When it comes to variety in the Walt Disney parks, there is really nothing like the Animal Kingdom—and it’s all thanks to nature’s own inherent variety. Here are fifteen experiences that you must seek out in Disney’s ever-amazing Animal Kingdom to be both educated and thrilled!
15) Meet Tarzan. Since Tarzan’s wonderful show was replaced by Finding Nemo: The Musical, this character Meet n’ Greet is particularly special. Keep an eye out for him on the Discovery Island Trails!
14) Meet Pocahontas. There are few Disney princesses who exude such passion for nature’s amazing beauty–and who have an Oscar-winning song about it! Head over to the Character Landing to meet this inspiring heroine (no matter how old you are).
13) Find DeVine. Seeing DeVine can be a bit tricky—which is the point! Her stilts, stealth, and leafy outfit all make this character one of the more elusive finds. However, when it comes to a direct symbol of nature’s power, there’s no one better to meet.
12) Winged Encounters: The Kingdom Takes Flight. Speaking of elusive: this phenomenon requires you to be on the alert, in advance. A group of glorious macaws will fly from the legendary Tree of Life at an ‘unscheduled’ time, and if you’re on the lookout, you just might see it!
11) The Festival of The Lion King. This interactive show is always a crowd-pleaser–and why not? Everyone loves The Lion King, and this show’s fantastic cast has the costumes, location, and acrobatics to do the musical justice!
10) Expedition Everest: Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. Rides like this one are often visitors’ favorites, and understandably so. With an astonishingly authentic mountaineers’ building, a yeti, and a thrilling mountaintop view, this roller coaster is a must for everyone! And yes, that includes at night.
9) DINOSAUR. Get ready for a fast-paced and bumpy ride through dino-filled time as you search for an Iguanadon from Disney’s epic film! With intense turns and some surprise attacks from unfriendly dinosaurs, this ride is sure to make you jump.
8) Kali River Rapids. The Animal Kingdom provides more shade than other parks, but it can still be hot–and that’s where a water ride comes in! This ride combines drops, spins, and splashes to make one very fun–and very wet—trip for everyone!
7) The Oasis Exhibits. Each exhibit in the Animal Kingdom has different wildlife, so every exhibit is a must-see! These quiet exhibits are near the park entrance and feature some particularly unique creatures, including a Giant Anteater.
6) Habitat Habit! This nature exhibit can be reached with the Wildlife Express Train—a fun ride in and of itself—and has even more special creatures, like the “cotton-top tamarins”. This trail is an excellent way to teach children about the environment’s importance, and also serves as a great segue to the interactive behind-the-scenes space called Rafiki’s Planet Watch!
5) The Discovery Island Trails. Like all of the Animal Kingdom’s trails, this path has some intriguing wildlife for visitors to see! These trails allow you to explore the Tree of Life’s neighborhood, while admiring interesting species like the “African Crested Porcupine” and the “Asian Small-Clawed Otter”.
4) The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail. As this trail’s name might suggest, it is home to some of the world’s most spectacular animals (and Tarzan’s family members): gorillas! These creatures are impressive in and of themselves, but they are not the only ones on this trail. Make some time to observe the meerkats’ delightful behavior as they carry out their daily activities!
3) The Maharajah Jungle Trek. Each animal trail in the Animal Kingdom has some of its own wonderful attributes, but the architecture on this peaceful trail really stands out. These ancient ruins are vibrant, mysterious, and mesmerizing; the tigers, birds, and bats certainly add to this trail’s quiet mystique, too!
2) Flights of Wonder. Not enough people appreciate birds these days, and this show proves that our flight-enabled friends deserve some more love! Your entire family will enjoy this interactive and educational experience, where knowledgeable Cast Members introduce many different birds, of very different sizes—some of whom might fly into the crowd! This show manages to be funny, interesting, and awe-inspiring all at once, making it a must for every Disney-goer and/or bird-lover.
1). Kilimanjaro Safaris. The Animal Kingdom’s safari is always enjoyable—and why shouldn’t it be? Disney has managed to create a completely authentic savannah without inhibiting the animals or altering their natural behavior. Where else can you see lions, giraffes, and okapis in their own environment, short of going to Africa yourself? Make sure you go on this safari at least once, in the morning or at night—but try to go during both times, and watch for changes in these amazing animals’ behavior!
This park appeals to everyone, because it is about nature: the natural world has a universal capability to both impress and inspire people. By revealing the world’s stunning creatures to visitors, Disney can demonstrate the importance of conservation to everyone! And, with some new evening shows and attractions on the way (such as Rivers of Light), the list of this Kingdom’s highlights only keeps growing.
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