On Sunday, March 12th, Disney's Animal Kingdom launched a new behind the scenes experience called Caring for Giants, focusing on how the park cares for their largest animals. This past weekend, I had the privilege of being one of the first guests to take this family friendly tour.
Heading backstage to board our special tour bus dubbed the "Timbo 1," a bit of a play on the Safari vehicles which are called "Simba 1" because Timbo is Swahili for elephant, we head back to a new viewing area on the back side of the elephant area of the safari.
During the roughly 45 minutes in our viewing area, guests get information about the 10 (three male and seven female) elephants, or as they are called by the Cast Members, Animal Ambassadors. We are also given a presentation by one of the Cultural Representatives of Africa about how elephants are actually treated, cared for, and protected in their homeland.
Guests also learn about how elephants are tracked along with a chance to get to touch a very polished piece of elephant dung.
Above all else, when guest are in the viewing area, they are encouraged to take pictures of the African elephants from one of the most unique and beautiful vantage points you can have.
The information given about the elephant family group was fascinating, we learned how the matriarch of the group, Rafaki, actually is in charge of when the other elephants can go and play in the water as she will stand at the edge and give them permission to enter.
Caring for Giants costs $30 and is offered several times throughout the day. Guests must be at least 4 years old and those aged 4 to 17 must be accompanied by an adult.
Passholders and DVC Members will receive a 15% discount. To book the new tour call 407-WDW-TOUR.
I have taken many of the tours of Walt Disney World, but this one is by far one of my favorites. Between hearing first hand from the great Cultural Representative about these giants from her experiences and the chance to see the elephants from a different angle and watch them interact with each other, I will be doing this tour again many times!