Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Opened on April 22nd, 1998, Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is the newest of the four Walt Disney World Parks and by far the largest at 500 acres. That is almost 5 times the size of the Magic Kingdom!

AK Tree of life

Image courtesy of DisneyWorld.com

The Animal Kingdom features one of the most original landmarks of any of the parks, the Tree of Life (pictured above). If you look closely, you can see many animals sculpted into the Tree of Life such as Lions, Tigers and Zebras.

The Tree of Life is also home to the 3D adventure, It’s Tough to be a Bug where you can see what it is truly like to live the life of a bug!

Upon entering the Animal Kingdom, you will see nature all around you, and even animals such as monkeys, birds, etc in the Oasis part of the park.

You can then proceed to Discovery Island which is the center point of the park where you can find the Tree of Life. The park is then broken up into five parts: DinoLand U.S.A., Asia, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Africa and Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Typically when I go to the Animal Kingdom, I like to start in DinoLand which is on the right side of Discovery Island. The main attraction at that section of the park is DINOSAUR, a thrill ride where you travel back in time to the Prehistoric era to help save a Dinosaur from extinction.

After enduring DinoLand, I then make my way over to Asia to one of my favorite rides in all of the Disney World Parks, a FastPass+ must, Expedition Everest. This is a high octane roller coaster where you travel through the Himalayan mountains while trying to avoid capture of the Abominable Snowman. The best part of this roller coaster is it actually will go backwards at some points! Also, if it is a hot day and you are looking to cool off, check out Kali River Rapids, an intense white water rapid ride that is sure to soak you throughout!

expedition everest

Image courtesy of DisneyFanatic.com. Photo posted by Mike.

After wandering through Asia, I like to make my way through Rafiki’s Planet Watch and on over to Africa, home to Disney’s largest attraction, size wise, Kilimanjaro Safaris. At 110 acres, this attraction is 3 acres larger than the entire Magic Kingdom! This attraction allows you to take an African Safari right in the middle of Orlando, FL where you can see hippos, giraffes, ostriches and if your lucky, lions!

Cap off your day at the animal kingdom with the amazing Festival of the Lion King at Camp Minnie-Mickey for an awesome puppetry based show that celebrates the new king of the jungle, Simba!

Brand new this year to the Animal Kingdom, a park that typically closes earlier than any of the parks close to 6pm on a daily basis, they will now be kept open even later where you can ride Expedition Everest or take a Safari in the dark if you wish. Animal Kingdom will also be featuring a brand new nighttime water and light show that will feature all sorts of special effects in the Rivers of Light.

With all that being said, the Animal Kingdom is a park that does not feature as many attractions as the previous three Disney World parks mentioned in my four part series due to how new it is.

When I travel to Disney World, I typically make my way over to the Animal Kingdom for about half a day to give myself plenty of time to enjoy Expedition Everest and DINOSAUR.

The Animal Kingdom would definitely be my least favorite of the four Disney World Parks but still a must to check out simply for the attractions it does have to offer.

So on your next Disney World trip, set your fastpasses for Expedition Everest, Kilimanjaro Safaris and DINOSAUR given those are definitely the most popular attractions of the park and typically warrant long waits as result.

In terms of needing something to eat, there aren’t really any worth while restaurants inside Animal Kingdom in my opinion but on your way out, there is a Rainforest Cafe just outside the gates of the park.

The Animal Kingdom is certainly a park that I truly do not have any tricks really but do try to get to the main attractions that interest you most there before the crowds start coming in and check out all the animals you are not used to seeing on a regular basis.

This will conclude my four part series into my in-depth look at the four Walt Disney World Parks in Orlando, FL.

If anyone has any questions or needs any advice regarding the Walt Disney World Parks, please do not hesitate to reach out and I would love to help any way I can!


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