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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Entrance to Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest theme park in the Walt Disney World Resort boasting some 580 acres of territory.  Some of that space is occupied by the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail located in “Africa” near the Kilimanjaro Safari attraction.

Map of the trail.

If you want to view animals and go at your own pace then the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is a great place to get your wish. 

Termite Mound

The trail is themed for Africa and is the home to various animals.  Special exhibits, an aviary, and a hippo pool viewing area are just some of the highlights from this walking trail.

If memory serves, these were tamarins.  When we approached the trainers were feeding and trying to get some food to more timid tamarin, while the leader of the group kept taking the food.  The trainers were happy to answer questions and explain what they were doing.

Information and displays are available for guests wanting to know more about the animals they are observing.

The meerkats make their home on the trail and you could spend lots of time watching these social animals.

Gorillas also make the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail their home.  Again, watching animals in their close-to-the-real-thing-as-possible habitat is an amazing experience.

While we didn’t capture any photos of the naked molerat display, be sure to not miss it.  A Cast Member is nearby to explain that there is more than one colony of molerats and how they live in their environment.  You can see the “cut out” of underground where they live.

Guests who ride Kilimanjaro Safari will see the hippo pool from above.  That same hippo pool is able to be seen from an underwater view on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.  Sometimes the hippos are near the glass area and guests get a great view.

The trail is well shaded and has many twists and turns.  A bird viewing guide is available prior to entering the aviary and there is a box to return the guide upon exiting.  Take your time and take in all the sights, sounds, and smells.  The animals are most active early in the morning or later in the day.

We walked the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail right after riding Kilimanjaro Safari.  In fact, there were signs at the Safari exit pointing the way to the trail entrance.  Don’t miss it!

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