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Description And Comments
Whitewater raft rides have been a hot-weather favorite of theme park patrons for more than 25 years. The ride itself consists of an unguided trip down an artificial river in a circular rubber raft with a top-mounted platform seating 12 people. The raft essentially floats free in the current and is washed downstream through rapids and waves. Because the river is fairly wide, with numerous currents, eddies, and obstacles, there’s no telling exactly where the raft will drift. Thus, each trip is different and exciting.
What distinguishes Kali River Rapids from other theme park raft rides is Disney’s trademark attention to visual detail. Where many raft rides essentially plunge down a concrete ditch, Kali River Rapids flows through a dense rainforest and past waterfalls, temple ruins, and bamboo thickets, emerging into a cleared area where greedy loggers have ravaged the forest, and finally drifting back under the tropical canopy as the river cycles back to Anandapur. Along the way, your raft runs a gauntlet of raging cataracts, logjams, and other dangers.
The queuing area, which winds through an ancient Southeast Asian temple, is one of the most striking and visually interesting settings of any Disney attraction. And though the sights on the raft trip itself are also first-class, the attraction is marginal in two important respects. First, it’s only about 3½ minutes on the water, and second, well . . . it’s a weenie ride. Sure, you get wet, but otherwise the drops and rapids aren’t all that exciting, as this Kansas family points out:
It was boiling hot, so we were happy about the prospect of being drenched. We couldn't believe how short and dull the ride was, even with the lush landscaping. At the end, we all looked at each other and said, "Is that IT?!" We couldn't believe we had stood in line, sweating half to death, for 75 minutes just for that.
And how wet do you get? A reader from Plymouth, Michigan, has the answer:
Beware! Rather than just getting a little wet, like Splash Mountain, we were soaked to the skin after this ride. Poncho sales were brisk the day we were there.
- This attraction offers FastPass+.
Kali River Rapids is hugely popular on hot summer days. Ride during the first or last hour the park is open or use FastPass+. Again, you’ll probably get drenched—we recommend wearing shorts to the park and bringing along a jumbo trash bag or can liner, as well as a smaller plastic bag. Before boarding the raft, take off your socks and punch a hole in your jumbo bag for your head. Though you can also cut holes for your arms, you’ll probably stay drier with your arms inside the bag. Use the smaller plastic bag to wrap around your shoes. If you’re worried about mussing your ’do, bring a third bag for your head.
A Shaker Heights, Ohio, family who adopted our garbage-bag attire discovered that staying dry on the Kali River Rapids is not without social consequences:
Cast members and the other people in our raft looked at us like we’d just beamed down from Mars. (One cast member asked whether we needed wet suits and snorkels.) Plus, we didn’t cut arm holes in our trash bags because we thought we’d stay drier that way—problem was, once we sat down we couldn’t fasten our seat belts. After a lot of wiggling and adjusting and helping each other, we finally got belted in, and off we went, looking like sacks of fertilizer with little heads poking out. Very embarrassing, but we stayed nice and dry.
A family from Humble, Texas, who rode early in the morning on a cool day, shares this:
Our plan hit a definite wall upon experiencing Kali River Rapids as number two on the schedule. We didn’t read about the precautions for this ride in your book until after we rode. The 6-year-old and Mom were COMPLETELY drenched—so much so that we had to leave the park and go back to our room at Port Orleans to change clothes. Since the temperature was around 60 degrees that morning, we were pretty miserable by the time we got back to our room. Needless to say, our schedule was shot by then.
Kali River Rapids offers free 2-hour locker rental (to the left of the attraction entrance, near the restrooms). Store a change of clothes in these to keep dry. Alternatively, wear as little as the law and Disney allow. If you’re wearing closed shoes, try to prop your feet up above the bottom of the raft. Slogging around in wet shoes and socks is a surefire recipe for blisters.
This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Kali River Rapids when you visit on a day with a given Disney's Animal Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Kali River Rapids Wait Times.
You are guaranteed to get wet. May open 30 minutes after the rest of the park on off-peak or cold days. 38" minimum height requirement. Switching-off option provided.
- Physical Considerations
- Assistive Listening Devices Available
- Must Transfer From Wheelchair/ECV
- No Service Animals
As of July 2016, Kali River Rapids is testing a single-rider line.
Other Attractions in Asia
- Expedition Everest - Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- Flights of Wonder
- Maharajah Jungle Trek
- Rivers of Light
Touring Plans with Kali River Rapids
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Holiday Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Parents with Small Children
- Ultimate Touring Plan: Animal Kingdom
- Animal Kingdom Unofficial Guide One-Day Touring Plan
- One-Day Touring Plan for Tweens and Their Parents
- One-Day Happy Family Touring Plan
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Touring Plan with Pandora
- Late Arrival One-Day Animal Kingdom Touring Plan with Pandora
- Animal Kingdom One-Day Late Arrival Touring Plan for Active Seniors
- See all Touring Plans...