For those that have done it, what did you think? I’ve got 2 daughters, 16 and 10, and we’ll be traveling with my FIL who is a major train fan. We’ve never taken the trip out to see this area as it just seems like a time eater. My kids won’t care about the petting zoo but might be interested in seeing the area where the animals are cared for by the vets. And do you have to have a FP to do the animation experience? Thoughts?
The Wildlife Express is really nothing at all special. It is but a means to move you from Africa to the Conservation Station. There is nothing exciting to see and I don’t even know that a “major train fan” would see enjoyment in it.
The animal care area is fantastic though, and the Animation Experience is getting rave reviews. My family will go out to the area in April for those parts of the experience, but the “train” is just how we have to get there.
I agree with @OBNurseNH. I am a big train fan and I really wish I didn’t have to use it to access the conservation station. Such a time waste, with nothing to see on the way and the train isn’t even like the Magic Kingdom train -absolutely nothing special about it.
The conservation station is great - even if the vet isn’t doing any procedures (which is often the case), they have exhibits to look at and CMs to answer questions. And I love the animation experience. This is the main reason I put up with the train, is to do the animation class. Really wish they would do more characters, but still a lot of fun. Remember to pack an empty paper towel roll and a gallon size plastic bags to preserve drawings once finished.
I would never in a million years thought of the paper towel roll- brilliant, thank you!
I loved it, but mostly because I loved the petting zoo. The vet lab may or may not have anything going on when you get there, I’ve found that part to be hit or miss. I think you could easily skip this if it’s not appealing, but you may find it a nice calm respite during a lull in energies in the mid afternoon. I liked sitting on the train and feeling the cool breeze, even if there isn’t much to look at during the train portion.
Only reason to ride is if you want to go to the Conservation Station or just to say that you’ve done it. It was one and done for me.
Do we need a FPP for this (CL4-5 day)? Is it walk up as it is hard to get to or has the word gotten out? I’ve been to Rafiki’s one other time and thought it was a cool thing to do but the animation experience wasn’t there. My 8 year old is really into drawing/animation so this would be cool I think.
We were there on a crowd level 5 day one week ago and my 5 year old daughter and my mother were able to do the animation experience without a wait or a FastPass right around 2:30 pm or so (not sure the exact time as I was doing FoP)
@momfourmonkeys the animation experience holds 150+ people. I’ve been several times and never seen it close to full. You do not need a FP+ for this, even on the busiest days - so you will be fine to do standby on a CL4-5 day. The experience is amazing. The animators are also entertaining. So it isn’t just a drawing class. You learn about the animal you are drawing and they tell jokes and make it lively and fun.
Definitely worth a visit, especially if someone in your party likes to draw. Plus free souvenir. There are also Wilderness explorer stops at Conservation station - so another chance to earn badges.
perfect! I love to do new things when we go to the parks!
The train isn’t particularly special but we like Conservation Station. If you are on the first train of the day, all the CMs greet you and that was kind of neat.
Dang I wish I knew this a couple of weeks ago. I was under the impression it was super important to have the FPP.
Of course my days were 8-10 CL so that may have been different. Wish I had tried.