Top Things to See & Do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Yesterday marked a milestone for Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, it was the 20th anniversary of the park, which very appropriately fell on Earth Day.

 

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Tree of Life, Animal Kingdom

I wish I could be there to be part of the festivities, but unfortunately I had to be home and watching everyone else’s trip from social media. But in honor of the 20th anniversary, my blog post today will be on Animal Kingdom, and the top things to see & do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

1. PANDORA – The land of Avatar: Well, I suppose I’ll need to start with the hyped, most recent addition to the park, which is Pandora. A land out of this world, with vibrant colors, plants, floating islands, two brand new rides and a quick service restaurant. You will need to definitely put getting a Fast Pass for “Flight of Passage” on your list, as its an incredible ride with an incredible wait time. The “Na’vi River Journey” ride is also a beautiful, slow moving boat ride showing you the rain forest of Pandora. Also, don’t forget a cheeseburger pod at Satu’li Canteen, a “Must-have” food choice of Pandora!

Don’t forget to check out my post on Pandora for more in depth information about this new adventure!

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Pandora, Animal Kingdom

2. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain: Climb Mount Everest in this exciting adventure and watch out for the yeti! This roller coaster is a great thrill. As you trek up the mountain in your “train”, all of a sudden you come to the peak of the mountain and run out of tracks, after that, your only option is backwards! This ride is definitely Fast Pass worthy, and incredibly fun. If roller coasters aren’t your thing, you may want to sit this one out. One nice feature of this ride is that it has the “Single Rider” line, where if you want a short wait time and don’t mind hopping on by yourself, you can do so by sitting with another group. I did this twice, and it was a five minute wait versus a thirty minute wait! Don’t forget to take a look at the photo they take of you at the end of the ride!

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Expedition Everest, Animal Kingdom

3. Kilimanjaro’s Safari:  This is an absolute “must-do” while visiting Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Jumping on a safari vehicle, you will be on an 18 minute tour of African wildlife: lions, cheetahs, giraffes, elephants, hippos and much more! Through the beautiful African Savanna, you will be up close and personal with all your favorite animals, so don’t forget your camera. This is definitely an experience you don’t want to miss, and exciting for all ages!

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Kilamanjaro Safari, Animal Kingdom
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Kilamanjaro’s Safari
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Kilamanjaro’s Safari

4. Nomad Lounge – After climbing a mountain, and going on an African safari, you will probably need a place to sit down, cool off and relax for a while. Check out Nomad’s Lounge, adjacent to Tiffins (the Fine Dining restaurant in Animal Kingdom), they have amazingly delicious appetizer and small plate items, as well as fun, adventurer themed cocktails (and mocktails!). The ribs are incredible, and “Jenn’s Tattoo” was delicious! If you order this delicious drink, make sure to eat the hibiscus on top, apparently its delicious (someone ate mine!)

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“Jenn’s Tattoo”, Nomad Lounge

5. Meeting the Characters! – Now, before I begin, adults can do this too! When you are in Disney World, everyone is a child at heart, so take advantage of getting memorable photos with your favorite childhood characters. Animal Kingdom is home to lots of great character selections, such as Rafiki, from the Lion King, Pocahontas, Baloo and King Louie from the Jungle Book, Timon (my favorite character in Animal Kingdom!) from The Lion King, and even Mickey and Minnie dressed up in their best safari attire! There will be a Disney Photo Pass photographer with each character that will take photos of you themselves, or even with your own camera! See my post on Memory Makers for more details!

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King Louey & Baloo, Animal Kingdom

6. Maharajah Jungle Trek – In the Asia section of Animal Kingdom, embark on a walking journey through the Maharajah Jungle. Getting to see all kinds of your favorite animals from Asia as you walk through the forest. You will get to see monkeys, birds, meerkats, and best of all tigers! Last January, the new baby tigers were finally available for guests to see! The baby tigers weren’t out the last time I was there, however my favorite memory of this past experience was getting to watch a cast member feed meerkats and watching them come running from all over!

