So, Disney’s already announced it, but I figured I might as well post about what I’ve been hearing about the new “Adventure Safari” they’re planning on rolling out over the next few months.
I’ve heard some mixed feelings among the drivers that I talked to, and I’m still not sure how I feel about it myself. I’ll tell you what we think we know (plans seem to be changing almost hourly), and you can make your own decisions.
From the sound of it, this will be like Adventures by Disney, but at the parks. Described as a backstage adventure that takes you on paths that haven’t been traveled on, through the reserve, it sounds almost like the Backstage Safari that you can currently take, but there are a few differences. For one, while the Backstage Safari is MEANT to show you how Animal Programs manages the animals, it sounds like this adventure is still “on show”, and will keep you within the storyline of Harambe and the reserve.
Another big difference is the need for physical fitness and agility. They aren’t kidding about this one. There will be a skills test before you start the adventure, and if you don’t pass the test, you won’t be going. You will need to be able to walk, climb, and some other things, I’m not sure what, but the adventure will include being attached to harnesses and being high up in the air, almost like a ropes course. Disney apparently is planning on building a giant platform in the middle of the savannah that guests will be climbing to for another view of the reserve, and includes a bridge that goes over the ride path to another platform. (This is where I, and other drivers, are kind of grumbly. ANOTHER eyesore on the savannah? Digression: To a driver, and, to guests, I imagine, there’s already a lot of little things they need to hide/clean up on the savannah, and this will make it even harder to convince guests they’re in a reserve.)
I saw a couple test groups on the savannah, and it seems interesting, though I’m skeptical of how much appeal this adventure will actually have. For the price (which sounds as if it will be fairly high), I’m thinking that few people will pay thousands to get their families to Florida, into the parks, and then even more for this experience. Although those who are looking for a little more in Animal Kingdom and have the money to spend may well be rewarded.
More updates when I find out more!