Opened: March 18, 1999
Location: Asia in between Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Expedition Everest. From Everest, you’ll see it on your right just before you arrive at Yak & Yeti. From Africa, you’ll see it on your left just after you pass Yak & Yeti Quick Service.
Extra Magic Hours: Morning during the summer months. Not usually open from October – May.
Ride Length: 5 minutes.
Type: Rafting ride
Similar To: Grizzly River Run at Disney’s California Adventure
Requirements: Must be 38” tall to ride.
Scary Factor: Low. The ride starts off with a 90 foot uphill ascent, but there are no drops any more significant than the initial drop at Pirates of the Caribbean. It probably looks a lot “worse” than it is.
What to Expect: Kali River Rapids follows a story about the destruction caused by illegal forestry. Riders board large rafts that seat 12 people in a circle around the outside perimeter of the raft. Your raft will be pulled up a 90 foot hill and then be released to freely float down the rapids. Your raft will pass through geysers, waterfalls, and beautiful tropical jungles before plummeting down a 30-foot waterfall. The drop isn’t fast or particularly thrilling, but it is still fun. Expect to get drenched on Kali. The ride itself won’t get you very wet until you go down the drop, but at the end of the ride there are a number of “water-shooters” that will be manned by other Park guests. They will aim at your raft and shoot buckets of water at you. Most riders leave soaked to the skin. On the other hand, depending on where you’re sitting and the aim of the water-shooters, you may emerge only slightly soaked.
(Un?)Lucky riders will also get hit by a variety of waterfalls and other features.
Where to Sit: You’ll be seated around a circular raft that spins around, so there isn’t really an advantage in sitting in any particular seat. Try to sit next to someone bigger so that they’ll get hit with most of the water.
How to Stay Dry: Free lockers are available across from the entrance. Store anything remotely valuable here. There is a container in the middle of the raft to store belongings, but it isn’t waterproof and may already be wet from previous excursions. Shoes or sandals must be worn. Consider bringing sandals to wear on the ride so shoes and socks remain safely dry in the lockers. Consider wearing ponchos.
FastPass+: Yes – high priority. The majority of riders disembarking the attraction are soaked, making it a good choice to ride during the afternoon heat. Unfortunately, the attraction has a lousy capacity and everyone else wants to ride in the afternoon, leading to 60+ minute peak wait times in 80+ degree temperatures. Use FastPass+ if you plan to ride between 11am and 4pm.
What You Miss Using FastPass+:
Most of the backstory, which is that you’re seeing the effects of illegal logging on the lush jungle firsthand. What you miss certainly isn’t worth waiting 60+ minutes instead, but the queue is probably the second most interesting in the Park, behind only Expedition Everest. If you enjoy the ride, you might want to experience it in standby before 10:30am or in the last hour of operation to take in the full experience.
Total Average Experience Time with FastPass+: 18 minutes.
4th FastPass+ Availability:
Expect to Wait When Highs are Under 70:
Expect to Wait When Highs are Above 80:
When To Go: In the standby line, ride before 10:30am or in the last hour of operation. Use FP+ in the afternoon.
Commentary: Kali River Rapids is short, most of the effects are broken, and you’ll likely disembark soaking wet. Think of it as a wet t-shirt contest where you wish the contestants stayed home. It can be fun in the heat with a FP+ in your hand, sandals on your feet, and your valuables in a locker, but the vast majority of people leave saying, “That was it?”