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Maharajah Jungle Trek

7. DINOSAUR – On this ride you travel back in time, waaay back in time. Just minutes before the giant meteorite hits the earth that wiped out all the dinosaurs, you have a secret mission to to save an Iguanodon before it goes extinct with all the other dinosaurs. This ride is very dark, with loud sudden noises and is probably very scary for children (I’ll admit I’m a chicken and still jump at the big dinosaur!), there’s still probably a lot of dino-loving children much braver than I am!

8. Festival of the Lion King – You definitely can’t miss this. An amazing performance filled with your favorite songs from The Lion King, acrobats, dancers, fire eating and amazing colors, not to mention your favorite characters! This is a thirty minute show to definitely schedule into your day, so make sure to check your park times guide ahead of time for showtimes. You watch acrobats flinging, people walking on stilts, beautiful costumes, dancing and singing your favorite songs all to the story of the Lion King. This you will also want to take pictures of, as it is a beautiful sight! This one is fun for all ages, and a nice opportunity to sit down and relax in some air conditioning as well. You’ll be leaving with “I just can’t wait to be king!” stuck in your head all day!

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Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom
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Festival of the Lion King, Animal Kingdom

11. Kali River Rapids – Want an exciting way to cool off? Make sure to jump on Kali River Rapids in the “Asia” section of the park. For good reason, I don’t have any good photos of this ride, because you will more than likely get wet. Here you will go white water rafting and enjoy cooling off as well! As long as you don’t mind getting wet (but it’s Florida, you’ll dry off in minutes), this ride is fun for everyone, and in the really hot summer months its worth a Fast Pass.

10. Animal Kingdom at Night – A new luxury to the Animal Kingdom! Once upon a time, this park used to close at early hours like 5 pm, now a days with the new addition of Pandora and Rivers of Light (see below) the Animal Kingdom stays open later like the other parks. The best park is, the beauty of the Tree of Life at night and the glow of Pandora. Definitely make sure to stick around to see this, as well as Rivers of Light!

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Tree of Life at Night, Animal Kingdom

11. Rivers of Light – This is a night show very different from any other night show that you’ve ever seen at Walt Disney World. On account of the animals and not wanting to scare them, fireworks are not an option at this park. So Disney became innovative as usual and came up with a beautiful, glowing and floating storytelling experience. This night show began last year, and tells a story through lasers, floats and beautiful music. It is not as exhilarating and as exciting as Disney’s other night shows, but is more peaceful and serene. Definitely a satisfying way to end your day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and a beautiful show.

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Rivers of Light, Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is not a huge Disney Park, but there is lots to do! This used to be more of a half day park, but now that Pandora is added (the lines themselves will take a lot of your day) and the night entertainment, it has evolved a bit more.  There is fun for the whole family here, so go wild and have fun adventurers!

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Published by AdventuresofMegandGreg

Hey Everyone! My name is Meg, and my husband is Greg! I’m a Canadian born and raised, and Greg is an American living here in the Canada now. Join us on our adventures together! We love travelling and going on adventures - even if sometimes its just local! Join us on our adventures! We have a lot of local Maritime content right now and are headed to Walt Disney World, Universal and a cruise on Royal Caribbean in May 2022. Stay tuned for that too!

20 thoughts on “Top Things to See & Do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

    1. That’s a tricky debate haha! Some people think there’s a loop at one point in the dark because it really feels like a loop going backwards, but apparently there isn’t a loop! I much prefer Expedition Everest, its not as rickety as Space Mountain, but I still enjoy them both! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Loved your post, whenever we visit Animal Kingdom, the ‘Festival of the Lion King’ is the first thing we watch. It never gets old, definitely a must see, amazing show! And did I mentioned the musical cast allows the children to participate – my kids love it 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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