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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Behind-The-Scenes Tours: Reviews, Breakdowns, and Know-Before-You-Go

Animal Kingdom has a number of behind-the-scenes tours available, all of which give you private, up-close experiences with a select set of animals. In this article, you’ll find a breakdown of each of the four tours, as well as general information on how the tours work, what you can expect, and important items to know before you go!

Important Information

To start with the basics: All of the tours offered require separate theme park admission and until January 2024, a park pass reservation for Animal Kingdom (or a park hopper for the later tours). All tours occur rain or shine, but may be cancelled or adjusted in the event of thunderstorms. And all tours do not technically guarantee that you’ll see animals, since animals are never forced to do anything or go anywhere at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It would be extremely unlikely (we’d say borderline impossible) that you are unable to see any animals during your tour, but that is a disclaimer that Disney gives!

Tour check-in is at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk, located across from the entrance to Kilimanjaro Safaris. Be sure to arrive early, as late arrivals typically cannot be accommodated and you’ll usually need to fill out a waiver before heading out!

Different tours have different levels of “backstage” viewing. For Wild Africa Trek and Savor the Savanna, you go into areas of Kilimanjaro Safari that most guests can’t see, but you’re still onstage. For Caring for Giants and Up Close with Rhinos, you do go into a fully backstage area, so just something to keep in mind with little ones! Note that when you are in a backstage area, no photos or videos are allowed.

All tours typically have discounts available for Annual Passholders and/or DVC members and are available to book 60 days before the start of your trip. This means that if you’re staying from Friday to Tuesday at an on-property resort, you can book for your entire stay starting 60 days from Friday, even though Tuesday is 64 days out. If nothing is available, keep checking back – sometimes, tours aren’t posted until 30-45 days out!

Savor the Savanna and Wild Africa Trek both have food components. They are able to accommodate any dietary restrictions, you’ll just let them know at check-in. Alcoholic beverages are also provided for anyone over the age of 21.

Now let’s go over key info for each of the individual tours:

Caring For Giants

Availability: Daily, typically at 9:00AM, 10:00AM, 1:00PM, and 2:00PM

Length: 1 hour

Cost: $35 per person

Restrictions: Guests must be 4 years of age or older and guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

On this tour, you’ll hop on a bus and take a quick 10 minute drive to a viewing area in the back of the African Elephant enclosure, where you’ll be able to view the herd from 80-100 feet away. Throughout the tour, the guide will provide information about the elephants and their care at Animal Kingdom. The tour is extremely freeform and is heavily based around the questions asked, so definitely come prepared with a few!

Elephant seen during Caring For Giants tour

Elephant seen during Caring For Giants tour

Up Close With Rhinos

Availability: Daily, typically at 11:00AM

Cost: $45 per person

Similar to Caring for Giants, on this tour, you’ll take a quick 10-minute bus ride to a backstage viewing area for the White Rhinos. During the tour, the guide will provide information about the White Rhinos and their care at Animal Kingdom, focused primarily on answering your questions (so be sure to bring some!) While most of the tour will be from a distance, the tour does end with getting to touch a rhino in their enclosure!

Two important things to note about this tour: 1. Since it only runs once per day, it is typically the hardest to book 2. The tour takes place entirely backstage, so no photos and videos are allowed at all throughout the tour.

Savor the Savanna

Availability: Daily, typically at 3:15PM and 4:30PM

Length: 2 hours

Cost: $174 per person

Restrictions: Guests must be 8 years of age or older and guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

This tour is the most relaxing of the four! You’ll hop on a special Kilimanjaro Safari truck and take a special safari tour, stopping part of the way to meet with a keeper who will tell you about how they care for the animals on the savanna. Then, you’ll make your way to a pavilion at the top of the savanna, where you’ll have food from Tusker House and Tiffins waiting for you, as well as alcoholic beverages. You’ll get to sit and enjoy your refreshments while you learn about the animals and their care (including asking questions!), before finishing off the safari at the end.

