Easily the bumpiest ride at Disney World, the 20-minute excursion is the crown jewel of Animal Kingdom. Climb into a supersize, 32-passenger Jeep-like vehicle—an actual one with wheels, not a tracked cart—and be swept into what feels like a real safari through the African veldt, with meticulously rutted tracks and all. Be quick on the shutter, because drivers speed fleetly, passing through habitats for giraffes, elephants, wildebeest, ostrich, hippos, lions, antelope, rhinos, and other creatures that made safaris famous. Considering the quality and quantity of animals on display—and the cleverness of the enclosure design, as there are never bars between you and them—it’s easily the best animal attraction of the park.
Animals are most active when the park opens, but the queue builds once again at night so people can see it all over again with a sunset lighting effect. Some people say that the second-best time to see the animals is in midafternoon because they get antsy with the foreknowledge that they’re about to be led to their indoor sleeping quarters. Ride twice if you want—the free will of the animals means it’s never the same trip twice: Sometimes you’ll zip right through, and sometimes you’ll be halted by a moody rhino who refuses to get off the road. Strategy: Photographers who want clear shots should jockey toward the back, away from the cockpit. At the very least, they should negotiate with their companions for a seat at the end of their row.