Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place to take a wild adventure with your family. From real live animals and amazing shows to exciting thrill rides and gorgeous scenery, this park is everything you could possibly want from a Disney park, but with a unique flair that people of all ages love. Of course, the key to really enjoying a Disney park is planning. Planning your vacation days will help you manage your time well and ensure everything you want to do gets done. That said, in order to plan effectively, you must know something about the parks you’ll be visiting, and Animal Kingdom is no exception to this rule. For this reason, we’ve taken the time to give you a brief introduction to Animal Kingdom, its various areas, and the best things to see and do there. With this information, you can start planning the trip of a lifetime with confidence.
1. The Oasis
Whenever you enter the park, you will be immediately greeted by The Oasis. To be honest, there isn’t much to see or do here, and we find it a little bit odd that it’s technically a land of its own. Still, The Oasis is home to some necessary places, including the Guest Relations desk and the stroller rental counter. Besides those things, you’ll also find some restrooms and a few different animals that can be interesting to take a peek at on your way to the main attractions.
2. Discovery Island
After walking through The Oasis and over a bridge, all guests enter Discovery Island. This is a vibrant and colorful land that is always filled with music and dancing. The park’s biggest gift shops are found in this land, as is the famous Flame Tree Barbecue. Pizzafari and Tiffins are some other Discovery Island food options, the Wilderness Explorers stations begin in this land, and a few animals are also scattered about the area. Perhaps the very best thing about this land however is the incredible view it offers of the Tree of Life. Want a photo in front of this iconic tree? Get it in Discovery Island. Want to see the tree come to life at night? Again, Discovery Island is your place.
Africa is pretty far back in the park and requires quite a trek to get to. That said, it is well worth the walk. In this fun-loving land, performers are often seen playing traditional African music which children love to dance to. The amazing Kilimanjaro Safaris ride begins here, and there is an awesome walking path that allows guests to view all kinds of African animals. Additionally, Africa is home to The Festival of the Lion King. This live show is a must-see for all Disney World visitors, so don’t miss it! Looking for food? Tusker House Restaurant is an excellent table-service option. Meanwhile, Harambe Market has a quick-service option for everyone. Of course, there are also plenty of places to grab a sweet treat, something everyone loves.
The fourth land in Animal Kingdom is Asia. Just like Africa, this land is located at the back of the park, but you definitely won’t regret visiting. Here you’ll find Expedition Everest, a thrilling roller coaster featuring an enormous Yeti. Other great options of things to see and do include “UP! A Great Bird Adventure”, Kali River Rapids, Maharajah Jungle Trek, and the “Rivers of Light” show that plays each evening on the water. As far as food goes, Asia doesn’t disappoint. Yak & Yeti Restaurant is the go-to for a sit-down meal, while Yak & Yeti Local Foods Cafe is great for a quick bite. We also really enjoy Mr. Kamal’s, an awesome place where you can pick up falafel and hummus.
5. Dinoland U.S.A.
If you’re looking for something to entertain the younger crowd, Dinoland U.S.A. is the answer. This land features an enormous dinosaur-themed playground that no kid can resist. It also plays host to Triceratops Spin, which is a gentle ride that is perfect for the younger set. For the older people in the crowd, try the thrilling Dinosaur ride and/or the Primeval Whirl roller coaster. Of course, the whole family will enjoy the Broadway-style show, “Finding Nemo the Musical”. Food is limited in Dinoland U.S.A., and we really recommend going elsewhere for a bite. However, if you must eat in the area, Restaurantosaurus is your best bet.
6. Pandora – The World of Avatar
The newest land in Animal Kingdom, Pandora – The World of Avatar is also the most incredible. This area features truly amazing scenery scattered with fictional plants that are identical to those seen in the movie Avatar. Some are even bioluminescent, while one particularly large specimen sprays guests with water. When it comes to rides, Pandora is doing pretty awesome. This land has both Na’vi River Journey (a slow boat ride), as well as the absolutely incredible multisensory VR ride, Avatar Flight of Passage. Both are things you absolutely must see, and are well worth a good, long wait if you ask us. The main food option in Pandora is the Satu’li Canteen. Here, hungry guests can order delicious bowls filled with their choice of base, protein, and sauce, as well as several other menu items.