10 Q&A’s for Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life
Credit: Disney

Disney’s Animal Kingdom has the magic of Disney and animals all in one. There are thrill rides, family rides, and fantastic shows. You can visit a different continent, go back in time, or take a trip across the universe! Here are ten questions and fun facts about Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 


10. When Did Disney’s Animal Kingdom Open?

The opening date was April 22, 1998. It is the most recent of the four parks to open at Walt Disney World. April 22 is not a random date. That is Earth Day, and the conservation-inspired holiday is celebrated at the park annually.

9. How Big Is Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is 580 acres, which makes it the largest theme park at Walt Disney World. Not all of that land is accessible to the public. Since there are so many animals Disney needs the land to give them enough space and make sure that they are not confined. Disney cares a lot about the animals so they make giving them lots of land to roam a priority. Harambe Wildlife Reserve takes up 110 acres, and you can see much of that land on Kilimanjaro Safaris. You will also want to explore the animal trails to see the animals where they live.

8. Does Disney’s Animal Kingdom Donate to Wildlife Funds? 

Yes! Disney takes lots of pride in donating to help animals in need. Disney Conservation Fund has directed more than $70 million to 50 nonprofit organizations and hundreds of species. These organizations are known for working with communities to help wildlife in more than half the countries in the world. Disney Conservation Fund is committed to protecting animals in the wild, as well as educating people on how they can make a difference.


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7. Are There Any Good Full Service Dining Options at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

Of course! There are some fantastic sit down restaurants to choose from. Yak & Yeti Restaurant has Asian cuisine, while Tiffins Restaurant is the newest theme park fine dining option. It is one of the highest rated restaurants at Walt Disney World. Rainforest Cafe is fun for the whole family. If you’re looking for character dining, Tusker House Restaurant will be a must do for your group.

Tiffin’s Dessert

6. What Was the First Animal Birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom?

The first birth at Disney’s Animal Kingdom was a kudu; a large African antelope. That may have been the first but definitely not the last. There are now thousands of animals born at the park each year. One of the most famous is Ranger. The male white rhino was born on October 25, 2020. If you’re lucky, you’ll see Ranger on Kilimanjaro Safaris.

5. Is It Worth it to Stay Until After Dark at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

Yes! One of the most unique things you’ll see at Walt Disney World happens after dark in Pandora – The World of Avatar. If you’ve already been on Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey you may think that you’ve done it all. When the sun goes down, make sure you make your way back over to see the land transformed. It’s a whole new experience, you don’t want to miss it. Kilimanjaro Safaris is also a different experience after dusk, but the ride does shut down before the rest of the park. The Tree of Life also transforms. Disney’s Animal Kingdom often closes early, check the hours when planning your vacation.

4. What Are the Most Popular Rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

One of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World is Avatar Flight of Passage. You’ll climb on the back of a banshee and experience the Valley of Mo’ara in a way that you’ll never forget. With Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain you will come face to face with the fabled Yeti. some thrill ride enthusiasts say that it’s the best roller coaster at Walt Disney World. The most popular family ride is probably Na’vi River Journey. That’s a gentle boat ride that is perfect for any age.

3. Are There Fireworks at Disney’s Animal Kingdom? 

No. You may be used to seeing all of the magic in the sky at Walt Disney World, but since there are so many animals at the park the noise from fireworks would scare them. Instead at night you can see the Tree of Life light up with amazing projections. Get those cameras ready! The nighttime show Rivers of Light has been canceled.

2. Are Plastic Straws Allowed?

Nope. You will not find any plastic straws at Disney’s Animal Kingdom or plastic lids either. If the litter got out it could be extremely dangerous to the animals. Balloons are also not sold at the park. You can bring a reusable metal straw in with you, but any plastic straws will be thrown out. This includes the plastic straws that come with drink boxes.

1. What Is the Park Icon? 

When you walk into Disney’s Animal Kingdom you can’t miss the icon. You guessed it, it’s The Tree of Life. You’ll see more than 300 animal carvings in the structure. It stands 14 stories high and 50 feet wide. There are always PhotoPass photographers there, ready to take that perfect picture. Inside you’ll find the 3D show It’s Tough to Be a Bug! Pay attention in the queue, because you’ll see many more animal carvings along the way.

About Tricia Kennedy