When you think of Walt Disney World, often we imagine the Magic Kingdom. Who doesn’t love swashbuckling pirates, fairies, tales as old as time?! It’s a magical place, for sure. However, Disney has three other parks that are just as magical, just in different ways. This post is going to highlight some of our favorite (and maybe a not so favorite) activities in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
Let’s start with the newest edition to Animal Kingdom, Pandora! If you have read any of my posts prior, you know my kids are still young. So, I can’t give you a first hand experience of Flight of Passage. We could have done the child swap, but holy moly, those lines were so long even though we literally ran to Pandora the second they let us through. If you don’t get a fast pass for this ride, you better book it. The line consistently stays hours long. However, we did get to experience the Na’vi River Journey, and it was amazing. When you first walk into Pandora, you immediately see the floating land.
It is amazing to see and it really makes you feel like you are in the movie. The line to wait in (because yes, even if you run, you will still wait) was interesting and themed the entire way. The ride itself was great. It is a boat ride through Pandora, easy ride. It’s perfect for the whole family. It’s new, it’s exciting, it’s a must see if you are planning to go to Animal Kingdom.
- Kali River Rapids
This is one of my kids favorite rides. Now me? Not so much… lol. I hate water rides usually. (Exception- Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom, but that is IT.) However, since it’s my kids favorite, I thought I’d mention it. It is your typical, get in a circular raft and float while praying that the waterfalls and water sprayers miss you. It is special because Disney does it’s magic and creates an unforgettable atmosphere where real monkeys are making noises and you are immersed in culture. Be prepared to get wet, even if you are one of the luckier ones, you won’t leave dry.
- Expedition Everest
This is my husband and my oldest daughter’s favorite ride in Animal Kingdom. She was the only one that would/could ride it of my three kids (My middle isn’t into “scary” rides). You are on an expedition to find a yeti, it has sharp turns, tall hills and surprises around every corner. It is thrilling but maintains the fun. Thankfully, with the addition to Pandora, this is not the newest ride anymore, so the wait isn’t that bad. We basically walked right on without a fast pass. Granted, we were there the second it opened because we got there early for Pandora. It is definitely a must see at the Animal Kingdom if you have any adventurers in your group.
- Kilimanjaro Safari-
This is one of my very favorite things about Animal Kingdom. This ride takes you through different parts of “Africa” and lets you get an up close and personal look at the animals. The kids love it, the adults love it, it’s overall amazing. I would recommend going first thing in the morning. So I hear, it’s when you’ll get to see the most animals. I’ve only ever gone during the morning and I’ve never been disappointed. You also might want to consider a fast pass for this ride, it does book quickly and the line doesn’t move exceptionally fast.
- The Festival of the Lion King
This is my very favorite show of all of Disney Shows. That is a bold statement, I know, but I’m serious. It has all the elements of a good show. It is exciting, funny and appealing to all ages. The stage is set in the center with four audience sections surrounding it. Each section is labeled as a different animal. The actors have the audience participate several different times, making animal noises and inviting the kids to dance around with them. The last time my daughters were picked, and I won’t lie,.. I may have teared up a bit. It was precious! Try to sit on the end of the seats (let your kids sit there actually) and they have a better chance of getting picked. The monkeys are so fun and do this awesome gymnastics/trampoline routine. Then, there are fire dancers and aerial performers. It’s just fantastic. Definitely do not miss out on this show. You won’t be disappointed.
So, that is my list of favorites. There are so many other things to do and see here at Animal Kingdom. We usually end our day there with a stop for food at the Rainforest Cafe. It is located right outside of the park.
I said I would mention a not so favorite as well. So here is my word of advice…. lol
If you are traveling with young children, do not take them to “It’s Tough to be A Bug”. We have made this mistake, not knowing. It is super funny to look back on, but was not funny at all in the moment. In Disney’s defense, they do say outside the ride that it may be scary to young children. We apparently did not see this sign. We took our 2 1/2 and 1 1/2 year olds into this ride. It starts out fine, 3D bugs, cute…funny. Then the grasshoppers come. That is when our children’s laughs turned into cries.. of terror. Lol they literally were shaking with fear and of course we were seated front and center… so we just endured this and consoled them the best we could… aka yelled “take off your glasses!” “It’s not real”. To be honest, I may have laughed a little too hard at my predicament I found myself in. It was so bad, it was funny. If that makes sense lol🤦🏼♀️ Animal Kingdom is a great time, filled with thrilling rides, real animals and a theme like no other. It is a must go to for all ages and will not disappoint. Well, unless you are a toddler inside “It’s Tough to be a Bug”. Then you will be disappointed lol. 🤦🏼♀️#momfail