Disney’s Animal Kingdom is full of exciting rides, beautiful sites, interesting animals and educational opportunities. Rafiki’s Planet Watch is one of the best-kept secrets of Animal Kingdom. Please read below to find out the top 7 reasons why.
7. Lush foliage: The whole area walking to and once you get to Rafiki’s Planet Watch is full of lush foliage and is a great walk. The walk is shaded and cool; it’s a great place to take a break from the heat and the crowds. The area makes you feel like you are in a tropical paradise. Watch for educational signs and displays as you walk to learn more about conservation and all the work Disney does for our environment.
6. The Journey: The ride out to Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a relaxing train ride aboard the Eastern Star Railway Wildlife Express. This is the only way to get out to this exhibit. The train moves at a moderate speed that is entertaining for young children and adults as well. The ride out takes you on a bit of a behind the scenes tour. You can see the nighttime enclosure for the animals of the Savannah like the lions, elephants and giraffes. There is an opportunity for you to see animal resting. The last time we took the train out we got to see a family of rhinos resting!
5. Conservation Trail: As you walk through the lush foliage you will come across different signs and interactive exhibits with cast members to learn more about conservation and what animals are in need of our help. The first attraction off the train is called “Habitat Habitat” and is a great attraction for people of all ages to learn what they can do help our planet. You will also see an exhibit of some of the world’s most endangered primates.
4. Character Greetings: There are opportunities to meet characters at Rafiki’s Planet Watch all day. This means the lines are small and you can have nice interactive opportunities with 3 special characters. Chip and Dale are outside of the Planet Watch building. Rafiki is located inside the Planet Watch. The characters are fun, interactive and because the crowds are typically small the longs are very reasonable.
3. Live Veterinary Examination Room Viewing and Nutrition Center: Inside Rafiki’s Planet Watch there are several exhibits showing you how Disney cares for their animals at Animal Kingdom. The Nutrition center is a real kitchen where you can see Disney cast members preparing meals for animals and ask them questions! There is a veterinary examination room with a large glass window so you can see everything going on in the room. There is a cast member standing outside with the public to explain what is going on during the time you walk through. You never know what you will see. The time we visited we got to see a vulture under sedation having a routine physical exam done. It was fascinating to watch and very educational!
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2. Exhibits on Conservation: The interactive exhibits located inside and all around Rafiki’s Planet Watch are excellent. These exhibits are up to date and share tons of important information for people of all ages and backgrounds. They show all different types of animals all over the world and explain how and why they need our help. There are also plenty of cast members around to answer any questions you may have. There are several windows that display live amphibians, reptiles and other invertebrates. Look out for some pretty wild hidden Mickeys!
1. Affection Section: Affection Section is located outside of Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It is the only area in Animal Kingdom where you can have the traditional “petting zoo” experience. The Affection Section is home to goats, sheep, donkeys, llamas, pigs and more for you and your family to interact with. Brushes are available to help keepers groom the animals and you may also pet the animals with your bare hands. This is a wonderful section of the park that is very rarely crowded. Conveniently there is a great hand washing station before you leave to head back to the train and head back to the rest of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
As you can see Rafiki’s Planet Watch is certainly a hidden secret of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Make sure you check it out next time you go! Bonus Tip: If you ask nicely Rafiki will most definitely take a “selfie” with you.
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