Top Experiences You Can’t Miss in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life
Credit: Disney

No visit to the Walt Disney World Resort is complete without enjoying plenty of time at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This breathtaking Disney Park opened on April 22, 1998, and welcomes Guests to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature while sharing the extremely important message of conservation.

Tree of Life Reflection


Disney’s Animal Kingdom is bursting with amazing experiences that include everything from family-friendly and thrilling attractions to live entertainment, dining, and more. With so many options to choose from, Guests might be overwhelmed in deciding what to prioritize. So let’s check out some of the most incredible experiences found at Disney’s Animal Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort that Guests should be sure to enjoy on every single visit to Park.

Tree of Life

Credit: Disney Parks

Tree of Life Trails

The Tree of Life is the focal point of Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and many Guests love to take photos with the beautiful structure in the background but overlook the opportunity to explore the icon up close. The Tree of Life trails are quiet, winding pathways that invite Guests to explore the roots and base of the Tree of Life up close, showcasing the beauty and detail of each carving found on both the bark and the roots. Guests will feel miles away from the busy paths of the Disney Park and love taking several moments to enjoy the peace and serenity of this beautiful set of trails. It’s also fun to see how many animals you can spot in the tree itself.

Satu'li Canteen

Credit: Disney

Satu’li Canteen

There are plenty of amazing dining locations throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom, including everything from table service feasts to convenient quick-service options. One of the most popular dining spots is Satu’li Canteen, a quick-service location found in the heart of Pandora – The World of Avatar. Open daily for lunch and dinner, this location was formerly a mess hall for the RDA before being filled with beautiful Na’vi cultural items. The menu at Satu’li Canteen is so popular with Guests thanks to its customizable bowls which feature a choice of protein, base, and sauce to create a unique and delicious option for everyone.

Avatar Flight of Passage

Credit: Disney

Avatar Flight of Passage

While Satu’li Canteen is wonderful, the most popular experience that cannot be missed in Pandora – The World of Avatar is Avatar Flight of Passage, a thrilling attraction that links Guests with an Avatar using incredible technology. Once linked, Guests are able to take flight on the back of a banshee and soar high over the breathtaking landscapes of the Valley of Mo’ara while checking out unique plant life, creatures, and a beautiful bioluminescent forest. Avatar Flight of Passage truly immerses Guests in the experience thanks to 3D glasses and a unique link chair that features smooth movements and even mimics the breathing of a banshee.

Na'vi River Journey

Credit: Disney

Na’vi River Journey

The final experience that cannot be missed in Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is a more family-friendly attraction that further showcases the beauty of the area. The Na’vi River Journey is a serene experience that has Guests float down a river through a bioluminescent forest that is teeming with otherworldly creatures and vegetation. Subtle music begins to build slowly and Guests begin to notice the Na’vi emerging before coming face to face with the Shaman of the Songs, who is one of the most technologically advanced audio-animatronics ever created.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Flame Tree Barbecue

Another popular quick-service dining location that Guests shouldn’t miss out on in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Flame Tree Barbecue, which can be found on Discovery Island, not far from the bridge that links that area to Dinoland. Open daily for lunch and dinner, Flame Tree Barbecue serves up a menu of mouthwatering barbecue options, including the ever-popular Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork. After ordering, Guests can enjoy their meals on open-air patios with bright and colorful details or make their way all the way to the water’s edge to enjoy a beautiful view of the Discovery River and Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in the distance.

Credit: Disney


A unique and thrilling attraction that adrenaline seekers love in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found in the heart of Dinoland inside the Dino Institute. Dinosaur invites Guests into the science facility, where the technology to travel back in time has been opened up to the public. Instead of embarking on a serene journey, Guests soon find themselves dangerously close to a massive asteroid impact and swerving and maneuvering through the dark to avoid some angry carnivores. With moments of pure darkness and some big surprises, Dinosaur is a definite must-do in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Credit: Disney

Festival of the Lion King

The Lion King is a beloved Disney animated film that is brought to life in a new and entertaining way in the Harambe Theater in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Festival of the Lion King is a live production that features favorite characters and music from the film that is performed by a cast of actors, fire dancers, aerial ballet dancers, and more. With audience participation and the always loveable Tumble Monkeys, Guests absolutely need to make time to check out a showing of the Festival of the Lion King.

Elephant habitat Kilimanjaro Safaris

Credit: Disney

Kilimanjaro Safaris

One of the most popular and memorable attractions in Disney’s Animal Kingdom can be found in the village of Harambe and invites Guests to embark on an unforgettable safari adventure. Kilimanjaro Safaris brings Guests into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve where free roaming animals including elephants, lions, giraffes, cheetahs, hippos, rhinos, and more can be found peacefully existing and exploring on their own time. Kilimanjaro Safaris is one of the best attractions at the Walt Disney World Resort, with an important message of conservation and beautiful views of the savannah and forest.

Expedition Everest

Credit: Disney

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

While there is no shortage of thrills to be enjoyed in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, one of the most popular attractions to check out is Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain in the Asia area of the Disney Park. This incredible attraction brings Guests on a shortcut to Everest’s base camp, where they soon find themselves scrambling to escape the clutches of the Yeti. With moments of darkness, backward spirals, and a massive drop before the ultimate showdown with the Yeti, Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is an experience that should not be missed in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Ahi Tuna Nachos

Credit: Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Yak & Yeti Restaurant

The final experience that Guests shouldn’t miss out on in Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Yak & Yeti Restaurant, a table service restaurant in the Asia area of the Disney Park. This beautiful dining option spans two floors of dining rooms that are decorated with artifacts and items collected by Imagineers in Southeast Asia. The lunch and dinner menus are extensive and serve up pan-Asian specialties, including the famous Ahi Tuna Nachos and much, much more. Guests who make it a priority to dine at Yak & Yeti Restaurant for lunch or dinner are sure to love every single bite of their unforgettable meals!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.