Up Close with Rhinos, Wonderland Tea, and Mermaid School Reviews

We just returned on Saturday from a wonderful trip! I wanted to share our experience at a couple of the extra activities we did on our trip this year.

Up Close with Rhinos:
We added this 1 hour tour to our Animal Kingdom day. It was amazing! They do not allow cameras at all, but they try to make up for it with having some photo ops at the end (nice little touch).
The tour takes you back stage which was fun, you take a ride to the Rhino barn. The zoo keepers come out and tell you all about the rhinos and let you ask questions. Then they allow you to come see the rhinos. You can each take a turn and come pet the rhino from the outside of his enclosure. The kids got to color a bag with chalk for the rhino and then they fill the bag with his favorite treats and we got to see him open the bag and eat the snack (they said rhinos enjoy the smell of the chalk and that is why they use it on the bags). Our kids are 10 and 8 and they did not become bored during the tour and loved it! Just wish we had a picture of us petting the rhino. It was also nice to know that the cost of the tour goes directly to conservation efforts. The cost was $40 per person.

Wonderland Tea:
We have a “Princess Day” every visit…it always includes make overs at BBB (MK is our favorite location), Lunch at BOG, and Dinner at CRT…we also like to throw in something else (last visit it was Tiana’s Ice Cream Social)…this time we added the Tea Party. Realizing that my oldest is 10, I know this may be our last trip with “Princess Day”…I might be able to get 1 more visit where she is excited to participate. :slight_smile:
This was a great event, the parents leave the kids for 1 hour to play games, make a craft, decorate a cupcake, and have a tea party with Alice and the Mad Hatter. At the end (after getting to spend a nice relaxing hour sitting in the Grand Floridian lobby) they give you a photo pass card with pictures of the whole event.
The girls LOVED it! They got to decorate tea pots and saucers to take home. The pictures of the event were great! Well worth the $50 per child in my opinion. The group was small and it was alot of fun overall!

Mermaid School
We signed up to go to mermaid school on our final morning…right before ending our trip at the Bon Voyage Breakfast. It was a fun way to end the trip. The pool opens an hour before regular pool hours for the mermaids. They teach you how to swim in the tail, play games, have you swim through rings, dive down to get “treasure”…ect. The girls had a BLAST! They also provide all attendees with a coupon to purchase the tail for $10 off at the end of class, which makes the tail to come home around $100. The class itself was $50 per person. They say the class is for all ages (just have to be over 4)…we did not have any adults in the class, but they said they do get them. We had one little brother attending and he did great too…so not just little girls attending! I want to say we had 8 swimmers total, so it was a small class and lots of attention.


These are such fun extra experiences, none of which I knew about! Thanks for sharing and I’m glad your kiddos enjoyed them all!

Thanks so much for sharing, I am excited to do the Rhino tour in December

Oh wow! They have added the bag with treats and the sign and frame pics to Rhinos since my birthday in July!

Looks like a great trip. We will be there in 23 days it will be me and my adult children this trip. We are planning to do “The Gentle Giants” tour (Elephants) which is my son in law request and then maybe the Rhino tour. Did you have to make reservations ahead a time or just sign up the day of? Do you know the best time of day to tour?

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Thank you so much for you review of the Mermaid School! I signed my daughter up for it long ago (for Nov) but was not really sure what it would be. Now I just have to wait and see if it’s actually warm enough that day to keep that reservation…

They only offered one rhino tour per day at 11:00 when we went in April, and you definitely have to sign up ahead of time. It’s a max of 12 people I believe. They didn’t do the treat bags or photos then either, so that’s a nice addition. It was absolutely worth it, one of my favorite parts of our trip.


We made them ahead of time and actually we had to switch our park days around to make it work…so it seems like they fill up quickly for the rhino one. They told us it was because they did only 1 rhino tour a day. So call and schedule early and then cancel if you change your mind later.

Thanks for the great info! Which resorts have mermaid school and how do I book it?

We had to call to book, it was at AOA, Carribean Beach, or Beach Club…each resorts had different days of the week it was held there.

I did caring for giants back in May, I think we had a late morning tour and I called to sign up about a month before. We were the only ones on our tour that day so we could ask as many questions as we wanted. It was a lot of fun and a great chance to do something different.