OpEd: Why Disney Should Reimagine Kali River Rapids

in Walt Disney World

Kali River Rapids

Credit: Disney

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort, Kali River Rapids takes Guests on a rip-roaring river adventure past an erupting geyser and gushing waterfalls — but I personally feel that there really isn’t much of a story to go along with the attraction.

That is why I think it’s time for Disney World to reimagine Kali River Rapids.

Related: Fan Urges Disney to Reimagine Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

kali river rapids
Credit: Disney

Kali River Rapids

First, let’s look at exactly what Kali River Rapids entails. The official Disney World website describes this ride as:

Raft Down a Rip-Roaring River

Skim across an erupting geyser, drift below a canopy of lush vegetation and be whisked along fast-moving rapids. Graze gushing waterfalls and bedrock amid the raging current. Then, as the harmony of nature is disrupted, you’ll plummet down a dramatic 20-foot slope!

You Will Get Wet

You will surely get splashed on this attraction—and you may even get soaked. Guests wishing to remain dry are encouraged to bring a waterproof poncho, extra clothes or a towel to dry off.

Lockers for mobile devices and other items you want to stay dry are located across from the entrance to Kali River Rapids and are available during your ride (on a first-come, first-served basis).

Know Before You Go

Operating hours for Kali River Rapids may vary in cases of inclement weather.

Kali River Rapids
Credit: Disney

Related: Some Disney Fans Call For More Reimagined Rides, Others Say “Stop”

The storytelling of Disney attractions

Disney theme park attractions are known for their immersive storytelling aspect as each individual ride brings Guests on an entirely new adventure. Over at Peter Pan’s Flight in Magic Kingdom, Guests are brought into the story of Peter Pan as they visit the Darling children’s nursery and fly to Neverland. And when Guests take on Expedition Everest, they feel transported to Asia as they explore a forbidden mountain and encounter a yeti.

But, when Guests climb aboard the raft at Kali River Rapids, I personally feel as though the storytelling just isn’t executed as well as it could be. That is why I think it is time for Disney to reimagine Kali River Rapids and bring a brand-new story to Guests through the attraction.

Kali River Rapids
Credit: Disney

Related: WDW’s Jungle Cruise Will Remain Open as Reimagining Begins

Reimagining Kali River Rapids

There are a few different ideas I have that Disney could take advantage of in order to bring some Disney magic to Kali River Rapids without having to change too much of the attraction.


Credit: Disney

Moana tells the story of an adventurous teenager — Moana — who sails out on a mission to save her people. During her journey, she meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who ends up joining her on her quest to become a master wayfinder. Together the duo sets sail across the open ocean and on an action-packed voyage.

This would be a perfect theme for Kali River Rapids as Moana takes place on a rip-roaring ocean and Kali River Rapids is a water-based ride.

Related: Reimagined Jungle Cruise Debuts Later This Year!

Raya and the Last Dragon

Raya is gay - Kelly Marie Tran comments
Credit: Disney

Another option is to theme a new ride based on Disney’s latest animated film, Raya and the Last Dragon, which is a fantasy adventure set in a land inspired by the cultures and environments of Southeast Asia. It follows the very first Southeast Asian Disney Princess, warrior Raya, and her sidekick, Tuk Tuk, as they must track down the last dragon, Sisu, to help stop the evil Druun.

Related: Will Disney’s ‘Raya’ Be Added to Animal Kingdom Park?

Since the cultures and environments of Asia already have a presence in the theme park, a new water-based attraction highlighting Raya and the Last Dragon would be a natural fit. And with Kali River Rapids already being in the Asia section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, it would make sense!

raya and the last dragon
Credit: Disney

Related: Could ‘Raya’ Be Animal Kingdom’s Next Nighttime Show?

I would love to see one of these two Disney animated films take over Kali River Rapids, would you?

If you want to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom on your next Disney vacation, be sure to get in touch with our friends at Academy Travel, who will be with you every step of the way when planning your magical getaway. Get your free quote today.

Do you think Kali River Rapids needs retheming? Let us know in the comments below.

Editor’s Note: The opinions reflected in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.

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