Best time for AK safari?

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
I have read that it is best to do the safari first thing in the morning because the animals are more active. But when would still count as first thing? Just trying to figure out our strategy. If AK opens at 8 and we do FoP first, are we ruining our chances of active animals? Or are they likely active until more like 10 or so? I know they are real and not animatronic ;) so we can't fully predict how they will behave, but experiences are very much welcome to help with planning!! Thanks all!
 

olive

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 15, 2008
I would say you have until 10. If it’s hot and humid the earlier the better.
We are going to be there in the next couple of weeks so we are stuck with hot and humid. I am sure (kid tantrums, raging thunderstorms and power outages aside) we can hit it before 10, so this is encouraging!
 

wedhead54

Earning My Ears
Joined
May 30, 2021
Completely agree with “any time is good”. It’s very random, while the cooler times of day may increase activity somewhat, my experience is that there is nothing predictable about it. Besides, that ride is always a great time for me anyway.
 
  • lovethattink

    TPAS Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Sep 17, 2004
    The best time to see animals is right after they got their food. We happened upon that a few times.

    As for the myth of the heat of the day keeping the animals away. That’s simply not true. Disney has found ways to keep the animals more comfortable. For example, pride rock is temperature controlled for the lions.
     

    Mr. Drauer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 21, 2016
    This is an African safari and the animals are from Africa. Hot weather is not in play. THe animals are released pretty much at the same time and various feeding stations are supplied throughout the day. The only real problem is that many of the animals lead very sedentary lives - only the grazers are really active for more than a few hours a day in normal life. Lions sleep up to 20 hours a day. You can get lucky and see them moving from laying in one area to lay in another as your truck goes by. It's not like they let the females hunt or something.
     
  • olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    This is all really helpful and calms my frayed planning nerves. :) I think on our full AK day we will try to go before 10 and then maybe again before it shuts down for the day, and on our scheduled half day (post-2 pm) we can go whenever is convenient. If we end up hopping to AK any other time we may try for additional safari visits. I had been worried that if we didn't get there first thing, it might not be worth it from some info I had read before. This is comforting! Thanks, all.
     

    zackiedawg

    WEDway Peoplemover Rider
    Joined
    Aug 5, 2008
    If you look through my Animal Kingdom gallery, there are many shots from the Kilimanjaro Safari - I'm a hobby bird/wildlife photographer, so Animal Kingdom is always a favorite of mine anyway, just because I love to photograph animals:

    https://pbase.com/zackiedawg/animal_kingdom_gallery&page=all

    Something you'll notice if you look at the times of day the safari shots were taken, a vast majority were taken between 1pm and 5pm. I've got the rare later evening one mixed in too, but no mornings...I'm not a 'rope drop' kind of traveler. Going in the middle of the afternoon, no matter the time of year, I still manage to see a pretty good mix of animals, and even the ones people hope to see active, like the cheetahs and lions, have given me good shows and movement.

    Really, don't worry too much about the times - there can be great activity and sightings in the middle of the day, and there can be absolutely dead activity first thing in the morning - they're animals and they can be unpredictable, so there's never a guaranteed good or bad time to go!
     

    Best Aunt

    "That's the best-est present ever!"
    Joined
    May 1, 2009
    The worst time was back when they did Extra Magic Hours in the morning for people staying at Disney hotels. When the park opened, only a limited number of things were open. Everybody whose kids were too little for Expedition Everest headed straight for the safari.
     

    olive

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 15, 2008
    The worst time was back when they did Extra Magic Hours in the morning for people staying at Disney hotels. When the park opened, only a limited number of things were open. Everybody whose kids were too little for Expedition Everest headed straight for the safari.
    I actually was putting pressure on myself similarly! With the park opening at 8 officially but unofficially closer to 7, I was wondering whether we should try to hit FoP close to 7 and then head straight to the safari. But this is a bit of a relief. I may just leave FoP for the last thing in the day when lines are a bit less and ride safari when we get in, but not rush everyone to be up super early. I mean, we would still get to the park maybe 8 or 830. But I would prefer not to get there at 7. :)
     


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