This week’s ears in the spotlight are themed to the Lion King and they are really nice.
One of my favorite shows in Disney World is located in Animal Kingdom. It’s a Broadway style show with lots of singing, dancing, acrobatics, and even floats. It’s called Festival of the Lion King and it’s a show you shouldn’t miss!
Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Hollywood Studios have all been covered. So, Animal Kingdom is next up for the “Top Attraction” list series. This park does not have as many attractions as Magic Kingdom or Epcot, but it does have more than Hollywood Studios. With 28 attractions, there is a nice amount to choose from for the list.
There are a couple of shows from the “Entertainment” section that I have included in the list, because, in my opinion, they are very good. Again, these are my own choices for a Top 10 list, everyone will have their own views as to which they feel are better, but this is a good starting point for anyone that has not been to the park.
Top 10 Attractions in Animal Kingdom
10. Wildlife Express Train– Train rides in Disney World are always fun. So if there is a train in a park, we will ride it. This train will take you from Africa to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and back again. This isn’t any old train ride though. During your 7-minute ride you will get to see behind the scenes of Animal Kingdom. Look for animal housing for different animals at Animal Kingdom. You will get to see where rhinos, elephants, and other animals sleep.
9. Finding Nemo The Musical– This is such a cute show. Plus, the show runs 40 minutes long, so it’s a great choice on a hot summer day. The actors use puppets to bring you into the story of Nemo and they are really good at drawing in the audience. They wear costumes that blend with the set, so your attention is on the puppets and not the actors. The puppets are pretty impressive, as are the actors who control them. I love Finding Nemo, so this is always a fun show to see.
8. Conservation Station– This is where the Wildlife Express Train will take you from Africa. When you visit you will be able to go behind the scenes of animal care at Animal Kingdom. We had so much fun visiting here during our last trip. The outside of the building has a mural of animals above the doors and once you step through the doors you will see even more animals.
Learn interesting facts about the animals at the park, see how the animals are cared for with a look into the Veterinary Treatment Room, check out the Animal Encounters Stage and you might even have a chance to touch animals after, watch handlers prepare meals for animals at the Nutrition Center, or watch actual scientists. There is a lot to do in an area that can sometimes get forgotten. Definitely put this on your list during your next visit to Animal Kingdom!
7. Kali River Rapids – This is a fun ride, but the reason I didn’t put it higher on the list is because I feel it’s too short. Your ride vehicle is a 12-person raft and you will find a compartment in front of you to store items in case you get wet. Between the geysers, the elephant-themed water sprayers, and the two drops (one is down a 20 foot slope!) your chances of getting wet are pretty good.
Look around during your raft ride. There is a message attached to this attraction. The warning is how illegal logging is destroying animal habitats and the balance of nature. It’s done in a Disney way, tied into a story.
So while I do think this ride should be longer, it’s still in my top 10. I love that drop at the end! Even though I usually end up getting soaked 🙂
6. It’s Tough to be a Bug – This is a must-see for every trip to Animal Kingdom. I love all the 3D shows at Disney World, but the fact that this one takes place inside the Tree of Life makes it a little more special. So when you make your way to the entrance, you are actually walking in the Tree of Life and the queue lines makes you feel like you are actually walking underground, it’s really well done!
Once the show starts, you are in for a treat. Flik is trying to put on a Broadway style show to teach you about the importance of bugs and how they are our friends. There are lots of special effects surprises throughout the show and special appearances by some familiar bugs.
It’s a cute show, but can be a little scary for little ones. There are some points of the show where you can get startled and little ones may not like that.
5. Festival of the Lion King– This is my favorite show at Disney World. It’s an indoor show, so it’s another good one for a hot day.
Once you enter Harambe Theater, you will be directed to one of the seating sections. There is audience participation during the show where everyone is supposed to act like a certain animal. The animal you are assigned depends on where you sit. There is a giraffe, warthog, lion, and elephant section. The actors will usually pick kids to help lead the group in the animal noises.
There are so many talented actors, singers, dancers, and gymnasts in this show! My favorite part is the Tumble Monkeys! They are so much fun to watch. The floats are fun too. They come in the theater with different characters from The Lion King on them (Simba and Pumba are two of the float characters).
The costumes are bright and beautiful. This is seriously like a Broadway production. It’s impressive and so exciting to see. This is definitely on our must-see list!
4. Primeval Whirl– Love this ride! Fair warning though, you will get knocked around a bit. It’s definitely not a gentle ride, but it is lots of fun.
It is supposed to be like a carnival ride. In fact, it’s in a section of Dinoland U.S.A. that is called Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama! The ride is a roller coaster that spins as you go around the track, which is why you get knocked around a bit.
There are two tracks for this ride and each track has sudden dips. There are lots of fun moving cartoon-like designs throughout the ride. The idea is that you are in a time-machine and you are going on a journey back to when dinosaurs walked the earth.
3. Kilimanjaro Safaris– This is a must-see on every trip to Animal Kingdom. No experience is ever the same. Every time I have been on this ride I have seen something different and it’s always fun to see if the lion is going to be out.
You will see so many different African animals during your journey in the open-air safari vehicle. Some animals you could see include:
- Black Rhino
- White Rhino
This is an 18-minute experience and can be a little bumpy. If you want to get closer to some of the animals you can try the Wild Africa Trek.
2. Dinosaur – This is a fun ride that sends you back to the time of the dinosaurs. You start off watching a video, at the Dino Institute, and are asked to go back in time to help find an Iguanodon and bring it back. The time period you are sent back to is right around when the meteor hit the Earth.
The ride is dark and can be scary for some. There are lots of great dinosaur animatronics to look at during your venture though. It took me a while to get up the nerve to go on this one, because I had heard how scary it can be, but I love it! We ride this one at least once during every trip.
1. Expedition Everest– This is my favorite ride in Animal Kingdom. Not only is the roller coaster part really fun, but the queue line is interesting to walk through. It’s one of those queue lines that almost makes you want to forgo your FastPass. You enter a Himalayan tour office and the queue line winds you past a general store and a museum that has lots of information about the infamous Yeti. It’s pretty cool and very well done.
Once you make your way through the queue line you will board your train and start your ascent up the mountain. It starts off gentle, until you reach the broken tracks and that’s when it speeds up. After all, you need to get away from the Yeti! Look for the big hairy guy during the ride; he appears when your picture is snapped on the ride.
So there it is, my Top 10 list for Animal Kingdom. Everyone’s list (and number 1) will be different, but my hope is that this will be a good starting point for those that have never been to Animal Kingdom.
There is so much to do in this park. Don’t believe it when people say it’s a half day park, because it’s not. You can easily spend a day in this park. So, take time to explore everything Animal Kingdom has to offer during your next trip. It’s a fun park!
Thanks for reading!