Thursday, March 21, 2013

Rafikis Planet Watch Review

I believe Rafikis Planet Watch (previously known as Conservation Station) is one of the most unappreciated areas in Animal Kingdom.  Snuggled back next to Pangani Forest is The  Harambe Railway Station. Hop aboard a train in this never busy train station and you are off. This train can hold up to 250 passengers, seated sideways, and takes 5 1/2 min to get to it's destination. Along the way, you will pass lush grass and animal housing. This animal housing is the area where, every night, all the animals on the reserve go to bed. This informative train ride tells you how they gather the animals every night.
 After the train arrives, passengers walk down a long path where a Rafiki statue is leading the way...along the sides are cute little nature things for the kids to do. When you get to the end you will see a very awesome mural with lots of animals on it adorning a building. Step inside and see another amazing mural. This place is filled with neat things to see. To the left is the song of the rain forest, here you go inside rooms and listen to sounds that are so real you will think you are really there. Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas does a short audio tour, as well. Next, you will see real working labs. Behind glass enclosures, you can see a real operating room and animal treatment rooms. If you are lucky, you may see some Disney castmember vets treating an animal. Further down are slithery snakes, frogs and those creepy animals we all love.

 In the center of the room, most of the time, there is a castmember with a real live animal telling about it. The day we were there, there was a  lady with a cute owl. She was very knowledgeable and told us all about this owl.

 Once you are done exploring, be sure to head out the back door. Here you will find a colored fence that houses a real petting zoo. Get up close and personal with the goats,sheep and the occasional little pig. If you find the pig, rub his belly,he will oink like crazy!! There are brushes on the sides of the fences. Take advantage of brushing the animals, they love this.  On the way out there is a nice hand-washing station.  Before heading back down to the train station, stop by the Out of the Wild shop for unique Disney souvenirs.

 Rafiki and other characters like Pocahontas and Jiminy Cricket make their appearance a few times a day here. It is almost never busy, so if you love Rafiki and nature, hop on the train and head over for some great photo opportunities and experiences.


 My family usually spends at least an hour here learning and playing. The coolest thing we saw last time we were there was a black racer was slithering across the path. Many people were wondering if it was real. I said,"Yeah, they are all over down here in Florida." 
                                                        Part of the mural inside...
                                          song of the rainforest...
                                             Owl lady..


                                          Operating room....





                                         My daughter loved the goats..
                                             Mr. Oinker..
                                          The train...

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