Rafiki’s Planet Watch — The Forgotten Land of the Animal Kingdom

Let’s start with a little history. When the Animal Kingdom opened (April 22, 1998 – Earth Day), there was no Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Well, there was, but it was called Conservation Station back then and was an outcropping of Africa. Conservation Station failed to spark the guest’s imagination so sometime in 2001, this area became its own “land” and was renamed Rafiki’s Planet Watch. In reality, not much changed except for the addition of a number of sights to the boring walk from the Conservation Station train to the actual facility. With these new exhibits came a new designation for this walkway, Habitat Habit. In addition, Rafiki, the all knowing mandrill from the Lion King movie, was added to the trail.

These changes helped increase interest, but this area is still under appreciated. I’m going to guess that many of you have experienced Conservation Station/Rafiki’s Planet Watch at one time or another. I’ll also venture to guess that you came away from the experience saying to yourself, “This was nice, but now let’s go do something exciting.” If I’m correct, I’m hoping that my blog will convince you to give this “forgotten” land another chance. If you’ll just slow down and appreciate that this is not Expedition: Everest, there are many rewards to be found here.

Rafiki’s Planet Watch is placed strategically near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. The Imagineers’ expectation was that you would be so inspired after viewing the animals in the “wild,” that you’d want to see how they were cared for backstage and would hop aboard the Wildlife Express to Conservation Station.

Rafiki's Planet Watch Entrance

Wildlife Express Sign

The Harambe Train Station is reminiscent of the European colonial-style structures built in many parts of Africa during the late 19th to early 20th century. Once again, details abound if you take the time to look for them.

Harambe Train Station

When you enter the structure, you’ll see a lot of unused queue. It’s obvious the Imagineers thought this attraction was going to be more popular than it is. To the far right side of the building are the ticket windows. Posted between them is a sign of interest.

Harambe Station Queue

Ticket Windows


Since the picture’s size precludes you reading it, I’ll post its contents here.


The Harambe Town Council and Eastern Star Railways are very regretful to announce the cessation of continuous railway service to:


And points beyond.

Service to the above area has been interrupted due to:


Future service to the affected regions will be announced and implemented by the Harambe Town Council and Railway if and when it is deemed to be of public service and of a safely sufficient to appropriate standards.



This sign, and several others in the queue, were intended to be read while waiting in line. It’s a shame that these details are passed over as we race to board the train.

Overhead are signs that list the north and southbound stops along the Eastern Star Railway.

Southbound Stops

To each side of the station platform are enclosures containing luggage. These are holding areas used for the loading and unloading of baggage. Also notice the top of the train. This is where possessions are stowed during a trip. If you look closely, you’ll notice that the baggage is old and the belongings eclectic. This train caters to a developing area and its passengers are of meager means. All of their worldly goods may be traveling with them. Everything from bicycles, chairs, trunks, crates and safari equipment might be found up here.

Baggage Holding Pins

Top of the Train

The train’s engine is modeled after English steam-powered locomotives that traversed Africa in the early 20th century. Close inspection will find that these locomotives have seen better days and have been patched together over the years.

Train Locomotives

The seating on the coaches is side-facing. This allows everyone to have a good view during the five and a half minute ride to Conservation Station. The train can carry 250 passengers. Along the way, the conductor gives a brief overview of what awaits you at Conservation Station and points out some of the sights.

Train Cars

Side Seating

Harambe Station is located at the edge of civilization. As soon as the train pulls out, you are surrounded by lush vegetation as you skirt the east side of Kilimanjaro Safaris.

Lush Vegetation

As your journey continues, the backstage homes of many of the animals come into view. Each night, all of the creatures of the Kilimanjaro Safari are brought to these (and other) enclosures for feeding and care. It’s not uncommon to see animals as you pass by this area as they are given occasional “days off” to rest up from their hectic safari duties.

Animal Enclousures

Animal Enclousures

Eventually, the train pulls into Conservation Station where you disembark. There are a few points of interest here, but the real sights lay ahead down the lush trail.

Train Arriving at Conservation Station

Conservation Station

Jungle Walkway

A short distance down the path we encounter Rafiki, pointing the way to Habitat Habit. This is a good photo op for the kids.

Rafiki Pointing the Way

In the early years, there was nothing along this considerable walk to Conservation Station except a thriving jungle. As pleasant as this was, most people found it boring. So when Rafiki’s Planet Watch came into existence, this trail was populated with a number of exhibits that promote the environment.

