Is Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris Safe or Scary?

Is Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris Safe or Scary?
Kilimanjaro Safaris” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

As you plan your day for Animal Kingdom, you may be asking yourself: is Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris safe or scary? That’s the question we’ll answer for you today, as we examine this ride’s theming, storyline, and overall intensity to see what age groups are most ideal for this unique adventurous attraction!

Is Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris Safe or Scary?

Is Disney Kilimanjaro Safaris Safe?
Kilimanjaro Safari…” by JeffChristiansen licensed under CC BY 2.0

If I had to rank Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris on a scary scale from 1 (the least scary) to 10 (the most scary), I would rank Kilimanjaro Safaris a 1. This ultimately means the ride is completely safe, and virtually not scary at all. 

In fact, this ride was designed to allow you to gaze at the beauty of nature and the animals it has to offer in the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. You may even get the chance to get an up-close experience with some of the most docile animals. Do not worry though, there are plenty of hidden barriers keeping you safe from the more aggressive animals, making this ride perfect completely safe for everyone in your family!

Theming: Kilimanjaro Safaris is in Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and is perfect for the entire family. If I had to rank how safe the Kilimanjaro Safaris is on a scale from 1, being the least safe, to 10, being the safest, I would rank it a 10 without hesitation, even with all the animals roaming free around you.

Disney calls this ride a truly wild adventure that takes you on a tour of the African savanna and it truly is a wild adventure being able to see 34 different species of animals in just a short 18 minutes!

Story – Scary Level 1: On this ride, you will cover 110 acres of open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands in an all-terrain vehicle that is driven by an expert cast member. The vehicle is open on all four sides so you can get the best view of all the different animals while your guide shares all the facts there are to know about the animals during your expedition.

During your travels, you may even have an encounter with one of the many animals you will visit, most likely the giraffes. Although this may sound scary to some, this will only occur with the most docile animals, as the more dangerous species are contained in a safe enclosure by effectively hidden barriers.

If I had to rank how scary Kilimanjaro Safaris is on a scale from 1, being the least scary, to 10, being the scariest, I would confidently give it a 1!

Best Age for Kilimanjaro Safaris: The best part about this ride is that anyone in your family can enjoy it! Kilimanjaro Safaris is recommended for any height and any age and is considered one of Disney’s slowest rides. 

You do not need to worry about any sudden jumps or scares on this ride, as it is a relaxing guided tour around the African savanna. You may experience some bumps along the way as the terrain changes, but it is nothing that you or your tiniest kiddos cannot handle!

Vehicle Safety – Safety Level 10: The primary concern about Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris is the vehicle you will be riding in during your expedition. The vehicle is open on all four sides, which may be scary to the younger kiddos. However, the vehicle you are in is all-terrain and is very secure and heavy, making it perfect for all types of landscapes. 

As I mentioned before, any animals that you may encounter close-up, are docile and used to the vehicles and guests driving through. This is important because as you continue on your journey, there really is no chance of the animals getting spooked and acting out. Not to mention, your vehicle is driven by an expert cast member that is trained for any instance that may be deemed as unsafe, so there is no need to worry while on your expedition!

Boarding the Kilimanjaro Safaris Ride

When you board your vehicle to begin your expedition through the African savanna, you will have the best views of 34 species of wildlife that will be roaming free all around you. Your vehicle will be open on all four sides, making this open-air safari through 110 acres one you will never forget. Do not worry though, the vehicle you will take while on your journey is entirely safe and you will be accompanied by 34 other guests. Not to mention, your driver is a highly trained cast member who is prepared for almost anything! 

This ride can get a little bumpy, crossing over bridges while some are even covered in chains. You will soon learn from your guide that this is to keep animals from entering the habitat of another species that they may not get along with too well.

The goal of this ride is to make you feel like you are immersed in the savanna, so definitely expect some bumps as your vehicle makes its way from habitat to habitat. Do not worry, however, the bumps are no different than you would experience on a drive on the back roads at home and are not enough to make you jump out of your seat!

Lastly, and just a bit of advice – you will want to do this ride first thing in the morning or late at night when the animals are most active, too. When you reach the afternoon times, the heat has often taken a toll on the animals, and they sometimes seek cooler shelter while they nap. This can prevent you from seeing most of the animals on your journey. 

So, trust me, you want to avoid riding this safari in the afternoon because getting to see the animals up and interacting with one another is very special and is what makes this ride one of the most popular in all of Walt Disney World. 

Are Ride Vehicles on Kilimanjaro Safaris Safe?

The vehicle you will take is very heavy and is made to drive through all different types of terrain, making no obstacle impossible to conquer. If I had to rank this on my safe scale, it would undoubtedly be given a 10!

Each row seats 3 to 5 guests and consists of a lightly padded bench with a back. Although there are no safety restraints on this ride, the sides of the vehicle are high enough that your littlest kiddo has no risk of falling out. 

If you are still nervous about taking your smaller child on this ride, cast members recommend that you seat your child in the middle of the row. This will provide you some extra comfort knowing they will not be on the edge of the vehicle, without disrupting their views of the wildlife!

Are You Protected From the Animals Kilimanjaro Safaris?

This is the other biggest concern of most parents when deciding if they should allow their kids to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris. This ride features hippos, elephants, antelope, crocodiles, lions, rhinos, cheetahs, gazelles, and so many more! 

I can, however, assure you that you are completely protected from the wildlife you will see while on your expedition. You may come face-to-face with some of the wildlife, especially the giraffes, but that’s because they are very used to guests riding through their habitat and love to say hi. 

Do not worry though, Disney only allows the most docile animals to do this. Animals like the lions and crocodiles and all the others that are considered more aggressive, are contained in an area with hidden obstacles so they can never reach your vehicle. 

As you drive through the savanna, you will not notice these barriers, but do not fret. They are definitely there, and those more aggressive animals cannot reach you or the vehicle at any point during your expedition. Most of the time, those animals are uninterested in what the guests are doing anyways, and will not even attempt to approach your vehicle!

Who Is Kilimanjaro Safaris Suited For?

Kilimanjaro Safaris is perfect for the entire family. Yes, this even includes your kiddos that may not even be one year old. This ride is considered one of Disney’s slowest rides with a few bumps along the way. However, the bumps you feel are nothing more than what you would encounter on a back road back at home. 

During this expedition, you do not need to worry about any animals jumping out to scare you either. Most of the time, the animals are asleep or playing with one another. If you are lucky enough, you could encounter one of the more docile species up close, but do not worry, it will most likely be one of the cute giraffes looking to say hi and nothing more. This makes the ride perfect for everyone to enjoy!

Disney does advise against expecting mothers riding, simply because there is always a slight risk of having to drive off the usual path, resulting in you hitting some major bumps. They also recommend those with high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, and motion sickness avoid this ride for similar reasons. 


After everything we’ve learned today, you may still be wondering: is Disney’s Kilimanjaro Safaris safe or scary? Rest assured, this is not a scary ride—Kilimanjaro Safaris is quite safe, as it’s not a ride that is high speed and is far more educational than terrifying. 

If you are looking for a way to travel through Africa’s savanna to see tons of different species, this is the ride for you. This 18-minute expedition will leave you in complete awe of what nature has to offer and all of its beautiful wildlife as your guide tells you all there is to know about each of the different animals!

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