9 things at animal kingdom
While the other theme parks at Walt Disney World are filled with rides, Animal Kingdom is filled with…well, animals! At what’s essentially a Disney-themed zoo with rides, you’ll find opportunities to interact with animals at every corner.
You’ll also find rides, learn about animal conservation, and have a chance to partake in unique activities. If you love animals, you need to spend time at Animal Kingdom!
Unlike your local zoo, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is huge. With so much to see and do here, it can be hard to know where to start. These are some of the park’s must-see attractions, which include a little taste of everything Animal Kingdom has to offer.
Plan to spend a full day at the park – enough time to stop at plenty of attractions while having enough time to work through the crowds!
The Conservation Station offers guests the opportunity to learn about how Walt Disney World cares for their animals. At this presentation, you’ll get to see the veterinary clinic and watch a procedure in progress, watch meals being prepared for the animals, and see some creatures up close.
Guests of all ages are invited to see what goes on behind the scenes, whereas many zoos will never let you in on their secrets. How cool is that?!
This 3D flight simulator will take you for a ride on the back of a banshee! At this attraction based on the Avatar film, you’ll get to visit Pandora like a Na’vi hunter. The Avatar Flight of Passage is one of few true rides at Animal Kingdom, so don’t miss out on one of the park’s most exciting attractions!
Guests must be at least 44” tall to ride this flight simulator, and children under 7 years old must be supervised by someone who’s at least 14. Since this is a popular attraction, you’ll want to get a FastPass for it.
Take a traditional African safari in an open-air vehicle. On your journey, you’ll see rhinos, cheetahs, elephants, and other wild animals roaming freely. Throughout your 18-minute-long adventure, your tour guide will point out animals and give you some insight into the species you come across.
While the Kilimanjaro Safaris used to not operate at night, you can now experience them at sunset!
Due to the nature of a wild animal safari, guests with service animals are asked to check in with a cast member for boarding information. You should also expect some sudden jolts due to the reserve’s uneven terrain.
If you love The Lion King, you should meet him in person! The African Lions exhibit features the large cats in a wide, open space that’s designed to feel like a true habitat. As you take in the majestic creatures, know that Disney is committed to protecting lions both in the wild and in captivity.
The company has supported animal conservation efforts in 8 countries, reduced lion attacks in Tanzania, and launched a campaign to focus on rebuilding lion populations.
Far less intimidating than lions are the adorable meerkats at Animal Kingdom. Since Disney seeks to give these animals a habitat that’s similar to what they’d see in the wild, you can sometimes see them getting fed meat and bugs. You’ll also get to see the meerkats dig, work through puzzle feeders, and play with hollowed melons. Stop by to say “hi” to these friendly, furry friends!
Thankfully, meerkats are not considered to be at risk in the wild, so Disney doesn’t have much work to do in the way of conservation. However, the Disney Conservation Fund teaches communities in Africa about meerkats that may seek refuge in national parks.
This family-friendly ride requires some team effort to operate. Aboard the 4-person, dinosaur-themed gondolas, the front and back seats have different controls: the back seat passengers control te height, while the front passengers control the tilt. The TriceraTop spin is great for families and groups of friends who love working together!
While the TriceraTop Spin ride is suitable for most guests, children under 7 have to be with someone who’s at least 14.
Within Animal Kingdom, witness a performance that only features humans. This lively Indian dance show features music from Bollywood movies, Bhangra, and Kathak. You don’t need to be familiar with Indian dance or music to appreciate this show – you’ll love the high energy, and you’re encouraged to clap along to the beat. If your timing is right, start off your day at the park with this attraction!
This 20-minute show is appropriate for guests of all ages. You can catch it 6 times a day at Animal Kingdom, with the first show starting at 12:30pm and the last show kicking off at 6:30pm.
At the Character Landing on Discovery Island, you’ll find your favorite pair from The Lion King ready for a photo op. This character experience is simple – they can’t talk to you, but they’re happy to take a photo with you and sign your autograph book. While you can take photos with your personal camera or smartphone, you can also get professionally-taken photos with the PhotoPass Memory Maker.
You can’t visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom without greeting these adorable elephants! There are two different ways to see these big babies at the park – either on the Kilimanjaro Safaris or on a Caring for Giants tour.
The elephants have 7 acres of land to roam in their habitat, which includes pools, mud wallows, rocks, and natural plant life. They may be stuck at Disney World, but they’re very well taken care of.
If you love elephants, Caring for Giants is a great activity to add to your Animal Kingdom itinerary. You’ll get to meet with an animal specialist to talk about their job, African cultural specialists to talk about Disney’s conservation efforts, and the elephants themselves (from 80-100 feet away). You can’t get this close to the elephants anywhere else at the park!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a paradise for animal lovers, thrill seekers, and supporters of the performing arts. This park has it all, bringing you animals and entertainment with a touch of Disney magic. Don’t overlook this fun-filled theme park!