At the first stop along the path we encounter the Cotton Top Tamarin monkey. Here we learn that researchers at the Animal Kingdom are studying these creatures and their habitat. It’s hoped that the knowledge gained here can someday help save these endangered animals and their dwindling forest.

Tamarin Monkey Enclousures

Tamarin Monkey

The next encounter along the trail is definitely for the little ones. A simulated backyard has been created and children are taught that the creatures that live near our homes, even the icky ones, are beneficial to our environment.

Habitat Habit

Simulated Backyard

Any child who wishes to participate is loaned a grease pen and board. On the leaf shaped pallet are pictures of all the creatures “hidden” within the backyard. As the children discover a bug or animal, they check it off on their leaf. When they find them all (or most), they return to a cast member who congratulates them on a job well done.

Leaf Grease Board

Hidden Creatures

A Job Well Done

The cast member then presents them with a “Kids’ Discovery Club Membership Card.

Kids' Discovery Card

On the reverse side, the six lands of the Animal Kingdom are listed. The cast member then helps the child stamp the Rafiki’s Planet Watch space, indicating that they have completed this challenge. Check your guide map for a “K”, indicating the other “Kid Discovery Club” locations around the park

Kids' Discovery Care Reverse Side

In the last section of Habitat Habit you’ll find a number of signs and simple displays. These encourage us to create “animal friendly” environments in our own backyard.

Environments in your own Backyard

Next stop, Conservation Station. This building’s entrance is marked by a large collage of animals. But while taking in this impressive work of art, don’t forget to look at the rockwork in the pavement.

Conservation Station Entrance

Conservation Station Rockwork

Once inside, the collage continues. Instead of just walking through this area, take a moment to appreciate this room. It is amazing.

Conservation Station Lobby

For the most part, the public area of Conservation Station is contained in one large room with different areas dedicated to various topics. There are several “cut outs” of animals scattered around this room. On the back side you’ll find “Fact”¦ And Fable.” The information presented here replaces myths with truths about the creature.

Conservation Station Main Room

Fact... And Fable

To the left of the entrance we find “Song of the Rainforest.” Step inside one of these booths for a 3-D sound adventure. Grandmother Willow from Pocahontas narrates this short audio tour. The sound effects are so realistic you’ll want to swat the mosquito as it flies in your ear and your skin will crawl when the bird-of-prey snatches its next meal just inches from your head. Also heard is the destructive sound of a chainsaw as it cuts into a tree. The message here is strong – we must save our rainforests.

Song of the Rainforest

Rainforest Sound Booth

Rainforest Sound Booth

To the right of the entrance is a small, stand-up theater. Currently, a short movie about Siberian tigers is shown here.

Movie Theater

For me, the highlight of Conservation Station can be found in the research and care facilities located along the outer wall. A wealth of information is available here for the taking.

The first stop is the Wildlife Tracking Center. One of the many duties performed in this lab is the testing of feces. Samples are continually being gathered from all of the animals throughout the park. Just like with humans, the information garnered from these tests provides invaluable information as to the health of the animal. For instance, by checking the hormone levels in the feces, the technicians can determine if certain animals are pregnant.

Wildlife Tracking Center

And I’m sure the kids will love the poop exhibit. On a table in this room are various stuffed animals. Behind each animal is a sample of its poop.

Poop Exhibit

And if this hasn’t satisfied your excrement curiosity, you can actually handle some elephant poop at the next exhibit. Don’t worry, it’s been incased in some sort of resin so it neither feels yucky or smells. Kids love this.

Conservation Station Exhibit

Also in this area are two knowledgeable cast members. They love nothing better than to answer all of your questions. Here is Suzanne showing me how the researchers at the Animal Kingdom are studying elephant vocalizations. While playing a recording, she showed me a printout of the sounds that they make.

Elephant Vocalizations

Perhaps the biggest draw at Conservation Station is the Veterinarian Treatment room. This is an actual operating room where animals are examined and operated on when necessary. Of course, some of the larger animals are too big to be cared for here, but the general rule is this. If the animal weighs less than 500 pounds and can fit through the door, it is treated here.