Wild Africa Trek

Availability: Daily, typically at 8:45AM, 10:15AM, 11:45AM, and 12:30PM

Length: 3 hours

Cost: $199 per person

Restrictions: Guests must be 8 years of age or older and at least 48 inches tall. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. All participants must be between 45 and 300 pounds with the harness gear on.

This tour involves many parts! You’ll receive a harness and everything will need to be strapped to you – if your cell phone as a case, you can get a phone holder to bring and they’ll provide a new water bottle that you can keep at the end of the tour. Small cameras that hang around the neck are also allowed, as are hats, ears, and sunglasses. Anything else will need to be stored in a locker!

During the tour, you’ll watch a hippo feeding, cross two suspended bridges over a hippo enclosure and a crocodile enclosure, and get a special crocodile viewing. The guides have lots of prepared information to share, but are also happy to answer any questions! You’ll then finish by going to the same pavilion as Savor the Savanna to enjoy food from Tusker House and Tiffins, as well as alcoholic beverages.

Hippo encounter during the Wild Africa Trek tour

Hippo encounter during the Wild Africa Trek tour

All of the tours at Animal Kingdom are incredible – we’ve done all except Up Close with Rhinos, and plan to do that soon as well! It’s hard to say which is “best”, as it really depends on what you’re looking for. Our recommendation for someone just starting out with tours would be Caring For Giants, and if you’re a huge Animal Kingdom-lover, Wild Africa Trek!

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Why Animal Kingdom Has the Best Behind-the-Scenes Tours at Walt Disney World

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

The whole world’s a stage; well, at least Disney World is! Walt’s philosophy that started with Disneyland and that has now carried over to the rest of the parks is that guests should see as little of the down-and-dirty park operation as possible, portraying life at the parks as a play and the employees as Cast Members.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

We human beings have a certain itch to discover the unknown, however, and taking a tour at one of the Disney World parks can help elevate the appreciation for the level of detail Disney puts into these experiences.

Some of the best tours can be found at the park designed with exploration in mind: the highly-detailed Animal Kingdom .

Caring for giants.

Do you love elephants? We mean really love elephants because this tour is all about the giant grey mammals with the floppy ears. On this 60-minute experience you will get a chance to talk to the animal care experts that look after the African savanna’s elephant herd and learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

While you won’t be able to actually walk up and touch the elephants due to probably a number of safety issues, you will be able to watch them from a distance approximately 80 to 100 feet away. This is a relatively inexpensive tour (by Disney World standards) at $30 per person (all that extra money can go to a nice Malva Cake Sundae afterward).

Caring for Giants - Animal Kingdom

Savor the savanna.

You know when you get off of Kilimanjaro Safaris and you see those other open-air jeeps that seemingly don’t do anything? Well, that’s how you actually get to enjoy the Savor the Savanna tour! This takes you back out to the African savanna section of the Harambe Wildlife Reserve for a more private viewing experience.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

The private viewing area not only gives you a vast look at the savanna, but also provides a little bit of refreshment and appetizers for any hunger you may have worked up. This includes some regional beer and wine choices for you adults.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

The best part about this tour might be that it actually does feel private. Each tour is only limited to twelve guests, so while you are enjoying the beauty of nature you won’t have to deal with a ton of other people. You can Savor the Savanna for $169 per person.

Savor the Savanna: Evening Safari Experience - Animal Kingdom

Wild africa trek.

If you want to get really into adventurer-mode, than the Wild Africa Trek is probably right up your alley! On this tour, you’re definitely going to get physical, physical so you’ll need to have the proper attire and maybe do some stretches beforehand.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

Once you’re on your journey, it’s unlike anything else at Disney World really. How many opportunities do you get to hike through the African jungles, traverse a suspension bridge, and cliff-hang over hippos?

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

After your excursion, you’ll get to relax at another wildlife viewing platform where there will be some African-inspired snacks waiting for you. Where do we sign up? This is the most expensive tour, at $139-$249 per person.

Wild Africa Trek - Animal Kingdom

What’s your favorite tour at Disney World? Let us know down in the comments below!

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom Backstage Tales Tour Review

Earlier this year, Disney discontinued two of their behind-the-scenes tours at the Animal Kingdom (Backstage Safari and Wild by Design) and replaced them with a new tour called Backstage Tales. The new tour a mashup of the two, weighted heavily with Backstage Safari experiences. If you’ve previously been on Backstage Safari, consider yourself covered.

