Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Back: With Zebras!

Had to drop off the blog-o-sphere for a bit while I stockpiled some extra money with pay work to really go all-out for a trip to WDW. And yes, while I was there, I spent some time at Animal Kingdom. I'll be covering some of the things there in different blog posts, but I did want to review something fairly new.


That's right, zebras have been added to the end of Kilimanjaro Safaris. For those who are familiar with the ride, they are added near the very end, where the plot would usually go on about the need to rescue Little Red from poachers. All of the references to Little Red and poachers have been removed from the ride itself, although there's still mention in the queue in the form of a poster.

Because the zebras are in the "speed up" zone where the chase sequence would begin, the ride has lost some of its thrill aspect, as you don't have that 30 seconds or so of a burst of speed.
Zebras...doing what zebras do. 

I was lucky to be on this ride with people who had been on the ride several times before as well as being on the ride with people who were first-timers. Those of us who had been on the ride before were pretty surprised about how slow the end of the ride was, and it was a bit of an anti-climax. Look zebras. And now we're back. Kwaherini, ya'll. I must admit, it was a bit of a letdown. With the zebra sequence being new (and even mentioned as being new by our driver), it is my hope that there will be a better transition from that scene to the return to camp.

Also new to me was the inclusion of a crowned crane enclosure in the queue area. Although the time we were there was the slow time of year, so we only got a glance as we walked by, I think that would be a welcome inclusion to what can be a very long wait.

No question whatsoever, Kilimanjaro Safaris is my view of what a ride in Animal Kingdom should be like. Good re-ridability, appropriate for all ages, and something that you wouldn't do every day. As the animals have become more familiar with the ride vehicles going through, they have become very comfortable coming right up to the vehicle to be as curious about us as we are about them. The reactions of both the first-timers we had on the ride and the seasoned pros were that they would gladly do it again. Because of this I really hope Disney gives some thought to make a better transition for that ending sequence.

Just don't bring back the Little Red and the Poachers plotline and I'll be happy, though!

Yes, it really is an up-close-and-personal animal experience.