Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park is regarded by many as being the closest thing to a “real” safari one can experience outside of Africa, and it appears that its emergency protocols only help that case.
While the animals are technically in captivity, Walt Disney World Resort Guests are taken out into their domain where the real threat of an unwanted encounter exists. Now, under normal circumstances, a ride out on the Harambe Wildlife Reserve is perfectly safe as long as one stays in one’s seat inside the Safari Truck. The biggest concern for Cast Members is having Guests jump out of the ride vehicle, most likely going after a dropped smartphone and getting too close to any of the non-human Cast Members.
The reported emergency protocol states that if a Guest were to go after their dropped phone, specifically by the Nile crocodiles, the driver needs to speed away immediately.
One former Cast Member relayed information shared to him by his Disney College Program roommate who worked on Kilimanjaro Safaris:
“Basically if a Guest were to drop something out and fall out of the vehicle to get it, those Nile crocodiles would eat him. But, here’s where it gets fun. The reason [the safari drivers] must speed off? It’s to keep other Guests from jumping in after them, so then instead of just having one person destroyed by Nile crocodiles, you would then have two. So the Cast Member is saving you from doing that. And you know, lawsuits […] so the safari driver must drive as fast as they can to get back.”
Here’s the video:
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While Guests have been more than eager to ignore the rules and jump out of the safari vehicle, they have never done so in an area that would leave them harmed or abandoned by their ride.
It should be stated that there are no reports of any wild animals attacking and hurting any car-jumping Disney World Guests on Kilimanjaro Safaris, and as we move into 2023, let’s keep it that way.
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney Parks news and stories as more developments come to light.