The Getaway
Top 20 Attractions at Animal Kingdom Disney World

Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, is more than just a theme park and home to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and fan-favorite Disney's Animal Kingdom. Of the five very different yet astounding parks, Animal Kingdom is the most recent addition, as it was constructed in 1998. The Animal Kingdom combines traditional elements of other parks such as rides and Disney characters, with the added component of live animals. Because of this, it is the only park at Disney World to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

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01 Na'vi River Journey

Located in the Pandora -- The World of Avatar section of Animal Kingdom, the Na'vi River Journey is one of the newest rides in the park. It is also one of the most captivating rides as you float through a bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na'vi Shaman of Songs. Be sure to pay close attention to the unbelievable finale.

02 Expedition Everest

Perhaps the most classic and iconic ride at Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest, stands the test of time. This Mt. Everest-themed roller coaster goes both forward and backward and even encounters a life-sized yeti. Make sure to hit up this ride early, as the line to get on tends to be one of the longest in the park.

03 Avatar Flight of Passage

Another Avatar attraction so high on our list might surprise you, but the recent addition of Avatar-themed rides will take your breath away. Avatar Flight of Passage is considered by some as the best ride in all of Disney World and features a simulated flight through Pandora. This 4-D experience activates all your senses as you hear the noises of Pandora and feel the salty sea spray on your face.

04 Festival of the Lion King

Animal Kingdom isn't just about its detailed and thrilling rides; it is also home to some fantastic live performances. One such show is the Festival of the Lion King. Acrobats, singers, and tribal performers will wow you in this Lion King-inspired theatrical show. This is a great option for the little ones who aren't tall enough for some of the rides yet.

05 Finding Nemo: the musical

The beloved animated film Finding Nemo takes to the stage in Finding Nemo: the Musical at Animal Kingdom. While the acting is amazing in this show, the real stars are the puppets and the creative way they are manipulated. The large theater makes getting into the show easy, although you may want to use your Fast Pass to get the best seat.

06 It's Tough to Be A Bug

Disney World has perfected the art of making education fun. Case in point: It's Tough to be a Bug, the 3-D film that teaches youngsters about insects using the cast of A Bug's Life. This is a great option for children too young to go on the big kid rides. Make sure to keep an eye out for surprise interactive moments.

07 Gorilla Falls exploration trail

If you have spent your morning sitting at shows or on rides, get your steps in at the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail, a walking trail formerly known as Pangani Forest. However, this isn't your average walking trail, as you will get to witness real-life gorillas and hippos as you stroll.

08 Dinosaur

Audio animatronics serve as the basis for this prehistoric ride in Dinosaur and Animal Kingdom. Before the ride, watch a hilarious pre-show video that will get you excited for your dino exploration. Animatronic dinosaurs dot the track as you ride through, and kids and adults alike will enjoy the ride. Note that this ride has a height requirement of 40 inches, and it is one of the more popular rides at Animal Kingdom, so be sure to get there early.

09 UP! A great bird adventure

Again combining an educational show with pure entertainment, UP! A Great Bird Adventure will appeal to the whole family. The characters of Up teach about birds as real-life birds fly overhead. Keep an eye out for the astounding marabou stork with a wingspan of over 10 feet! And after the show, stop by the Club House to meet Russel and Dug from the show.

10 Kilimanjaro Safaris

Kilimanjaro Safari is one of the most popular attractions of Animal Kingdom. On this ride, guests sit in a tram as a guide takes them through a traditional African safari with views of real live animals. View rhinos and giraffes as your guide tells you fascinating facts about the animals. A helpful tip is that the animals tend to be more active when it is a bit cooler out, so avoid the ride during the middle of the day.

11 Wildlife Express Train

The Wildlife Express Train gives guests a rare glimpse into Disney's elusive backstage. Guests board the train at Harambe Station and take a 7-minute trek around the back of Kilimanjaro Safaris. The track offers a view of the veterinary buildings where the white rhinos are treated, the elephant paddocks, and plenty of lush Florida greenery. Patrons can disembark at Rafiki's Planet Watch, which contains an adventure trail, a petting zoo, drawing lessons from Disney artists, and Disney's Conversation Station.

