Kali River Rapids is a river raft ride manufactured by Intamin and is located at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The attraction opened on March 18, 1999 and is located in the Asia section of the park. In this review I will be breaking down the ride experience as well as giving my thoughts on it!
This ride is located in the middle of the Asia section, it will be on your way to Expedition Everest if your coming from Africa. One thing to note before riding is if you don’t want to risk getting your bags or other loose articles wet, you can put them in a free locker. The lockers are located on the left hand side of the entrance plaza. Once you get to the attraction, if you are waiting stand-by, you will enter on the right side of the entrance plaza. If you are using a Fastpass, you will enter straight ahead by the lockers.
If you are entering stand-by, you will start by walking through the extended queue. This part of the queue consists of a lot of rock work and plants around you. You will then enter the main part of the queue, which is goes through the offices and grounds of “Kali River Expeditions”, the fictional travel agency that is taking you on this journey. This queue is pretty cool as there is different artifacts and things littered throughout the queue, so there is always stuff to look at while waiting!
After waiting in the queue, you will approach the turntable loading station where it is time to board your 12 person raft. You will sit down, buckle your seatbelt, and store any things you don’t want to get wet in the center counsel. Then your off on your expedition!
After leaving the loading station, your raft will immediately begin going up a 90 foot lift hill. You will notice that there is a large geyser at the top of said lift hill. Though as the raft crests the lift hill, the geyser turns off, and the raft begins moving along the rapids. After a little rapids section, the water will start getting a bit choppier and you will notice the raft is amongst a lot of burning wood and destroyed animal habitats along with a fully loaded logging truck. The raft then stops briefly before plummeting down the rides signature 30 foot drop. Depending on where you are sitting, you might get a slight misting or you might get completely drenched from head to toe. There is always two seats on the ride who get the worst on the boat, but there is no way of telling beforehand as who gets the most wet is randomized every time. After going down the drop, you will continue going down the rapids. As you go back down the rapids on your return trip, you will come across sprayers and other effects that will try to get you even more wet. You will then make your way back to the turntable station, where you will disembark from the raft and exit onto a bridge.
When exiting on the bridge, you will notice that there are sprayers that will activate if you push a button. If you time it right, you can push that button and spray the riders down below. This is also a cool option if you don’t care to ride but want to watch or your child doesn’t meet the height requirement.
My Thoughts: This is a very fun rapids ride that is sure to get you wet (or soaked). The first, and as of right now, only time I’ve been on this ride was in 2013. I rode with my whole family and was sitting right next to my mom when we went down the main drop. I ducked from the impending wave so my back got soaked, but my mom got absolutely drenched. In fact she got so drenched, she had to ring her shirt out afterwards. It’s a fun ride, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. I believe Bilge-Rat Barges over at Islands of Adventure will guarantee to get you more wet, but in my opinion this is a better themed ride experience.
Tips: Due to this being a water ride, this naturally has longer wait times when that hot Florida sun comes out. When it is a bit cooler outside, this attraction will have around a 20-40 minute wait on a normal day and 30-55 minute wait on a busy day. When it’s hot out, this will have a 45-60 minute wait on a normal day and a 60-90 minute wait on a busy day. To avoid these lines on a hot day, go within the first or last hour of park opening or use Fastpass+. This would be an attraction that I would use a Fastpass on especially if it’s a very hot time of the year. Book a time slot in the hottest part of the day in the afternoon so you won’t mind the possibility of getting soaked!
Final Thoughts: Kali River Rapids is easily among one of the best river rapids rides in the world. The theming along with the randomness of who on the raft is going to get a tidal wave over them makes this attraction nerve racking, but in the best way possible. Ride it if your at Animal Kingdom and the sun is beaming down!