In 2017, I had surgery on my back. I already had a short trip with friends planned for September that same year and my doctor cleared me before then to still go on the trip as long as I avoided certain rides. The main ones I was worried about were Space Mountain, which I had already stopped riding this a few trips back when I was first having back issues, and Dinosaur. I decided to steer clear of Test Track for that trip, but ended up riding Rock ‘N’ Roller Coaster which ended up being ok.
During all of my caution, I never even considered that I shouldn’t go on Kilimanjaro Safaris. I’d been on that so many times before and never had any issues with bouncing around or any jerky motion. Sure, there’s a warning sign that tells guests to be in good health, not have back or neck problems, yada…yada…yada, but I must have felt that was just to cover themselves in case someone got hurt on this. Other rides that have the same sign have been fine for me and my back, so I didn’t even think about this being something to avoid.
I don’t really remember if I’d never been in the very last row of the safari truck before, but this time, my friends and I were seated on the very last row of the truck. Less than a minute in, I was bouncing around and tilting side to side, almost in the same way as I do when I’m on Dinosaur. I silently started to panic!
I had been taking video during this trip for my YouTube channel and so I had already started recording again as the safari began. Looking back at the video from this trip, I only got seven seconds into recording before I made mention of how the driver must have been trying to eject me from the truck with all the bumpy motion. I actually stopped recording and concentrated on making sure I wasn’t going to hurt my back during this safari ride. It ended up smoothing out at a couple of points in the ride, but I remember that I decided to spend the rest of that day just chilling out and sitting out on any other rides that my friends decided to go on.
I haven’t been back on Kilimanjaro Safaris since 2017, but mostly because whether it was with my sons or my friends, we ended up deciding as a group that we were going to skip it on that trip. My back is better than it was back then, but I still take precautions, so if we decide to ride this again, I’ll make sure not to be in the back rows.
The moral of the story is that I take the warning signs for this and a few other rides a little more seriously now as far as my back goes, but for anyone who has never been on Kilimanjaro Safaris, just know that you can get jostled around a lot more than you might think. °O°