10 Must-Dos At Animal Kingdom 51/#100DaysOfDisney

Share this with friends and family!

10 Must-Dos at Animal Kingdom

This is the second post in my must-do rides series for 100 Days Of Disney I’m going to share a list of the [10] must-do rides of each of the four Walt Disney World theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

Now, I’m only going to be including rides that we have done as a family – so some favourites may well be missing, as we haven’t done ALL the things at Walt Disney World – it’s impossible to do them all in just one trip, even three (like us!) or more…! Which is why this list of must-do rides at Animal Kingdom, does not include Expedition Everest! However, when I’ve looked at the attractions at Animal Kingdom as listed on the Walt Disney World website, I realise, there aren’t enough rides to do a top 10, so this is a 10 must-dos instead!

I’m also not going to put them in any sort of order, because, everything is relative isn’t it? What I might think is the best, someone else might think is the worst! The rides I have included in my list are ones that we simply must do whenever we go to Walt Disney World! I’ll just put them in alphabetical order – easiest thing to do!

I originally planned not to include shows and entertainment, like Wishes fireworks at Magic Kingdom as they fall under a different category. You can check out the different shows at Walt Disney World here. But since  Animal Kingdom doesn’t have 10 rides that we have been on as a family, I’ve included them too. It all gets too confusing… let’s get on with the list shall we?

10 Must-Dos at Animal Kingdom

Conservation Station

  • Location: Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Through informative interactive exhibits and a viewable onsite research facility, Conservation Station invites you to uncover the mysteries of the wild—and to go behind the scenes of Disney’s efforts to promote conservation awareness. Designed for animal lovers of every age, Conservation Station features more than 10 care areas and Disney-themed experiences including: Animal Encounters Stage, Song of the Rainforest, Veterinary Treatment Room, Backstage Tour, Eco-Web, Nutrition Center, Amphibian, Reptile and Invertebrate Windows, Science Center. – Walt Disney World

This area of the park is rarely busy (at least, whenever we have been) and so it’s a nice place to get away from the crowds, meet some characters, learn about exotic creatures (and pet them too if you’re brave enough, like my son did with a baby alligator!) and collect some more stickers for your Wilderness Explorers book!

Baby Alligator at Animal Kingdom

Discovery Island Trails

  • Location: Discovery Island
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Escape to a garden paradise where exotic creatures mingle alongside verdant plants and trees. Encircling the base of the Tree of Life, Discovery Island Trails invites you to embark on a self-guided tour and enjoy an up-close glimpse of nature—at your own pace. Some of the animals you may encounter along the Discovery Island Trails include: White Stork, Asian Small-Clawed Otter, Red Kangaroo, West African Crowned Crane, African Crested Porcupine, Galapagos Tortoise, Lesser Flamingo, Macaw, Red Kangaroo, Ring-Tailed Lemur, Saddle-Billed Stork, Lappet Face Vulture. – Walt Disney World

Again, a nice quiet area, and a chance to see some amazing animals – this is the Animal Kingdom park after all!

Lemur at Disney Animal Kingdom

Festival of the Lion King

  • Location: Africa – Harambe Theatre
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • Duration: 30 mins
  • FastPass+ offered: Yes

Join the inhabitants of the Pride Lands for a grand celebration of The Lion King with songs from the film. Relax in air-conditioned stadium seating as the jungle roars around you! – Walt Disney World

I’ve written about Festival of the Lion King during 100 Days of Disney, so go and check out the reasons why we love the show!

Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom

It’s Tough To Be A Bug

  • Location: Discovery Island
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • Thrill level: Dark, loud, scary
  • FastPass+ offered: Yes

See the world from a bug’s point of view with a little help from Flik inside the great Tree of Life. Flik, the loveable ant from the Disney•Pixar film A Bug’s Life, invites you and your family to become honorary creepy crawlies by donning a pair of special “bug eye” glasses and watching an exciting 3D film and live show on the survival techniques of bugs. – Walt Disney World

We love this! The 3D effects are fab, and then you have some 4D effects too, which take you by surprise, but can be a bit scary for little ones. There is a warning before the show starts, but parents seem to just ignore it, and you end up with a fair few screaming kiddies.

It's Tough To Be A Bug - Animal Kingdom

Kali River Rapids

  • Location: Asia
  • Height restrictions: 38in (97cm) or taller
  • Thrill level: Small drops, spinning, thrill ride, water ride
  • FastPass+ offered: Yes

Hang on tight for a thrilling whitewater adventure along the scenic Chakranadi River. Make your way to a wooden pagoda and then onto a large, circular 12-passenger raft. Strap yourself in and gently glide up a 90-foot knoll into a mist, the native scents of jasmine and ginger filling the air. At the top, skim across an erupting geyser and brace yourself as you begin your descent down the mountain. During your voyage, bob up and down and gently spin, water splashing in all directions. Sail beneath a canopy of lush vegetation as your raft weaves back and forth in the fast-moving river. Graze gushing waterfalls and bounce between craggy mountain bedrock amid the raging current. Then, plummet down a dramatic 20-foot slope! – Walt Disney World

We have only managed to ride this one time… well, actually it was more like 3 or 4 times in a row! It was the end of the theme park day, and there was no line, so we kept just going around and around – and got seriously wet too, so remember to leave some towels in your car to dry off with.

