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Why You Shouldn’t Skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the most recent Disney Park to join Walt Disney World. Opening in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom combined education and entertainment once again. As Guests continue to plan their Walt Disney World trips, Disney’s Animal Kingdom tends to be the Disney Park that is often left out.

We all know that Magic Kingdom is top of the list, quickly followed by Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land. Because EPCOT is so unique, many Guests often include it in their plans. Disney’s Animal Kingdom tends to be left out during short visits.

Many Guests assume that Disney’s Animal Kingdom is just a large zoo; however, this is far from the truth. We will share why this amazing Disney Park should be on your must-do list when heading to Walt Disney World.

Tree of Life
Credit: V Mills

Tree of Life

Our first reason why you will want to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom is because of the Tree of Life. This magnificent icon is genuinely breathtaking. Standing 145 feet tall, this structure features hundreds of amazing animals etched into it. From a lion and elephant to tiny ants, the detail and beauty of the Tree of Life shouldn’t be missed.

Take time during your visit to explore the trails that take you around the Tree of Life. This will allow you to see the tree from a variety of angles. We also love the hidden, quiet areas around this area. It makes a great place to grab a snack and relax.

Expedition Everest Temple, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: D23

Slower Pace

Another reason we love Disney’s Animal Kingdom is because we can take it at a slower pace. This Park is set up to explore. We like that we can slow down with many different trails and areas to discover. We don’t feel the need to rush from ride to ride here. 

The lovely, lush greenery welcomes us to enjoy slow relaxing. We love having a drink on the patio at Nomad Lounge. This is a great place to escape the crowds and get lost in the beauty of the Park. Have some snacks and pleasant, refreshing drinks here.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is perfect for slowing down and experiencing the beauty of the Park.

Festival Of The Lion King
Photo Credit: Disney

All the Shows

Disney’s Animal Kingdom features two of the best live performances in all of Walt Disney World. Festival of the Lion King features a combination of outstanding singers, dancers, acrobats, and stunning costumes taken right off Broadway. This show is unbelievable and hard to think it takes place daily inside a Disney Park.

The other show is Finding Nemo, The Big Blue and Beyond. Newly updated, this show tells the story of Nemo, Dory, and all their sea friends. The beautiful set and beloved songs bring this story to life with larger-than-life puppets. Each time we see this show, we are amazed by the talent of the performers and the beauty of the set and puppets.

Those are the two main shows at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but Guests can enjoy so many other live performers around Africa, Pandora, Asia, and Discovery Island. The live music brings excitement to this Park, which is so much fun for everyone.

Disney Thrills Everest
Credit: DisneyParks


Even though there aren’t a ton of rides in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the ones that are are high-thrill and highly entertaining. Expedition Everest is one of the most intense roller coaster at Walt Disney World. With a backward section, a significant drop, and extreme darkness, it is a coaster that has it all.

Dinosaur is overall terrifying for many. The combination of a jerky ride system, darkness, and dinosaurs around every corner isn’t for the faint of heart.

Finally, Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World. This simulator ride is like nothing we have experienced anywhere else. We love the smells, sights, and sounds that transform us into Pandora.

Tusker House, Disney's Animal Kingdom
Credit: Disney


Disney’s Animal Kingdom has some of the best dining options if all of Walt Disney World. This is where you want to eat if you are looking for good, fresh opportunities. Sat’uli Canteen is extremely popular as Guests love the new bowls they can make. These are full of protein and tons of flavor. 

Flame Tree Barbecue is also a top option for those wanting a quick meal. Here you can get a variety of meats with delicious barbecue. We even love the fries and pull pork.

Are you looking for a signature dining experience? You can find one in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Tiffins is a fantastic high-end meal that serves a variety of top entrees you will be impressed to see in a Theme Park.

You can also find a fun character dining experience in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Meet Donald and his friends in their safari outfits at Tusker House. A buffet dining experience, Guests can try various dishes inspired by African flavors.

The dining options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom are top-notch. Many veterans head back to this Disney Park for the food alone.

Related: Best Snacks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Watching Animals on Safari
Watching Animals on Safari


Finally, we love visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom because of all the animals that make it home. Nowhere else can we go on an authentic safari? Kilimanjaro Safari allows us to get close to unique animals such as giraffes, zebras, and many more.

We also enjoy walking the trails that bring us closer to the animals. Gorilla Falls is a beautiful experience that allows us to watch the fantastic gorillas that make this Disney Park their home. We also have fun seeing the tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.

These unique areas make Disney’s Animal Kingdom different from other zoos.

These are just some reasons you want to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom during your next Walt Disney World vacation. 

Related: Hidden Details in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Related: How to Spend the Whole Day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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