A key difference between the old tours and the new is a change of the participation age limit. Backstage Safari (which, not surprisingly, took place backstage) had an age requirement of 16. Wild By Design (which was an on-stage experience) had an age 14 requirement. The new Backstage Tales allows guests as young as 12 years old to participate. I took the tour with my 15 year old twin daughters.

Disney used standard-sounding boilerplate language when they described why the tour was changed — something along the lines of “due to guest feedback and demand.” While I’m sometimes suspicious of the real motivation behind comments like that, I can assure you that when answering questions on the Disney Parks Moms Panel, we did indeed get many questions from guests requesting behind-the-scenes educational experiences for their younger children. The reduced age requirement is terrific news for budding veterinarians and zoologists who want an early look at the inner workings of animal care at the park.

The tour consists of seven parts:

Introductions and Getting to Know You

Visit to the Aviary (Pangani Forest Trail area)

Visit to the backstage rhino and elephant habitats

Break time and snack, with presentation by animal care specialist

Visit to the animal nutrition center

Visit to the backstage area of Conservation Station, including an animal operating room

Visit to the backstage komodo dragon habitat

This tour starts early, 7:30am. While younger teens will enjoy getting to see the backstage areas, they will almost certainly NOT like the early hour. Theoretically, you should be able to get an “early character meal” bus from your resort to the Animal Kingdom, but I wouldn’t risk it. If you’re going to take this tour, plan to get to the park with your own car or via a taxi or Uber. Also note that the food cart outside the park gates may not be open when you arrive. You should grab breakfast at your hotel prior to leaving for the tour.

Guest check-in takes place just outside the park gates, toward the left as you face the park. There’s a bit of housekeeping when you arrive. Adults must sign waivers for themselves and any children in their care. Also, IDs are checked for adults. All guests are issued name tags and audio headsets that make it easier to hear the guide’s narration.

Your guide will introduce him or her self, giving a brief synopsis of where they’re from and their history with Disney. They will then ask the guests to introduce themselves, giving their name where they’re from, and some other bit of information. On various tours, I’ve been asked to tell my favorite Disney character, my favorite ride, my favorite animal, or what I’m looking forward to about the tour.

Once the business is out of the way, guests pass the park gate touchpoints using their admission media. (I was going to say swipe their tickets at the turnstile, but that’s so 2013.)

The first stop on the tour is at the Pangani Forest Trail aviary. Along the way, the guide will share stories about the history of the Animal Kingdom park. Some of these are the same as what I encountered when I took the Wild By Design tour in 2014. Photography is allowed on the AK park paths and in the aviary, which is a public space.

At the aviary, we were greeted by a bird care specialist. He discussed the nesting and feeding habits of many of the species housed at the Animal Kingdom. A highlight for several guests was an opportunity to feed the birds by tossing mealworms to them. Guests who chose to do this were offered gloves, if they wanted to use them. The mealworms made our group extremely popular with the birds, making this a terrific opportunity to get photos. The feeding also made it easier to see that all the birds at the aviary are banded with identification tags. We learned from the keepers that every bird is located and counted every day.

After the aviary, we slipped behind the scenes and boarded a van to take us to the rhino and elephant barns. Before getting in the van, we were asked to put away our cameras. Most folks just slipped them into their bag or pocket. I was wearing a large DSLR and just put the lens cap on, which seemed to satisfy the guide that I wasn’t covertly snapping pictures.

At the rhino and elephant barns, we were met by a large mammal specialist who described some of the training the animals receive to facilitate their medical care. We were also welcome to ask as many questions as we wanted about life on the “savannah,” work at the Animal Kingdom, animal breeding, or anything else we could think of. The barns are spartan and much more zoo-like than the wooded areas that guests see inside the park. Backstage it’s mostly iron and concrete. The animals are given some “toys” and distractions, but the barns are primarily a business area. While at the barns, we did see elephants backstage getting cared for, but all the rhinos were out for viewing in public areas. This will vary daily depending on the needs of the animals and the facility.