Kali River Rapids - Animal Kingdom

Kilimanjaro Safaris

  • Location: Africa
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • Thrill level: Slow rides
  • FastPass+ offered: Yes

Glimpse real animals in their natural habitats during an 18-minute expedition into the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Traipse along a twisting path amid a lush garden gateway and make your way to the rendezvous point of Kilimanjaro Safaris expedition, the touring company for your adventure into the wilds. Featuring picturesque open plains, shady forest landscapes and rocky wetlands, the 110-acre Harambe Wildlife Reserve is a spectacular sanctuary dedicated to the protection of African animals. – Walt Disney World

Ahh, my absolute favourite. No two safaris are the same; and there are so many different animals to see. I think the experience you get will be based upon the tour guide driver that you get. We’ve had some great ones, and some not so great. And for the love of all things Disney, listen to the driver when he says no children sitting on laps, no standing up etc. It spoils the ride for others, and it is a safety issue too.

Kilimanjaro Safaris - Animal Kingdom

Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

  • Location: Africa
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Encounter exotic animals as you trek through dense forests and sprawling savannas. Embark on a self-guided tour of the Pangani Forest and experience amazing creatures in their natural habitats—up-close and personal! Meander along winding paths amid a lush forest trail of African flora and fauna. Spot an adorable meerkat on a rocky perch or an impressive Grevy’s zebra on the savanna—before coming face to face with a gentle troop of western lowland gorillas on a grassy hillside—who are just as curious to see you as you are to see them! During your hike, snap pictures from convenient observation stations and learn more about the animals you see and Disney’s global conservation efforts to protect them and their habitats. – Walt Disney World

The entrance is to this trail is right next to Kilimanjaro Safaris, and so we more often than not, head here immediately after the safari. The gorilla are so majestic, and one visit we saw some baby ones which were hilariously playful!

Gorilla at Disney Animal Kingdom

Tree of Life

  • Location: Discovery Island
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Behold the breathtaking artistry of a sculpted tree that wordlessly expresses the intricate balance of nature. Located on Discovery Island, the Tree of Life vividly commemorates all living things—and the place they share—in the great Circle of Life. At an impressive 145 feet tall and 50 feet wide at its base, the Tree of Life is home to over 300 meticulously detailed animal carvings throughout its massive trunk, gnarling roots and outstretched branches—invoking the diversity, beauty and interconnected nature of earth’s many creatures. – Walt Disney World

One of the Disney weenies, which I absolutely adore. You can’t miss it, as it’s right there as you being to walk into the theme park.

Tree of Life - Animal Kingdom

Wilderness Explorers

  • Location: Discovery Island
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Follow in the footsteps of Russell and his faithful dog, Dug, from the Disney•Pixar film Up! Jaunt across jungles, furrow into forests and make way through the woods while you set out on a series of fact-finding challenges. Think you know the wilderness? Prove it! Dozens of self-guided activities await your arrival, with missions ranging from animal observation to learning all-too-important nature skills. Collect over 30 badges and earn the right to echo the Wilderness Explorer call—“Caw! Caw! Roar!” Every challenge is totally different from the next. With each one you complete, you can collect a new sticker badge to place in your official Wilderness Explorer field guide. – Walt Disney World

We started this on our trip to Walt Disney World in 2014, collecting the stickers at various points around Animal Kingdom. The beauty of this is, is that you don’t have to complete it all in one day – or even during the same holiday! We were told to bring our books back on our next trip so we could carry on with the exploring!

Conservation Station at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Wildlife Express

  • Location: Africa
  • Height restrictions: Any height
  • Thrill level: Slow ride
  • FastPass+ offered: No

Cross the African savannah for a backstage journey through Disney’s Animal Kingdom park. Steam ahead aboard the Wildlife Express Train for a peaceful 7-minute, 1.2-mile journey from the heart of Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, a park area dedicated to the preservation and conservation of animals. – Walt Disney World

This train journey takes you up to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and is a nice way to get off your feet for a while, and see some behind the scenes at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park.

Wildlife Express - Animal Kingdom

What’s your favourite ride at Animal Kingdom?

Disney Rides and Attractions on The Purple Pumpkin Blog


Thanks for reading Day 51 of 100 Days of Disney 2015! 49 to go! Come back tomorrow for another Disney post!

Posts in the 100 Days of Disney Series: 
Disney Crafts | Disney Printables | Disney Dining | Disney Vacation Planning | Around Walt Disney World | Disney Resorts | Disney Photography | Disney Theme Parks | Disney Rides + Attractions | Disney Shows + Parades | Disney Fashion | Disney Merchandise | Disney Movies | Disney Songs

And if you are a blogger, don’t forget that the 100 Days of Disney – The Blogger Linky is now open!



Share this with friends and family!