Animal Kingdom was considered a half day park but is now loaded with attractions, entertainment, and great eats! Where to begin and which to enjoy is the tricky part! Here are what we believe are 20 of the top experiences at Animal Kingdom! Go wild!
20. Satu’li Canteen
The newest counter service hot spot is in Animal Kingdom’s Pandora – The World of Avatar. After your journey down river on Na’vi River Journey and flying on a banshee on Avatar Flight of Passage, the next best place to stop is Satu’li Canteen for a bite. The theming is a long ago an RDA (Resources Development Administration) mess hall that has now been decked out with a colorful array of Na’vi (Pandora natives) art and cultural items. You’ll find a great menu for lunch and dinner. Create-Your-Own-Bowl by choosing one protein, one base, and one sauce. Two pod selections – vegetable curry pods or cheeseburger pods – are also delicious! Don’t forget to try their Blueberry Cream Cheese Mousse and Chocolate Cake. Plus, Satu’li Canteen is the birthplace of the mobile ordering. Order and pay for your food from the MyDisneyExperience app and pick up your food when you arrive. It’s awesome!
19. The Trails
The are a few trails to experience at Animal Kingdom, and you should tackle them all. There’s never a line, and you can set your pace. Each of the trails winds through a natural setting, with animals to be spotted along the way. The Discovery Island Trails will allow you to take a closer look at the Tree of Life and the carvings in the roots. The Maharajah Jungle Trek is located in the Asia area of the park, and you can see majestic tigers, Komodo Dragons, and wander through abandoned temples. The last trail is the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, which is in the Africa area, and not only can you see gorillas, but also hippos, exotic birds, and meerkats. The trails really embody what Animal Kingdom is all about, preservation, the beauty of nature, and an appreciation for all living things.
18. Wilderness Explorers
Wilderness Explorers is often thought to be just for kids, but it’s great fun for everyone. The self-guided activities can be done at your own pace, and help you see the park in a whole new way. Wilderness Explorers is a great way to have some fun learning, and you can collect badges when you complete each challenge.
Tiffins has some amazing internationally inspired menu items, like Black-Eyes Pea Fritters or the Berber-Spiced Lamb Chop. This restaurant is perfect for those who are a little more adventurous when it comes to food, and the atmosphere is sophisticated, yet comfortable.
16. Kali River Rapids
This river-rafting ride is full of thrills, adventure, fun and chances are good you will get wet. This is the perfect ride mid-day at Animal Kingdom when the sun is hot and you need to cool off a little.
15. Pandora – The World of Avatar
Pandora – The World of Avatar is the newest land in the Animal Kingdom theme park. Here you will find two extremely popular attractions known as Avatar Flight of Passage and Na’vi River Journey which we mention below. Outside of these two attractions, the land is almost like an attraction itself with stunning beauty and ability to interact with guests… especially as it glows at night!
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14. Finding Nemo – the Musical
Finding Nemo comes to life at Animal Kingdom with amazing and vibrant theatrical puppetry and live music. This 40-minute re-telling of Finding Nemo is a fantastic feast for the eyes and ears.
13. Flame Tree Barbecue
Flame Tree has some of the best barbeque on Disney property. This quick-service location delivers mouth-watering ribs, chicken, sandwiches, baked beans and cornbread. There’s also plenty of outdoor, covered patio seating.
12. It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a 3D show featuring Flik. The show is cute, funny, and features an impressive Audio-Animatronic Hopper. Part of the appeal is seeing the show inside the Tree of Life.
Dinosaur is a truly thrilling ride that takes guests back in time, just before a meteor hits and destroys all the dinosaurs. The attraction is full of amazing Audio-Animatronic dinosaurs, sharp twists and turns and plenty of excitement.
10. Festival of the Lion King
This show is a celebration of the classic film, not a re-telling, though it does feature songs and characters from the movie. You’ll see amazing costumes, puppets, acrobats, and dancing. This is one of the most lively and colorful shows at Animal Kingdom.
9. Wild Africa Trek
Although the Wild Africa Trek tour has an additional fee, it is one of the top experiences at Animal Kingdom. It’s a great option if you have visited the park a few times and want to have a different experience. The three-hour guided VIP tour gives guests the opportunity to get a little closer to the animals, and to gain inside knowledge about how the animals are cared for.
8. Hakuna Matata Time Dance Party
Get ready to shake your hips as a group of favorite characters, colorfully costumed dancers, and musicians party in the streets of Discovery Island across from Flame Tree Barbecue. You are welcome to join in with the dance or stand back and be impressed!
7. Character Meet and Greets
Animal Kingdom has a number of characters that only appear to meet guests here, and nowhere else. Guests can meet characters like Mickey and Minnie in their adventure gear, Russell and Dug from UP!, and Pocahontas. Check a guide for the times and locations for each character so you don’t miss out on your favorites!
6. Na’vi River Journey
Na’vi River Journey is one of the two incredible attractions that is now open in the new Pandora – The World of Avatar area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park. Climb aboard a small boat and feel the slow river push you along. The space around you glows as if bioluminescent lighting has struck the rainforest with beauty! The sights and sounds appeal to the senses as you drift down river. Pass caves, exotic plants, and interesting animals to reach a very important member of the Na’vi tribe. This is one family friendly journey down river not to miss!
5. Tree of Life Awakenings
The perfect way to cap off the night is with the Tree of Life Awakenings. While fireworks are too loud for the animals, Disney Imagineers had the great idea to use lighting projections on the Tree of Life to turn it into a centerpiece of colorful design and show. After the sun sets, fireflies begin to appear on the Tree of Life approximately every 10 minutes. These fireflies begin awakening of the Tree of Life which turns into a brief but gorgeous presentation worth stopping for. But wait… there is more than one show so don’t think because you’ve seen one show you’ve seen it all!
4. Rivers of Light
Embrace yourself for the celebration of nature with the newest nighttime show at Animal Kingdom, Rivers of Light. This 15-minute show is held in an amphitheater next to Expedition Everest and boasts dramatic storytelling and animal folklore through beautiful floats, inspiring music, impressive water screens, and all the latest technology and special effects. Truly a celebration of nature’s beauty!
3. Avatar Flight of Passage
Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the two attractions located in the new Pandora – The World of Avatar area within Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Prepare to straddle what feels somewhat like one of those motorcycles at an arcade, be secured in, and then using 3D screen technology, awesome 4D effects, and motion simulation – feel like you are literally flying on the back of a mountain banshee in the most exhilarating way. Your banshee (somewhat like a flying dragon) will soar through the sky as it takes you on the ride of a lifetime through Pandora – The World of Avatar.
2. Kilimanjaro Safaris
If you head to Kilimanjaro Safaris first thing before noon, not only are your chances good of walking right onto this ride, but it’s also likely you will see more animals than you will later in the day. As you drive through the Harambe Wildlife Reserve in the open-air vehicle you’ll see lions, elephants, rhinos, cheetahs, giraffes and many more beautiful and endangered animals, not to mention the spectacular landscape.
1. Expedition Everest
Expedition Everest is a popular and loved attraction at Animal Kingdom and for good reason! It’s incredibly fun, thrilling and the theming is spectacular! You’ll hop aboard a tea train that will travel through the Forbidden Mountain where you’ll come face to face with the fearsome Yeti. Expedition Everest delivers in every way, and remains one of the top experiences at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.