When you visit the public areas of Conservation Station (the building in Rafiki’s Planet Watch at the end of the Wildlife Express train ride), you may see animal care specialists performing procedures on creatures from behind a glass wall. On the Backstage Tales tour, you get to go into one of those rooms and see the medical equipment up close. We learned about the different types of tools used to examine different size species and got an overview of the areas of expertise of the cast members that work at the Animal Kingdom.

During our visit, we happened to see part of an examination of a sedated fennec fox. This is one of my daughter’s favorite animals, so she was in awe. You may or may not see a live animal procedure during your tour, depending on the needs of the facility.

After another brief van ride, we stopped at the stop animal nutrition center. This is almost like the kitchen for a large restaurant. There are delivery bays for fruits and vegetables — from the exact same vendors that provide human food for the parks. The produce must meet the same exacting specifications as the food for the guests. We also got to see storage areas for hay and specially prepared pellet-style nutritional supplements for some specials. Additionally, there were freezers for the meat fed to carnivores.

The main room of the nutrition center features several work stations where staff have “recipe books” with precise measurements of food to be delivered to each animal each day. These were “plated” into individual storage containers for transportation to the feeding stations throughout the park.

A particularly interesting area was a shelf full of enhancement items to make the food more interesting for the animals. This included things like jam, peanut butter, and ground spices, which are periodically added to some animal foods to keep them interesting.

Near the nutrition center, we visited a classroom area in the backstage education building. We were given an opportunity to use the restroom. Then we were provided with snacks (rice krispie treats) and given souvenir metal Animal Kingdom water bottles, which we could fill from a bottled water cooler.

While we snacked, we were visited by a conservation specialist. Our specialist spoke primarily about Disney’s efforts to support the wild sea turtles near the Disney Vacation Club resort in Vero Beach, Florida. We learned about turtle reproduction and migration patterns. This talk didn’t have much to do with the Animal Kingdom park itself, but it was a good opportunity to learn about Disney’s dedication to conservation issues, and to get out of the heat for a few minutes.

Our final stop was the backstage habitat of the Animal Kingdom’s komodo dragons. We watched a dragon trained to be step onto a scale to be weighed. When the dragon performed the desired behavior, he was rewarded with a “fuzzy,” a frozen baby mouse. The behaviors of the dragons, and all the animals, is completely voluntary. They are rewarded for compliant behavior, but they are never punished for non-compliance.

At the dragon habitat, as at every stop, we were allowed to ask as many questions as we wanted about animal care and behavior, Animal Kingdom operations, or staff training. The Backstage Tales tour is particularly nice because it’s one of the few behind-the-scenes opportunities for guests under the age of 16. If you have a child interested in a possible career in animal care, this is a unique chance to see what their future might be like. In my opinion, the price is reasonable for the amount of time and personal attention you get from the professional staff.

The Details

  • The price is $90.00 per person, plus tax. All ages pay the same price. Disney Vacation Club, Annual Pass Holder, or Disney Visa Holder discounts may be available. Inquire at time of booking.
  • Theme park admission is required and not included in the price of the tour.
  • There is a 48 hour cancellation policy. You will be charged the full price of the tour if you no-show or cancel less than 48 hours before your tour.
  • The tour takes place from 7:30am to about 11:15am daily. The tour may not be conducted during holidays and during special events.
  • The tour takes place substantially outdoors, rain or shine. Come prepared for the weather.
  • Open to guests ages 12 and up. Guests ages 16 and up will need to provide photo ID. Children under age 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
  • Reservations must be made in advance, over the phone. Call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).
  • Photography is not allowed during backstage portions of the tour. You make take photos during the on-stage portions of the tour.
  • Meet outside the gates to the park 15 minutes prior to start time.
  • Guests are given audio headsets to better hear the guide while walking through the park.

Have you been on the Backstage Tales tour? Is this something you’re considering for you or your kids? Are there any questions you have? Let us know in the comments below.

