A Path Less Traveled is a new tour being offered at Animal Kingdom to celebrate their 20th Anniversary during the month of April. My daughter and I decided to do something new and different this trip. She has always been an animal lover and has said that we just don’t spend enough time in this park. Since she has decided to study Zoology when she goes to college next year, I knew this was the tour for us!
The tour started off at the Curiosity Animal Tours Kiosk (near Kilimanjaro Safaris) at 11 a.m. and we were given our schedule that consisted of 3 activities split up throughout the day. We were instructed that anytime we were backstage, pictures were prohibited and to not take our phones out during that time.
The first part was all backstage, except for the train ride and walk to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. After debarking the train, A Path Less Traveled tour truly began where we toured some of the Animal Nutritional Center and the veterinary hospital. The kitchens were like most any restaurant kitchen, with standards and regulations to follow. The food served to the more than 1,500 animals come from the same vendors that supply all of the restaurants on Walt Disney World property and is the same quality (no scraps at all). Questions were encouraged along the way and if they didn’t have the answer, they kept asking whoever we came in contact until we got an answer. We also had some time learning about the Purple Martin migration research they are doing. They gave us some great tips on how to help these and many other creatures in our own backyard.
The second part of the tour was going on a Caring for Giants tour. From the initial description of the tour, I thought this would just be a glimpse of the tour, but it was the actual tour. This is an hour long tour split between 2 areas & 2 cast members. Our first area was chatting with and learning about the elephants from one the Keepers, Chris. His excitement and love for these beautiful creatures was definitely contagious!
The second area was about conservation and elephants in Africa with Amanda. She spoke of her home in Africa and the different ways they have helped the elephants thrive and changes they have made to keep them off of the endangered list. At the end of Caring for Giants we were given the snack that we’d chosen earlier that day. You can’t go wrong with a Mickey pretzel!!
The final part of the tour was VIP seating for one of the River’s of Light shows. This area is across the walkway from the FastPasses seating, with a similar view.
This was a great experience and we really enjoyed ourselves! While they are currently calling this a limited time tour, the cast member that led our first part of the tour indicated that if this were a popular one, they might add it to the regular schedule of tours. I did receive an email survey a couple of days later, so hopefully this will be one they keep.