Animal Kingdom is possibly the most overlooked of all the Disney parks, despite having so much to explore! If you’re looking for the hidden gems in the park, I’ve got you covered. Here are 5 things you didn’t know you could do at Animal Kingdom.
5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could do at Animal Kingdom
There is a HUGE misconception when it comes to Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park! People tend to think it’s only a “half day” park or “just a zoo”.
There are so many things to see, do and explore at Animal Kingdom – I still haven’t done it all! The trick to this park is that there are so many hidden nooks and crannies that it’s easy to miss them if you’re trying to speed along. Not to mention Animal Kingdom is 3x the size of Magic Kingdom, so you’ve got a lot of ground to cover!
From the Savannah in Africa, to the bioluminescence and fantastic rides of Pandora, the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, exploring dinosaurs in Dinoland U.S.A., to the Conservation Station and more… there’s so much to do that you will definitely want to take the entire day here.
While a lot of character meetings and the special presentations end early in the evening, the rides are still going and there is some fun live entertainment that only gets started after dark.
1. Drawing lessons straight from Disney animators
In a hidden little area of Animal Kingdom, you’ll find the Conservation Station. It’s easy to miss – or dismiss – this building because it could sound boring to some guests, but there are actually some really fun experiences waiting inside.
One of our favorites is the animation class. Using the animals from Animal Kingdom and from Disney classics as inspiration, you’ll take a lesson from a Disney animator. They’ll show you how to draw your own animated animal character, which makes for a fun free keepsake.
This is an amazing activity if you have a little artist in your family.
2. Wilderness Explorers
If you have kids, this is one activity you don’t want to miss – but, hey, it’s pretty fun for adults, too!
Named for the Wilderness Explorers in the movie UP!, you earn your very own Wilderness Explorer badges by completing a variety of activities throughout the park.
To participate, pick up the map at the bridge by the Oasis and follow the map to find activities to complete. It’s fun, it helps you explore the entire park, and best of all, it’s free!
3. Observe veterinary procedures and operations
Going back to the Conservation Station, one of the biggest draws is the animal care center. This is where the animals of Animal Kingdom receive veterinary care and check ups. You can view from the windows and may even get to see animal surgeries and procedures.
Definitely something not to miss if your party is interested in animal care – and it’s a great way to get an even closer look at these magnificent animals.
4. Walk through the Tree of Life
One of my absolute favorite things about Animal Kingdom is the Tree of Life. There are over 300 animals carved within the tree, and I’ve literally spent hours just looking and trying to find them all.
But what you might not know is that there are trails that walk through and around the base of the tree. You can see the tree up close and personal from all angles. Plus, there are tons of hidden animal exhibits within the trails around the tree. Go in the early morning when it’s least crowded, and you’ll have stunning photos all to yourself. And there’s nothing like the early morning sun lighting up the Tree of Life.
5. Soak Your Fellow Guests!
On the bridge over Kali River Rapids, there is a industrial-looking box with two buttons. Pushing the green button will cause the elephant statues to spray water…. And if you wait until a raft is going under the bridge, the elephants will spray water on the raft riders!
It’s a little bit of naughty fun that Disney fully encourages.
One More Bonus Thing You Didn’t Know You Could Do
Did you know that you can walk through the Rainforest Cafe to a “secret entrance” to Animal Kingdom?
While most people are lining up at the very front, you can walk through Rainforest Cafe and find a much less crowded entrance.
Don’t miss out on all that Animal Kingdom has to offer and plan for an entire day to explore the parks. We believe in this so much, we wrote an entire blog post on why Animal Kingdom is more than a one day park.
There’s so much to do at Animal Kingdom besides just the big name rides like Flights of Passage and Everest. Hopefully this list helps you to think outside the box to find the hidden gems inside the Animal Kingdom! Join our Facebook group over at DISNEY EXPRESS LANE!
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