I was searching the internet today and i came across this article:
According to Mark Goldhaber over at MousePlanet, the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom is about to undergo a fairly significant rehab. And that once the redo of this ride-thru zoo is complete, one of the events that used to drive the story of this DAK attraction (I.E. Little Red has been captured by poachers! And you -- the Disney World tourist -- must now cut your safari short in order to help save him!) will then be snipped from the script.
Which I know is going to offend a lot of you purists out there. Who always complain when Disney theme attractions depart from their original storylines and/or get dumbed down.
But -- truth be told -- Kilimanjaro Safaris has never really played as well as the Imagineers had originally hoped. Which is easy to understand. Given that -- just weeks prior to the April 1998 grand opening of Disney's Animal Kingdom -- Disney execs ordered the removal of one particularly gruesome setpiece from this attraction.
What scene am I talking about? That moment in Kilimanjaro Safaris where your ride vehicle was supposed to just happen upon the enormous corpse of Little Red's mother, Big Red.
The way I hear it, the children of cast members (Who were visiting DAK as part of that theme park's Cast Member Only previews which were held back in early March) just lost it as soon as they saw that enormous fake mother elephant lying dead in the grass. These kids then cried loudly all of the way back to Kilimanjaro Safaris off-load station. Which (obviously) was not the reaction that the Imagineers had been hoping for as the action-packed finale of this attraction got underway.
Of course, the more sensible of you out there are probably already asking: "Why the **** did the Imagineers put a big bloody fake mother elephant corpse next to the Kilimanjaro Safaris ride track in the first place?"
Well, to answer that question, you have to understand that -- back when the Imagineers were initially designing Disney's Animal Kingdom -- they were honestly hoping to use this new WDW theme park to help educate people about conservation. However, recognizing that the Epcot approach (I.E. sugar-coating an attraction's key concepts, then cramming them down the guest's throat) wasn't exactly working, the guys at WDI decided to take a different tact.
This time around, the Imagineers' goal was try and be subtle. To fold important information about conservation right into the very plot of the attraction. All with the hope that -- as WDW guests rode through this ride -- they'd somehow acquire a clue.
This is why -- as guests float through DAK's Kali River Rapids -- they suddenly encounter that stretch of fake, burned-out rain forest. The idea that these WDW visitors are supposed to get (particularly as they narrowly miss being crushed by that teetering logging truck) is that "Cutting down the rain forest is bad."
Okay, I'll admit it. This is not exactly subtle storytelling. The point is that the Imagineers meant well. That -- by including this overly grim sequence in DAK's Kali River Rapids -- they were honestly trying to find an entertaining way to teach theme park visitors about the merits of conservation. (Whether or not anyone actually remembers this message after the second half of Kali River Rapids -- where they're almost drowned like rats -- remains to be seen. Anyway ...)
This brings us back to the Big Red story. When mapping out possible story lines for DAK's Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction, the Imagineers struggled to find a way to make guests aware of the dangers of poaching. After knocking around a number of ideas, these guys finally decided to borrow a page from "Bambi."
You remember "Bambi," don't you? The Disney film that taught us all that "Hunting was bad" by killing off Bambi's mother? Well, WDI decided to use the very same plot device to nail home Kilimanjaro Safaris' underlying message.
This is why -- as you enter the queue area for Kilimanjaro Safari -- you're constantly fed information about Big and Little Red. While telling guests about all the other animals that they're about to see, the overhead monitors and voice-over narration in the pre-show -- every so often -- also mentions KS's newest addition: the cute baby calf -- Little Red -- that Big Red recently gave birth to.
This seemingly minor plot thread continues to weave through the narrative of the first two thirds of DAK's Kilimanjaro Safaris ride. As your driver takes your vehicle through all of the other animal enclosures, he repeatedly checks in with Miss Jobson, the attraction's pre-recorded airborne naturalist. You know? That woman who's supposedly flying over the game preserve in a plane, continually asking "Have you seen Big Red yet?"
The rest of the attraction's story line is just as carefully laid out. The off-hand radio message that suggests that there may be poachers lurking about. The back gate to the game preserve that seems to have been busted in.
to read the rest of the story go to this link:
Jim Hill : Say good-bye to Little Red: Finale of DAK's Kilimanjaro Safaris to be retooled
I found it to be really interesting, I didn't know that kilimanjaro safaris used to have a fake dead elephant that people saw when they were on the safari! That would have been kind of shocking to me too.
when did people get to ride kilimanjaro safaris before animal kingdom opened? thats something i picked up from the article that i didn't understand
My guess it that they had a castmember only ride through the Safari to get there feedback.
Originally Posted by ~Hakuna Matata~
well it said that the kids would start crying because they thought they thought it was a real dead elephant and that even some of the "more gullible" adults would cry too
Yeah it says that thet were children of castmembers visiting DAK as part of castmember only previews.
ahh! gotcha, i wish i was a castmember, that would be aweoms to get to preview the parks/rides before they opened to the public
Yes, it sure would be nice. Get to see things early, get to see what may be taken out of the attraction due to feedback of the preview. Maybe even free pins or other disney goodies.