Rafiki's Planet Watch is the most overlooked area at Animal Kingdom, and some of the most fun for little ones, and grown-ups, too!
Read more to find out about this fascinating area.
First of all, you have to ride a train to get to Rafiki's Planet Watch! If your children are like mine, trains hold a terrific fascination, and the Wildlife Express Train is a lot of fun because you are actually sitting facing sideways, so you can see out of the train and into some of the backstage animal areas.
Upon getting off the train, you can explore some an outdoor trail and see animals, including the cotton-top tamarin monkey. Learn about how to share our world with the animals around us.
Here you can find interactive exhibits and a viewable onsite research facility. Experiences include:
- Animal Encounters Stage - fun shows about wildlife habitats
- Song of the Rainforest - 3D audio journey through the rainforest led by Grandma Willow
- Veterinary Treatment Room - see hands-on care of the animals
- Backstage Tour - control animal cams to see backstage animal areas
- Character Greetings - see some hard-to-find characters like Rafiki, Pocahontas, and Jiminy Cricket
- Eco-Web - learn about conservation efforts
- Nutrition Center - learn about animal diets and watch handlers prepare food
- Amphibian and Reptile Center - see a variety of creepy-crawly creatures
- Nursery - see baby animals
Of course, all experiences are subject to change!
We especially enjoy seeing rare characters, the baby animals, and the veterinary treatment center. There is so much information at a variety of age-appropriate interest levels.
This is a petting zoo area where guests can get up close and personal with several species of animal. There is a convenient washing area, and guests are encouraged to wash their hands before and after meeting the animals.
Animal brushes are available, and children love to brush, pet, and feed the animals. The animals may include:
Rafiki's Planet Watch often has different hours than the rest of the Animal Kingdom Park. I highly suggest you check the opening hours upon entrance to the park, and go to this area as early as possible. The animals are much more enthusiastic in the morning, before they have met several hundred other guests! It is also helpful to be present when the characters begin their appearances, to avoid waiting in a long line.
Have you been to Rafiki's Planet Watch?
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Have a magical day!