New “Ride at Night” Option for Kilimanjaro Safaris Touring Plans

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Today we launched a new “ride at night” feature for our computer-optimized touring plans. The “ride at night” setting is designed for attractions that have a significantly different nighttime experience, such as the Animal Kingdom’s Kilimanjaro Safaris.

When your touring plan includes one of these attractions, click “edit” on that step to specify the time of day you’d like to ride:


The optimizer will place the “ride at night” attractions so that you experience them after sunset in Orlando, on the day of your visit. (The optimizer now calculates the sunset time in Orlando for every day of the year, too.)

Kilimanjaro Safaris is the first attraction to have this “ride at night” feature on the touring plans. If this feature proves useful, we can add it to other attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Jungle Cruise – anything that seems better after dark.

Len Testa

Len Testa is the co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, and has contributed to the Disneyland and Las Vegas Unofficial Guides. Most of his time is spent trying to keep up with the team. Len's email address is You can also follow him on Twitter: @lentesta.

15 thoughts on “New “Ride at Night” Option for Kilimanjaro Safaris Touring Plans

  • September 1, 2016 at 10:52 am

    Seven Dwarfs Mine Train seems to be made for this feature. I think it is much better at night.

  • September 1, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Yes! Love this! People Mover, Jungle Cruise and Tower of Terror, please!

  • September 1, 2016 at 10:55 am

    Is there a list of the attractions that currently have the “Ride at Night” option?

    Splash Mountain would make that list for me…

  • September 1, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Great feature, and great ride suggestions from the commenters above!

    Test Track might be another candidate, although it seems to close down so often that it’s hubris to try to choose a time of day to ride it.

    Expedition Everest, too, assuming nighttime at AK is here to stay?

    Living with the Land would be an example of a good ride to select the “Before Sunset” feature. The experience is definitely different after dark–it’s measurably worse.

    Dumbo and the Carrousel look mighty cool with the lights on, but the kidlets probably don’t care one way or the other, and might be done in for the day by nightfall anyway.

  • September 1, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    Very cool new feature, thanks. I’ve done this manually in the past with BTMRR at DL. Checking sundown times and manually adjusting my touring plan accordingly to get that after dark experience.

  • September 1, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    These are all good ideas. Let’s try them, a couple at a time, to see how regular folks adapt to the new options.

    • September 1, 2016 at 4:26 pm


  • September 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Regular folks? I thought only exceptionally intelligent people used TouringPlans.

    • September 1, 2016 at 5:28 pm

      I dunno. They let me in. 😉

  • September 1, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I still think a “pin” option for steps in the touring plans would be the greatest addition. It would be nice to “pin” Kali or Splash Mountain in the afternoon and let the plan form around that.

    • September 2, 2016 at 7:05 am

      I completely agree! I often know for one reason or another that I MUST do an attraction at a certain time, but I don’t really care what comes before or after. Being able to “pin,” say, Jungle Cruise for 3pm would save me from hours of manually trying to “set” a time. I usually end up creating 3 plans: one for before the attraction in question, one that is just that attraction (with filler I ignore because you can’t just have one attraction), and one for after the attraction. It’s doable, but the user experience is certainly flawed.

  • September 1, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Be aware that sunset does not correspond with “night”. It is not dark at sunset. What you probably want to be calculating is either civil (still kinda bright, sun at an altitude of -6 degrees) or nautical (can no longer distinguish the horizon, pretty dark, sun at an altitude of -12 degrees) twilight. If it were me, I’d calculate a time halfway between the two (sun at -9 degrees) so that it’s darker than civil twilight but features can still be distinguished.

    As an example, sunset today is at 7:47pm in Bay Lake, Fl. However, civil twilight isn’t until 8:11pm, and nautical twilight isn’t until 8:39pm, a full 52 minutes after sunset.

  • September 5, 2016 at 1:38 am

    Please add this or an ability to pin a ride or two. Also, don’t forget Disneyland while you do this. Even the Haunted Mansions feels better at night even thought its just the queue. It would be awesome to have that flexibility other than just the “don’t touch my plan” button.

  • September 6, 2016 at 11:18 am

    I agree with others about the pin feature- or for starters so you can reuse what you’ve already built- a ride in afternoon feature. Plans like to schedule Kali River Rapids at 10am, meaning the rest of the day I’m walking around drenched and cranky.

  • September 8, 2016 at 7:16 am

    I would love to see Jedi Training added to this, along with the correct timing for participants (arriving 30 min early).

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