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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort is a floating conservation story.

One of a handful of FASTPASS attractions at Animal Kingdom, Kali is located in Africa near the Yak and Yeti Restaurant.

The first time we rode Kali, the boy was tall enough, but didn’t want to ride. No problem. We had FASTPASSes, so we used rider swap. Explain to the Cast Member that you want to swap and they tell you where to wait. The husband rode first and the boy and I waited on the bridge that crosses over the last leg of Kali and watched the ride. We had the camera and got some cool shots as the husband made his way back to the loading/unloading area. Let’s just say, he was much cooler when he returned as he was SOAKED!

Then it was my turn and I approached the Cast Member through the exit and was allowed to get into the FASTPASS line and made my way quickly to the loading area. The loading area is in itself unique, as it continually spins. Think of it like a gear that keeps going. As it spins, it “grabs” the rafts and holds onto them until they exit the loading area. This means the ride is continually moving while you get on. Got my seat and off we went.

After the first conveyor belt ride up, the ride descends and tells the story of rainforest destruction and its harmful effects. You even get to see a logging truck on fire and I can remember the smell of the fire. There are twists, turns, plunges, caves, waterfalls, and geysers all meant to get you nice and wet. As you can see in the photo above, I’m nice and dry during the return trip, especially from the waist up.  The husband was baffled that I remained relatively unscathed (meaning dry) during the ride.

The next time we rode Kali, the boy joined us. A bit hesitant at first, but he loved it—especially the burning log truck. Since we were all riding, the photos were limited. But the ending was the same. The husband soaked. . . me dry!

OK, here’s the secret for staying dry, and let’s just hope he doesn’t read the blog. . . when you load the ride, the Cast Members will tell you to move all the way across the raft to sit, so that they can fill in the seats near the dock last. Don’t move across the raft. Sit on the seat just to the right of where you are entering the raft. Works like a charm!

In the middle of each raft, is a place to put items you would like to remain dry during the trip and is covered with a thick plastic “lid” which is held in place by Velcro. While the rules state that your shoes must be on at all times on the ride, many riders placed their shoes in the middle of the raft after they were out of eyeshot from the Cast Members. We had a bag that fit in the compartment easily and I put the camera in my fanny pack and we were fine.

Know that bathrooms are located just outside the Yak and Yeti Restaurant, just as you exit Kali for those who need a stop to ring out their clothes or whatever. The irony is that there is a wonderful water fountain just outside the bathrooms that you will often see children frolicking in and around while their parents are desperately trying to get dry.

You can don a poncho for the ride, but why?

Enjoy your next ride on Kali!

To read about Kilimanjaro Safari, another headline attraction at Animal Kingdom, click here.

Other Animal Kingdom features include The Festival of the Lion King, Rafiki's Planet Watch, and Character Greeting TrailsClick here to read about dining at Tusker House at Animal Kingdom.

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