These days all the buzz about Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park tends to center around the Pandora: The World of Avatar land. Though we agree that everything about Pandora is pretty magical, we also want guests to fall in love with the other parts of Animal Kingdom including our favorite section of the park-Africa. To give you a taste of all of the amazing things you can do during your next visit, here are 8 reasons why we love the Africa section of Animal Kingdom.
1. Tusker House – This has to be one of our favorite locations for character dining in all of Walt Disney World Resort. This buffet restaurant located at the Harambe Marketplace offers an eclectic array of tasty dishes inspired by the flavors of Africa with a few trusty favorites thrown in for kids that are fussy eaters. However what makes this restaurant really special is that guests are visited by Safari Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. Prices here range from $35 – $59 per adult or one table service credit for those on the dining plan. Advance booking is strongly recommended.
2. Boozy Dole Whips at Tam Tamu – Calling all Dole Whip lovers! You can get your favorite pineapple soft serve with a boozy kick at Tamu Tamu at the Harambe Marketplace. For $7.00 guests can choose between a shot of dark rum or a shot of coconut room. There’s also the normal version for those with kids in tow.
3. Festival of The Lion King – If you only have time to take in one stage show while at Walt Disney World make it Festival of the Lion King. Combining elements of circus, musical theater and parades, the production is so rich and vibrant that it’s hard to take it all in. The production takes you through many of the key scenes from The Lion King with musical highlights including The Circle of Life, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and I Just Can’t Wait to Be King. Performances take place daily at 10:00
4. Amazing Street Performances – For those willing to take the time to slow down and really enjoy the sights and sounds of this section of Animal Kingdom you’ll be amazed at the incredible under-the-radar entertainment you’ll find throughout the day. Two of our favorites are the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe which will definitely have you dancing to the beat as well as Burudika who performs sing-along Afro-pop versions of songs like “You Can Call Me Al” and “Iko Iko”. The band also will jump at the chance to show you their African style dance moves. These street parties are wonderful and have the ability to magically transport you to another land.
5. Safaris After Sunset – The Kilimanjaro Safari attraction at Animal Kingdom is definitely not to be missed. Guests board a safari vehicle and head of into the parks expansive wildlife preserve where you’ll encounter all sorts of amazing animals. Disney recently started offering an “after dark” version of this attraction and we think its extra special. During this adventure, you’ll be able to observe the nocturnal habits of many of the animals including lions, elephants, hyenas, rhinos and so much more.
6. Gorillas! – You’ll find some amazing forest trails and walk-through animal exhibitions at Animal Kingdom but for us, none of them rivals the Pangani Forest which you’ll find in Africa. During your trek through the lush and beautiful path, you’ll find exotic animals including meerkats, zebras and our favorite an incredible group of western lowland gorillas sprawling on a grassy hillside. With several viewing locations you could easily spend an hour watching these amazingly beautiful creatures interact and may even be lucky enough to catch feeding time!
7. Harambe Marketplace – Pretty much our favorite place to get a quick service bite, this eatery is an absolute treasure trove of delicious treats. Our favorite at the moment is the refreshing Coconut Cake which comes with a Pineapple Coconut Mousse and is coated in Chocolate. There’s also an incredibly tasty Grilled Chicken Skewer rubbed in African spices! We also recommend you wash it all down with a Red Sangria! It is definitely a worthy pit stop for those looking for a quick bite.
These are just a few of the many reasons why we love Animal Kingdom and specifically the amazing African section of the park. We hope that next time you’re visiting you’ll take some time away from the Na’vi to explore all that the rest of the park has to offer!
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