Animal Kingdom Park is divided into multiple themed areas. Each is home to attractions, animal exhibits, dining, and performances that educate about the wildlife that live in that part of the world. Additionally, the park celebrates and introduces guests to the culture and art of people that live around the world.
The photos posted are from trips prior to 2020, so some experiences are currently altered or unavailable due to COVID Restrictions. The My Disney Experience App is the best resource for up to date information about your visit.
Because the Kilimanjaro Safari is live narrated by a Cast member and subject to animal behavior, no two rides have been identical for us. (What has never changed, however, is how tightly I hold onto Alice as we go over the crocodile pit.) As will many aspects of Animal Kingdom, a conservation message is woven into the education and entertainment of the “ride.”
The African Wildlife Trek is a trail that provides a closer look at some of the same animals from the Kilimanjaro Safari ride. Additionally, you’ll walk through aquariums, a small animals house, and an aviary. We spent an excessive amount of time in the aviary watching weavers build nests and observing ducks. At the end of the trail is an expansive gorilla exhibit.
The Festival of the Lion King
The Festival of the Lion King is my favorite show in all of the parks. On one visit we decided at the last minute to catch the next show, and were greeted by a Cast member who escorted us to the premier seats normally reserved for guests who had purchased a special dining package. Alice was able to lead the guests in the “giraffe call” before the show.
Wildlife Express Train
A short train ride from Harambe Station takes you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. It’s a great break from the crowded park, especially if your kids are collecting Wilderness Explorer stickers. Inside the building are animal exhibits and a veterinary center. The Animation Experience is a live demonstration with a Disney animator that walks you through the steps of drawing one of many characters from the Lion King. Outside are nature trails and the Affection Station petting zoo.
Harambe Market & Disney Characters
Harambe Market and village offer shopping, quick service dining, and (prior to COVID-restrictions) live acrobatic and musical performances. It’s also the chance to see (currently as “cavalcades” instead of meet and greets) your favorite friends from Disney films set in Africa, including Rafiki, Timon, and Tarzan. We ran into Tarzan on our first visit while Alice was sleeping, so I was the only one to participate in the experience. Since then, finding Tarzan has become a family (Jen) tradition.
Tusker House Character Dining
It’s hard to choose a favorite Disney experience for our family, but closing out Tusker House one night ranks pretty high. We were treated to an almost private dance party with a safari-clad Mickey & friends. Tusker House was Alice’s first ever character dining experience at age 3, and it has always been one of our favorite dining locations, with a huge buffet of African cuisine-inspired (and many vegetarian) dishes.
Let me help plan your trip to Walt Disney World, Florida
Choose a Resort
Staying on Walt Disney World property helps you be immersed in the Disney magic for your entire vacation. From affordable campsites and value options to deluxe villas, there are options for every budget.
Get My disney Experience
The key to a fun and well-planned Disney Vacation is getting well acquainted with the My Disney Experience App. Order food, check wait times, search for the nearest restroom, book dining reservations, and so much more.
Pick Your Parks
With four theme parks and two water parks, you’ll have no trouble finding something to interest all members of your family.
Magic Kingdom offers the most classic Disney Attractions, as well as reimagined rides and shows. My advice is always to take advantage of the “off the beaten path” experiences too, like those highlighted in this blog.
Dine at Disney
Dining at Disney comes in all forms, from Mickey-shaped snacks to quick service meals to fine dining in Signature Restaurants.