Orlando, FL

White rhino comes right at my camera for first time on Halloween: do you like Animal Kingdom's Kilimanjaro Safaris?

Troy Arrandale

The back side of the Tree of Life, Animal Kingdom (author and husband)my own photo ca 2018

On Halloween I found out that not all rides at Animal Kingdom are included in the Lightning Lane pass purchase that I made that day. But read on to see why that wasn't even important!

It was because I had my most exciting time I've had out of all the other times I've ridden the above mentioned ride.

So here was my Lightning Lane experience that day: at first, I thought the $14 I pre-paid apiece by clicking the link on the Avatar ride icon inside the Disney app on my phone was for a few or several rides at Animal Kingdom for the day.

Once we finished riding Avatar, which I also wrote an article about, I found that Avatar and Everest roller coaster Lightning Lane single-ride passes have their own individual pass and price, while the other rides were apparently grouped in a $30 apiece price that day. I briefly pouted then I sucked it up, learned for next time and was glad I'd ridden Avatar anyway! Definitely thought it was worth it rather than waiting around for a long while to get on it, or rather than trying to arrive early in the morning. We are late sleepers by necessity, not by choice! lol

Perhaps we'll ride Dinosaur and Everest next time we come. On Halloween the Lightning Lane price for Everest was $7 apiece.

Will it be that price next time we come?

I'm not sure. I may get back to you on that sometime in the future.

Since we live so close to Disney, just about a 45 minute ride away, virtually no stoplights as we take 528 and 417, we usually start in the mid-afternoon and just do two rides and maybe eat somewhere in the park, then go home.

It's great!

So we were near the Safari Ride entrance that day as we discovered my wrong impression of the pass I'd bought that day.

The name is actually Kilimanjaro Safaris, but we just call it Safari.

It's these giant open air trucks full of people that go slowly over rutty lanes and even through low water sometimes.

That used to take my breath away because of my fear of driving in flood water! lol

And I always sit near the outside of the truck in my seat so I get to look over the edge down at the dangerous hippos slithering in their watery kingdom.

Or the giant, slothful Nile crocodiles looking like statues. Shiver.

I shiver because they're very real, though.

These Safari trucks are ultra heavy duty. So, after a few years of doing this ride seasonally in cooler weather and shivering with nervous thrill at the 'dangers,' I'm finally relaxing!

Sort of lol.

This is a very exotic ride.

And it made our Halloween very exotic. Not a typical Halloween. But I loved it.

Upon arrival at Animal Kingdom we used our Lightning Lane pass to ride Avatar, which I wrote a separate article about, and then we strolled along the river walkway, making our way toward the Africa section and Safari ride.

The standby wait for Safari was listed as 10 minutes. And it was.

It amazes me how these signs of wait times at the entrance to rides are so accurate.

We had a nearly full truck and an extremely 'verbose' but lovely driver/tour guide narrating as we rode. My husband commented on her verbosity. I don't think she hardly stopped for a breath! lol

Today, the giraffes were a bit closer than I remembered experiencing them in a long time, and I cursed my previous decision to not take photos to save my battery for Tusker House pics. I whipped out my camera at the last minute as the driver chatted away and caught a giraffe loping slowing off!

I then posted it on Twitter. Not my best film-making moment lol

Not long afterwards, expecting elephants and (very surprising) not seeing a single one, we slowly circled the 'flamboyance' of flamingos in their favorite pond, rolled around the bend and that's when the exotic moment happened! And boy did I capture it great!

Here's the fun tweet of it I tweeted:

As it was happening it actually took my breath away. What a big guy (or girl?) he was! Phew!

I'm not one for taking pics or videos. But since I started doing it for my fun pieces on News Break, I'm starting to like it!

Maybe you should come out and try it. The weather from mid-October through about March is great for it! Most times those months it's not too hot and not too cold if you dress in layers like we do and tie the jackets and or ponchos around our waists.

The Accuweather phone app works great to help us plan our outfits too! And sometimes just sticking a wet finger up in the air outside the front door works too lol

And I don't think I've ever spent such an exotic Halloween. (Well, maybe the time I was actually in a town called Frankenstein, Germany, in 1998.)

After that, we went to Tusker House just up the lane (which you can read the article about too) for a taste of the exotic after my exotic brush with a wild rhino.

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My goal is to get you to have more fun or to live vicariously through mine :) Loving to chronicle my fun personal-experience-only food, drink and fun around Central Florida! Roller coasters, rides, fajitas, etc.Orlando resident since 1987 (with 10-year break in the middle), now living in Cocoa (Brevard County), which is just a shout over from there, for 8 years! Disney and Universal annual passholder since 2013. Hope to get a SeaWorld pass again soon too! I miss it! Love fiction-writing, cats, great music and (keto) food!

Cocoa, FL

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