Kali River Rapids Review at Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Kali River Rapids Opened On: March 18, 1999.
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Location: Kali River Rapids is located in Asia in between Yak & Yeti Restaurant and Expedition Everest. From Everest, you’ll see the entrance 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. Maharajah Jungle Trek is located straight past the entrance to Kali River Rapids, near the ride’s exit.
Extra Magic Hours: Not usually. Disney may add Kali to the morning EMH lineup during the busiest summer days, but it may be unlikely that you’ll want to ride it at 8:15am either way.
Ride Length: 5 minutes.
Type: Rafting ride.
Similar To: Grizzly River Run at Disney’s California Adventure
Requirements: Must be 38” tall to ride.
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 vessel. Your raft will be pulled slowly 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.
Scary Factor: Low. The initial lift, not unlike going up a steep roller coaster track, may first appear daunting, but it’s a gentle ride for the most part after that.
The plunge isn’t fast or particularly thrilling, but it is still marginally fun. Expect a similar intensity to the drop on Pirates of the Caribbean.
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. About half of the riders on any particular raft 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. Those with their backs to the drop usually end up the wettest, as that’s where most of the water comes over the raft.
Waterfalls and a variety of other water “features” will also hit certain guests with water throughout the ride.
Where to Sit: You’ll be seated around a circular raft that spins around, so there isn’t really an advantage to sitting in any particular seat.
The twelve seats are basically arranged in pairs around the raft. You might plan on your how you want to split the group up before embarking on your excursion.
Unless there’s a particular need, cast won’t stop the rafts during the boarding process. They constantly move around the turntable, which may make it difficult or guests with mobility issues to make it on without a struggle.
How to Stay Dry: Free lockers are available to the left of the entrance.
Store anything remotely valuable here, including any electronics that aren’t entirely waterproof. Riders must wear shoes, sandals, or something else on their feet.
Consider bringing sandals to wear on the ride so shoes and socks remain safely dry in the lockers. Wearing a poncho makes more sense here than any other Disney ride. Keep your feet off the ground and tucked in during the drop to reduce the amount of water sprayed on your feet.
FastPass+: Yes – moderate priority. The majority of riders disembarking the attraction leave 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 too, leading to 60+ minute peak wait times in 80+ degree temperatures. Use FastPass+ if you plan to ride between 10:30am and 5pm.
What You Miss Using FastPass+:
The queue is actually one of Disney’s best, though this picture certainly doesn’t capture that. You’ll actually walk through a temple and staging areas for the expedition, all of which are rich with detail. 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. Those using FastPass+ won’t see any of the warning videos explaining the backstory.
Total Average Experience Time with FastPass+: 18 minutes.
4th FastPass+ Availability: While Kali River Rapids doesn’t distribute many FastPass+ per hour, people are prone to cancel it in favor of something else, once they realize everything that’s involved. Most guests will want to book Expedition Everest and Kilimanjaro Safaris in advance. Consider refreshing FastPass+ availability for Kali River Rapids in the afternoon.
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. Note that Disney usually opens Kali after the rest of the Park. They also may close Kali earlier than the rest of the Park. Double check the Times Guide if you’re planning on visiting early or late. Guests using FastPass+ in the afternoon are the best off.
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?” On the other hand, you may fall into the “that was so bad, it was fun camp.”
The most fun you can probably have with Kali is to stand on the bridge and press the green button as rafts pass. In the dark, those on the rafts may not even be able to see who’s pressing it, which guarantees your safety.