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Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience, Animal Kingdom

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Another new backstage tour/ experience we did was the Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience. I actually booked this for my dads birthday present, so paid for mine and his, and then they paid for my mums ticket. This one is pretty pricey, which is why it was a special treat! Currently (May 2019) its $169 each and you still need a valid park ticket). I had booked the later tour at 6.15pm (there is another at 5pm) as I wanted to be there more of sunset/evening.

 

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Check in is right next to Kilimanjaro Safaris, you are given a POG juice to sip on whilst checking in. Your group (I think there was approx. 12 people) walk with the guides to your personal truck. This isn’t the usual safari truck (its the same one in the other Animal Kingdom tours), there’s no middle rows of seats you all just sit round a bench round the truck, and it is very bumpy!

The tour starts on the actual safari, and then we pulled up next to another cast member and stopped to talk to him. You should see the other ride vehicle’s going past, all thinking why aren’t we stopping here? The guy pictured above talked about his daily routine, and time working there. Also gave time for questions. We then drove over to the platform for the food/drinks/prime animal viewing portion.

Guys – I could have stayed there all  night! I think its about 45 minutes – 1 hour you are there, but I needed more time!

All of the tables had a cover on, they did a quick run through of the food on offer, there was quite a variety and you helped yourself (see picture below). On offer also was a mini bar with wines and beers, fresh fruit water etc. I opted for a white wine and enjoyed some whilst overlooking the savannah.

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Also at this time, someone proposed! I was actually getting my drink so I missed the actual thing, but saw them hugging and a female friend was also there (who clearly knew) as she then gave her some special ears!

People were mingling and talking and as the food was tapas style, it was easy to use hands. I actually sat down facing out towards the flamingos. The food was really nice, and I did go back for seconds.

The desserts was nice too – my favourite was a 7 layer bar, it was nuts, chocolate and lots more. Very yummy. The pink one was a strawberry cake and the one in a tin was a de constructed S’mores – it didn’t photo well.

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There was 2 other cast members besides the ones on truck, and they was all so lovely. I did a cast compliment for Mandi (and the others but I didn’t get their names). You can walk all round the veranda, and there was a few binoculars on the tables.

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The sun was slowly starting to set, and we saw lots of movement from the animals (the ones below came quite close). There is also a long walk way heading to the right, and Mandi called us down as the Lions was roaring! Most of us walked down (it wasn’t hugely close to the lion part but you could see them from a distance and you could hear them well!) Let me tell you, it is now what you are expecting. She actually gave us some interesting movie/animal trivia too. You know the MGM lion? That’s not a lion, its a tiger roaring!

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I liked the set up at the bar, so had to get a picture! So cute right?

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During our time up there, a storm started. And did it come down! In the picture behind me, you can see how wet the floor was! When it was time to get back on the truck, they gave us complimentary ponchos, and I’m glad they did. As the way you are sitting, the water was streaming in and hitting our backs and necks, we would have all been drenched!

It carries on the normal tour route, with the ability to stop as usual. It ends at the same place, and we all walked back to where we met. They gave us all a gift (SPOILER ALERT) of a 4 piece bamboo set of coasters with the savour the savannah on. They are actually really nice. I did mean to take a picture after but it was raining so heavily and was quite dark. I think its about a 2 hour tour.

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I really enjoyed this and I know my dad did (such a cool birthday present right?!). I do think the price feels a bit heavy. I’m not sure if kids was allowed but we had none on our tour (yes bonus!). It does feel very adult and unique, and truthfully I don’t think kids under 12 would appreciate it. It felt like a very chilled evening and doesn’t feel like you are at Walt Disney World at all! Have you been/ Or would you like to? If you have any questions, feel free to ask!

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Up Close with Rhinos Tour, Animal Kingdom

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We did the up Close with Rhinos tour on our last trip, I booked this because we had already done the Caring for Giants and I’m always on the lookout for new things.

So I don’t have any pictures as it’s all backstage, so I hope these one’s suffice.

The Disney website describes it “Get ready for your close-up with the white rhinoceros—Earth’s second-largest land animal. In this 60-minute guided adventure, the rhinos’ keepers will take you backstage to meet these massive creatures as few people ever do. As your guides introduce you to the park’s white rhinos, they’ll offer fascinating insights into the species’ behavior and biology and discuss the challenges that threaten populations in the wild.”

At the moment (May 2019) it costs $40 and you need a park ticket.

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You check in just by Kilamanjaro Safaris, you sign a waiver and are given the lanyard above. Straight away you go backstage and are walked to a vehicle by a cast member. The minibus is driven by another cast member who gives you a few facts about animal kingdom in general. She drops you off at the Rhino enclosure.

The 2 cast members we met for the actual rhino section were Caitlin and Robyn and they was amazing. Super knowledgeable and clearly loved the rhinos – I even gave them a cast compliment.

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I was super excited after we got back into the park!

We gathered round and they talked about the rhinos, and their love and relationship with them. The ones we saw was Lola and Jao, they are basically best buddies! We was invited to in 2s/3s to come and stroke the rhino! Was amazing, they are actually gentle and loving creatures and they are herbivores.

We was allowed to ask questions, and was there about maybe half hour. The whole tour is only 1 hour, so it doesn’t take much of your holiday up. The minibus picks you up and takes you back, and you then re-enter the park again by Kilamanjaro Safaris.

I came away loving rhinos (now one of my favourite’s) and with a smile on my face, I learnt something new and I’m glad I booked it for us.

I really enjoyed this (more than the elephants) and think it’s worth the money – especially because the money goes towards conservation!

There was a few tours a day, so when I rang (quite a few months in advance) I had no trouble booking, and would recommend it for you and your fellow holiday guests! have you been? Would you like to?

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