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The Rides and Experiences You Won't Want to Miss at Animal Kingdom

by Mommy Frog on April 22, 2022 Orlando   Video

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Summary

Disney's Animal Kingdom holds a special place in our froggy hearts as there's something for everyone, plus we amphibians love seeing all of the animals. With thrilling attractions, animal experiences, beautiful shows and more, we always have a great time at the park. Animal Kingdom has a lot to offer, so you don't want to miss this wild time! We've collected our top rides, experiences and food and drink for this hoppin' park.

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom

We always think it's good to have a flexible plan ahead of time, or at least know what to prioritize and keep on your must-do list. (For a little extra organizational help, don't froget to check out the Undercover Tourist Orlando app — we offer pre-set Park Plans, plus the ability to customize your own plan with YOUR family's must-dos!). Without further ado, here's our Frog Family's list of what not to miss at Animal Kingdom!

Not-to-Miss Animal Kingdom Rides with Height Requirements

Avatar Flight of Passage

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Flight of Passage queue

Ever wanted to fly on a banshee like the ones from the film "Avatar"? Now you can with the ever-popular Avatar Flight of Passage attraction in Pandora. With incredible technology, you truly feel like you are soaring along with the Na'vi. This is consistently the highest wait of Animal Kingdom, so we recommend riding right at park opening or close, or splurge for an individual Lightning Lane selection with Disney Genie+.

The heights requirement for Avatar Flight of Passage is 44 inches or taller.

Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain

Another frog favorite, Expedition Everest is an exciting roller coaster with twists, turns and even backward motion. Journey up Mount Everest, but beware of the legendary Yeti in the mountain's dark caverns. This is always a fun coaster and typically, wait times are pretty manageable.

The height requirement for Expedition Everest is 44 inches or taller.

Note that this ride can sometimes affect those with motion sickness and can be scary for children. For those not riding, take a seat and relax by watching Disney KiteTails or Feathered Friends in Flight, all also located in Asia.

DINOSAUR

Not our Dino! Travel back in time to prehistoric times in a race to find the Iguanadon before the meteor strikes. Your Time Rover will take you on a very thrilling adventure with twists and turns as you avoid the crash and other dinosaurs. Note that this ride may be scary for tadpoles.

The height requirement for DINOSAUR is 40 inches or taller.

Guide to Animal Kingdom - Entrance to Dinosaur ride

Not-to-Miss Animal Kingdom Rides for All Ages

Kilimanjaro Safaris

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Zebra at Kilimanjaro Safaris

The safari is a definite not-to-miss for us frogs! Set off on a guided tour of the savanna, home to 34 species including giraffes, zebras, elephants, lions and more. The drivers are quite knowledgable, and it's a wonderful chance to see so many exotic animals up close. You'll never know which animals you'll see, so Kilimanjaro Safaris is definitely repeat-worthy!

Na'vi River Journey

Avatar Flight of Passage FastPass - Na'vi River Journey

In comparison to the thrilling Flight of Passage, Pandora's other ride takes you through a peaceful journey of the vibrant planet. On this slow-boat ride, witness the bioluminescent jungle and the impressive Na'vi Shaman of Songs. Hop on during the first or last two hours of the day for the shortest waits, or grab a Genie+ reservation.

TriceraTop Spin

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Tricera Top Spin

Tadpoles will absolutely love this flying dinosaur ride! A prehistoric take on other circular spinning rides such as Dumbo or The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, control the height and enjoy soaring over Dinoland U.S.A. This can be a great alternative while others in your party head to DINOSAUR.

Not-to-Miss Experiences at Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Wilderness Explorers

Wilderness Explorers – Two young girls with handbooks

Caw! Caw! Roar! Have you ever wanted to be a Wilderness Explorer, just like Russell from "Up"?Well you can be at Animal Kingdom, and best yet — it's toadally free! The Wilderness Explorers is a self-paced, scavenger hunt-like activity throughout the park. Frogs of all ages earn badges as you learn about wilderness skills, fossils, conservation and more. With nearly 30 badge opportunities throughout the park, this experience can really enhance your day in the wild. For more wild details, check out our guide to Wilderness Explorers!

Entertainment

Animal Kingdom has a lot of entertainment to offer, including some of our favorite shows on property. Festival of the Lion King is a definite not-miss for our family. This beautiful theatrical performance involves songs from the film, puppetry, beautiful costumes and incredible choreography and stunts. Though currently modified as A Celebration of Festival of The Lion King, the show is still a wonderful time and we look forward to more elements returning soon (like those exciting tumbling monkeys!)

