Anyone who knows me knows I am obsessed with animals. I can’t see a dog in public without pointing it out and can’t be near a cat without petting it, even though I’m allergic. When it came time to pick park tickets for our Disney trip, Animal Kingdom was a no brainer. Growing up, like I mentioned in my post about the Magic Kingdom (tips for visiting Disney as an adult) I went to Disney World a lot as a child. But we never went anywhere outside of the Magic Kingdom! I had no idea there was a whole world of animals to be discovered, but I’m sure glad I now know.
The whole experience of Animal Kingdom transports you into a whole new world. There are three major areas of the Animal Kingdom, Dinoland, Asia and Africa. The parks don’t feel as massive as the others, but there’s still a ton to do. Here are what I think some things not to miss in Animal Kingdom.
Things Not To Miss in Animal Kingdom
The safari is a truly amazing experience. It’s treated exactly like a typical Disney ride – you can FastPass the experience (I recommend) – or you can wait in line. On the safari you’ll see elephants, rhinos, giraffes, lions, zebras, alligators and countless other animals. Animals are walking around freely in their habitats and we even had a zebra walking right next to our caravan for a little. This is an amazing experience that should not be missed.
There are a ton of great rides throughout Disney World for the thrill-seeker, but DINOSAUR has to be one of the best there is. While it’s not particularly fast, nor are there drops and loops, instead you’re on a dark chase to find a rare dinosaur. Your cart explores pre-historic times as you race the clock to make it back to the present before a meteor hits the earth. The ride is an absolute must and another great option for your FastPass, as this ride can also have an hours-long wait.
Festival of the Lion King
Oh my goodness, where to even start with this one! I really love all the parades and shows at Disney World, but this one has to be my favorite. This is another amazing experience that is hands down one of the best things to do in Animal Kingdom. During the show, you’ll be taken along for a fun journey celebrating the Lion King with Timon, Pumba, Rafaki and a ton of marvelously talented singers and dancers. You’ll hear a fun take on all the classics like Can You Feel The Love Tonight, I Just Can’t Wait to Be King and Hakuna Matata. (Note: The picture above isn’t a picture from the Festival of the Lion King. (Though, it was a fun little show in the streets of Harambe) I only took videos – if you want to see a clip from the show head to 1:19 in the video above).
This is another ride that typically makes the top lists of the most thrilling rides. Expedition Everest is a must. I love a good rollercoaster, but living close to two amusement parks at home, when I’m at Disney I’m looking more for an experience than just a ride that flips me around. Waiting in line for the ride is an experience in and of itself (other than sweating to death in the Florida heat). You’re walking through what feels like a very real museum of the yeti – filled with tales of sightings and artifacts. When you get on the ride, they really make it more than just a rollercoaster. I don’t want to give anything away to anyone going for the first time, but it really is an experience not to miss in Animal Kingdom!
Flights Of Wonder
What a fun show! This experience is really helpful for when you get tired throughout the day and need a break from walking around. The instructors give a live demonstration with a ton of flying friends like hawks, falcons, and Amazon parrots. They do a ton of tricks, like singing Old McDonald and hiding different objects around the stage. They even fly throughout the crowd a few times. The show is a little less than a half hour and there are several shows throughout the day. Be sure to look up the times so you don’t miss out and you definitely want to raise your hand to volunteer if they ask – trust me!
Tree of Life Awakenings
We were walking past the tree just after dark trying to figure out what everyone was standing around for. We were lingering around wondering if something was going to happen and were just about to call it quits when the Tree of Life Awakenings happened. Now, I’m one of those people who just cannot handle overwhelming cuteness or happy things. This little light show on the tree was so incredibly cute I had to hold back tears. This show happens about every 10 minutes, so as you can imagine its pretty short – but well worth it! The Tree of Life is the cornerstone of this park, which is why this easily makes the list of things not to miss in Animal Kingdom.
Have you ever been to Animal Kingdom? What would you add to the list?