Guests are seeing stripes at Walt Disney World ®’s Animal Kingdom ® as the popular attraction Kilimanjaro Safaris has added a new zebra animal habitat along its trails. Safari guests will find the new area and the 15 Plains Zebras at the end of the safari tour, right before you return from your tour around the Harambe Wildlife Reserve.
To make room for the new zebra exhibit, Animal Kingdom ® had to remove the Little Red Poaching Scene, which included the Little Red animatronic elephant that concluded the safari. Now in that area sits a watering hole for the new white and black animal favorites.
The onboard soundtrack recordings featuring Mr. Wilson, who was the protector of animal life on the reserve was also completely removed. With Little Red and Mr. Wilson completely gone, there was no backstory for the new zebras. In August, while work continued on the new Zebra habitat, Safari guides began to give guests a sneak peek as to why the zebras were on the savanna.
The backstory is that zebras used to roam the wide open space until farmers came along and let their cattle graze, which scared all of the zebras away. Eventually the farmers and cattle left, allowing for the zebras to come back to the area. The guide also goes on to tell riders that the zebras will have to adjust to predators, but more importantly humans.
If you thought Kilimanjaro Safaris already housed zebras, you’re absolutely right. But since construction began on the ride in February, the animals have been living in backstage areas of Walt Disney World ®. And for the first time since then they are back on the savanna and the last animal you see on your African adventure.
Now that the zebras are in their rightful place at the end of the safari rumors are swirling that Kilimanjaro Safaris could see more changes over the next 3-4 years, including a new nighttime safari ride.
Apparently, it’s been reported that Disney Imagineers were spotted testing lighting for a possible night safari as well as large video walls and "intelligent moving headlights mounted on large lifts." The video walls were supposedly mounted onto the Wild Africa Trek trucks and then used to test night vision and infrared technology.
The new rumored nighttime safari also adds to the other rumor that Animal Kingdom ® will soon be extending their hours, allowing guests to experience several of the park’s rides and attractions and even some new ones (ahem: Avatar Land) in a whole new light, or lack thereof! Stay tuned for more details on the possible new nighttime fun at Animal Kingdom ®.
In the meantime don’t miss the new zebras on the updated version of Kilimanjaro Safaris with discounted tickets right here on Orlando Fun Tickets.