12 Conservation Station

Conservation Station offers a fascinating view of the science behind Disney's Animal Kingdom. Guests can watch Disney veterinarians at work. They can explore the invertebrate exhibits to see snakes, spiders, and scorpions up close. The nutrition and science centers teach guests how Disney's animals are fed and the research Disney is funding to improve animal welfare and aid conservation. These exhibits are carefully chosen to foster a love of science and the natural world.

13 Disney KiteTails

Disney's magnificent shows are a great opportunity to rest tired feet, have some water, and enjoy beautiful visuals and classic music. There are two distinct Disney KiteTails shows, both set against the lagoon behind Dinoland, USA. The Lion King and Jungle Book show each feature music and characters from their respective movies. Guests can tap their toes as colorful kites soar over the lagoon, and talented dancers and puppeteers bring the stories to life.

14 The Boneyard

A particular favorite of youngsters, the Boneyard allows young paleontologists to dig, play and explore. Children can climb across rope bridges, hurtle down slides, and sift through the sand in search of long-forgotten bone fragments. The Boneyard is a great place for children to play without worrying about the waits or height requirements in other areas of the park. It also provides an opportunity to teach children about paleontology, extinct creatures, and the importance of protecting the animals they see around them today.

15 Kali River Rapids

Kali River Rapids is a chance for thrill-seeking guests to float over 20-foot waterfalls across bubbling geysers and through treacherous white water rapids. Water splashes in through the sides of the raft, soaking some guests and almost sparing others. It's a favorite attraction on hot days. If you're particularly brave, you can enjoy the attraction on chillier days when wait times drop significantly.

16 Maharajah Jungle Trek: A walk on the wildside

Step into the heart of Asia and embark on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, a self-guided tour that offers an intimate encounter with some of the most exotic animals in the world. From majestic tigers to vibrant birds, this trek is a feast for the eyes and a thrill for the senses. The richly themed environment, complete with ruins and lush vegetation, transports you to a far-off land, making this not just a trek, but a journey into a story. It's an experience that combines education, adventure, and awe-inspiring sights, making it a must-visit for any Animal Kingdom guest.

Young man in tropical mountain forest Afriandi / Getty Images

17 Feathered Friends in Flight!: A soaring spectacle

Feathered Friends in Flight! is a show that will leave you in awe of the beauty and intelligence of our avian companions. This live performance showcases a variety of birds from around the world, demonstrating their unique skills and behaviors. The show is not only entertaining but also educational, teaching guests about the importance of conservation. The birds swoop, soar, and even interact with the audience, making this a truly immersive experience. It's a testament to the magic of nature and a spectacle that shouldn't be missed.

Educational Demonstration at a Falconry SolStock / Getty Images

18 Rafiki’s Planet Watch: A journey of discovery

Rafiki’s Planet Watch offers a unique opportunity to learn about the natural world and the efforts being made to protect it. This area of the park is accessible by the Wildlife Express Train, adding an element of adventure to your journey. Once there, you can explore interactive exhibits, meet some of the resident animals, and even watch veterinary procedures in action. It's a place where fun meets education, and where guests can gain a deeper appreciation for the world we share with animals. It's a must-visit for those with a thirst for knowledge and a love for animals.

19 TriceraTop Spin: Prehistoric fun for all ages

For those looking for a fun, family-friendly ride, TriceraTop Spin is the perfect choice. This dinosaur-themed ride takes guests on a gentle spin high above DinoLand U.S.A., offering great views and plenty of laughs. The ride's colorful design and playful atmosphere make it a hit with younger guests, while the nostalgic charm of traditional carnival rides will appeal to adults. It's a light-hearted and enjoyable experience that adds a touch of whimsy to your Animal Kingdom visit.

ABC Primetime Preview Weekend Doug Benc / Getty Images

20 Various animal encounters and trails: The heart of the Animal Kingdom

The Animal Kingdom is all about celebrating the natural world, and what better way to do that than through its various animal encounters and trails? These experiences allow guests to come face-to-face with a variety of animals, from gorillas to kangaroos. Each trail offers a unique environment and a chance to learn about the animals that inhabit it. These encounters are not only fascinating but also serve as a reminder of the beauty and diversity of our planet. They're the heart of what the Animal Kingdom is all about, making them an essential part of any visit.

Jungle Cruise To Reopen At Disneyland Park Handout / Getty Images
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