Kilimanjaro Safaris at Noon: A Photo Report!

Disney's Animal Kingdom

There seems to be a near-consensus in various Disney-related circles that if you’re visiting Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you simply *must* do it early in the day. The logic goes that the animals are more active then, so you’re more likely to get a better experience if you do the Safaris early.

If this is *you* and you’re using RideMax, you can set aside time to visit the Safaris first thing by setting your “start time” to about 35 minutes after the park opens, and using this gap to visit the ride. (You could also use a “break” in RideMax for a similar purpose.)

On the other hand, what if you simply allow RideMax to do the plan optimization for you, even if the plan has you visiting Kilimanjaro Safaris later in the day? My opinion is that this isn’t as bad as people think, and this may especially be the case during cooler seasons of the year, such as January, when I’m writing this post.

To illustrate, I’ve posted below some pictures that I took on the Safaris yesterday, when I didn’t get on the attraction until close to noon. It had just finished raining about an hour or two earlier:

Disney's Animal Kingdom - Crocodiles

The crocodiles were out in large numbers!

Giraffes at Disney's Animal Kingdom

There were a lot of giraffes out and about. Probably more than I’ve seen on any other visit…

Disney's Animal Kingdom Giraffe close-up

In for a close-up. Smile!  🙂



Disney's Animal Kingdom - Rhinos

The rhinos were out in force!

Disney's Animal Kingdom - More Rhinos

Another shot of the rhinos…


The cheetah was out in the open…

Animal Kingdom Lioness

…as were both of the lions. Above is the female.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lion

And here’s the male.

Disney's Animal Kingdom Lion

Best “posing” I’ve seen from the lions in a while!

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Taking a nap…

Disney's Animal Kingdom Zebras

And finally, if you wanted to see zebras, this was your day!

I hope these pictures help illustrate my point. You certainly can do the Safaris early, if that’s what you really want to do. But doing them later in the day — especially during the cooler parts of the year — is simply fine with me!

What has been YOUR experience with Kilimanjaro Safaris? Have you noticed a big difference visiting it early in the morning versus later in the day?

Tell me about your experience in the comments below!