Kali River Rapids Was Supposed to Have REAL Animals

in Walt Disney World

kali river rapids with real animals

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 did you know that instead of animatronics, the attraction was going to use real animals?

Kali River Rapids
Credit: Disney

Related: OpEd: Why Disney Should Reimagine Kali River Rapids

If you have never been on Kali River Rapids, 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

As Guests rush down the rapids, they bypass several animatronic animals, but did you know Disney thought about utilizing real animals on Kali River Rapids, similar to the Kilimanjaro Safaris?

According to The Mouselets, Imagineers felt that having real elephants and lions would make the ride feel more immersive, but this idea proved to be a bit difficult as they would have to figure out a way to keep the animals contained so they did not put any Guests in danger. Because of the complications, Disney Imagineers ended up moving forward with animatronics instead.

Kali River Rapids
Credit: Disney

Did you know this fun fact about Kali River Rapids? Would you have liked to see real animals on the ride? Let us know in the comments below.

If you want to visit Walt Disney World on your next vacation, let the expert team at Academy Travel help you plan your next magical vacation. You won’t want to miss everything the Disney World Parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district has to offer!

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