Kali River Rapids is an attraction at the Disney's Animal Kingdom theme park, in the Asia area. It is themed as a rafting expedition along the Chakranadi River, courtesy of "Kali Rapids Expeditions". In keeping with Animal Kingdom's message of conservation and environmental protection, this attraction deals with illegal logging and habitat destruction.
The queue winds through several themed buildings, passing by ancient, decaying statues, shrines, overgrown ruins and lush landscapes. Outside the temple there are many pairs of sandals lined up, reflecting the Asian custom of removing shoes before entering places of worship. As you approach the loading temple, you pass through a boathouse; the Proprietor of “Kali Rapids Expeditions” explains via a television screen their company’s mission: to show visitors the natural beauty of the area, she also warns of illegal loggers, and the dire ecological impact their actions have.
Moving into the brightly coloured wooden temple, decorated with Tibetan prayer flags, guests are loaded from a rotating platform into their 12-person raft, with names such as, “Banyan Bay”, “Kali Bumper Car” “Manaslu Slammer” and “Sherpa Surfer”. As you leave the dock, you begin your adventure on the Chakranadi river; firstly ascending a 90-foot lift hill through jasmine and ginger scented mist. Once at the top, the raft floats through the path of gushing geysers, along the river past a waterfall, through dense tropical jungles where countless animal and bird calls can be heard.
The water becomes choppier and you start to hear the sound of chainsaws and the smell of smoke. Around the bend, the lush vegetation gives way to charred tree stumps, a fully-loaded logging truck which has slid perilously into the river tries in vain to drive itself out.
Moving further into a gargantuan pile of charred tree trunks the raft passes through a flaming bridge of felled wood, plummeting down a 30-foot drop. Travelling down the rapids, the raft passes waterfalls cascading down a granite rockface, before spinning and bumping its way along the white-water.
Passing through a cave, guests are dampened by dripping water, and by statues of water-carriers which spray water jets. Finally, the raft passes beneath a wooden bridge and past statues of elephants which also shoot water, however these jets are controlled by guests standing on the bridge. At this point the raft returns to the loading platform and riders disembark.
- Before the ride opened in 1999, the ride was originally going to be named Tiger Rapids Run. This was left-over from the original plan for Asia's main attraction, a river safari attraction called Tiger River Run. This concept was ultimately abandoned as the rushing watery vehicles going by would prove too stressful and possibly even dangerous for the resident animals. The word Tiger was ultimately dropped from the attraction's name as to avoid disappointing people expecting to actually see tigers and other animals on their journey.
- This was Disney's first attempt at a river rapids type ride, it has since been joined by Grizzly River Run at Disney's California Adventure and Roaring Rapids at Shanghai Disneyland.
The ride was briefly closed on May 29, 2007 after five visitors and one employee received minor injuries as a result of a loading platform malfunction. See Incidents at Disney parks for more information.
- Grizzly River Run, a similar attraction at Disney California Adventure
- Roaring Rapids, a similar attraction at Shanghai Disneyland