Kali River Rapids

by josh on September 2, 2010

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, depending on season.

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 long wait times in 80+ degree temperatures. Use FastPass+ if you plan to ride between 11am and 4pm.

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.

When To Go: In the standby line, ride before 11am or in the last hour of operation. Use FP+ in the afternoon.

Expect to Wait: Waits typically peak at 40 to 50 minutes in the afternoon when the weather is nice.  Before lunch, waits of 20 to 30 minutes are common.  If it’s colder out, waits will be significantly shorter. During the busy summer season, waits hit 70 to 100 minutes even when Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris are 30 to 50 minutes.

Length: 5 minutes total, but most of that is spent in the ascension to the top of the Rapids.  Expect about two minutes of actual rafting down the river.

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 single row 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.

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. Wear ponchos.

Rating: 2/10

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?”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Terri in So Cal September 11, 2011 at 11:08 am

We love to ride this ride in the heat! So refreshing. Once we get wet we will usually ride it once or twice more. Sometimes my daughter will ride it again by herself. When we go the lines typically aren’t too long, sometimes the CMs will let us ride without getting off, or just do a quick return. I do wish it was longer and I don’t like the smell of the fires.


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