Veterinarian Treatment Room

All of the animals are given yearly health check-ups. These are usually scheduled between 10am and 11:30am. The afternoon hours are left open so that the vets can make their rounds out in the field. On the day I visited, an Imperial pigeon from the Maharajah Jungle Trek was being given its yearly exam. If you look closely you can see the anesthesia face mask covering the bird’s beak.

Pigeon Health Check-up

Pigeon Health Check-up

Pigeon Health Check-up

I was told that three days earlier a tiger received a root canal in this room. You never know what to expect from day to day. The Animal Kingdom also has its own version of a paramedic vehicle so that the vets can attend to emergencies out in the field.

Continuing along this outer wall we see a number of animal enclosures. These include reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates. I know that these slithery creatures might give some of you the heebie-jeebies, but rest assured, they’re all safely contained behind glass.

Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates

Reptiles, Amphibians, and Invertebrates

At the final station, we learn about the animal’s diet. Actual samples are on display with descriptions of what goes into their daily meals. This is a working facility and cast members can frequently be seen here preparing the food for a given animal group.

Food Station

In the center of Conservation Station, a cast member can often be found with an animal in hand. These animal encounters are scheduled every hour on the hour and will last for about thirty minutes. Here we see Heidi with a Scarlet Snake. After providing us with some background information, she takes questions from the small group gathered around her. She then encourages us to touch the snake.

Heide with Scarlet Snake

Touching the Scarlet Snake

Another cast member is on hand with a disinfectant hand gel. If you touch one of these creatures, it is mandatory that you clean your hands afterwards.

Each hour brings a new animal and more learning opportunities. Here we see a tarantula and an owl. Sorry, I didn’t find out the species of either.



Conservation Station also offers good opportunities to meet some Disney characters without huge crowds. Pocahontas, Jiminy Cricket, and Rafiki all make appearances here.

Jiminy Cricket


Before heading outdoors to Affection Section, I needed to use the restroom. When I approached the urinal, I burst out laughing as I read the sign at eye level.

Restroom Sign

By the way, I know the answers to the questions because I DID wash my hands. If you want to know for yourself, you’ll have to make a visit to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and either visit the men’s room or have a male member of your party do so.

Through the doors at the far end of Conservation Station we find Affection Section. This is a petting farm intended for children.

Affection Section

Just inside the enclosure is a basket full of brushes. Feel free to pick one up and give a goat a good combing.

Basket of Brushes

Brushing a Goat

Besides goats, sheep, a donkey, llama, cow, and a pot-bellied pig are on hand.






When you’re finished with the animals, a sink is available near the exit for a vigorous hand washing.


Next to the petting farm is a small stage. Several times a day, a thirty minute show is presented here. Usually, two animals not normally seen in other parts of the Animal Kingdom are displayed and discussed. But before the show started, I found Nikki sitting on stage with an opossum. It seems that this little fellow was attacked by a dog and lost its front left leg. After being treated by a vet, it was moved to an animal shelter and eventually adopted by Disney. Nikki was feeding this little cutie, trying to get him used to being on stage, as he’ll eventually be one of the animals to star is this casual presentation.


Nikki and Opossum

In the show I saw, one of the sheep from Affection Section was brought onstage. The cast member discussed how this animal, and others, are trained – not to perform, but to assist the vets when it comes time for their check-ups. By using certain commands, an animal can be trained to step onto a scale or present itself for an injection. A child from the audience was selected to help in the demonstration.

Sheep Training

Sheep Training with Child

The second animal displayed was a Ball Constrictor. With this animal, the cast member explained the importance of snakes in general and the characteristics of this animal in particular. At the end of the show, children and adults were given the opportunity to touch the animals and ask more questions.

Cast Member with Ball Constrictor

Ball Constrictor

Each day’s show offers two different animals. In addition, the animals presented are constantly changing as new creatures are added to the lineup – like the opossum.

Next to Affection Section is the “Out of the Wild” shop. The usual Animal Kingdom souvenirs are sold here. However, if you’re looking for something to eat, you’re pretty much out of luck. With the exception of some very light snacks and bottled water, there is nothing here to satisfy those hunger pangs.

Out of the Wild Shop

The train ride back to Harambe Station skirts the edge of Asia. Along the way, a small, authentic village can be seen.

Asian Village

The goal of Rafiki’s Planet Watch is to educate people about the importance of our environment and about the animals who inhabit our planet. This is one of a handful of spots in the Animal Kingdom where you can engage knowledgeable cast members in conversations about the creatures that live here.