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Erin Foster

Erin Foster is an original member of the Walt Disney World Moms Panel (now PlanDisney), a regular contributor to TouringPlans.com, and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to Disney Cruise Line. She's been to WDW, DL, DL Paris, Hong Kong Disneyland, Aulani, DVC Vero Beach, and DVC Hilton Head. She's a Platinum DCL cruiser and veteran of 10 Adventures by Disney trips. Erin lives near New York City, where she can often be found indulging in her other obsession - Broadway theater.

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Wild Africa Trek

A woman with a harness smiles as she crosss a rope bridge

Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Walt Disney World® Resort

Valid admission required. A theme park reservation may be required based on admission type.

Age Interest

Tweens, Teens, Adults

Accessibility and Other Information - Opens Dialog

Accessibility

  • Must Be Ambulatory
  • The harness on this experience may prohibit guests of certain body shapes or sizes from participating.

What's New, Behind the Scenes, Animal Encounters

Embark on a privately-guided, VIP expedition full of close encounters with exotic African wildlife!

A giraffe watches the approach of a truck carrying Guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park

An Exhilarating Safari Adventure

The Journey Walk along a grassland path, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna—with a chance to view African creatures including towering giraffes, powerful rhinos, hippos and crocodiles.

Along your journey, your knowledgeable guide will share insights about the majestic animals you’re viewing, as well as details about the park’s dedication to animal conservation.

And as if your safari weren’t memorable enough, you’ll receive a complimentary souvenir as well!

Complimentary Photo Services Enjoy your encounters with the animals of the Harambe Reserve while a trained photographer captures all the action and excitement throughout your adventure—a service that’s included with your tour.

At the end of your expedition, you’ll receive a photo code that you can use to access and download images taken during your Wild Africa Trek experience.

Theme park admission is required, but not included in the price of this tour. Theme park reservations are also required.

Two stainless-steel food carriers holding different kinds of breakfast foods

Indulge In Gourmet Eats

Sample Menu

  • Garlic and leek hummus and pita
  • Prosciutto and mozzarella
  • Fresh fruit
  • Chicken wrap
  • Marinated tandoori shrimp

Please note: Menu items are subject to change without notice.

Close-up of 2 rhinos grazing on dried grass

Know Before You Go

  • WARNING: For your safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure; heart, back or neck problems; motion sickness or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not participate.
  • Guests under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a participating adult (18 years of age or older).
  • Participants must be 8 years of age or older and at least 48 inches (122 cm) tall.
  • Participants must be between 45 pounds and 300 pounds. The safety harnesses used for this experience may prohibit Guests of certain body shapes or sizes from participating.
  • You must have physical stamina, comfort with heights, and the surefootedness to negotiate small hills, foliage and unsteady rope bridges on this tour. Guests seeking a less strenuous or wheelchair-accessible trek should contact Wild Africa Trek operations at (407) 938-1373 for alternative programs.
  • Recommended attire includes shorts or pants and a comfortable shirt. Closed-toe shoes with a back strap or hiking boots are required. No flip-flops will be allowed. Skirts or dresses are not recommended.
  • Complimentary lockers for your belongings will be provided. You will also receive a safety vest and wireless headset so that you can hear your guide at all times. Cameras are allowed as long as they can be securely fastened to the vest.
  • Please check in 15 minutes prior to the start of the experience at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk, located across from the Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction entrance. Late arrivals may not be able to join the experience.
  • Excursion occurs rain or shine, with the exception of severe weather or lightning.
  • Tour itinerary, content, duration and availability are subject to change without notice.
  • There is a 24-hour cancellation policy. Full price will be charged/forfeited if the Guest cancels within one day or fails to show up for the reservation.

Sunday, May 05, 2024

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The Backstage Tales Tour at Animal Kingdom

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Backstage Tales Tour

The Backstage Tales Tour at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Park is one of the several tours and backstage experiences .  This tour includes onstage and backstage visits with animals in their habitats.   There are also visits at the Animal Nutrition Center to learn about how food is prepared for the animals and at the Animal Program Administration Building to learn about conservation efforts.  A Veterinary Hospital visit and a fun activity involving the cotton-top tamarins end the tour.

