and enter a woods like area. Your first animal stop will probably be the hippos. At the hippo habitat you will stop, learn some things, and be very close to these amazing animals. You’ll get a chance to talk to the hippo caretaker and ask as many questions as you like. Seriously, this was the coolest thing.
The Part Where you Have to Cross a Bridge, Made of Ropes, and Boards that are Breaking
After the soothing, lovely, experience of the Hippo Habitat, you get to feel what it’s like to be Indiana Jones over at the rope bridge. Your guide takes you through more woodsy areas and eventually to a pair of rope bridges that cross over the alligator habitat. Okay. So the bridge looks pretty shady. And if you have any fear of heights or worry, just remember…this is the Walt Disney Company…they make movie props for a living. The boards are broken and some of them are even missing. Questionable, right?!
Thankfully, Everything is perfectly safe. The guide even mentioned to us at one point that if your legs aren’t long enough to stretch across the broken boards, you can put your full weight on the rope net that is directly under the boards and it would support you. So that was neat. And further, if by some weird chance that didn’t work, the harness would keep you from falling. Again, its Disney. They’ve got this. Plus, you get some pretty awesome photo ops on that bridge.
Special Time on the Savanna
After that terrifying experience, you will have the chance to talk to some more cast members about the alligators. Again, very cool. Then its time for a break! And food! We all took off our gear and headed to a “special” jeep, which would take us through the savanna that would normally be seen on the Kilamanjaro Safari ride. But, since this is a special experience you get to go at a slower pace and with more up close opportunities of the animals.
We were also given binoculars and a magic towel ( which we were allowed to keep) to cool off. Which let us just say, was amazing by 12:30 pm in the hot Florida sun. The Savanna guides were great as they gave us info about the animals and the park in general. And they were always on the lookout for great photo ops. Also tons of opportunities to ask questions here!
Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom Lunch on the Savanna
After that we headed to a beautiful hut type structure for lunch. Set right on the Savanna! Here you could find a water bottle refill station as well as restrooms. We were given our food and Jungle Juice, which is the same juice as POG juice at Ohana. And one of our absolute favorite beverages at Disney World. Yummy enough that we’ve even made a Popsicle recipe out of POG just so we could have this at home.
The food was really great too. It came in a tin and consisted of chicken curry salad, sun-dried tomato hummus and pita, tandoori shrimp, smoked salmon roulade with dill, air-dried beef and prosciutto and ginger and mint marinated fruit. You could also ask for vegetarian or vegan options here, which we loved! Truthfully, we’d do the tour again, just to get this lunch. It was light, amazing flavors, unique Disney foodie options you would’t find anywhere else.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is All About Conservation
On the way back to civilization, the guides educated us about the conservation efforts happening at Animal Kingdom and informed us that part of our admission cost would go to the conservation effort of our choice. Which was also a neat perk, because at the end of the tour you get to place your token in a box towards your favorite cause.
Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom Tips
Wait for a deal if you can. Ok, so we paid $130 per person with the coupon; and prices vary depending on the season. But we wanted to give you a little bit of an idea price-wise because sometimes the pricing is hard to find!
If you go in the summer, choose the earliest time possible. They do their best to keep you cool, but it gets very hot. We were there in late September and by the time got our magic towel, we were really needing it to cool off. Its Florida, it gets hot. Be prepared.
Don’t let special dietary needs sway your opinion. When you book your tour, they actually ask if you have special dietary needs. If you do, they will accommodate most every need. And since all the food is packaged separately in tins, there’s no chance for cross contamination.
If you want to book your Wild Africa Trek, just call 407-WDW-TOUR. More information regarding the Wild Africa Trek can be found on Disney’s Website.
One of the Best Wildlife Experiences in Orlando?
We think so! Looking for other Wildlife adventures in Florida? Check out this article for a roundup all the Best Animal Encounters in Orlando!
*All photos on this post are courtesy of Disney’s Wild Africa Trek
Wild Africa Trek Review
Thanks so much for reading. Even with this cost on this special experience we really do think it was worth it, and such a great way to spend an afternoon at Animal Kingdom. Definitely consider adding it to your plans on your next Disney Vacation.