Around the “Disney” World – Rafiki’s Planet Watch

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wildlife express train
Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch

Located just next to the Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is an overlooked gem of the Disney Parks: The Rafiki Planet Watch Conservation Station.  Accessible by the “Harambe Railway Station Wildlife Express” train, this short train ride carries up to 250 passengers from Harambe to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, a conservation station, affection section, and more where guests can come up close and personal with many different animals and their holders and caregivers.

One you depart the train at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, you walk through a short trail, passing monkeys and other exhibits to spark your interest before you fully enter the Conservation Station.  For the youngsters, or children at heart, there is a wonderful petting zoo, cleverly named as the “Affection Section.

Affection Section
Goats lounging around


If you strike up a conversation with any of the cast members walking around, you’ll find that they’re a wealth of knowledge and even have names for all of the individual animals!  If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch an outside show and tell with different animals.  On our last trip, we saw a handler with a vulture, only feet in front of us!

Animal interaction
Echidna inside the Conservation Station




Inside the Conservation Station, you’ll find working veterinary labs, where they study the Animal Kingdom animals, among many other things.  Make sure to look closely as there are over 100 Hidden Mickeys around the station!  Also, there are different exhibits during the day – live animals that you can get up close with the animal and a handler, filled with personal experiences and details about animals.  Though often these animals are not to be touched, you can learn about them in an up close and personal environment.

If you’re simply looking for a nice place to cool down on a hot day, the Conservation is a large air conditioned building to relax.  Another of my favorite aspects of RPW  – Character Interaction.  As hosted, Rafiki often stops by to greet guests with other environmentalist friends like Jimminy Cricket and Pocahontas.



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