The tour offers a full morning of learning fascinating ‘tales’ of how the animals of Animal Kingdom are cared for and how the Walt Disney World Company participates in conservation efforts.

Things to Know Before the Backstage Tales Tour

The current cost of the tour is $90 per person, and guests must be 12 years old or older to participate.  A reservation for the tour can be made 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-TOUR.  Photography is encouraged in public areas of the park, though phones and cameras must be put away during backstage visits.  Some walking is involved, but we boarded a minibus to visit some backstage areas.

The tour starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. near the entrance of Animal Kingdom, and I was told to be there no later than 7:15 a.m.  Resort buses do not run that early, so I took a taxi to Animal Kingdom.  The tour lasted nearly four hours.

The Beginning of the Tour

Upon arrival, we were given name tags and a headset hearing aid by our two tours guides.  The tour consisted of only three people (including me) and we all agreed that with just the five of us we could forgo the headsets.  I felt as if I were on a private tour!

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

As we walked from the park entrance to the Africa section of the park, the tour guides told us stories about Walt Disney’s love for animals and about the history of the Animal Kingdom Park.  Along the way, they showed us some details.  One of my favorites was this hidden reference to Joe Rohde, an Imagineer who helped developed the park.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

The Hidden Mickey in the pavement was another favorite detail, as well as hearing about how the park was designed with the spirit of exploration in mind.  Animal Kingdom is loaded with wonderful details to enjoy!  It is a park to tour at a slow pace to savor how well those details pull together the atmosphere of the park.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

Before we went backstage, we walked along part of the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail .  A Cast Member met us in the aviary and told us about birds.  While we were listening, a good number of Taveta Golden Weavers surrounded us because they were waiting for feeding time.  We donned gloves, and helped the cast member feed the birds!

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

The Backstage Tales

Backstage, we visited inside the Elephant Farm and saw the rhinoceros habitat.  At both locations, Cast Members had us chuckling over the personalities of the animals while educating us about the care they receive.  We also visited a building with invertebrate insects, which had me feeling creepy-crawly but I stepped out of my comfort zone to have a close look.  Each animal keeper was passionate and knowledgeable.  Whether they cared for a hissing cockroach or an elephant, they were enthusiastic to share information with us.

One of my favorite stops was the Animal Nutrition Center, where they make four tons of food daily!  Each animal has a special diet, and the ingredients looked so fresh that I would have felt comfortable eating the vegetables that went into the foods.

A stop at the Animal Program Administration Building provided a short rest.  We were given water bottles to keep and were offered coffee, tea, and a crispy rice treat.  While resting, we watched a presentation about the sea turtles at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort .  We also paid a brief visit to the Veterinary Hospital.

My favorite part of the tour was the last activity.  While still backstage, we were led to a table with various plants and natural fragrance sprays.  We wore gloves again, and we each made a snack and stimulation box for the cotton-top tamarins to enjoy.  Once our boxes were complete, we left the backstage area and a Cast Member put our boxes into the cotton-top tamarin habitat.  We were able to watch the cotton-top tamarins explore their new treats!

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

Final Thoughts

The Backstage Tales tour was a highlight of my trip, and I learned a lot about animal care.  Our two tour guides were excellent and every Cast Member was enthusiastic about animal care.  It’s a tour I’d recommend!

Have you done any of the Walt Disney World backstage tours?  Tell us about your experience in a comment below.

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2 thoughts on “ The Backstage Tales Tour at Animal Kingdom ”

Where exactly did the tour end? Just wondering which rides we’ll be close to for FP+ planning purposes.

I am sorry for the late reply. We ended at the cotton-top tamarins habitat so we could linger and watch the cotton-top tamarins enjoy the snack boxes we made. If you took the tour on your trip, did you enjoy it?

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Backstage Tales Tour of Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

PLEASE NOTE: Backstage Tales Tour of Animal Kingdom is no longer offered.

Go behind the scenes at Animal Kingdom park to learn how the park’s star residents — the animals! — are cared for.

Welcome to Animal Kingdom!

Welcome to Animal Kingdom!

More than 1,500 animals reside in Animal Kingdom, and this 3-hour and 45-minute guided tour takes guests to backstage animal housing areas, the Animal Nutrition Center, the park’s veterinary hospital, and the Animal Programs Administration building.

