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8 Things You May Be Missing In Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

If you’re looking for exciting attractions, upbeat entertainment, delicious restaurants, and, of course, incredible animal viewing, Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is the park for you. If you’re concentrating on the headliner attractions and trying to fit in some of the shows and character meet-and-greets, it’s easy to miss parts of the Animal Kingdom that are truly great as well. On your next visit, make a point to check out these things and experience what makes this park so wonderful.

8. Dawa Bar

Harambe Village is a bustling section of Africa in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But often overlooked is the Dawa Bar, tucked away by the Tusker House. This open-air spot offers shady seats and refreshing drinks like African beers and wines, African-inspired cocktails, and margaritas. It’s a perfect spot to relax and cool off while listening to the music out in the streets of Harambe.

7. Harambe Market

A fairly new addition to Africa, this counter-service restaurant offers four windows that serve a variety of African menu items, as well as snacks and drinks. There is a good amount of covered seating adjacent to the serving windows, and it’s fun to check out the details that make up this new place, like the advertising on the walls. The Disney Dining Plan is accepted here.

6. Enjoy the Oasis

To many, the Oasis area serves as a gateway to the attractions in Africa, Asia, and beyond, but this lush area is perfect for strolling through at a slower pace and appreciating the true intent of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The paths reveal animal habitats at each twist and turn as you meander past ponds and tropical vegetation.

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5. The Boneyard

Located in Dinoland USA, this playground for young paleontologists is a great place to run around, check out the slides and tunnels, and have fun with the dinosaur props and hidden surprises. With its soft flooring, this is a wonderful place to let your kids safely explore the area. Don’t forget to cross the bridge and check out the “dig site” that resembles a large sandbox. Kids have a blast digging in the sand for hidden bones while parents can relax under the fans.

4. Mobile Ordering

One of the best quick service spots in Animal Kingdom is Satu’li Canteen located in Pandora – The World of Avatar. Not only is the food great here, but it is the birthplace of the mobile ordering! It’s super simple to use mobile ordering. Just order and pay for your food from the MyDisneyExperience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome! Some opther Quick Service locations beside Satu’li Canteen that use mobile ordering are Flame Tree Barbecue, Pizzafari, and Restaurantosaurus.

3. Cast Member Conversations

Cast members are located near many of the animal exhibits throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including the Oasis area, the Maharajah Jungle Trek, the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, and in Rafiki’s Planet Watch. They are extremely knowledgeable, and it’s well worth the time to stop and talk to them about the animals in their area or ask questions about the park in general.

2. Dining at the Yak & Yeti

Make your next dining reservation at the Yak & Yeti, a distinctive table-service restaurant in the Asia section resembling an old traveler’s inn. The restaurant itself is a cool respite from a hot sunny day, and the décor includes authentic artifacts and artwork from the Himalayan regions. The menu includes Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai selections and is open for both lunch and dinner.

1. Nighttime Entertainment

Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom has introduced new attractions in the evening hours, effectively transforming this park into a place where guests can spend the entire day. If you’re staying to experience the fun at night, you have the opportunity to enjoy an amphitheater style show called Rivers of Light where nature is celebrated in an incredibly beautiful way! The Tree of Life Awakenings is a perfect way to cap off the evening with its projections and music lighting up the iconic Animal Kingdom symbol. Finally, make a stop by Pandora – The World of Avatar before leaving to be in awe of the beautiful bioluminescent lighting that makes this land glow at night!

About Melissa Fegely

I have been a professional writer for over 18 years with degrees in Biology and English. I am a lifelong Disney fan and a Disney Vacation Club member of over nine years. Having visited Walt Disney World several times growing up, I really caught the Disney bug after many trips with my husband. Now I am happily addicted to taking our son to Walt Disney World as often as possible and watching him experience the magic and Mickey Bars as he grows up. Traveling to Walt Disney World twice a year, I enjoy attending the Flower and Garden festival held in the spring and strolling around the World Showcase, as well as exploring all of the hidden gems that all four parks have to offer. I love helping my family and friends plan their next Disney trips based on my experiences. I also enjoy reading, swimming, traveling, and cheering for the Pittsburgh Steelers. I grew up in Southwestern Pennsylvania, attended Shippensburg University, and current live in suburban Philadelphia with my husband, son, and two cats.