Seven Animal Kingdom Attractions You Can’t Miss
Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one of Walt Disney World’s four major theme parks, opened in 1998 as the fourth addition to the World. The goal was to create a zoo like theme park unlike anything ever experienced. Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings together animal conservation, wildlife, and many other aspects of the natural environment right to Walt Disney World guests. Through six themed lands, DinoLand U.S.A., Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Discovery Island, the Oasis, Africa, and Asia, guests are immersed in the true magic of the animal kingdom. A giant baob tree known as the Tree of Life stands as the parks centerpiece. The tree towers at one hundred and forty five feet tall and over fifty feet wide. The base of the tree holds carvings of over three hundred animals. While enjoying the park, guests will experience the natural world in a whole new way. They will be invited to discover free roaming animals, a variety of plant life, and our environment in its truest form. Disney’s Animal Kingdom provides guests with an immersive experience of the circle of life. The park also provides world-class shows and attractions for each and every family member to take part in. Here is a list of Animal Kingdom attractions we suggest checking out in addition to the new Pandora: The World of AVATAR during your visit at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
One of the most exhilarating attractions in not only Animal Kingdom, but throughout Walt Disney World, is Expedition Everest- Legend of the Forbidden Mountain. As guests enter the attraction, they are taken through a museum full of legend and mystery. It focuses on the iconic monster of the Himalayas: the Yeti. Set in the Himalayan Mountains, this fast paced, train style roller coaster takes guests through a recreation of Mt. Everest. As you travel through the forbidden mountain, guests eventually come to a break in the tracks. Suddenly the train is moving backwards and guests quickly come face to face with the Yeti himself. This thrilling expedition is not one you will want to skip!
If guests are looking for an up close and personal encounter with wildlife, Kilimanjaro Safaris expedition is truly an experience unlike any other. This one hundred and ten acre trek through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve takes guests through the tundra’s of Africa on a larger than life safari. Animals roam free on the land as guests travel in an open observational vehicle. Guests will encounter over thirty-four species native to the African lands. Animals include Zebras, Lions, Giraffes, Hyenas, Cheetahs, Black Rhinos, and countless others. A guide will take guests through the adventure along wetlands, forests, and open plain terrains. Their job is to inform guests of the natural wildlife habitats and fun facts about each animal you may encounter, while adding in an extra aspect of fun. None of the other Animal Kingdom attractions can bring guests face to face with these exotic and unique animals!
Festival of The Lion King
One of the most interactive and talked about musical shows in Walt Disney World is the Festival of The Lion King. This thirty-minute live action shows invites guests to be a part of the beloved Lion King story. With the help of Timon, Pumbaa, and four vocal leaders, guests are taken on a journey of music, entertainment, and performance. The audience is separated into four groups: Elephant, Warthog, Lion, and Giraffe. Each leader directs guests in song and chant as the celebration moves along. Guests will encounter acrobatic Tumble Monkeys, world-class singers, exquisite costuming and design, and Simba the lion himself.
Kali River Rapids
Prepare to get wet in this cool embarkation through an ancient Asian temple! This adventure style attraction takes guests down an artificial river in white water raft fashion. The ride invites guests to board a rubber raft and travel down a river where they will encounter waves, rapids, and currents.. Throughout the journey, guests pass by fires, waterfalls, and geysers. Guests will be splashed and sprayed by the river, and even raft underneath a giant waterfall. The raft spins as it moves down the river, giving each guest a chance at being splashed. At the end of the ride, the raft plunges down a twenty-foot decline, giving guests one last opportunity to leave without a dry spot.
Finding Nemo: The Musical
Finding Nemo: The Musical has been described as one of the most detailed and meticulous live shows in Walt Disney World. The show takes place in the Theater in the Wild, located in DinoLand U.S.A. This forty-minute show features Marlin, Dory, and Nemo as they recreate their journey through the ocean in musical form. The show offers original songs, impeccably designed puppets, props, and lighting. The musical is friendly to family members of all ages and themed to keep both grown-ups and little ones entertained.
It’s Tough to be a Bug
Housed in the massive trunk of the Tree of Life, It’s Tough to be a Bug is a 3D movie attraction located in the Repertory Theatre. To get to the entrance of the theater, guests travel a path that leads around plants, waterfalls, and the thorough designs carved into the Tree of Life. The eight-minute movie features special effects to help bring the adventure to life. Flik introduces himself as the host when the show begins, and he declares the audience as “honorary bugs”. The attraction brings guests into the captivating life of an insect. The movie also features some 4D effects such as mists and smells. It features stink bugs, spiders, termites, and other small creatures. It’s Tough to be a Bug provides yet another show for the whole family to enjoy together and is one of the classic Animal Kingdom attractions you shouldn’t miss.
Located in the heart of DinoLand U.S.A., the Primeval Whirl represents a prehistoric roller coaster filled with fun and silliness. The ride is themed as an older carnival ride. As the riders enter into a time-machine vehicle, they embark on hills and thrills. Unlike an ordinary coaster, the ride car actually spins as the ride move up, down, and around. Although you cannot control the spinning, the vehicle is programmed to spin along with the ride. Cartoon dinosaurs are found at every turn, creating a truly primeval experience.
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Special thanks to Lexsie Ditter for writing this article!