Note: No dining component is included with this tour.

Check in takes place at Animal Kingdom’s Main Entrance 15 minutes prior to the tour.

This tour is offered daily starting at 7:30 am.

Additional Information

  • Guests must be 12 years of age or older.
  • The tour takes place in both indoor and outdoor locations. The length is approximately  3 hours and 45 minutes, so comfortable shoes are recommended.
  • If the day is going to be very hot, guests are advised to bring their own water.
  • Photography is not allowed in backstage areas; however, it is permitted in non-backstage areas.
  • Cancellations must be made at least 2 days in advance to avoid forfeiting the entire price of the tour.

Call (407) WDW-TOUR or (407) 939-8687

NOTE: Prices and inclusions are subject to change. Please visit the Disney World Backstage Tales Tour Page to confirm information prior to booking.

Click here to see all Disney World Tours

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Theme parks, disney world, disney world | star sighting: hayley and derek hough at disney’s animal kingdom.

Hayley and Derek Hough pose near Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom. (Olga Thompson/Walt Disney Co.)

The couple, along with the rest of the tour’s dance cast and crew, went to Animal Kingdom on the day before their performance at Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, one of four stops in Florida.

An earlier performance in Melbourne marked the return to the stage by Hayley Hough, who had an emergency craniectomy in December after a tour performance.  She was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma due to a burst blood vessel. She has since had a cranioplasty, surgery to replace part of her skull. ( People magazine reported a standing ovation for her Melbourne performance.)

The couple made a red carpet-appearance at a Disney+ event and also announced her return to the tour earlier this month. The cities on this leg of the tour were originally scheduled for late last year but were postponed by the surgery.

The couple married in August. They met in 2014 during Derek Hough’s tour with his sister Julianne Hough.  Derek Hough has four Emmys for his choreography. Hayley Hough appeared as a contestant on “So You Think You Can Dance” and as a member of the troupe in multiple seasons of “Dancing With the Stars.”

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Moscow Metro 2019

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Will it be easy to find my way in the Moscow Metro? It is a question many visitors ask themselves before hitting the streets of the Russian capital. As metro is the main means of transport in Moscow – fast, reliable and safe – having some skills in using it will help make your visit more successful and smooth. On top of this, it is the most beautiful metro in the world !

. There are over 220 stations and 15 lines in the Moscow Metro. It is open from 6 am to 1 am. Trains come very frequently: during the rush hour you won't wait for more than 90 seconds! Distances between stations are quite long – 1,5 to 2 or even 3 kilometers. Metro runs inside the city borders only. To get to the airport you will need to take an onground train - Aeroexpress.

RATES AND TICKETS

Paper ticket A fee is fixed and does not depend on how far you go. There are tickets for a number of trips: 1, 2 or 60 trips; or for a number of days: 1, 3 days or a month. Your trips are recorded on a paper ticket. Ifyou buy a ticket for several trips you can share it with your traveling partner passing it from one to the other at the turnstile.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

On every station there is cashier and machines (you can switch it to English). Cards and cash are accepted. 1 trip - 55 RUB 2 trips - 110 RUB

Tickets for 60 trips and day passes are available only at the cashier's.

60 rides - 1900 RUB

1 day - 230 RUB 3 days - 438 RUB 30 days - 2170 RUB.

The cheapest way to travel is buying Troyka card . It is a plastic card you can top up for any amount at the machine or at the ticket office. With it every trip costs 38 RUB in the metro and 21 RUB in a bus. You can get the card in any ticket office. Be prepared to leave a deposit of 50 RUB. You can get it back returning the card to the cashier.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

SamsungPay, ApplePay and PayPass cards.

One turnstile at every station accept PayPass and payments with phones. It has a sticker with the logos and located next to the security's cabin.

GETTING ORIENTED

At the platfrom you will see one of these signs.

It indicates the line you are at now (line 6), shows the direction train run and the final stations. Numbers below there are of those lines you can change from this line.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

In trains, stations are announced in Russian and English. In newer trains there are also visual indication of there you are on the line.