I spent two and a half hours at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and I wasn’t bored. But to be honest, I spent a lot of this time taking pictures and asking questions so I could blog about this area. It would not take most of you anywhere near this long to experience the sights and sounds found here. But Rafiki’s Planet Watch deserves more than just a cursory glance. This is not a passive place. Like so many things in life, the more effort you put into this area, the more you’ll get out of it.

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30 Replies to “Rafiki’s Planet Watch — The Forgotten Land of the Animal Kingdom”

  1. Thank you so much for all the info. I’ve been to this park at least 8 times now and never checked out that area. I’m sure going to do it this time, in less than a month from now. Thank you!

  2. Jack –
    I have been enjoying your blogs this morning. Thanks for the great information! My family visited Conservation Station for the first time last year, and it was our fourth or fifth trip to Disney. The kids really enjoyed the up-close look at the animals and LOVED the petting zoo. They sheared one of the sheep while we were there and let the kids each feel some of the wool.

    In my several trips to the Animal Kingdom (and my extensive prior research) I has somehow never come across the Kids Discovery Club. My 7 and 5 year old will love the challenge the next time we are able to visit the Animial Kingdom!

    Keep up the great work!

  3. We always enjoy Rafiki Planet Watch. Its a great place to slow down for a little while, visit some animals & learn something new..

  4. Jack,
    WOW! My kids LOVE this place! We go to Disney every 2 years and always make this one of our stops in Animial Kingdom. My son loves the Train and we all love the air-conditioned fun!
    My family’s most magical moments was running into GUITAR DAN! He made up a song up about my daughter and son on the spot, TWICE in 2005 and 2007!
    I did not see GUITAR DAN mentioned in your review and wondered it you knew if he was still at Rafiki Planet Watch? or at Disney?
    Thanks for highlighing this great Animal Kingdom attaction.

  5. Hi Jack,

    thanks for highlighting this truly underestimated part of the park. It’s always portrayed as ‘out of the way’ and nothing to do. I can spend hours there and love the way the information is presented. Also the animal encounters are wonderful.

    I’ll be visiting Rafiki’s again when I’m at the World in October and hopefully this time I’ll time it right to be able to see an animal exam. I’ve seen the operating theatre backstage on the tour but would love to see it being used.

  6. Jack, you have made me feel bad for never going here before. It does look interesting, especially for two of my kids that are thinking of becoming veterinarians, who knows, maybe it will inspire them to follow through on those dreams.

    As always, excellent work on this story. Thanks.

  7. Fantastic blog as usual!! In my five previous trips to AK we have never gone through Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Going on the must do list for November/December’s trip….

  8. Thank you for sharing this! I love Rafiki’s Planet Watch. There is always something new to see and learn there everytime we visit. And I love the train ride and all the small and big details that were put into the train and train stations! I love Disney World!!!

  9. Jack

    If you were still a CM I’d have you awarded with a ‘What would Walt do?’

    We have visited Raifiki’s Planet Watch several times but didn’t get the chance to discover everything. The reasons are varied cranky toddler, weather or our fast pass slot for Expedition Everest or Kilimanjaro Safari was imminent. Even if I have to visit alone, I’m going to saunter along and find things for myself, while my family dash around the more exciting attractions. I am aware I may receive some odd looks for requesting strange men to visit the bathroom on my behalf…

    Jack’s Comment:

    Just in case you didn’t know, FastPasses are open ended. If your pass says return between 1pm and 2pm, in reality, you can return after 2pm. You’re not confined to a one hour time slot. You can show up at 5pm and Disney will honor your FastPass. So next time you’re at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, don’t let this cut your visit short.

    Thanks again Jack for making us aware of Disney’s magical touches.

  10. Good Evening Jack,
    How about the elephants when you disembark the train at the Conservation Station? My son first ‘met’ them when their trunks were used for the water at the hand washing station at the petting zoo area (2005)! He loved them! It is one of my fondest memories and best pictures of his first trip. Now, he just reminds us what used to be! Not bad for a now six-year old! We visit every trip. I can’t imagine not going!
    Great work!

    Jack’s Comment:

    I have bad news for you. The elephant trunk-nozzles have been removed from Affection Section. Now the hand washing area is nothing special (check my pictures).

