Walt Disney World experienced large herds of guests flocking to all of the theme parks during the recent winter holidays, but one very special group of new arrivals was welcomed at Disney’s Animal Kingdom just ahead of the New Year. Kilimanjaro Safaris is now home to an adorable assembly of Nigerian Dwarf Goats, and we were delighted to close out 2020 by capturing a close encounter with these cuties during the E-Ticket attraction’s newly installed finale.
Ever since Disney’s Animal Kingdom opened in 1998, Kilimanjaro Safaris has been the park’s largest and most elaborate attraction, involving hundreds of living animals and more acreage than the entire Magic Kingdom.
The ride has continued to draw crowds more than two decades after its debut, with the socially distanced queue extending through rarely used pathways all the way to the darkened Festival of the Lion King theater during Christmas week.
Luckily, despite the line’s apparent length, the actual standby wait time was just over half of the 45 minutes advertised; we’ve noticed similar wait time inflation across Disney’s attractions in recent months.
Once aboard the safari trucks—which still sport protective dividers between benches, allowing every row to be utilized—the ride is as riveting as ever, especially when cooler weather encourages animals like these lounging lions to make rare midday appearances.
Although the ride was popular from the start, Kilimanjaro Safaris’ ending has always been problematic, with a gruesome display of a poached elephant removed from view during pre-opening previews. Geysers and a gun-firing Jeep were also later eliminated, leaving the finale a shell of its former self.
After several attempts over the years to introduce new species into the former finale area, Kilimanjaro Safaris has finally settled on establishing a new warden’s outpost, which has been overrun by an adorable herd of Nigerian dwarf goats.
This natives of West Africa may appear to be babies, but they are actually fully grown adults! They seem to enjoy walking across the warden’s vehicle, tin roof, and anything else they can manage to climb on top of.
According to the Disney Parks Blog’s backstory, the sweet, high protein milk produced by the goats helps support the nearby villagers, who in turn help keep wildlife and their habitats protected, representing how animals and humans can live near each other in harmony.
Here’s a video of the brief glimpse you’ll get of these Nigerian dwarf goats during the updated ending of Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom:
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World, or to plan your family’s trip to Orlando, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids 2020. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.