Rafiki's Planet Watch

Florida Guide > Animal Kingdom

Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom was originally called the Conservation Station. It is made up of several areas that are focused on the environment, conservation and animal care.

The only way to reach Rafiki's Planet Watch is to take the Wildlife Express Train ride. There are often queues for this ride but do not be daunted as the trains run frequently so the wait is not usually very long. 10 minutes is the longest we have ever had to wait and that was because we just missed the previous train.

We try to arrive Animal Kingdom as it opens and catch the first train of the day.

Our girls love animals and there is so much to see at this time of the morning. There are medical procedures being performed, animal food being prepared and lots of characters. Pocahontas and Stanley are usually available for photos and autographs and we have even seen Rafiki meditating on the floor!

The Wildlife Express Train is unique in that all the seats face outward. There are 2 rows of seats and room for one wheelchair per car.

As you journey behind the African Savannah, there is a small animal viewing area, as well as an opportunity to see a couple of the Animal Kingdom animal buildings. Look out for Pride Rock (home of Animal Kingdom's lions), this can be seen in the distance. Mostly, though, it's just a nice gentle ride with a cool breeze that is often very welcome.

Once exiting the train, you have a 5-7 minute walk to arrive at Rafiki's Planet Watch. When you see the animal collage on the top of the building you will know you have arrived.

When you arrive at the Conservation Station don’t rush through the entry as here you can find lots of Hidden Mickeys. Inside there are exhibits showing animal training, feeding, veterinary medicine and animal conservation.

As you enter the front door, you are face to face with 600 larger than life animals in a most colourful mural. The atrium of Conservation Station is bright and full of vegetation.

Visit the Song of the Rainforest where you can experience a variety of sound effects, all coming from their origins in the Rainforest. Grandmother Willow, of the Disney movie Pocahontas, narrates the program. The program takes place in a dimly lit booth, which seats about 6 people, and once the sounds begin, the room gets darker.

Younger children love the Affection Section, which is a gentle animal petting area. Here you will find lots of sheep and goats and small domestic animals and the children really are encouraged to pet them all. It is not unusual for smaller children to have to be carried crying from this section as they don’t want to leave!

There are no dining facilities here although there are several kiosks outside the Conservation Station.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch really is worth visiting, however if you visit it later in the day whilst it is busy and you do not like crowds as you disembark the train wait at the station exit until the crowds have gone and you will enjoy a more leisurely stroll.

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