The Up close with Rhinos Tour at Animal Kingdom was very cool! It last about an hour and you get to pet a Rhino, yes I said pet a Rhino!!
They rotate which rhinos are in each day so they they get exercise and their own time. They are much bigger than you think, especially when you get up close and personal with them. I thought it was kind of cute how the “baby” Rhino would push Mom out of the way to get the snacks, and Mom allowed it. Kind of like some parents we all know:)
You meet at 1045 AM for the 11 AM tour back by the Safari Ride at the Curiosity Tours Station. Next stop is walking to the bus that takes you over to the Rhinos home. It is a quick ride and you get to hear about the Rhinos. You will be dropped off at the Rhinos home and then picked up at a later time, but make sure to take everything with you to the tour and NOT leave it on the bus.
Once you arrive their then 2 cast members, Rhino caretakers, will tell you even more about the Rhinos then they take you over to see them Up Close. Each person has the opportunity to pet the Rhino. The skin has a feel to it almost like a dry basketball with hair. To be able to touch them is amazing to me!! Don’t worry you can wash your hands after with the nearby sink.
You learn about how they train and work with the Rhinos and about their day to day life. Sadly, also learn about how they are endangered due to their horns. Poaching goes on very regularly. Thanks to Disney and other zoos that are working to breed them their is hope. The program also includes releasing them into game preserves in Africa. You can donate to Disney for their animal research, in fact, the tour fee goes towards it.
As you may or may not know their are two kinds of Rhinos that Disney has-the white rhino and the black rhino. You can tell them apart by size, the white rhino is bigger, not to say the black rhino is small by any stretch, they are not. They can be 6 feet tall and 12 feet long!! They can be very gentle but when their “child” is first born they are very protective of them.
This trip should be pre-booked and make sure to look at the restrictions and age minimums. The cost is currently $40, so a good value. Here is a link for more information:Up Close with Rhinos Tour