  11. Jack: Thank you for your well thoughout blogs. I always enjoy reading them. My family and I experienced this 2 years ago and were thinking about skipping it this year. You just made me rethink that!

    Thanks again!

  12. Jack – thanks again for another great blog. We like to go here when the rest of the park is really busy. When I went the first time (first year it was open) they had a big tent set up off the walkway, in the “jungle” with an animal artwork show inside. It was quite impressive and I have never seen it again. Another time we saw them examining a male bird who had been injured. We got to ask lots of questions and the vet finally determined that he was injured due to vigorous (ahem) mating as the female is larger! Fascinating. Thanks!

  13. Jack, thanks for this blog we have been to AK many times but never took the train to Rafiki Planet Watch. I showed my 4 girls the pictures and they cant wait to see it. Thanks again i cant wait to go.

  14. Hey Jack!

    Awesome blog. I swear, I think we were separated at birth…

    This is one of my favorite places in the park. The main problem with this area of DAK is that you could literally stay there for hours on end, and I really “hate” that because this park has the shortest operating hours, and it’s really hard to talk the rest of your party to stay here that long!

    On my last trip, we went here FIRST because, like you mentioned, that’s when they do all the vet. work. We were lucky enough to see them doing a well examine on the K. Dragon. He was “so” not happy about being examined, and in fact, one of the researchers had come out to watch.

    She said, “I heard they were bringing [the K. Dragon’s name] here for his checkup. I want to see this!”

    I ended up talking to both her and the resident CM for at least an hour. In the end, she said, “Can you wait here a minute? I want to give you something.”

    She returned and gave me THREE CM-only pins! She said she had designed them, and they were only given out to the researchers. She said, “I have some extra of these pins, and you are really knowledgeable about animals, so I want you and your boys to have them.”

    Now, how great was THAT? Amazing.

    I will agree that this is a part of DAK that is EXTREMELY overlooked by most people, and it should NOT be! It is one of my favorite parts of DAK. Just looking at your train pictures, makes me yearn to be on it.

    I LOVE the train–I always take way too many pictures of it. It is a beautiful train, and like you (as you know), I am always snapping pictures of all the details (i.e., the luggage on top, in the station, etc.).

    On thing I did notice is that you didn’t tell people about the mural walking into the building. It’s a MAJOR Hidden Mickey gem mine! I mean, it’s a biggie! Did you just leave out that information since it was a different subject matter?

    Okay, I have rambled on much too long (again), but your blogs just get me going. We are heading to the parks in 51 days. I can’t wait to ride the train!

    CYA Jack! 🙂 Deb

  15. Let me just say how grateful I am that someone actually took the time (2.5 hours! Wow!) to enjoy and learn about Rafiki’s Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom. The environment and nature alike have always had a place in my life growing up, and that interest remains strong to this day. Your review on Rafiki’s Planet Watched covered things that not even I have had time to see. More Disney enthusiasts should take the time to explore this area. As you have pointed out, there is lots to do and learn. Thank you so much for a wonderful look into what many bypass when visiting the Animal Kingdom. Love your blog and enjoy reading every new entry. Keep up the fantastic work!

  16. Hi Jack! I’m pretty sure that Rafiki’s planet watch is the ONLY place to find Pocahontas or Jiminy Cricket in the whole WDW anymore. Also, a note about the conservation station entrance: The audio in the entrance plays fairly loud animal calls of many different sorts. My 18-month-old was startled and a little afraid of the many growls, hisses, and screams that you hear upon first stepping into the lobby. I’m so glad you mentioned the “Kids Discovery Club”. We haven’t done this in our previous visits, but I will definitely suggest it to my kids next time. Rhett

  17. Jack: You mentioned the lack of food available at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. One suggestion I have is to grab a “Picnic in the Park” and take it with you. One of the available picnic spots is near the Conservation Station at Rafiki’s. This is a very unique experience, and it is a great way to spend time at Animal Kingdom! Rafiki’s provides a lot of shaded areas, and it is much less crowded.

    Bon Appetit!!!

  18. Wow!!! Great blog Jack. I have been 3 times with my children to Animal Kingdom and we have NEVER gone to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. I think this is just the excuse to use to plan a trip to the World! I can’t believe how much we missed out on. Thanks for the wonderful info.


