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Ride Guide – Kali River Rapids
This is another ride within the Animal Kingdom which plays to the conservation theme that runs throughout the park, this time we are facing the activities of illegal loggers destroying the natural habitat. As you wander through the queuing area, you can hear the buzz of chainsaws in the distance, however, for me this isn’t the main feature of the queue.
Wandering through the lush vegetation you pass through various different themed areas of the queue. One area is the booking office for your river expedition, another is a temple. All of these scenes have got lots of detail in them and are also covered so can provide some shade from the sun. The temptation, if the ride is quiet, is to rush through these areas, but it really is worth taking a couple of moments to appreciate all of the details and find some of the whimsical artefacts that are on display.
You finally emerge from the jungle to the boarding area for the rafting expedition. It used to be the case that during the queuing area you would be able to purchase ponchos to wear, however, this hasn’t been present over the last few years. If you are scared of getting wet, potentially very wet, you can duck out of the ride at this point.
The boarding area is a rotating platform and you are held back and then guided as to which 12 person raft you are to board. I always feel that there isn’t going to be enough time as the raft rotates around the dock to get everyone on board, seated and buckled in, but there always is! Within the rafts there are designated seats for smaller riders which have safety bars which can come down, rather than just the strap belt. This is also the time to put any valuables into the centre storage bin, however, you are not allowed to put shoes and socks into the bin. A good tip for this ride is to have a pair of flip-flops with you and before you enter the queue, swap your shoes and socks for your flip-flops. If your feet do get soaked, they will quickly dry afterwards with flip-flops. Squelching around the park with wet socks and sneakers isn’t too much fun!
As you head around the river in your raft, there are various water spouts and large waves to ensure plenty of water washes into the raft. The raft will rotate as it bumps against the river edges and there is no real way to predict who is in a good seat or not. You pass some scenes of logging activity and there is the smell of burned charcoal from their fires, as the activity heightens the river brings you around to the main drop on the ride. This always feels longer than it probably is and you are all watching to see who is going to get really soaked when you splash down at the bottom.
From there on it is a quick ride back to the boarding dock, but there are a few surprises left still waiting to catch you unawares. These will, of course, mainly involve you getting wet.
This is definitely a fun ride and not too rough, so enjoyable for all the family. The nearest washroom after the ride has plenty of high-powered driers for you to use, although in the heat it can be nice to get wet and then dry off naturally.
Minimum Height – 38 inches (97 cm)
FastPass – Yes
Single Rider – No
Location – Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Asia.
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Page added on: 28 July 2011
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