Elephants are some of the most majestic animals on the planet and if you love the beautiful creatures as much as we do, you may want to think about adding this quick and inexpensive (for Disney) tour to your next visit to Animal Kingdom.
Here's what you can expect...
The Caring for Giants tour is a brief dive into the world of elephants - both in Animal Kingdom and around the world.
This short tour into all-things-elephants is a fantastic option for guests that love the giant creatures and is similar to the kind of experience you may find on the Behind the Seeds tour since like that tour, it's led by experts who get the opportunity to share a little bit about their work.
It is important to note that you don't get to actually touch, pet, or feed the elephants.
Instead you are taken to a viewing location where you can get to within 80-100 feet of them.
There, some of the animal and cultural specialists from Animal Kingdom will fill you in on lots of fascinating elephant facts as well as information on the ongoing conservation efforts for elephants in Africa.
Age & interest
This tour is open to anybody age 4 or older, however, this tour is information-heavy so it is probably best reserved for people that love learning about animals (elephants specifically).
Cost & length
The price of this one hour tour is $30, which is comparable to other tours of similar length.
You'll find this tour at Animal Kingdom. Since this tour takes place inside the park you will need a ticket to participate.
Guests that are interested in booking this tour can do so by calling (407) WDW-Play.
What you can expect on the Caring for Giants Tour
Check-in for this tour is across from the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safari.
There you'll find a booth where a Cast Member will greet you and get you set up with your credentials.
Isn't that badge so pretty?
It's made from poop.
Not totally from poop, but the paper is made from 85% elephant poop.
When booking you'll be asked to arrive 15 minutes before the tour begins.
That is the perfect amount of time to get checked in and then make a final stop at the nearby restrooms before the tour begins.
There isn't any opportunity for water or snacks on the tour, either. So be sure you grab a bottle of water to take with you if you think you'll need it.
After checking in we were met with a Cast Member who gave us a few rules (such as no photographs backstage).
We loaded up into a very cute (and air conditioned!) van so that we could get to the viewing location, which is at the back of Kilimanjaro Safari.
In fact, you can see the people on Kilimanjaro Safari from the lookout spot:
Once we arrived we were met with an Animal Specialist who took us up to a shaded spot near the elephants.
There we were given lots and lots of opportunities for photographs while the guide filled us in on elephant facts and information.
This is purely an observational experience. You don't get to feed or touch or ride the elephants. In fact, aside from photographing them from afar there is no direct contact or interaction with them at all.
Part way through a Cultural Specialist joined our group.
She was able to provide lots more information on conservation efforts in Africa as well as share a little bit about Africa as a whole.
After about 45 minutes we loaded back up and were dropped back off at the same spot where we checked in.
Some final thoughts
- If you are looking for a tour that is 100% Disney, this isn't that kind of tour. Instead you should think of it as a learning opportunity or, for repeat Animal Kingdom visitors, a way to get a different perspective on some of the animals there.
- You do get to go backstage on this tour (which is always kind of fun for people that don't get to regularly do it) and the Cast Members that are involved are very knowledgeable.
- Aside from the brief ride in the van, this tour is 100% outside and involves walking over unpaved surfaces. It is dusty and there are bugs and rocks and all the things you'd expect to find on the savanna. Closed toe shoes are a must.
- To see the animals at their most active (as well as to avoid the heat), we recommend booking the first tour of the day.