This review reflects our experience from October 2015.
Have you ever looked into a special tour while on your Disney vacation? There are a ton to choose from, from Keys to the Kingdom in Magic Kingdom to the Behind the Seeds Tour in Epcot. We decided to change up our usual trip and do the Wild Africa Trek in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
To book this tour you need to call ahead to reserve a time and date for your tour. All of these tours are 3-hours long. When we called to reserve our tour I made sure to note our special diet. I informed the Cast Member that we were vegan since there is a snack offered on this tour.
We scheduled our tour to be after a filling lunch at Tusker House, as we didn’t know how big the snack would be. After lunch we walked the short distance over to check in for the Wild Africa Trek. Check in can be found right next to the entrance line for Kilimanjaro Safaris. Once checked in we were given name tags, eye glass strings and water bottles and were told to put all of our stuff in a locker. I was glad I had my GoPro with me which can be attached to my wrist so I could bring along a camera. You’re told to put everything that could fall off (even your magic band!) in the locker so that you won’t lose anything to the crocodiles. But they have a professional photographer with the group so there’s really no need to take photos.
We stood around lathering up in sunscreen while waiting for our turn to be fitted for our harnesses. They weigh you before you are allowed to be hooked up as there is a weight limit for this journey because of the suspended bridges. Everyone is given a super cool vest that acts as a harness as well as a headset so we can hear the guide even when you’re not near them.
After everyone was set up and ready to go we began our trek. Our trek started with a quick stop along the Pangani Forest Trail then we entered a special gate to head backstage. After a relatively short walk we came up on the hippos. We all hooked in and were allowed in the back area of the hippo pool where we saw two hippos and could watch the Kilimanjaro Safari trucks drive by. Our guide told us all about the hippos they have here and was feeding them lettuce.
After some time we all moved out of the hippo area and continued on our walk. We headed up a large structure to begin crossing the bridges. The first bridge goes over an area with hippos. They were swimming under while we were crossing which made for a really good view. The next bridge was a bit scarier as it crossed over the crocodiles. While I was crossing they were feeding the crocs and I got to see them be super active and jump at their food. It was only mildly terrifying.
After we were done crossing the bridges we got to go out on the overlook of the crocodiles. They were pretty chill at this point, but it was really cool to see just how massive they were.
After our adventure in the woods we moved out to the savannah via a truck. We all packed in and began our special tour in the truck where they talked about the animals rehabiliation, rescues and general animal care. We were surprised to hear that the cheetahs were the only animals that had been purchased for Animal Kingdom where as the rest were from rescues and sanctuaries.
After our special tour through the savannah we got to enjoy our snack overlooking the savannah and flamingos. We didn’t know what to expect with our snack as typically the vegan item for special events is severely lacking, but not this one! After our guides explained the food to everyone else one came over to tell us what was in ours.
We were given Tabbouleh, Tandoori Tofu, Hummus with Pita, Fruit Salad (contained honey though), Black Eyed Pea Salad and Couscous. The Tandoori Tofu was absolutely delicious, well actually everything was! Luckily it had been really hot and we had done a good amount of walking so we were all ready for a snack this big even after eating at Tusker House. All of this food is specially prepared for the Trek and isn’t available other places, but I think that’s the case for the non-vegan option as we’ve had the black eyed peas at Tusker House in the past. Regardless, we were not expecting such an elaborate snack and we were all pleasantly surprised and full afterwards!
Once we were done eating there was another overlook we could go check out so we headed out there. The views were incredible from this spot, you almost forget you’re in Florida! After the meal we hopped back on the truck for another quick drive then we were done. This was an incredible experience and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a special event during their trip. The guides are incredibly knowledgeable and are willing to answer so many questions. If you’ve always been on the fence about how animals are treated in Animal Kingdom/Disney World this is a great chance to ask the people who are with them every day.
Since I had my GoPro I made a fun short video about our trek.
Would we go back?
Yes! This was super fun! Although I wouldn’t do it during noon-3pm again because it was hot.
Corey, Melissa, Paul & Tara
Great post; thanks for all the information!
Just an update. We did the trek last week (january 2017). Told them we were vegan ahead of time and all my meal was 100% vegan. Fruit salad had no honey (hubbys did and he’s vegetarian). He had the vegetarian truffles and they brought vegan chocolate cookies for me which were amazing.
Maybe they upped their game but no honey in my fruit salad! 🙂
Thank you so much for this post! We’re going to WDW in December, and we are really interested in this tour. Our main concern was whether or not they’d have vegan options for us on the tour, so thanks again for assuaging our fears!
Definitely do it! It’s a blast!! Just make sure you note being vegan when booking your tour. Enjoy!