One of the highlights of spending time in Walt Disney World is visiting the four Disney Parks which each have their own unique theming, attractions, dining, entertainment, shopping, and more. The newest of the four parks is Disney’s Animal Kingdom which focuses on sharing the importance of conservation and preservation through beautiful theming. Appropriately, the park opened on Earth Day in 1998 and has been amazing guests ever since. Since Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also the largest of the four Disney Parks, there are seemingly endless experiences to be had throughout its borders. Each of the seven areas in Disney’s Animal Kingdom brings to life an immersive theme and setting that guests can lose themselves in while having fun. From globetrotting to traveling through time, there is much to explore in the seven areas of Disney’s Animal Kingdom!
1. The Oasis
When guests first enter into Disney’s Animal Kingdom, they pass through the main gate and enter The Oasis. The official welcome to the park, this area features winding paths with lush vegetation and animal habitats that guests can explore. This area of the park is also peacefully quiet for those who take the time to stop and enjoy its splendor. While many guests beeline through The Oasis, there is much beauty to be enjoyed by those who take their time and enjoy the details.
2. Discovery Island
After passing through The Oasis, guests emerge on a bridge that connects them to Discovery Island which is the main hub of the entire park. Centered there is the stunning Tree of Life which is intricately carved with hundreds of animals and host to the nightly Tree of Life Awakenings where projections brings scenes of nature to life. Guests can also enjoy the 3D show It’s Tough To Be A Bug in a special theater found in the roots of the Tree of Life. Discovery Island is also home to wonderful shopping locations such as Creature Comforts in addition to two beloved quick service dining options. Flame Tree Barbecue serves up mouthwatering barbecue options that can be enjoyed with a gorgeous view of Expedition Everest across the water and Pizzafari offers up delicious pizzas in a bright and colorful environment.
3. Pandora – The World of Avatar
The newest area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Pandora – The World of Avatar which transports guests to the home of the Na’vi. The mythical land is home to otherworldly plant life and majestic floating mountains, all of which come alive at night with bioluminescent lighting. Guests who explore the area can enjoy the Na’vi River Journey which brings them into a bioluminescent forest and ultimately face to face with the Shaman of Songs. Avatar Flight of Passage is the other attraction in the area which combines state of the art technology with the thrilling adventure of riding on the back of a banshee. The Satu’li Canteen is a delicious quick service location where guests can dine in a former mess hall on delicious options including meat based rice bowls. No visit to Pandora – The World of Avatar is complete without finding the perfect souvenir, and guests can shop in the unique and vast Windtraders for the ultimate keepsake.
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The rear left corner of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to Africa and the village of Harambe where guests are completely immersed. The most popular experience in the area is Kilimanjaro Safaris where guests can embark on an African safari and enjoy up close encounters with animals like giraffes, hippos, elephants, lions, and more. The Harambe Theater is home to the beloved Festival of the Lion King where live entertainment and familiar characters bring the classic Disney animated film to life. Guests who are hungry can opt to stop by the Harambe Market for many quick service options, or visit Tusker House Restaurant for a full service buffet where Mickey and friends can be found in their safari gear. Africa is also home to the popular Dawa Bar where guests can sip on unique and delicious cocktails in an open air seating area perfect for people watching.
5. Rafiki’s Planet Watch
Harambe is also home to a train station that brings guests on a journey to a special area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Wildlife Express Train leads to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where guests can enjoy several different experiences that teach them about the beauty of the planet and the importance of conservation. Guests can enjoy the Animal Viewing Location and Affection Section where they can get up close with certain animals that call the park home. The Conservation Station is the central location at Rafiki’s Planet Watch and after meeting Rafiki himself, guests can explore different exhibits and interactive experiences including the Science Center. Veterinary Treatment Room, Nutrition Center, and more.
The next area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Asia where guests can enjoy a wide array of experiences that are sure to amaze them including two thrilling attractions. Kali River Rapids brings guests on a soaking adventure on the Chakranadi River and Expedition Everest brings them on a thrilling journey into the Forbidden Mountain where they have to scramble to escape the Yeti. Yak & Yeti Restaurant is also found in the Asia area and serves up full service pan-Asian cuisine for both lunch and dinner and also features a quick service ordering counter in the rear. Disney’s Animal Kingdom is also home to Rivers of Light, a nightly show that portrays the interconnections of nature and its beauty. Guests who would like to enjoy the nightly show can enter into the large seating areas through Asia.
7. Dinoland U.S.A.
The final area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Dinoland which is home to both Chester & Hester’s Din-O-Rama and the Dino Institute, both of which were built after the discovery of fossils in the area. Dinosaur is the thrilling attraction in Dinoland and guests find themselves traveling through time on an unforgettable adventure to save one particular dinosaur. Guests can also enjoy Primeval Whirl and TriceraTop Spin in the heart of Dinoland. While there are several quick service dining options in the area, the most popular is Restaurantosaurus which serves up American classics in a unique setting. Little ones in Dinoland can also explore the Boneyard where they can dig for fossils, and the whole family will enjoy Finding Nemo – The Musical which is presented in the Theater in the Wild several times each day.