We get a lot of questions about which parks to visit, which parks are just “half day” parks and which park is the best. While each park has it’s own magical features, we think you should visit them all! With that being said, we are going to answer your Animal Kingdom questions!
Your Animal Kingdom Questions
Magic Kingdom usually gets all the glory of being the must-do park for families, but I think Animal Kingdom comes in a very close second! While Animal Kingdom has so much to offer people of all ages, it does an especially incredible job of catering to those with little ones. It is no longer considered a half-day park with the additions of new lands and night time entertainment. The following are the questions I get often concerning if Animal Kingdom is worth investing a great deal of time and why you need to make sure Animal Kingdom is at the top of your list for your next vacation.
Isn’t Animal Kingdom just a zoo?
I get this question a lot. The only semblance to any zoos I have been to is that there are animals. Apart from that Animal Kingdom is SO MUCH MORE. Disney imagineering really put a great deal of thought into making the guest experience completely immersive while simultaneously making sure they keep the best interest of the animals in mind. There are some stand alone animal exhibits but they try lead guests organically from one experience to another.
- Kilimanjaro Safari is the premiere attraction for viewing animals in as natural a habitat as possible. Guests ride in open air trucks with a driver and guide. Overhead you can see pictorials of all the animals you may see on the journey. As you go through the safari you will see everything from flamingos to elephants to rhinos and lions. Giraffes may graze your vehicle as you drive through the Savannah and the best part is, no matter how many times you ride it, every experience will be different.
- Maharajah Jungle Trek is self-guided trail where you can see Asian Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Water buffalo, Gibbon primates and more. You can go at your own speed and really dive deep into different animal species of Asia.
- Rafiki’s Planet Watch recently reopened and is an excellent way to get up close to see how the animals are cared for by Disney’s experts. Board the Wildlife Express Train in Africa and then you can see the animals receiving veterinary care and having their food prepared at Conservation Station. The Affection Section allows guests to brush, pet and feed goats, sheep, cows, pigs and donkeys in a giant enclosure! They recently added an animation class where guests can learn how to draw their favorite Lion King characters just like the pros!
In addition to these there are stand alone exhibits spread throughout the park with highly knowledgeable cast members scattered amongst them to give more information!
I heard Animal Kingdom is a half-day park.
Time allowing, I think Animal Kingdom warrants a full day or a couple half-days to really take it all in. They have some of the best thrill attractions on property with Expedition Everest and Flight of Passage. Add in the shows, safari, dining and other animal experiences and you will not be able to fit it all in. I think the animals are more lively in the morning so I like to go early but I also think a late afternoon/evening visit should be in the plan as well to see how the park comes alive at night, especially with Pandora and Rivers of Light, their night time show on the water.
There is not a lot for little kids to do.
Animal Kingdom, I think, is a very close second to Magic Kingdom in being the best park for toting around little humans. Apart from all the animals they can see and learn about there are so many opportunities that they will truly enjoy. They have excellent character meet and greets and fantastic live shows like Festival of the Lion King and Nemo The Musical. There are rides and attractions for the entire family like Na’vi River Journey in Pandora, and It’s Tough To Be a Bug! Rafiki’s Planet Watch as mentioned earlier, caters to little ones having a hands on experience where they can really engage with the animals and The Boneyard play area is the perfect place for dinosaur loving kiddos to harness their paleontology skills and let out some energy!
We love Animal Kingdom
Animal Kingdom has so much to see and do and really needs to be at the top (if not, make it close!) of your to-do list for your next trip to Disney World. Your Disney travel planner can help you plan the perfect day at Animal Kingdom and incorporate some of these experiences! Animal Kingdom is not just a half day park anymore!
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