Animal Kingdom is Disney’s newest park, even at 15 years old now. Similar to Busch Gardens Tampa, it combines a theme park with a zoo, although with more focus on being a zoo. Here’s my favorite Animal Kingdom attractions.
Note: Attractions marked with * have a FastPass.
5. (tie) Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and Maharajah Jungle Trek: If you’re at the zoo, you definitely want to see some animals, and Animal Kingdom’s two walking trails will deliver on that. Africa’s Pangani features gorillas, meerkats and hippos, while Asia’s Maharajah gets you a look at bats, tigers, and Komodo dragons. And don’t miss some of the other animal viewing spots throughout the park, such as the monkey island in Asia.
4. Expedition Everest*: Florida’s tallest mountain (no, really) has a train-themed roller coaster that provides some big thrills. In particular, there’s the fact that it goes backwards and the encounters with the Yeti that make this unique. It may be stretching the Animal Kingdom theming, but it’s definitely a fun time.
3. Dinosaur*: Animal Kingdom’s other big thrill ride isn’t quite a roller coaster, isn’t quite a normal dark ride. But it’s definitely in the dark, in one of the darkest attractions at Disney next to Space Mountain, and tosses you around as you come face-to-face with dinosaurs that range from the docile to the Carnotaur. Loud, fast, and fun.
2. Finding Nemo: The Musical: Over at Hollywood, there’s a quick adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, my favorite Disney musical, but Finding Nemo wins out over it, and that wasn’t even a musical. Instead, a group of catchy original songs were written for this, and the entire thing is given a Broadway-level production value, especially with the impressive puppet work that brings the fish to life.
1. Kilimanjaro Safaris*: Kilimanjaro is always my first destination at Animal Kingdom. This is a lengthy ride (at least 15 minutes) that brings you up close to various animals, giving you a good look at giraffes, hippos, crocodiles, elephants, and more. It really transports you to the savannah as you go through the area. And now that the goofy story has been eliminated, this can truly earn its top place here.