Don’t be deceived by the name, Animal Kingdom is definitely NOT a zoo! This park is a beautifully landscaped, well laid out mixture of nature, animals, and rides. It’s my favorite park to go and just walk around, there is so much atmosphere and I also think it’s the most photogenic park. With the opening of the new land of Pandora, it transformed this park to a daytime and nighttime destination. The park is now open late, something it normally never was before! At night the tree of life comes to life, Pandora will glow and you can watch the new nighttime show Rivers of Light. The following is my list of Animal Kingdom must dos.
The animals will make sure that each safari is different. You never know what animals you will see on this twenty-minute adventure. One thing you may not know about this ride is that the daytime safari and nighttime safari are two totally different experiences. The nighttime ride even has different animals you can catch a glimpse of. I like to always take a second ride, especially right around dusk. This is when we catch the animals at their most active points. It’s their dinner time and you will even see the lazy cats up and about walking.
Avatar Flight of Passage
Festival of the Lion King
The level of show quality here is what you find at Broadway. Everyone in your family will love the music, but the entertainers that perform live in this show make it extra special. Throughout the performance, you will see someone dance with fire plus incredible acrobatics and dance. It’s hard to explain this show based on the movie the Lion King. It’s a little bit parade and a little bit circus.
We recommend stopping in for the show at a time before 11 am or wait until after 3 pm. Of course, you can always Fastpass this show but there are so many showtimes throughout the day we think you will be fine using your Fastpass on a ride instead.
This is another ride that must be experienced multiple times. This rollercoaster goes both forward and back! Don’t forget to see the Yeti just before the end of the ride. Oh, and be sure to smile, there is a photo opt for this ride as you go down the big drop. If not everyone wants to ride, there is a single rider line to the right of the entrance, which usually moves fast.
Finding Nemo: The Musical
In the big blue world, there is so much to see and explore! This retelling of Finding Nemo is at a Broadway level performance and is one not to miss when visiting the Animal Kingdom. The show is elaborate and full of details, each character in Finding Nemo is actually represented as a puppet. These puppets are not your ordinary puppets, they are as giant as a tall person and sometimes even triple that!
The show is around thirty minutes long and we think it’s best to get there 30 minutes before the show so you can get a good spot. Alternatively, you could grab yourself a Fastpass, but it’s not really necessary for this show.
Na’vi River Journey
Maharajah Jungle Trek
The extra walking on this animal trail is well worth it! Disney’s Animal Kingdom recently welcomed two new baby tigers and they are a joy to watch. There is also a bat viewing area and an aviary to walk through. The whole adventure is set in an Asian setting, complete with ruins and up-close animal encounters. Inside the aviary, there is nothing blocking you from the birds. They are used to humans so you can get a real up-close encounter with many of them as well.
If you want to see the animals when they are most active swing by this trail early in the morning or around dusk (dinner time). This is when you’re more likely to see the Tigers, Antelopes, Bats and other creatures more active.
If you like to shake, rattle and roll – don’t miss dinosaur. I will warn you though if you have small ones that don’t like the dark and loud noises, skip this ride. This fast-paced ride will let you see many large dinosaurs as you race the asteroid shower to find the Iguana.
What are your favorite things to explore when you spend the day at the Animal Kingdom? Share in the comments below your Animal Kingdom must dos. We love the diversity of options at the Animal Kingdom, you have roller coasters, shows, trails, a safari and a whole new planet to explore now!
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!
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