Animal Kingdom

Built in 1998, Animal Kingdom is not just the largest Disney park in The World, but the entire world.  At over 500 acres, Magic Kingdom could fit into Animal Kingdom several times over.  In fact, Magic Kingdom could fit inside the single attraction of Kilimanjaro Safari.

There are six main areas to Animal Kingdom:  The Oasis, Discovery Island, Africa, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, Asia and DinoLand USA.   And coming May 27th, “Pandora: The Land of Avatar” will open, giving the park it’s 7th land!

THE OASIS

This is the park’s main entrance, where you’ll find the Rainforest Café, and several animal habitat areas, along with Cast Members along the way teaching and showing animals, bugs and more.

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DISCOVERY ISLAND

The “hub of the park”, the island that attaches all other lands to each other.  You can find It’s Tough to Be A Bug, nestled under The Tree of Life.  It’s a 4D attraction that shrinks you down to bug size, where Flik from “A Bug’s Life” takes you on a journey to see what it’s like to be a bug.  The Tree of Life itself measures 14 stories and over 50 feet wide on the trunk.  It’s a man-made tree with over 325 animals carved into the trunk and roots.

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AFRICA

Set in the fictional East African Village of Harambe, the main attraction of Africa is the Kilimanjaro Safari, while The Tusker House restaurant makes for one of our favorite meals.  When building this area, Imagineers not only went to many African villages, they actually hosted village leaders from various African nations to come in and check the authenticity of the décor.  Nearby, you’ll find the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, a great walking trail with gorills as one of the star attractions.

The Festival of the Lion King is a great show that showcases the music, costumes, dancing and splendor of the animated classic, and next door is the Kilimanjaro Safari!  You’ll climb aboard an open sided safari vehicle and your tour guide will take you through several different African environments, from the jungles to the open Savannah, and you’ll get up close looks at giraffes, elephants, gazelle and more.

Then you can get some grub at the Harambe Market… An area great quick service dining options.  Modeled after an African market, it is an open air area with lots of open seating and great food options.

Then catch the train up to RAFIKI’S PLANET WATCH, the only land not connected to Discovery Island, and you get to it by boarding a small train for a five minute ride out there, and you’ll see the Habitat Habit, Affection Station & Conservation Station.

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ASIA

Set in the fictional kingdom of Anandapur, it’s comprised of two villages—Anandapur and Serka Zong.

If you are ready to get soaked, try out the Kali River Rapids, a short little river trek through the Chakranadi River.  Then take on the Yeti through the Himalayas while aboard Expedition Everest, a very smooth — and fast — roller coaster!  Grab a bite to eat at the Far-East flavored Yak & Yeti, take a stroll through the Maharajah Jungle Trek (the tigers are majestic, the Komodo dragons are awesome and the bat exhibit is uber creepy–and cool), then sit for 20 minutes and enjoy the Flights of Wonder, a funny and amazing live bird show the whole family will enjoy.

(Height Restrictions on Everest is 44″ and on Kali River Rapids is 38″)

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DINOLAND USA

In the corner of the park, you’ll travel back in time in this Dino-centric area, with not only a playground for kids — The Boneyard — but also a roadside fair — Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama.

Then take a ride on the Triceratops Spin, fun for the whole family as you spin in a slow circle, flying up and down.  Then take a much faster spin on the Primeval Whirl!  It’s part tea cup, part tilt a whirl and part small kid coaster, zip through eras of time, up and down and round and round and round.  You’ll go on an adventure through the eras of time  as you go up and down, round and round on the tracks. Then its a race back in time, back a few millions years to catch a dinosaur for science in the dark, loud and bumpy DINOSAUR.  I mean, what could go wrong?

If it’s time to get a bite to eat, stop into Restaurantasauras with burgers and dogs and such.  Then take a stroll up the walk to the theater to see one of the best shows on property, Finding Nemo: The Musical.  It’s a stage show that utilizes puppetry, comedy and lots of music to tell the story of the famous missing clownfish and the efforts of his father and a lovable, bumbling Dory!  Trust me, you’ll walk around singing “Just Keep Swimming” for days.

(Height restrictions on Primeval Whirl is 48″, and DINOSAUR is 40″)

SERVICES

  • Baby Care Center – Discovery Island, behind the MyMagic+ kiosk
  • Banking – ATM at the main entrance near Dinosaur in DinoLand USA
  • Cameras – Inside the main entrance at Garden Gate Gifts, in Africa at Mombasa Marketplace and other retail shops
  • Cell Phones – Outlets at Pizzafari, Restaurantosaurus, Tusker House & Conservation Station
  • First Aid – Discovery Island, next to MyMagic+ kiosk
  • Lost & Found – Inside main entrance to the left
  • Lost Kids – Report at Guest Relations; children taken to Baby Care Center
  • Storage Lockers – Inside main entrance to the left

ANIMAL KINGDOM TIPS

  • Outside the restrooms near Nemo there is a wall outlet to charge your phone.
  • The early Finding Nemo: the Musical show is usually the busiest, so plan accordingly.  Definitely don’t dismiss this one—it’s a 45 minute Broadway style show.
  • Enjoy the Boneyard in DinoLand.  It’s a great place for the kids to play and run around, while the adults can take a breather.
  • Did you know that the straws in Animal Kingdom are made of tightly rolled paper?  And there are very few drink lids in the park—both are for conservation purposes, and to keep the animals from munching on any carelessly discarded lids.