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By: Kid @ Heart Disney Devo


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a adventure that takes you across seven funtastic themed areas  with the ” Tree of Life ” in the center of the park.  This beautiful work of art is a man made artistic masterpiece of the Baobab Tree. Having sculptures of various animals embedded in the trunk just makes this work of art one of a kind.


The Oasis is the entrance to Animal Kingdom where Rainforest Café is located, ( great restaurant for food and atmosphere ), and guests can enter without entering the park.  Guest services and a souvenir shop located outside the entrance.


Tip: At least one day attend Animal Kingdom when they open because at the entrance they will have 4-5 characters for meet -n- greet.


Walt Disney’s passion for animals continues throughout the park by bringing the Asia, Africa, and Dinoland USA to Animal Kingdom. Large habitat sites are designed with a  natural, free roaming, and non captive feel to the wildlife.  It makes you feel at times you are walking through the jungle or rain forest, or the vast open lands of Africa.


But there is a hidden gem that lurks on the horizon accessible by Wildlife Express train in African Savanna.  The train cars seating faces outward to one side that is open so you can see all the stuff on the way to Rafiki’s that is only viewable by the Wildlife Express.  After you board the train and begin the journey to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you will get to see the behind the scenes of the buildings and shelters where animals are housed and cared for.


When you unload, you will follow the path, passing statues of different animals,  down to the entrance to Rafiki’s Conservation Station.  Do not rush right into the entrance, the animal mural is loaded with Hidden Mickeys.


Tip: if you have little ones and have a folding stroller, I would recommend bringing that style stroller because once you exit the train it is a 7-10 min walk to Rafiki’s and you can take these kind inside.


This is a great place for kids and adults to learn a few things about the wild you may have not known and see flexible bone structure of a snake, skulls of certain animals, fossils, and Jimmy the Cricket.



In line getting ready to board.

All aboard the  Express

Another exciting thing you can do is get to Rafiki’s at 9 am so you can see the vets working on any of the animals that get cared for.  Veterinarians have a room with a glass wall so you guests can watch the vets at work.   There is a petting area, conservation station – pertaining to animal training, feeding, veterinary medicine and animal conservation,  habitat exhibits, and sounds of the Rain forests to explore.


There are also live animal cams are set up so you can observe the animals in their backstage homes. There are exhibits on animal research, veterinary care and food preparation.   Characters that may make an appearance here besides Rafiki and Jimmy the Cricket, is Pocahontas, Stanley, Meeko, and Terk from Tarzan. Check your time guide for Meet -n- Greets locations and characters.


Keep patience in mind if there is larger crowds when checking the exhibits and training modules the paths are narrow, but worth trekking with the kiddos.


Elephant statues near the train station


If you are one that likes to purchase souvenirs, there is several small kiosks setup outside of Conservation Station.


Tip 2:  I know most of you will want to get your fast passes, but go there early to see the medical care being done and avoid the crowds.  They are not as busy in the morning at Planet Watch.


There is no dining or quick service sold at Rafiki’s Planet Watch.


Is great for all ages preschoolers to adults.


One of the training exhibits





There is so much to see like this skull and others



Different spider species





 Jimmy the Cricket meet n greet








Entrance to Conservation Station


Can you find any of the Hidden Mickeys?


When venturing to Planet Watch, allow time to enjoy all that has to offer.  The train is supposed to pick up every 10-15 minutes, but some days they only run one train and can take up to 45 min.  So plan accordingly!


Have fun and learn something new and do not forget your camera. Enjoy.