Animal Tour Status

MiddKid

Well-Known Member
The WDW app chat was of no help to me so I thought I'd go to the experts here!

We have a tradition where when each of my daughters turns 13 (I have 3), they get a daddy daughter trip to WDW. That trip is highly specialized to their interests. My middle daughter's trip was scheduled for April 2020 and that obviously didn't happen so we're taking it this coming August. Her interest is animals (considering a biologist track of study). When I had the previous trip planned, I called DVC Member Services and booked Wild Africa Trek, Caring for Giants, and Up Close With Rhinos with no issues.

I'm excited to see that booking is now online...very helpful. Our 60 day window hits next week so I decided to go on and see what availability looks like in the 10 days I can see (through August 5).
  • Wild Africa Trek: No issues. There are 3-4 times available each day from Jul 27-Aug 5
  • Caring for Giants: Multiple times available through July 31. No availability August 1-5. On the info page for that tour it DOES show tour times for August but for some reason the booking system is not showing it. Have people seen that these get loaded later in the month? (screenshot attached)
  • Up Close with Rhinos: Zero times available Jul 27-Aug 5. Now granted, I haven't gotten up at 3am to check (on the west coast), and I know this tour only has one time per day...but I wish I knew if it just sold out fast or if they simply haven't released times into the booking system yet (like Giants in Aug). Or maybe they aren't running it in August (although that would conflict with the main info page which shows it as running at 11am each day)
If anyone has any recent experience I'd love to hear. I've got 8 more days until my booking window opens. Thanks!
 

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MiddKid

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The WDW app chat was of no help to me so I thought I'd go to the experts here!

We have a tradition where when each of my daughters turns 13 (I have 3), they get a daddy daughter trip to WDW. That trip is highly specialized to their interests. My middle daughter's trip was scheduled for April 2020 and that obviously didn't happen so we're taking it this coming August. Her interest is animals (considering a biologist track of study). When I had the previous trip planned, I called DVC Member Services and booked Wild Africa Trek, Caring for Giants, and Up Close With Rhinos with no issues.

I'm excited to see that booking is now online...very helpful. Our 60 day window hits next week so I decided to go on and see what availability looks like in the 10 days I can see (through August 5).
  • Wild Africa Trek: No issues. There are 3-4 times available each day from Jul 27-Aug 5
  • Caring for Giants: Multiple times available through July 31. No availability August 1-5. On the info page for that tour it DOES show tour times for August but for some reason the booking system is not showing it. Have people seen that these get loaded later in the month? (screenshot attached)
  • Up Close with Rhinos: Zero times available Jul 27-Aug 5. Now granted, I haven't gotten up at 3am to check (on the west coast), and I know this tour only has one time per day...but I wish I knew if it just sold out fast or if they simply haven't released times into the booking system yet (like Giants in Aug). Or maybe they aren't running it in August (although that would conflict with the main info page which shows it as running at 11am each day)
If anyone has any recent experience I'd love to hear. I've got 8 more days until my booking window opens. Thanks!
Replying to myself...I just called the tour phone line and asked specifically about Caring for Giants and Up Close with Rhinos. He did confirm that Giants appears to not be loaded yet in the system but is scheduled to run. Only advice he could provide is that tours sometimes get loaded later and to keep checking back.

I asked about the fact that I couldn't find any availability for Rhinos. He confirmed that it is harder to get with one tour a day and to keep checking back. I asked if August was booked or not loaded yet and he didn't give me a clear answer...only stating that it's scheduled to run.
 
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JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
All three interest us. We had the Africa Trek booked but had it pulled out from under us when the Covid cancelled our trip and it wasnt running during our make up trip back. Gives us some things to look forward to on a return. Hope you can get it scheduled.
 
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Schweino

Well-Known Member
Great news! They must have loaded all the tours this afternoon. I checked this morning and they were still not available. Just checked now and both Giants and Rhinos are there! Timing couldn’t be more perfect as my 60 day window opens tomorrow morning! Thanks!
Curious, with your checking last night, were you able to book greater than 60 days out? Never booked one of those before, and as it's on my 'wish list', curious how that works.

TIA!
 
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MiddKid

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Curious, with your checking last night, were you able to book greater than 60 days out? Never booked one of those before, and as it's on my 'wish list', curious how that works.

TIA!
It's just like dining: 60 days plus your length of stay (10 or less). I just finished booking Starlight Safari, Rhinos, Giants, and Trek. My animal nut daughter should get her fill! Starlight Safari was, by far, the hardest one to get. Was only available on our last night there. That wasn't the night I had it penciled in for so I had to scramble and make some last minute changes.

Oh, and another note, the animal tours let me start booking prior to 6am. My first confirm email is 5:52am. Not sure how early they went live, but I know it was just the tours as once I finished those I started to book my first dining and it gave me an error. I glanced at the clock and noticed it was 5:59am. At 6am dining was good to go.
 
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Schweino

Well-Known Member
Oh, and another note, the animal tours let me start booking prior to 6am.
^^ Makes me wonder if that is a 'midnight EST' release time?

Anywho - thanks for the additional information, greatly appreciate you! I've never heard of Starlight Safari so Im gonna go give that a Google.
 
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marlamello

New Member
Has any of you figured out if "Up Close With Rhinos" happens everyday? I'm staying in property and tried to book at throught the night and no times were available - however, the next day still shows availability and it's almost night time :( My dad is completely obsessed with Rhinos and I just found out about this tour last month, after years going to Disney!
 
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MiddKid

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Has any of you figured out if "Up Close With Rhinos" happens everyday? I'm staying in property and tried to book at throught the night and no times were available - however, the next day still shows availability and it's almost night time :( My dad is completely obsessed with Rhinos and I just found out about this tour last month, after years going to Disney!
It is available every day but sells out quick because it's only once per day. With the 60+10 window it can be booked out before 60 days out!
 
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marlamello

New Member
It is available every day but sells out quick because it's only once per day. With the 60+10 window it can be booked out before 60 days out!
My 60+10 window opened yestarday and no availability was shown from the first hour :( However, the next day is still showing to book but it's our flight day! :(

Thanks a lot anyway!
 
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