Disney World Preparing to Shut Down Major Animal Kingdom Ride

Parkgoers heading to Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom park now have one less attraction to add to their itinerary. The Orlando-based theme park on Monday, Jan. 9 officially closed the Kali River Rapids ride, sparking some fears that the closure could be permanent.

News of the closure was first confirmed last year, according to Inside the Magic. However, despite the current concern, there shouldn't be any true worry that the ride may not reopen. Disney noted on its official blog that the Kali River Rapids ride closed Tuesday to "undergo its annual refurbishment." Details of the refurbishment project were not provided, though recent refurbishment projects have included minor updates, such as removing holiday décor and adding inclusive characters on the "It's A Small World After All" attraction. Although an exact reopening date wasn't provided for the ride, Disney said, "the attraction is expected to reopen in mid-March."

Located in Asia at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park, the park that also features currently opened attractions including Expedition Everest, DINOSAUR, and Avatar Flight of Passage, the Kali River Rapids ride invites guests to "set out on a thrilling whitewater adventure through a lush jungle in the heart of Asia." After boarding a raft, riders "skim across an erupting geyser, drift below a canopy of lush vegetation and be whisked along fast-moving rapids," all while taking in some breathtaking views of gushing waterfalls and bedrock. Riders, however, are in for a bit of a freight with the plummet down a dramatic 20-foot slope. Disney warns that riders "will surely get splashed on this attraction-and you may even get soaked," advising that those wishing to remain dry should bring a waterproof poncho, extra clothes, or a towel.

Kali River Rapids' closure is just one of several closures at Walt Disney World scheduled to take place this month. Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain is scheduled to close for a sweeping refurbishment project beginning Jan. 23. The ride will transform into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, an adventure based around the film The Princess and the Frog. Splash Mountain in Disneyland will also be closing and will be transformed into Tiana's Bayou Adventure. The ride will take adventurers back to the year 1927, when Tiana is hosting a party for the people of New Orleans. She will need riders' help to find a missing ingredient. Both rides are currently scheduled to reopen in late 2024, though an exact reopening date has yet to be confirmed.