Are you considering skipping one of the four theme parks while at Walt Disney World? I will give you my top 5 reasons not to skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom! When I visit Walt Disney World, I don’t skip any of the four theme parks. It always surprises me when people tell me they plan to skip one, especially if it’s the first visit because there is so much to do and see at each one. Oftentimes, I’m told, “Well, we are just going to skip the Animal Kingdom, it’s just a big zoo”. There is so much to love about Disney’s Animal Kingdom that I will not skip it! Usually, I visit this park more than once during my trips!
In my opinion, Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the best rides at Walt Disney World. The whole area of Pandora – The World of Avatar is amazing and every aspect of the theming is on point. Whether your travel party is able to ride Avatar Flight of Passage or not, there are many things to do and see in this area of the park. Na’vi River Journey is a beautiful boat ride, perfect for those who are not tall enough or are not interested in, Avatar Flight of Passage. Then, there is the food! Satu’li Canteen is a great quick service restaurant featuring several food choices, including my favorite, the combination bowl with chicken, beef and your choice of base and sauce.
Festival of the Lion King & the Other Amazing Shows
Just like Avatar Flight of Passage is one of the best rides, the Festival of the Lion King show is easily the best show. With fun characters and familiar songs, this Broadway-style show combined with acrobatics and dancing is perfect for the whole family! However, that is not the only great show at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Don’t forget to stop by and watch Burudika while you are in the Africa section of the park. If you are an animal lover, UP! A Great Bird Adventure is another great choice.
With little ones, Finding Nemo – The Musical blends fun songs and characters to retell the story of this adorable movie! In the evening, there is a nighttime show called Rivers of Light, which combines music, lighting and other special effects to explore nature. There will be a new version of this show starting on May 24, 2019, called Rivers of Light: We are One.
Mickey & Minnie & Hard to Find Characters
Currently, guests can meet Mickey and Minnie together in two different places in Walt Disney World – at the Town Square Theater in their special outfits and at Disney’s Animal Kingdom in their safari gear. After September 30, 2019, Disney’s Animal Kingdom will once again be the only location to see them together and get your picture taken! This is one of my favorite meet and greets and definitely worth stopping by, especially if anyone in your travel party loves Mickey and Minnie!
There are also some other characters that you won’t find in any of the other parks at Walt Disney World. Pocahontas is one of them! In Dinoland U.S.A., you will find Launchpad McQuack and Scrooge McDuck. Russell and Dug also have a meet and greet, near the Tree of Life. Then, there is a dance party! The Hakuna Matata Time Dance party takes place on Discovery Island, alternating between live music and a DJ. Several characters also make appearances. While the characters at these parties do not sign autographs, little ones can enjoy dancing and still interact with them!
Kilimanjaro Safaris & Other Fun Attractions
When I plan my visits to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, I always make sure that I ride Kilimanjaro Safaris. The great thing about this ride is that it is different, literally, every time that I ride it. I will typically try to head there first thing in the morning or around dusk and I seem to see different animals each time – from seeing the pride of lions roaring to a zebra running right in front of the jeep and an ostrich standing in the road, there is definitely plenty to see! That’s not my only must-do attraction though! I also love riding Expedition: Everest and Dinosaur. For the little ones, TriceraTop Spin is a great choice! Don’t forget to stop by the Boneyard with your little ones. It’s a fun play area where they can run around while the grown-ups relax for a bit!
The Many Great Dining Options
Whether you are looking for a sit-down meal or a quick one on the go, there are so many delicious choices! Tusker House is a table-service restaurant offering buffet-style character dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here, you can meet some of your favorite Disney characters such as Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy. The food is very good throughout the day, featuring both kid-friendly options and African flavors. Visit Tiffins Restaurant for a signature dining experience, complete with tastes from around the world. If you are looking for quick-service options, Flame Tree Barbecue is a must! With delicious (and shareable) options, there is plenty of seating at this restaurant located near the Tree of Life. The best part? Mobile ordering is also available here! You can stop at Creature Comforts for a quick snack or your favorite Starbucks drink and then, of course, enjoy a Dole Whip or other treats at Tamu Tamu Refreshments.
These are just 5 reasons why you shouldn’t skip Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are definitely more! Whether you want to experience amazing attractions, fill your belly with delicious dining options or enjoy some amazing shows, there is something for everyone. Then, of course, there are the animals! There are walking trails featuring several different species including tigers, various birds and even gorillas, including a new baby. While the animals are certainly a great part of this park, it is SO much more than just a big zoo! Many people do not realize everything that this park has to offer.
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