If you have never taken the train up to Rifiki’s Planet Watch at Animal Kingdom, you really should. No, there are no thrill rides up there, the train isn’t a speeding bullet, in fact, it sort of rocks along slowly, as if you really were in a quasi-decrepit train in Africa. The views along the way are pretty amazing, you get to slow down and see some animal habitats and some amazing animal handlers hard at work.
At the top of the mountain, you can pet some goats and cows, sometimes a donkey… at the Affection Station. It’s a lot of fun, my girls have always enjoyed this. Yes, this is the experience you’d get at most any petting zoo. But, it’s fun. And Disney provides hand washing stations as you leave.
Also inside the building is the Animation Experience at Conservation Station, you can reserve a spot to learn to draw a Disney Character from a Disney animator. When we were there, there were open spots, so you could potentially just walk in, but if this is something that is important to you, I’d book that fast pass! We were there for a session, and I looked over peoples shoulders a little, and this looked like a lot of fun, I could hear the instructions, and there were all ages there drawing. I would say this could be a lot of fun, if you have any artistic or animation inklings…
But why do you NEED to go to Conservation Station? What is the coolest thing up there? It’s the Veterinary Clinic that you get to peek inside of. We have done this several times, but it used to be that you had to get there first thing in the morning to see any exams or surgeries taking place. They’ve changed that, it is now scheduled all day long, and the appointments are on TV screens around the OR/Exam room. We have seen several different exams and surgeries over the years, but, this most recent trip, we watched a kangaroo have some teeth extracted.
We watched the whole procedure! We saw them pull her teeth, we stayed until they put her back in her transport and woke her up, and even got to talk to the Vet at length at not only this surgery, but about all the work they do with the animals. Later that afternoon they had a chicken surgery (which I VERY much wanted to get back for, but we didn’t make it). It was an amazing conversation, and gave us a lot of insight into all that the vets themselves, but also what Disney does for and with the animals.
This is such a cool thing to see, and we plan on going back every time we are at Animal Kingdom! We love hearing about the animals! Obviously, they don’t do ALL the animals there, the larger animals have to be treated in the field (an elephant couldn’t fit in the room!) but, you get the opportunity to see some really amazing things and some really amazing people doing them!
I suggest you head up to the top of the mountain and see for yourself! Stick around, ask questions, and see what is on the schedule for the day. You won’t regret it!