If you’ve ever wanted to see what the animals in Animal Kingdom ® at Walt Disney World ® do when they aren’t roaming the plains, you have to check out Rafiki’s Planet Watch. Here you’ll learn how the animals are kept happy and healthy through hands-on displays, cameras and even meet-and-greet opportunities!

Rafiki’s Planet consists of three different areas dedicated to the environment, conservation and animals well-being. If you’re interested in a tour the only way to get to the Planet is by train - the Wildlife Express. The train will take you on a journey behind the African savanna where guests will get the chance to see small animal viewing areas and a few of the Animal Kingdom ® animal buildings.

The first part of the adventure will drop you off in the savanna and you’ll continue the journey by foot for a 5 – 7 minute walk to Rafiki’s Planet. Once on the Planet you’re free to roam about the area’s many different exhibits and attractions including Habitat Habitat! where you’ll learn how to share our world with animals; Affection Section where kids will be able to pet sheep, goats, deer, pigs and other furry friends as well as learn more about each animal and the Conservation Station, which teaches abut animal training, feeding, veterinary medicine and animal conservation for all animals, not just the ones in Animal Kingdom ®.

Upon entrance to The Conservation Section you’ll come face to face with over 600 larger than life animals in a colorful mural. As you walk around the space you’ll also notice bright and beautiful vegetation that grows in the atrium of the area. Within the station there are plenty of areas to explore including Sounds of the Rainforest, and the veterinary and training exhibits.

As you walk into Sound of the Rainforest you’ll instantly hear a variety of sound effects that have been designed to imitate what you might hear in the rainforest. Feel free to take a seat in one of the booths and listen to the peaceful sounds as Grandmother Willow from the Disney ® film “Pochahontas” narrates the segment.

Conservation Section offers viewing areas where exams and surgical procedures may be observed. Experts are also on hand educating guests on the care and meal preparation for many of the animals in Animal Kingdom ® and touch screens set up throughout allow guests to see the animals in the park through the live Animal Cams.

The newly added film, which is hosted by Disney’s ® Animal Programs Conservation Director Dr. Anne Savage is a great addition to Rafiki’s Planet and the Conservation Station. The film features four segments including conservation projects to protect the coral reefs in The Bahamas and information on two endangered species: Puerto Rican crested toads and sea turtles. The other two segments include animals that live on the land and those that live below the water.

And after the show, grab Rafiki’s signature and a photo with The Lion King star at his meet-and-greet.

For a chance to go-behind the animal scene at Animal Kingdom ®, look for discounted Walt Disney World ® tickets right here on Best of Orlando.

Orlando, FL – 01/04/12