Video: Guests Evacuated by Foot off Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Credit: Disney (left), TikTok user @purely_katelin (right)

Being evacuated off of an attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort is a dream for many fans hoping to see behind-the-scenes secrets and backstage areas of a Disney park. For Guests on a recent ride on Kilimanjaro Safaris, however, their 20-minute safari through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve turned into a safari on foot to reach the exit and evacuate the attraction.

TikTok user @purely_katelin documented the process in a series of public videos on her page:


We were enjoying it THEN…stuck for 40+ mins… #disneyworld #animalkingdom #nightmareonthesafari

♬ original sound – Katelin

In her first video, @purely_katelin shows the lion’s habitat and explains that their safari vehicle had been stopped for about 40 minutes in this location. While this is unlikely to happen often on Kilimanjaro Safaris, longer than usual stops are always a possibility due to the live animals on the attraction that cannot always be predicted. It was not the case in this instance, but more often than not a longer stop is simply a traffic jam.

In this case, the TikTok user mentions that the Cast Member driving the safari vehicle did not know why they were stopped so long.

This is probably true, or at the very least, the Cast Member likely would not have told Guests the exact reason anyway. Attractions are evacuated often for a large number of reasons at Walt Disney World or any theme park, and typically Guests are not given the details of what caused the evacuation.


#disneyworld #animalkingdom #nightmareonthesafari

♬ original sound – Katelin

This isn’t because Disney or any other Park is trying to “hide something” as is implied by some of the readers’ comments on these videos or the user’s decision to continue filming despite Cast Members asking for phones and cameras to be put away, it’s simply because well, the reasons aren’t magical or anything Guests needs to know. Rides are evacuated for breakdowns sure, but also because of an intrusion (when a Guest climbs out of a ride vehicle), an object falling off a ride vehicle that sets a sensor off, backups with Guests unloading too slowly (depending on the attraction), and more. Nothing to hide, just not anything the Cast Member at the end of the evacuation really needs to explain to potentially hundreds of Guests.

In this evacuation of Kilimanjaro Safaris, later TikTok videos show that the ride was likely evacuated due to an issue with one of the trucks:


This is the reason why we were stopped… #disneyworld #animalkingdom #nightmareonthesafari

♬ original sound – Katelin

As the video shows, the walk while understandably long and surely not a great experience with young kids in tow, was entirely safe and away from any animals. The reason why it likely took so long for the evacuation process to get underway was that it took time for Cast Members to move the animals to their backstage housing facilities so they would be entirely away from Guests.

Since the animals had all been moved, and Disney Cast Members are trained at moving Guests along quickly and safely during evacuations like this one, there really was not much to see in terms of the safari and backstage areas. For the Disney fan who would enjoy such a unique experience though, being evacuated off this attraction would surely be memorable!

Kilimanjaro Safari

Credit: Disney

Anytime an attraction at Walt Disney World is evacuated, Guests affected will be given some kind of recovery for their time and inconvenience. In this case, Guests were given an additional Lightning Lane pass for everyone in their party to use at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Guest recording mentioned that they weren’t staying in Animal Kingdom so they needed to go to Guest Relations – this is always an option if you are leaving the Park (as Cast Members at the attraction may not have the ability to switch Lightning Lane passes to a different Park) but Guest Relations can certainly help you out.

It seems the evacuation process from Kilimanjaro Safaris went smoothly considering how large the attraction is. At 110 acres, Kilimanjaro Safaris is the largest attraction in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and at Walt Disney World, and it is home to 34 species of animals, so really we think it is quite impressive that it only took about 40 minutes for Cast Members to secure the animals backstage and evacuate Guests to the exit!

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."

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