Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom is Disney World’s largest theme park, measuring 500 acres, focused entirely on animal conservation, pioneered by Walt Disney himself. The park is divided into 7 different themed areas: The Oasis (where you enter), Discovery Island (home to the Tree of Life), Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch (conservation minded), Asia, and Dinoland USA. Soon they will be adding a 7th area dedicated to the movie Avatar. Abundant wildlife can be found in all 6 sections and Disney’s Animal Kingdom does a great job of making the buildings in each area look native to their country. After a few visits to this park, I have complied a list of 7 epic things to do during your visit to Animal Kingdom.
- Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
- I think this is the best ride at Disney World, hands down. The rollercoaster takes you through the Himalayan Mountains in an effort to run from the Abominable Snowman, who is believed to protect the Forbidden Mountain. Part of the ride is backwards which makes it even more exhilarating. Expedition Everest is located in Asia and available to fast pass.
- The Festival of the Lion King
- This is a 30 minute Broadway style show with elaborate costumes, acrobatics, and singing along to the movie’s iconic songs. The air conditioned stadium allows all audience members to have a perfect view of the show, regardless of where they are sitting. Each section of the theater will be lead to act like an animal from The Lion King. The Festival of the Lion King can be found in Africa. On your way out of the theater be sure to check out the tam-tam drummers of Haramabe and the Chakranadi or enjoy a snack from the Harambe Market.
- It’s Tough To Be a Bug
- Located in the Tree of Life, this 3D show is narrated by A Bug’s Life‘s Flik. He makes viewers honorary bugs as they see the world though a bug’s point of view, complete with smells, creepy crawlies, and virtual reality. Some of the special effects may be scary to young children, so make sure they are prepared should you take them to this show. Audience members leave realizing that insects are actually our friends and our world would be much different without them.
- Kilimanjaro Safari
- The Kilimanjaro Safari is worth the price of admission into the park. Guests catch a ride on an elaborately decorated open-air vehicle and tour Animal Kingdom’s African savanna in the fictional African town of Harambe. Some animals you may encounter are lions, elephants, tigers, zebras, rhinoceros, sharks, sea turtles, and giraffes. If you are video taping any part of your day at Animal Kingdom, this is the time to do it. Since this attraction is incredibly popular, I recommend getting here when the park opens; but if not, the line moves relatively quickly.
- Character Greetings
- Dinoland, USA
- Play boardwalk style games, learn about dinosaurs, and explore Dinoland. Rides such as DINOSAUR, Tricera Top Spin, and Primeval Whirl along with Finding Nemo the Musical can all be found here.
- Kali River Rapids
- Passengers will board a 12 passenger raft for this thrilling adventure found in Asia. You will be guided up 90 feet and then descend the mountain in a whitewater fashion. The raft will continue to guide you through thick jungle landscape until you make it to the end. People exiting this ride were soaked head to toe and even though I wore a poncho, I still found myself drenched. Kali River Rapids is perfect for a hot Florida day.
Make plans to come to the park early as the lines are less crowded and you have a better chance of seeing all the animals. For a nice snack, visit the counter service at Harambe Market in Africa. If you need help with your packing list for the park, please see click here .I hope this list of 7 epic things helps you have a wonderful day visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Photo Gallery:
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Written by my daughter, Taylor Pittman