VIDEO - Take a full ride through on Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark

May 31, 2016 in "Kilimanjaro Safaris"

Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark
Posted: Tuesday May 31, 2016 12:44pm EDT by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney's Animal Kingdom now offers a whole new way to experience its Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction.

What was previously only a daytime experience, now continues throughout the evening until park close, giving guests a chance to see animals in a new light.

Just like in the daytime, the type and number of animals that you see will vary. Disney has gone to lengths to increase your chances of an encounter, with the addition of African wild dogs and hyenas, which are both very active after dark.

The savannah has also been lit in areas, most notably with an artificial sunset, achieved with a huge LED panel. Depending on the condition of the surrounding sky, it can provide a convincing sunset behind the tress, and it also serves to disguise some of the larger flood lighting that is illuminating much of the savannah.

The script is reduced, giving guests more of a chance to take in the atmosphere of the safari, and to listen for animals. Some pre-recorded sounds have been added to some areas to add to the atmosphere.

Mostly following the same path as the daytime version, the route has been modified slightly to detour past the monkey point and most of the elephant area. The total ride time comes in at around 25 minutes.

The after-dark safari should be on your to-do list, especially if you have already toured the daytime version. It brings new life to the attraction, and offers a chance to see a different side of the animals on the savannah. Just don't expect it to be non-stop animal encounters, and remember, it's dark, so seeing the animal will be more difficult.

We've put together a full ride-through video shot at 9pm, and attempted to match the video's light levels as closely as we could to how it appeared to the naked eye.

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DABIGCHEEZAug 23, 2016

Sorry in advance, but just posting our experience as we rode it last night and... well meh. All animals in first section were out of view. Hippos in water, not lit well and looked liked far away rocks. On Savannah, wildebeest, springbok, and ankoli cattle were resting in area across from the dog enclosure( no hyenas were out). We were not fans of the faux sunset. Giraffes were far in back and not really visible. Elephants were way in back and very difficult to make out. Addax, bontebok, and cheetahs not seen( cheetahs weren't expected) Did see one zebra in back area. We could make out the Male and female lions on the kopi. It was cool to hear the male "chuffing" Driver resorted to some Jungle Cruise type corny jokes throughout the ride as he wasn't spotting many animals. He spotted and pointed out many trees in the last area..." There's a tree there and look another tree over there..." No need to go on this ever again for us as we will just stick to seeing all the animals in the day. Giraffes, Eland, rhinos, bongos and kudus right next to safari truck. I understand all safaris(night & day) are varied and unpredictable. My daughter said she wished we could leave the safari mid ride as we did during lame Junglebook Show.

DisneyJeffAug 19, 2016

Wow, they are really going for the authentic African safari experience!! ;)

orlando79Aug 19, 2016

Bug bites! My wife got a bunch of serious bites on a later Safari ride during extended hours some time ago. Big, red, swollen things.We actually had someone look at them. She might go on this new thing if she bathes in Deep Woods Off just before.

ToTBellHopJun 10, 2016

I thought it was odd, too. I was waiting for him to say "honey badgers don't care..."

djkidkazJun 10, 2016

Saw the safari tonight and I enjoyed it besides the loud mouth family behind us talking about how she had been on a "real safari" in Africa. I thought the lighting was really nice. The Savannah sunset I thought looked really good as did the twilight effect towards the end. My only complaint would be the lack of lighting in some prime viewing areas. The giraffes very often tend to hang in that large grouping of palm trees yet it is pitch black. Not a single light facing it. The cheetas and lions have no lighting on them either which is strange considering they should both be more active in the evening and a great part of the safari. All in all, it's nice and different enough from the day safari to warrant a second ride.

MagicHappens1971Jun 03, 2016

I saw a few people complaining about the sunset effect, personally I thought it was really gorgeous and they did a very good job at executing it.

jrogueJun 03, 2016

Are the wait times high for the Safari around 10pm - closing? I'm hoping to wait in the stand by line after seeing the later Jungle Book show

wdwmagicJun 03, 2016

Just like in the daytime, it is variable. You'll see in our video both lions were fully on display. VIDEO - Take a full ride through on Kilimanjaro Safaris After Dark

FigmentForver96Jun 03, 2016

Rode it last night and it while the lighting can take time to adjust to it actually does work for a convincing effect. The best place is obviously the Savannah but other smaller places looked pretty cool. You could see plenty of animals of you looked in the right spots, except for lions which were practically impossible to find. Overall I think they did a great job.

SirenJun 03, 2016

Nice pics! Thanks for sharing. Okay @Jon81uk and @Brian Swan, I stand corrected and thank you both for clarifying everything. I think the night safari looks gorgeous and the lighting seems perfect to me. I'm not going to bother with taking pictures on the night safari unless I miss something significant during the day safari.

Brian SwanJun 01, 2016

NVGs are high-tech items that cost hundreds - if not thousands - of dollars (like any electronic equipment, there is a considerable range). 3D glasses cost a few bucks - if that. the plastic glasses can be mass-sterilized; the NVGs would have to be individually hand-cleaned. Also, NVGs are fragile, and if dropped, could easily break, and like binoculars, they have to be focused for each individual.

yoda_5729Jun 01, 2016

I just watched wdwmagic's wonderful video, but had a quick question. About a quarter of the way through the video, the driver talks baout Honey Badgers. Though part of me doubts they actually have them, as they are quite rare in zoos, to have him specifically mention them, when he could be mentioning anything I found to be a bit odd. Anybody have any information on if they actually have them or not? They just as easily could have mentioned red river hogs, which are actually at Animal Kingdom, at the lodge.

RiderJun 01, 2016

Doesn't seem to matter (I imagine they are quite used to the sounds). In my experience it sure felt like the animals were more willing to be near the roads than in daytime.

Texas84Jun 01, 2016

I liked the fake animal sounds and thought there should have been more. And time your FP for fireworks. It's awesome from the grasslands.