7 Must Do Experiences At Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom Entrance

7 Things To Do At Disney’s Animal Kingdom

You must know this about Disney’s Animal Kingdom, this is Disney’s newest theme park and it is Imagineered with more attention to detail than any of the other Walt Disney World theme parks.

There is so much to see and do!

While these are the 7 top suggestions for Animal Kingdom, be sure to take the time to explore all of the hidden nooks and crannies.  If you’re looking for what to do at Animal Kingdom in one day, this list will get you started, but you definitely want to explore this park in detail!

Animal Kingdom is packed full of delicious food, exciting rides, amazing shows and the entire park is visually stunning!  In my opinion, the Imagineers were trying to show off when they created this Disney theme park!

If you’re going expecting it to be a zoo, you will discover so much more!  Yes, you can see over 3,000 animals, but this is simply not a zoo!

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest Animal Kingdom

In 2011 Expedition Everest was listed as the most expensive roller coaster in the world, costing over 100 Million to build!  It’s more than a roller coaster, it’s an adventure to experience.

It’s a beautiful coaster and creates such an outstanding visual throughout the Animal Kingdom.  But an excellent roller coaster has to do more than just look pretty in a picture, it has to provide a high thrill factor.  Expedition Everest does not disappoint.

Expedition Everest is in Asia within the Animal Kingdom and is one of the busiest attractions at the park.  The entire area will transport you into the Himalayans. You’ll be blown away by all of the tiny details such as the prayer flags, architecture, murals, temple, artifacts and details of the Yeti.

Disney went into great details to create the story behind Expedition Everest.


To speed through the line, you need to get a FastPass for this ride.  However, there is so much detail in the Expedition Everest ride queue that you’ll miss so many incredible details by going straight to the ride.  If you have time, take the time to go through the queue – it’s too fascinating to miss!

Even though many believe it cost extra for FastPass, FastPass+ is free with park admission at the Disney parks.

Here is a link to get your FastPass+ rides set up.

Love Expedition Everest!

A video posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

Expedition Everest At Night

Expedition Everest during the day is incredible!  It’s fun, it’s fast, it’s visually stimulating.  But if you want to take it up a notch, be sure to ride Expedition Everest at night.  In my opinion, the experience gets about 10 times better when ridden at night.

I don’t know if it’s the lighting, the fact the Yeti becomes easier to see in the dark or how dark the ride seems, but there is something exhilarating about riding Expedition Everest at night!

Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safari Animal Kingdom

Go ahead and request your FastPass+ right now, because this is an attraction you simply do not want to miss at Disney’s Animal Kingdom!

This ride has it all – tons of wild animals, beautiful scenery, excitement along the way, an amazingly crafted story and you will actually begin to wonder if you’ve really been transported to the African savannas!

The length of the safari is around 22 minutes.  But trust me, Disney packs a bunch into this ride!  Many say that the best time to experience this ride is first thing in the morning and in the evening.  However, I’ve ridden this ride at all parts of the day and have not notice any substantial differences.  Because you’re dealing with live, freely roaming animals, each ride is different!

Disney does have some tricks up its sleeve and make sure the animals are out and about for enjoyment!

Kilimanjaro Safaris At Night

It’s such a different experience than taking the safari at night verses taking it during the day.  I’d definitely suggest taking this safari during the day to get the best view of the animals and the wildlife. If you are at the Animal Kingdom after dark, it’s worth taking the safari in the dark too for a completely different experience.

The lighting is beautiful at night!  You’ll find the savanna to be gorgeous and notice it feels like it’s just you and the wild animals! There’s something extra thrilling about the guide telling you that there is a lion close by and you can’t see it!

Festival of the Lion King

The Festival of The Lion King has to be my favorite show at Disney! What’s yours?

A photo posted by Bonnie Cribbs (@sharingmagicalmoments) on

Best Show Ever!!

Okay, so I know everyone has their own opinion of what their favorite show is at Disney, but to me, this show is the best!

The music of the Festival of The Lion King is fabulous.  There is fire, acrobatics, characters, beautiful costumes, high energy, audience participation and this is definitely a “feel good show.”  Even people who “don’t like shows” (how goofy!) will find this show fun and entertaining.

The show is located in the Africa area of Animal Kingdom and has a new home in a beautiful new theater.  She show is done “in the round” so every single seat is a good one.  You’ll find yourself singing and clapping along before you know it.

Flame Tree Barbeque

If you’re looking for a delicious counter service meal at Animal Kingdom, Flame Tree Barbeque is the place!

In my humble opinion, you can’t go wrong with the dining options anywhere in the park.  The Animal Kingdom has taken theme park food to a whole new level!  But if you only do one meal at Animal Kingdom, and you like good BBQ, this place is a must.

Trust me, when it comes to BBQ, this goofy guy is picky!  Growing up in the pork capital of North Carolina, then moving to Tennessee, I’ve discovered that BBQ is an art.  So far, Flame Tree Barbeque is the best BBQ I’ve found in Florida.  ….but I’m still looking!

Whether it’s ribs, chicken, pork….sauced or rubbed….slaw or fries….fork or fingers…. Disney goers love this place!

Here’s a link to the menu at Flame Tree Barbeque – it’s sad that the wonderful aroma can’t be shared!

Finding Nemo – The Musical

Last time in the Big Blue World 🐠💙

A video posted by Charlotte Perkis (@charlotte_labouff) on

Based on the ever-so-popular Disney movie, Finding Nemo, this stage show is something you do not want to miss.  The costumes are fabulous and you’ll love how Disney has taken this story line from the movie and put it to music!  The production is truly Broadway style and Broadway worthy.

I do suggest getting there early so you do not have to sit in the far back.  Doors to the theater do not close until after the show has started and if you’re sitting in the back, this is very disruptive.  A seat near the front will keep your attention on the show.  Plus Disney does a fabulous job of keeping you entertained prior to the start of the show.

The Tree Of Life

Tree of Life Animal Kingdom

As the center piece of the Animal Kingdom, you will see The Tree of Life as soon as you walk over the bridge to the park.  But what I want you to do is to truly experience the tree! It’s a tree of art!

It’s mesmerizing!

With over 300 meticulously carved animals the tree stands 145 feet tall, a trunk that’s 50 feet wide and branches that span 160 feet. The best way to get up close and personal is the line queue for “It’s Tough To Be A Bug” show.

From the line, you can see the art work in detail and see how the carvings are intertwined, forming animals upon animals. In line, you’ll find many opportunities to snap the perfect picture and see how many different animals you can count.

It took 18 months for this tree to be completed and I promise you it takes much more than 18 minutes for it to be appreciated.

The details in this tree will fascinate you!  This is something you’ll want to experience up close and personal.

The Tiny Details At Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Yes, this is post that shares the top 7 things you must do at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, but if you just rush in and ride all of the rides and see a few shows you will miss the true beauty of The Animal Kingdom.

Animal Kingdom designed to be explored, it’s designed to be experienced.  The beauty of The Animal Kingdom reaches far beyond the roller coasters, shows and animals.

The beauty of Disney’s Animal Kingdom is found in the tiny details.  Whether it’s the acute attention to detail in finding authentic artifacts, the sounds coming from behind the Tusker House, the cobblestone hidden Mickey in the street, the detailed designs in the lamp posts, authentic food offerings (and the smells that go along with them), the artistic storefronts or….. you name it.

The subtle attention to detail at The Animal Kingdom makes the entire park worth attending even if you do not intend to ride the worlds most expensive roller coaster or go on an African Safari.

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