Our Spring Break at Walt Disney World was amazing this year! We had one of the most amazing experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom where we were privileged to participate in the Caring for the Giants tour! Each time we visit Disney, we endeavor to have at least one new experience, and this tour was just the ticket!
Unlike Up Close with the Rhinos which is exclusively backstage, this tour incorporates both backstage and on stage portions and during those on stage portions, photography is permitted.
Isabella was particularly happy about this because she wanted to be able to capture this tour in honor of it being an early birthday gift. She has been obsessed with elephants since she was small and of course as you all know, she and Animal Kingdom have a thing goin’ LOL!
Curiosity Tour desk
Once again for this tour, we checked in at the Curiosity Tour desk right beside the standby entrance for Kilimanjaro Safari. We were given our tour pass lanyards and off to the backstage area we go! We are accompanied by our guide and 12 other guests. These one hour tours only allow for a total of 14 guests which gives you a very personal experience. There are lots of opportunities to ask questions and also you are not fighting to get a great view. With the limited number of participants, it’s a very casual and stress free environment in which you can truly enjoy all aspects of the tour.
We boarded our bus and are taken on a 3-4 minute ride through the backstage area behind Kilimanjaro Safari. We turn in where the Elephant barn is situated. Once we pass, we can clearly see that we are in the area directly behind the Clay Pits where those beautiful creatures like to hang out! We are lead up a small ramp and stairs to special lookout point.
We had both guide Patrick and a cultural representative from Namibia, Lloyd.
Patrick told us lots of fun facts about the elephants on site as well as gave us a few stories showcasing the personalities of the stunning pachyderms.
When we first topped the platform, we were so thrilled to be greeted by the matriarch of the elephants, grandmother Rafiki. She is both majestic and curious. Isabella was thrilled! She continued to hang about and curiously watch us throughout the entire experience. We were also greeted by Miss Luna and were also lucky enough to get a few peeks at baby Stella, who currently weighs in around 1600 pounds!! This was an especially amazing moment for us!
Lloyd took time to give us some geographical information, statistics on the preservation of these animals, and also how we can help in small ways with species conservation. He was very well spoken and gave tons of time for questions and conversation. Both our guide and Lloyd were so accommodating to even help take family photos for each group.
After about 45 minutes backstage, we walk back to our private transportation and are taken back to our original meeting point.
I thought this tour was an amazing experience and an amazing value. The total cost for this one hour tour is $30 per guest with discounts for both DVC members and Annual Pass Holders. All proceeds from this tour, like the Up Close with the Rhino tour, go straight to the conservation efforts for the species. Children 4 and up are permitted to participate. I would highly recommend this, especially for those animal lovers in your travel party. I’m so glad that we were able to enjoy a closer look and the beautiful elephants of Disney’s Animal Kingdom! To add this to your Walt Disney World itinerary, make sure to mention it to me during planning. This tour is full payment required and the time of booking and can be reserved as early as 180 days in advance!
Thoughts from @theprincessndtheblog
Finally… a dream come true. I had the amazing opportunity to meet elephants! Caring for Giants was an unforgettable experience. Rafiki, Luna, and Stella we’re out and about during our tour. All three had very different personalities and features that distinguished them from one another. We were taken to the backside of Kilimanjaro safari with our tour guide (an elephant keeper) and Lloyd, an elephant expert! They were both so knowledgeable. I have always loved elephants, they’re my favorite! When i was about 2-3 years old, I picked out a stuffed elephant at the zoo and named it “Coco.” Ever since then I’ve had a love for these creatures.. this tour exceeded all expectations I had. Not only did we get to watch them in their habitat, we were informed about what is being done around the world for their conservation.. and we got to contribute by taking this tour! I also got to hold and elephant molar (an elephant loving, (aspiring) dental hygienist’s dream… how cool?!) If you have a love for elephants like I do, or are curious about why these creatures are so amazing, take this tour! It’s such a great experience, extremely educational and worth every penny!