Welcome to your guide on Disney World’s youngest theme park, Animal Kingdom. Like it’s name suggest it’s a mix of animal and amusment here at the park. However, the park is far from just a zoo! They famously dubbed the slogan “natazoo” when Animal Kingdom opened so people weren’t just expecting animal exhibits when they visited the park.
Overview of the Animal Kingdom
This park’s popularity has spiked ever since the opening of Pandora the World of Avatar back in 2017. We all expected that once Star Wars Land opened in Hollywood Studios that the crowds would quiet down over here. However, that has been far from the case for Animal Kingdom. Flight of Passage on most days holds the title of ride with the longest lines at Disney World.
My husband and I love this park for he mix of attractions, shows and animal exhibits. The safari is so different you could ride it all day and never get the same show twice! No matter what ages your party consists of I am willing to bet that the Festival of the Lion King will be a win for everyone. Then you have great thrill rides like Flight of Passage and Expedition Everest to keep the older kids entertained.
Best Fastpass Picks for Aniaml Kingdom
As always we recommend that you book your Fastpasses in advance of your trip to Disney World. If you are staying at a Disney World Resort this is 60 days prior to your arrival and 30 days in advanced for everyone else.
Picks for Families without Height Restrictions
Avatar Flight of Passage – This brand new ride, is unlike anything I have ever experienced before! While a simulator, it certainly isn’t your standard one. Feel what it is like to venture into the world of Pandora, with sights, sounds and even touch!
Expedition Everest – Another popular roller coaster! Until the World of Pandora opened at Animal Kingdom this was the only big thrill ride at the park. So naturally, the lines here stay steady as people venture on an expedition through the Himalayas, but watch out for the Yeti!
Kilimanjaro Safaris – I love doing this ride multiple times during a trip. Because it’s real animals you are seeing out on safari the experience is different every time you ride. Also, keep in mind that there are two different experiences here, there is the normal daytime ride that has been there since the attraction opened and the newly release nighttime safari which is slightly shorter but features different animals.
Picks for Families with Height Restrictions
Kilimanjaro Safaris – You can basically read what I wrote above! It’s such a great ride I had to mention it for both groups.
Na’vi River Journey – This new attraction has insane lines, especially with the hoard of crowds that head to Pandora first thing in the morning.
Rivers of Light – This nighttime show is popular and a must see if you haven’t already.
Arriving at the Animal Kingdom
If you are staying at a Disney World Resort you will have to take a bus to get over to Animal Kingdom. This is really your only way to access this park. Even when you stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge it’s really not convientent to walk to this theme park.
Want something faster than a Disney Bus? You as always have options to take a Minnie Van, Taxi or Uber/Lyft.
Dining at Animal Kingdom
Over the years we have been surprised we haven’t seen more food options pop up here at Animal Kingdom. Here you have the choice between just four sit down restaurant options and a sampling of quick service spot around the park. The cuisine served here is a mix of American, African, and Asian.
Our favorite spot to eat at this park is pictured above, Satuli Canteen in Pandora. If you are looking for some character dining you will want to check out Tusker House.
For our full breakdown on all the dining locations at Animal Kingdom read our guide here.
Characters to Meet at Animal Kingdom
Here is the complete list of characer at Animal Kingdom and where you can find them in the park.
- Chip and Dale, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Daisy, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Dug, Discovery Island, Near It’s Tough to Be a Bug
- Devine, park entrance and pathways between lands
- Donald, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Goofy, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Kevin, Discovery Island, Near It’s Tough to Be a Bug and wanders all the way to UP! Show in Asia
- LaunchPad McQuack, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Meeko, Discovery Island
- Mickey Mouse, Discovery Island, Adventurers Outpost
- Minnie Mouse, Discovery Island, Adventurers Outpost
- Pluto, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
- Pocahontas, Discovery Island
- Russell, Discovery Island, Near It’s Tough to Be a Bug
- Scrooge McDuck, Dinoland USA for Donald’s Dino-Bash
Rides at Animal Kingdom
Tours at Animal Kingdom
There are a few tours on the Disney roaster that happen just at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Here is a look at the current tour lineup for this park.
This tour lets you get up close and personal with the elephants that call Animal Kingdom home. During this 60-minute experience, you’ll meet with dedicated animal specialists who provide for the care and wellness of our African elephant herd. Get a glimpse into their day-to-day responsibilities as they provide fascinating facts about the elephants. Another plus this is a kid approved tour you just need to be 4 years of age or older to go. For the price ($30) and experience, this is a definite must do in my book! You can read our full tour experience here.
This tour takes you backstage to see a side of Kilimanjaro Safaris you have never experienced before. It’s great for those who have any interest in how Cast Members take care of the animals. It also is very informative for any animal lovers or those who have interest in getting into the field. Throughout the tour, you encounter actual animal caretakers who have daily interactions with these animals.