By Caitlin Corsello
Of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, the largest and most adventurous is definitely Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Celebrating the beauty of nature and teaching the importance of preserving it, the park brings guests to all corners of the world for thrilling attractions, beautiful scenery, and adventures like no other. Guests who enjoy time in the park can travel back to the time of the dinosaurs, climb to the highest peaks of the Forbidden Mountain, go on a two week African safari, and sing along to classic music from Finding Nemo and The Lion King. With so many amazing experiences to be had, guests need to decide which are must dos for them and focus on enjoying them in order to have a great day in the park. Here are ten things to see, do, explore, and eat in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
10. Kilimanjaro Safaris –
The flagship attraction of Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found in the Asia section of the park and invites guests into the Harambe Reserve for a two week African safari. Kilimanjaro Safaris is a wild adventure which brings guests up close and personal with animals like elephants, lions, giraffes, cheetahs, and zebras. Guest who want to enjoy Kilimanjaro Safaris should visit first thing in the morning when the temperatures are cooler and breakfast is being served meaning the animals are more active.
9. Kali River Rapids –
A thrilling attraction which is guaranteed to leave guests soaking wet is Kali River Rapids. Found in the Asia section of the park, the attraction invites guests to board family style rafts and take to the Chakranadi River for a thrilling adventure. Kali River Rapids showcases the devastation of illegal logging and deforestation and impresses upon guests the importance of maintaining the environment for future generations.
8. Expedition Everest –
A favorite attraction of many guests is Expedition Everest which begins as a slow tea train ride but soon veers wildly off course after guests discover that the track has been viciously torn apart. Guests soon find themselves deep in the caverns of the Forbidden Mountain and desperately trying to escape the fabled protector, the Yeti. Guests will definitely want to experience this thrilling attraction time and time again and they can do so while saving time by using the Single Rider Line or booking FastPasses.
7. Festival of the Lion King –
One of the best live performances in all of Walt Disney World can be found in the Harambe Theater in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Festival of the Lion King invites guests to relive the classic tale of The Lion King through classic songs, familiar characters, fire dancing, amazing acrobatics, and aerial ballet. Guests will find themselves singing along and loving every minute of this fantastic must see show.
6. Finding Nemo – The Musical –
Also found in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a musical show that brings to life the Pixar classic Finding Nemo through massive puppets. Finding Nemo – The Musical is housed in the Theater in the Wild and brings guests along with Nemo on his epic adventure of the oceans. Along the way guests can sing along with characters from the film and will love the amazing puppets and scenery.
5. Flame Tree Barbecue –
A great quick service location to enjoy while exploring the park can be found on Discovery Island and smelled before spotted. Flame Tree Barbecue serves up delicious traditional barbecue options like pulled pork, ribs, and barbecue chicken. Guests who order a meal at the restaurant can enjoy a patio behind the ordering counters which is situated to look across the river and offer amazing views of Expedition Everest.
4. Maharajah Jungle Trek –
A classic experience that is often underrated in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Maharajah Jungle Trek found right next door to Kali River Rapids. The self-guided walking tour brings guests deep into the royal forest of Anandapur where they can explore extravagant temple ruins and lush jungles. Guests can also stop to enjoy animals such as Asian tigers, fruit bats, and gibbons.
3. Pangani Forest Exploration Trail –
Much like the Maharajah Jungle Trek, the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is a self-guided walking tour found in Harambe near the exit of Kilimanjaro Safaris. The often secluded trail brings guests into the habitats of meerkats and wonderful gorillas. The gorillas are the main attraction of the trail and guests can enjoy watching the animals interact and play in a lush hilly area full of plant life and waterfalls.
2. It’s Tough To Be A Bug –
The icon of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life which invites guests further into the park to explore all that it has to offer. Many guests don’t realize that there is actually show nested in the roots of the tree! It’s Tough To Be A Bug invites guests to become honorary bugs and learn all about the insect world with host Flik from A Bug’s Life. Guests realize how much humans actually depend on bugs and there are a few 3D surprises along the way.
1. Yak & Yeti Restaurant –
The best place to stop and enjoy a full service meal in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Yak & Yeti Restaurant in the Asia section of the park. The restaurant invites guests into a beautifully themed area with a rich backstory. The family who owns the restaurant is said to have traveled around Southeast Asia collecting recipes and art which can now all be enjoyed at Yak & Yeti Restaurant. Guests who dine there can order up delicious options including Ginger Salmon, Crispy Honey Chicken, Tempura Shrimp, and Orange Beef.