The Kilimanjaro Safaris attraction at Disney's Animal Kingdom is to undergo some major changes, which will include the removal of the animatronic "Little Red" elephant.
Plans to update the ride were revealed via the Disney Parks Blog, which confirmed that the scene containing Little Red will be removed to make room for more live animals. This will inevitably mean changes to the ride's plot, which is currently based around chasing poachers. The refurbishment is expected to be completed by fall 2012, with Kilimanjaro Safaris remaining operational throughout.
Zebras are expected to populate the expanded savannah area on the ride, with a new watering hole being added close to the route that riders' vehicles follow. While the plot will be changed, it is still expected to be based around conservation.
Kilimanjaro Safaris has been among the most popular attractions at Disney's Animal Kingdom since the park opened in 1998. It is set in a vast 100-acre savannah at the rear of the park, which houses an array of animal species including giraffes, cheetahs, zebras, rhinos and elephants. Some of the animals are separated by fences which are carefully concealed from guests.