In February 2022, Disney brought back some of the “Enchanting Enhancements” that guests are able to add to their Walt Disney World vacation. These enhancements include many of the in-park tours that allow you to learn even more about Walt Disney World. One of such tours is “Caring for Giants.”
Get Up Close with Elephants at Animal Kingdom
Caring for Giants is a 60-minute tour that takes place multiple times per day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. The tour allows guests to gain a deeper understanding of the day-to-day care of the African elephants that call Animal Kingdom home. The cost is $35 per person, which is donated to Disney’s Conservation Fund. Guests must be 4 years of age or older to participate and have valid theme park admission and park reservations. You are able to book the tour online or through the My Disney Experience app and will be charged at the time of booking.
I arrived at Animal Kingdom about an hour before the start of the tour to make sure I had plenty of time to check in. Check-in is located at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk, which is across from the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction entrance. They request that you check in 15 minutes prior to the tour, as you will be asked to sign a waiver and will receive your name tag.
At the start of the tour, we were introduced to our guide who would be leading us backstage to get on a bus. The guide was a member of the education team at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. We walked backstage and the guide pointed out what each of the buildings were (like the back of Festival of the Lion King). If you have never been backstage before, it’s kind of cool to get the experience! She led us to a 14 passenger bus and we were all asked to wear masks (I took the tour in March 2022 by reference). Once on the bus, the guide drove us through the backstage of Animal Kingdom to “Perimeter Road,” as she called it. This is the road that goes around Kilimanjaro Safaris. The guide parked the bus and led us to an overlook that brought us within 80-100 feet of the elephants.
While at the overlook, we were able to take pictures of the elephants and watch the herd interact with each other. We stayed there for about 30-40 minutes and the guide shared information about each of the elephants, how they interact with each other and what their day-to-day care is like. We got super lucky because one of the elephant Keepers was walking around the area and came to speak with us. She shared her experience caring for the elephants and talked about how she got involved with Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
We were brought back on the bus to the backstage of Animal Kingdom and led back “onstage.” At the completion of the tour, we were able to keep our nametags as a souvenir and learned that the paper they were on was made out of elephant poop! So crazy!
I would highly recommend reserving a spot for Caring for Giants at Disney’s Animal Kingdom during your next vacation. It was informative, engaging and an experience unlike anything else.
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