An unusually easy day of touring continues at Disney’s Animal Kingdom from Part One, where we visited Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey in Pandora. Most of our early success was due to the 8am official open, and the fact that people actually began entering the Park right around 7:15am. The previous post also outlines what to expect from the various arrival experiences and the best ways to arrive at the Parks as early as possible.
Unfortunately(?), I managed to pick the least crowded day to visit over the past few weeks, and because of that, there isn’t a whole lot of touring strategy involved as we make our way around. But it may be reassuring that touring isn’t always a difficult proposition after trying to figure out the Studios again in an assortment of long lines. Usually, we prefer a slightly above-average number of people in the Park to better show off the importance of our bobs and weaves and how much longer we would have waited if we had gone about things in a less efficient way.
We’ll now basically make a circle around the Park hitting the rides in order.
With no big rush to Kilimanjaro Safaris, we have a couple of minutes to watch the otters. If you are behind schedule, Kilimanjaro Safaris is another attraction that you’ll want to save for after lunch, when waits are typically lower than the second and third hour of operation. Heading to Expedition Everest is viable for late arrivals and DinoLand would be even more forgiving. Not that there is a whole lot going on over there at the moment.
The Park has been much busier lately. I have never seen these markers on the ground on the left occupied with my own eyes, but they must be for Kilimanjaro Safaris, which is already using extended queue that was almost never previously needed. Obviously, a big part of the appearance of longer lines is the six feet between parties, but there would have to be a lot of people snaking around for these to be necessary all the way past Tusker House. Of course, the markers could also be leading to a popcorn stand. I don’t get to play tourist very often, but it’s always a joy to ask people in Fantasyland what the line they’re standing in is for, and then be surprised when the answer is Space Mountain.
We’ll continue on to Safaris:
You’ll find a new narrator on the overhead monitors with a script that focuses more on how to behave during the experience than on the poaching aspect from our dear and beloved Wilson.
I just want to save Little Red one last time.
We got in line at 8:39am and were on our way at 8:44am:
We were back out front at 9:08am, for a total experience time of 29 minutes, which is just about as short as possible.
Harambe Market is now open on Saturdays and Sundays, opening from either 10:30am or 11am depending on the day and closing at 3pm. You can pull up the exact hours and the menu here. Satu’li Canteen and Flame Tree Barbecue likely remain better meal candidates, but its operation both allows Disney to admit more guests on the weekends and at least gives some of them another option for lunch.
We’ll continue on to Kali River Rapids in Asia, largely unencumbered:
Not that you wanted to go there anyway, but the quick service arm of Yak & Yeti no longer serves breakfast on weekdays.
Kali River Rapids was posted at 15 minutes at 9:16am. The actual wait should be about that many seconds, if that.
We’ll put our stuff in a locker and head on in:
Kali will only be open for a couple of more weeks, closing at the end of the day on Saturday, January 2nd, 2021, and reopening on Friday, April 2nd, 2021. Given cooler temperatures, there is little demand for Kali. But with most of the effects off, along with the majority of the sprayers, you likely won’t get too wet at the moment. You probably still wouldn’t find me on there when it’s 55 degrees out, or as we call it in Florida, a statewide emergency. Kali took exactly 20 minutes as we basically walked right on after winding around the lengthy queue and collecting our precious bloggerpacks.
We’ll continue to Expedition Everest:
Everest is another roller coaster where they’ve put up plastic barriers in between each row at load, which seems to indicate that they would like to find a way to add some kind of barrier in between rows on the trains in order to fill them and increase capacity. We haven’t yet seen barriers added to any ride vehicle that moves particularly fast. On a largely outdoor roller coaster, it’s hard to say how much risk there would be even without physical barriers, but you’re more likely to run into some screamers on a coaster than something slower like the Runaway Railway. The masks would ideally block the spread Disney may end up waiting until it’s “safe” to load every row without any vehicle modifications, but keep the barriers up in the loading areas for additional time to make people “feel” safer when they’re stationary.
We were onboard in about ten minutes, after seeing 15 minutes posted when we got in line at 9:39am:
We were back out front at 9:54am, for a total experience time of 15 minutes, and a posted wait that’s now 25 minutes. The actual wait is probably up to about 15 minutes if we wanted to ride again.
Since we’re a little picture-heavy, we’ll move on to DinoLand in the next post.