Guide to Animal Kingdom - Kite Tails

A new daytime show, Disney KiteTails, premiered at Animal Kingdom for the 50th anniversary! Showing several times daily at the Discovery River Amphitheater, performers fly windcatchers and kites of all shapes and sizes, while larger three-dimensional kites, depicting Disney animal friends (including Simba, Zazu, Baloo and King Louie), soar through the sky above the water to the beat of Disney songs. There are two versions — a "Jungle Book" theme and a "Lion King" theme.

And we eagerly await the reimagined Finding Nemo: The Big, Blue and Beyond, returning this year. Are you ready? (Yes, we're readyyyyy!)

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Tam Tam Drummers in Africa

Keep an eye out for ambient performers such as the Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe, who perform periodically throughout the day in Africa. Everyone will want to dance along to the beat!

Trails

Collared Lemur at Disney's Animal Kingdom

You can't go to Animal Kingdom without experiencing the incredible animals located at the park. Be sure to hop along the Maharajah Jungle Trek to see beautiful Asian tigers and other wildlife. There are various animals off of paths, so be sure to take the time to learn more about them.

There are even trails leading right up to the Tree of Life. The Discovery Island Trails leads you off the beaten path and lets you relax with hardly anyone around. Along the trail, you'll see animals such as vultures, porcupines, lemurs, kangaroos ... and our all-time fave, the OTTER. (We have a soft spot for our aquatic pals.)

Characters 

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Kevin character sighting

It wouldn't be Walt Disney World without your favorite characters! While traditional meet and greets are not currently hoppening at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you can still see Mickey and his pals on character boat cruises. (Psst ... traditional meet and greets began to return April 18, so stay tuned, as this may change real soon!) There are four separate boat cruises with different friends on board, including Timon and Rafiki, Pocahontas and Meeko, Goofy and Chip 'n' Dale, Donald, Daisy and Launchpad McQuack, and finally Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. The boats move around the entirety of Discovery River throughout the day. While there are no precise times that you can expect them, we estimate that the boats cruise along the river about once an hour, and you can check the timeframes in the My Disney Experience app.

Recently, we have seen even more characters pop up around the park in a distanced setting. A recent addition is Kevin, the colorful exotic bird as seen in "Up." You can see Kevin for the majority of the day in Discovery Island at the entrance to DinoLand U.S.A.. We've also spotted Pluto up on the bridge near The Boneyard as you enter DinoLand U.S.A. So you never know who you'll see!

Not-to-Miss Food and Drink at Animal Kingdom Theme Park

Satu'li Canteen

Satu'li Canteen – Chicken Bowl with Potato

We always leave Satu'li Canteen happy with full frog bellies! This quick-service restaurant in Pandora is a frog favorite for its customizable bowls and hearty-and-healthy options. The meals have a Pandora twist to them, but are still recognizable to those from Earth. We recommend mobile ordering at this location.

Pongu Pongu

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Night Blossom from Pongu Pongu

While in Pandora, be sure to grab some out-of-this-world drinks at this small walk-up stand. Meaning "Party Party" in the Na'vi language, enjoy small snacks such as the Pongu Lumpia spring roll. Savor both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, such as the tadpole-friendly Night Blossom (pictured).

Harambe MarketHarambe Market

You won't want to miss this marketplace offering up delicious meals. Located in Africa, Harambe Market resembles a true open-air market with a variety of food options. There are bowls, salads, kid's meals, lots of drink options and a cute Simba cupcake. We love feasting on the Chicken and Ribs bowl.

Harambe Market may have limited hours so be sure to double-check in the My Disney Experience app and enjoy!

Flame Tree Barbecue 

Savor some delicious smoked meat and sides while taking in the views at Flame Tree Barbecue. Enjoy chicken, ribs, pulled pork and more in sandwiches, meals or salads. With lots of kids and allergy options, there's something for everyone. We love the Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork because it's a best of both worlds. Yum!

What Not-to-Miss at Animal Kingdom - Baked Mac 'n' Cheese with Pulled Pork from Flame Tree Barbecue

What's on your family's not-to-miss list at Animal Kingdom? Did we miss anything? (With so many amazing things to do at Animal Kingdom, we're sure we did!) Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Which Disney World Park Should I Choose?

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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