welcome to the final overview post. this one is going to be about animal kingdom. this is sadly my least favorite of the four parks, and i think it always has been. it’s not that it is a bad park, i just like the other three better. there are still things that i love about animal kingdom, and i have some great memories from this park. let’s start with the different areas of the park.
when you first enter the park, you will be in the oasis area. as soon as you enter the gate, there is an animal exhibit to roam through. you may see some exotic animals, you may not. it just depends on the day and how hard you are looking. this is basically the main street of animal kingdom. these exhibits lead to the rest of the park. there is also a gift shop and the rainforest cafe near the entrance. once you make it through the exhibits, you will start heading into discovery island which holds the tree of life. this huge tree acts as the cinderella castle of animal kingdom. the other sections of the park surround the tree of life, similar to the hub style of the magic kingdom. the discovery river divides this center section from the other areas in the park.
discovery island is home to the tree of life, many restaurants, and some shoppes. there are also some rides and shows in discovery island. there is the “it’s tough to be a bug” show, a mickey and minnie meet and greet, and some more animal exhibits. i don’t spend very much time in animal kingdom so i do not have an opinion to share on any of these things, but i have heard good things about the bug’s life show from other bloggers. i also do not typically eat at the animal kingdom. i personally like other restaurants in disney world better, and some of the restaurants serve food that is a little too adventurous for me.
the next section is africa. this is probably the best place to see animals in the park. there are some exhibits to walk through and even a sarafi. the kilimanjaro safari is one of my favorite things to do in animal kingdom. it is a 20+ minute long ride that informs you about the problems with poaching and takes you through the safari where you can see elephants, lions, giraffes, and more. this may have a long wait, but it’s worth it, and it’s a great ride to use a fast pass on. there is also a lion king show in africa. i haven’t seen this recently, but i know that a lot of people love it. next, is a not so great experience, rafiki’s planet watch. which i do not recommend at all! you have to take a 15 minute train ride only to get to a petting zoo that is next to a small museum. it was about mid morning when my family and i arrived at this terrible petting zoo, and all of the animals were sleeping. there were only a couple that were even in the zoo. as for the rest of the “planet watch”, it’s basically a very boring museum that talks about the conservation of animals. moving on, there are many restaurant options in africa. although i’ve never eaten at tusker house, i have heard great things about this restaurant.
asia is the next part of animal kingdom. this section holds my favorite ride in animal kingdom, expedition everest! there is also the river rapids, bats, tigers, komodo dragons to see, and the flights of wonder show. the river rapids are a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but be ware because you might get drenched. they recently added a new nighttime show called the Rivers of Light. i have not seen this show, but it looks very pretty, and i am glad they added something to animal kingdom that you can experience at night. there are many restaurant options in Asia too. as i have mentioned, i don’t know much about animal kingdom dinning. i have heard some good reviews of the yak & yeti, though.
the next section of this park is dinoland u.s.a. this has another one of my favorite rides at animal kingdom, Dinosaur. this is a great ride that can be a little scary to children, but i think it is a must do. there are also some smaller rides in this area like the triceratops spin and some carnival games. but, then there is the primeval whirl. this ride is terrible, especially for people with back or neck problems. the entire ride is just jerking you from side to side. me and my family DO NOT recommend this ride at all. there is also the finding nemo show, which i have not seen in a while, but i remember it being a fun show to watch. i have eaten at some of the restaurants in this area, and probably won’t be eating at them again.
now for the newest section of the park and the reason i haven’t posted this until now, Pandora. this just opened last month and is highly raved about by many. this land is the land of avatar. i have never seen the movie, so i don’t understand everything about Pandora. there are beautiful floating mountains that truly look magical. there are a couple rides in this section, the navi river journey and the flight of passage. the navi river journey is a slow dark ride that takes you through a river and shows the true beauty of Pandora. the flight of passage ride is a simulator that takes you through the floating mountains while flying on a creature called a banshee. this land looks the most beautiful at night, so if you are going to animal kingdom i suggest coming to this land after dark so you can see the beautiful nightlife of Pandora.
now for my overall thoughts on animal kingdom. as i may have expressed, i don’t typically spend very much time in this park. this has been a half day park for my family in the past. we will usually go to this park in the mornings and spend the evenings in another park. i have always felt like there isn’t much to do in this park. we get the rides done, see some animals, and then we’re out of there. but, now that pandora and the rivers of light show have been added, i think we will be going to this park at night. some of my must dos are expedition everest, dinosaur, and kilimanjaro safaris. some things that i don’t recommend are the primeval whirl and rafiki’s planet watch. i hope you enjoyed my disney world overviews. more posts are coming very soon! xoxo, corinne.