When I think of all the magnificent animals I’ve had the chance to encounter in my career, I’m always awestruck by the rhinoceros. As the second largest-land animal on Earth, they are a massive sight to behold – from their horns to their hoofs and thick armored skin – all of it. I feel fortunate to have the chance to be close to these majestic animals but soon you’ll have a chance too. Today, I’m thrilled to announce guests will have a chance to make a real connection with white rhinos at Disney’s Animal Kingdom through an exciting new backstage animal experience called “Up Close with Rhinos.”
Starting Nov. 1, this 60-minute guided adventure will give guests a behind-the-scenes look at how our dedicated animal team cares for the white rhinos on Kilimanjaro Safaris and how Disney is helping save endangered rhinos in the wild. As part of this intimate experience, guests may even get a chance to touch a rhino. It is an appreciation like no other, and we hope it will inspire our guests to aid in their conservation.
Our keepers are as excited about “Up Close with Rhinos” as I am. Caitlin Miller on our rhino care team told me, “I love talking to guests about how unique each individual rhino’s personality is. I know once guests come and meet the rhinos, they are going to see just how amazing they are and will want to help us secure a future for them.”
Rhinos in the wild are found in bush country and open grassy flatlands in Africa and Southeast Asia. They are among the most endangered animals in the world due largely in part to poaching. Disney is proud to support rhino conservation efforts around the world, including those of Sumatran rhinos, which are found only in Indonesia and are critically endangered. To date, the Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2 million to support rhino conservation efforts around the world.
One tour of “Up Close with Rhinos” will be offered each day. The booking window for the one-hour experience opens Sept. 22, which is World Rhino Day. Guests must be at least 4 years old to participate, and the cost is $40 (plus tax). Discounts are available to select passholders and Disney Vacation Club Members. To make a reservation, call 407-WDW-PLAY.