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How To Fit 14 Attractions At Disney’s Animal Kingdom In One Day

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World and its message is one of conservation and the preservation of planet Earth. Guests are invited in to explore different areas of the park including Pandora, Africa, Asia, and Dinoland where they can experience everything from traveling back in time to the era of the dinosaurs to an African safari. With so much to see and enjoy on a day in the part, it can be overwhelming to try and see it all without a plan. Here is the perfect plan to fit fourteen attractions into one day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

14. Na’vi River Journey First

Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest land in the Animal Kingdom theme park – and it is AMAZING! Here you will find two extremely popular attractions known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey. The Na’vi River Journey is a perfect family-friendly attraction as guests boat down river and see just how beautiful the Na’vi tribe’s rainforest is with bioluminescence lighting and the latest animatronics. Unfortunately, you can only FastPass ONE of the two Pandora attractions. We recommend you FastPass Avatar Flight of Passage and head directly to Na’vi River Journey the moment the park opens. You can then return in the afternoon with your FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage.

13. Kilimanjaro Safaris

Right after Na’vi River Journey, guests should head to Africa and board Kilimanjaro Safaris. The attraction takes guests on a two week safari in the Harambe Reserve where they can experience the beauty of the forest and African savannah. By riding in the morning, guests ensure that they will see plenty of animals like giraffes, lions, elephants, and zebras since the temperature is cooler and breakfast is generally being served. The great thing about Kilimanjaro Safaris is that since the main attraction are live animals, each visit will be unpredictable and different.

12. Festival of the Lion King

Housed in the Harambe Theater is one of the best live performances in Walt Disney World. The Festival of the Lion King combines characters and songs from the classic Disney animated film The Lion King performed by wonderful actors. Guests are treated to fire dancing, acrobats, and an aerial ballet and will find themselves singing and clapping along by the end! The Festival of the Lion King runs several times each day, so guests should be sure to consult times guides for show times.

11. FastPass Avatar Flight of Passage

Following back up with the Na’vi River Journey above, you can now use your Avatar Flight of Passage FastPass to enjoy this thrilling attraction! Expect a thrilling ride on Avatar Flight of Passage as you climb aboard a Banshee (dragon-like creature) and ride through the beautiful World of Avatar. Outside of the two Pandora attractions, the land is almost like an attraction itself with stunning beauty and ability to interact with guests.

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10. Kali River Rapids

This thrilling raft ride is sure to leave guests soaking wet! Guests who are brave enough to face the water board a raft and find themselves exploring the lush jungle. Along the way, guests see the devastation of nature caused by illegal logging and enjoying a massive drop down a rushing waterfall. In the hot summer months Kali River Rapids can have massive lines, so guests would be smart to book FastPasses for the attraction to avoid spending lots of time waiting on line.

9. Maharajah Jungle Trek

Like the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, this is a self-guided walking tour that allows guests to experience the beautiful setting and animals at their own pace. Guests can wander temple ruins in the Anandapur Royal Forest and observe gibbons, bats, and Asian tigers along the way. There is even a massive aviary full of exotic and colorful species of birds to enjoy.

8. Expedition Everest

Guests who are brave enough to board begin their journey on a quiet and serene tea train. The journey quickly turns perilous as guests find themselves too far into the Forbidden Mountain and face to face with the fabled Yeti. Expedition Everest is one of the most popular attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and a great way to save time is to take advantage of the single rider line. Guests who don’t mind splitting up their party can wait on the single rider line and have the same ride experience with a much shorter wait time.

7. Dinosaur

Dinosaur allows guests to enter into the Dino Institute where the technology to travel back in time to the era of the dinosaurs has been developed. Guests are invited on a routine tour that suddenly turns adventurous when they are tasked with bringing back a live dinosaur to present day. Twisting and turning in the dark and facing the impact of a massive asteroid, guests love this thrilling adventure. Since Dinosaur is so popular, a great way to save some time is to book FastPasses ensuring that guests can experience the attraction with a short wait time.

6. Primeval Whirl

This crazy mouse style roller coaster takes guests on a dizzying countdown to extinction. Featuring quirky decorations and a tongue in cheek theme extinction, Primeval Whirl features endless spinning and fun in Dinoland.

5. TriceraTop Spin

This spinner style attraction is similar in build to the classic Dumb the Flying Elephant in the Magic Kingdom’s Storybook Circus. Guests can board lime green triceratops and take to the skies high over Dinoland while taking in the sights and enjoying the breeze.

4. Finding Nemo The Musical

This live performance retells the classic story of Pixar’s Finding Nemo with characters like Nemo, Marlin, and Dory. Guests can enjoy the story told by massive puppets and will find themselves singing along to the original song “Big Blue World.” This musical runs several times each day, so guests should consult a times guide for show times.

3. It’s Tough To Be A Bug

Nestled in the roots of the Tree of Life is this 3D show which shrinks guests down to the size of insects and makes them honorary bugs. Hosted by Flik from the Pixar film A Bug’s Life, guests are shown how bugs aren’t gross but rather an integral part of the environment.

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. 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!

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.