10 Sensational Experiences You Must Have At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Pandora World of Avatar
Credit: World of Disney

Out of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, there is only on that takes guests into the beauty of nature and the world around them in a celebration of the environment and planet Earth. Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes guests across the globe to continents like Africa and Asia and back in time to the era of the dinosaurs. With so many amazing things to see and do in the park, guests might have trouble selecting what experiences they must have and which ones they can pass over. Here are ten sensational experiences that guests can’t miss on a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


10. Kilimanjaro Safaris

This flagship attraction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom takes guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week safari through the forest and African savannah. Guests are treated to up close encounters with beautiful animals like giraffes, lions, zebras, and ostriches. This sensational experience offers up not only animal encounters but sweeping views of the savannah and amazing photo opportunities. Guests who experience the attraction in the early morning are likely to see more animals out and about as the temperature tends to be cooler and breakfast is generally being served.

9. Festival of the Lion King

This is one of the most amazing live shows throughout Walt Disney World and it features characters and music from the classic animated film The Lion King. The show is performed by actors, singers, acrobats, fire dancers, and aerial ballerinas making it a sensational experience that simply can’t be missed on a day in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The show only occurs several times throughout each day, so guests should be sure to consult a times guide for show times when entering the park.

8. Pandora – The World of Avatar

Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest land in the Animal Kingdom theme park. Besides the floating mountains and cascading waterfalls, you will find two extremely popular attractions known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey mentioned below. Outside of these two attractions, the land is almost like an attraction itself with stunning beauty and ability to interact with guests… especially as it glows at night with glowing walkways and on the unbelievable glowing Pandoran plants.


7. Expedition Everest

This daring attraction starts out as a calm tea train tour but soon turns thrilling as guests plunge deep into the forbidden mountain and find themselves face to face with the fabled Yeti. Frantically trying to escape the mountain, the tea train reaches high speeds, experiences a huge drop, and even plunges through the darkness backwards at one point. Guests love facing off with the Yeti and are always looking to return to the mountain for another adventure!

6. Dinosaur

This attraction takes guests into the fictional Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time and tour the era of the dinosaurs has been made possible. Thanks to a sneaky scientist, guests end up on a mission to bring back one particular dinosaur to present day but cut it pretty close to the massive asteroid impact. With lots of twists and turns and plenty of dark scenes with scary dinosaurs, this attraction is a sensational thrill in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

5. Tree of Life Awakenings

The perfect way to cap off the night is with the Tree of Life Awakenings. While fireworks are too loud for the animals, Disney Imagineers had the great idea to use lighting projections on the Tree of Life to turn it into a centerpiece of colorful design and show. After the sun sets, fireflies begin to appear on the Tree of Life approximately every 10 minutes. These fireflies begin awakening of the Tree of Life which turns into a brief but gorgeous presentation worth stopping for. But wait… there is more than one show so don’t think because you’ve seen one show you’ve seen it all!

4. Finding Nemo

The Musical – This larger than life stage show is housed in a massive indoor theater and tells the story of the classic Pixar film Finding Nemo. Featuring puppets, musical numbers, special effects, and the original song “Big Blue World” the performance is one that kids and adults will equally love. Like the Festival of the Lion King, this sensational experience only runs several times each day so guests should consult a times guide at the front of the park for show times.

3. Na’vi River Journey

Na’vi River Journey is one of the two incredible attractions that is now open in the new Pandora – The World of Avatar area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Climb aboard a small boat and feel the slow river push you along. The space around you glows as if bioluminescent lighting has struck the rainforest with beauty! The sights and sounds appeal to the senses as you drift down river. Pass caves, exotic plants, and interesting animals to reach a very important member of the Na’vi tribe. This is one family friendly journey down river not to miss!

2. Rivers of Light

Embrace yourself for the celebration of nature with the newest nighttime show at Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light. This 15-minute show is held in an amphitheater next to Expedition Everest and boasts dramatic storytelling and animal folklore through beautiful floats, inspiring music, impressive water screens, and all the latest technology and special effects. Truly a celebration of nature’s beauty!

1. Avatar Flight of Passage

Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the two attractions located in the new Pandora – The World of Avatar area within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Prepare to straddle what feels somewhat like one of those motorcycles at an arcade, be secured in, and then using 3D screen technology, awesome 4D effects, and motion simulation – feel like you are literally flying on the back of a mountain banshee in the most exhilarating way. Your banshee (somewhat like a flying dragon) will soar through the sky as it takes you on the ride of a lifetime through Pandora – The World of Avatar.

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane first started visiting Walt Disney World when she was two years old, and despite spending most of that trip quarantined with the chicken pox she managed to fall in love with the place. Visiting WDW every year since, she especially loves learning all about the history and small details of the parks and eating/drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival each fall. When she's not in Disney, Caitlin lives in New York and spends her time counting down the days to her next trip.