Introducing Feature Presentation Friday: Review of the Wild Africa Trek

Feature Presentation Friday

It’s Feature Presentation Friday!

Feature Presentation Friday is a relatively new series where I basically talk about a topic that I feel deserves some attention. It may be either Disney related (movies, parks, etc.), general travel related, or child life related. In these posts I hope to provide some additional information on something I am passionate about that I feel others should know about. At the end, I welcome discussion from any readers who have questions, would like to share their experiences, or who want to offer an opinion in the comment section below.

Today’s Feature Presentation Friday:

A Review of the Wild Africa Trek

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What is it?

The Wild Africa Trek is a tour offered at an additional cost (website now says $189 to $249 per person) at the Animal Kingdom mostly on Kilamajaro Safari. During the tour, you get a slowed down version of the safari (to enable better picture taking) along with a trek on foot through some of the Safari grounds. Lunch is included on the Savannah and a photos service is also provided and included in that price.

Our Experience

We participated in this tour on our honeymoon in October 2013 (so bear with me while I recount the details!). Once you get to the meet up point, it’s time to suit up! As shown in the pictures below, you will need to wear a vest and a harness for your safety during the on foot portion of the tour. Your camera must be strapped to your body or connected to your vest, and they will give you strings for your sunglasses. If your personal items fall during the tour, there is no getting them back! You are also given a water bottle with a carabiner to attach to your vest and use during the trek but also take home as a souvenir.

From there, you meet your two guides who will help provide guidance and information while also being your photopass photographers for the day and are taken on the start of your tour on foot. During this portion you “hike” through semi backstage areas to get to your first breathtaking view of the hippos. As you can see from the pictures below, your harness is tethered to ensure your safety giving you the ability to walk right up to the edge and look down.Wild Africa Trek 011 Wild Africa Trek 023

From there, it’s time to traverse the rope bridges you may have noticed while riding the Safari. If you or anyone in your party is afraid of heights, this may not be for you. Otherwise, it is an amazing experience. The rope bridges are pretty high up and you walk right over the crocodile pit! Again you are tethered much like you would be on a ropes course here so despite the fact that the planks on the bridge are spaced apart (which offers you a better view down below your feet), you’re not going anywhere!

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From there, you board a ride vehicle (different than the ordinary vehicle) and are taken on a modified (and slower) version of the safari. During our tour at least the driver was able to pull over for extended periods to allow us to take pictures with animals in the background and to talk more in depth about the different wildlife on the plains.Wild Africa Trek 157

Then it’s time to stop for lunch…. on the savannah! Here are a few of the amazing views from our picnic spot!

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We found the lunch to be very tasty. It is pictured below in very cute cantina containers. I don’t remember exactly what the menu was but I know that there was a fruit salad, a curry chicken salad, a very tasty hummus with little naan rounds, and a few other dishes. I wouldn’t say it was the heartiest of meals but for us it worked out fine.Wild Africa Trek 176

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Was it Worth it?

YES! I felt it was worth every penny we spent as a once in a lifetime thing. We did many special things on our honeymoon from Party for the Senses to Victoria and Alberts to a Spa experience and more. This was by far my favorite thing that we did (and all those other things were pretty great!). Now, I do love the experience of the Safari in general so I may be a little biased but I would definitely recommend this tour.

Want to book it for yourself? Call 407-WDW-TOUR and ENJOY it!

Have you done the Wild Africa Trek? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Traveling to Walt Disney World or another Disney Destination? I can book everything from hotels to tickets to dining reservations. Contact me today for a free quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com. Remember, all of my services are ALWAYS free of charge to you!

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Introducing Feature Presentation Friday: Information on TSA Passenger Support Specialists for Guests Traveling with Special Needs

Feature Presentation Friday

Introducing Feature Presentation Friday!

Feature Presentation Friday is a new series I’ve come up with to basically talk about a topic that I feel deserves some attention. It may be either Disney related (movies, parks, etc.), general travel related, or child life related. In these posts I hope to provide some additional information on something I am passionate about that I feel others should know about. At the end, I welcome discussion from any readers who have questions, would like to share their experiences, or who want to offer an opinion in the comment section below.

Today’s Feature Presentation Friday:

TSA Passenger Support Specialists

As a child life specialist I have worked with many families with children or adults with many different special needs. Whether they be medical, developmental, psychological, dietary, emotional,  or of another type, I understand how hard it can be to travel given these circumstances. Getting through a TSA checkpoint can be a huge concern when traveling with family members with emotional disturbances, autism, physical disabilities, or medical technology such as pacemakers.To aid in supporting these families, I wanted to alert readers to the availability of TSA Passenger Support Specialists.

According to the TSA Blog, Passenger Support Specialists (PSS) “are Transportation Security Officers, Lead TSOs and Supervisors who have volunteered to take on the responsibility of assisting passengers who may need a little help at the checkpoint. They receive additional training involving scenarios such as resolving traveler-related screening concerns and assisting travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.”

As the quote states, these Passenger Support Specialists receive additional training to be prepared to assist in special circumstances. These specialists would probably be especially helpful for those families with special needs traveling by air for the first time or for those traveling with a newer condition but may even be helpful for those who have travelled many many times.

If you think it might be a useful service for your family, try calling 1-855-787-2227 to see how a Passenger Support Specialist may be helpful to you. It seems that there should be specialists at every gate without calling ahead as well for those who want to wait until they get to the airport.  These specialists should be able to help tailor the screening to your family’s needs including fears, aversions, sensitivities, visible or invisible illnesses or disabilities, and hidden medical equipment that may be effected by the scanner. It is best to bring any documentation you have for any medical equipment you have that prevents a normal screening; however, by explaining the situation to a Passenger Support Specialist you should be able to get an alternative screening tailored to your needs without that documentation.

Has anyone used a Passenger Support Specialist? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

Traveling with a child or adult with special needs and need assistance planning your trip? I will work with you to provide accommodations that fit your family’s needs at the best price possible. I can book everything from hotels to tickets to dining reservations and can assist in navigating a vacation with anything from anxiety or aversions to food allergies, illnesses, or disabilities. Contact me today for a free quote at m.pigden@magicalvacationplanner.com. Remember, my services are ALWAYS free of charge to you!

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