To change lines look for these signs. This one shows the way to line 2.

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

There are also signs on the platfrom. They will help you to havigate yourself. (To the lines 3 and 5 in this case). 

disney backstage tours animal kingdom

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  1. Animal Kingdom Events & Tours

    Animal Kingdom Events & Tours | Walt Disney World Resort. For assistance with your Walt Disney World vacation, including resort/package bookings and tickets, please call (407) 939-5277. For Walt Disney World dining, please book your reservation online. 7:00 AM to 11:00 PM Eastern Time. Guests under 18 years of age must have parent or guardian ...

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  3. Backstage Tours and Experiences

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  4. Disney World Backstage Tours, Disney tours

    Backstage Tales: Taking place at the Animal Kingdom, guests will head backstage to check out the park's Veterinary Hospital, housing for animals and the Animal Nutrition Center (more than 3 tons of food are served each day!).Guests will see the creative techniques Disney uses to promote conservation and perform behavioral studies. They will also see the Animal Programs Administration building ...

  5. Wild Africa Trek

    Thankfully, Disney packs a lot into the Trek to justify the $200 cost, including: access to areas of Disney's Animal Kingdom not available to regular guests, up-close encounters with animals not available through any other Disney attractions, a meal available only on the tour, full photographic documentation of the experience, and, of course ...

  6. Why Animal Kingdom Has the Best Behind-the-Scenes Tours at Walt Disney

    Why Animal Kingdom Has the Best Behind-the-Scenes Tours at Walt Disney World. The whole world's a stage; well, at least Disney World is! Walt's philosophy that started with Disneyland and that has now carried over to the rest of the parks is that guests should see as little of the down-and-dirty park operation as possible, portraying life ...

  7. Disney's Animal Kingdom Backstage Tales Tour Review

    Earlier this year, Disney discontinued two of their behind-the-scenes tours at the Animal Kingdom (Backstage Safari and Wild by Design) and replaced them with a new tour called Backstage Tales. The new tour a mashup of the two, weighted heavily with Backstage Safari experiences. If you've previously been on Backstage Safari, consider yourself ...

  8. Wild Africa Trek

    Take the Wild Africa Trek and view African wildlife on a privately guided VIP safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Home. Events & Tours. Disney's Animal Kingdom Park Events & Tours ... Please check in 15 minutes prior to the start of the experience at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk, located ...

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    For assistance with your Walt Disney World visit, call 00 800 2006 0809 * (freephone) or 00 44 203 666 9911 ** (charges apply). Monday to Friday 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Saturday 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM and Sunday 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (GMT) *Calls to this number are generally free, but some charges may still apply from a landline or mobile ...

  10. Disney's Animal Kingdom Backstage Tales Tour

    You will learns so much backstage on the Disney's Animal Kingdom Backstage Tales Tour. It was really fun to have the opportunity to see where animals spend the night, learn their eating habits and lifestyles and see some animals up close. While on our tour, we were able to see a Black Rhino up close, see the vet center, visit the elephant ...

  11. The Backstage Tales Tour at Animal Kingdom

    The Backstage Tales Tour at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom Park is one of the several tours and backstage experiences.. This tour includes onstage and backstage visits with animals in their habitats. There are also visits at the Animal Nutrition Center to learn about how food is prepared for the animals and at the Animal Program Administration Building to learn about conservation efforts.

  12. Review of Backstage Tales Tour at Animal Kingdom

    Conclusion. The tour ends after about 4 hours. While it wasn't as good as Keys to the Kingdom, we found Backstage Tales to be worth the cost. If you haven't seen backstage Disney, you're really in for a treat. Backstage Tales is heavily focused on the animals and their care.

  13. Animal Kingdom Events & Tours

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    Welcome to Animal Kingdom! More than 1,500 animals reside in Animal Kingdom, and this 3-hour and 45-minute guided tour takes guests to backstage animal housing areas, the Animal Nutrition Center, the park's veterinary hospital, and the Animal Programs Administration building. Note: No dining component is included with this tour.

  15. Star sighting: Hayley and Derek Hough at Disney's Animal Kingdom

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