10 Amazing Facts Behind the Scenes at Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safari

7) A change in backstory

Changes are inevitable, and Kilimanjaro Safaris has seen its fair share of changes along the way. But perhaps one of the most prominent changes (and what many animal lovers consider the most welcome change) was the decision to alter the original storyline. In the first scripted plot, the safari truck would be notified by a habitat warden to take on poachers who had captured a mother and baby elephant known as Big Red and Little Red. While on the quest to save them, the safari driver would take guests on a journey surpassing many different animals along the way. The climatic ending originally included a staged scene with poachers being held at gunpoint by another cast member acting as the warden. It also included an encounter with the slaughtered body of Big Red, having been too late to save her but at least being able to rescue Little Red. However, this was much too dark an ending for a family-friendly Disney attraction, so the storyline was considerably altered before making its premier and included simply scaring the poachers off with no graphic revelation of Big Red’s corpse. All the same, the story was altered once again in 2012 along with other developments that resulted in the opening of a new zebra exhibit. The current storyline simply follows an immersive, positive safari experience with no scripted backstory involving poachers. It does include the added thrill of crossing a rickety bridge that feels like it’s about to break though!

Photo Credit: Disney

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