Some Disney theme park jobs are more challenging than others and, while it might seem that the drivers at Kilimanjaro Safaris have one of the most enjoyable posts on Disney World property, they are also at the mercy of wild animals who do not understand they are living in a theme park attraction.
One Cast Member, for example, shared a tale about having to “keep high-paying Guests amused” while their safari truck was stopped by a rhinoceros napping in the road for 60 minutes.
Furthermore, they are among the only Cast Members who have the ability to truly go off-the-grid, if they so choose. They are not driving on a track — and apparently this knowledge is enough to convince The Walt Disney Company to give Kilimanjaro Safaris drivers a bit of a pay boost.
A former Cast Member recently shared:
“I worked at Kilimanjaro Safaris in Animal Kingdom. A little secret: we got paid a dollar more than all other attractions because we not only spiel, but drive 35+ guests in a truck on an uncontrolled trail. If we wanted to, we could’ve driven right out into the river where the crocs are and told you all to ‘run.’ Hence the extra dollar an hour to keep us from doing something so crazy.”
Because of the nature of Disney’s Harambe Wildlife Reserve, anything can happen on Kilimanjaro Safaris — and sometimes does.
That’s what it makes sense that the safari drivers are paid just a little bit extra — not only to keep them from doing something “crazy” but to put up with all of the will things that have occurred on the popular ride. Make sure you check it out next time you visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park!
More on Kilimanjaro Safaris
The official description of Kilimanjaro Safaris reads:
Explore the Harambe Wildlife Reserve, home to 34 species living in 110 acres of picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands. Your rugged safari vehicle is driven by an expert guide, who helps point out animals and shares fascinating wildlife facts during this extraordinary 18-minute expedition.
Unique Animal Encounters
Spot a shy hippopotamus nestled in a still pond. Behold a regal lion sunbathing on a rocky perch. Drive past a gentle giraffe grazing on the tall trees or wave hello to a swinging baboon. Other amazing animals you may encounter include rhinos, cheetahs, crocodiles, elephants, hyenas and zebras—and so many more!
What’s your favorite ride at Animal Kingdom?
Visit the official Disney World website to plan your next magical vacation to Walt Disney World Resort’s four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios — and the Disney Springs shopping and dining district OR the official Disneyland website to plan your trip to Disneyland Resort’s two theme parks — Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park — and the Downtown Disney District!