The Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch is a short railroad that takes guests at Disney's Animal Kingdom from Harambe, Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch (known as Conservation Station at the park). On the ride, guests get the chance to see a little of the Animal Kingdom backlot, including animal holding buildings for rhinos and elephants, among other animals. It takes about seven minutes to go from Harambe railway station, Africa to Rafiki's Planet Watch and an additional five to return. The full journey is a 1.2mi round-trip.The railway is part of the fictional Eastern Star Railway, running from Lusaka to Nairobi and Kisangani.LocomotivesThere are three diesel-hydraulic, steam outline locomotives, built by Severn Lamb of Stratford-upon-Avon, United Kingdom in 1997 before the park's opening the following year. Two are colored a reddish brown, while the third is colored green. The two red-brown locomotives have a G-pitched whistle, while the green locomotive has a very high B-to-F#-pitched whistle. They have a wheel configuration of 2-4-2 and are based on John Aspinall's 2-4-2T engines built for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway of England in 1898 at Horwich locomotive works, Lancashire. However, the builder's plates of the locomotives tell a different story, saying that the engines were built in 1926 by Beyer Peacock of Gorton Foundry, Manchester. Their numbers are 02594, 04982 and 00174, the former also being named, R. Baba Harpoor, in honour of Imagineer Bob Harpur.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is an African-themed deluxe resort at the Walt Disney World Resort. It opened on April 16, 2001. The resort is owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge is located in the Animal Kingdom Resort Area, adjacent to Disney's Animal Kingdom. It gives guests the opportunity to view grazing wildlife outside their rooms and public areas in the resort within proximity of the animals, conveying the feeling of being in an African savanna.HistoryThis hotel was designed by Denver architect Peter Dominick of Urban Design Group, who also designed Disney's Wilderness Lodge and Disney's Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.On October 11, 2006, Disney announced to local media that Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge would become home to the newest Disney Vacation Club property, Disney's Animal Kingdom Villas. On February 18, 2008, Disney announced the first phase of this expansion was complete, and included 109 rooms.A separate building named Kidani Village was built to the west of the lodge and houses more than 300 villas. The Sunset Savanna was extended to the new structure and more species of animals were introduced. A new pool was built and features water slides and an aquatic playground. Kidani Village opened 65% of its rooms on May 1, 2009. At that time, the main lodge building was renamed Jambo House. The remainder of Kidani Village was completed in September 2009.