My mum doesn’t like zoos but she does like Animal Kingdom and so do we. Part of the Walt Disney World offering but very different from a traditional theme park. Animal Kingdom has a lovely relaxing feeling. The focus is on conservation.
Animal Kingdom doesn’t have loads of rides – there are some but the focus is on the animals. We always head straight to the Kilimanjaro Safari as you are most likely to see lots of animals when it is cooler, it is a narrated safari ride over the African savanna. Go early and see the animals while they are active. Animals that you may see are giraffes, lions, antelope, rhinos, warthogs, zebras and other stunning species roam the land – no 2 safaris are the same.
Next we like to catch the train and head over to the Conservation Station on board the Wildlife Express – a rustic African train that runs 1.2 miles between the Harambe, Africa and Rafiki’s Planet Watch areas. You get to see the animal housing and care areas for rhinos, elephants and other species on your journey across the savanna.
At the Conservation Station you have the opportunity to meet the animal handlers, see animals up close and learn about the veterinary care, research and food preparation that are part of the daily activities in Animal Kingdom. You may also get to meet some characters and there is a petting zoo.
After the train we like to head across to Everest. Everest is a roller coaster train – it has drops and turns and a Yeti but the bit that makes me feel sick is when it goes backwards. This is my niece’s favourite ride in the whole of Orlando and she can keep on riding it until all the adults surrender.
If it’s a hot day you might want to ride the Kali River Rapids – this is the usual raft water ride with the usual waiver – you will get wet!
Next we generally head across to Dinosaur – with this ride you have a mission and set out in your Time Rover going back to the time of the dinosaurs – it is a bumpy and I think fun ride with some unexpected twists and turns. You can fast pass this ride so there is no need to queue.
Also in this vicinity is Primeval Whirl which is basically a fairground style spinning roller coaster. Personally it scares the living daylights out of me, however, it has me shrieking with laughter and going back for more!
There are some great shows here which also deserve a mention – the Lion King Show is an absolute show stopper – interactive, great costumes, great music – a really fantastic show. My sister-in-law loves the Flights of Wonder which is a 25-minute live show that features 20 species of birds including hawks, macaws and eagles. Finally I would also call out the It’s Tough to be a Bug show which is held within the Tree of Life – the centerpiece of Animal Kingdom. A 3D show with those special glasses – great fun and also a lovely cool haven during the middle of the day.
There are other wildlife trails which you can walk – my hubby loves to see the Gorillas and I like to see the Meerkats and Tigers. There is also a character trail down near the Lion King Show – when my niece was younger she loved to visit the characters here and if you are visiting in the Fall it will be decorated for the Harvest Festival and you may even get candy! She also loved the Jungle Jammin parade when she was younger.
Animal Kingdom – a zoo that is not a zoo – all the family agree a really good day out