Backstage Safari Tour

Disney's Description

Do you love animals? Are you curious how Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park looks after more than 1,700 animals representing 250 different species?

Backstage White Rhino BuildingFind out how on this behind-the-scenes walking tour that offers a revealing look at the new and creative ways Disney’s wildlife specialists meet the unique challenges of animal care and behavior—all while running a lushly landscaped Disney Theme Park and promoting wildlife conservation.

Get up close to a variety of spectacular and majestic animals in their backstage habitats. Talk with animal keepers as you visit the Animal Nutrition Center, explore the state-of-the-art veterinary hospital and discover other backstage facilities. Learn the story of how every day 3 tons of food is prepared, distributed and fed to the animal residents of Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park.

Tour Information

Time & Location : 8:30am & 1pm M,W,Th,F outside AK Guest Relations on the far left of the turnstiles.

Ending Location: Harambe Village in Africa

Duration: 3 hours

Cost: $72 + tax (Discounts Available: AAA Diamond, AP, DVC, Disney VISA)

Theme Park Admission: Required

Park Visited: AK

Includes: A reusable plastic mug, light snack break (i.e., granola bars & pretzels)

Sample Tour Content*:

  • Backstage at White Rhino & Elephant compound
  • Private ride on Kilimanjaro Safari with tour guide narration
  • Light snack break
  • Backstage at Animal Nutrition Center
  • Backstage at Conservation Station

*Disney’s tour schedules and content can change at any time due to a variety of factors. Rest assured, if for some reason the tour can’t or doesn’t go to one of the stops you’ve read about here or on other websites, your Tour Guide still has plenty of magic up their sleeves to make sure you have a wonderful tour experience.

Maximum Group Size: 18. Groups of 15 or more are split into two vans for the backstage driving portion of the tour.

Listening Devices Available: Yes

Hearing Disabilities: Yes

Wheelchair Accessible: Yes

Requirements: Guests must be 16+

Photography Restrictions: No photography is permitted during the backstage portion of this tour.  However, if you have a good (read: fast) camera, you can take some pictures of the White Rhino compound from the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch on your own time in the park.

Bag Storage: You can leave your baggage in the van during all stops if you would like. You may also take your bag/purse backstage with you.

Additional Notes: This is an outdoor walking tour – dress appropriately, wear suncreen & good shoes.  Disney will not cancel or provide refunds for this tour (or most others) in the event of inclement weather (Disney will cancel for hurricanes, but not average rain).  I went on this tour in a heavy down pour.  The tour guide met us with ponchos, and we went on the tour as usual (though we did most of the talking in the van rather than standing in the rain.)

Book: Call (407) WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687)

DTR Review

Check out our full DTR Review of the Backstage Safari tour here.

Find other DTR posts about the Backstage Safari here.

Other Tour Reviews & Links

  • Vacation Field Guides Review from November 2010 is more detailed and includes a few photos.  While I understand Tracie’s point about the emphasis of the conservation message on the tour, as self described tree-hugger – it actually hurts to read that someone was offended by Disney’s promotion of the importance of protecting our environment.  But that’s just me!
  • Disboards.com Thread about the Backstage Safari (September 2010) includes a few tour insights from Disboard members.  Here is another similar thread from May 2009.
  • Disneygeek.com Tour Logs from 2000 and 2009.  This gives a nice synopsis of tour stops back in 2000 (which is interesting).
  • Walt Disney World For Grown Ups Reader Review This short review from August 2008 points out two strong points I agree with based on my Backstage Safari experience: this tour is underrated & try to get close to the guide to ask questions and get as much out of the tour as possible.  I found this tour exceeded my expectations because the guide encouraged and answered as many questions as she could.  This meant each tour will be different based on guests’ interests and won’t be just the same old spiel you get on some other tours.
  • AllEars.net Review by Michael England from October 2001.  This detailed review is a bit dated.  The current tour does not include any direct animal interaction (no petting baby rhinos as mentioned in many older reviews), and guests meet outside the park regardless of the park opening time.
  • AllEars.net Review by Barb and Tony from 1998.  This review is quite old, but it goes into enough detail to let me know the tour really hasn’t changed that much over the years.

Related Podcasts

  • DIS Unplugged Podcast Review Bob “Bawb” Varley gives some feedback on his experience with the Backstage Safari in August 2007. Any fellow DIS Unplugged listeners will recognize this show as producing some of Bawb’s most memorable quotes – which are worth listening to for entertainment purposes alone.  For just the tour review portion of the podcast, start at 48:00.

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