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Wild Africa Trek at Disney’s Animal Kingdom brought to life with ListenTALK


The ListenTALK guided tour solution adds value to a family trip to Walt Disney World, offering 2-way communication in a simple to use format.

by Keldon Paxman, Listen Technologies

The Paxman household loves mountain adventures; the men enjoy the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the women enjoy the peaks of the Disney theme parks.  To provide balance to these various adventures, I took my wife to Walt Disney World on a two-week date, before the pandemic.

During this trip, we enjoyed the backstage tours we participated in. It was great to learn about the Disney theme park vision from Walt Disney’s view.

Guided tours with ListenTALK

ListenTALK disney setupOne specific tour we participated in was the Wild Africa Trek, in Animal Kingdom. This included a guided tour, where ListenTALK was used to provide detailed communication to the tour participants. During the experience, we navigated behind the scenes of the Animal Kingdom live animal exhibits, safari and animal hospital. We even had the chance to walk the rope bridge above the safaris crocodile pit and other landscape features!

I used an LK-1 Transceiver and Neckloop to direct connect audio from the tour guide’s ListenTALK unit to my hearing aids, and the setup was easy and seamless.

Audio quality was great throughout, even when the tour guide was several yards away.  The main tour guide was also able to seamlessly hand control of the conversation to biologists stationed along the walking tour route. This added additional colour to the tour as we learned from the experts about the animals and their environment.

These types of adventures are bucket list items for the Paxman clan, and indeed for any Disney fan. Plus, it was great to be able to take advantage of Listen Technologies’ products in the field.

Easy communication

ListenTALK was launched in 2017 and is now in use at many different attractions. It offers 2-way communication in a simple to use format, broadcasting on a secure transmission for a reliable guided tour solution. By using ListenTALK, attractions operators can improve the guest experience and provide a better way for visitors to engage.

On our trip, ListenTALK provided hands-free communication between guides and guests during the walking and riding tour of the attraction, which lasted several hours.

hippos wild africa trek disneyworld ListenTALK
Since it was fall, we were able to feed pumpkins to the hippos. Basketball size pumpkins were a one gulp treat for these two. The biologist leader on the tour presented using ListenTALK for 20 minutes regarding the life and times of these great animals.

At the start of the tour, we were connected to the products. At this stage, guides completed audio checks and paired units. Participants used ListenTALK LK-1’s and Listen’s LA-164 Ear Speakers to hear tour guides during the experience.

Set up was easy. ListenTALK features include near-field pairing, which means it takes a fraction of a second to connect members of a tour group to each other. Throughout the experience, the sound quality was exceptional, even in a noisy outdoor environment.

Health and safety is paramount

Rope Walk wild africa trek disneyworld
Part of rope skywalk. We used this bridge, and others like it, to connect to parts of Animal Kingdom. Tour guides, using ListenTALK, made sure we minded their safety instructions.

Disney provides all types of accessories to outfit patrons for their needs based on their comfort. For safety reasons, we all wore modified rappelling vests for this experience. This way the tour guides could strap us in, to keep safe distances from danger. For instance, to prevent us from falling into the hippo pool or alligator pond!

Speaking of health and safety, solutions such as ListenTALK will be increasingly helpful as attractions adapt to social distancing in the wake of the pandemic. Using ListenTALK wireless products allow patrons to keep a safe distance from each other.

All in all, a great tour was had by all participants and ListenTALK added a lot of value as a communication tool in that open environment.

Images courtesy of the author, unless otherwise stated.

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Keldon Paxman Listen Technologies

Keldon Paxman

Keldon Paxman is Listen Technologies’ Chief Financial Officer. He is one of the company's founders and has worked at Listen Technologies since its inception in 1998.

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