  19. Hi Jack,
    Im so glad you did this blog because we visited Conservation Station when Animal Kingdom first opened and hadn’t visited since then. They have made many changes and I can’t wait to take my grandchildren and have them match the animals with their poop! What fun!
    We did do the Song of the Rainforest and that is a neat expertience and I’m glad they kept that beautiful animal collage.
    One thing that is missing is the neat elephant statues where you washed your hands after being in the pet zoo. The water came from their trunks. It looks like they were placed elsewhere and now are just being used as statues.

  20. Hey Jack,

    We are always in a hurry at Animal Kingdom to get to another park so we have never been Rafiki’s Planet Watch. After seeing your blog I feel like have been there.

    Great job!!!!

  21. Your blogs are just awesome! I love this one in particular because it has a photo of one of my best friends tending to the Imperial pigeon. Because of her, I have really learned to appreciate this often over-looked attraction, and you did a great job of showcasing its many positive aspects. It’s a wonderful stop off the beaten path, so to speak, to relax a bit and slow down. My youngest son loves the train because it reminds him of the one in Disneyland with the side-facing seating. It amazes me when people comment that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a “half-day” park. I always find something new with every visit and still have unexplored territory to discover. Keep up the great blogs, Jack!

  22. I am guilty…..My wife and I always take a pass on this.

    That will change this year, we have a little one that loves animals so we had already intended to give this a visit!!!

    Your tips and information will be used!!!

    Thanks again Jack…..just 12 more days until until we come back!!!

  23. Jack!

    Your dazzling pictoral display combined with your sweet tingly advice blended with just the right amount of Disney history creates yet another delicious article by you.

    I award you 2 sets of personally monogrammed mouse ears (or a trip to Beaches & Cream).

    So, I don’t remember this place being that interesting.

    Then you said: “It’s a shame that these details are passed over as we race to board the train.”

    That’s the culprit right there.

    My brain.

    How do you get a Disney theme park commando to slow down and smell the lemurs when we’ve been trained to hustle from ride to ride?

    What’s a good approach to getting the most out of Animal Kingdom?

    And did you just include a photo of a “whiz quiz?

    I did not expect to see that today.


  24. I personally love Conservation Station. It’s a nice break from the rest of the park. I love animals and behind the scenes looks. I used to intern at a zoo so maybe I’m a bit more into it than most, but my husband likes it too. I’m a little selfish in that I like that people don’t go there much because it means that we have more opportunity to interact with the cast members and learn more stuff. It’s the same in the mornings while everyone is breezing past the CMs on the trail to get to the Tree of Life, we stop and see what they have. If you just stop to look at Animal Kingdom you will see some really cool stuff!

  25. Jack…wow (as usual). Our toddler loves visiting the Conservation Station and it is a great way to cool off at Animal Kingdom on a hot day. We usually grab our Safari fast passes, head out to the station for a bit, then come back just in time for our window…thanks for your awesome blog!!

  26. Thank you so much for this blog. I am an annual passholder and have only gone here once. I didn’t know about half the things you talked about. Next time I go to Animal Kingdom I will be riding the train and see all the new things that I read about.

  27. I was there the day they did the root canal on the tiger! It was very cool to see the vets casually going about their business while a tiger was on their table. Absolutely worthwhile experience. Thanks for the great blog, Jack!

  28. Who knew?! I’ve been to AK several times but never to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Will definitely be visiting there next time.

  29. Great blog Jack – Animal Kingdom is my favourite of the four Disney parks and hubby and I ALWAYS take a trip to Rafiki’s Planet Watch – it’s a great way to spend an hour or so and I love the up close animal interactions – especially the goats – they are so cute!

  30. Hi Jack! I love your blogs! They are fantastic! My 8 year old daughter absolutely loves Rafiki’s Planet Watch. The first time we went a couple of years back, I was not interested in going. But we hopped on the train and went over. We were met by a cast member who asked us if we wanted a personal tour. I said sure and she annouced we were the first family of the day! We had personal tour, they gave my daughter a bag full of goodies (buttons, little plastic animals like snakes and alligators). Then they gave us both a fast pass to any ride and certicates for free ice cream. She loved this tour and loved the petting station..also loved handling the poop! We make this a regular stop everytime we go -this is her favorite place in Animal Kingdom (besides Expedition Everest). We have also done the kid stations all around the park and got everything stamped and in the end she got a button. Thanks for blogging about this area. I have come to love it as well.