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Disney's Animal Kingdom

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Disney's Animal Kingdom is Walt Disney World's newest and biggest theme park. Yes, I did say this is the biggest of the parks. It's true in terms of acres. The safari itself is the size of The Magic Kingdom. There is a lot of walking to be done here, so wear comfortable shoes.


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The Animal Kingdom is full of Animals (imagine that). There are also some good shows and a couple of really good rides. Let's go ...

Expedition Everest at the Animal Kingdom

Expedition Everest at Disney World's Animal Kingdom

Picture by Joe Penniston

The Oasis

The Oasis is the entrance area to the park. All of the other Disney World parks have shops right inside the gate. Not here. The Oasis is a buffer between the outside world and the animals on the inside. It's a great way to begin.

Camp Minnie Mickey

Festival of the Lion King in Animal Kingdom

The Camp Minnie Mickey area of the Disney World Animal Kingdom is full of places to get autographs from Disney characters and see a really top-notched show.


Attractions -

Dinoland USA

The Dinosaur ride at Animal Kingdom

Take a trip back in time to the period when dinosaurs roamed the earth.


Attractions -

Discovery Island

It's tough to be a bug sign from Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island is the center of Disney's Animal Kingdom. The Tree of Life dominates the whole island. This is the central hub of the park. Food, and shopping are everywhere, what's that I smell?


It's Tough to be a Bug! is the main attraction. You get to be an honorary bug for a day. Whoopee!

Attractions -

  • It's Tough to be a Bug! - A 3-D show (yes, you have to put on your "bug" glasses) about life as a bug.
  • Discovery Island Trails - Around the Tree of Life you will find several exhibits of different animals.


The Kilimanjaro Safari Logo from the Animal Kingdom

Take a trip to the village of Harambe. This is Disney's reproduction of an African village.

Attractions -

  • Kilimanjaro Safaris - This is the main attraction in Disney Animal Kingdom. Explore Africa, complete with live animals, on a Safari ride through the savanna.
  • Pangani Forest Exploration Trail - A walking tour where you'll see birds, fish, gorillas and hippos.

Rafiki's Planet Watch

Rafiki's Planet Watch in Animal Kingdom

Rafiki's Planet Watch is the "green" section of Disney's Animal Kingdom. You can actually see animals being cared for and there is a petting area for the kids.


Expedition Everest is the big new ride in Animal Kingdom

Come to the Kingdom of Anandapur (place of delight) home of the Maharajah's Palace. The Palace is crumbling and inhabited by tigers and other creatures. The ruins are typically Disney and are very detailed and realistic.


Attractions -



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This park doesn't have a lot of dining options. For most of the year, the park closes at 5:00, so dinner isn't a big meal. Over the last couple of years, Disney has been adding dining options to the parks menus. Check out some of the offerings.

  • Tusker House - "Awaken the Day" at Donald's Safari Breakfast buffet. You can also get a unique lunch and dinner buffet here.
  • Flame Tree BBQ - quick barbeque in a colorful setting.
  • Yak and Yeti - Chinese food in the shadow of Expedition Everest.
  • Rainforest Cafe - Dine in a tropical rain forest.
  • Pizzafari - track down some pizzas

Dad's Disney World Restaurants page

Secrets of Animal Kingdom

Do you know where the lions from Kilimanjaro Safari come from? You'll be surprised. Check out Dad's Walt Disney World secrets page to see some of the most interesting facts about the parks and more.

Dad's Walt Disney World Secrets page

Christmas time

Disney World makes Christmas time special. Even at Animal Kingdom there are lots of special touches that celebrate the holidays. OK, so it's not as much as the other parks and Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade is gone, but there's still a ton of Christmas decorations at Animal Kingdom.

Dad's Christmas at Disney World page

Preview of coming attractions

Disney hass announced that the next land at Animal Kingdom will be an Avatar based land. It will have rides and entertainment based on the blockbuster movie Avatar. James Cameron (director of the movie) is leading Disney's Imagineering team as they design the new area. Disney World's biggest park is getting bigger.

Behind the Scenes

If you want a VIP guided behind the scenes tour of the Animal Kingdom, check out the Wild African Trek. It's a hiking tour through the Pangani Forest overlooking the Safari ride and the Savannah complete with foot bridges and riverbeds full of hungry crocodiles (keep a look out for Captain Hook). This 3 hour adventure is offered daily at 1-407-WDW-TOUR.


Dad's Plan

Making a plan to tour the park is pretty easy. While it's the biggest park in area, it's the easiest to maneuver around because there isn't any easy way to criss cross the park. While Dad normally recommends using a touring plan from, it's not really needed for this park.

See for yourself

Come and see all the animals for yourself. They are calling your name right now. Just go over to Dad's Destinations to Travel page and let my partners get you started on a Perfect Vacation. Get started today!


Dad's Destinations to Travel page


Dad's Bottom Line

Disney's Animal Kingdom is growing into a great theme park or the best zoo on the planet, I'm still not sure which. What ever it is it's a great place to spend a day. The Safari is absolutely not to be missed.


Where else can take a trip around the World, see exotic animals, and see the culture of parts of the globe that are far away, all without leaving Florida? What a concept.