I know many people still skip Animal Kingdom, or use it as a half day park, BUT Disney is continuing to expand this park and it is becoming closer to a full day adventure. Personally, if you paid for the tickets you might as well enjoy the full experience. Not everything in Animal Kingdom is ride affiliated, but there are plenty of other great experiences available!
Using the easy WDW map for planning we get this:
Just as last time with the Magic Kingdom map, we have red attractions within the first hour (or with a fast pass at a later time)
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- Expedition Everest
Yellow attractions should be done within the first or last two hours the park is open (or use a fastpass).
- Kali River Rapids (do this early if it’s hot, otherwise save for later)
- Dinosaur (dark and can be scary for small children)
- Finding Nemo the Musical (running time is 40min)
- Adventurers Outpost (Meet and greet with Minnie and Mickey)
- Primeval Whirl
Now we are onto the “anytime” attractions!
- Festival of the Lion King
- Tree of Life – It’s Tough to be a Bug
- The Boneyard
- Wilderness Explorers
- Flights of Wonder
- Jungle Trek
- Forest Trail
- Express Train
- Conservation Station
- Habitat Habit
- Affection Section
Because so many people bypass this awesome park, I’d like to explain each attraction a little more in detail than I did with the Magic Kingdom. Especially because a lot of these attractions are more interactive.
Festival of the Lion King
This is basically a 30 minute broadway show of the Lion King. There are songs from the movie, and there are points where you are asked to make animal noises. It’s fun for the whole family!
It’s Tough to be a Bug
This was my favorite part about Animal Kingdom the last time I went. It’s a 3D film and live show about how to survive as a bug! It’s interactive, and very fun! There is the possibility that very young children may be frightened during certain parts of the show, so use your discretion!
The Boneyard is a Dinosaur inspired playground for kids. There is a dig site, maze, covered slides, and plenty of things to climb on! It’s great fun for everyone (even adults!). However, there is scheduled construction for The Boneyard set to take place in the fall sometime (if I remember correctly). Check the site here about more information for when you plan to visit!
Now this, is pretty cool for younger kids! There are over 30 badges to collect (in order to get them all you would need multiple trips to Animal Kingdom, Disney isn’t that dumb hehe). To get badges you must complete different wilderness tasks, such as checking off each animal you see, learn how to play an African drum, or help diagnose a sea turtle’s health issue! To get started, simply stop by any of the 3 Wilderness Explorers stops to receive your guide, and then go have some fun!
Flights of Wonder
This is a 25 minute bird show where you will be introduced to some astounding bird species! They will show off their talents for you, and you will learn about each bird and the current conservation efforts for that species. It’s fun and educational!
The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a self guided tour through Southeast “Asia”. You will follow the trail to various animals including tigers, water buffalo, and fruit bats. There will be “observation stations” where you can take photos of the animals, and learn more about them.
The Pangani Forest Exploration trail takes you to Africa where you will encounter some amazing animals friends including hippos and gorillas! This is also a self guided tour which allows you to learn more about the animals you see, AND how Disney is actively working to preserve their habitats.
The express train is the only way to Rafiki’s Planet Watch which includes the affection section, conservation station, and habitat habit.
The affection section is basically a petting zoo. You can big goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys, and cows. Everyone loves to love on some cute animals! Don’t worry, there are hand washing sinks for before and after touching the animals!
The conservation station promotes conservation awareness in an interactive and fun way for everyone. There are 10 areas in the conservation station including a 3D audio adventure with grandma Willow, animals encounters stage that features a rotating list of animals to meet, and a science center ! For the complete list of areas visit the conservation station website.
This is another self guided path, but this one gives tips on how to help with conservation efforts! It’s a beautiful walking path, and home to tamarin monkeys!
Animal Kingdom also has a decent list of Characters to meet:
- Baloo & King Louie
- Russel and Doug
- Goofy and Pluto
- Minnie and Mickey
- Chip and Dale
AND EXCITING NEWS! Most people were not staying in Animal Kingdom all day because there was nothing to keep them there at night, but not for long! Animal Kingdom will reveal it’s own night show! Starting April 22, 2016 there will be a nightly water light show, as well as the Tree of Life lighting up at various times! So stick around and enjoy the show!
*For more information about the Animal Kingdom visit here.
** All pictures are property of Disney and it’s affiliates.